Long Term Relationship Problem

Ok, it seems that I’ve been on here with various problems, it’s all part and parcel of understanding who I am, and getting rid of problems that have been with me for a very long time. I’m fast approaching 25, it’s 2010 and soon I will be 30, and I want to be confident that I’ve put my time here to good use.

So I need to be honest with myself and admit to people that although I’ve had experience in kissing sex etc, I’ve never had a long term real relationship with anyone, ever. Anyone in real life I’ve hooked up with the situation has been we flirt alot, then we start seeing each other more, then it’s usually a few dates into the relationship and it becomes really boring. Even people in real life have become few and far between, also I usually let them dump me in order for them not to feel to bad about it.
The experiences I’ve had are usually long drawn out ‘relationships’ on the internet, where I’ve promised to meet them but haven’t because I was worried I wouldn’t shape up to what they wanted.(This is even with sending them pics etc showing them me, one lasted four years. Yes you heard that right.) I don’t want to go through another countless amount of years stuck in front of my computer.
So in light of that, I wanna wind down my internet experiences and start going out and experiencing the real thing, but this problem is nagging me and I don’t know why it is. Why am I so bad at long term relationships?

LTR’s take a lot of work and practice. Not many people are good at them right off the bat. The only way to figure it out is to meet and date lots of people in the real world and see where things go.

As Dan Savage always say… (paraphrasing) Relationships never work… until one does. You just don’t know, and you can’t go into something new expecting it to be an LTR right off the bat. Baby steps.

You need to find out why it’s getting boring after a few dates, or why you are letting it get boring. Relationships do not maintain that initial thrill unless you work at it.

People don’t realize that a good healthy relationship is as much work as a real job, only it doesn’t stop at 5 PM.

One thing to consider trying: Less time on the computer, more time interacting with people face-to-face.

Being stuck having to deal with people who are physically present does make many of us better at managing relationships. But it’s not always a comfortable process.

First of all, I know quite a few people with ten years on you who’ve never had long-term relationships, so don’t sweat your age.

Secondly, when you say it gets “boring” after a few dates, why is that? Is it just that the flirting stops? If you’re looking for a relationship where it starts off flirting a lot and then continues that way, then long term relationships may not be for you, at least for now. Some people love the thrill of the chase and the high of initial attraction, but aren’t really into being with someone once that stage ends. In short, it’s the getting, not the having. For a long term relationship to work, you have to find being with someone you like and know well at least as much fun as (if not more than) flirting with a stranger.

Do you have any longterm friendships, with either sex? What makes those appealing to you? Do you look for those same qualities in the people you date, or are you primarily seeking sexual chemistry?

It’s a strange juxtaposition I have going on, when I start to date, I want to be single and free, when I’m single and ‘free’ I want to date. There’s not a good role model to emulate, on a more detailed note, I don’t know, it’s just what would happen is that there would be alot of physical and sexual attraction in the beginning, and then once we got to ‘relationship stage’ it would taper off and then I’d realise I didn’t have a good foundation to have a relationship with this person. So I’d like a long term relationship, I wouldn’t mind one, I’m blind to how people do it, and why I’m so bad at it, it’s like others who I know, like my best friends, dated women the same way I did, but were able to get alot more mileage in their relationships.

I have female friends who I know in real life, but I mostly keep in contact with them via facebook and rarely talk to them, in the last two years, there’s been kind of a sea change in my attitude, I don’t know if it’s good or bad, it’s been alot more solitary in my life in general and more cynical.

It just all seems a jumble.

My advice is calm down. Women can smell desperation and panic. Worrying about turning 30 before you even turn 25 isn’t helping. Worrying about turning 30 when you’re 29 doesn’t help either - you gotta stop obsessing about age.

bolding mine, since that’s the part I’m addressing:

People have long-term relationships by being compatible with each other. It’s a matter of finding someone you’re compatible with, and who feels the same way about you. Some people, for various reason (maybe they’re easy-going, physically attractive, hard to get them irritated/offended, some combination of all that and more) are just … easier for other people to find as compatible. Some people are very particular and it may take them meeting many more people until they find someone who “fits” just right. A lid for every pot, and all that. But I suspect you may be in the latter group, and that’s okay. Really, it is.

It’s highly likely that you’d benefit from a little bit of input from a therapist. Do you have mental health resources through your school or job? Even a couple of quick sessions, just to chat with someone who’s experienced at dealing with people who have the same problems as you, might offer you some insight or perspective.

I don’t know if this is part of the issue for you or not, but IME a lot of guys get hung up on women as if we’re some Mysterious Other. We’re just people, just like you. I can’t tell from your OP if this is relevant for you, but I thought I’d put it out there.

One more thought: being as objective as you possible can, would you want to date you?

I don’t think you have a problem with long term relationships.

You’re probably just picky and don’t meet enough people.

No I wouldn’t, which leads to another thing about my problem, my inability to let things go.

For instance, once I went hiking with my brother, I came back and found out my G/F had been arguing with her ex b/f and his friends, they had called her a liar etc, at first I didn’t care (tired from the walking) but the next day, I ignored her calls, and didn’t want to speak to her. You see, it had been great since we’d met, but I don’t know, I always come to a point where something sullies it, and I find it hard to get over it. I don’t know why.

Probably half-right, I’m not too particular about what the person looks like (as long as they’re half decent) and I think that’s the problem, if I have no particular standards, I have no focus on what I want. My last g/f’s were people I randomly met, I didn’t really pick them out, it just kinda happened.

You’re ONLY 25. My God, quit stressing about it. Date more and date often. Date lot’s of different kinds of women, and don’t worry about being in a long term relationship. When it’s right it will be right. There’s no magic formula. When you find the right person it will click.

