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Thread: I am "seriously" dating someone...

  1. #41
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Okay, to get back on topic.

    I talked with W last night on the phone (we talk on the phone or skype daily).

    I explained to her that I thought our major lifestyle differences were a concern.
    I even said things you all pointed out -- like would I be out fishing while she was at the football game or would I be reading a book at home while she is out drankin' with her gal pals?

    I pointed out how some of the best and happiest couples I know share one or two (or even three) passions. I know a couple who loves gardening together. I know another couple that loves bicycling; it really bonds them! I know another couple that loves skydiving.

    I explained to her that we get along on the day-to-day things -- making breakfast, choosing a movie to watch, which park to take our walk in the evening, etc. I also explained we seem to have an excellent "physical" connection. But I noted we were missing a passion we're both really into, a shared deeply-held interest or activity, the kind of thing that deeply bonds a couple together.

    She said: "I am shocked. I am just shocked. I thought things were going really well. We get along great, we enjoy each other's company, we have lots of fun together. I thought we were going the right direction at a steady pace. Now I find out that we're just enjoying mere amusements together, in your opinion."
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  2. #42
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Hmmm.. so to what do you attribute that disconnect? She seems to be quite happy; you clearly are at least questioning. How did you leave it?

    On the topic of The Atlantic article, that was very interesting, and I've observed similar patterns in my own kids' lives. My DD is rudderless in relationships--she just goes from one to the other, and maybe two at the same time (with mutual consent) and none of the guys have checked off all the boxes for a life partner. Nobody has made her fall head over heels. She's dated artists, drummers, journalists, architects, linguists, tattoo artists, and DJs. I must say, they are the ones who are thinking 'life partner' with her, but she'll have none of it.

    Is it realistic to assume that all the boxes have to be checked? At 32, she has expressed that MAYBE it's time to start thinking about a life partner. Her best friend, a single mother, has convinced her that being a parent is not all it's cracked up to be, so she may decide kids are not for her. Even with this latest BF that I referred to in another post, she's already getting a little tired of commuting 4 hours to see him and she's going to go on a little break, although she says "He'd see me every weekend if I let him."

    I don't judge her at all. She's living a life of her own choosing and I applaud her for that. But I'm amazed at how the woman's movement my generation kicked off has caused tidal shifts in womens' approach to relationships.

    Thanks for sharing the article. I may send it to her, just for a springboard for discussion. I think she'd find a lot of common ground with the author.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #43
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Hmmm.. so to what do you attribute that disconnect? She seems to be quite happy; you clearly are at least questioning. How did you leave it?

    On the topic of The Atlantic article, that was very interesting, and I've observed similar patterns in my own kids' lives. My DD is rudderless in relationships--she just goes from one to the other, and maybe two at the same time (with mutual consent) and none of the guys have checked off all the boxes for a life partner. Nobody has made her fall head over heels. She's dated artists, drummers, journalists, architects, linguists, tattoo artists, and DJs. I must say, they are the ones who are thinking 'life partner' with her, but she'll have none of it.

    Is it realistic to assume that all the boxes have to be checked? At 32, she has expressed that MAYBE it's time to start thinking about a life partner. Her best friend, a single mother, has convinced her that being a parent is not all it's cracked up to be, so she may decide kids are not for her. Even with this latest BF that I referred to in another post, she's already getting a little tired of commuting 4 hours to see him and she's going to go on a little break, although she says "He'd see me every weekend if I let him."

    I don't judge her at all. She's living a life of her own choosing and I applaud her for that. But I'm amazed at how the woman's movement my generation kicked off has caused tidal shifts in womens' approach to relationships.

    Thanks for sharing the article. I may send it to her, just for a springboard for discussion. I think she'd find a lot of common ground with the author.
    W said this too: "Maybe I am just not that passionate about anything. That is probably true for most people, they are not passionate about anything. So what you call 'surface level' connection is more than enough, along with a physical connection. You're probably the odd one for being passionate and wanting to share that with someone else."


    Also: Interesting stuff about your daughter. Do you think she might change her mind when she is in her 40s and lonesome with far fewer prospects?

    As for W, she realized about 3 or 4 years ago that going from guy to guy was not fulfilling her. So she essentially stopped dating for the most part, and recently decided to start dating men very different than the ones shed usually date. She had been "off the market" for two solid years before she started dating me.

