Is There Really a Lid for Every Pot?

Name: ConfusedinCali | | Location: Burbank , CA |Question: Moxie, I知 confused, frustrated,and tired of playing this dating game.

When did getting into relationships get so complicated, or have they always been this way? It seems like for some people, finding a long-term mate is relatively simple. Boy meets girl. They fall in love. Move in with each other, and at some point get married. Relatively simple.

But where does that leave the rest of us? The ones who just have a hard time coming across anyone who is somewhat decent?

I知 writing this from the perspective of a divorcee who is just confused about all the mixed messages about dating that are thrown out there- you have people saying that in order to meet a marriageable man, a woman needs to be independent and be able to carry her own weight in the world. And then you have others who say that a woman needs to NEED a man for whatever reason, financial or emotional.

What gives? Are there just outliers in this world who are destined to never be in LTRs and maybe we should just get over it and move on with our lives?
|Age: 33

Well, I think the first adjustment you need to make is to stop looking for a “marriageable” man and simply seek one who is capable of and desiring of a relationship and commitment. The number of men and women who do not believe in marriage is growing. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to meet someone with whom they can settle down or have a long term partnership. They’re just not keen on the institution of marriage itself. It’s not due to a bitterness or cynicism towards love or monogamy or commitment. These people just don’t feel marriage is the only way two people can forge a life together. There are plenty of people to whom marriage is the end goal. I just don’t think they’re as common as they were 10+ years ago.

Now, as to why some people have more luck finding a relationship than others. I think, believe it or not, a lot of it has to do with practice and basic skill. Some people are better at algebra than others. Some people are better at playing an instrument than others. Dating really isn’t so different. If you have the desire, and you have the right attitude, and you’re willing to do the work, anything is achievable. Yes, some people have natural ability. But here’s what I’ve found. Those people with natural ability all share one thing: limitless thinking. They never think they can’t do something.

My uncle was a natural athlete. Any sport, he excelled. His brother, My Dad, had to work at it. He still excelled, but it wasn’t as easy for him. It took him longer and he took more hits. But, eventually, he got there.  My Dad is a thinker.  He’s cautious. He weighs the pros and cons. He never believed that anything came easy, that you had to work at it. If it came too effortlessly, it wasn’t real or wouldn’t last.   My uncle just..did. He never questioned why, he never let those doubts creep in to his head. He just acted. Make note that both men eventually got to the same place.  It just took one longer.

Some people approach dating the same way. They don’t over-analyze anything. They don’t question their abilities. They don’t dwell on mistakes. They just..date.

you have people saying that in order to meet a marriageable man, a woman needs to be independent and be able to carry her own weight in the world. And then you have others who say that a woman needs to NEED a man for whatever reason, financial or emotional.

Well, no. This is where you’re processing things based on your inner narrative. A woman can be independent and self-sufficient and still need someone. By “need”, most people mean be emotional available and be willing to be vulnerable. You’re the one tacking on the “financial or emotional.” In order for people to have a successful relationship, both parties have to be willing to “need” each other. They can’t see that as a sign of weakness. If someone refuses to let someone in, or allow someone to help them, or are afraid to be themselves, then they are going to have a hard time finding a healthy relationship. That’s not about a shortage of men or women. That’s about them and their limited way of thinking. If that’s how you see life, then that’s exactly what you’re going to find. This isn’t about the Law of Attraction or any sort of woo woo type of principle. If you’ve convinced yourself the sky is green, the sky is green to you.

This mentality that “all the good ones are taken” or “there are no decent men/women” is just defeatist propaganda. I honestly think it’s just a way for people to deter others from pursuing a relationship.   It’s bullshit. There are plenty of great, healthy, loving, available people out there.

You just don’t want them. For whatever reason. Maybe you don’t really want a relationship. Maybe you’re afraid. Maybe because you’re dead set on a certain type and don’t see yourself with anyone else.  I don’t know. But I do know that people nowadays are far too quick to dismiss people and blame society or others as to why they’re single. Sorry, but if someone is constantly struggling,  constantly disappointed, constantly griping…the problem is them.And it usually starts with their attitude.

Do I believe there is a lid for every pot? No. Everybody doesn’t get a ribbon. Life just doesn’t work that way. But I think you’re more likely to succeed (without and hard and fast guarantees) if you have the right attitude, are open minded and deal with whatever it is that is holding you back.

(Tangent up ahead.)

Yeah, I know. I’m finger pointing. (Guess which finger I’m wagging right now??) Learn to deal. I feel a need to defend my..what’s that word…community of dating advice people, dating experts and coaches. I’m beyond annoyed with this constant barrage of smarm and self-righteous/phony smugness directed at those of us who do what we do, accusing us of trying to make people feel bad about themselves. One, nobody can make you feel anything. Two, if you’re going to insist over and over that you’re so content being single, then how come you never say you prefer to be single? Why are you constantly on the merry go round that is online dating (other than you just need shit to blog about) ? How come you always qualify your statements with things like “Well, I’d like to be in a relationship but…I won’t settle/lower my standards” etc?(Those standards surely do come in handy, don’t they?)  That’s not the same as preferring to be single. If you would rather be in a relationship, and can’t seem to make that happen, then something is getting in the way. Is it wrong to suggest that, since you’re the only common denominator, that maybe the problem is within your control?

