PLEASE help convince me that I am insane.

Ok, so a few of you know that I recently got dumped (as cataloged here.) Now I still miss that girl terribly but I’ve realized that we are never going to be together and in the long run I probably wouldn’t have been happy with her. Even as my heart is SCREAMING that this is wrong, my mind is telling me that it is right.

Now here’s the problem: I really feel like 2 years of my life have been stolen from me.

I’m 21 (soon to be 22) and a lot of people would say that 21 is extremely young, I have my whole life ahead of me…etc, but I feel old. I know it sounds ridiculous but I feel really, really old. This is the thing; all the men in my family met their wives when they were teenagers. My parents, both sets of grandparents, all of my uncles…etc have all been with their spouses since they were 15 or 16. I even have one uncle who has been with his wife since they were 9! All of them have these great stories to tell of things they did together when they were teenagers. Learning to drive together, getting in trouble…etc. Just stupid teenage antics.

Now I never thought about this when I was growing up. In fact, I’m not sure if I ever even really thought of it until I got dumped. I was 19 when I started going out with my girlfriend and I’ve been assuming for the last 2 years that I was going to marry her one day (assumptions based on her words, mostly. She used to talk about what we were going to name our kids…etc.)

Now that I got dumped I’m just freaking out. I feel old, I’ve done basically NOTHING with my life since high school, and I feel horribly alone. Since my whole future was thought of in terms of “me and my girlfriend are going to…”, I now have absolutely no direction. When I was with her I was going to go to computer school and get a regular 9 to 5 and that would be that. I was completely willing to do that in that situation but now I’m not so sure that that’s what I want. I have no idea what I want to do and I feel like I’m getting too old to not know what I want to do. I have the direction and plans of someone who hasn’t graduated high school yet. I.e. non-existant.

My major problem lies in my relationship status. I don’t want to be alone but I’m fully aware that it’s probably not a good idea to be out actively seeking a long term girlfriend. It wouldn’t be healthy for me to latch onto the first girl I meet and try to mold her into my last girlfriend ala the guy from Vertigo.

But NOW, through all this mess, another problem seems to have surfaced. Somewhere along the lines I took a wrong turn and I think my standards regarding the opposite sex might have gotten to high. I’m horribly afraid that the girl I’m looking for isn’t out there.

Let me share with you this list I typed out a few nights ago and you’ll see what I’m talking about:

What I want in a girl:


I want this girl to be so happy all the time that it disgusts me. I want to look at her and think “what the fuck are you so goddamned happy about?” but simultaneously be so overcome with her happiness that I too am smiling.

Anything within 2 years is fine. More than 2 years younger and we probably wouldn’t be able to relate to each other, and more than 2 years older and I might feel like she is “too experienced” for me.


I can’t really explain this one. I’m a geek but I don’t usually like other geeks. I want her to be a mild geek I guess. Geek Lite. She can be totally corny and a complete dork but I don’t want her reciting lines from Star Wars and reading Slashdot, that’s my territory. Besides, the constant presence of another geek would encourage even geekier behavior from me, and I need an anchor in reality. (She HAS to like Lord of the Rings though, if not the book then at least the movies.)


With every person I truly consider a friend, every joke eventually becomes an inside joke. I want my girl to be no different. I want to look at her, make up a COMPLETELY ridiculous nickname and call her that on the spot and have her laugh. In turn I want her to do the same for me. I want to sing songs in ridiculous voices, or simply make up my own lyrics, and have her think it’s cool. I want her to do the same and I will of course think it’s cool.


I didn’t even realize it until I started getting older but some people actually don’t care too much for movies. What a shock! TV sucks, so my girl has to love curling up on the couch and watching a movie every once in a while (OK, a few times a week, at least until we see all the essentials together.)


Not that I’m drowning in a sea of virgins or anything. And this may sound like a pretty strange requirement, so let me try to explain. First I want to say that I don’t want a slut or anything. My perfect girl has been with maybe 2 guys, both boyfriends (i.e. not one night stands) and NO MORE than 5 guys. The reason I don’t want a virgin is partly because I’m no angel myself and I don’t want to feel guilty, and partly because I’m just an insecure weirdo. I’m afraid that no girl out there would commit to JUST ME for the rest of her life and she would eventually get curious and run around on me. With a girl who had been with a few other guys sex would be special because it was with ME, not just because it was sex.


My friends all tell me I have horrible taste in women, but I don’t think I do. I just don’t see anything special about the convential “hot girl.” The blonde hair, big boobs, lots of makeup…etc. Not that I find anything particularly bad about any one of those traits, but…I guess I don’t really know how to explain what I’m saying here, I’ll try to give you an example: I think the girls from Baywatch are pretty, but there is nothing particularly special about them. Not really the type of girls I would find myself super attracted to. I don’t put too much stock into looks though. I just like a girl to have a decent figure, a nice smile, and most of all look CLEAN. I can’t really explain the exact difference between a girl who looks “clean” and one who doesn’t, but I know it when I see it.


Not too much to elaborate on here. Honestly, loyalty and faithfulness mean a lot to me. I’ve never cheated on a girl and I never will. I’ve been cheated on multiple times though and it SUCKS. I’m still not convinced that there’s a girl out there who WON’T cheat no matter what.