    She has said: "I don't want to grow old alone and then die alone."
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  4. #44
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    But I noted we were missing a passion we're both really into, a shared deeply-held interest or activity, the kind of thing that deeply bonds a couple together.
    I see this as a false premise. My husband and I have shared values, but not a huge amount of shared interests. We may do things the other likes, but we don't share the same amount of passion about it. When we travel, we get hints or outright comments from people thinking we must be having an affair, as no one who has been married as long as we have (32 years) looks that happy together.

    You also have said you don't have a deep passion for anything at the moment. If you aren't passionate about anything, how would you expect to share that?

    I do think kindness and respect are fundamental however, and your contempt for folks who drink or have a religious component doesn't bode well for LTR with those folks. Live and let live would be ok, but not contempt. That's not respectful.

  5. #45
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    Also: Interesting stuff about your daughter. Do you think she might change her mind when she is in her 40s and lonesome with far fewer prospects?
    I think the analogy with her might be the same way I look at my freelance business. I realize that eventually it will dry up but I'm happy now, so why think about it? She may be a happy "freelancer" in relationships. Maybe she'll be sideswiped by an unexpected drought in men later on, but I don't think she's projecting any fears about living alone.

    As for your situation, if you have an easy, if not earthshaking, connection and a chemistry that's working right now, why not ride it out for a little bit? Ask yourself if you are hoping that SHE injects "passion" in your life. Sounds like she would not be the one to harbor high expectations. Plain old comfort with a human being is a wonderful thing to have, especially as you "mature."
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  6. #46
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    I think you're looking for a lot of meaning in this relationship, UL, and she just has this relationship as one part of her larger life. Hence, her surprise at your deep analysis of what you consider a shallow relationship. I think you're looking for too much not only in this relationship, but in all areas of life. Most of life is not deep, but rather it is just life. Fluff is OK.

  7. #47
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
    The religious issues alone might be enough to deep six it.

    I don't know how a relationship not based on common interests could last. I've tried to date guys I had nothing in common with in the past, but they never worked. The happiest couples I know have activities and interests in common. Everything from scuba diving to hiking and other outdoor stuff.
    I'm not sure I agree; my SO and I both like cats and spicy food. We speak Spanish. That's about it. .Most of the couples I know don't have many interests in common, though most of them have values in common, which could (but don't) involve religion. My grandmother was the next thing to a nun, and my grandfather thought Sunday was a grand day for golf. Genuinely liking and respecting each other, having common values, and being able to laugh together (or not laugh together if they're the humorless type) seem to be key--just being happy with each others' company.

    That having been said, I don't hold out much hope for Ultralight's current entanglement, where he openly disdains everything she values while being generally indifferent to her, overall. If she's looking for a life partner, I think she should continue her search.

  8. #48
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    I think she's right that you are unusual in the "shared passion" thing. I know very few long term married couples who have a "shared passion" that isn't their children. Things they really both enjoy doing together, yes, but you'd probably consider most of those things "fluff" I know one woman who does marathons and triathlons and ironman competitions with her husband, and training is a big part of their lives - maybe that would qualify? but even there, he is not in her league.

    the majority of American relationships seem to rise or fall on sex and money, kids and religion. And "lifestyle compatibility" but aside from how much time you want to spend together, where you live, and travel or don't, stay in or go out, "lifestyle" is mostly money/sex/kids/religion. Even those 4 tie back to the big 4. Maybe pets. Pets might be a big one. Does she love Harlan?

    also, I strongly agree with jane's last paragraph.

  9. #49
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    I'm reading a book now where elders share their wisdom on various topics - one of them being marriage. Of course, the cultural times they grew up in were different but some things make sense. In their experience, to have a lifetime partnership with another human - you share core values and maybe some interests but mostly values. You must be best friends and partners. You must be a team with each giving 100%. You must wake in the morning and think "what can I do to make my partner's life a little better today." Seems like one of the issues for younger folks wanting to partner today is that they are in it for what makes themselves feel good over anything else. There is no perfect but growing old with your best friend is pretty hard to beat.

  10. #50
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I swear the AI of Facebook seems extremely spooky!! There are so many coincidences of things that wind up on my feed that just happen to be things I've just thought about.

    Look what just popped upon my FB feed: 3 Things to Watch Out for When You're Trying to Pick the Right Life Partner

    http://www.upworthy.com/3-things-to-...partner?c=ufb9

    Here's Part 2: https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/02/pick-...er-part-2.html

    I like the Traffic Test: A good relationship is one which, when you are driving them home, you are rooting for more traffic because you're enjoying their company.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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