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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:19 pm 
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As for terrified about being alone, yes, that's me. I spent the great majority of my twenties and thirties alone with the occasional date, and was happy with being alone. I've gotten a taste of companionship life and I love it. It's so nice to have someone around, even for mundane things, someone to wake up to and go to bed with, plan activities with. I thought I was a loner, but I truly, truly desire companionship. And while 37 isn't "ancient", to me it feels like it and there's a huge internal clock ticking. It doesn't help that I compare myself to the rest of my friends who are all married with families. And sure, not all of them have perfect families, yes, even some wish they were single, but I've lived the single life and now want someone to share my life experiences with. I don't need someone to complete me, I want someone to complement me.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:31 pm 
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Something strange has been happening to me, sort of. I've always felt this need to be hugged or touched by someone who cared about me, whether I was with someone or not. I crave that contact. When I was younger, and in bad relationships (ie I wasn't getting my needs met) or out of relationships altogether, I acted on this with whoever would comply. I still feel this need, but as I've gotten older and wiser, I've been able to curb it and realize that it's irrational and not ok (generally for my own mental health, but especially when I'm still in a relationship with someone). I have suppressed it enough that I kind of forgot about it until this past week with T being gone. I don't know if it's because I've gotten used to being touched in a loving way, or what, but I've felt this compulsion to hug guys that it would be totally inappropriate for me to hug. I haven't done it, because after years of experience, I know that waiting it out (at least with this particular guy) is worth it. But it makes me feel so weak. The idea of cheating on him has never crossed my mind, but it's so odd to me to see myself wishing that someone would just...touch me. Especially because when I'm feeling strong and awesome, the idea of strangers touching me makes me cringe. I bet a therapist would have a hay day with all of that.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:07 pm 
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Mars wrote:
lycophyte wrote:
I just want people to build things with, it doesn't have to be a partner.

Yeah, I think this might be the difference between those of us who can totes identify with what sarahnorine wrote and those like j-dub. I love what j-dub said about this though, it's not like I disagree! It's just, well I guess where she says:

j-dub wrote:
being single or not doesn't significantly alter the things that are important to me in life

That's where someone like myself says, it does significantly alter it for me, because one of the things that is really important is, rounding this back up to lyco's quote... building something with someone. Something for the long-haul, something that effects me every day, something with commitment and perseverance.

I guess the difference between that and a really amazing friendship is not much really. The hard part is that for the most part, friends, well, I feel like on average they tend to treat friendships as secondary to romantic relationships. Myself included in that. It's something I think hard about and will try to do better about, myself, but I can't ask that of my friends, because I think it's human nature. As long as they are still kind and considerate I'm not going to ask the world of them. Even though I'd like the world!


Well, its true that I love the feeling of being in love, we are supposed to. We are supposed to addicted to it, its supposed to give up happy rewards, and when its good, its really good for us. And really good for me. shiitake, I was definitely a clearer headed and confident person when I was in the happiest times with my last ex. It was pretty wonderful. I wish I knew how to feel that way when not with someone. Because I really was a better person during that time.

I just don't know if I'm a good addict, you know? Because I feel it SO STRONG. I'm just not sure its safe, I have a lot of oxytocin receptors I think and I go through serious withdrawls when I lose it. But when I have it, wheeeee! But right now, fork, it hurts. A lot. Still.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:50 pm 
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my squeeze just talked to me for a almost 3 hours on the phone! i feel like i'm in high school, in a good way.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:58 pm 
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I am filled with so much hope right now and it is entirely due to my current boss and her sweetie.
she is pretty much who I want to be in ~5yrs, super serious about her art, mad talented, a professor teaching printmaking, has a big fat orange cat and like, knows her shiitake about her life and her goals and isn't compromising because it's hard.
her and her fiance are like, really obviously in love and they are super super supportive about each other's stuff. he cares about her art and she cares about his work (he runs an independent label for music in portland) and they also give each other enough space to do their things. like, my boss is just as ridiculously devoted to art and her studio practice as I am, she cares about art so much and he gets it and they are great.
most of y'all probably don't think this is that weird but it is hard to reconcile yourself, as a female artist, with partnering up. historically it has been generally a bad move career-wise for female artists to get married or anything, even worse to have kids. it's hard to explain, and I won't go in to it here but it's a huge factor.
also we're crazy. artists are crazy. it takes a certain sort of damaged to make stuff, yo.
anyway, it's just, it's really encouraging to see my boss and her hubby together, and hear her talk about him, while also experiencing her in the studio and seeing her ability to maintain a vigorous and obsessive studio practice.