You want to talk about negativity fatigue? How about all the stories being filtered out through certain networks and Twitter about people being used and abused, pumped and dumped, lied to, cheated on and generally mistreated? Or about the stories about being judged and sized up by strangers because you’re single and how society is just so terribly threatened by you or how dismissed you are for being single? Or about how everyone you know that is in a relationship or is married is fucking miserable in some regard? Or the ones about how people refuse to settle and who blow off people because, I don’t know, they ordered too much food on a date? Worse, why are you so proud of the fact that nothing ever works out and all you attract is unavailable, abusive assholes? If dating is so taxing, and you’re so thrilled about being single, then stop doing it and stop bitching.

When are we, or anyone, allowed to suggest that maybe the string of frustrations or unhealthy experiences that certain people have are about them? What’s the quota that needs to be hit? How many stories do we have to hear before we’re allowed to suggest that someone be accountable? Or should we just tip toe around you so as to avoid hurting your delicate sensibilities while you regularly lash out at us?  If you don’t need us, and have such little disregard for us, then ignore us.

There isn’t some conspiracy out there that was designed to make you feel incomplete. Trust me. It ain’t all about YOU, no matter how badly you wish it were.

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44 Responses to “Is There Really a Lid for Every Pot?”

  1. Bill Says:

    That was a long response this is pretty simple. One of my old friends came and visited me, and she brought a friend. She is similar to the OP.

    #1 Only date men who are attracted to you who want a relationship.
    #2 Your too picky. Your not physically attractive enough to pull in the kind of man you desire.
    #3 You concentrate on the wrong qualities in men vs the right qualities.

    From a women who has been divorced. I am surprised you haven’t learned what qualities are important and what aren’t. The reason why women are single is not because men aren’t chasing them. I have seen lots of ugly women with men after them. It is they do not like the ones that want the relationship but they try to convert the ones that only want to have fun with them because those men do not want to date them. Stop chasing the wrong men. Chase the right ones!

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    • JoyC Says:

      What’s wrong with #1? So…a woman should date a man who is NOT attracted to her, or DOESN’T want a relationship?

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      • Bill Says:

        @ JoyC – From the actions of many women they are dating men that are not all that attracted to them that want to have a relationship with them. Women/men say a lot of things. If you judge on your actions of who you choose to spend your time with the average girl is always working on convincing some guy to want to have a relationship with them.

        The reason why some couples have it so easy is because they only date people who are interested in having a relationship with them. They met each other size each other up and realize they are in the same league. They can not get better or worse they are in the sweet spot of leaguing.

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  2. Saj Says:

    I don’t think single people are persecuted so much as some would like to think they are. The problem is when they complain and complain and complain while doing the same things that aren’t working over and over and wondering what gives.

    Perhaps it’s just lack of patience or being scared of driving someone away but what happens is that they get it backwards. Instead of being physically guarded and emotionally open they are emotionally guarded and physically open. Also they tend to confuse anxiety of wondering if he is into them with *spark* while someone right in front of them and present is seen as less than.

    Also I think people tend to overcompensate sometimes by giving every loser a chance and then they are emotionally bonded even though they are completely incompatible and then waste years trying to “fix them” only to be left disappointed and jaded. I think being pragmatic and also patient are the key.

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  3. JoyC Says:

    “But I do know that people nowadays are far too quick to dismiss people and blame society or others as to why they’re single. Sorry, but if someone is constantly struggling, constantly disappointed, constantly griping…the problem is them.And it usually starts with their attitude.”

    This is so true. To reference an article you posted a few weeks ago, we have SO many “choices” that we feel we can pass up anyone for someone “better”. This is the prevailing attitude.

    I personally don’t believe there is “someone out there for everyone”. But there can be…like Moxie said, if we all just work on our attitudes, and be honest with ourselves. I know a LOT of people who didn’t want to get married, but caved in to the societal pressures. I think everyone needs to ask themselves the question first, “why do I want to get married” because as Moxie pointed out, there are people who feel they can forge relationships that are meaningful without marriage. At least they’re being honest with themselves.

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  4. Jesse Says:

    This idea has been tossed around a lot on this web-site, so not much new here, but here goes.

    In this day and age, woman control a lot of power — they are now equal after all — and men are wary of this. Once a man gets married, the power shifts heavily to the side of the woman. Once married, every cent a man has salted away, including his businesses, his investments, his life’s achievements — they are all now 1/2 owned by the wife. Plus there is a lifetime commitment (via alimony) to carry the wife to a higher lifestyle than she previously enjoyed. So any man confronting marriage must not only confront the loss of his social independence, but (depending on the laws of state you are married in) also fully surrender his financial independence for the rest of his life.

