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  1. - Top - End - #151
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sholos View Post
    Yup. I've asked if they know anyone, and everyone they know are also married/in a relationship.



    I'm not sure what you mean. My weekly schedule at this point consists mostly of work, watching anime with friends one night, playing games with the same friends another night, and that's about it. I've mentioned what I've already tried as well.
    In general, after you're done school you have a couple of common options:
    - Bars/clubs and the like
    - Group social activities
    - Work
    - Apps and online dating

    You mentioned trying the first two (at least the second to a degree with your FLGS). Work can be a tricky one but I know a lot of people who met their significant other at work. These tend to be more organic transitions though from colleague to friend to significant other, rather than just asking people out. There's also all sorts of risks there so it is definitely something to approach carefully.

    Otherwise the last one about online dating and apps is probably the most likely to be successful one. You're introduced directly into a pool of people who are also looking for a significant other. It's not perfect and you'll likely need to send many messages and not get many meaningful replies but its still something.

    If you're opposed to that for whatever reason, other social activities are probably the best. Find your local community center and see what types of activities there are for people your age. Volunteering is also a possibility where you can meet other people.

  2. - Top - End - #152
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    I'm going to assume you two both were within the same country, though. That's completely different. Same culture, no immigration hurdles, and wherever your couple ends up in your country each of you will probably have relatives or friends nearby or accessible - while for that last point, the Finn in Brazil or the Brazilian in Finland will have a grand total of zero relatives and acquaintances from his/her previous life in the country.

    It's doable, but the main problem isn't actually sheer distance.
    Oh, totally understood. But there's logistical hurdles, and dealbreakers.

    The dealbreaker, in this case, is "is either of them potentially willing to uproot their entire life and move to be with the other one?" Like, obviously not "right now", but at some point in the future?

    If yes, then go. If not, then there's no future.

    The logistics are obviously an issue, but a solvable one. The willingness to actually do the move (given the logistics, of course) is the potential dealbreaker.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sholos View Post
    Anyone have any advice for a 32-year old who's never even been close to a relationship let alone in one and has basically no outlets to meet new people? I've tried my FLGS. All men, or older married women or girlfriends of the guys there. I've tried bars; I feel out of place since everyone is 10 years younger than me, better socially equipped, and way more attractive. My entire friend group is non-single and doesn't know anyone that's single (or at least has never offered to introduce me to anyone). The only girls I see around at all are at work and way younger than me, generally not single (I'm beginning to believe that there are no girls in existence that are actually single unless they want to be, in which case...) and are, you know, coworkers. So... I don't even know at this point.
    So, two basic options:

    1) Online dating. This is literally why online dating exists, whether you use an app or not. Throw out a bunch of messages, and try to just go out for a cup of coffee. From there, see what happens.

    2) Find an activity you enjoy that is at least neutral on the male/female ratio. Do the activity. Especially if it involves other people. You'll then get a chance to meet people.

    Bars aren't a great idea for meeting people, *unless you actually just enjoy going to bars*. At which point it becomes an example of the second one.

  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sholos View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean. My weekly schedule at this point consists mostly of work, watching anime with friends one night, playing games with the same friends another night, and that's about it. I've mentioned what I've already tried as well.
    Just for an example. If I told you that girls liked gym bros, would you be willing to become a gym bro?

    Here's what lies at the heart of the matter. Making tiny changes and working within your comfort zone hasn't yielded any real results to date. The next logical step is to start making some more significant changes and step further outside your comfort zone. This in turn requires a willingness to take risks and jettison ideas that, in practice, have only served to hold you back.

    So again. Using gym bro as an example and not holy writ as to What Women Really Want, would you be willing to make that change in the name of better situating yourself?

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Oh, totally understood. But there's logistical hurdles, and dealbreakers.

    The dealbreaker, in this case, is "is either of them potentially willing to uproot their entire life and move to be with the other one?" Like, obviously not "right now", but at some point in the future?

    If yes, then go. If not, then there's no future.

    The logistics are obviously an issue, but a solvable one. The willingness to actually do the move (given the logistics, of course) is the potential dealbreaker.
    Eh. There's something to be said for enjoying something for what it is now instead of thinking that it's only serious if it's forever.

    It'd be different if enjoying yourself now had massive consequences down the line. (E.G: Finn uprooting her life right now to live with her crush.) But just enjoying a crush for what it is right now won't derail her life plan. Most crushes fizzle out before becoming serious, long-term relationships. So there's no reason not to enjoy now for now, and revisit the practicalities of distance only when/if this starts turning into a serious LTR.

  5. - Top - End - #155
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    Eh. There's something to be said for enjoying something for what it is now instead of thinking that it's only serious if it's forever.

