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Just gonna make a short question and share some opinions on this topic. I think many of us will relate.

I am a big proponent of having a good healthy, independant life BEFORE you look for a romantic, solid, relationship. I also beleive that if you need someone to make you whole, you allways be struggling with stability. Happiness, satisfaction with yourself and your life, has much to do with your own perception on whether you have everything you deserve, and whether you accept it as being good. Friends, meaningful work or employment of yourself in the world, whether it be for monitary gain, or support of others, are things we all need individually before we seek to bring some else into our life. Hopefully those things can be shared, and we share other dreams too.

How much, if at all, should we look for someone to help us in the dreams we have? Would that not mean if we looked for someone who would support us in those dreams and aspirations we were setting ourselve up for co-dependancy? If we thought we would be stronger when someone was with us, just because we were not alone anymore, because they loved us, would we be, as I suspect, tragically dependant and needy?

Or are we , by nature, dependant and needy, to be loved? How many people her have experienced the high of being in love? You have reached a place you needed to be, you have a reason to move ahead, be a better person, and you then feel able, and the search is over?

I have a couple opinions on this. They vary from believing in time with the right support from Gods wisdom, real people, and real life circumstances that force independance, we will become stronger and more effectual in life, reguardless if we have someone in it to help......to the opinion that we all need someone that loves us, just because they do, just the way we are, warts and inperfections and all, and are willing to share the journey where we help each other grow and prosper.

I guess both of those choices can be realized without a romantic relationship, and just good freinds who love us, but that is where the question comes in. Do we really need them for the right reasons?

Once we are romantically involved, the chemistry changes, and we will become attached, and therefore to our higher aspirations, even in relationships. We want to make this the best relationship ever, now that we are in one. In my case, it was also because I didn't run away, and I had children. A Man, a father, did not run away from his wife and kids.

So anyway, I feel that there is so much before me, and I really am looking forward to what I have, but yet am still reeling from loss, and licking my wounds, so to speak. Inspiration is coming slower than I want it to, and I am not satisfied with myself. That is probably stemmed from a long history emotionally, and that too will take time to get straight. In the most positive end, I will be satisfied with who I am and be able to be that happy person without having anybody close to prove it. I of course want to beleive that I can share what is a good life with someone. I guess it will happen when I realize it.

But what is it. that makes us feel incomplete, without a romantic relationship? What do we even look for?


Me 56 Former BS
Widowed 5-17-09 --married 25 years.
4 children
DS-35 previous marriage--18-22 DGrandSons 6 and 4
Me former BS
DD-29 with DGDs 5 and 1yr
DSs 26 and 23
Teilhard de Chardin..We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. ...Sounds about right to me.
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Originally Posted By: ConstantProcess
Just gonna make a short question and share some opinions on this topic. I think many of us will relate.

Once we are romantically involved, the chemistry changes, and we will become attached, and therefore to our higher aspirations, even in relationships. We want to make this the best relationship ever, now that we are in one. In my case, it was also because I didn't run away, and I had children. A Man, a father, did not run away from his wife and kids.

So anyway, I feel that there is so much before me, and I really am looking forward to what I have, but yet am still reeling from loss, and licking my wounds, so to speak. Inspiration is coming slower than I want it to, and I am not satisfied with myself. That is probably stemmed from a long history emotionally, and that too will take time to get straight. In the most positive end, I will be satisfied with who I am and be able to be that happy person without having anybody close to prove it. I of course want to beleive that I can share what is a good life with someone. I guess it will happen when I realize it.

But what is it. that makes us feel incomplete, without a romantic relationship? What do we even look for?



I've actually thought about this a lot. Remember the movie line, 'you make me want to be a better man.'?

Some people do inspire us to be better, do more, be more.

My dh, like me, had a tumultuous first marriage. He said his mom once told him, 'She (first wife) does not bring out the best in you.'

That is how I feel about my first husband. We weren't well matched and most of that is because we had different life goals, different set of core values. When you are so mismatched, every. little. thing. becomes diffucult.