    On top of this, many women have an exaggerated importance about them. They eschew the traditional womanly arts of keeping house. They also may remain independent in the relationship. Woe be to the newly married man who finds out that after marriage the sex dries up, his meals are his responsibility, as is his laundry and housekeeping. The seven year itch has been replaced by the seven-year hang-over. The one where you wake up one day and say “What the hell, I didn’t sign up for this”

    In the old days, men courted woman and treated them special because in the end, the rules of marriage were written in favor of the man. Men courted woman to let them know that they were kind and gentle and would treat them nicely and respectfully once the woman gave her life to him via marriage.
    Now that has been reversed. Women have the upper hand in the marriage and the power lies solely with them. If you don’t agree, all I can say is that every man is aware that all a wife has to do is call the police and say the husband has threatened her, and bang — the husband goes to jail. So once married, woman get pretty much have the where-with-all to act any way they choose, because if hubby don’t like it, tough — she can just file for divorce and all he can do is pay up and leave.

    No wonder some men now take the “feminine” role of wanting to be courted. Because as far as power goes, the men are now on the short end. So accordingly, those with the power — the woman — should be sucking up to those without –the men — now convincing US that they won’t be abused by the female once they surrender their life to them by entering into marriage. It’s the women who should step up and tell us what THEY bring to the table – what is it that they have to offer for the trade of having the men have to support them the rest of their lives?

    The women’s movement has killed chivalry, because no one can be chivalric from the point of weakness. Chivalry can only come from a position of power. I’m not saying that all women wanted equality — hell, I’ll bet for 80% it is a burden. But now that you have it, you might as well embrace it because oh how the rules have changed and to disregard this fact is naive and/or foolish on your part. And for the man, to think any other way is to set himself up as a sucker.

    I love women. I treat them with kindness and respect, and I would never do anything to physically harm then in any way. But I am wary. I do date one woman at a time, but marriage? Honestly I can’t see entering into that arrangement unless the financial burden of both parties is equal — what us men like to refer to as having some “skin in the game”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

    • Saj Says:

      You can’t have it both ways. You can’t miss the days of a woman not having the option to work outside the home therefore keeping house was the only job she could do and then complain about alimony because the woman who stayed home to “keep house” now has no way to support herself if the marriage dissolves without an education or job history.

      Then if you have a woman who supports herself so alimony won’t be needed you will complain that she isn’t doing 100% of the housekeeping and that as two working equals you have to pitch in on that aspect and how unfair that is. This straw man argument has been beaten to death and is on par with the guys saying ignore the gold diggers of the US and get a completely dependent gold digger in a foreign country.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

      • Jesse Says:

        I’m not asking to have it both ways. My point is that women want it both ways. They want to be treated with deference for being a woman while having the upper hand in marriage. I’m fine with either going back to the old ways or staying with the new ways. Its just a matter of adaption. I don’t think most women, especially those who lived in the pre-feminist days, have come to grips with the aftermath of the changes brought on bt feminism.

        Oh, and by the way, feminism did not give women the option of working outside the hope. For most women they instead gave a mandate.

        And also, I have no problem with alimony. Just the way it is administered. In NJ it is a lifelong commitment, independent of a woman’s ability to support herself. So there really is no good reason for a divorced wife to better herself post-divorce; she’s already taken care of.

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    • JoyC Says:

      In case you didn’t know this…nowadays (and I know this about NY state law anyway) it isn’t necessarily the “man” who has to support the other spouse in the event of a divorce.

      A female friend of mine had to pay alimony to her male spouse when they divorced because she worked on Wall St whereas throughout the duration of their marriage he was either a student or a tennis instructor and made very little money. In fact, he even got some of her assets she gathered prior to their wedding because she never made him sign a pre-nup. Yes, there are still couples today where women do not work and in the event of a divorce, the male pays. But this is not about “women” having power and having to “suck up” to men.

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    • joe Says:

      wtf and this is from a guy. When has dating become so negative, so stressful and why are we over analyzing this activity? If you like the girl (guy), go out with her (him). If you feel the moment is right and you want to get marry, you do that. Seriously, you think women are out to con men? If you date and marry the wrong woman, then you deserve everything you get.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • Jesse Says:

        Au contraire, dating is wonderful, and continues to be a pleasant pursuit. And yes, marriage could be wonderful. It’s just that one must now make considerations before committing to marriage that the previous generations did not have to. And this is a barrier to commitment, which I believe is part of the issue wit the OP’s complaint. Things just aren’t as simple as they used to be.

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    • ciscokid Says:

      FINALLY..! one of the Best answers on this website! Amen brother!

      Its not that we don’t love women / want to enter into a relationship.. its just that in this day and age is a “No Win Situation for Men” for the above reasons.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  5. JoyC Says:

    I see what you are saying. Yes you are right. Your #1 was advice, whereas #2 and #3 are what you consider the “don’ts”. Got it.

    “The reason why some couples have it so easy is because they only date people who are interested in having a relationship with them.”

    This is very true. Some people date those who checks their criteria boxes and somehow they miss the fact that they are dating someone who doesn’t want the same thing, or doesn’t share relationship values. You can find someone who “has it all” but if they don’t want what you want, they don’t really “have it all” do they?

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  6. JoyC Says:

    @ Bill:

    I see what you are saying. Yes you are right. Your #1 was advice, whereas #2 and #3 are what you consider the “don’ts”. Got it.

    “The reason why some couples have it so easy is because they only date people who are interested in having a relationship with them.”