I won’t use the word “smart” because I think it is a subjective term and saying you want someone “less knowledgeable” than you sounds a hell of a lot less cocky than saying you want someone that’s not a smart as you. Maybe it’s that insecurity again, or maybe I was wrong all these years and I do have a little bit of an ego, I don’t know. I want a girl that is awestruck at my godlike knowledge of all things mundane and pointless. I want a girl that bows before me when I get the Final Jeopardy question right even though all three contestants got it wrong. Ok, I’m exaggerating here. She doesn’t really have to bow :). I want to be her mental Knight in Shining Armour.


Nelly, Boy Bands, Britney, Christina, Linkin Park, Nu Metal, “New Rock”, “New Country” (and old country for that matter), and Techno music. What the hell is going on these days? I don’t have to have a girl who likes exactly what I like, because I mostly only listen to music when I’m alone (horrible horrible tragic one track mind - I can’t hear a song and talk to someone at the same time), but have a little self respect!


No game playing. None of this “oh he’s so nice he must be a complete sucker.” None of this having to act like a dick or play reverse psychology games. I just want a straight forward girl.


No kissing on the first date. In fact, I really don’t want to kiss on the second date either, and probably not the third. If you’re gonna jump in the sack with me after I take you to dinner what would make me think that you wouldn’t jump in the sack with any other guy that bought you dinner - past, present, or future? I’m not 15 anymore, I can wait.


I don’t have a problem with pot or mushrooms or a few other “lesser” drugs, but I don’t want to spend my time with a girl who does these. I don’t want her to be totally uptight about it though. Maybe she smoked a little pot in High School (I did) and maybe she’ll take a hit once a year or so, but for the most part she doesn’t like it.


Clubs are SO popular these days it’s hard to find someone that doesn’t like them. In my mind, it’s not fun to hang out somewhere where you’re standing shoulder-to-shoulder with drunk strangers in the dark, trying to dance, and the music is so loud you can’t even hear someone screeming in your ear. To each his own but it’s just not fun to me.


Out of all the above listed qualities, this one is probably the most important, and ironically, it’s also probably the rarest and definitely the one I’ve encountered the least. I just want a girl to completely understand me and know why I do the things I do. I want her to anticipate how I’m going to react to situations and think accordingly. I want her to tell me things about me that I didn’t know she knew. I know this isn’t something that comes at the start of the relationship, but it also doesn’t take a genius to start figuring these things out after a few months or at minimum a year.

Now here’s where I need your help. Please convince me that either:

#1 - I am insane. These standards are absolutely ridiculously high and I need to get over my hangups. NOW.

#2 - I am still insane. But not for having standards too high, I’m insane for thinking there isn’t plenty of girls out there like this. I just have to relax and eventually I’ll meet one!

Also, is it normal to have these kinds of feelings after being dumped?

Thanks for listening to my unorganized and nonsensical ramblings, and double thanks for any advice you might have. I promise that this is only temporary loneliness, confusion, and depression speaking and once I get my head out of my ass I will be a worthwhile contributor to the boards!

22 y/o male checking in… I’d reply more extensively but I just got done with my own exceedingly long, personal rant. Perhaps in the morning.

All I’ll say for now is that if you’re insane, so am I. :frowning:

Of course, “insane”, in this case, could be substituted for “terminally alone”.

I didn’t read your OP (too tired) but I can convince you you are insane.

Are you human?
If the answer is “I think so” then you are insane.

A lot more people (most of them aged 20-24) would say that 21 is quite old.

I am 23 and I feel like I am ‘past it’. I can’t wait until my 40s when young male ugliness gives way to ageing handsomness.

(24 in 5 days)

You are insane. Or at least misguided, but misguided doesn’t come with the cool meds. You need a new frame of reference.

Sorry, but I’d say that’s pretty nuts. And some of them bothered me a bit. Because you know she’s not getting some of these things from you (less geekiness, always happy, beautiful yet exotic,) what right do you have to expect them of her? Hope for a decent, loving person with both faults and good qualities who can stand your faults, and if you get it you’re pretty lucky.

To be honest, sometimes I’m amazed at what boys expect of girls. Superwomen without fault, even though the men are obviously not Superman. What’s wrong with dating humans? :slight_smile:

You’re insane. Trust me on this.

Yeah, okay. You’re nuts. Convinced, yet?

Actually, we all have a mental list like that. The contents vary, but most of what you included is on everyone’s list, male and female, because they’re basic, desirable traits of a potential partner. Will you find all of them, in one perfect package? I’m sorry to say, probably not. But, will you find someone who has enough of those characteristics that you don’t mind that she can’t check off every item on the list? Absolutely.

Humans are very flexible and adaptive. It’s how we became the dominant species on the planet. Right now, you’re depressed, so there’s the insanity you were hoping for. :wink: But, it’s perfectly normal, under the circumstances. And, when we’re depressed, we tend to think about “perfect solutions” to whatever we’re depressed about. I really doubt you’ll insist on a woman meeting EVERY one of the requirements on your list when you’re feeling better. I’m guessing you never have, before, and you seem very mature for someone your age, so I don’t think you will feel that way, when the mood passes.

