Beside eharmony and, Have you trying any other on line dating service that worked?

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My first question is: Beside eharmony and, Have you trying any other on line dating service that worked?.

My next question is: I just started dating (online dating with a guy who I briefly dated 5 years ago. He is great, handsome, witty, intelligent and did I mention he is a fireman. The problem is when we dated 5 years ago we were both completely different people, I was extremely wild and, sad to say, a bit of a mess, he was a bartender and most of our nights were spent intoxicated. Just completely bad. Fast forward five years and I am finishing up my Masters degree, he is doing a job he loves and now owns a bar and doeneither of us drink. We are very good together now..

The problem is that in between those 5 years I had fallen for another man (the fireman and I still remained friends but we were both in relationships), was planning on marrying him and thought that my life was perfect. It wasn't, he was a felon, left me and never said another word to me and is now doing 7 years in prison for felony assault (boy did I pick a winner). My response to this whole situation was to close myself off and not date using and concentrate solely on school. No fun, no deviating from a set schedule, no life. Now I'm 37 and looking at this amazing man and I think I'm driving him insane because I am soooo afraid of getting hurt again and so afraid of giving up control (which was the only thing that got me through the past few years, controlling my life to the smallest detail). I'm afraid I'm going to lose him because of this but part of me wants to lose him, part of me doesn't want to open myself up ever again.

Mind you I already tried to walk away and he talked me down from the bridge. I just don't know what I'm doing anymore...

Comments (12)

Your question was: Beside eharmony and, Have you trying any other on line dating service that worked?.

Hon, I think at some point in our lives we all shut ourselves off to a degree in order to keep on going with life. However, NO ONE is meant to stay 'shut down' forever - that isn't living - it's just taking up space. And if you aren't going to partake of the buffet of life then why pay for a place at the table, figuratively speaking..

Shutting down is the body's way of healing - think of it like this - when you break a bone, the bone must be kept immobile for a specific amount of time in order for the bone to grow back together. Then once that happens, it must be carefully rehabbed until it regains it's strength and mobility. Of course the process is painful - and the more you follow the prescribed treatment, the less pain you will encounter during your healing.  when this is done properly, the bone is as good as new. But if you do things you shouldn't - like try to run before rebuilding strength in the injured area - you will cause yourself more pain and a longer healing time. And sometimes you cause permanent damage by rushing..

The heart is the same - when the heart gets broken, it needs to be 'immobilized' (kept away from additional emotional trauma) while it mends. Closing off to possible injurious situations can help the healing process. But then, when the heart is prepared to begin rebuilding it's 'strength' you will find a natural desire to be with people and go out and engage. It is a natural thing to sometimes think you aren't 'ready' and run back to your hole - but the heart always knows what is best - and it will prompt you to DO what it needs.

In your case, you shut down for 5 years in order to get through your pain. Now your heart is telling you it's time to 'run' again. However, your brain is telling you no because it 'remembers' what happened last time. .

You are the only one who can decide what is best for you. Picture your life in another 5 years - still shut down, no life, no fun, no love, no contentment and nothing to look forward to except work. But you get to say 'At least no one is hurting me" HA - What a HUGE LIE - YOU are hurting you!  by remaining closed off, you stop contributing to the greater good because you don't GIVE to others anymore. This is why people die lonely and bitter and miserable - at some point they made a choice to 'shut out the pain' they believed would come from engaging other people and as a result created their own painful personal hell..

Hon, do you like living in a prison without love and laughter? I can guarantee you that the only way to prevent pain in your life is to go live in a cave somewhere without pets, people, hobbies or interests - because all those things will disappoint you at some point or another.

No one ever promised any of us a life free of pain or difficulty. But you will NEVER experience real joy and happiness without also risking falling down now and again. So what - you got hurt. Who is living and breathing on God's green earth hasn't? What you have to decide is this - am I more afraid of pain that I KNOW will happen because I share the world with imperfect humans like myself OR am I more afraid of never knowing genuine love, happiness and intimacy..

You can have your fear of hurt or you can have a life of love - you can't have both. You decide which is it - there is NOTHING on this earth worth being brave for more than love.  If you are truly happy and content with being closed off - then remain so. If you aren't - then you HAVE to open your heart and be brave.