it's just, they give me a lot of hope. they're wonderful and I am doing a terrible job of explaining why it is so out of the ordinary.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:31 am 
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I can normally get by with friendships rather than my romantic partner, but its 4 am and I can't sleep because I saw a huge asparagus spider crawling around my wall, my cat isn't taking its job of trained spider assassin seriously, and I don't think any friends of mine would come over and dispose of Mr. Spider.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:09 am 
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booberthefraggle wrote:
I am filled with so much hope right now and it is entirely due to my current boss and her sweetie.
she is pretty much who I want to be in ~5yrs, super serious about her art, mad talented, a professor teaching printmaking, has a big fat orange cat and like, knows her shiitake about her life and her goals and isn't compromising because it's hard.
her and her fiance are like, really obviously in love and they are super super supportive about each other's stuff. he cares about her art and she cares about his work (he runs an independent label for music in portland) and they also give each other enough space to do their things. like, my boss is just as ridiculously devoted to art and her studio practice as I am, she cares about art so much and he gets it and they are great.
most of y'all probably don't think this is that weird but it is hard to reconcile yourself, as a female artist, with partnering up. historically it has been generally a bad move career-wise for female artists to get married or anything, even worse to have kids. it's hard to explain, and I won't go in to it here but it's a huge factor.
also we're crazy. artists are crazy. it takes a certain sort of damaged to make stuff, yo.
anyway, it's just, it's really encouraging to see my boss and her hubby together, and hear her talk about him, while also experiencing her in the studio and seeing her ability to maintain a vigorous and obsessive studio practice.

it's just, they give me a lot of hope. they're wonderful and I am doing a terrible job of explaining why it is so out of the ordinary.


I totally get it. I am definitely not one of those stay at home and watch tv-types, or one of those people who do everything with my partner. Not even close! For me, it's a matter of being in a relationship that gives me the freedom to do what makes me happy - whether it is creating something, hanging out with friends, or meeting new friends, or my education or my volunteer work or whatever. I have known for years that I am going to be one of those people who work way too much and it's something that I WANT to do and I can't be with someone who is not cool with that and more importantly HAVE THEIR OWN STUFF TO DO.
I guess for me, it's a matter of NEEDING my freedom because otherwise I go insane and get bitter and will probably end up doing something crazy to feel free. And it's also a matter of me getting SO turned off by people who don't have a strong drive. Not that there is anything wrong with people who don't that something they love more than anything, but it is just not very compatible with who I am and what I do.

Luckily my boyfriend is a musician and he lives a just as chaotic life as I do and I am pretty sure it will never be different and while it drives me CRAZY sometimes because we have so little time as is, I wouldn't trade it for the world. The way he talks about his music and his photos.. It's amazing. I hope I am as engaging when I tell about my passions. He would never tell me that I can't prioritize my time as I do, because he GETS IT.

I know I will probably never have a ton of money, but I also know that being with someone who didn't have creative drive would kill me slowly. I am fine with living in a small apartment and not having a bunch of extravagant luxuries. I am fine with not having babies (I totally get what you're saying in re: babies being a career killer) and I guess for me, my babies are my projects. I don't need more. The feeling, the drive, the passion.. I wouldn't change that for anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:14 am 
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And regarding being alone: I would rather be alone than be with someone who didn't make me happy. Being alone is not too bad at all, it gives you the chance to have intense affairs and meet new people and fall in love and spend all of your time and money doing exactly what YOU want.

Haha, I just realized that one of the reasons I love my relationship so much is because while it can be hard when he's out touring and stuff, it's kind of like when I was single (without the sex with other people). I travel alone, I hang out with my friends just as much, I do what I want to.. I guess I'm just not one of those people who basically do the same when I'm in a relationship as when I'm not in one. That makes me very happy, actually!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:08 am 
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Mars wrote:
sarahnorine wrote:
once I've learned how to be AWESOME at being single, I'll be even way more awesome at being partnered. It helps to actually get excited about the possible awesomeness of an imaginary relationship possibility after an imaginary cycle through some exciting few more short-term boyfriends. :)



This! Made so much sense to me. Focusing on being awesome single-going to be my new goal from here on out!
Well hey! :) Good to know we have something in common at least!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:10 am 
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allularpunk wrote:
For me, it's more about the fact that I enjoy being in relationships and having that kind of easy companionship whenever I need or want it. Even if I just ended up having a best friend that I lived with or something, I think it would be fine, but I've never managed to have a friendship that I could imagine that happening.