    It'd be different if enjoying yourself now had massive consequences down the line. (E.G: Finn uprooting her life right now to live with her crush.) But just enjoying a crush for what it is right now won't derail her life plan. Most crushes fizzle out before becoming serious, long-term relationships. So there's no reason not to enjoy now for now, and revisit the practicalities of distance only when/if this starts turning into a serious LTR.
    Eh, not really. Most of the enjoyable stuff requires being together. Not only sex, but also kissing, cuddling, and all kinds of other activities (watching a movie together, having dinner together, hiking together, sports, etc.)

    Normally, the reasoning behind accepting to temporarily be with Mr. / Mrs "Right Now" even in spite of knowing there's no future for you two is that you're currently enjoying all or most of the above.

    A LDR, though, is habitually the exact opposite - we're only tolerating it because we think there's a chance the other is Mr. / Mrs Right. To enjoy a LDR, you have to see yourself with the other person in the future - that's what keeps you going.

    I'm not saying it's an universal rule - very few things are universal in romance - but it's generally how things are, so, food for thought. There's no harm in pursuing a LDR, but it's probably going to be "enjoyable" only if you're convinced there's a realistic chance for you two to end up together.
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    Eh, not really. Most of the enjoyable stuff requires being together. Not only sex, but also kissing, cuddling, and all kinds of other activities (watching a movie together, having dinner together, hiking together, sports, etc.)

    Normally, the reasoning behind accepting to temporarily be with Mr. / Mrs "Right Now" even in spite of knowing there's no future for you two is that you're currently enjoying all or most of the above.

    A LDR, though, is habitually the exact opposite - we're only tolerating it because we think there's a chance the other is Mr. / Mrs Right. To enjoy a LDR, you have to see yourself with the other person in the future - that's what keeps you going.

    I'm not saying it's an universal rule - very few things are universal in romance - but it's generally how things are, so, food for thought. There's no harm in pursuing a LDR, but it's probably going to be "enjoyable" only if you're convinced there's a realistic chance for you two to end up together.
    Right.

    With an LDR, if one of you isn't willing to relocate, it has a built-in expiration. Like, it would really suck to really like each other and then go "oh, wait, no not gonna happen." With a local relationship, you can enjoy and see where things go, and if they get serious go with it. With an LDR, that termination point kinda sucks a lot.

  7. - Top - End - #157
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    3SecondCultist's Avatar

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    I've been reading this thread for a little while, and I have a particular quandary that I don't feel like I trust myself to tell my circle of friends. At the very least, I don't know how I would articulate this particularly thorny issue. Okay, here goes.

    I have been in a stable, committed relationship for several years (ever since my second year of university). Now, the girl I am with - let's call her 'C' - is absolutely amazing: she's intelligent, funny, our personalities are a great match, and we have been very much in love for the majority of our relationship. I'd trust C with pretty much anything, and I like to think that she'd do the same for me. We are now out of university, transitioning into post-graduate life and working to save up money. I will be starting teacher's college in a month or so, while she's going to be working this year and studying to take her LSATs. C and I have been in a good place for a long while. But I've been noticing over the past year or so that C has been really flirty with this one guy - an equally brilliant law student that was on her debate team, who she's described as 'sexy' before - and let's call him N. Now, I'm not an overly jealous person, and we've talked several times about C's relationship with N. And yet, I'm still bothered by their friendship. C has indicated to me that if we were ever to break up, there's a good chance they would at least hook up, because she's always been fascinated by him and they never got a chance to try anything before we started dating.

    Enter V - a girl at my place of work for the summer. Now, V and I don't have as much in common, but we've gotten kind of close ever since we started working together. I still don't know her that well, but there is obvious chemistry between the two of us. I'm pretty sure we have been flirting, or at least blurred the line between a friendship and overt flirtation. V has a boyfriend, and knows that I have a girlfriend, but I think that has served as a good rationalization for how close we've gotten: if you know nothing's going to happen, then what's the harm in hanging out one-on-one, right? I had a bunch of staff over to my house last night, and the flirtation definitely increased with alcohol. At one point, I caught myself holding V's hand, which is a pretty big boundary for me. I couldn't sleep thinking about it.

    Now, I have not told C about how close V and I are, and neither have I expressed anything explicit with V. The end of my work is coming up in a few weeks, and V and I will be going our separate ways. I'm wracked with guilt and worry - I feel like emotionally, I've already cheated on C. But I also know that she's told me stories about interactions she's had with N that sound very similar. But I'm worried that if I keep this from her, it will haunt me. But I'm also scared that I've already waited too long, and if I tell C about it now, she'll think I was keeping it a secret from her deliberately (which, I guess I sort of was?). And more to the point, I don't even know what I would say if I did tell C about it. The whole thing is just a mess, and I do not feel equipped to deal with any fallout from any decision.

    Help, please. What should I do? Should I do anything? Or should I just let this pass me by, and try to focus on my relationship with C?
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2017-08-07 at 07:16 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #158
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    FinnLassie's Avatar

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    There's way too much to quote over my LDR issue, so I'll just write a post summing up my thoughts.