So yes, I do believe we are meant to have a romantic relationship. It isn't required and I've known a few people who chose to remain single (I mean really single...as in living a single life) either to commit more of themselves to God's service or in order to break a cycle of dysfunction of some sort. These single people were not unhappy. They focused their energy elsewhere...but that was possible because they had made a conscious decision to remain single.

And while we are at it....I believe we need a reasonable degree of personal emotional health to sustain and grow a relationship....but sometimes it helps to have someone assist you in that journey.

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Originally Posted By: SmilingWoman
..And while we are at it....I believe we need a reasonable degree of personal emotional health to sustain and grow a relationship....but sometimes it helps to have someone assist you in that journey.
Yes but I would say it allways helps to have someone assist, and that brings us back to where we are at the time, and what is real help.

Like you said, being mismatched really sucks. You can even know and have the same aspirations as someone else, and have different plans on achieving them, with different prioritys with regaurds on the plans order.. yeah. it can be tricky, even when there is a lot of shared sentiment.

When I came here and read how MB works, Dr Hs articles, and the program principles behind it, I thought, "Thats the way a marrige is supposed to be, and what I had/wanted a long time ago", but most of all, I could see why people would stay in love if they practiced it.

The big ones, honesty, enthusiasm, time together, and protection and planning really stuck out. Mostly because when my marriages were healthy, those things were in place almost naturally it seemed. It was only when they were not honored, that things got out of hand till they crumbled.

I still have to think about what went wrong both times. I know I am not perfect, and I know I made mistakes, but I sure did try hard to be the best husband that ever existed, and I did my best to love right.

So here I am at MB, learning from these fine people here, what a priority a marriage relationship must have to stay in love, and what might have went wrong in the past. It seems there was just too much against us, and/or we were not able to negotiate the twists and turns, or rise above the circumsatnces we ended up in, some of them of our own making also.

I am getting to know myself, and in a way dealing with at this time I feel is one of those "dysfuntions" you spoke of, because I never want to need someone agian like I did my wife to give me meaning and purpose.

Lets pray I never feel strong enough again to have someone lean on me, and I point them to God instead, to fufill thier expectations.

But maybe thats whats supposed to happen anyways. Don't know, the jury will have to be out on that one for awhile, but I am in no hurry.

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I don't see it as an either/or situation. It's not like if we're married, we're automatically co-dependent. Nor does it mean if we're not with someone we're not whole. We are whole human beings who might be enriched with the right person in our life. We all bring certain attributes to the table that differ and together we are blessed...but with the wrong person it's worse than anything!
I don't think we should feel we "have to have someone" but if we do desire to have someone in our lives, there's nothing wrong with that. I agree that we should be healthy inside before getting together with someone and having a resulting unhealthy relationship.


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Originally Posted By: kaycstamper
.. I agree that we should be healthy inside before getting together with someone and having a resulting unhealthy relationship.


See Kay, I have not allways been convinced i was ready for a seriuos relationship, but others said i was to seriuos and needed to lighten up. Also being alone was hard.

But that was long ago, and I found myself in them anyway, and mostly trusting that things would work out, even in the most desparate circumstances. It, my relationships, jobs/career, became another way for me to do something that should give me peace. Sometimes just trusting others out of frustrations I felt were my own problems, and trying to lighten up and do the things that were going to make me happy.

I would self-examine and think until I was driving myself crazy, and I needed to stop that, and lighten up, in a healthy way. I didn't have anything to prove, but to me I did. There was where I did not have the peace needed consistently.

A big trigger emotionally is whatever effects I have in my personal relationships. Example---
I had a fight with my 19 year old yesterday, I have been depressed since then. Just now he came up and hugged and kissed me on the head, a weight was lifted. This happens with anyone I care about, and what the atmosphere is, determines my mood.

