Dating Mistake 101: Stop Trying To Date Your Twin

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Name: Fish
:
Question: My GF and I recently ended a 1 year Yo-Yo relationship. We had great chemistry and enjoyed lots of fun activities together (gym, golf, football) but due to her “baggage” we broke up. It was like I had an angel on one side saying, “She is a great girl and you are lucky she is in your life,” on the other side the devil was saying “Run.. she is only separated, has 2 young children, a crazy ex-husband and major financial issues.”

I have been divorced for over 8 years and had she not had all of this baggage she may have been the “one.” Did I make the right decision?
Age: 51

 

I can’t tell you whether or not you made the right decision. I don’t know you.

To be honest, your reasons for ending things sound kind of superficial to me. Some of that “baggage” is fixable. The separation can and likely will lead to a divorce. Her finances can turn around. I’m not quite sure what you – a 51 year old divorced man – think you’re entitled to at this point. Like, do you really think you’re going to find a woman who is completely free of issues or challenges? Dude, most of the women you’re dating at this stage of the game are probably divorced with kids and have a temperamental ex. That’s just reality.

Baggage at your age is a given, not a possibility.

It sound to me like like you’re suffering from icandobetteritis. This is a common disease that afflicts thousands upon thousands of men and women each year. The signs are: flakiness, unreasonable expectations, inability to focus, and a scratch you can never quite itch.

Maybe I just have dramatically low expectations or maybe I just know from personal experience that life isn’t a walk in the park, but I wouldn’t consider what you listed as reasons for ending the relationship to be all that insurmountable. Her finances can be fixed with proper attention. Her divorce will eventually be finalized. Things with her ex will probably always be rocky but even that will likely be tempered by the divorce. Yeah, things might be rough now, but they’ll probably improve as time goes on.

However, if you’re the kind of person that bails at the first sign of, you know, problems then definitely stay single. You should absolutely look for that woman who will golf and workout with you and who will watch football with you because those things are totally signs of long term compatibility, amirite? You don’t want  a partner, you want a carbon copy of yourself . You want a woman who won’t nag you about watching football every Sunday and who is super fit and who just LOVES trotting around a golf course with you. Basically, you want a girlfriend who doesn’t expect you to compromise or actually work at sustaining the relationship. God forbid you have to take time away from the Steelers game to hear about the latest issue with her ex or have to cancel your day on the course because her child is sick.

Dude, do everybody a favor and stay single.

Thoughts?

AndThatsWhyYoureSingle.com

Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)

@ATWYSingle

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31 Responses to “Dating Mistake 101: Stop Trying To Date Your Twin”

  1. BTownGirl Says:

    Well, anyone who roots for the Steelers has been hurt before…badly. For real. In all seriousness, reading this all I can think of is Chris Rock talking about how you’ll never find someone “who loves Seinfeld and the Wu-Tang Clan” and how you don’t get a “soulmate”, but if you’re lucky you get a mate. Come back down to earth, dude.

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  2. Nia Says:

    I just ended a year and change long relationship very reluctantly because (among other pressing reasons) he could not get this “unicorn” girl idea out of his head. There was no real girl in mind. It was this idea of this woman who would like everything he did and to the same level, in the same way. Surfing, snow shoeing, skateboarding, zombie movies, eating junk food, spending a lazy Saturday drinking…and I mean all day.

    All of this is fun in small doses or once in a while, but he just could not grasp that a) there may be women out there who were a good-looking “bro” but they’re probably in super high demand and quite honestly, young, too young for him, and b) liking the same things means so little when it comes to what’s really going to work.

    Liking certain things like cars, super hero movies, or on the reverse side, classical symphonies, gourmet food and art galleries, is not a sign of character or how that person will treat you.

    Sure, it’s cool if you can share passions and nerd out together. But holding out for someone who likes ALL the same things as you do is…not a great strategy.

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  3. SS Says:

    I know some people seem to disapprove of OP’s contributing to the comments, but this is a real headscratcher for me without additional information.

    I re-read it 4 or 5 times trying desperately to wrap my head around what was so bad about the girlfriend. Reminded me of an acquaintance who is 39 (actually she may have just turned 40), desperate for children immediately, he must be >6ft tall, earn at least 6 figures, never have been married, and no more than 40 himself. Do men like that even EXIST?!!