    We both have an interest in each others countries, but since this is basically a thing that has been brewing for just a month, I feel like it's a tad too early to talk about the willingness to move somewhere else. Just in the past couple of days we have been fiddling about meeting each other in real life and that is something that I value the most right now.

    I already know there will be an issue with "the talk" we might have in the future is that I want to be there for my grandparents when they're fragile - especially my grandfather. That process has already started and although in relatively good health... 80 is starting to be rather old. I don't want to overthink things already, like if this guy I really like would be able to gain employment here in Finland, but being the overthinking me... I of course am already overthinking.

    There's also this looming sense of failure, shame and embarrassment that hover around me. I've had people told me that I'm stupid and desperate for "looking for people online, from other countries". I don't share that view since I have only ONCE purposefully looked out for a guy online. But it just continues. That feeling. Like I'm worthless because I like someone who's maaany kilometres away from me.
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  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    For what it's worth, I'm French and my husband is American. LDRs may be difficult but that doesn't mean they can't work or that being interested in someone who lives across the world is silly or wrong.

    I totally hear you on the overthinking, but I have to say it did help me a bunch. There is a lot of waiting for things to be different with LDRs, and thinking ahead helps remember the bigger picture.
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  10. - Top - End - #160
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by FinnLassie View Post
    I don't want to overthink things already, like if this guy I really like would be able to gain employment here in Finland...
    It's probably way more likely that you would be the one relocating. Finland is a tricky place to end up, I've observed. I had a classmate from uni who did her PhD over there (in Helsinki), and it was difficult to become a fully participating citizen of the place even in spite of her generally good aptitude at foreign languages. She didn't end up staying, in the end.

    On the other hand, right now I have classmates and acquaintances who have uprooted themselves and are permanently living in distant places like California, Switzerland and Australia. Distance doesn't matter as much as the cultural gap and ability to feel at home eventually over there.

    Seeing how good your English is, and assuming he's far from fluent in Finnish, it seems pretty inevitable you'll be the one moving, if we're realistic. (Notice how in Lissou's case it's not the American who moved to Europe and became fluent in French; that's what I'm talking about.)
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  11. - Top - End - #161
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by FinnLassie View Post
    I already know there will be an issue with "the talk" we might have in the future is that I want to be there for my grandparents when they're fragile - especially my grandfather. That process has already started and although in relatively good health... 80 is starting to be rather old. I don't want to overthink things already, like if this guy I really like would be able to gain employment here in Finland, but being the overthinking me... I of course am already overthinking.
    Honestly I don't think this is overthinking. You're looking to perhaps start up a long distance romantic relationship. Presumably you'll want to eventually be in the same place as this person if things go well. If you have a hard no on moving somewhere else, due to your grandparents, this is something that should probably be brought up. If the other person has a similar hard no on moving for whatever reason, then you need to decide whether meeting occasionally and living separately is something you want. As kyoryu said, its different than a local relationship where you can just hang out, fool around or whatever but eventually move apart. There are logistics that need to be worked out here just to initially meet, and if in the end neither of you is willing or able to move, you're setting yourself up for disappointment if you only discuss it when things are getting more serious.

    There's also this looming sense of failure, shame and embarrassment that hover around me. I've had people told me that I'm stupid and desperate for "looking for people online, from other countries". I don't share that view since I have only ONCE purposefully looked out for a guy online. But it just continues. That feeling. Like I'm worthless because I like someone who's maaany kilometres away from me.
    It's definitely a more difficult route looking for someone long distance to start a relationship with. That certainly doesn't mean it's wrong though. The ease of communication nowadays makes it far easier to know people better at larger distances. As such it's easier to get into a situation where you meet and communicate with someone who you may eventually feel an attraction to and want to try and start a relationship with, even if they are further away. Or even if you DID seek out people in other countries for whatever reason, this again is simply a dating preference. I'm not comfortable judging other people's dating preferences. You don't have too much of a choice in who you find attractive or not.

  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    Notice how in Lissou's case it's not the American who moved to Europe and became fluent in French; that's what I'm talking about.
    While this is true, and language was a factor, the most important factor was that his mother's health wasn't good and he wanted to live with her. Now that she is dead, years later, we are discussing moving to France, but his job is in-person and mine can be done from anywhere so there are more practical reasons for us to stay here (also, my boyfriend is American as well, so that complicates relocation a lot).

    I also know Americans who moved to France to live there. I agree with you that moving to Finland is the less likely move, but it's not impossible, and right now things are early enough that a possibility is probably all that's needed. The rest can be figured out later if things go well.
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  13. - Top - End - #163
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3SecondCultist View Post
    I've been reading this thread for a little while, and I have a particular quandary that I don't feel like I trust myself to tell my circle of friends. At the very least, I don't know how I would articulate this particularly thorny issue. Okay, here goes.

