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Think About It... Defending our boundaries is more than a response in times of conflict - it's a lifestyle. Learn how to get in touch with your values, define and communicate boundaries of those values, and defend against boundary busters. ~ Skip
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Author Topic: What do you want in a relationship?  (Read 3316 times)
waterlily11
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« on: March 11, 2012, 12:08:34 PM »

I hope I can get to a point where when I attempt to answer that question, I don't get a whirlwind of flashbacks of my experiences with my Ex and state all the opposites of him.

I would truly like to have a stable steady relationship with no ups and downs. Just kindness and happiness between two people who are self aware, considerate, take accountability and LOVE far more than anything else.

...I don't want to doubt that I can find that, but sometimes I feel so corrupted and hurt that I worry if it will happen.
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 12:58:39 PM »

I sympathize. All I can think of lately is that I DO NOT WANT what I just got out of - so much so that it's affecting who I'm attracted to! I've been questioning everything about the way I interact with people I'm close to, and who I am attracted to, and why. I think it's going to be a while before I know what kind of a relationship I want, if any, or with whom I want it! What I do know is that I don't want to just revert to who I was before the relationship. I want to change, I want to learn something. I want to be better at this end, and I keep finding myself triggered in ways that allow me to self-examine and be more self-aware.

Just remember, you have such a good chance to get to know yourself now, a better chance than you did while you were in the relationship. Take advantage of it and be kind to yourself!
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Suzn
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 03:20:24 PM »

  You'll get there. I took a year off from dating to focus on myself and it did me a world of good. I needed that time to grow. For the longest time I didn't trust myself being able to recognize someone who was unhealthy. Being a year and a half out of my r/s I've found that the more time I spent working on myself the more I drew in positive, healthy people. Funny how things work out sometimes. I'm not dating as of yet, my options, where I live, are somewhat limited. But that's ok I'm not in any hurry. It'll happen when it's supposed to happen. I trust myself fully now and I know how to take care of me. I cherish my time alone now and don't see that I will ever give that up totally for someone else. Knowing this tells me when the opportunity arises I'm ready to give another r/s a chance without all the self doubt.   
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2012, 03:38:56 PM »

I sympathize. All I can think of lately is that I DO NOT WANT what I just got out of - so much so that it's affecting who I'm attracted to! I've been questioning everything about the way I interact with people I'm close to, and who I am attracted to, and why. I think it's going to be a while before I know what kind of a relationship I want, if any, or with whom I want it! What I do know is that I don't want to just revert to who I was before the relationship. I want to change, I want to learn something. I want to be better at this end, and I keep finding myself triggered in ways that allow me to self-examine and be more self-aware.

Well said...you could've written this for me. The only "complication" for me is that I'm 50 and am quite aware how difficult it is at this age, and only more difficult as the years march on, to find someone, IF I even want someone, which somedays I think I do and somedays I think I don't.

Bottom line is I have a foggy idea of what I want in a r/s, but there just isn't the room right now in life for it.

M
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JustSaying
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2012, 07:09:50 PM »

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I would truly like to have a stable steady relationship with no ups and downs.

Oh, there are gonna be ups and downs no matter what...stuff happens in life and we have stressful events and things will affect one partner different than the other. But that's where the skills learned here, and the willingness to use them, come into play.

Today was filled with ups and downs with my daughter, for example. External events...she had a major disappointment that wasn't anyone's fault, and she was sad, and other people were bummed by her sadness, but I used the validation techniques with her and she showed a lot of maturity in keeping everything in perspective and everyone recovered and moved on with the plans for the day.

Here's a quote from Jim Valvano, appropriate on the day that marks the start of March Madness: "To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."

Just imagine having someone who'll do these three things with you, and want to do them tomorrow with you, too. Now that's a relationship.
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waterlily11
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2012, 08:49:37 PM »

Good stuff, Justsayin! Thanks for the reminder.  It's how we deal with the ups and downs that makes a good relationship.

Right now I really need to work through the trauma of the experiences that I had with my ex. I know I'll get through it and find someone special someday. I wanna be thankful for life and share that with someone else who gets it.
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MyLife
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2012, 07:30:45 PM »

is answer to your post subject:
A partnership with mutual love and respect.
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CaptainM
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2012, 07:42:25 PM »

For me it boils down to three core ingredients:

Trust
Respect
Companionship

The first 2 are vital for the 3rd to work, and ultimately the 3rd, to me, is the whole purpose of a partnership in the first place.

