Never Alone

ForeverAlone wrote:

Minnesodad,
I am new to your site but I am hoping you can help.  I think I am cursed to be forever alone.  I am 19, almost 20, and I have only had two serious relationships, but I have been unlucky and single for a year now.  No one wants to be with me.  Am I going to just have a string of one night stands for my entire life?

ForeverAlone

ForeverAlone,

Welcome to my site.  You should know I keep it honest around here.  That said, you’re young and quite naïve if you think you should find “the one” by 19.

First, it is healthy to be alone once in awhile.  You should NEVER jump from one relationship to another.  Doing so just increases the chance of failure because you haven’t given yourself time to grow emotionally from the last one.

Secondly, if you’re just sleeping with people and hoping it gets serious, you’re flat out an idiot and no one wants to date the woman that just sleeps with every guy she meets. Build the relationship before intimacy and you will have a firmer foundation.  It seems like the younger generation today is quick to physical and rushing to love, then surprised when things go wrong.  Don’t rush things.  A relationship is like a nice rack of ribs…the good ones take time as well as the right ingredients.

Relax.  Enjoy being alone.  Work on yourself. If you hit 33 and you haven’t had a serious relationship, email me and I will apologize for bad advice.  I am guessing you will find the right guy before that.

Sean

Advertisements

Grass is greener in friend’s pasture..

Celicia wrote:

Sean,

Help!  My best friend “Alice” is absolutely gorgeous and it draws all of the attention away from me when we go out!  I am not exaggerating.. My friend is 5’9″, 160lbs and a damn D cup.  A. DAMN. D. CUP!!

I am 5’7, 183lbs, and an A cup.  My hair is mousey, and I can’t ever seem to be fashionable.  Some of my friends try to be polite, and give me compliments when we go out, but the men always show interest in “Alice”.

How do I get more attention?  Do I talk to my friend, and if so, how do I tell her she is too gorgeous.

Cecilia

Cecilia,
Confidence goes a long way.  If you’re Debbie Downer with me, I can only imagine how extreme it is with your non-Alice friends when Alice is around. 

Your boobs aren’t big and you have a little more curve in your streets, but there are guys out there that are into that.  What will drive them away is when you’re obsessing and whining about how you look if you’re out with Alice. 

If she isn’t actively stealing guys away from you, forget the ones that go for her and look for some others while she is busy chatting.  Be confident, be conversational, and be yourself.  There are a ton of guys that look for those qualities first.  The guys that go for looks first aren’t guys you want to end up with.

Sean

Life sitting on the pot

Not IN the pot...wait, who put that on the stove?

Not IN the pot…wait, who put that on the stove?

Sean,

I have been dating my boyfriend for three years now and, while I want marriage, we have never discussed it at length.  Then, a few weeks ago, my boyfriend suddenly whisked me away for a surprise vacation in Florida.  It was a wonderful long-weekend trip and we had an especially fancy dinner during which, my boyfriend was sweating profusely and was extremely nervous (not like him to do either one of those).  That was it though, and the next day we came home.  He has been normal since then and my friends have been saying that his trip may been to ask me to marry him, but he didn’t ask me, so I am wondering if he got cold feet.  What do you think?  Should I ask him?  Should I wait? Should I just give up?

Alyson

Alyson,

Poop or get off the pot is my motto.  If you have been dating for three years, I would say it is long enough to know whether or not you want to marry someone.  This trip may have been your boyfriend’s chance and he may have been prepared to ask you….or not…there is really no way to tell unless he confided in a close friend (or is willing to tell you himself).

Give it a little more time.  Perhaps he had a big ordeal planned out and you let it slip on the vacation that you don’t like things like that, or maybe he had something small planned and got a hint you may want something bigger so he made a split second decision to wait.  If you ask him now, it may ruin something.  If you wait a few weeks and maybe ask a few trusted friends you two share (not just your friends), you may get the answer you were looking for.  If nothing happens, then gently ask him after a few weeks.

Three years is a long time to date someone without talking about marriage, especially since you’re obviously thinking about it.  I know some people may disagree, but having been in several long term relationships that dead ended, I feel if the topic of marriage isn’t AT LEAST lightly discussed after year one and in-depth before year two, you may be heading toward a dead end or you may be on different pages.  Marriage is a big deal, and a conversation can make the difference in how it works for the long run.