    This is very true. Some people date those who checks their criteria boxes and somehow they miss the fact that they are dating someone who doesn’t want the same thing, or doesn’t share relationship values. You can find someone who “has it all” but if they don’t want what you want, they don’t really “have it all” do they?

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  7. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    Jesse is right that marriage is no longer necessary or particularly valuable. That is true for both men and women. Maybe more men recognize that than women or maybe women do get more out of traditional relationships than men do. But, Feminism is not the cause of this change, though I think it’s fair to say that both feminism and the structure of modern relationships share a COMMON cause, namely a more liberal and rational, secular society.. That change is a good thing for those who thrive in those environments. Not everyone does.

    .

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  8. Jesse Says:

    Marriage was a great institution for a time that valued stability and accountability for children, accountability meaning you couldn’t have deserted children living on their own, roaming the streets. Society once deemed marriage was the only acceptable way to have offspring. Then few chose to have children outside of marriage — there was a societal installed stigma against it, reinforced by having your children stingingly refered to as bastards.

    The original concept of marriage — societal stability and accountability for children — is still viable. Otherwise society picks up the slack for raising all of the unwanted and uncarted for children. However, society is on a bender that started in the 60’s when everything became open for re-examination. (This bender may last 500 years for all we know.) My premise is that Marriage as it stands now has been re-examined and modified by the law profession and feminists, in a way that it no longer serves men. Whether or not marriage, as it was defined in the past, was a bad deal for women is not at issue today. The problem today is that now marriage is a bad deal for men. And they know it.

    Today’s version of marriage was not forged in reason; it was re-created to fix the alleged wrongs of the past. There was little if any concern for making marriage fair. The impetus was to make things better for women. Its only afterward that it became apparent that fixing marriage was a zero-sum endeavor. Women’s rights won at the cost of men’s.

    So in that scope it makes perfect sense that men are reluctant to commit to marriage. For a young man, marriage has a hard time competing with the scenario of keeping a woman as his girlfriend for as long as possible. And for some woman, the same choice applies. Stay free! But one day you may find that time waits for no one, and that you missed that boat called having a family sanctified by marriage. Granted, it’s a boat that many people no longer wish to sail, but it’s also one that the laws have made less intriguing and desireable for those who wish to.

    Can marriage come back, and with it the readiness of men to be more ready to commit? Of course, but probably not until the balance of power is addressed. Not in favor of men, but in favor of fairness.

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  9. sarah Says:

    I disagree w Moxie on two points. One, I think if one wants to get married, then she should look for “marriageable” men. Any of my girlfriends who ended up marrying had boyfriends who were “marriageable” from the get go. Examples are they didnt move the relationship at a snail’s pace, didn’t take too long to hit relationship milestones, plus the dudes themselves brought up the idea of marriage pretty early on in the relationship. i also disagree about the good luck some people have. sometimes it is just the randomness o0f the universe as to why one woman finds an amazing partner who also wants to get married and another woman doesn’t. I think the real problem is that many women see the guy for the commitmentphobe that he is and make excuses and waste their own time.

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    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “Any of my girlfriends who ended up marrying had boyfriends who were ‘marriageable’ from the get go.” I suspect that those boyfriends were not deemed “marriageable” by their previous girlfriends, though; a man’s level of interest in marriage is inseparable from the particular candidate at hand, whereas a woman wants to get married and then goes looking for candidates.

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  10. VJ Says:

    Q: Is There Really a Lid for Every Pot?

    Of course there is. Better than that? There’s often a lid for that pot that’ll ‘do in a pinch’ and for what you need for the duration. And few people realize that. Otherwise how do people get remarried?

    So that’s the short answer. Other factors have been mentioned. But timing has not. It’s both easier to fall in love & to find a mate when you’re younger, and around more folks of your own age grade, such as college. It’s easier to satisfy some simple requirements then too. (Not yet married, no kids, kind & well educated & employable). But there’s a fly in that ointment. Most folks that are are often too idealistic to recognize this, and really don’t want to & can’t ‘settle’ just yet for merely the ‘average’ folks on offer. So they wait. And play the field, and grow older, more bitter & more cynical with each passing year. Which conversely? Makes it harder to find either love or a decent match.

    There’s likely 10-20 guys on your block or within a 2-3 block radius that may have been seen as ‘perfectly acceptable’ as mate material 20 & even 10 years ago. If you did not recognize this at the time? It’s only gotten more difficult to find a proper match as time has marched on. More folks will have more baggage on average. More people will have more negative experiences to work through. More people will have gotten married, remarried and then sworn off the idea! More women will have ‘completed their reproductive careers’ and not want any more kids. Which BTW? Seems to be unattractive to perhaps at least half the guys, of any age under 40-50. Ditto for Exs that are constantly in the picture due to various child custody arrangements that can yes, sprawl across the landscape and use up every bit of ‘spare time’ for the duration of that childhood.

    So strangely enough? You’ve really got to be smart enough to recognize when a ‘reasonably good thing’ is standing before you and yes even if he/she might be ‘compatible enough’ to try to get along for a few years. Because other than that clear cut assessment? Everything else is still a crap shoot! You’ll never know how ‘well the fit’ is until you try. And all too may folks in the big cities? Are somehow no longer willing & able to do so.