Equally important for me is to understand the things that I won't accept in a relationship.
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marbleloser
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2012, 08:23:59 PM »

 When I'm ready,this is what I want.
1.Trust
2.Respect
3.Fun-I didn't have this in my marriage of 20 years.I did have this in the affair with exBPDgf.I think it's important for two people to be able to have fun together and schedule TIME to be with one another.I "LIKED" the exBPDgf.I want that in a RS.
4.Honesty-I don't mind a little "white lie" every once and a while,but don't lie about major things and it better not happen very often.
5.Similar values-No one that steals,cheats(yes,I'm guilty of that one I know),manipulates to get their way,is on drugs, or drinks in excess. I can handle a little triangulation.A partner should be able to talk about someone or something that's bothering them.Just don't use it as a way to manipulate an outcome.Yes,you can be the victim sometimes and have a pity party.I understand.
6.Attraction-There needs to be a little "somethin" there.Doesn't have to be a beauty queen,it can just be the way her eyes sparkle, her smile,or the way she tilts her head when she's a little confused. smiley
7. Sense of humor- I want someone I can laugh with,laugh at(without being defensive about it),and have them laugh at me.Life does NOT have to be serious all of the time.
8.Acceptance- I'm a pretty decent guy,but I'm not perfect and I don't expect her to be..Don't try to change me.Just take me as I am,love me and give me these few things,and I'll give you my heart and soul,be there when you need me,and hopefully make your life happier too.


Is that way too much detail? Am I over thinking this?  grin
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2012, 01:04:52 PM »

When I'm ready,this is what I want.
1.Trust
2.Respect
3.Fun-I didn't have this in my marriage of 20 years.I did have this in the affair with exBPDgf.I think it's important for two people to be able to have fun together and schedule TIME to be with one another.I "LIKED" the exBPDgf.I want that in a RS.
4.Honesty-I don't mind a little "white lie" every once and a while,but don't lie about major things and it better not happen very often.
5.Similar values-No one that steals,cheats(yes,I'm guilty of that one I know),manipulates to get their way,is on drugs, or drinks in excess. I can handle a little triangulation.A partner should be able to talk about someone or something that's bothering them.Just don't use it as a way to manipulate an outcome.Yes,you can be the victim sometimes and have a pity party.I understand.
6.Attraction-There needs to be a little "somethin" there.Doesn't have to be a beauty queen,it can just be the way her eyes sparkle, her smile,or the way she tilts her head when she's a little confused. smiley
7. Sense of humor- I want someone I can laugh with,laugh at(without being defensive about it),and have them laugh at me.Life does NOT have to be serious all of the time.
8.Acceptance- I'm a pretty decent guy,but I'm not perfect and I don't expect her to be..Don't try to change me.Just take me as I am,love me and give me these few things,and I'll give you my heart and soul,be there when you need me,and hopefully make your life happier too.


Is that way too much detail? Am I over thinking this?  grin

WHAT HE SAID! Exactly, number for number.  Doing the right thing

And I HEAR you on the "fun" thing--my marriage lacked that for over 22 years! And that's the number one thing that kept me in my exBPD r/s (and great sex falls in the "fun" category)!

M
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marbleloser
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 01:27:19 PM »

"and great sex falls in the "fun" category"
YES! It ain't shameful,it ain't dirty(ok it can be,but in a fun way smiley,it doesn't HAVE to be the same all the time. My marriage was the same! I got to enjoy it with the exBPDgf because we made it FUN and didn't take it so seriously.We laughed,a couple of times we cried,we were playful,and we ENJOYED every moment of it.Surely to HELL a healthy woman can be like this!lol
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 01:55:11 PM »

I want the guy that says this and truly means it:

"I want to know what makes you happy, sad or mad...I want to know you, your desires...I am very happy with who you are and I really like how we get along...and I will always be supportive of you...thats what relationships are about."

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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 01:58:23 PM »

I have difficulty with things like "respect" because of how thoroughly that word (and others) was misused by X. All of her rages included how no one respected her and how D disrespects her blah blah blah. It's been so misused it's lost all meaning to me.

