Is almost anyone capable of having a romantic relationship?

So this question came up in another thread I made, with many insisting there are a lot of people out there who are not attractive or rich enough to find a girlfriend or boyfriend. My position was almost anyone can find someone, they might have to take a shower and work on their abrasive personality but thats the price to play. And for those totally incapable of a relationship it is probably an issue bordering on mental illness in which case they probably cannot hold a job either or care for themselves.

And I’m not saying everyone needs to be in a relationship or have one, just that for those that want to it is a possibility.

I’ve known a whole lot of guys in real life that were not financially successful or male models, they were basement dwellers and pot heads and slackers etc. They would always moan about how they couldn’t even manage a hookup, date, or land a girlfriend. But when pressed it always came out that they had ridiculous standards or requirements, a part time burger flipper that smoked pot every night and listened to krautrock albums from the 70s wanted a 6 foot blonde supermodel/trophy wife airhead and if he couldn’t land one well he just wasn’t going to try at all. I’d say hey there is this chick that also smokes pot and likes obscure rock music, shes short and a little chubby and hispanic and…nah no interest but days later once again he is crying about his lack of luck in love.:smack:

Basically they were all holding on to their teenage fantasies and refused to budge even an inch, if their dream girl came along but she had flabby arms well deal breaker dump her!

You can see all sorts of people – and many you might think are extremely unattractive – in relationships and married. The key is thinking of the other person as a human being and getting to know them.

If you go with superficial elements, not only are you going to find it hard to meet someone right, but even if you do find someone, you’ll probably end up being disappointed.

I agree with you. If someone is realistic about what they can attract, of course they can find A relationship. Even people with severe mental illnesses often can find romantic relationships…it’s just that it’s with other mentally ill people. Seriously, when I used to work on an inpatient mental health unit, it was very common that patients would end up hooking up with each other.

As another example, I remember a few years ago I read posts from a middle aged guy on here complaining about how he couldn’t find any women to date. It then turned out that he was actually holding out for women who had never had any kids. Saying you can’t meet ANY women is different than saying that you have a requirement that rules out a large portion of your target audience (since a lot of middle aged women have had kids) and that you’re having trouble meeting people who fit what you want.

Bottom line, I don’t care if you’re the ugliest, smelliest, poorest, most boring person in the world. I can find SOMEONE out there who will date you. It just may not be the person you WANTED to date. Remember that there are rapists and serial killers in prison who manage to get women on the outside to write them adoring letters. The women probably have serious flaws and problems if they think guys like that are good catches, but it does reinforce my view that someone out there will be interested in you no matter what you have to offer.
In some cases that may not be such a bad thing. I do think that some people are missing out on good opportunities because they’re too focused on their imaginary ideal. There are a lot of people out there who you might enjoy being with if you gave them a chance.

This might be an issue for more people than you might imagine, but not in the way you’ve alluded to. For example, some people with a type of autism spectrum disorder, like say a high-functioning Asperger sufferer, may find it difficult to love in the same way as most other people - perhaps not at all. However I doubt many of them wish to live out their lives as a hermit. There are also a lot more functional psychopaths out there than you might think. They’ll never kill anyone, but they can’t feel certain emotions such as empathy. They can emulate them, but that isn’t likely to cut it in a long term relationship.

I very much agree with this. I would add that beauty is manifested in many ways other than physical appearance. I’ve known women who were just average or below average in appearance, but were still elegant and even enchanting. It’s an old stereotype but still true to some extent - people that society considers attractive simply don’t have to work as hard to get attention and companionship. So while I’m sure there are many attractive people who are also interesting and engaging, in my fairly limited experience, the odds of that tend not to be very high.

all I know is that I wouldn’t want to be with someone who would settle for me.

There is a lid for every pot, goes an old saying. There were news items in the past about those obese people who planted themselves on the couch, never got off it to go to the bathroom, and thus became part of the couch! And THEY had a boyfriend or a girlfriend who brought them food and such…so if THEY could get a romantic partner (though just maybe the romance had faded by then)…The fat ladies, the bearded ladies, the ‘freaks’ in the circuses of long ago had no problem getting married, often multiple times, and having kids, too. As for everyday hygiene-challenged, low IQ, angry, narcissic, cheating, drunken, drugged up folks, the ones I’ve known all had spouses or SOs. I’ve known two middle aged widowers, retired professional men, who remarried. Both of them to women who were, to put it bluntly, ‘retarded’. Nice ladies, with the minds of 10 year olds.

I’ve mentioned before our family friend who went back to live on his father’s farm. With his elderly father. The two of them just sit around and go to doctors appointments, neither has a job. Now, this family friend could have married, but HE would have had to lower his standards. He doesn’t want an ordinary woman, a divorcee with a kid, another farm girl who could take over and whip him and his father into some kind of shape. No, he’s still holding out for a hot young chick half his age. That’s what he’s waiting for, a young blonde in a convertible to take care of him and dad. Good luck with that.

I never really thought about dating a hispanic girl, don’t really know why, but then one came along that I liked a lot. She was a little chubby (in the right places), had lost a lot of weight since her last driver’s license photo, which I kidded her about, wore glasses, had crooked teeth (which I thought were cute), nothing too glamorous but really nice, seemed to like me a ton, always smiling and qualifying herself to me, … but then she called and canceled the first date the night before. She told me she agreed to the date only because she’s bad at saying no, and she was getting back together with her old boyfriend. Yikes, I made her run into the arms of another man. I think many hispanic girls are more attractive than the stereotypical blond, but they can serve up a dose of rejection just as well.

Well, yes, us circus freaks *can *find someone, if we look long enough, But 99% of mates are ruled out, and I for one am too old and tired and disinterested to hunt around for Mr. 1%.

