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#515384 - 09/17/17 11:28 PM Wedding kicked up a lot of interesting feelings.
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 306
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Hi all,

It's been a very, very long time since I last posted here. I'm doing so after a wedding I was at last night.

Without going into a ton of background re-hashing what happened when I was younger, I am basically not sexual. I'm capable of it, sex is enjoyable, but the entire prospect of relationships and sex isn't and has never been a priority for me. I don't really know why, they just aren't. I've seen people go through "the game" of dating and relationship, and I don't understand how people have the patience to go through all of it.

I got a little bit set off by the wedding I was at on account of the fact that my sister and some of my other family members were adamantly trying to push me into approaching several different women. If I so much as commented that I thought somebody looked good in whatever dress they wore, somebody had to immediately go and try to find whoever I made the comment about and introduce me. I can appreciate they thought they were doing me a favor, but they all know I'm a really private person and HATE having other people involved in anything that would be my business, like a relationship. It felt like all night people were trying to force me into something I had no interest in.

I've been to other weddings that were a blast, partially because they were with close friends and nobody expected anything of me. This was the wedding of one of my sisters' friends though, so totally different ballgame, apparently.

Anyways, that set me off on an old pattern of thinking that I had an extremely difficult time back when I first found this website in 2007 or 2008. At the time, I was confused over my sexual orientation, which I quickly learned is fairly common for men who experience sexual abuse (from another male in my case). What I learned over time is that whatever I thought was my sexuality or sexual identity was really just a large mental tangle of compulsive behavior and thought patterns stemming from those experiences. I don't think it was any coincidence that I started thinking my sex drive had fallen off completely shortly after I started therapy.

On top of that, my mother and my sister especially were incredibly manipulative and emotionally unstable when I was younger, and that has left me with some baggage I've never really dealt with. They've both made amends and there were huge circumstances surrounding those situations that made them act the way they did, but still. I didn't realize I didn't particularly trust women until a friends girlfriend said to me one day, "I didn't realize how much you hated women" in the middle of a casual conversation.

As time passes, those old behaviors and thought patterns fade more and more, but now I feel like I'm at a point where I'm watching people go out and meet other people or get married, and I feel all this pressure to "fix" myself in terms of getting motivated to meet people. Honestly though, most of the time I just want to be left alone to do whatever it is I decide on doing in one particular moment. There are times though when I get lonely, or think to myself "I don't think this is what I'm going to want for myself in 5 or 10 years".

I also think I avoid dating because women have expectations of how men should act when it comes to being romantic or sexual, and I really don't want to have to explain why I'm passive and somewhat distrustful when I meet women for the first time. It's hard for me to rehash this stuff, and I feel like it's never far from the surface.

I needed to get that off my chest though - I'd like to have a way of navigating being single without feeling like I have to always have an answer, and I think I'd also like to figure all this stuff out so if I choose to not be single, I won't be stuck spinning my wheels.

Guess this wasn't really much about weddings after all, lol...

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#515403 - 09/18/17 05:24 PM Re: Wedding kicked up a lot of interesting feelings. [Re: AndyS87]
Blue22 Offline


Registered: 09/02/16
Posts: 20
Loc: CA
Could have written this myself. Getting to a place of relaxation and trust has proven nearly impossible for me, so I just avoid subjecting myself to situations such as dating because of the stressful "trapped" feeling. My perp was female, and it has really complicated matters. I've gradually found that I require a great deal of patience and informality, which just isn't compatible with this world.

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#515407 - 09/18/17 07:22 PM Re: Wedding kicked up a lot of interesting feelings. [Re: AndyS87]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 452
Interesting post, Andy. Thanks for writing. I related to what you wrote about the confusion of sexual orientation, mostly because... as a result of the sexual abuse I survived... I have basically no boundaries when it comes to sex. Sex was compulsive, actually quite miserable, and essentially opportunistic. Like whenever, wherever. Not healthy in the least. And it both captivated and horrified me.

I have often wished I had the confidence to be alone. I wished I had the strength of character to not just eff whoever. Instead, for a number of years I basically betrayed the trust of a lot of people and continually broke my own heart and others.

I think it's smart to maintain a little space for yourself. I predict you'll date the right kind of women when it makes more sense to you, and when you're not being pressured. Other people can buzz off. I'm sorry that you had to feel the pressure from your sister and your mom. It sounds like you really know how to enjoy yourself when you're not somebody's idea of a "project."

One thing to remember, though, there are as many kinds of women as there are women in the world. Some women may have one type of expectations about how a man should act. Others have others. Some maybe don't have many expectations at all. Plus, a lot of us have trust issues. Knowing you have trust issues is an important first step. I think you sound like you're doing things right.

Anyway, good luck to you. Thanks again for your post. Take care,

Bob

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#515435 - 09/19/17 12:15 PM Re: Wedding kicked up a lot of interesting feelings. [Re: AndyS87]
Chris4TheMill Offline


Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 348
Loc: NY / NJ Area
Family and co-workers used to try to pressure me to date / get married for years, and I also used to get annoyed. I had my own unresolved issues with women, plus my life was just too chaotic and stressed to even think about trying to date. I thought I was content and perfectly fine being alone.

Spent years working on my issues. Then all of a sudden, things changed. It is like something clicked into place, and suddenly I felt ready. I didn't want to be alone anymore. This just happened a few months ago, so it is still new.

Now I'm doing the dating site thing. (It's depressing and tedious, but at least I am getting out there). I also joined a few Meet Up groups. I am just trying to put myself out there more.