Hopefully your boyfriend just has come cold feet…time will tell.

Sean

I’d hit it.

Maylene wrote:

Sean,
I have been dating a guy that is making me question men in general so I thought I’d send my first email and see what you think.

This guy makes comments about other women like, “I’d hit it” (walking by someone once), “MmmMmmm” (when he saw a woman a wedding I took him to), and “you’d look good with a body like that” (which led to my email).  I took it quietly for the first two, but the last one reduced me to tears.  I confronted him and he said all guys do things like this.  Do they?  I have seen guys check women out, but do they make comments?

Maylene

image

Maylene,
Not all guys make comments.  In fact, I’d say any guy that makes comments like that toward the woman they are dating deserves a butt kicking by his significant other.  Some guys may say, “well I have to be honest”…to those guys, read below.  Maylene, you need to confront this guy and let him know you won’t allow him to talk to you this way.  Explain how it makes you feel and tell him to stop.  If he can’t, it is time to leave.

To the guys,
Imagine if the woman you loved suddenly said to you, “you’re a distant third compared to the last two guys I dated”.  It would make you inadequate and it would suck…so why would you make someone you’re with feel that way?  Knock it off.

Sean

No excuses for breaking up.

-M Wrote,
Sean,
I’m reeling here and I don’t know what to do.  I was in a serious relationship that went wrong.  I basically found out he’d been cheating on me for quite some time and lying to my face about it. He and I split up, he tried and tried to get me back, and I finally got a restraining order against him last fall.  The day I got the restraining order, he texted me and said he was moving to Florida and that he wouldn’t contact me again.  It’s been almost a year and there has been no contact, but the PROBLEM is that I can’t seem to shake the bad relationship.  I have this “Liars Suck” mentality and it’s all I think about.  I try to have fun and get over it, but whenever I have some downtime, the bad relationship sinks back in and I start thinking about how things fell apart.  It’s not even necessarily him I think about either-just the failure of the relationship.  I want to find someone new, but how do I do that when the old relationship is still on my mind?
-M
 Image
-M,
If you constantly fall while rock climbing, there comes a point when you have to wonder why you keep hanging on to the fact that you fell.
We all get hurt.  I think I, and everyone of us know that in the pursuit of love, we are bound to get hurt at some point or another.  The best advice I have to you is to be hurt, then move on and learn from it.  Don’t dwell on the pain and the past, just let things go and move on.  It sounds like here, you’re hanging on to what went wrong and messing things up for you and your future.  You’ve got to let go and move past it to truly show yourself it’s over.  Hanging on to things is still letting your ex and your failed relationship have an effect on you, and if it was bad enough to get a restraining order, you shouldn’t be letting it effect you this far after the end.  By doing so, you’ve proven that he still has a hook in you and that means there is a possibility for him to work his way back into your life.  You may think that’s crazy, but by thinking about the relationship, you’ve already proven it to be true.
So what if you were deceived/cheated on/heartbroken?  Does that affect who you are or what you want from life?  It shouldn’t.  One mistake in a lifetime of memories isn’t something to think about for very long.  Let it go.
So what if you thought he/she was the one?  Does that mean there isn’t a soul on Earth that would still bring you happiness? Definitely not!  You’ll likely have no problem finding someone new, especially once you drop your baggage of what went wrong with the last relationship.
How do you move past it?  Delete it from your life.  Toss pictures (or delete them), delete phone numbers and email addresses, stop hanging out in circles that he may have a chance to be a part of, and stop thinking about it.  Get a gym membership and if you find yourself thinking of the relationship, go work out until you don’t think of it anymore.  See a therapist and find ways to move on.  You’re better off without him and you need to prove that to yourself, so stop trying to prove it to the rest of the world until you get help.  Stop wasting time on the wasted past.  You’re better than that.
Sean

Digging a Sociopath

Image

Linda wrote:

Hello,

I dated a guy for 2 years and we just recently split after I realized he had been cheating on me almost every weekend for the entire time we dated (he said he was at the gym but he never got in shape, so I investigated). I’d say (and many of his and my friends would say) that I am better looking than him, but he is charming/sexy/has piercing eyes, is a liar (even about little things) and feels no guilt, likes risky behaviors like gambling and wild drunk nights out, is overly power hungry, and thinks being a dick to people makes him get better treatment.  All in all, we fell in love within a few weeks of dating, moved in together a few months later and we spent every day together almost for 2 years-we were in love, or so I thought.  He seemed to do everything for me until I found out he was cheating on me and we broke up. He blew up when I accused him of cheating and gave me lie after lie until I presented him with the details of my investigating.  He stopped talking, grabbed a bag of clothes and left.  He’s written me several letters since then and always says he “lied about many things to me, but “I love you” was the truth.”

