Recovery: pressure to date

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Sellenna 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #45822


    I’ve discovered that we are still judged by whether we do or don’t have a man.

    A couple of well meaning friends are now starting to hint that perhaps I should start dating again (it’s only 4 months since the break up with SP, for heaven’s sake!).

    Dating is not something I want or need at the moment. However, when you say that you are perfectly happy on your own, people look horrified.

    Our society still tells us that we are not complete without a man, that we should give everything away for the sake of love and the “One”.

    This only plays to the pathalogical’s advantage:
    You want to make sure that a man who wants to live with you or marry you is not a bankrupt and in a stable employment? You must be a gold digger.

    You are not prepared to support him no matter what (physical abuse, substance abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, etc)? It means you are not capable of unconditional love, selfish you.

    The whole expectation of unconditional love sets women up for being exploited. When we try and set boundaries we are told that we are selfish, mean, will die alone as no one will want this attitude or we are scared of commitment.

    The myth of having a man so that you do not die alone ignores the fact that men live less than women. So its a flawed strategy anyway.

    This is how bad it is, this pressure: A friend has just got engaged. She got divorced 18 months ago after a 15 year marriage. Straight away she was in a panic about “dying alone” and signed up to a dating site as she “had to be married again”. Man no 1 was a disaster – an unemployed control freak who used to threaten suicide if she ended the relationship. Man no 2 proposed to her last week after 8 months of dating – “he meets 85% of my criteria, he will do”. And this is from an intelligent and professionally successful woman who is financially independent with two grown up kids. I just hope it is not going to be a disaster.

    Advice from forum members about how to put people back in their place when they tell you to “get back on the horse” are appreciated.

  • #45823


    Brava, Thirdtimelucky. I totally agree with you. “How dare you protect yourself!”

    I just tell them the truth: that I don’t formally date because I had horrible experiences with dating sites. I’m not against romance itself. I don’t hate men. I’m just trying to be safe.

    I still lead an active social life anyway, since there are many other ways to meet men – and other people – besides dating sites.

    They usually seem to back down, or accept this; though I don’t know how a lot of these people really feel about me. I have definitely come across people that I know think I’m a loser or a f#$up for not having a man, but I don’t associate with those types.

    Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of people in this world that are threatened by anyone that dares to think for themselves and not blindly follow rules.

    In my experience, many narcissists and sociopaths are very good at getting these types of people to side with them and gang up on their victims.

    One thing that really helps me is not giving a crap what any sociopath or follower of theirs think of me.

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by  Sellenna.
  • #45825


    Find friends who respect your wishes as far as dating or not dating.

  • #45826


    I understand completely! I can’t give advice but I can share my experience and hope you can find something worthwhile in it. After I left my SP for good, I got differing reactions. I had my married friends who pushed the get-back-on-the-horse mentality. They hated seeing me so sad and i think it made them feel kinda uncomfortable. They would be more comfortable with me if i brought a date to dinner. And I had a mixture of both single and married who gave me the vibe they pitied me. All in all, I listened to my own voice that said I just wasn’t ready. I knew my heart was broken and I didn’t think it right to give a new man a broken heart… I wanted to give a new man a healed one. So I told them I wasn’t ready. I got the same response from almost everyone. “Don’t say that, you never know, love has a way of finding you when you least expect it. Wink wink” Silly silly people. That is exactly how my sp found me, when I least expected it. Finally I got the courage to let them know what I had experienced. Then I culled the herd so to speak based on their reactions. All those that nodded their heads, wrapped their arms around me, and showed understanding in their eyes stayed. All those that held to their beliefs that it would be too hard for me to live without a man were kicked off the island so to speak. I had to have supportive understanding people in my corner while I struggled with getting over him. Dating when i still hadnt learned to trust again was scary and irresponsible. I think trust is a necessary element in any good relationship. I know that I will rekindle those lost friendships in time. The stronger i get, the easier that becomes. I didn’t end those friendships in a mean way, I just asked them to understand I was going through some things and needed space. Do what feels right as long as it’s done in a respectful way.
    Wishing you peace and support. Take your time.

    • #45837


      Thank you, I have had a lot of the same feelings.

      I’ve also realised I never took the time to understand my values and needs and also what are mine boundaries. I did work with my psychologist and also reading (including How to Spot Dangerous Men before you get involved and “Boundaries” books). I did exercises and realised that none of my exes in failed relationships shared my values (though SP shared a lot of hobbies) and none of them respected my boundaries.
      I have documented my values and boundaries now and going to read over each day to help me get stronger and live what is an authentic life for me.

      My group of friends is evolving and I am cutting back contact (just not available to see them) with some of my toxic friends.

  • #45827


    “I knew my heart was broken and I didn’t think it right to give a new man a broken heart… I wanted to give a new man a healed one.”

    Love this; no pun intended. Well maybe a little=)

    “Dating when i still hadnt learned to trust again was scary and irresponsible. I think trust is a necessary element in any good relationship.”


  • #45841

    Donna Andersen

    Great discussion everyone! Thank you!

  • #45855


    Thank you for the feedback Donna!
    It is unfortunate that in today’s society there is still that perception that we are not complete without a man. And that 4 months is considered to be “too long on the shelf” (considering that my relationship with SP lasted 4 years, I am feeling I have some time to recover yet).

    I am caring for my son every 2nd week as well as trying to get myself back on track emotionally, physically and financially.

    I have friends (male (friends proper, not “with benefits” variety) and female. My spare time I now treasure my own company – being in my house, enjoying the silence (if my son is at his dad’s), making a nice meal for myself, going for a walk, curling up with a book. Doing whatever I want to do, what makes me happy. I feel nurtured not deprived.

    And certainly happier, not on edge or consumed with fear, anxiety and suspicion as I was during my last year with SP.

    Interestingly, he emailed me apologising for not returning a certain item of property because he had a death in a family. He also added that he was thinking about me, we were madly in love and why did I end it. I am not sure if death in a family story is true, however, it is better not respond. Life is so much better without the drama and madness.

  • #45963


    “Life is so much better without the drama and madness.”
    So glad you see it this way! You are absolutely correct. It may be lonely at times and hectic other times, just because life in general can be hectic, but DRAMA FREE is the best environment to process and heal. I read somewhere that one month for every year is “normal” recovery time. But we aren’t dealing with normal relationships, are we? Enjoying time with yourself is so important. While I was getting over the addiction part, I didn’t enjoy being by myself because that’s when those obtrusive thoughts would take over. I joined an on-line fb farmville coop and it was a wonderful distraction combining games and conversation with people from all overy the world. Little by little my faith in humankind was reinforced just by the sheer nature of coop behavoir; asking for things and actually getting them with no strings attached. Giving others things they needed without being put down. It was a great healing experience.
    You’ll know when you’re ready, if at all. There is no timetable for this kind of thing. Everyone is unique. You sound strong and sure of yourself. Way to go!

  • #46040


    When you decide to date again is up to you.

  • #46177


    I think all or a lot of sociopaths want you to feel bad about yourself for not having a man, if you’re single.

    That way, they can get you to be with them so they can control and exploit you.

    It is much better to be alone than to be with someone that hurts you.

    I also believe if you’re happy whether or not you’re single, it’s a kick in the faces of sociopaths and their followers.

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