- January 22, 2020 at 12:14 pm #873225VathenaGuest
Hi Robert! I’m sorry to hear that your parents have been ill, and hope the situation is improving. I think it’s great that you have opened up the possibility of dating women in their 40s, and are lining up an appointment with a therapist. That could really help you delve into your motivations and communication style.
My take on the FOMO is related to Kate’s musings about whether you actually want a relationship (marriage, maybe kids?) at all. You have spent most of your adult life actively avoiding intimate relationships – romantic or platonic. It seems to me that your FOMO and list-checking is just another way for you to avoid intimacy, vulnerability, and commitment. That could be a great subject to explore in therapy, since you’re unhappy about the situation. Good luck with everything!January 22, 2020 at 12:21 pm #873226VathenaGuest
Also, I want to stress again that the idea you need to have tons of common interests/hobbies with a significant other is bunk. You’ve dismissed women out of hand if they don’t have an abundant passion for holiday stuff – there are probably some lovely women in your past who have no idea why you suddenly lost interest in them. It would be like someone ghosting you because you’re not into spending 15 hours a week practicing the trapeze. You need shared values and chemistry. That’s it. It DOES NOT MATTER if your partner likes to play soccer, read, and cook and you prefer parades and knitting or whatever.January 22, 2020 at 4:34 pm #873245AngeGuest
Heyyy Robert’s back! And there’s been some positives which is great. I agree with the others that therapy needs to happen sooner rather than later. We can help with the superficial stuff like photos and profiles but if you’re striking out in person that needs someone on the ground to figure out where you might be going wrong.
(also Mr Regina? As in Queen? My lord 🙄)January 22, 2020 at 5:01 pm #873250
No, as in Regina George. She felt she was being bullied.January 22, 2020 at 5:20 pm #873256VathenaGuest
We all know that Kate is the real Mr. Regina around here. 😉January 22, 2020 at 5:22 pm #873257
I’m a mean girl?January 22, 2020 at 10:08 pm #873274MaltaKanoGuest
Kate, I’m guessing she means more in an “HBIC” sense 🙂
On FOMO: I actually understand where you’re coming from, Robert. If you’ve been single a long time, you’ve had lots and lots of time to imagine a perfect life with a perfect partner. I totally get how once you start zeroing in on one real, human person, you grieve the loss of those imaginary traits your imaginary partner had.
That feeling doesn’t always go away, even if you do find a great match. I love my boyfriend very much, but the closer we get to marriage, the more I think about all the alternatives I’m missing. As an easy example: I’ve always wanted a boyfriend who likes going to the theater with me. The one time I dragged my actual boyfriend to a play, he fell asleep. So that’s a loss. I don’t get to live a life where my husband and I enjoy the theater together. That’s sad! But there’s space in my heart for that loss AND gratitude for all the new, unexpected joys my boyfriend brings to my life. He loves cooking me dinner, for example, which is not a dynamic I’d ever thought to hope for in a relationship.
At the end of the day, you can’t find one person to fill all the empty places inside you. You have to fill them up yourself. A partner in life isn’t so much an extension of yourself as this total stranger you share space with who will continue to surprise, delight, annoy, and confound you. Kate’s right that I’m not sure you actually want that, or you do but don’t really understand what it’s going to FEEL like. Attaching your life to another’s isn’t always intuitive. Hence why therapy will be great.
As always, you’re the best, Robert. Sending warm wishes for your parents’ health. Good luck with therapy!January 23, 2020 at 6:18 am #873289RKRGuest
So glad to hear some news from you again Robert! I think the FOMO can be largely about perspective… are you going to make an active conscious decision to concentrate on the things you like in a person / relationship / situation, or drift into finding the negatives against a checklist? An example – say you go out to dinner at a nice restaurant but there are a few tiny little errors – they forget to bring your bread with the soup until you remind them, the hand dryer in the restroom is broken, and desserts are a little more expensive than you would usually expect. If you only told me about those things, I would imagine you had a terrible time overall, and that going somewhere else would obviously have been much better – you really missed out and wasted your evening on an inferior experience! However, also imagine that every morsel of food was delicious, the views from your window table were spectacular, and that coincidentally they were playing your favourite music in the background all evening – that sounds like an amazing experience! BOTH sets of things could be completely true, but your active, conscious, deliberate decision on which of these things to focus on would make the difference between feelings of discontent and contentment. As an experiment, the next time you read a profile that catches your eye / go to meet someone, only allow yourself to concentrate on the positives – make an active deliberate decision to dwell upon those things. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have found the right person – but you will have given them the fair chance that they deserve! Obviously I don’t mean forcing yourself to concentrate on her pretty eyes if she turns up to a date drunk and uses abusive language towards you or anything like that, but for a regular, ordinary, pleasant person, just try seeing how dwelling solely upon the positives, rather than worrying about things like not being able to father children with her, makes you feel in terms of lessening the FOMO.
I’m pleased to hear that your parents are getting better and that you are now going ahead with making an appointment for therapy – my sincere best wishes for that and for finding your path towards a positive future, and please keep us updated!January 23, 2020 at 10:59 am #873315PeggyGuest
Excellent advice from RKR and ideas that can work in all aspects of life-with friends,our job etc. Positivity and gratitude can really give us a better and ultimately more balanced perspective-really we have more good or neutral experiences daily than bad things if we would only realize that. Great stuff for you, Robert, to try,as again you get in “your head” too much,think too much instead of “being in the moment” on dates.January 23, 2020 at 11:12 am #873318VathenaGuest
I just had to google “HBIC”. I’m old. and yes, that’s what I meant! Lol. (I’ll be Karen…)
@MaltaKano, great points all around. I hope that Robert does not let the perfect become the enemy of the good, in his dating life.January 23, 2020 at 11:18 am #873320
Ok, I like that!January 23, 2020 at 1:06 pm #873327LisforLeslieGuest
There is no better moment-killer than “This is a great and meaningful moment huh?”