I don't know if any of that makes sense. I guess what I'm saying is that I feel like it's fairly normal to have that feeling, but you shouldn't worry about it too much. In my experience, the more actively you pursue a relationship, the less likely it is to happen, usually. I'm sure that's not the case for all relationships, but I kind of do believe that whole 'just when you're not looking...' idea. In the meantime, be pumped about who you are! Cultivate your hobbies and interests and friendships. Being comfortable with yourself and having outside interests will make you more attractive to a perspective mate, anyway!

ETA: Also, 26 is still super young. I understand, because I once thought I would be married by 22 and have all my kids popped out by 30. 30 now and none of that has happened, but I haven't given up hope! I also feel like I did a lot of growing up and soul searching in the last years of my 20s that have made me a better partner in a relationship. Not everyone is on the same timeline! My guy is 44 and had pretty much resigned himself to being a bachelor for life, but he never shut out the possibility that there might be someone out there for him. But he was also ok with the option of being alone. I mean, who knows what the future holds, but now we're in a pretty rad relationship that he never really thought would happen for him. And my aunt is in her 50s and just met her lifemate a few years ago. It can happen at any age!


Thank you for this! I'd love to have even just a best friend that I live with-companionship is what I'm looking for. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:11 am 
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allularpunk wrote:
Well, and you kind of have to consider, too, that even if you do find a meaningful, long term relationship...anything can happen. Wow, yes, that sounds morbid, but it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately.

Sorry if I just took it to another level of depressing.

SO TRUE

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:20 am 
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Aw, thanks so much for your input everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:31 am 
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booberthefraggle wrote:
I am filled with so much hope right now and it is entirely due to my current boss and her sweetie.
she is pretty much who I want to be in ~5yrs, super serious about her art, mad talented, a professor teaching printmaking, has a big fat orange cat and like, knows her shiitake about her life and her goals and isn't compromising because it's hard.
her and her fiance are like, really obviously in love and they are super super supportive about each other's stuff. he cares about her art and she cares about his work (he runs an independent label for music in portland) and they also give each other enough space to do their things. like, my boss is just as ridiculously devoted to art and her studio practice as I am, she cares about art so much and he gets it and they are great.
most of y'all probably don't think this is that weird but it is hard to reconcile yourself, as a female artist, with partnering up. historically it has been generally a bad move career-wise for female artists to get married or anything, even worse to have kids. it's hard to explain, and I won't go in to it here but it's a huge factor.
also we're crazy. artists are crazy. it takes a certain sort of damaged to make stuff, yo.
anyway, it's just, it's really encouraging to see my boss and her hubby together, and hear her talk about him, while also experiencing her in the studio and seeing her ability to maintain a vigorous and obsessive studio practice.

it's just, they give me a lot of hope. they're wonderful and I am doing a terrible job of explaining why it is so out of the ordinary.


Boober, I totally get this. I've never dated anyone who wasn't supportive of my art making or any of my other passions, but it's not easy to find someone who really gets it. I know smoothie said she can't imagine being with someone that doesn't have that creative drive, but for me it's been the opposite. I spent so much time dating artists and musicians while I was still in school because that's just who I was around, and we're all so passionate. All. The. Time. I found it exhausting, and just ended up having huge fights with all of these guys. Now I'm dating a noncreative (as I lovingly like to call them), and it's awesome. He doesn't really 'get' my passions, but he supports and admires them, and never stands in the way. I'm not making art so much now as pursuing my art-related career, which means being poor, but happy. He's seen me give up and pass on jobs that would make me earn more money and have benefits, and while it's important to him that I'm financially stable (as it is to me), he could care less whether I'm rolling in dough - as long as I'm happy and passionate about my career. He sees me struggle and tells me he doesn't know how I do it, but he never once has suggested I do something more practical so that I struggle less, financially. For me, this is along the same lines, especially because my jobs are in art. He listens to me babble on about how much I enjoy hanging shows in the galleries, what the work is like, working with artists, and teaching art to kids and how rewarding it is, plus he likes seeing all the little teaching examples I come up with (some of them are on his fridge). It's really freeing to have someone just be happy that I'm happy with what I'm doing, even though he might not really understand it. I've told him before when I first meet people he knows that ask me what I do for a living, that sometimes I feel embarrassed because I think it sounds silly, and is just so...not like him or anyone he's ever been with before, and he says that he thinks it's totally awesome how passionate I am, and that my jobs are cool, and fork whatever other people think anyway.