If we asked X today, she'd swear on all that is holy that she showed us nothing but Trust and Respect. And yet...
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2012, 02:11:25 PM »

Ok, in lieu of the word "respect" how about someone whose actions and words make you feel consistently valued... wink
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2012, 02:43:29 PM »

Yeah, it's all cool. I just gotta get beyond words and platitudes be/c they've not matched reality so often in the past.
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MyLife
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2012, 04:44:40 PM »

Quote
I have difficulty with things like "respect" because of how thoroughly that word (and others) was misused by X

I agree.  My NPDmother preached endlessly to me about "respect" for her.  I really had an unhealthy experience of what "respect" meant.
When I originally replied to this thread, I didn't put the word "trust".  To me that is a given in any rs, but it was twisted so much in BPD rs that I didn't even mention it as something I "wanted".
In all honesty, I don't have a list of "wants" in a rs.  I just want the man with strong character traits, who knows mostly of himself, and who is open to love, learning, and growing.  The relationship part we work on together.
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2012, 06:57:18 PM »

I really had an unhealthy experience of what "respect" meant.

This is a good point.  There are a lot of people who demand respect and don't necessarily deserve it.  For example, there are those who demand respect being an elder, or those who demand it because they feel they are in a position of power (ie. politicians, upper management), and then those who demand it by making you fearful if they don't get it...like with parents.  My xuNPDbf's father was like that...he used to say things to him like "that was a love tap, you want a hate tap?", after smacking him on the head.  That is one example of a parent demanding respect in an unhealthy manner.

As far as r/s's go...well, my x used that on me, even after he told me how much that used to bother him.  So, he was "taught" that using fear is a way to get respect.  Very sad.
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marbleloser
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2012, 07:08:38 PM »

"I really had an unhealthy experience of what "respect" meant."
 I think we all do to a point.Respect has to be mutual in a RS,IMHO.
I'm going through a lack of respect at this very moment.My wife and kids are at my house.I was trying to help one of my sons with his spelling words.He was having a little difficulty.I was trying different methods to find a way he can relate to.
 So,my wife butts in and starts trying to help him.That's a lack of respect towards me.It tells me that she thinks so little of my ability to teach him that she can speak over me,cut in,and take over.She's trying to help him,but she just invalidated my ability to help him.(Is it wrong that I find it funny that she's getting frustrated now because her method isn't working?NO!lol Unfortunately,my son is now getting discouraged.I see the dysfunction in this as it's happening.)
 Now,if I had told her to leave it alone and let me finish helping him,a fight would have insued.Verbally anyway.But perhaps my son would have learned that he needs to stand up for himself? I backed down to keep the kids from getting upset.I'll tell her later,away from the kids.
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2012, 07:28:37 PM »

Since I don't want to hijack this thread, I'm going to suggest that the topic of respect be made into separate post.  I think it's a great topic to discuss.

It seems we do want respect as a quality of our relationships, but what I am interested in is not only respect for others or having others respect ourselves, but self-respect.  I'm going to start it under Taking Personal Inventory...please join me if it is something that interests you.

Thank you for starting this one Waterlily11...great topic!
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2012, 07:40:41 PM »

Since I don't want to hijack this thread, I'm going to suggest that the topic of respect be made into separate post.  I think it's a great topic to discuss.

It seems we do want respect as a quality of our relationships, but what I am interested in is not only respect for others or having others respect ourselves, but self-respect.  I'm going to start it under Taking Personal Inventory...please join me if it is something that interests you.

Thank you for starting this one Waterlily11...great topic!

You took the words right out of my mouth W2k and I was just doing the same here! Here is a Respect thread that W2k has opened to keep that part of the discussion going.
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ellil
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2012, 10:14:28 AM »

"and great sex falls in the "fun" category"
YES! It ain't shameful,it ain't dirty(ok it can be,but in a fun way smiley,it doesn't HAVE to be the same all the time. My marriage was the same! I got to enjoy it with the exBPDgf because we made it FUN and didn't take it so seriously.We laughed,a couple of times we cried,we were playful,and we ENJOYED every moment of it.Surely to HELL a healthy woman can be like this!lol

Well, I can safely vouch that a healthy woman can be like this, lol!

M
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Gowest
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« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2012, 02:30:37 AM »

I just want the man with strong character traits, who knows mostly of himself, and who is open to love, learning, and growing.  The relationship part we work on together.

Bolded part is what I'm struggling with. Self awareness is extremely uncommon. How do you even find someone who is self-aware, let alone someone of the opposite sex in roughly the same age range who is single and interested? Particularly if you're looking for a man as they are socialized to be oblivious to everything.