Was I blindly dating a sociopath?  How could I have been so blind?

Linda

Linda,

I did some digging and asked some friends of mine and, from what I’ve learned, yes, you were dating a sociopath.  I looked for “telltale” signs of a sociopath and here’s what 20 sites (and my friends, who’ve dated one at some point) all said:

1. Charisma and charm. He’s a smooth talker, always has an answer, never misses a beat. He can play any role is social situations.

2. Enormous ego. He acts like the smartest, richest or most successful person in the room. He may actually come out and tell you that.

3. Jekyll and Hyde personality. One minute he loves you, the next minute he hates you. He’s got an extremely short fuse.

5. Blames others. He always has an excuse. Someone else is always the cause of his problems.

6. Lies and gaps in the story. You ask questions, and the answers are vague or details don’t match and he gets angry when you dig for details.

7. Intense eye contact. He uses his eyes to his advantage.

8. Fast moving. Within weeks, he quickly proclaims that you’re his true love and soul mate. He wants to move in together within a month or two.

9. Pity play. He appeals to your sympathy. He wants you to feel sorry for his abusive childhood, psychotic ex, incurable disease or financial setbacks.  Feel sorry for him and you’ll be used as a shield time and time again.

10. Sexual magnetism. If you feel intense attraction, it may be the excess testosterone that sociopaths possess.

Since your email details matched 5-7 of these points above, I’d say yes…you dated a sociopath.  As far as you being blinded by it, I’d imagine it is easy miss at times, depending on the situation.

A sociopath knows the difference between right and wrong and they understand that actions have consequences but the problem is, they don’t care, nor do they feel guilt. They have no inner moral-compass to guide them.  Sociopaths don’t feel regular emotion.  They feel anger, rage, and envy, which can lead to aggression, but the remaining emotion is shallow at best. They cannot show empathy and cannot connect with others (feeling true love).  Sociopaths may “collect” things like it’s a contest (electronics, toys, prizes, relationships, etc.,) because they feel accomplishment when they feel they’re “winning”.  Sociopaths see nothing wrong with using people and then throwing them away because they are okay with lying, cheating, stealing, and manipulating people who they’ve deemed “weaker” than they are. Even they may, at times, pretend to have low self-esteem or insecurities, they do not actually feel that way…they’re using those attributes to manipulate others. Their egotistical behavior and arrogance makes in extremely for a sociopath to benefit from therapy and almost impossible to change. I know, by this definition Charlie Sheen is a sociopath, and that may or may not be true.

Image

…Or it may be true.

In any case, you weren’t necessarily blinded..you were more than likely looking at a person that was disguised as someone completely different.  You liked the disguise, not the real person.

Sean

Game, or lack thereof.

World of Warcraft Pirate NPC

This guy needs much more than armor.

Anonymous wrote:

Sean,

I am a 22 year old guy who has been told that I lack “game”.  Now, I am only 22, and don’t even really know what “game” entails, but I’d imagine that it’s a way with women-and if that is what it is, then yes, I lack it.  I a socially awkward guy who can’t even find ways to talk to women.  If they try talking to me, I blush and freeze.  The only time I had a chance to even be intimate with one, I was shaking so badly, it weirded her out.

How do I find my game?

Anonymous

 

Anonymous,

First of all, I hate the phrase “having game”, because it implies that relationships or interactions between two people are a game (I disagree with that).  I think what you lack is confidence..specifically self-confidence.  Confidence, whether we’re talking about an over-abundance or lack of it, can be a make it or break it factor when dealing with attraction.  With an over-abundance of confidence, you’ll end up looking like douchebag.  If you lack confidence, you look like a socially retarded buffoon (or worse yet..a creeper).