    Again, perhaps one of those areas where it may have been better to have ‘struck some bargain’ a decade or so at least. Because the general ‘market conditions’ have only gone on to deteriorate rapidly ever since! (Which again is something that might have required some foresight to see & predict). Cheers, ‘VJ’

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  11. VJ Says:

    [Some corrections, in that 2nd full paragraph]:

    “Most folks that age are often too idealistic to recognize this, and really don’t want to & can’t ‘settle’ (in their 20’s)…”

    2nd to last paragraph: “So strangely enough? You’ve really got to be smart enough to recognize when a ‘reasonably good thing’ is standing before you and yes even if he/she might be ‘compatible enough’ to try to get along with for a few years.”

    Last paragraph: “Again, perhaps one of those areas where it may have been better to have ‘struck some bargain’ a decade or so ago at least.”

    Sorry for any confusion. Cheers, ‘VJ’

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  12. pistola Says:

    I don’t believe there’s a lid for every pot. I seem to be a lidless pot much of the time. Saying “there’s someone for everyone” feels like pablum to me, like saying that everyone who tries hard to make it, will, when you can look around you in this country and see millions of people busting their asses and not making it at all. It’s a very “blame the victim” kind of thinking: if you’re single it must be all because of you, not because there are hundreds of circumstances that go into meeting the right person and having it lead to a committed relationship.

    I dunno. I think it’s too easy to blame singles for being single. None of us controls the universe. You can’t make something happen by wishing for it. When it comes to relationships, you could put in all the time and work and still not find the right person. I know women way younger than me with all the right “ingredients” who have been trying for years, and much harder than I do, and it hasn’t happened for them. I know they’ve put in the work and the time and they’re great people. I’m not going to add insult to injury by telling them that there must be something wrong with them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “I know women way younger than me with all the right ‘ingredients’ who have been trying for years, and much harder than I do, and it hasn’t happened for them.” Perhaps as a woman you’re not able to see what men don’t see in these women, but there has to be something or one of us would have snatched them up by now. Or perhaps some of us have tried and they just weren’t interested.

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  13. VJ Says:

    I’m not really blaming anyone particularly, and this is not really the quite the same as economics, although it may be related to it. It is & remains being all about life choices.

    Let’s just that say Mathematically? You’re constantly trying to solve equations for multivariate situations where there are several unknowns. And one of the big vectors to ‘satisfy’ or accommodate is Time.

    Many folks do not have the time to devote for a search ‘for love/companionship’, or only a limited time when they do (late), and/or can only do so intermittently between school, work, family obligations & childcare & such. It gets complicated fast. That’s just one vector of time too. Your lid could have been in the same place as you, but was there yesterday, or last week. Or today, even 10 minutes later, when someone else found him, and recognized him as ‘adequate enough’ for her needs then!

    So it’s just likely somewhat less complicated earlier, in your mid 20’s say. But again few folks realize that & only in retrospect perhaps. They’re usually looking for different things, and can not come to recognize their own values, needs & desires & then try to realistically assess how to achieve or obtain them, let alone try and do this with a partner. That requires serious adult reasoning & thinking, and perhaps even sacrificing your immediate desires for a greater long term goal. And I’m sorry to say, there’s not a whole lot of men & women able to think that way in their 20’s OR 30’s for that matter.

    Fundamentally it’s all about accommodating themselves to reality. There are no Princes on dashing snow white chargers waiting to pick you up and make your life all better like a Disneyland fantasy. There’s no Mr. Bigs going to dry your tears away, and recognize that tired 40+ yo version of you for the wonder gal that you always were, and know instantly that you’re exactly what he’s been missing in his life all these years. We need to be able to separate fantasy for the cold hard reality that’s outside the front door. And again, very few folks are willing or able to do this on anything like a consistent basis. Which is a problem. It’ll all be an uphill fight if you can’t or remain unable to do this.

    So it’s not waiting forever for all the ‘proper/right ingredients’ to fall into place. It’s knowing when enough is just fine. It’s knowing that when you find that decent human who understands you, can tolerate your antics, and seems to want the same things you do & is perfectly loving to & for you & yours that you should not willingly throw them away searching for a ‘better fit’. That yes, bigger dick, larger breasts, taller dude, GF w/o that ‘silly’ crooked nose/smile whatever ‘imperfection’ that had heretofore prevented you from finally saying to the world, ‘OK, Enough!’ ‘I’ve suffered enough indignities, this one will do fine’.

    So ultimately? It’s not often about ‘what’s wrong with you’ (although it is often enough), it’s all about the Choices you’re making. Singleness for 2 decades? Is a choice. It’s saying something to the world. And one of that somethings is loud & clear: ‘In the Past, No One Was Good Enough’. And I’m sorry about that. But down deep? After 20 years or so? Even every damn special ‘snow flake’ in NYC can find a close enough approximation on a lid to ‘get on with it’! We made the atomic bombs in under 4 years, & finished WW11 too. Twenty years is a very long time to be ‘dating’, almost about 1/3 of your life expectancy. And yet NYC is lousy with 40 something women still ‘waiting’ on that rarely seen ‘magic pony’. So maybe it’s not all about what’s particularly wrong with you. Maybe it’s about time you admit that there’s no magic ponys left here. Or that the search for such similar mythic creatures like unicorns needs a definite end point. Just for everyone’s sanity sake? Cheers, ‘VJ’

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  14. JoyC Says:

    @ Pistola

    “It’s a very “blame the victim” kind of thinking: if you’re single it must be all because of you, not because there are hundreds of circumstances that go into meeting the right person and having it lead to a committed relationship.”