Depression is hard to deal with, especially if you’re not used to it. When I’m down, I feel older than dirt. (Usually, I only feel as old AS dirt.) It will pass. Staying active, and not giving yourself too much time to sit around pondering how much your life sucks, right now, helps. Get out and be with friends, if you can. Go to the movies, if you can find anything that sounds worth seeing. (You obviously have good taste in movies, so that may be hard.) Go see a band. (But, avoid getting drunk. That’s one of the worst things you can do, when you’re depressed.)

Basically, do anything you used to do for fun. If you can force yourself to do it, in spite of that annoying, whiny, little bastard in the back of your mind, it will still be fun. (And, then you can taunt the rotten little bastard with the knowledge that he was wrong, and maybe he’ll shut up for a while.) I know you probably don’t feel like you have the energy, but it’s there. It’s the enthusiasm that’s lacking. That’s why you may need to force yourself to get moving.

Don’t worry about when your parents and grandparents met, either. Times change, and the highschool sweethearts who stay together for life are increasingly rare. It’s always been more common in smaller communities, too, and even if you live in the same town as your grandparents grew up, I’m betting the town has grown, since then. But, mostly, it’s that the culture has changed, and it’s not something to worry about.

As I said, you sound like a very mature person, and an intelligent one. Do you have some unrealistic “expectations” (actually, I’d call them desires, but let’s not argue semantics)? Sure. But, so does everyone else. So, I guess, all things considered, I can’t really say you’re insane. Sorry. :slight_smile:

Drop the list.

Just drop it.

Your said it best, “I need to get over my hangups. NOW.”

If you don’t do this the love of your life is going to throw herself at you and you are going to be saying to yourself, “Sure she has a sense of humor, but it isn’t corney, NEXT!”

Also, you may think you know precisely what you want in a woman but until you meet her you won’t know what you really want. You wont know how unimportant many of the things on your list are either because she won’t have them and you won’t care.

Well, I was reading through, and I pretty much had them all except #1 and #9. Your loss. :slight_smile:

I’m currently the oldest unmarried male in my extended family. The closest runner up is 15 :confused:

Let me tell you, family reunions aren’t fun.

As for feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything… that’s more of a situation created by putting your life in perspective. Graduating from HS/College was a big event to you personally. But nobody gives a rat’s ass, they’ve all done it themselves. I think it’s comming to realize that is what makes it seem like you haven’t accomplished anything yet.
I’m 23, been working in research science for 2 years now. I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing since college. And for me, I know I’ve accomplished cool things. The problem is, I’m not where I want to be which is making me feel this way.

#9 is bullshit. Even I realize that. Too bad about #1 though :).

You’re craving a relationship.
If you don’t get the relationship, it will make you crazy.
If you do get the relationship, it will make you insane.
Hence you are already doomed to looniness.
Welcome to the least exclusive club in the world.

Cisco hun there’s just one thing I’d like to help you to feel better about.

RE: the other men in your family marrying young - having the pleasure of all those years of experience with their wives.

I’ve been married twice. I finally met a man (4 yrs ago) who’s absolutely perfect for me. I’m 43, he’s 45. There’s some angst in me about not having so many years left to spend with him. Sometimes I’m a little angry that I didn’t get to “grow up” with him - which I would have if we had met in our 20’s.

My advice ? - don’t dwell on it. So what, other guys in your family married young. Be a trend-setter.

But mostly I’d like to say : hang in there. It will get better. (that goes for you too, CR ).

That list is not insane. But rejecting someone because she didn’t fit all the criteria would be. In the long run, a list like that will do you more harm than good.

Cisco - I posted to your other thread with the commitment phobe thing. Sorry I didn’t follow up sooner, but while I am not glad that it sounded familiar, I am not surprised. Mine didn’t nit-pick me either, but by the way he nit-picked everyone else behind their back to me, I was sure he was doing the same when I wasn’t around.

I was especially vulnerable to the CP because I have a conteracting situation, and it sounds like you do, too - (minor) co-dependency. I determined I defined my self-worth by being in a relationship. Sounds like you do too to some degree. Read this:

On a positive note, my sister meets your list exactly, except possibly #7, so it isn’t unheard of.:slight_smile:

You are only 21. You have only just begun lifes journey. Its easy for me to tell you that things will get better and there is someone out there for you ,but that’s the way it is. Drop the long list and let things happen.

Why would your plans about your career change just because you are spending time with different people? You should always be working on your agenda, and not letting other people determine the course that your life will take. Don’t assume that your career choice needs to stick for the rest of your life you just need to have some idea of what your plans are for this year, or for the next five years. I have several friends who have changed careers three times in ten years, or even more often. Once is a teacher who’s now working in marketing, another who started her own business after working as a consultant, and on and on.

I read a few sentences of your post. You are only 21. 2 years of your life wasted?

Perspective: I know a 34 year old man who just got out of an 8 year relationship (not marriage) which he admits should have ended 5 years ago.

That is a waste of time.

2 years from ages 19 to 21 is a learning experience.