Self-confidence isn’t being cocky or proud, it’s just being okay enough to trust yourself for what you have to offer.  My guess is that you have some skill, personality trait, or characteristic about you that you believe in.  It could be sports related, it could be knowledge related, or it could be your “mad Warcraft skills”, but in any case..it’s yours.

Let’s your skill IS your “mad Warcraft skills”:  A rule in any weapon related fight is that you’re always tougher with armor.  When you’re dealing with someone you’re attracted to, imagine yourself “in armor”…you’re tougher, stronger, and just a little bit more badass.  Now, don’t go out WEARING armor to the next night club you hit up (that’d be the creeper thing I talked about earlier), but rather just imagine yourself armored.  The worst thing that can happen when talking to a woman is that she could say she isn’t interested in you.  No harm, no foul, just go on your way.  Just remember, there is nothing wrong with making connections and networking when you’re out on the town.  Nothing is more pathetic than a guy who goes around the bar hitting on every woman in sight.  Just talk, relax, and have fun.  If and when it DOES come to intimacy, violent quivering can be a definite turnoff, so having a drink may be a good option (if you’re of age), and some conversation beforehand can be a calming technique as well.  Just remember, you’re both people.  She isn’t “spectacular” for wanting some sort of intimacy with you, and you’re not “special” for wanting to be intimate with her.  Spectacular comes during the intimacy, and for that, you’ll need to educate yourself.  Personally, I’d recommend reading up on it.  Having some background knowledge can do wonders for your confidence in that area, trust me.

Now, put on your invisible armor, get out there, and make some connections.

Sean

 

Grosse

Cover of "Grosse Pointe Blank (Volume 2) ...

Cover via Amazon

“You know what they say, ‘if you love something let it go, if it comes back, it’s well… broken.”

Grosse Pointe Blank, to me, is one of the greatest movies ever made.  Not only does it star John Cusack and Dan Ackroyd in what may be some of their finest roles, but it has snappy dialogue and a unique way of approaching love, abandonment, and other relationship issues.  In this movie, we see Martin Blank (portrayed by John Cusack), a professional assassin who takes a paid assignment in his home town (on the weekend of his high school reunion).  He heads back and bumps into his high school flame played by Minny Driver.  Many awesome songs, some gunplay, and some explosions later, we see a cool ending.

So what happens in the middle?  Without spoiling the movie for those that haven’t seen it, Martin figures himself out and realizes what he;s been missing the whole time.

This movie gave me hope for a good relationship at a time that I needed it most because to me, it showed that people..as hard shelled as they may be, are capable of change.  We all put up walls in our lives.  With Martin, he’d just had an unloving childhood.  With Debbie, she’d been abandoned by her boyfriend (Martin).  What it all boiled down to was that they were both too stubborn to talk about their feelings and figure out a way to make things work, until things really got hectic. Then, at a time when they were both ultimately vulnerable, they found a common thread and were able to discuss things in a somewhat reasonable manner.

In relationships, I am the giver.  I have been the giver for most of my relationships and in the end it has bitten me in the ass, because I am usually left with nothing in the end.  Several times, I’ve had a mostly empty apartment and a broken heart (and daughter) to continue on with.  I’m done putting up walls and I have been for quite some time, because I’ve realized that we all have our own faults and features and it’s not a matter of strengthening them when in a relationship, it’s a matter of finding out how to tweak those faults and features to compliment the flaws and features of the other person in the relationship.

Personally, if I hear another person say “I’m just too independent”, I may puke.  Independence isn’t relying on someone to be there day after day then pushing them away when you want “space”.  Independence is feeling comfortable enough with yourself to be alone when you need to be, but also being comfortable with the time and effort needed to make a relationship work.  I think people that describe themselves as independent have a fear of what a relationship is.  It’s planning, providing, loving, respecting, communicating, and nurturing and they fear their own ability to live up to those standards.  Martin Blank said in Grosse Pointe Blank, “I just honestly don’t know what I have in common with those people anymore… or with anyone, really. I mean, they’ll all have husbands and wives and children and houses and dogs, and, you know, they’ll have made themselves a part of something, and they can talk about what they do. And what am I going to say? ‘I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How have you been?’ I just think it’ll be depressing.” People that fear relationships are afraid to give up the single life because they don’t know how to adjust to the relationship life.  They were so self-convinced of their single status that they can’t seem to hang that hat up and move into a new life.  They look back on it and revel in the freedom they once had..and too often they go back to the single life wanting the freedom and all they find is they’re alone.  There comes a point when the single people have left and moved on to relationships and all that’s left is you…and an empty room.