    I have been in a stable, committed relationship for several years (ever since my second year of university). Now, the girl I am with - let's call her 'C' - is absolutely amazing: she's intelligent, funny, our personalities are a great match, and we have been very much in love for the majority of our relationship. I'd trust C with pretty much anything, and I like to think that she'd do the same for me. We are now out of university, transitioning into post-graduate life and working to save up money. I will be starting teacher's college in a month or so, while she's going to be working this year and studying to take her LSATs. C and I have been in a good place for a long while. But I've been noticing over the past year or so that C has been really flirty with this one guy - an equally brilliant law student that was on her debate team, who she's described as 'sexy' before - and let's call him N. Now, I'm not an overly jealous person, and we've talked several times about C's relationship with N. And yet, I'm still bothered by their friendship. C has indicated to me that if we were ever to break up, there's a good chance they would at least hook up, because she's always been fascinated by him and they never got a chance to try anything before we started dating.

    Enter V - a girl at my place of work for the summer. Now, V and I don't have as much in common, but we've gotten kind of close ever since we started working together. I still don't know her that well, but there is obvious chemistry between the two of us. I'm pretty sure we have been flirting, or at least blurred the line between a friendship and overt flirtation. V has a boyfriend, and knows that I have a girlfriend, but I think that has served as a good rationalization for how close we've gotten: if you know nothing's going to happen, then what's the harm in hanging out one-on-one, right? I had a bunch of staff over to my house last night, and the flirtation definitely increased with alcohol. At one point, I caught myself holding V's hand, which is a pretty big boundary for me. I couldn't sleep thinking about it.

    Now, I have not told C about how close V and I are, and neither have I expressed anything explicit with V. The end of my work is coming up in a few weeks, and V and I will be going our separate ways. I'm wracked with guilt and worry - I feel like emotionally, I've already cheated on C. But I also know that she's told me stories about interactions she's had with N that sound very similar. But I'm worried that if I keep this from her, it will haunt me. But I'm also scared that I've already waited too long, and if I tell C about it now, she'll think I was keeping it a secret from her deliberately (which, I guess I sort of was?). And more to the point, I don't even know what I would say if I did tell C about it. The whole thing is just a mess, and I do not feel equipped to deal with any fallout from any decision.

    Help, please. What should I do? Should I do anything? Or should I just let this pass me by, and try to focus on my relationship with C?
    This seems like a good time to think about your relationship with C compared to a few years ago. Are you still going on dates, doing romantic stuff, having sex often enough to satisfy both of your drives, etc? Have things gotten boring in the bedroom?

    It's possible that you guys aren't totally fulfilling each other's needs for romance anymore, and so... other people are starting to look a bit more inviting.

    You should probably talk to C about this, it doesn't sound like you've been intentionally hiding this thing with V, it's more like you didn't realize you were doing it until you crossed a (very minor) line and now you're trying to figure out WTF is going on.

    This shouldn't be the end of your relationship with C unless one of you wants it to be. It's more like hitting the dots on the road that warn you that you're drifting out of your lane. It's an opportunity to correct your course and make sure things in your relationship are going smoothly.

    If you bring this up and she starts to get upset, frame it this way.

    1: Nothing happened of any consequence.
    2: You only just figured out what was going on.
    3: You're telling her about V because you want this relationship to stay strong.

    If one of you comes up with the brilliant idea to give each other "hall passes" for one-time flings with V and C...
    1: Danger, Will Robinson! Fling may have already happened.
    2: There's a 2% chance you successfully convert into an open relationship if you go for it.
    3: There's about a 98% chance your relationship with C self-destructs within the next six months if you go for it. Open relationships are HARD.
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  14. - Top - End - #164
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3SecondCultist View Post
    Help, please. What should I do? Should I do anything? Or should I just let this pass me by, and try to focus on my relationship with C?
    I feel that it all hinges on something you aren't telling us at all in your post: what are your feelings towards C and towards V?

    Let me frame it this way. Thought experiment: you're single, and both C and V are among your acquaintances, they're both single too, and they're both courting you without knowing the other exists, hoping to make you their stable, long-term bf. It's all up to you to pick. What do you do?

    (If you pick C, that's great news, and your situation is going to be easier than it could. But you should be honest with yourself.)
    Last edited by lio45; 2017-08-08 at 11:47 AM.
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  15. - Top - End - #165
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3SecondCultist View Post
    snip stuff that's been quoted a bunch already.
    So, yeah. First, be honest about yourself and what you want, and how your relationship is going. That's the first thing.

    It *sounds like* you want to continue your relationship with C. Awesome! If it bugs you, you should totally talk to her about what happened.

    And you should also talk to her about the thing with N. The danger sign to me, here, based solely on what you've posted is that she's obviously got a crush, it bothers you, and she's doing nothing about it. That's a pretty straightforward message that you being concerned doesn't bother her - which leads me to question which relationship she values more.

  16. - Top - End - #166
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    Default Re: Relationship Woes and Advice XXVIII: Happy and Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by Icewraith View Post
    This seems like a good time to think about your relationship with C compared to a few years ago. Are you still going on dates, doing romantic stuff, having sex often enough to satisfy both of your drives, etc? Have things gotten boring in the bedroom?