Your heart knows - but your head is what is keeping you stuck in the past. Trust your heart always - when you do, you will make choices that lead to happiness. the Past has no power to hurt you unless you continue to live there.

Hon, I truly don't know how difficult your life has been - I know my own story and I've had my share of heartache and heartbreak. And you know what? The past is over. My life isn't defined by what happened to me - my life is defined by what I GIVE - because in giving I receive all that I want and need. Sure, things can make me nervous - but my DESIRE TO HAVE is far greater than my fear of failure or pain. And sure, I fall down, make stupid mistakes - but I just keep going. Giving up is not an option. Is it for you?.

Edited for spelling.


Edited 6/26/2008 4:56 pm ET by tonitoons.


Comment #1

It sounds like working on your fears in counseling would be a really good idea. I don't think that's the type of thing people just get over without help..


Comment #2

Excellent post Toni - you rock! .

To the OP - listen to this wise lady..


Comment #3

Oh Toni,.

I'm crying right now, because you are beyond a shadow of doubt 100% correct. I don't want to be alone, there is so much I must do to guarantee this. I have been using past hurts to hide out and ignore any happiness, I kept telling myself that doing well in school was enough for me and that soon my career would be enough. But I have been lonely and sad and honestly I think my dog is over me.

I have to do some soul searching because I think what scares me most this time is not so much the new beau potentially hurting me, it's me hurting myself by lashing out at him for transgressions he didn't commit or expecting him to mess up so I'm not surprised if it happens. He has been patient and kind throughout this process and I really would like to see where this goes..

I don't want to live in a cave and be bitter and angry at myself. I want to wake up and know that all is possible in life. So thank you for your response, I'm gonna go work on myself and try and make this relationship (thru work out!.

I'm not the first to be hurt and I won't be the last but I'd like to think that there is a possibility that this one relationship (thru will prove me wrong and could be good for my soul!.


Comment #4

There are tons of books on relationships - but the one you have to build is with yourself. I really urge you to consider counseling - it help me tremendously and was a true turning point in my life.  I did it about your age (I'm now 45).  One book you may want to read is called "Captivating" - I can't remember the authors but it's a husband and wife team. And another author is Barbara Rose, PhD - any of her books are great but I'd recommend "A woman's Guide to wholeness" - you can find both through Amazon..

So many people go through life as if the world is some big huge scary place fille with giants and dangers at every turn - the truth is - it's exactly what you make it out to be - good or bad.

I know you 'think' you are controlling your life - but are you really? You are in such a set routine that that is why you take comfort - you know what to expect.  You can't deviate from it without anxiety so whose really in control? You or your routine? Quoting Gilda Radner here, "life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and makiing the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next....delicious ambiguity".

That 'control' you think you have is a lie. Change is scary - but it's the only constant in this world - how ironic! But you must understand that in order to grow - you MUST change - shed the old ways and embrace teh new. If you aren't growing, then you are dying. God didn't put us here to just take up space - we all have a purpose that is for the greater good of all - and it comes with difficulty and pain sometimes.

As with all things - the things that make the most impact on our lives are usually the ones we had to struggle the hardest to get. Climbing to the top takes effort. Sitting in the valley doesn't. .

I began my journey after a particularly painful breakup about 7 or 8 years ago - and I'm still learningI did shut down for a while in 06 after my Dad died - it took quite a while to find a new 'normal' again - but you always do. Its simply a matter of deciding what kind of life you want - because all that people will remember of us when we die is how we made them feel - what difference did we make to them personally.

Hon, I am not discouraging you in this relationship (thru - just be aware that you need to be patient with yourself. No one will love you more than you  love yourself - and that is somethign you have to allow - both for yourself and from others. I truly feel that counseling would help you - you are still holding onto the past and until you let go, it will be more difficult than it could be for you.  you may also want to try volunteering with kids for a while - nothing can open your heart faster than a child! Volunteering in general can help you get outside of yourself and focus on giving to others without expectation of anything back. Just make sure if you choose to do this, that you volunteer in a way that engages you with people - this is what your challenge is - opening your heart and accepting that life is sometimes hard and that's ok. (I do recognize that many will not volunteer because they 'hurt' to see others 'hurting' - but this is part of emotional maturity - learning how to help without also taking the burden of emotions from others.  I hate to see any one in pain - but I know what I can and cannot do for them.).

God bless you on your journey!.