The moral of the movie is that people need to change to make things work in a relationship and if we’re too stuck in our comfort zones to change, we will screw up the things we love the most.  As scary as it may seem, we MUST step out of our comfort zones to become who we really need to be in a relationship.

Anyway, see the movie.  Great stuff.

 

Locked in the closet

Absolute darkness

Absolute.

Do you remember playing “locked in the closet” as a kid?  My friends, my brother and I were always doing thing like that to test each other and see how mentally sturdy we were.  One time we sat, shoulder deep in our still icy in-ground swimming pool just to see how long we could stay in.  The water was so cold it made your skin feel like it was on fire.

Anyway, back to the closet.  We’d play locked in the closet when I was in the 4th grade.  It wasn’t a closet as much as it was a large storage room with no windows and just a door.  We would have to go in there and see how long it took for us to get freaked out.  No one was actually locked in, but being in the middle of a black room with nothing but space around you made you feel as if you were locked in space.  At first, it was terrifying just standing there.  With no sight, nothing around us, and virtually no contact (except feet on the floor), it felt like something would come from the darkness and take you away at a moment’s notice.  Every little sound was magnified and sounded scary.  We did this for weeks and the terror eventually subsided because we figured things out.  We figured out that not only was it the darkness that made us safe and brave, but when the lights came on, it was just a room.  A short while after that, we started playing hide and seek there in that dark basement and it became even more exciting.  Not only had we adapted to the darkness, but we learned to use it to our advantages when hiding..and especially when seeking.

By now, you’re probably wondering where I am going with this.  Relationships are sometimes scary.  If you’ve had a history of bad relationships, or parents that had a bad relationship, or have ever been hurt…entering into a good and healthy relationship can be one of the scariest things to go through, like standing alone in a dark room.  You don’t know where to go, where to look, what to be afraid of, or what to do, and the fear of losing the relationship can be as frightening as the fear of something coming after you in the dark.  Little things become big issues for no apparent reason, and can seem like big mountains, when in reality they are nothing more than minor issues.

We hold these fears close and use them as a shield to fend off the ones that love us (or that we love) because when we’re there in that relationship, the fear is the only immediate thing we have and everything else is the darkness of the unknown.  What if she stops loving me?  What if he leaves?  What does she really mean by that?  How can I make him happy for the rest of his life?  These are all unknowns and can be as scary to face as losing your ability to breathe.

If you turn on the lights, you’ll see that in reality, it’s just a relationship.  You can see everything clearly and you begin to realize that everything good in that relationship is something you have the power to affect and the power to control.  You can be more giving, you can be a better communicator.  You can love without consequence, you can let down your guard, and you can let people in.  Every fear you have is still there, but it’s up to you whether you go through the relationship being afraid of the dark or embracing it.  Face those fears and put them to bed.  The darkness holds freedom and happiness..it’s just up to you to find it.

By the way, I was listening to this song while writing this:  It’s “The Sky’s Gone Dim” by Johann Johannson and I think it’s perfect.  It starts with sadness and despair, but by the end is hopeful and resolute.

Daniel you’re a star in the face of the sky

Elton John's Greatest Hits Volume II

Great album.

Daniel wrote:

Hey Minnesodad,

Hey I’ve been a long time reader and I consider you a pretty swell guy.   I’m not used to this sort of thing but I thought what the heck, I’ll try my luck.  So here, Sean, is my problem for you to take a crack at:

I recently broke up with my longtime long-distance girlfriend and since everything has been coming at me nonstop… I just made a major life change and decided to move into a new place to get away from surroundings that reminded me of past failures.  It sounded like a good idea at the time and it has been somewhat beneficial.  However it’s been a double edged sword since now I’m further away from my friends and family.  I was recently at an office holiday party and it just made me miss everyone.  Now I feel more alone than ever and my isolation only aids in me thinking about all of the things I moved away from.  I feel like I’ve been making all these moves to better myself but I feel worse off and seem further away from my goals than I was before.  I’ve been trying to work out, and be a better person inside but all I’ve been coming up with is rage.  I look for happiness, love, some motivation but all I get is a face full of sand.  I’ve got so much to do with my life and I feel like I’ve been destined for greatness… if I could just get some traction under my wheels.  Was getting away from it all a good idea?  I mean, I can’t move now because I’ve got a sweet room mate and a job here, but really… what would you do if you were a down-on-your luck schlub in this situation?   Anyway, keep on doing what you’re doing.  Merry Christmas. Dan

