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Recovering Women: Please Don't Play Too Hard to Get!
December 23, 2005
9:21 pm
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Anonymous
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(NOTE: please don’t take this post too seriously, but I do mean to illustrate a point, which I describe at the very end.)

After my divorce goes through, I want to get married again and stay married to the same woman for the rest of my life. I’m going through recovery now myself.

However … I’ve been discouraged reading from women here in recovery who have plans for weeding out unavailable guys who they date. According to at least one of them, I’d have to wait up to a year AFTER the divorce is final before they’d even consent to a first date with me, then I’d probably have to wait another year to give them enough time to certify me as fit relationship material. Then, I’d have to wait an additional year for wedding arrangements to be able to be made, and who knows if they wouldn’t change their mind somewhere along the way?

In addition, I’m a nice guy who’s indecisive. Women don’t like my kind! I can’t hope to hide this for the entire courting period – I’ll be discovered long before it’s over, branded as unfit material, and given the boot. I’ll be lucky to get married before another 10 years have elapsed, IF I seek out a woman in recovery.

However … what if I courted a woman who’s not in recovery, who still is seeking out emotional cripples? Her main flaw is that she chooses unavailable men. That’s not a major strike against her – she would probably be about as good of a catch as her recovering counterpart. Therefore, I’ve devised my own dating plan, as follows:

1. Get involved with groups of people who share my interests. Put on my best bad-guy, cocky, smooth-talking act while I’m with these groups – maybe I’ll hire a stunt double for this. In the meantime, continue to work on my own recovery.

2. Get acquainted with all of these people, and select a co-dependent woman whose character and personality particularly appeals to me.

3. Hire a private detective to check her out – this way, I can learn what I need to know about her without dating her and risking her discovering my nice, indecisive persona, which would kill the relationship for sure. Assuming she checks out, when the divorce is final, I’ll be ready to make my next move.

4. Get her drunk and, while she’s in that precarious state, get her to agree to marry me. (This will be the trickiest part, but it also won’t take very long – one night at the most. Again, I might employ a stunt double here.)

5. Elope the next day before any of her friends or family members can object, and before she can completely sober up. Continue the bad-guy act for two months. When she begins to despair that she ever married a jerk like me and finally sees that she’s codependent and needs help, I’ll put on my true, healthy, recovering self and pretend I transformed overnight.

6. She’ll be happy I reformed; I’ll be happy that she sees she needs help; we’ll attend Recovering Couples Anonymous (there really is such a group) and spend the rest of our lives recovering and building a happy marriage together.

This way, I not only get a wife years before I otherwise could, but I’ll help rescue somebody from the bondage of codependency. You recovering women don’t need my help in this department; you’re already working on this. I’ll kill two birds with one stone this way.

Again, this plan isn’t to be taken too seriously. But PLEASE, ladies, my point is, when you make your plans to weed out unsuitable guys (which you must do for your own protection, alas), don’t make it too difficult for a recovering fool like me to win your recovering heart! I might get too discouraged and move on.

December 23, 2005
9:59 pm
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classof77
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Seeker
I get your point, and humor can save your sanity from time to time. I think my friend (hate the term "boyfriend", sounds so??) would probably see the point. I know he has to get awfully tired jumping through those hoops. Poor guy gets one handled then the next one is higher.
Take care.

December 23, 2005
10:18 pm
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Anonymous
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LOL

Seek, Thanks for the laugh friend!

Where to start, where to start.

OK, first, you DON'T want a woman seeking out an "emotional cripple".

She wants to dom-IN-ATE you!

There's a reason she's not in recovery. She protects herself from being a victim of abuse, by making you her victim of abuse.

You're too good for that!

You don't need to change your personality. Your chick will find your humor, your sensitivity, and your indecisiveness as very charming.

That's how you'll know she's "your" chick.

December 23, 2005
10:44 pm
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classof77,

Thanks for sharing what you did about your friend. I do think that men, in general, have to work harder at being relationship material than women do -- relationships just don't seem to come as naturally to men.

Your friend has my respect -- he's willing to jump through all those hoops for you -- do you set them on fire, also? And put roaring lions with gaping jaws behind them? LOL

Seriously, it sounds like he loves you to endure all the jumping. Maybe all the hoop jumping is his "relationship training" process. A good woman has a way of bringing out the best in a man.

Take care.