    You are SOOOOOO right. Just because you look, doesn’t mean you find either. I believe in luck, circumstance, being at the right place at the right time. I also believe that sometimes you fall for someone a the wrong time in THEIR lives. All in all, you are right, there are circumstances and sometimes they are murky. It’s not as simple as some posters make it out to be. Let’s not forget, you can find someone who wants the same thing, (i.e., commitment) you can be in a relationship, not going at a snail’s pace, but then somehow, for some reason it doesn’t work out. No one’s fault, no one did anyone wrong. You can go through a few of these. Does that make it that person’s ‘fault’?

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  15. pistola Says:

    “Singleness for 2 decades? Is a choice. It’s saying something to the world. And one of that somethings is loud & clear: ‘In the Past, No One Was Good Enough’.”

    I strongly disagree with this, VJ. I know too many people who have devoted enormous effort to one LTR after another trying to find the right person, who have poured their hearts and souls into their relationships only to have things fall apart over and over. A few have succeeded in finding something that sticks. Others have not and are still dating, dating, dating, trying and trying and trying.

    There’s a difference between entitled fantasizing and the reality that a good relationship is hard to find even for those who bust ass trying to find it. I know we’d all like to think that our efforts are directly related to the results but this is far less true of romance than other things in life IME. Yes we completed the bomb and the war in a few short years, and that has nothing to do with human love, and the world is a quite different place now than then.

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    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      I’m with VJ on this point. Working hard and busting your ass is not the way to achieve a relationship. That’s the problem. Let;’s say I decide I want to be President of the United States and spend my whole life busting my ass to achieve that goal. I will never be president of the United States. It’s an unrealistic goal. And, at some point, my failure to recognize that is MY CHOICE. MY “FAULT.” It’s not that there is something morally “wrong” with me. I’ve just made bad choices.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly that much of our lives are constrained by circumstance and things not of our choosing. But, good decision-making – to increase your chance of sucess – is made WITHIN those constraints and recognizing one’s limitations.

      “There is a lid for every pot” is just as much of a pablum platitude as “it’s not your fault.”

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    • JoyC Says:

      Moxie posted an article from the Village Voice last week and one of the posters made a comment, it was a foreigner, and referred to dating in American society as “not dating, but shopping”, probably poking at the strong capitalist/materialism we are so known for, but this comment struck a chord in me. We do treat dating like shopping. I was looking to replace my tattered winter coat and a few stores later, voila…I found one. I was determined, I wanted to find the right coat…and I found it, the right fit, the right color, at the right price. Unfortunately, the coat had no choice in the matter, it was going to be bought by me.

      Too bad relationships don’t work that way. The other person/people are willing participants, I can be as determined as I want, know what I want and try and try. Doesn’t mean I will be successful.

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    • Angeline Says:

      This is probably the first time I’ve disagreed with something Pistola has posted. “Trying hard” to find a relationship brings to mind the image of a woman rigid with intensity, dragging her hope chest behind her. Unless these wonderful, healthy, relationship-ready women have really invited us into their minds to try and divine why they haven’t been successful, we can’t really guess why they were not from the outside. Maybe they aren’t so wonderful to their potential mates as the facade they present to their friends. Time and work does not entitle one to a relationship.

      What we can divine is that something isn’t working, and when one runs out of people to point the finger at, eventually you have to point at the person in the mirror.

      Choosing to focus on getting an education is an admirable choice, but a lot of people still find relationships while doing so. That isn’t the universe being capricious, that’s a choice. And perhaps a hedge.

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      • pistola Says:

        “What we can divine is that something isn’t working, and when one runs out of people to point the finger at, eventually you have to point at the person in the mirror.”

        Just because that’s the only choice a person has left in terms of finding someone to “blame” doesn’t make it the truth. Why does there have to be blame at all? That’s my point.

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  16. pistola Says:

    The truth lies somewhere in between for sure. What I don’t believe is that we can know what the mix is in the way we think.

    I’m thinking of a friend of mine who is finally engaged to a sweet woman after having tried for about 11 years to find the right person (at least–that’s only how long I’ve known him). During that time, he’s been engaged twice, cheated on multiple times, been in one LTR after another. He’s sacrificed so much in order to try to get his relationships to work that he’s in his late 30s and still hasn’t completed an undergraduate degree. This friend has tried harder than anyone I have ever known to meet and marry his “One,” and it’s taken him 11 years just that I’ve seen! And they almost didn’t work out, and wouldn’t have if she hadn’t agreed for his sake to deal with her substance abuse issues.