    It's possible that you guys aren't totally fulfilling each other's needs for romance anymore, and so... other people are starting to look a bit more inviting.

    You should probably talk to C about this, it doesn't sound like you've been intentionally hiding this thing with V, it's more like you didn't realize you were doing it until you crossed a (very minor) line and now you're trying to figure out WTF is going on.

    This shouldn't be the end of your relationship with C unless one of you wants it to be. It's more like hitting the dots on the road that warn you that you're drifting out of your lane. It's an opportunity to correct your course and make sure things in your relationship are going smoothly.

    If you bring this up and she starts to get upset, frame it this way.

    1: Nothing happened of any consequence.
    2: You only just figured out what was going on.
    3: You're telling her about V because you want this relationship to stay strong.

    If one of you comes up with the brilliant idea to give each other "hall passes" for one-time flings with V and C...
    1: Danger, Will Robinson! Fling may have already happened.
    2: There's a 2% chance you successfully convert into an open relationship if you go for it.
    3: There's about a 98% chance your relationship with C self-destructs within the next six months if you go for it. Open relationships are HARD.
    Thank you - you've given me a bit of perspective on the matter. Things with C have definitely cooled down over the past year, gotten a bit more domestic. We're both pretty young, and we have both talked openly about the fact that we jumped headfirst into a serious relationship right through university. We've talked about 'hall passes' before, actually (or just taking a break in a year or so when she moves away), although neither of us has ever acted on it; I trust C absolutely not to have done that already.

    I'm feeling a bit better about talking to C about my relationship with V. I'm not looking for an open relationship here, I know that's not for me, and I know it's not for C either. I hope she will understand, but your tips have definitely helped me frame what exactly I will be saying. I am mostly optimistic about this talk.

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    I feel that it all hinges on something you aren't telling us at all in your post: what are your feelings towards C and towards V?

    Let me frame it this way. Thought experiment: you're single, and both C and V are among your acquaintances, they're both single too, and they're both courting you without knowing the other exists, hoping to make you their stable, long-term bf. It's all up to you to pick. What do you do?

    (If you pick C, that's great news, and your situation is going to be easier than it could. But you should be honest with yourself.)
    I'm sorry, but I don't feel like that is a valid question. My feelings towards C are deeply ingrained in who I am: we've been dating for long enough that she is one of the most important parts of my life. Our history means that I'm not going to be able to rationally weigh how I feel about her in the scenario you've described.

    Furthermore, V has a committed boyfriend, and they've been dating almost as long as C and I have. Hell, I've met him, and they seemed pretty cozy. So in this exercise, I would of course always pick C - but the experiment itself fails because I'm not really looking to swap partners, or compare the two. My problem is not that I want to be with V, but rather how I feel about flirtations that have already happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    So, yeah. First, be honest about yourself and what you want, and how your relationship is going. That's the first thing.

    It *sounds like* you want to continue your relationship with C. Awesome! If it bugs you, you should totally talk to her about what happened.

    And you should also talk to her about the thing with N. The danger sign to me, here, based solely on what you've posted is that she's obviously got a crush, it bothers you, and she's doing nothing about it. That's a pretty straightforward message that you being concerned doesn't bother her - which leads me to question which relationship she values more.
    Yes, I 100% agree on the 'talking about N' thing. Despite the fact that I don't feel like I have a right to ask C to not contact him, I can't help but feel conflicted and insecure about it. I think maybe deep down, I let things get as far with V as they have because I know how C feels about N. That's not me trying to excuse myself, but I want to confront what I think might be the root of the problem.
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  17. - Top - End - #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3SecondCultist View Post
    Yes, I 100% agree on the 'talking about N' thing. Despite the fact that I don't feel like I have a right to ask C to not contact him, I can't help but feel conflicted and insecure about it. I think maybe deep down, I let things get as far with V as they have because I know how C feels about N. That's not me trying to excuse myself, but I want to confront what I think might be the root of the problem.
    So, I'm a bit old fashioned here. I'm married, and my marriage is important to me.

    I'm not gonna lie, I've had minor crushes on other girls since being married. It's a hormonal thing, ya know? I don't know if I can control that.

    But what I *can* control is what I do with it. And what I can do is ensure that I'm not alone with said person, ever. That if I'm with them, I'm with other people (honestly, I do that with all of my female friends). Because a crush is harmless, and passes. But spending time alone with people, especially when I'm attracted to them, is how emotional intimacy develops - and THAT is the dangerous bit.

    It's basically relationship hygiene. Or think of it like security. You lock the doors to make sure nobody gets in.

    So the situation with N reads as screwy to me. Because, to me, in that situation, knowing that you had some issues with the relationship, and seeing as it might be a bit over-the-line to begin with, I'd personally make those steps, because my relationship with my wife is important to me. Spending one-on-one time with another woman is less important. I have male friends for one-on-one, and being around my female friends only when I'm with other people or as part of a group is perfectly fine. It doesn't cost me much, and prevents issues from developing.

