I want a relationship. I want to be single. I... - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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I want a relationship. I want to be single. I...

I can't make up my mind. I've been divorced for 2 years now - separated 4 years after discovering my wife's affair(s). We were married for 14 years. Her infidelity profoundly changed me as a person and changed how I view relationships - which I'm sure is fairly common.

After the breakup I jumped right into dating. I had more sexual partners in the 2 years post split than I did in my entire life before that combined. Not once did I develop any real feelings for any of these women (besides liking them). I don't know if that's because I just haven't found anyone I really connect with or because I'm incapable of it. I believe I have built a wall around me to protect myself - as I don't feel I can ever allow myself to be that vulnerable again. I've heard the "you're emotionally unavailable" thing more than once from the women I've dated.

I haven't had a "girlfriend" since August 2015. Since I ended that - I haven't been searching one out. I kinda gave up. I just don't feel anything. I have been sleeping with a woman since the breakup of the last relationship - we had hooked up before, things got too serious, I bailed. She approached me again and said she'd be cool with just being lovers. I was hesitant but agreed to try - we've been sleeping together for over a year and are great friends. She's awesome - but I do not love her or desire a relationship beyond what we have. She's cool with this. We discussed the other night how much we enjoy our freedom (she divorced her abusive husband). She has expressed to me she's happy with us being lovers and she really enjoys the "great sex". We also have great conversation. Frequency is every second weekend. I have not slept with anyone else since we've been doing it. I don't know if she has or not.

I waffle back and forth on wanting a girlfriend and not. I am enjoying the hell out of my freedom. I have my kids Friday-Monday, and during the weeknights I don't have them I am enjoying working on my hobbies and avocation. I'm never bored or really lonely at all. However, I know the one thing keeping me from pursuing a real relationship is that my sexual needs are being met. I'm very high drive, and if I wasn't sleeping with my lover, I'd be seeking it out, and that would lead to a relationship. I'm very lucky in that a I have this lover who is happy with the way things are.

However I keep thinking I'm supposed to be in a relationship. I see everyone around me in one. I see beautiful women and think "I want her to be my girlfriend!!". However I realize that's just lust.

Sometimes I think I really want a partner - but the truth of it is I am scared to death of a relationship. I have major trust issues which cause me to be emotionally unavailable, and I'm just not really willing to sacrifice my freedom, or give up a part of myself - which I feel I'd have to do - to have a relationship. I read the CWI forum, and see people in real life, and it just seems like the odds of a woman cheating are too high (men too I'm sure, but I'm not a woman, so not talking about that at the moment). Relationships seem like Russian Roulette to me. With more chambers loaded than not.

I recently signed up for Match and had a couple dates lined up - I just bailed on them and stopped messaging women. I had a date with a beautiful woman all set and all I had was anxiety about it - zero excitement. It never went down and I was relieved. WTF??

I'm 40 though and not getting younger. I worry about ...should I be with someone? Is that what you're supposed to do in life? Would I be willing to take the risk and give up my freedom for the right person - or is there no "right person" because I'm all f'ed up? Am I still damaged from the affair/divorce? Just not ready? Or is this the new me - and I'm one of those MGTOW? Is this the new reality - single forever and just hooking up to get my sexual needs met? Do I need to push myself out of my comfort zone, take the risk, give up my freedom and just take the plunge in hopes I fall in love and it's all worth it? Am I even capable of falling in love? Do I actually want a relationship but I'm just scared, or do I think I'm supposed to be in one but actually I'm totally happy being single?

Ugh. I'm really conflicted and somewhat confused. Anyone relate or have any insight for me?

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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 02:00 PM
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Re: I want a relationship. I want to be single. I...

1 word -> Counseling
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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1 word -> Counseling
1 word -> useless.

The ex and I tried counselling during our false R - useless. I've been to 3 different IC - useless. What would I even say I was going for, indecisiveness?
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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 02:10 PM
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Re: I want a relationship. I want to be single. I...

You say you're going to therapy because you're confused and you have a wall built up and you have no clue what you want out of life.

That's what a good therapist does- they help you figure yourself out.

In case you didn't realize it, most therapists are incompetant. If you've only gone to 3 you haven't gone to enough.

Come back and complain about the lack of good counseling after you've tried a dozen.
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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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You say you're going to therapy because you're confused and you have a wall built up and you have no clue what you want out of life.

That's what a good therapist does- they help you figure yourself out.

In case you didn't realize it, most therapists are incompetant. If you've only gone to 3 you haven't gone to enough.

Come back and complain about the lack of good counseling after you've tried a dozen.
Honestly, I'd love to. Unfortunately I just don't have the money to do so.

