Dating! How does this work again?!

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Nomad
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Dating! How does this work again?!

Post by Nomad » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:19 am

Hi all - not been here for quite some time. Hope everyone is well.

After being very single for 2.5 years or more I’ve become interested in life again and decided to try dating. I’m in my 40s and it seems I have forgotten how it all works!!

I’ve started dating a lovely guy - very different from anyone I’ve met before. He’s healthy for a start! Mentally I mean. He’s already had a 20 year marriage. He’s positive and has lots of energy for life. We share some interests, as in other ways are really different which is quite refreshing really.

I can’t work out if im just enjoying the novelty of being with someone or if I really like him. He’s reaaaaally keen so I don’t want to break his heart if I feel differently down the road. I’m in no hurry. As it is, in the here and now,
I enjoy his company and really like who he is as a person - he’s just a good honest soul and really straightforward. There is chemistry but I don’t look at him and think phwoooooar- does this matter? He’s nice looking, just not the type I would normally go for. I’m enjoying being around someone normal. I just have this niggle due to him being so keen. It could be the usual avoidant attachment style showing itself.

Thanks for being somewhere to think out loud. I will try not to think and just enjoy the new ride!

reckoner
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Re: Dating! How does this work again?!

Post by reckoner » Sun Nov 15, 2020 9:15 am

Nice to see you again!
Nomad wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:19 am
I can’t work out if im just enjoying the novelty of being with someone or if I really like him.
Ordinarily, I'd say that if you did really like him, you wouldn't be wondering, you'd know already. But you say "It could be the usual avoidant attachment style showing itself" so it seems you have previous relationship experience that makes it more complicated than that?
Nomad wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:19 am
There is chemistry but I don’t look at him and think phwoooooar- does this matter?
Does it matter to you? Is that what you're looking for? Is that what he sees in you? I think any relationship of any intensity can work as long as both parties feel the same. You sense an imbalance - that he is keener on you than you are on him. Generally, I don't think that's a good sign long term.

It's always possible that your feelings grow stronger for him in the future. Then, the question is whether the trajectories of how both of your feelings develop are compatible and if they have the same end point. You might enjoy the companionship and comfort of a relationship with him, but if he's feeling fireworks for you, it's likely to be a problem if you're not feeling them too.

I don't see a problem with seeing how this goes - as long as he doesn't read more into your feelings than are really there. Frankly, though, the way you describe him and the context you provide of your own relationship history makes it sound to me like your enjoyment so far is more to do with the novelty of dating someone who isn't presenting the same kind of difficulties you've experienced before than really liking him on his own terms, which I'm sure is how he'd prefer you to be feeling it.

Nomad
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Re: Dating! How does this work again?!

Post by Nomad » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:35 am

Thank you - yes that is helpful. I think being around someone healthy is a big part of it. Plus he’s a really great guy. I am just seeing how it goes for a bit as I could well shift in how I feel, I’ve always been a slow burner. I’ve been very open with my uncertainty and finding the speed/intensity hard.
However I have a feeling that his intensity and my lack of it may lead it not to work which is really sad.

reckoner
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Re: Dating! How does this work again?!

Post by reckoner » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:02 pm

Nomad wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:35 am
I’ve been very open with my uncertainty and finding the speed/intensity hard.
You're not actually responsible for his feelings - being open and honest with him about yours is all you can do. That's great if he's also happy seeing how this goes.
Nomad wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:35 am
I have a feeling that his intensity and my lack of it may lead it not to work which is really sad.


I see what you mean. Not sure how relevant you'll find this but it reminds me of how I feel sometimes watching First Dates, do you ever watch it? In case you don't, it's a matchmaking reality show that sets couples up on blind dates. So many times, a couple that have been matched together seem perfect for each other, one of them wants a second date, but the other one doesn't "feel a spark" and says no to taking things further. At that point I always find myself wondering if this 'spark' that people often look for is totally overrated and if life might be a lot easier if that weren't so important to people when choosing a partner.

To me, so much of a successful relationship is about hard work and working well together that I wonder if compatibility is more important than chemistry, or the 'spark', or maybe compatibility could generate the spark.

I don't know actually where I'm going with this, apart from to say that I hope you have a good time with him!

Nomad
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Re: Dating! How does this work again?!

Post by Nomad » Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:17 pm

Thank you reckoner - I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. Yes I love first dates! And I do know what you mean.

I think in my 20s I may have waited for those sorts of sparks people talk about, I am not waiting for it any more, but seriously appreciating what a great catch this guy ultimately is. I think it's possible to grow these feelings if you work as you say. However, I am finding it hard not being on the same page as him. As much as his feelings aren't my responsibility, they are a constant reminder I dont feel as intensly as he does. It will be ok for a bit but if we remain unbalanced it might just not work.

In addition I am not someone who needs to be in a relationship. I am very happy single. So something I am learning here is, although he is gifted with all the qualities of a great person to date, perhaps I am just not ready for what he wants (the more serious side of things), or perhaps it's just not the right time. EIther that or I need to get back to my therapist and discuss my inability to love and let go!!

All the best to you and thanks again

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