    Look, the stuff she's saying ISN'T NORMAL. "Oh, he's so sexy. I'd totally date him if I wasn't with you." That is insensitive at best, and at worst it's a hint.

    Part of it may be the fact that hey, this is kind of what happens in long-term relationships. I get that. I've lived it. I'm old. You lose that "new relationship energy", and then you get a crush, and you feel some bit of that. It happens. It's a thing. But, the problem is that you'll lose that "NRE" with the new person, too. And if you just go chasing that high forever and ever, you won't be able to be in a stable relationship. That's just a fact. So you (and C) need to decide what you're gonna do about it. And maybe it'll take you or her a few years and a few tries to realize it's a typical pattern, and decide that, hey, it's worth living without that NRE for the benefits of a loving, stable relationship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    So, I'm a bit old fashioned here. I'm married, and my marriage is important to me.

    I'm not gonna lie, I've had minor crushes on other girls since being married. It's a hormonal thing, ya know? I don't know if I can control that.

    But what I *can* control is what I do with it. And what I can do is ensure that I'm not alone with said person, ever. That if I'm with them, I'm with other people (honestly, I do that with all of my female friends). Because a crush is harmless, and passes. But spending time alone with people, especially when I'm attracted to them, is how emotional intimacy develops - and THAT is the dangerous bit.

    It's basically relationship hygiene. Or think of it like security. You lock the doors to make sure nobody gets in.

    So the situation with N reads as screwy to me. Because, to me, in that situation, knowing that you had some issues with the relationship, and seeing as it might be a bit over-the-line to begin with, I'd personally make those steps, because my relationship with my wife is important to me. Spending one-on-one time with another woman is less important. I have male friends for one-on-one, and being around my female friends only when I'm with other people or as part of a group is perfectly fine. It doesn't cost me much, and prevents issues from developing.

    Look, the stuff she's saying ISN'T NORMAL. "Oh, he's so sexy. I'd totally date him if I wasn't with you." That is insensitive at best, and at worst it's a hint.

    Part of it may be the fact that hey, this is kind of what happens in long-term relationships. I get that. I've lived it. I'm old. You lose that "new relationship energy", and then you get a crush, and you feel some bit of that. It happens. It's a thing. But, the problem is that you'll lose that "NRE" with the new person, too. And if you just go chasing that high forever and ever, you won't be able to be in a stable relationship. That's just a fact. So you (and C) need to decide what you're gonna do about it. And maybe it'll take you or her a few years and a few tries to realize it's a typical pattern, and decide that, hey, it's worth living without that NRE for the benefits of a loving, stable relationship.
    C should be able to be friends IN GENERAL with N, but the problem is they shouldn't be alone in each other's company. Especially if there's alcohol involved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icewraith View Post
    C should be able to be friends IN GENERAL with N, but the problem is they shouldn't be alone in each other's company. Especially if there's alcohol involved.
    That's certainly how I'd run it.

    Now, my wife and I aren't total sticklers on this. Our singer is a female. And myself and our bassist drive her to rehearsals since she doesn't drive and both of us do the same thing. But if there was one rehearsal or something where I needed to drive her? Not a problem.

    Just not every week, being alone with her in a car for an hour.

    So, I mean, what I'd look for in this case is not a specific rule, but rather a recognition of "yeah, okay, I've got a crush on N. That happens, and as an adult, I get that and accept that crushes happen and pass, and it really doesn't mean anything. So, given that, what boundaries am I going to put on it to keep my actual relationship healthy?"

    I keep posting because I'm really trying very hard to clarify what I'd be looking for from C in this circumstance without turning it into a hard list of "THESE ARE THE RULES" that people may or may not agree with. But I certainly think that "recognition of a crush when you're in a relationship, and setting of sufficient boundaries to prevent problems" is something that, in general, should be agreeable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icewraith View Post
    C should be able to be friends IN GENERAL with N, but the problem is they shouldn't be alone in each other's company. Especially if there's alcohol involved.
    A bit of context: C and N aren't actually super close. At the very least, to my knowledge they have only ever hung out one on one a few times ever, and C told me about each one of those. She definitely knows that her relationship with N bothers me, and takes active steps to ensure that I'm comfortable. From what I know of N, he's a pretty reserved person. Furthermore, C telling me that she might have considered something with N has more to do with my own curiosity, and I chalk that up to how open we tend to be with each other. Which is yet another reason my friendship with V bothers me.

    I'm at work now, and even just hanging around V is distracting. I am going to put in some work to distance myself from her, but it's hard given the specific nature of my job. We actually have been alone with each other - we have shared the same break time and have gone to get coffee a few times - which would be normal with anyone else, but I only realized after the fact was not cool given my (and I presume her) attraction.

