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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Several friends of mine have utilized this internet dating service and succeeded in not only getting dates and having relationships; two have gotten married. I have been encouraged to do this because in my world I tend to meet men who are gay. That's all well and good but it gets me nowhere. In an effort to expand my horizons and be in the playing field where there is a chance to meet straight men, friends are working on me to go where they have had success in being at least in the same room with other available men.

Judy is a friend of mine and she knows that I will rant here about our recent intense conversation.

She has used Match.Com for quite a while and has met a few really great guys but the relationships did not culminate into marriage which is what she wants. But she has told me that is not mentioned in her profile.

"Why?" I asked.

"I don't want to scare men off," was the reply.

Further probing of the topic revealed that the reason the relationships she has developed through this internet dating service is that the men did not want to get married. Not just her but to anyone. They did not want to be married or have a family. They were looking for life long companions they might wind up living with but no legal strings attached. "How immature!" she ranted. I told her I didn't think it was immature to know what would or would not work for you. There are people who have no interest in being married to anyone or being responsible for a family. If that is the case, they should not do so just to appease a manipulating or nagging lover. That would be a disaster.

What is immature and irresponsible is to be in a relationship where you know one partner expects marriage and you have no intention of getting married either to that person or anyone else. Hence, profiles are important to read and understand. If you go out on a date and during that date or subsequent dates the guy makes it clear he has no intention of ever getting married and you want that, you need to bail. Why fall in love with someone you cannot make the kind of life with that you want? Why spend time or even years in a situation that you knew will go nowhere?

It's a cruel situation to be in.

It's mean for the woman to stay in the relationship if the man does love her and believes she wants it to the kind of committed relationship that culminates in marriage. He's not going to do it and if he has not changed his mind about marriage after falling in love with her, he is not going to change his mind. Sometimes people do change their mind about getting married or even having children after meeting that special person. Sure, it happens. But to go into a relationship where someone makes it clear very early his or her intentions, you need to evaluate that before proceeding further. The early statement indicates a strong commitment to that sentiment. If a guy stays in a relationship where he knows (and is frequently reminded) the woman wants marriage in the near future, he is a creep. But the woman is not blameless in staying in the relationship believing that someday just out of the blue he will change his mind. It's not likely.

I get frustated with friends in the above situation because I believe that if I am able to make the right emotional decision, anybody else can far easily. I tend to be overprotective of friends and in the matters of the heart I love deeply and feel you either having a loving, committed relationship or you don't. There isn't a gray area after a long dating period. My impatience is derived from the fact I have learned to control my emotions and if I can, anyone can. They were so out of control at one point in my life when I was Miss Mixed Message. I thought I was the worst case of it ever.

At the age of twenty-twenty I was naive and didn't know much about anything. The one thing I did figure out that my long engagement to the love of my life was a bad thing. He asked me to marry him, I agreed and all the rest of it but I realized it would not be a happy marriage. He was not marriage material and since I had nightmares about walking down the isle, I figured I wasn't either. That was a pretty good clue, don't you think? We loved each other as deeply as anyone love another can but the life style choices were not compatible. I was the first to say it and after much crying, wailing, screaming etc. we parted. But we made the right decision and later acknowledged as much.

In dating you have to be honest with yourself and honest with the other person. Obviously you have no idea early in a relationship if your boyfriend/girlfriend is someone you will fall in love with and can be compatible with on a daily basis but when the relationship is over a year old you definitely need to assess where you are. If your significant other is still not interested in taking the relationship where you want to go, get a freaking clue. It's not happening. It hurts to come to the realization and make a decision but you will be happier in the long run after the initial pain is gone.

It's important to have respect for yourself and people you bring into your life.


Tom Cessna said...

I agree with what you have written. I have found a lot of woman want to get married due to pressure from there friends or family and will settle for anyone with a pulse. I have seen that they will jump from guy to guy until they get married and will then complain how he did not change the way they wanted him to.

Anonymous said...

I like your straightforward writing style -- you are able to sum up a difficult emotional issue without prevarication or waffling. Direct is refreshing!

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you think there isn't a grey area after a long dating period as that period appears to get shorter as you get older. For example, dating girl's whilst in your early twenties or younger meant that such thoughts seldom entered your head, but as you get older and you realize that one or both of you is looking to settle down and start a family so a couple of things could happen. You could decide that you're not ready to settle down and the other is. So, rather than lead her on and waste her time, you have to move on. Another is that you feel pressure to make a decision as to whether this person is right for you so that you don't waste each other's time and you can both move on. The older you both get, the quicker you feel this decision must be made - especially if you're now over thirty and you had expected to be proudly bouncing you first-born on your knee by now.

Behind all the above is a nagging thought that nothing seems to last forever these days. It's become to easy to quit and every modern marriage comes with a "get out of jail free" card. Now, you're thinking that you'd better be really sure about this person because, if you're not, you're family will be growing up without you.

What does this mean? Possibly, that relationships are either very short or very long. You either know right away that it won't work or you find someone special and really take it slow and easy till you're absolutely sure. Of course, you then get people asking themselves "...after three dates it was over. What went wrong?" or "...we've been together for years , very much in love - is this the person I want to have children with?"

I'm not saying that that there aren't "creeps" out there...just that it can be tough on both sides.