Too sensitive, and not able to remove myself from the situation emotionally has been a problem with me for a long time. So I had a plan long ago to take care of all the details important in my life before I would tackle something as seriuos as marrige and children. I just felt alone in it, no support in that, no emotional support I guess. Hand-wringing wondering from my sweet Mom, and my Dads reflection of his own cold and prideful life which came out as rejection. I understood them, and in a way, really wanted to make them happy though, more emotional crap on the plate I guess.

So my parents anxiety was handed down as a legacy, thats not new to people, but I still had to deal with it.

So my big plan was to satisfy my ambition to have a career and feel connected to the world in a healthy balanced pull-your-own weight way. Study behavioral science, see a therapist to be a sounding board for myself, and make myself strong with that help. It was a tall order for me coming from where I was as a young man of 17, and after my first marriage failure 18-22, and now after my wifes death. In other words, I'm still not there.

When I was younger, there was time, now there is not a possibility that I can achieve what I am guessing is my own version of success. The responsible stable and mature person that provides for his family not only financially, but is someone children can learn from, and lean on. Yes I have muddled through, but I still worry about the example and legacy left to my kids emotionally, and feel so alone in that. It is not a stranger to me, but in the past, someone who cared about me and understood in this process has been very comforting, and stabilizing.

The scary thing is I guess just the normal understanding that if I don't think I am good enough, that anyone who cares about me must not be ok emotionally either. Its talked about a lot and it carries weight, but what good are freinds if they don't help pick you up and are only there when you are OK? I am constantly faced with the prospect that any human being should not themselves have to bear all the burdens of thier own internal insecurities and at the same time bear someone elses. But there is the rub, why do we seek freindship, support, and understanding from others? I guess to somewhat answer my own question with a statement.
--Romantic involvment, which has the outward appearance and inner feelings of acceptance is not what we need first, outward acceptance of ourselves is a nessesary predecessor before that is looked for.

So now I am seeking that in that order. No excuses


Me 56 Former BS
Widowed 5-17-09 --married 25 years.
4 children
DS-35 previous marriage--18-22 DGrandSons 6 and 4
Me former BS
DD-29 with DGDs 5 and 1yr
DSs 26 and 23
Teilhard de Chardin..We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. ...Sounds about right to me.
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We must learn to love and accept ourselves before we can expect anyone else to. We must first start with ourselves and then and only then are we ready to enter a relationship with any degree of success.


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Originally Posted By: kaycstamper
We must learn to love and accept ourselves before we can expect anyone else to. We must first start with ourselves and then and only then are we ready to enter a relationship with any degree of success.


With you on that Kay, as a matter of fact though, that was one of the arguements that got me into trouble. I wish I had stayed the course.

" Oh you are too seriuos and a worry wart, if you wait till everything is perfect, it will be too late" , or I am sure we have all heard this one, "You don't care about being ready, your just selfish and don't trust anyone". The most deadly of the challanges was. "You can't handle being in a relationship with a woman as an intellectual equal, with their own mind and as part of a couple who are both equally important." The reason this was so deadly, was because of how much it offended me. That was exactly what I wanted in a relationship. Instead of laughing that statement off, I reacted. Whether she intended it to work that way or not doesn't matter, my perception was the problem as it effected my emotions and reaction. The real big kicker is, I wanted a women who was strong enought to challange me intellectually and help me see life differently from her perspective, and humble my own also if I needed my butt kicked. I thought I had found that, and she would be good for me. But that too was unbalanced, because the challanges were too great, emotionally between us. She was rebeluios and drank to much, and I tried to endure the many times she went over the top with drinking and behavior. Then I saw the women who talked a lot about God, and knew the word, and repented over and over saying "if we/she could only...", and I gave it more time.

I wanted the search to be over and both of us to build each other up as we appreciated the gift we had in each other. She seemed to want the same, but we didn't accept each other the way we were, and tryed to fix each other, and of course, didn't trust each other either.

So then, challanged to work together with someone was supposed to have my back, and understood how seriuos I was about just about freakin everything, lol. I jumped in, where angels fear to tread. I Know, I Know and did i tell ya...I Know. Hindsight is 20/20. I see where fear and pride tripped me up. "To thine own self be true"..and niether of us were ready, in either marriage. It seems, we all picked poorly for the wrong reasons, even with good intentions.