    I have yet to talk to C about any of this, but I'm staying with her tonight, so I should get the chance. I've just got to be brave and get it done!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3SecondCultist View Post
    A bit of context: C and N aren't actually super close. At the very least, to my knowledge they have only ever hung out one on one a few times ever, and C told me about each one of those. She definitely knows that her relationship with N bothers me, and takes active steps to ensure that I'm comfortable. From what I know of N, he's a pretty reserved person. Furthermore, C telling me that she might have considered something with N has more to do with my own curiosity, and I chalk that up to how open we tend to be with each other. Which is yet another reason my friendship with V bothers me.

    I'm at work now, and even just hanging around V is distracting. I am going to put in some work to distance myself from her, but it's hard given the specific nature of my job. We actually have been alone with each other - we have shared the same break time and have gone to get coffee a few times - which would be normal with anyone else, but I only realized after the fact was not cool given my (and I presume her) attraction.

    I have yet to talk to C about any of this, but I'm staying with her tonight, so I should get the chance. I've just got to be brave and get it done!
    That's a bit different than what I had presumed. It sounds like C is doing reasonable things, especially if she's not seeking, or even actively avoiding, one-on-one time with N.

    You definitely need to figure out what your own boundaries with V are. This is not a "whoops I fell and had sex with her" kind of thing, but developing emotional intimacy *on top of* the attraction you already feel is not healthy for a current relationship. Presuming you want to keep it, of course, which it sounds like you do.

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    My ex-boyfriend just said he wants to try again at being in a relationship when I'm [older].

    I know all the reasons - for his sake and mine - why that shouldn't happen, unless we both change a lot between then and now.

    I can't stop the feeling that we could work things out, really we could, and I still want to try . . .

    Bloody hell, I'm so sick of this mess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AuthorGirl View Post
    My ex-boyfriend just said he wants to try again at being in a relationship when I'm [older].

    I know all the reasons - for his sake and mine - why that shouldn't happen, unless we both change a lot between then and now.

    I can't stop the feeling that we could work things out, really we could, and I still want to try . . .

    Bloody hell, I'm so sick of this mess.
    Ugh. You know what I'm going to say to this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AuthorGirl View Post
    My ex-boyfriend just said he wants to try again at being in a relationship when I'm [older].

    I know all the reasons - for his sake and mine - why that shouldn't happen, unless we both change a lot between then and now.

    I can't stop the feeling that we could work things out, really we could, and I still want to try . . .

    Bloody hell, I'm so sick of this mess.
    Sounds like you could do with some distance from him, or at least letting him know that you don't really appreciate him constantly hitting you with the kinds of things you've mentioned previously in this thread. I realise it ain't easy overcoming the emotional strings still drawing you to him even if logically you recognise that it shouldn't happen, but it's clearly not doing you any good to keep having him come back with stuff like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuthorGirl View Post
    My ex-boyfriend just said he wants to try again at being in a relationship when I'm [older].

    I know all the reasons - for his sake and mine - why that shouldn't happen, unless we both change a lot between then and now.

    I can't stop the feeling that we could work things out, really we could, and I still want to try . . .

    Bloody hell, I'm so sick of this mess.
    This is getting more and more toxic as the time goes on.

    I'm going to be very blunt: don't talk to him unless it's on a social setting with other people. Don't listen to him. Take time to yourself. Let yourself loose of him. Focus on things that do not involve him.

    Personally, I find the whole deal of "maybe in the future" extremely bad, toxic, you name all the negative words. You say "unless we both change a lot between then and now". You likely will. But just because you change doesn't mean that it's going to work then. It obviously isn't working now... there is such a slim chance it'll work in the future.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuthorGirl View Post
    My ex-boyfriend just said he wants to try again at being in a relationship when I'm [older].

    I know all the reasons - for his sake and mine - why that shouldn't happen, unless we both change a lot between then and now.

    I can't stop the feeling that we could work things out, really we could, and I still want to try . . .

    Bloody hell, I'm so sick of this mess.
    Well... most people suggest "let go of him"... but let's review what you can actually gain by accepting his proposal:
    - you will burn/evade all other potentially better relationships for time equal to ([older]-[current age]) years while waiting for him.
    - you will be able to actually spend time thinking about IF and WHEN's of the "he will be at relationship with me!. You will most probably be aware of multiple other partners in his life.
    - you will be allowed to build a fantasy of perfect relationship with him IF he decides to honor his side of the agreement. And then you will be able to observe how very different the fantasy is from reality and will be able to watch how the spiral completes and whatever happened at first will happen again. You will be able to work out another agreement that you'll try it again later.
    - you will most probably, be sick of this mess, unhappy and your only consolation will be, that maybe - MAYBE - in n years he will come and say "I want you!".

    And even then you won't have any guarantee - ANY - that it will work.

    Ok, these are the "gains" - losing any possible relationships that could work, being sad, miserable and feeling worthless for next few years (I assume [older] is measured in years), and then - most probably - him telling you that he's not interested anymore.