I can look back and say I wish this happened when I was younger, instead of now, when I am in my mid-50's. I feel like I missed out on what should be the prime years of romantic relationships, the 20's, 30's and 40's. When you are older you also have other issues (health, physical, etc.). But it is what it is - at least it happened. At least now I might have a chance (maybe just a slim one!) to avoid having to die alone.

One good thing about now is that I have a much clearer picture of what I am looking for. What I am looking for is very different from what the norm seems to be. Like you said, many women have expectations that are through the roof. I see it. I know that I need to steer clear of such women. My great unknown is whether or not I will be able to find one who is not like that. I know they exist, it is just a matter of finding one.

Many things have changed since I was in my 20's, 30's, and 40's. Women as a group seem to have gotten more demanding, more critical, more narcissistic, and they are completely shameless about it. The media, the internet, the socio-political climate, and political correctness have allowed them to spread a kind of toxic disrespect for men throughout the culture. Not all are like this, but a large proportion seem to be.

I would recommend that you not try to force anything until, like me, you feel like it is time and that you are ready. Because you will have to face what is out there and be prepared for some rejection and for all sorts of crazy behavior. That's just the nature of life in today's world. But when you are ready, these things won't bother you as much - they will still hurt and disappoint but at that point they will not devastate you or set you back on your healing journey.

Also, if you are at all sensitive, avoid the casual sex / hook-up scene at all costs. It will only crush you. Figure out what qualities you want in someone (character, kindness, morals, etc.) and stick to those as a blueprint and try to find that through friends, dating sites, activity groups, etc. Get to know someone in the context of various types of situations and over a period of time. We won't be able to know everything about someone, but at least this will help weed out the obvious bad ones.

Best wishes,

Chris

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#515471 - 09/20/17 10:08 PM Re: Wedding kicked up a lot of interesting feelings. [Re: AndyS87]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 306
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Thanks all - my life has definitely been a story of "let things fall into place" where major life changes have happened suddenly and quickly. I don't mind those changes now, since the unpredictability of a new situation is part of the fun.

I'm doing much better with space for myself than I used to. My job has me being in front of people and socializing basically all day, so I'm getting my fill of social contact there. I've met a lot of good friends who are coworkers, so that's been helpful, too. When I was just doing computer work, it was a lot more difficult to be by myself all the time.

I was speaking to a friend of mine about trust issues - I think I said something along the lines of I was afraid of being manipulated or coerced into changing my life and the things I enjoy, after feeling like I've only just now managed to get to a point in life where I can honestly say I feel happy. My mother also commented how she hasn't seen me enjoying life this much since I was little, so I think I've had some good fortune in stumbling upon a life I can enjoy.

Regarding the casual sex/hook up scene, I've never even looked at it. Because of the aforementioned trust issues, I've never hooked up with any woman I didn't already know reasonably well in some way, except for once when I met a girl who was a friend of a friend and we just "clicked" so to speak, but that's water under the bridge now as it was a one time fling and she's now married.

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#515475 - 09/21/17 04:09 AM Re: Wedding kicked up a lot of interesting feelings. [Re: AndyS87]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2667
Loc: durham, north england
Weddings can be difficult. I always dreaded friends' weddings, not so much because people would try to hook me up with others, but because inevitably everyone would use it as an opportunity to rehash how wonderful their own relationships were.

I remember one friends' wedding service in which the priest gave a sermon about how God wants people to be together and all I could think was "Hay god, great job with me!"

One odd thing now I'm married, is that I still have no faith at all in the conventional round of "dating" etc.
People would say things like "I am starting dating" or "I haven't dated for a while" as though it were something that one could just choose to start, and I'd be sitting there going "eh?"

Female friends yes, but anything else was, and is utterly incomprehensible.

The one thing I have learned from the shear miracle by which my lady and I got together is that my own opinion of myself was utterly off. I believed was physically impossible for anyone to actually love me. I knew what love was, and could distinguish it from sexual attraction and friendship because I had seen it in other people, but rather like Quasi modo says in the Hunchback Disney "I thought I'd never know, that warm and loving glow, though I could wish with all my might. No face as hideous as my face was ever meant for heaven's light"

I still do not know, and probably never will whether any of my female friends were interested in becoming more than friends, but I do know in the position I was in, due to my own view of myself nothing was going to happen, since I was so convinced nothingwas going to happen.

My extreme genophobia, and view of myself as disgusting and a potential sexual predator didn't help either.

So I'd personally suggest instead of specifically trying any of the rituals of "dating" or "asking out" simply make some feamel friends and be open for the possibility that some might be more than friends, and that you yourself deserve that.

If your friends you can avoid all the demanding expectations and go around the clich├ęs, and it'll stand better in the long run.
My lady is not just my wife, she is very distinctly my best friend, indeed the best friend I've ever had.

Luke.

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#515485 - 09/21/17 03:07 PM Re: Wedding kicked up a lot of interesting feelings. [Re: AndyS87]
tbkkfile Offline


Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 391
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom
You've traveled a long road Luke, I'm so pleased that you got to where you are.

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#515580 - 09/24/17 04:46 PM Re: Wedding kicked up a lot of interesting feelings. [Re: AndyS87]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2667
Loc: durham, north england
Thanks Dave, though I do confess it rather feels difficult to ascribe this to myself being as it just happened.
Right now I'm struggling with motivation and the belief that I can actually change anything about my own life, that and moving house and trying to persuade my parents that my wife and I are actually adults.

Still, it is good to remember where I was and where I am now, even the only reason for this seems to be divine agency.

Luke.

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