 

Dan,

You seem like you have your priorities in the wrong spot Dan.  You put the issues with the girlfriend first and also mentioned your friends before mentioning your goals, which tells me you’re dependent on your friends and love life for happiness.  Our friends don’t make us who we are, they should only bring out the good qualities within us. I don’t know how much time you’re spending with them, but are they helping you with your goals or are they just using your time?  Are they pushing your progress or are they just existing?  I’m not saying friends are bad in any way, but don’t put effort on spending SO much time with them.  Another aspect of this (and I don’t know how old you are) is that it seems like you don’t want to be an adult.  You want to be a kid of sorts.  When you were a kid, you said to your mom, “I want a sandwich,” and she knew exactly what you wanted.  Five minutes later, *BOOM* there was the PB&J with the crust cut off.  Now, as an adult, when you want that sandwich, you have to make it yourself and it seems like too much effort, so instead you order a pizza.  It seems to me like you’re avoiding something in your growing up.  You want to have an adult life, but without the adult efforts..and maybe your friends are contributing to that.

I’ve said this to many people before.  If you have a final goal, don’t just look at that..you MUST look at every other goal along the way.  For example, if you’re shooting for the moon, you need to build a rocket.  To build a rocket, you’ll need some plans.  To make plans, you’ll need information..and so on.  There are goals every step of the way, and if you “just want to be on the moon”, you’ll never make it if the other things aren’t done right.  Your “traction” is there, it seems like you’re forgetting about the gas pedal.

As far as the girlfriend thing goes, and the past failures, and you moving away to change things..it’s not realistic.  You can’t run from problems.  You’re dwelling on the past because there was no closure, I’ll guarantee it.  You HAVE to close the door on the past in order to move on.  Whatever those failures were, whatever happened with your ex, you can’t run from it because life doesn’t work that way.  You need to move on.  Let’s say you have a pile of garbage you’ve collected (that being failures and the ex).  Walking away from it doesn’t make it go away, it’s still there..you’re just not near it.  You need to work hard to pick it all up and get things straight.  You can’t just expect things to change for you without putting some serious effort.  Running away from problems is bad..but solitude is a good thing if you have a bunch of things to work on.   If you’re looking for another relationship Dan, you’ll need to fix yourself first.  You called yourself a schlub too.  Two things to remember here:  1) Luck is what you make it.  2) Pity doesn’t work.  Don’t expect people to feel sorry for you if you have some work to do.  Women today don’t do “pity sex”.  They won’t like you because they feel sorry for you..they want a guy who is confident, goal oriented, organized, and able to handle his business.  However, until you’ve fixed yourself, don’t even try to get into a relationship.  When the time is right, you’ll need to put in some serious effort to make one happen.

You also mentioned that you’re working out, but are you working out or are you hitting the gym maybe once a week in the hope of making some sort of progress?  It takes more effort than that.  Everything in life takes hard work and determination and from the words you’re using, it seems like you’re more likely just expecting things to happen for you.

You didn’t answer any of the questions I asked you in order to help me clarify what you’d initially emailed me, which says to me, you may have been looking for an instant fix.  Instant fixes don’t exist.  It’s easy to coast through life feeling sorry for yourself and expecting others to do the same, but if you TRULY want to meet that destiny you know is out there, you need to buckle down and make things happen step by step.  First, work on your basic disciplines (personal & financial organization, health, and personal presentation).  Next, set larger goals for yourself, but make those goals align with the destiny.  Keep practicing your basics every step of the way and keep modifying your goals to reach the next step.  It’s not easy, and there isn’t a magic step that makes everything you want happen all at once, but if you have a strong foundation, it’s easier to build up from there.

The title of this blog is from an Elton John song called Daniel.  If you want to be that “star in the face of the sky”, you’d better get working on things.

Good luck Daniel.

Sean