Ugh! Rant! Blah!
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MarshaDole
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« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2012, 02:38:41 AM »


The only "complication" for me is that I'm 50 and am quite aware how difficult it is at this age, and only more difficult as the years march on, to find someone, IF I even want someone, which somedays I think I do and somedays I think I don't. Bottom line is I have a foggy idea of what I want in a r/s, but there just isn't the room right now in life for it. M

This really resonates with me. I'm not at all sure I even want another relationship. I actually feel like I'm healing best all by myself. It's been nine months already. Wonder how much longer I'll feel like I'm better off alone?
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little doggy
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« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2012, 03:04:39 AM »

I guess I just wanted to offer some reassurance. I separated 5 years from a long term relationship and marriage to a BPD (married 20 years). I didnt know then about BPD but I do now and she played with a full deck of all BPD cards (and still does). Unexpectedly I found a new partner. Someone at work. Always got along well but never really close. Our work didnt really cross paths a lot and she had absolutely no idea what I had been through during my marriage. But after separation, she was someone I opened up to. She was appalled by my circumsatnces and then amazed at my resiliance. The last 4 years have been wonderful with her. Sure life is still very difficult especially as I try to protect and care for my 2 children. But I have learnt that a relationshiop with someone who doesnt have BPD can be wonderful. I have needed to talk to her a lot about my defences (why I close down in certain situations and why I vehemently refuse to be put on a pedestal) but my new partner has been patient and caring. I am lucky that I have found someone the share my new life with but even wiothout her I discovered there are people in our lives who didnt have BPD. None of them may life partners but they have added a lot of new joy to my life. Ive redicovered old school friends (who can finally admit they never liked my ex). I now see and talk to my elderly mother regularly (my x hated her so we rarely spoke) and she is a wonderful support for me. I have discovered extended family and new friends.
So, I guess my experience is that whether its a new love, new friends or redicovered family, life can be and is so much better without the poison of the BPD. Best wishes for your journey
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« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2012, 10:19:02 AM »

Quote
Particularly if you're looking for a man as they are socialized to be oblivious to everything.

 ?
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CaptainM
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« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2012, 04:33:03 PM »

I just want the man with strong character traits, who knows mostly of himself, and who is open to love, learning, and growing.  The relationship part we work on together.

Bolded part is what I'm struggling with. Self awareness is extremely uncommon. How do you even find someone who is self-aware, let alone someone of the opposite sex in roughly the same age range who is single and interested? Particularly if you're looking for a man as they are socialized to be oblivious to everything.

Ugh! Rant! Blah!

Ouch! We're not all that oblivious. ;p
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« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2012, 05:09:56 PM »

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We're not all that oblivious.

Everyone but you and me, Capt...we're the only ones who noticed that!  cool
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« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2012, 09:57:05 PM »

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We're not all that oblivious.

Everyone but you and me, Capt...we're the only ones who noticed that!  cool

Well, I noticed it but realized it was venting due to previous personal experience.  If I was a guy, I might take it a bit personally, however, it does deserve to be questioned.  Many women are oblivious, too.  Just saying... wink
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« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2012, 10:05:10 PM »

To be clear, it didn't bother me. Just thought I'd give her a good-natured poke in the ribs re stereotyping. One of the advantages of having survived time with pwBPD is learning when to personalize and not personalize stuff.
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« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2012, 10:13:30 PM »

To be clear, it didn't bother me. Just thought I'd give her a good-natured poke in the ribs re stereotyping. One of the advantages of having survived time with pwBPD is learning when to personalize and not personalize stuff.

I hear ya, and totally get it.  I can't imagine that it would bother you after all you went through, and agree a good poke in the ribs is warranted.  It's about being real and being able to communicate.  There are many men who are able to do this, and I am happy to say that I have experienced this first hand being on this site, and finally meeting someone in person who is able to express himself in a mature, thoughtful way.  Keep looking Gowest  Empathy
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« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2012, 10:08:59 AM »

This really resonates with me. I'm not at all sure I even want another relationship. I actually feel like I'm healing best all by myself. It's been nine months already. Wonder how much longer I'll feel like I'm better off alone?

I KNOW, I am healing best all by myself...undoubtedly.

But, when I think of hiking in the mountains, which is probably my most favorite thing on earth to do, I feel this pang in my heart on how much I'd love to share that with a man in love with me and I with him. This is about the ONLY time I really think, "Yeah, I want a relationship."