For the record, he also feels exactly the same way about my veganism, which is nice.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:49 am 
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So my partner is omnivore, but since we've been dating, every meal we have eaten together (be it in a restaurant or making dinner together at home), he has eaten exactly what I'm eating or ordered something I can eat. At first it really put my guard up - I already like you tons, guy! You don't have to do that to appease me!
But he explained that he loves cooking with me (seriously, I have never cooked with someone else before - why didn't anyone tell me how amazing this is?!), and never wants me to make something for him that I won't eat. Also in the restaurant, he loves sharing food, and wants to be able to keep doing that. I told him that if he ever did want to get something with meat though, I wouldn't want to stop him. I'm not here to change him. He gets that, but then he says that if I can get him to eat healthier (he is a bit overweight and has been told by his doc that he needs to lose some), he is all for it. I've just never been in the dating-an-omni situation before, so it was great to see how easily it could work.

I woke up Sunday, and he was making tempeh bacon while wearing my ppk apron. Oh my god.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:03 am 
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I am so happy for you flava!

I love reading all the happy stories from people who have been brave enough to share their difficulties as an old relationship was ending. Its such a great reminder that sometimes there is something wonderful out there waiting for you if you can just let go the old to make room for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:15 am 
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That's a nice post Tofulish.

And flavbean please tell me the apron was ALL he was wearing cos that makes the story so much better for me!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:22 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
I am so happy for you flava!

I love reading all the happy stories from people who have been brave enough to share their difficulties as an old relationship was ending. Its such a great reminder that sometimes there is something wonderful out there waiting for you if you can just let go the old to make room for it.


Tofulish, your posts always make me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. But seriously, if you had told me six months ago that I was going to have that awesome Sunday morning, I would have laughed in your face. Things regarding my former relationship are still a bit rocky, but having someone who cares so much about me by my side is making that transition a lot easier than if I was going it alone. Good things do happen for those who deserve them.

(And he did have boxers on underneath. Sigh. Almost.)


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:35 pm 
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Well, my boyfriend and I officially live together in our own place!

After weeks of stressing about it. moving day was yesterday, and it was a breeze. We now have our very own gigantic apartment... and NO furniture. Seriously, our place is 1,600 square feet, and we have a bed, a small desk, and a desk chair, and that's it. We've unpacked pretty much everything, and our place is so empty! We love our new neighborhood, and our awesome apartment, though. We went out for Vietnamese food after getting everything moved, and it was just really nice. We work really well together, and I'm so happy we're such a good team.

Sarahnorine, I'm a little late to reply to what you were asking about earlier, but I have this to say: you MUST chill.

First, with the guy you hooked up with, I'm with whoever said it didn't sound like you wanted to see him again, so if you DO want to see him again, you have to let him know, and then he can do with that information what he will.

Second, I feel like almost everyone goes through a thing in their mid 20s where they freak out about being alone forever, so know that you're not alone in feeling the way you do. I think we women are really conditioned to think that if someone hasn't put a big old diamond on our finger by the time we're in our mid 20s, we're somehow defective, and we're missing some magic window of opportunity for long term partnership and commitment and all that, and that's bullshiitake. Generally, I think you're only just starting to figure out who you are as an adult and figuring out where you want to go and what you want to do with your life in your mid 20s. Some people do meet people and stick with them before or during this time in their lives, but lots of people don't. Being in a relationship at this time in your life doesn't guarantee you're not going to "end up alone." In fact, I'd say stressing over being single might make you more likely to settle for a relationship that's less than ideal. Ask yourself: do you want ANY partner, or a GOOD partner?