    I mean… unless that “crazy ex” calls at 2am every morning to get her to come and bail him out of jail, or those “money issues” are a $100k debt from her active cocaine addiction she refuses to quit.

    Even not at this age, people have their baggage. I personally believe that age is a predictor of life experience, NOT baggage.

    As far as I’m concerned 95% of men I meet will have been married. About 90% had children of varying ages (I have none) – so my attitude has always been “lets go with it and see what happens.”

    One thing I have definitely learned strongly over my lifetime: “good on paper” is worth jack shit. Good in reality is the ONLY thing that matters.

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      **I mean… unless that “crazy ex” calls at 2am every morning to get her to come and bail him out of jail, or those “money issues” are a $100k debt from her active cocaine addiction she refuses to quit.**

      Yeah, if I were the OP I would’ve included specific examples of what I’m referring to in order to state my case, the triggering incident(s) that made me go, “Yeah, I’m done.” I don’t know why he didn’t do this. To keep the letter anonymous in case his ex- stumbled on this website..?

      Maybe he dumped her for superficial reasons and regrets his decision. Maybe he dumped her for perfectly valid reasons and is doing that, “Eh, maybe it wasn’t thaaat bad” dance because he’s just lonely and misses the sex. You’re right, not a lot of info to go on, so he’s gonna get advice tinged with other people’s projections.

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      • SS Says:

        Exactly – I can’t say one way or the other whether it was the right decision.

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        • fuzzilla Says:

          Given his paucity of words/reasons and the fact that some of those words were “gym, football, golf” I can see why Moxie thinks he’s a bit shallow.

          You can dump someone for whatever reason you like. You hate someone’s laugh or their nose looks just like your ex-‘s or whatever. Like DMN said, there’s no Breakup Court where he has to make a bulletproof case. But then why is he doubting his decision and writing into Moxie? Does he have a pattern of relationships crumbling for flimsy reasons?

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  4. AV Says:

    The writer doesn’t give much detail, so it can be difficult to say for sure. The writer could be exaggerating, but taking him at his word on her problems leaving seems to be prudent. “Crazy ex-husband” plus “major financial issues” is a bad combination. Plus he says they’re just separated, and you sure as heck don’t want to get involved in a divorce. That could get way too messy and a sane man doesn’t want to get sucked into something like that.

    I don’t think this is superficial. Everybody has their faults, but there’s a limit that any rational person is willing to put up with in another; beyond that and its just not worth it. This is just way too much.

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  5. Jesse Says:

    Fish made the right choice. If he has doubts after one year, it’s time to move on. Sure, he could string her along, but that wouldn’t be fair to her, would it? And all this judgement about him being superficial, why? Everyone agrees marriage can’t be taken lightly — if the guy has doubts about whether he really wants to take on her young kids and financial burdens, he should then never get married? As far as I can see, he dodged a bullet. Makes no sense to invite this amount of trouble into your life. Remember, “Never sleep with anyone who has more problems than you have”

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    • Fish Says:

      Jesse

      You nailed it!

      Some nights I was waking up with the sweats thinking about all of my ex GFs issues. A little baggage is ok, but I felt like I was signing up to clean up a HUGE disaster left by my GFs ex husband.

      Fish

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  6. Noquay Says:

    At 55, I can attest that we all have baggage unless we spent our life in total isolation. What matters is how one deals/has dealt with it. I see this a lot on line; dudes my age and older looking for perfection rather than character. I wonder what this guy’s baggage is and what is it he brings to the table. I agree with both, in a way. If he’s looking for the perfect woman, he should stay single and just date around. If doesn’t sound as though he was invested anyway but why, I must ask, did he pursue someone he KNEW was still married, KNEW was a single mom of young kids in training, KNEW there was a still-husband in the picture. Yep, and guess what: being a mom is the one act most likely to harm a woman financially.
    You knew these things and were OK with it and now you’re not?