You say you date girls based on physical attraction, then it turns out there’s no foundation, so it doesn’t work. Perhaps you should work on getting to know more people. If you have friends who are girls, you can build relationships that aren’t based just on looks. Then when you find someone who you get along with well and you think she’s cute, ask her out. Spend time together before getting to the physical part, so you do have that foundation.

Chemistry is easy–there are lots of people out there to be physically attracted to. Getting along with another person is harder. Finding someone you like and have chemistry with is not as simple as just chemistry, but it can certainly be done, people do it all the time.

I don’t really see any pathology here - you sound like a 25 year old. Your twenties is when you are supposed to be doing a lot of different things, trying things out, figuring out what works and what doesn’t. People do get married and settle down in their twenties, and if it works for them, great, but most of us change a lot in our twenties and thirties, and the person we were compatible with then might not be the person we’re compatible with now.

You sound very casual about relationships, like you don’t care very much about the women you see, and that’s fine, but make sure that they know that you aren’t madly in love with them. There’s nothing wrong with your approach as long as you aren’t leaving a string of broken hearts behind you.

My friend’s brother is nearing 25. He hasn’t had a single girlfriend. The best advice I can give has already been given:

Just calm down.

Approach relationships like you don’t care. Now now now, before you or others jump on this, I don’t mean to be an emotionless prick. But if you aren’t sweating about whether this relationship will go anywhere, you’ll come across as far more natural on dates or w/e. Just relax. If you have a failed relationship, just shrug it off. Be ever relaxed and calm and good things will happen.

You’ve had relationships before, so getting girls to like you isn’t the problem. You just need to find cool stuff to do to keep things from getting boring. I recommend sexual deviance, but that’s just me.

So what you’re basically saying is that, at the ripe old age of 24 (or even younger), you’re worried about being alone for the rest of your life. I can only say this–You. Must. Chill.

I don’t think the issue is being bad at relationships or not having focused standards or any of the rest of that, honestly. Relationships are like everything else in the world, it takes some work to get good at them, and it sounds like you’ve just not run into one that seemed worth doing the work yet. And they have a name for highly focused standards–pickiness. Better and easier, in my admittedly limited experience to have a few very firmly set standards and play it by ear from there.

What do I think the problem is, then? Dunno for sure, but I find your use of the word “sully” when discussing relationships to be pretty troubling. It implies that you look on a relationship as a showpiece, something that must be kept pristine to be worth having, like a snow-white couch or a collectible doll in a box that’s never been opened. This sort of attitude would greatly complicate trying to have a long-term relationship–while sitting bolt-upright and rigidly watching for any small action that might blemish the pristine couch is tolerable for a short while visiting someone else, it’s not how most folks want to live. A larger percentage of people want something we can root our butts down in and kick back with a beer on, maybe sprawl out and take a nap if the urge hits. You know, something comfortable that we take care of but don’t have to obsess over.

BTW, what was it that bothered you so about her getting in an argument with her ex and his friends?

You just have not met the right person yet. When you do you will feel totally different then in any of your past relationships.

I think of it as destiny in a way. I thought the same thing after a bunch of lame kind of young relationships. It did not help I was wicked shy. When my knight showed up I was dumbstruck. I felt very giddy and all I could do was focus on was him.

Ok, For a guy it will feel like somebody hit you with a two by four. It is easy because you will both like each other very much. It will feel so different and so wonderful you will know. God gives us the ability to know when we meet the right one.

The only way that happens is by putting yourself in places where you have a chance to meet her. It could be the Laundromat, the store, at school or at work. It will be out of your home. You will not know the time or the place and wham it will happen.

Give it time and get out and walk around, it’s spring. Hit the local coffee house. Go see a band. I never met him at home although you might get a cute pizza delivery girl? Ya never know…:slight_smile:

Good Luck!

Because it took the relationship into the same bullshit pattern I had a few times before that, so when it happened, internally I thought ‘ah great, here we go…again’

This.

You need to make yourself available. You are going to have a hard time doing this if you don’t know the kind of girl you want to meet, so…

-Make a fake personals ad for yourself, with two columns. One will have what you want in a girl -and go ahead, list what you want her to look like, too - and in the second column, put down what you want her to like YOU for. What do you want her to like about you? What’s important to you? What do you want her to value? What do you want to be appreciated for?

Take a look at that second list, and start going out and doing things that will make YOU happy, and might happen to show off those things you want to be appreciated for. And be honest, because you’re not just killing time, you’re going to be making yourself happy by doing these things, too. Nothing attracts a potential friend <or girlfriend> like being where you’re comfortable being yourself.

And that doesn’t mean online.
I have been there in most situations, and no. If you’re not going to meet the person RIGHT AWAY, do not develop emotional crutches online. Friends are ok; romance is just wasting yourself and wasting your time, time you could be out doing something that makes you happy, and just incidentally puts you in sight of someone who might make you happy, too.

BTW, that’s also my advice for anyone dating, or who hates dating. :stuck_out_tongue:

Is ‘boring’ code for something? Like maybe, with the girlfriend and the ex, being annoyed or jealous or something else, so that once something goes wrong, or there is some issue, you bail.

Or maybe you just haven’t met the right person yet.

… so what is the “bullshit” part? That she expected you to listen to her woes? That there was too much drama?

Don’t look for a LTR until you’re willing to put up with toothaches, menstrual cramps and occasional bouts of “I hate my mother!” Just look to hook up, and you’ll be happier. Once you are willing to put up with all of the above, then you’ll be ready for an LTR.