    People could look at my friend and praise him for making the “right choices” by sticking with it and keeping dating. But I also know what he’s sacrificed. I’m not that much older than he is. I don’t have a “One” but I have a master’s degree and two other professional trainings under my belt. What he put into looking for love, I put into my education. I wouldn’t tell my friend he’s made bad choices but a lot of people would. He wouldn’t tell me I’ve made bad choices but a lot of people would.

    Life’s only so long and not everything is gonna happen for everyone.

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    • Saj Says:

      I’ve known some beautiful girls who I would rate as a 9 on the attractiveness scale. Fit, sweet, kind, giving and they all dated my brother. My steroid abusive douche bag brother. When that relationship would fizzle out they would move on to the next clone of someone equally abusive or a douche bag.

      It’s not about the quality of the girls sometimes and what they bring to the table but having an attraction for men who aren’t good husband material and thinking if they just tried a little harder and worked a little harder they could soften him up to no avail. Even if he did soften up I bet they would find something about the new situation that didn’t agree with them.

      It’s not so much about busting your ass as it is recognizing a good or bad thing fairly quickly and working from there. If you are in a relationship and you have to work and work and work and work then it’s not working! Sometimes being extremely loyal while awesome once your married can be a detriment when you are with someone who isn’t a good fit. It took me 5 years to finally pull the plug on a waste of time relationship and if I could go back I would have pulled the plug after 2 years.

      Many women don’t learn this lesson or once they reach a certain age and many disappointments figure there is no point in being bummed out and to put on a happy confident face that they are content where they are. There is nothing wrong with that to self preserve your happiness but the uber defensiveness are tell tail cracks in that shield.

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      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        “When that relationship would fizzle out they would move on to the next clone of someone equally abusive or a douche bag.” That reminds me of an ex of mine. We were coworkers, and she was always complaining about the abusive, cheating douchebags she dated. I convinced her to give me a shot, and things were going great until she dumped me out of the blue, claiming things were “too easy”. A few weeks later I overheard her at work bitching about the new abusive, cheating douchebag she was dating. And, when I look around, I see millions of other women doing the same things: making consistently bad dating choices and wondering why they get consistently bad results–and spitting in the face of good men who would have been genuinely interested in them.

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        • dimplz Says:

          Wow. “Too easy?” Translation: treat me like crap and I will really love you. Poor woman. I wish I could say she’s in the minority, but she’s not. Many women like complicated relationships.

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        • Paula Says:

          Yay, CR is back! How’s your toaster?

          Some people (men too) like complicated relationships…or need the other person to “bring the crazy.” It’s too bad, because it’s often the nice stable people, who are the kind of relationship partners you should be looking for, who need that drama. So when the stable people who say “I’d really like a nice man/woman” find one, then sometimes you get in return “there’s no spark.”

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  17. VJ Says:

    Again, it’s all about choices you make and who you want to spend your time & effort with & on. Sadly, there are truly worthy ‘efforts’ & even ‘projects’ and many less so. By the time you’re an adult? You really need to be able to quickly discriminate between these classes of people. You need to be always looking for true character, and recognizing a lack of same in people to preserve your sanity & precious time. In any & all transactions & interactions. Not just the intimate ones!

    There’s that tall, lithe athletic musician who’s a sensitive artist by day & a hard core drummer by night. He’s everyone’s dream of a man, until he starts drinking. Which is an occupational hazard. So every weekend Ms. ‘Waiting’ is on hand to deal with not Mr. Lovely, but Mr. Hyde. Abusive & drunk & disorderly, and disrespectful to everyone & everything he loves & respects while drunk those few hours. There’s that smart, tall, blond, young lithe athletic trainer & yoga instructor who just can’t seem to ‘settle down’. She’s a proverbial ‘date stacker’, and will never quite commit to anyone for long. ‘She wants to keep her options open’ she tells you. (Meaning she’s got someone better in rotation). Don’t wait around for either, it’s not likely to end well for you.

    But part of the problem? Is allowing the wrong sorts of people to monopolize your time by continuing to choose poorly. The dead beats. The aimless, stupid but impressively big dicked dudes instead of the determined ‘big idea’ dudes. The cads instead of potential real dads. And as they say, ‘don’t waste the pretty’. That’s a very limited & finite resource, as is youth & fecundity & fertility. And no one seems to recognize this until it’s almost all gone. Then they’ll work Very Hard & Carefully to try and preserve everything ‘frozen’ in place. And it’s a lost cause mainly because time marches on. For everyone.

    But I realize I’m likely an outlier here. I Do think like Joy says that it’s got plenty to do with the consumerism we live with everyday. We can always buy us a ‘new one’ someplace. Like China for cheap! Me? I’m listening to a radio that’s about 35 YO, and it works fine. Looks like, well 35, but it still going strong. And I’ve still got many of my old coats downstairs in a closet. I try to give those that do not fit away to friends who may need them too. They’re always lightly worn & well taken care of too. (I live now down South). It’s a different ethos. It speaks to value & worth rather than mere number of things amassed.

    So again our collective consumerist outlook has plenty to answer for here too. Please Drop the long laundry lists of 20-30 ‘needed’ items for a mate. Pick those vital 4-5 items at most of what you truly desire. Stick with that? And it’ll not only be less work, but likely more fruitful searching as well. Cheers, ‘VJ’

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  18. DowntownAngel Says:

    Just for once, I would like someone to explain what “willing to be vulnerable” really means. In practical terms. This phrase is getting thrown around so much, yet makes absolutely no sense to me.