Here’s the thing though. Sure, virtually everyone is capable of meeting someone and establishing a relationship with that person, but I more have to ask…why? If one sets his standards low enough, it’s actually quite easy to hook up with someone. Sure, you’ll get laid, but you’ll probably be miserable in just about every other way. I do think it’s sort of silly to set obnoxious standards of physical beauty, wealth or whatever, and someone who has a dead-end job, does nothing to care for his own appearance has no business focusing on those aspects in another when he doesn’t do anything about them for himself.

But on the other end, it’s just as ridiculous to see people on the other side, who seem to be content to try things out with just about anyone else. It’s like they’re so afraid to be alone that they’ll lower their standards as low as they need to be to ensure they don’t have to spend more than a few days out of a relationship. And I think doing that is every bit as bad as having ridiculously high standards.

Everyone who is actually interested in a relationship needs to be honest with themselves about what they’re really looking for, and that’s where those extremes fail. They’re not being honest with themselves about what they want in a partner. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to be physically attracted to someone you’re dating, one just has to be realistic that she doesn’t have to be a 10 to be attractive and, unless you’re very close to that yourself, chances are you may be attracted to her but her not to you. And if you DO insist on being very restrictive in some ways, one must realize it lowers one’s chances of meeting people that fit it. So, you either deal with meeting fewer people, or you reconsider what you can relax a bit to have more opportunities; straight up complaining about it is awful.

And all of that said, I do have fairly high standards myself in a number of ways, but it’s still not all that difficult meeting people, because I don’t expect someone to strictly meet them right off the bat. After meeting them and getting to know them a bit, sometimes I’ve realized I may not so well judge what I really want in certain ways or that I can be more relaxed on some aspects if they very strongly fit others. Really, when it gets down to it, the only standard that matters is whether or not I’d be happy with that person. And I’d rather not have a relationship at all than have one with someone that doesn’t make me happy. But really, if you can’t be happy alone with yourself, how can you really enter a healthy relationship with someone else?

I’m not.

I’m female, and I have an older brother who may have some form of mental health problem, otherwise I don’t know what’s wrong with him. He spent my childhood screaming abuse at me, wishing I’d never been born, that I was dead, or that I would die.
My father was a WWII veteran and couldn’t stand children. He tolerated his son as they shared a love of football, but me? I was an expensive nuisance, and he never let me forget it.
My mother was one of those strange women who constantly complained of being ill, or something and spent her time doing her dying swan routine. To amuse herself she would tell me I was quite the disgusting child and I’d never get married, why would any man want to be with a creature like me?

I grew up terrified of men.

I got over the terror, but still remain dubious about the whole long term relationship thing.

I don’t think my background is nearly as extreme as the one you describe, but I’ve had no real romantic experience to speak of.

Blaster Master makes a good point. If you simply must be with someone, as though it’s some item on a checklist for your life, you do what it takes to find them. But I’ve never really seen it like that. The point of a relationship, to me anyway, is to be with someone who makes your life better than it is without them; someone who makes you happy in a way you can’t do for yourself (and for whom you provide the same in return). To find that person, realize you’ve found her, and sense how she feels about you are skills that I don’t think everybody has.

You’re capable. It’s just that you have to overcome a lot of baggage.

I feel stupid because I don’t really understand the question posed by the OP.

You can’t make somebody attracted to what they’re repulsed by. If a fat, unattractive basement dweller can’t get it up for anybody besides a hot, outgoing, supermodel-thin girl without mental health issues, then it’s pretty safe to say he’s incapable of getting into a relationship.

That sounds like a terrible way to grow up. I hope you realize that there was nothing about you that could have justified them treating you that way. They are the ones who had the problem, not you.
I’m sure that you are capable of having a relationship and finding a decent person to love you if that’s something you want out of life.

I’m not sure if you meant that humorously or not – it sounds like a quip – Groucho Marx said something similar – but, yeah, there is some truth in this, for a lot of us.

A man’s gotta know his limitations, and, alas, mine are that anyone who tried to form a meaningful relationship with me would be doomed to disappointment. Just the way it works out, some days.

Some friends of mine insist that there is an ideal romantic partner for everyone.

Okay…maybe…but mine appears to be a milkmaid on a farm in the hinterlands of Latvia… Instead of waiting for me, I hope she finds a nice farmhand to marry…

no, I didn’t. I’m about as desirable as a car accident and as much fun to be around as a chemical spill.

I do know people who fit that description, who, nevertheless, manage to find lovers… But, well, life is a big old “bell curve,” and there are people at either end. It’s part of the “life isn’t fair” thing that we all learn, usually the hard way.

(When I create the universe, it will be a fair one! No hunger, no disease, no war, lots of chocolate…)

I’m sure that in this big world, with its billions of people, there are some people who are not capable of having a romantic relationship. Perhaps some people with certain mental disorders fall into this category.

However, having said that, I have never met anyone in real life who wanted to be in a romantic relationship and yet was unable to have one – eventually.

Can some of the chocolate have nuts? That would make it a paradise.

I’ve been pondering the question. Am I capable of having a romantic relationship? I don’t know. Can someone “learn” how to have romantic feelings? I am certain I could do and say all the right things to make someone fall in love with me. But I am not certain I could ever fall in love with them. So sure, I could be in a romantic relationship, but I don’t think it would be a honest one.

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe if I lived in a traditional society where arrange marriages were the norm, and my parents hooked me up with a dude and we got married, I would eventually grow to love him and be genuinely romantic with him. Even if initially I wasn’t attracted to him. Maybe a lot of the single people who don’t think they are lovable would not feel this way if they lived in a society where one is not expected to be in love with someone before they get married.