Comment #5

Okay, you can see it as a problem with you and your fear of getting is your subconscious telling you that this guy will be a problem to you down the road.  You can pick whichever path you wish.  If you are not willing or ready to open up to a guy...then the guy isnt right for you. That is my honest opinion.  No self help books needed here...

Comment #6

You guys have been amazing. I have my first appointment with someone this week and am going to go slow. I don't think it's a matter of this man being wrong for me it's a matter of my wanting him to be wrong so I can walk away and not blame myself for the relationship (thru failing. There I said it, I need to say it as many times as I possibly can so that way I can move on. I want to be a person who isn't afraid of failure and change, I want him to see possibilities when he looks at me and I want to know all is possible when I look in the mirror. So thank you all for your responses, it helps so much when it's people who have experienced similar feelings and are willing to call you out when you're acting up. Thank you all for your help!..

Comment #7

Hon, I wish you the very best/ Just remember when things get really hard - and trust me, they will! - to keep the end in mind. Anything worthwhile is worth working for. Being free from fear is well worth the work required..


Comment #8

It cant hurt to get to know yourself further and to uncover or discover any tendencies you may have toward putting up a wall to avoid getting closer. .

My response was very basic and simple to you because I have seen people therapy themselves into a complete disaster because they started to analyze every detail and look at every single thing as a result of something from their past (and of course it was negative) and holding on to that past for dear life so that they have a cushion to fall on to explain why they are who they are.  Then they stop growing as people because they dont challenge themselves to look beyond the past and into the present - they never break from that past..

Also, most love relationships "fail" - ugh I hate using that word within the context of love - because it makes sense.  We dont marry every person we meet and we dont need to always work at a relationship (thru that is doomed from the start just so we can say we tried. Some things just dont click or work out right and that is okay too.  People get real achievement oriented about relationships when that is an area of life where achievement shouldnt be considered..

Good luck!..

Comment #9

<< Also, most love relationships "fail" - ugh I hate using that word within the context of love - because it makes sense.  >>.

I don't think most relationships 'fail' ... not if you take something from each one ... apply some lessons learned and use it as an opportunity to grow and learn from it.

If you view each relationship (thru that doesn't end up being 'the one' as a failure ... you're missing a valuable opportunity. .

Some of us need more experience than others ... so, we have more relationships ... and by the time the 'right relationship' comes along ... because of all the others before it ... you're more prepared for it.  .

So, if you look at it that way ... that each relationship (thru you have is a stepping stone ... how can one possibly view all previous relationships as 'failures'?!  If it wasn't for those relationships ... you wouldn't be PREPARED for the right one when it comes along..

Hope that helps you see it a bit differently .......

Comment #10

<< Also, most love relationships "fail" - ugh I hate using that word within the context of love - because it makes sense.  >>.

Thank you for pointing out that sentence.  Because I knew no one was going to understand my logic. OF COURSE they are supposed to break up...because it is not logical to fall in love and stay with every person you meet.  The people who are right for us to date...are few and far between. Everyone else is like a preview before the main event.  When people use the word "fail" they attach a negative consequence ... when they shouldnt use the word "Fail" at all.  there is no failure connecting with another person regardless of outcome..

I'm sorry you misunderstood me and wasted your time posting back...

Comment #11

Well ladies I tried but it didn't work out. Partially (actually a lot of it) I will admit was my fault but a big part I think has to do with the men I pick. After my boyfriend had cancelled a number of dates last minute I was at wits end and becoming very angry. He finally set a date using to hang out and when we returned to my home he proceeded to tell me that he couldn't handle me and repeatedly said I ruined everything because I was crazy ( I think he called me crazy about 20 times) he was very cruel and proceeded to collect his things and slam out the door.

I begin therapy tomorrow, I wish I'd started earlier. Actually I wish I'd started before I started dating (online dating with him again. He really hasn't changed, it seems as if he hid his colors until he knew I was in for the long haul and then he went back to his old ways. He is drinking again and just wasn't the person I'd hoped he was. I'm going to do some soul searching to find out why a) I fall for the wrong men b) how to begin loving myself and c) learn how to live with myself in order to be a better mate..

Thank you all for your input, it was greatly appreciated and I am taking everything you said to heart. Hopefully next time I won't be involved with someone who is not up to par with what I deserve.

Love to all of you!..

Comment #12

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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