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    • NewEnglandMan Says:

      I agree. He knew she was separated, not divorced probably before they even started dating. So, to list that as one of the reasons why he broke up with her after a year is dumb. I think he got involved with someone that he knew has a dealbreaking quality to them. Kept that in his pocket while he decided how much to invest in her emotionally and financially and for how long. Because then he could use that dealbreaker as an excuse when he finally quit the relationship which was likely a foregone conclusion from the start.

      That dealbreaker is also a reason not to invest too much in the other person so that he didn’t get hurt. Who knows why this guy’s marriage ended in divorce 8 years ago? But maybe it was painful enough that he doesn’t want to do marriage again. And deciding to get involved with someone who he knew had a red flag going in gives him a reason to keep some distance in the relationship over the last year. He gets the benefits of a relationship–somebody to go do stuff with and to have sex with–but he’s got that get-out-of-jail free card to use anytime he feels like the investment to benefit ratio is getting into unfavorable territory.

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      • The D-man Says:

        Well. It’s one thing to start dating someone who is separated. It’s another thing for that person to still only be separated one year later. And it may have taken a few months for the crazy ex to create drama.

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    • Goldie Says:

      Agree. That’s exactly what *is* superficial about his decisions to date her, to continue dating her, and to now break up over things that he knew about all along. My take on this is that OP’s priorities were upside down even before he met this woman. He gave his checklist of mutually shared hobbies (football, golf, gym) a higher priority over his list of real deal-breakers (crazy ex in the picture, financial issues, young kids – not a flaw in itself, but a deal-breaker if you don’t want to help raise any more young children – you have every right to opt out if that’s not for you.) You can’t go into a relationship assuming that, because the nice-to-haves are all present, they will make the fact that some of the must-haves are absent magically go away. He chose to get together with this woman, against his better judgment, for superficial reasons, and dragged it out for a year waiting for the superficial reasons to start making sense. He really should take a step back from the dating scene and figure out what he wants from a relationship, what comes first, what should be a deal-breaker (and the words gym, golf, and football shouldn’t probably be anywhere on that list.)

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  7. coffeestop Says:

    The OP did mention that the relationship itself was “yo yo” which to me is a red flag, as is the fact that she was only separated and had major financial issues. I guess I am wondering why it took him a year to decide these things were problems.

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  8. The D-man Says:

    I do see separated-but-not-divorced as a bit of a red flag. A close friend of mine got his heart broken by a woman in this situation. She had two kids and an abusive cokehead husband, which she ultimately went back to after a fling with my friend (though she told my friend she looooved him and wanted to spend her life with him). That doesn’t mean it’s destined to go down in flames but something to be aware of.

    And financial problems are more difficult to fix when they involve kids and an ex-husband who may opt to become a deadbeat dad.

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    • Goldie Says:

      I do, too. As a woman, I have encountered guys that use “separated but in the process of getting divorced” as code for “still married, and my wife may or may not know that I’m out on a dating site looking for some strange”. Even ruling that scenario out, if she’s still separated and the ex(?) is still in the picture, there’s nothing stopping them from getting back together at any given moment.

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      • ATWYSingle Says:

        Even ruling that scenario out, if she’s still separated and the ex(?) is still in the picture, there’s nothing stopping them from getting back together at any given moment.

        Right, just like there’s nothing stopping an unmarried guy from breaking up with you. What’s the difference? The risk is still the same.

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      • Snowflake Says:

        Erm, with kids involved, the ex will ALWAYS be in the picture.

        Like Moxie said, unmarried/common-law etc the risk is always there and is equal across the board.

        As for financial difficulty.. as long as there are kids involved, there will ALWAYS be a struggle financially regardless if both parents are helping out. Kids cost money – true story.

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        • Goldie Says:

          I agree that it would be helpful if we knew what “in the picture” means in this situation. There’s a wide spectrum of ex being in the picture. Mine is certainly in the picture because of the kids. But in such a low-key way that no one I dated ever had any issues with that. He sometimes invites the (early 20s) kids over for lunch, and once in a blue moon he and I run into each other and have a chat about former mutual friends and in-laws. Not something our SOs would lose sleep about, which is what literally happened in this case.

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  9. Steve Says:

    While we all have baggage at this stage in the game, I think it’s reasonable for water to seek its own level.