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    • dimplz Says:

      DowntownAngel :
      Just for once, I would like someone to explain what “willing to be vulnerable” really means. In practical terms. This phrase is getting thrown around so much, yet makes absolutely no sense to me.

      For me, it meant admitting my feelings at the right time. I’m not talking about neediness. I’m talking about sharing my hopes and fears with someone who does the same and provides me with a sense of security.

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    • Saj Says:

      I think it’s willing to put yourself on the line. Be the first one to say I love you. Be the first one to admit your affections and your fears and not be afraid that it will scare the other person away. Tell them I love you and I want to be with you and hope for the best.

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      • JoyC Says:

        Yes, and if the other person isn’t willing to do the same, it’s a great gauge. So, being vulnerable isn’t just an exercise in being open with oneself. Does anyone want to be with a person who is scared off by your openness and honesty? It’s an eye opener.

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  19. Paula Says:

    When I think about being single, I like to think about the Serenity Prayer:

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    There are some things about being single I cannot change — my age, for example, and I’m learning to accept those things. There are some things I need to change, and I’m working to change them. I think I have the wisdom to know the difference, but that’s really the crux of the issue, isn’t it?

    If people are throwing up their hands and saying “it’s not my fault,” yet actively pushing people away or not fixing the things needing fixing…or, working working working to change everything and still not finding results because they have yet to meet the right person…that’s lacking that wisdom. A little self-knowledge, a little random help from the universe…all are part of the mix that explains everyone’s marital status.

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  20. Angeline Says:

    pistola :
    What he put into looking for love, I put into my education. I wouldn’t tell my friend he’s made bad choices but a lot of people would. He wouldn’t tell me I’ve made bad choices but a lot of people would.
    Life’s only so long and not everything is gonna happen for everyone.

    pistola :
    I don’t believe there’s a lid for every pot. I seem to be a lidless pot much of the time. Saying “there’s someone for everyone” feels like pablum to me, like saying that everyone who tries hard to make it, will, when you can look around you in this country and see millions of people busting their asses and not making it at all. It’s a very “blame the victim” kind of thinking: if you’re single it must be all because of you, not because there are hundreds of circumstances that go into meeting the right person and having it lead to a committed relationship.
    I dunno. I think it’s too easy to blame singles for being single. None of us controls the universe. You can’t make something happen by wishing for it. When it comes to relationships, you could put in all the time and work and still not find the right person. I know women way younger than me with all the right “ingredients” who have been trying for years, and much harder than I do, and it hasn’t happened for them. I know they’ve put in the work and the time and they’re great people. I’m not going to add insult to injury by telling them that there must be something wrong with them.

    I didn’t use the word blame, I said choice. If someone keeps asking and wondering why things aren’t working, of friends or on question and answer blogs such as this, sometimes it *is* the person doing the asking. Busting ass at the wrong activities or focusing on the wrong things just churns up a lot of sand, it doesn’t get one any closer to their goal (if the goal is a committed relationship). If a friend repeatedly picks the same type of person over and over and it doesn’t work, or makes the same thoughtless/crass/boneheaded moves and it doesn’t work, *and asks for input*, it isn’t piling on to say that they are part of the problem.

    If their only problem is myopia that obscures their choices in life as cosmic mistiming, then they deserve to know that, too. Feeling like your life is a series of choices would be preferable, I’d believe, than believing that it is a series of random sun-flares and seismic activity. Knowing this also gives you the power to choose something different if you want different results.

    My own bias is that even if someone says they aren’t looking for a long-term committed relationship, I tend to think they still harbor hope for one. The reasons for not looking are solid, sensible, and varied as people themselves – and getting an education is one of the best ones I can think of. It’s just that the protestations of not wanting the lid anyway comes across as defensive. As I said, that’s my own bias, that I think everyone (DMN aside) wants that deep down.

    So I see the ‘blame the universe and crappy cosmic odds’ and the claiming credit for the choice to better one’s earning potential / employment prospects as being at odds.

    Plus, Pistola your posts are usually so clear-eyed and open, I was startled to see what appeared to be this big blind spot. In reading your comments again, I think you were just defending good friends who don’t deserve blame on top of lack of success. I didn’t mean to do that. I was thinking of some of my own specific friends who repeat dating mistakes, and then moan and complain about why the world done them wrong, or choose a very demanding, life-consuming career, and then wail about how unfair it is that they haven’t met someone.

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  21. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “where does that leave the rest of us? The ones who just have a hard time coming across anyone who is somewhat decent?” Here’s the thing: you’re “coming across” all those same someones that “some people” do; you’re just not dating/marrying them because either (A) you don’t want those someones or (B) those someones don’t want you. Notice the common thread there?

    I’ve said it numerous times here before, but it bears repeating: Look for the kind of person you want, look at the kind of person they choose, become that kind of person, and they will choose you. If you’re not willing/able to do that, then you need to learn to want something different or accept being single forever. It’s that simple.

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