Other than that, in nearly every other aspect of my life, I can picture myself alone (and by alone, I mean not in a romantic r/s) and have no "pangs."

M
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« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2012, 09:18:37 PM »

I actually want a relationship.  I want a male intimate partner.
For me, sharing my life holds great meaning.  It isn't that I cant live alone, or don't like being alone - because I do.
I simply feel, on a very basic level my desire for a partner.  I will go out on a limb here (knowing others may not agree with my wording), and go as far to say that it feels more complete to me.  There are some things from a man (and I am not referring to sex) that feel extremely complimentary to my being.  It is not a source of neediness or desperation, it is a basic, simple gut feeling.
Since my BPD rs, I now carefully guard these feelings - society has become very indifferent.  But I don't believe I am the only one "out there" who feels this way, and I don't believe of letting go of who I am.
Just my thoughts.
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« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2012, 09:27:27 PM »

LOL, MyLife, your wording could trigger a flurry of responses...I think we'd never turn away someone loving us who complements us, me included, and if the really right person came along I would not choose to be alone instead...I think we just all have different ways of phrasing things.

I guess I'm ok either way, single or in a couple (of course with the right person) but when it comes to hiking, sure would love the "right person" on my arm.

M
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« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2012, 09:43:47 PM »

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LOL, MyLife, your wording could trigger a flurry of responses

yea I know...  and it would be for that reason alone I fear putting my thoughts out there...
So I chose to not sit in fear.  It is simply my thoughts, no one else owns them.

Quote
but when it comes to hiking, sure would love the "right person" on my arm.

I hear you.  I love doing the same - love being outdoors.  I really would enjoy a partner to camp and canoe with.  And not just "any" ole partner...  smiley

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« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2012, 09:51:00 PM »

yea I know...  and it would be for that reason alone I fear putting my thoughts out there...
So I chose to not sit in fear.  It is simply my thoughts, no one else owns them.

I hear you.  I love doing the same - love being outdoors.  I really would enjoy a partner to camp and canoe with.  And not just "any" ole partner...  smiley



I apologize for my poor attempt at humor...I don't think I've ever seen negative flurries here smiley  I know there's concern in the "psychology" world with words like "complete," but you feel what you feel and your heart wants what it wants, and we're hard wired to be in relationships, making it all the more difficult.

I hate that we've had BPD's come in our life, whether we invited them by our weaknesses or were hoodwinked by their charms and wiles. But if you let it, it really can result in a much better "us." I would have NEVER read a self-help book prior to my r/s with the BPD, but I'm reading my first one on low self-esteem and wow, what an eye opener...it can only do me good.

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« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2012, 09:48:00 AM »

Quote
I apologize for my poor attempt at humor...I don't think I've ever seen negative flurries here smiley  I know there's concern in the "psychology" world with words like "complete,
oh, I didn't take offense, thank you though.  The thing is we don't live in a world of "psychology", you know what I mean?

Quote
I will go out on a limb here (knowing others may not agree with my wording), and go as far to say that it feels more complete to me.
how about this:
it feels complimentary to my individual Self.   smiley

Anyway, I know what I mean, how I feel - I don't deny my basic need to love and be loved.  It feels good to be feeling more me-learning to love myself, and also be more aware of others and things around me.   smiley
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..."In order to stop this hurting I must reach a point of contentment within myself.  And that will take some reaching."
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« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2012, 12:33:59 PM »

That's another side effect of a BPD r/s: we walk around like a talking dsm 4 or cbt manual!

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« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2012, 03:17:28 PM »

I just want the man with strong character traits, who knows mostly of himself, and who is open to love, learning, and growing.  The relationship part we work on together.

Bolded part is what I'm struggling with. Self awareness is extremely uncommon. How do you even find someone who is self-aware, let alone someone of the opposite sex in roughly the same age range who is single and interested? Particularly if you're looking for a man as they are socialized to be oblivious to everything.

Ugh! Rant! Blah!

Ouch! We're not all that oblivious. ;p

That's why I said "socialized to be oblivious" instead of just "oblivious". wink Women are socialized to be sensitive and pick up on other people's feelings, men are... not. Very not. I know there are sensitive men out there because I've heard their music and read their books, but in the subgroup of Men I Actually Know, they are a rare breed. I don't know where to find more of them.
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