    The tone of Moxie seems to be take whatever you can get or remain single.

    I’d need more details to determine whether or not these issues are truly ‘superficial’.

    What is the plan to deal with the debt?

    Just how crazy is that ex?

    How complicated is the divorce?

    Will it be resolved soon?

    Also, after a year? I’d imagine that ‘I love yous’ were exchanged already.

    If that is the case, then that changes everything, IMHO. You stick together.

    I can’t imagine telling someone I loved them but…your baggage turned me off.

    Either this guy never said he loved her or he did but is back tracking now.

    His rose colored glasses are stained.

    I don’t see a black and white answer.

    We all have to decide how much baggage we can deal with.

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    • BTownGirl Says:

      “The tone of Moxie seems to be take whatever you can get or remain single.”

      Um, no. I believe what she’s saying is, “Nobody is going to check every box on your list and you’re at a point in your life where people are much more likely to have certain types of baggage. Set your expectations accordingly.” There are a lot of people running around dating with unrealistic expectations that set them up for a lot of frustration and heartache.

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  10. Yvonne Says:

    Fish doesn’t go into much detail about the specifics of his girlfriend’s problems. However, I tend to stay away from separated people because I just don’t want to get involved with someone who is still married, and going through the extreme stress of divorce. This post reinforces for me why that is generally a bad idea.

    If someone was still married after a year of dating, I’d leave too. However, two young kids are not “baggage”, they are just two dependents that the OP doesn’t want to deal with. “Major financial issues” and “crazy ex” make me suspect that the girlfriend was perhaps becoming financially dependent on the OP, especially if the ex wasn’t helping to support the kids. A “yo-yo relationship” implies a lot of ups and downs and volatility.

    Maybe these problems might all be fixed “eventually”, but the OP was dating this woman in the present. It really may be best to give her a chance to get her life together first, before becoming too dependent on another partner. While I agree that online dating has given daters a false sense of unlimited options and unreasonable expectations, I’m not sure if that is what is happening in this situation.

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  11. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “Because then he could use that dealbreaker as an excuse when he finally quit the relationship which was likely a foregone conclusion from the start.”

    This is baffling. Why does he need an “excuse?” Is there a Break Up Court that he will have to explain himself to? And what’s the punishment for getting it wrong? Why is he even asking this question? “Dear Moxie, am I happy with this decision that I’ve made?” WTF.

    Also, “Separated” is a legal status, as is narriied, single, divorced. It says nothing about a person’s emotional state, baggage, living arrangements, availability or level of commitment. True, it does have legal consequences – ie they can’t get remarried until the divorce goes through. But, is that really an issue for dating someone new? Oh, you went out with a separated person once and it didn’t work out? Wow, that’s quite an impressive study sample from which to draw completely illogical conclusions. May as well chose your dates based on whether they own or lease their vehicles or on the number of withholdings on their W9. I wish you would all just stop because your commentary on this subject is making me pull my hair out.

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    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Jesus, thank you. Yes, legally they are still married, but many separated people are separated FOR YEARS. Should they just not date?

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      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        Depends. What’s the interest rate on their mortgage?

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      • Sandra Says:

        Question is whether others should date THEM. Probably a case by case basis. OP never stated he wanted to get married, but sounds like he wants someone who can do whatever and whenever.

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    • BTownGirl Says:

      Please get to work developing a reality show called “Break Up Court”. Seriously, I would watch it. Heck, I’m sure there are people out there dating who have been legally divorced for years and are still hung-up on their former spouses, so…for chrissakes, go by the actual person’s situation and not ” I NEVER DATE X/Y/Z because my cousin Linda did and it was a disaster” or “I once went out for a nice seafood dinner with a separated person and they didn’t call me again.” Oy. Just oy.

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  12. KK Says:

    All I am thinking is that maybe this guy wasn’t all that into her. That if he had been super into her, none of that stuff mattered.

    That is a possibility. Or, he really could be one of those guys who is waiting for some perfect girl, and if she doesn’t fit every box, then he is out.

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  13. Steve Says:

    Well, if she can cook, clean, sew and nurture him, he should overlook the other minor details.

    YMMV

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