And yes - I've certainly realized the level of incompetence. It's disheartening.
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 02:15 PM
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Re: I want a relationship. I want to be single. I...

Highly doubt she's really that cool with it. But hey, whatever helps you sleep at night.
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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I want a relationship. I want to be single. I...

Is it uncommon to still be this...unsettled after 4 years? Are most people back in the swing - either with someone and happy or single and loving it and cool with that?
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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Highly doubt she's really that cool with it. But hey, whatever helps you sleep at night.
So she's lying? Why? And I don't appreciate the slag.

Back when we started out, she started to get serious. I put the brakes on and said I wasn't interested in this becoming serious - totally 100% honest. I ended it. She approached me a year and some later and said "I thought about it, and I don't know why I was pushing for a relationship - I don't want that either. Are you interested in just being lovers again?" I was hesitant but said sure. It's been over a year now, we've discussed it in detail since and she has expressed that she is happy with the arrangement. Don't need the guilt trip about that - seems that's your issue, not mine or hers.
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 03:14 PM
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Re: I want a relationship. I want to be single. I...

Don't sweat it. If you meet someone you will know it. In the meantime, don't worry about what society expects of you or for that matter other posters on TAM. Live the life you want to live. Enjoy your life on your terms. Your life is no one else's so don't allow anyone else to attempt to manage it for you.
I am more or less in the same boat as you. Although I am older (55) and only 2 years out of my divorce. As far as I know there was no cheating, but there was betrayal all the same. Currently I am just randomly dating and have no clue if I want to get involved in a relationship. Like you I was changed by my divorce. All of my fantasies about how relationships are supposed to work blew up in my face. Now I have a somewhat jaded view of LTRs. So I guess I am stuck with short term relationships for the time being. Who knows, maybe one of them will last, but I am not going to force it.
BTW, get ready for the STD naysayers to come out in full force shortly.

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 03:22 PM
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Re: I want a relationship. I want to be single. I...

OP, I would like to add that you are probably healthier mentally, than 90% of the population. In fact I would venture to guess that the vast majority of relationship problems arise from the NEED to be in a relationship. Many young people, jump into one because that is what is expected of them.


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post #11 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Don't sweat it. If you meet someone you will know it. In the meantime, don't worry about what society expects of you or for that matter other posters on TAM. Live the life you want to live. Enjoy your life on your terms. Your life is no one else's so don't allow anyone else to attempt to manage it for you.
I am more or less in the same boat as you. Although I am older (55) and only 2 years out of my divorce. As far as I know there was no cheating, but there was betrayal all the same. Currently I am just randomly dating and have no clue if I want to get involved in a relationship. Like you I was changed by my divorce. All of my fantasies about how relationships are supposed to work blew up in my face. Now I have a somewhat jaded view of LTRs. So I guess I am stuck with short term relationships for the time being. Who knows, maybe one of them will last, but I am not going to force it.
BTW, get ready for the STD naysayers to come out in full force shortly.
Haha! Thanks, that makes sense. That's kinda how I feel - like I'm really enjoying myself for the most part. I'm really productive at work and in my free time - I'm never bored and as I said, I enjoy my solitude. I really don't get lonely. I love my time with my kids and when I'm on my own I'm accomplishing stuff that's important to me. The Online dating thing - I always end up backing away as it just seems..forced. If something happens, I think it maybe should happen organically. Like in the elevator at work the other day - this woman just starts a conversation with me. Totally attractive blonde and she was flirting. It was first thing in the morning and I was NOT on my game, smh. She walked away and only THEN did I think of witty banter and all this stuff to say. Guess I should be better prepped for that sort of thing. Hoping you're right on the "If you meet someone you will know it." One thing I've learned is you just can't force it or even go looking for it - it just doesn't seem to work that way.

STD naysayers?
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post #12 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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OP, I would like to add that you are probably healthier mentally, than 90% of the population. In fact I would venture to guess that the vast majority of relationship problems arise from the NEED to be in a relationship. Many young people, jump into one because that is what is expected of them.
Thank you. I am MUCH happier and mentally (and physically) healthier than I was when I was married. I'm actually quite happy. I guess I just need to know it's OK to be OK with being single.
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post #13 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 03:33 PM
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OP, I would like to add that you are probably healthier mentally, than 90% of the population. In fact I would venture to guess that the vast majority of relationship problems arise from the NEED to be in a relationship. Many young people, jump into one because that is what is expected of them.
Ain't it the truth, brother.

Even if I don't get likes for it, I'm still going to say it.
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post #14 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 03:37 PM
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Re: I want a relationship. I want to be single. I...