But this is all rhetoric, and probably has happened to many others in other ways. I guess from what your sayin Kay is that there are some things we all need a handle on whithin ourselves, and for ourselves before we are happy to begin with. I get that I really do. Also when you are not happy with you don't look for someone to make you feel better about yourself. Get that too and agree.

At this age I am not looking for someone to help me through the challanges of life that really to me of the most importance are the raising and support of children. I also dont have a lavish career goal I am working for, or any need of an alliance for any common goal.

If that changes, and I look for someone to share some common goal, would it be better to not seek anyone at all for emotional support in a personal intimate relationship? I am not going to have more kids, had the "snip, snip" done right after last son in 91, so that out anyway and I am to old. Heck, allways felt adopting was a good path to fatherhood anyway, maybe better in some ways.

If I run into someone in a joint cause we both feel passionate about naturally, well I don't rule out a relationship then either.

But what the question is of course, isn't it time at 53 when you are able to handle your own weaknesses and human frailty without depending on someone to help you? If part of being married was to look back throught the years and see how someone stuck though all the challanges and appreciate thier support and Gods grace, hasn't that time passed at 53 , widowed, and no more big plans? When we are young we look for certain character traits in our mates because we know we must count on them if tough times occur, but now I am thinking it is time to be strong for others, and not push the challanges for myself anymore, or ask for any support, from anyone. Unless it is from an objective friend, with no intimate ties, or interests.

Is that more responsible? Or unrealistic?


Me 56 Former BS
Widowed 5-17-09 --married 25 years.
4 children
DS-35 previous marriage--18-22 DGrandSons 6 and 4
Me former BS
DD-29 with DGDs 5 and 1yr
DSs 26 and 23
Teilhard de Chardin..We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. ...Sounds about right to me.
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Originally Posted By: ConstantProcess
but now I am thinking it is time to be strong for others, and not push the challanges for myself anymore, or ask for any support, from anyone. Unless it is from an objective friend, with no intimate ties, or interests.

Is that more responsible? Or unrealistic?


The question is not whether it is more responsible or unrealistic, but rather WHY you would take that position.

Sure giving is better than receiving....saw a quote the other day that I LOVE...'To receive without means to give corrodes the soul.' Something like that. The flip side of that is that if we do not allow people to GIVE to us we are involved in that corroding of their soul.

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I think the thought that 'you have to be happy with yourself, before you can be happy with yourself' is often taken too far. We need to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and have confidence in ourselves, but I don't think it means that we have to obtain all our goals first, or that we have to work at those goals all by ourselves.

I think it just means that we cannot load at a romantic relationship as a means to achieve one of our goals. If you're feeling lonely, you shouldn't look to a relationship to cure your lonliness. You (and by you I mean me) need to establish a good circle of friends. It doesn't I have to have good friends before I can be in a relationship, it just means that if I do get in a relationship, I can't let my goal of making friendships slide away just because i'm not lonely. That would put too much pressure on whoever I'm dating, would probably be a turn off, and dependent on her. I wouldn't want to stay in the relationship for fear of being alone, nor would I want to be right back where I started from.

That said though, can a SO help and encourage you in gaining reliable friends. Absolutely.

It really comes down to being honest with yourself. What is I need, what is I want, and am I using a relationship as some sort of short cut to get there. That's the way I'm looking at it anyway.


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Well put.


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Thank you all for your answers. I am going to think on them during Xmas and post reponses after.

Wishing all my MB buddies a very merry Xmas santa001 santa002 santa001


Me 56 Former BS
Widowed 5-17-09 --married 25 years.
4 children
DS-35 previous marriage--18-22 DGrandSons 6 and 4
Me former BS
DD-29 with DGDs 5 and 1yr
DSs 26 and 23
Teilhard de Chardin..We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. ...Sounds about right to me.

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