    If you are willing to put up with all this - and are willing to accept that it's more possible that you'll just meet him with someone else - and are willing to ignore possibility of someone much better walking right behind the next corner, someone who will want to spend the next few years with you, instead of without you, then go for it.

    Been there, done something like that. Destroyed 3 years of *potentially working* relationships for one fantasy relationship which could work IF, IF, IF...

    ...ok, I was in love, I was young and I was stupid...

    ...want me to tell you how it feels?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lacco36 View Post
    ... great advice snipped ...
    Or, to put it more succinctly, DTMFA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Or, to put it more succinctly, DTMFA.
    Curious, what does DTMFA mean?
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    Quote Originally Posted by FinnLassie View Post
    Curious, what does DTMFA mean?
    I had to google it myself .

    @Authorgirl: apologies. When I posted the "advice", I noticed that you did not ask for any. Nor you did pose a question. So feel free to disregard anything I wrote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3SecondCultist View Post
    I've been reading this thread for a little while, and I have a particular quandary that I don't feel like I trust myself to tell my circle of friends. At the very least, I don't know how I would articulate this particularly thorny issue. Okay, here goes.

    I have been in a stable, committed relationship for several years (ever since my second year of university). Now, the girl I am with - let's call her 'C' - is absolutely amazing: she's intelligent, funny, our personalities are a great match, and we have been very much in love for the majority of our relationship. I'd trust C with pretty much anything, and I like to think that she'd do the same for me. We are now out of university, transitioning into post-graduate life and working to save up money. I will be starting teacher's college in a month or so, while she's going to be working this year and studying to take her LSATs. C and I have been in a good place for a long while. But I've been noticing over the past year or so that C has been really flirty with this one guy - an equally brilliant law student that was on her debate team, who she's described as 'sexy' before - and let's call him N. Now, I'm not an overly jealous person, and we've talked several times about C's relationship with N. And yet, I'm still bothered by their friendship. C has indicated to me that if we were ever to break up, there's a good chance they would at least hook up, because she's always been fascinated by him and they never got a chance to try anything before we started dating.

    Enter V - a girl at my place of work for the summer. Now, V and I don't have as much in common, but we've gotten kind of close ever since we started working together. I still don't know her that well, but there is obvious chemistry between the two of us. I'm pretty sure we have been flirting, or at least blurred the line between a friendship and overt flirtation. V has a boyfriend, and knows that I have a girlfriend, but I think that has served as a good rationalization for how close we've gotten: if you know nothing's going to happen, then what's the harm in hanging out one-on-one, right? I had a bunch of staff over to my house last night, and the flirtation definitely increased with alcohol. At one point, I caught myself holding V's hand, which is a pretty big boundary for me. I couldn't sleep thinking about it.

    Now, I have not told C about how close V and I are, and neither have I expressed anything explicit with V. The end of my work is coming up in a few weeks, and V and I will be going our separate ways. I'm wracked with guilt and worry - I feel like emotionally, I've already cheated on C. But I also know that she's told me stories about interactions she's had with N that sound very similar. But I'm worried that if I keep this from her, it will haunt me. But I'm also scared that I've already waited too long, and if I tell C about it now, she'll think I was keeping it a secret from her deliberately (which, I guess I sort of was?). And more to the point, I don't even know what I would say if I did tell C about it. The whole thing is just a mess, and I do not feel equipped to deal with any fallout from any decision.

    Help, please. What should I do? Should I do anything? Or should I just let this pass me by, and try to focus on my relationship with C?
    It really doesn't seem like you should do anything unless you want to do something.

    From what I read, nothing has happened between you and V that hasn't happened between C and N. So, you know, what is going on between you two is all within the boundaries of your relationship's unspoken contract.

    I've had some discussions with my wife in the past that focused on something that I feel is usually not talked about enough, which is, almost everyone likes to be flirted with and made feel attractive or interesting to your preferred gender to do the dirty with. And, yes, couples should be intimate and show passion no matter how much time has passed, but, you really do get used to your partner telling you you look good, and it feels different when someone else does it.

    This is pretty darn natural, and feeling that sensual tension, feeling interesting to that person, is something that makes you feel pretty good and that sometimes people need.

    The questions you have to ask yourself are:

    1) Have I broken my obligations to my partner? (IE: cheated by your relationship's definition of cheating
    )
    2) Do I want to do things that would be considered a breach on those obligations?

    3) If 2 is yes, do I feel like my relationship is worth less to me than this want that I have right now?

    If 1 is a yes, then come clean.

    If 2 is a yes, and 3 is a no, then try to put some distance with V, unless you think you can pull off a change in your obligations. If you think you can pull it off, then you are probably wrong, think again. Really? You're REALLY SURE? Talk about it in private with a friend.

    If both 2 and 3 are a yes, then you're probably going to break up. Try to do it before you screw everything up and more hurt feelings than strictly necesary are thrown everywhere.
    Nothing to see here, move along.

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