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Originally Posted by moth-into-flame View Post
I can't make up my mind. I've been divorced for 2 years now - separated 4 years after discovering my wife's affair(s). We were married for 14 years. Her infidelity profoundly changed me as a person and changed how I view relationships - which I'm sure is fairly common.

After the breakup I jumped right into dating. I had more sexual partners in the 2 years post split than I did in my entire life before that combined. Not once did I develop any real feelings for any of these women (besides liking them). I don't know if that's because I just haven't found anyone I really connect with or because I'm incapable of it. I believe I have built a wall around me to protect myself - as I don't feel I can ever allow myself to be that vulnerable again. I've heard the "you're emotionally unavailable" thing more than once from the women I've dated.

I haven't had a "girlfriend" since August 2015. Since I ended that - I haven't been searching one out. I kinda gave up. I just don't feel anything. I have been sleeping with a woman since the breakup of the last relationship - we had hooked up before, things got too serious, I bailed. She approached me again and said she'd be cool with just being lovers. I was hesitant but agreed to try - we've been sleeping together for over a year and are great friends. She's awesome - but I do not love her or desire a relationship beyond what we have. She's cool with this. We discussed the other night how much we enjoy our freedom (she divorced her abusive husband). She has expressed to me she's happy with us being lovers and she really enjoys the "great sex". We also have great conversation. Frequency is every second weekend. I have not slept with anyone else since we've been doing it. I don't know if she has or not.

I waffle back and forth on wanting a girlfriend and not. I am enjoying the hell out of my freedom. I have my kids Friday-Monday, and during the weeknights I don't have them I am enjoying working on my hobbies and avocation. I'm never bored or really lonely at all. However, I know the one thing keeping me from pursuing a real relationship is that my sexual needs are being met. I'm very high drive, and if I wasn't sleeping with my lover, I'd be seeking it out, and that would lead to a relationship. I'm very lucky in that a I have this lover who is happy with the way things are.

However I keep thinking I'm supposed to be in a relationship. I see everyone around me in one. I see beautiful women and think "I want her to be my girlfriend!!". However I realize that's just lust.

Sometimes I think I really want a partner - but the truth of it is I am scared to death of a relationship. I have major trust issues which cause me to be emotionally unavailable, and I'm just not really willing to sacrifice my freedom, or give up a part of myself - which I feel I'd have to do - to have a relationship. I read the CWI forum, and see people in real life, and it just seems like the odds of a woman cheating are too high (men too I'm sure, but I'm not a woman, so not talking about that at the moment). Relationships seem like Russian Roulette to me. With more chambers loaded than not.

I recently signed up for Match and had a couple dates lined up - I just bailed on them and stopped messaging women. I had a date with a beautiful woman all set and all I had was anxiety about it - zero excitement. It never went down and I was relieved. WTF??

I'm 40 though and not getting younger. I worry about ...should I be with someone? Is that what you're supposed to do in life? Would I be willing to take the risk and give up my freedom for the right person - or is there no "right person" because I'm all f'ed up? Am I still damaged from the affair/divorce? Just not ready? Or is this the new me - and I'm one of those MGTOW? Is this the new reality - single forever and just hooking up to get my sexual needs met? Do I need to push myself out of my comfort zone, take the risk, give up my freedom and just take the plunge in hopes I fall in love and it's all worth it? Am I even capable of falling in love? Do I actually want a relationship but I'm just scared, or do I think I'm supposed to be in one but actually I'm totally happy being single?

Ugh. I'm really conflicted and somewhat confused. Anyone relate or have any insight for me?
Quote:
Originally Posted by moth-into-flame View Post
Thank you. I am MUCH happier and mentally (and physically) healthier than I was when I was married. I'm actually quite happy. I guess I just need to know it's OK to be OK with being single.

I feel the same way as you, all I can say is "I do not know" haha

Just relax, go with the flow, live your life, if love is meant your way, love will find you...

I am no help. Simply stating you are not the only one who feels as you do.

Oh yes, also, I have been divorced two years as well, after a 15 year marriage. Love is not easy to find. Wounds take long to heal. Nobody is the same.

I say Left, but mean Purple
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post #15 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 03:58 PM
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Re: I want a relationship. I want to be single. I...

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STD naysayers?
Yeah, some of these guys are totally reactive. They read a headline and get the vapors. They never bother to look a little deeper in to the story. If they did, they would realize your chances of getting an STD are actually less than having a car accident. For some reason it doesn't stop them from driving, but it stops them dead in their tracks when faced with an opportunity to have sex.
Since you said you don't know if she has slept with someone else or not, I am sure they will jump on this with both feet.

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