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:41 pm 
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Yeah, I feel like women are conditioned to have their life planned out a certain way in our society like jopa says (i.e., in my day, the push was universally toward monogamous, heterosexual marriage for everyone. Now isn't that ridiculous?) but I don't listen to that white noise. I love companionship, I love being alone, there are attributes to both. Your life is what you make it whether you are alone, in a couple, in a commune, in a nunnery/monastery so try not to fret too much. And we all die alone, anyhoo whatever our existence alive is, in death we are always one single entity. You can't take it with you, as they say. So you'll die alone regardless. There. Feel better?

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:43 pm 
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And congrats jopa on the new pad. 1600 sq ft is a lot of space! <3 <3 <3

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:38 pm 
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smoothie wrote:
And regarding being alone: I would rather be alone than be with someone who didn't make me happy. Being alone is not too bad at all, it gives you the chance to have intense affairs and meet new people and fall in love and spend all of your time and money doing exactly what YOU want.

I don't mean to pick on you or anything but I really, really, really hate it when people say things like this to other people. Yeah, most people are going to want to be alone than in a shitty relationship but it's not always black and white like that. Being afraid of being alone forever or not sharing a special bond with someone doesn't mean the alternative is that you are going to be in a shitty relationship. You can feel alone and be afraid of being alone forever and not jump into less than awesome relationships. It might, but it's not guaranteed. Second, maybe those are awesome reasons for you to be single but yeah, that's you and your personality. Not everyone likes meeting new people, not everyone wants to go on crazy adventurous and travel the world and do this and do that. Not everyone wants to have intense affairs and date around, and to some people spending money on just yourself isn't a big deal. I understand what you're saying but what one person finds positive about being single doesn't necessarily make it positive for everyone else. And kind of in response to the regular things I hear about this issue, you can totally be okay with yourself and be okay alone but also feel alone sometimes and want something more like a close bond or life partner. It's not always a self-esteem issue and it's not always feeling like you need someone in your life. I'm a fairly independent person who needs lots of alone time and I totally understand and can relate to the feeling of wanting a life partner, wanting something more than just friendships. I'm also the type of person who hates dating and just wants to be in a relationship so dating around isn't something I enjoy at all about being single. Having someone I feel super comfortable with, can have regular sex with, rely on, give and receive support and love and affection, having someone who shares interests with me and shares a life with me is something that I definitely want but it doesn't mean I always feel the need to be with someone, it doesn't mean I have something wrong with my self-esteem, it doesn't mean I'm okay limiting myself in my life, etc. And when I write all of this, I'm really replying to all of the same "words that we give single people when they say they feel alone" because honestly, it doesn't always apply.

I feel like it has to do more with what jopa states. In your 20's, some people can feel like their time to find a life partner is closing in and that it will only get harder, if not, impossible from here on out. I feel like that sometimes but then I think about where I want to be in 5-10 years and how much more awesome I will be at that point in my life and how I feel like I may be more likely to find someone I really hit it off with at that time. Maybe when I'm an established neurobiologist or whatever and am hanging with more like-minded people.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:49 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
After weeks of stressing about it. moving day was yesterday, and it was a breeze. We now have our very own gigantic apartment... and NO furniture. Seriously, our place is 1,600 square feet, and we have a bed, a small desk, and a desk chair, and that's it. We've unpacked pretty much everything, and our place is so empty! We love our new neighborhood, and our awesome apartment, though. We went out for Vietnamese food after getting everything moved, and it was just really nice. We work really well together, and I'm so happy we're such a good team.



I say embrace the emptiness. I kind of have a thing against furniture, even though I have a lot of it. It's always in the way of what I want to do and when I want something awesome I have to like..measure shiitake. Way more trouble than it's worth. Keep it out at all costs.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:11 pm 
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I started to post something, but really, I just want to say that I agree completely with what Mr. Shankly said.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:13 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
And we all die alone, anyhoo whatever our existence alive is, in death we are always one single entity. You can't take it with you, as they say. So you'll die alone regardless. There. Feel better?

Ha!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:13 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
I am so happy for you flava!

I love reading all the happy stories from people who have been brave enough to share their difficulties as an old relationship was ending. Its such a great reminder that sometimes there is something wonderful out there waiting for you if you can just let go the old to make room for it.


i was going to say the same thing, but you've said it perfectly, Tofulish! <3

Flava - I'm so happy for you

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