December 23, 2005
10:58 pm
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Hi Young & Restless,

"There's a reason she's not in recovery. She protects herself from being a victim of abuse, by making you her victim of abuse."

I hadn't thought of that. I tend to think of women not in recovery as being victims of past abuse and not as possible abusers in the present. But they can be, can't they?

I just remembered something that I'd filed away in the back of my mind two years ago. My wife's sister once told me that she and my sister's brother believe that my wife might have serious mental issues. Maybe my wife wasn't the only victim in our relationship; though I was still at least half responsible for our breakup.

"Your chick will find your humor, your sensitivity, and your indecisiveness as very charming."

Indecisiveness can be charming? Wow. That's hard for me to believe, not that I doubt you; it's just so contrary to stereotype. Can you tell me more about this, for example, about some circumstances under which you might find indeciseness in your guy to be charming?

December 24, 2005
12:03 am
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Rasputin
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Seeker,

Your post made me crack up, it is so funny!!! I think you will make a good husband and company, not as you describe yourself as jerk.

You strike me as kind, warm, healthy human being who will eventually make a great companion and I am sure you are on your way to happiness and finding the right mate in your life.

I also commend you on working so hard on yourself preparing yourself for someone special who will appear in your life someday suddenly.

I am actually proud of all the males of this site who are becoming wise and mature and hope and pray that all our male friends are in the process of going thru their healing in the same seriousness your gents are doing.

Keep up the great work!

~Ras~

December 24, 2005
12:07 am
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Seek,

I think stereotypes were made to be broken!

The truth is every woman is different and should judged based on her identity not some collective standard. Can you name a single thing, that applies to all women, in terms of personality? One thing? Just One? If not, see how useluess the stereotypes are.

I have thousands of examples.

The best is watching my ex Charley-a very indecisive man make a tough decision. It was my birthday and he really wanted to make it special for me. He planned a great day and towards the wrap-up, I distinctly remember him being faced with the decision.

I could see the agony, he struggled to decied, I quietly watched, smiled because either would have been great for me. What he chose made the evening magical for both of us.

His indecisiveness was about trying to pick the action would make me happiest?

How can you not love that?

December 24, 2005
12:09 am
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bonita1
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seeker!! you funny guy!!

Although it was very funny, there is another thing that struck me about your post. I think this is the problem. You want to put on an act- a persona- that isn't really you in order to attract a woman? Am I right? You want to know what characteristics you need to have so that women in recovery will be attracted to you and you don't want them to "play too hard to get???"

In my humble opinion (IMHO), if you discover that true self inside of you and begin having a healthy relationship with yourself, you will attract quality women.

DO NOT BE IN A HEADLONG RUSH TO RE-MARRY. I am speaking from personal experience here, hon. Work on discovering that gorgeous guy inside. Even if it takes a year or more, you will be happier in the long run.

December 24, 2005
12:20 am
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Here is an excerpt from a book I am working through, "Addictive Relationships: Reclaiming Your Boundaries."

*******************************************

Society has instilled the belief that we are less than whole if we are not involved with someone. We are scrutinized as having a defect, or perhaps our sexual orientation is questioned, or we are made to feel like we are incapable of maintaining a relationship. This self-destructive message system once again creates more pressure inside.

As the fire within us heats up, our self-hatred and fear blazes out of control. The flames rage, and quickly we feel like we will be incinerated by our own mind and society's crushing hand, our heart and feelings locked tightly with a large padlock to hold back the pain and despair.

Unfortunately, we believe that the only way to unlock the chain that binds us is to become involved with another person. This neediness encourages our belief to become involved in a relationship without first having a healthy relationship with ourself.

December 24, 2005
12:35 am
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kasie919
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Hey seeker:

good giggles.........

guess im out huh??????????????

way to go..

kasie

December 24, 2005
1:26 am
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Matteo
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bonita 1,

This is what the book says. What society, by the way? And if the sexual orientation is being questioned, so what??

It may be truth for some, but for others, myself included, I would like to be in a relationship not for the society but for myself. Why? Because I like being in a relationship. I like a company of someone I love. Sure I can enjoy being alone, and even while I am in a relationship I need considerable time by myself - but I prefer to be in a relationship then not. I don't have any defect by not being in a relationship, unless being very picky is considered a defect; I did discover the wonderful me inside me, and would like to share my discovery; I don't burn in self - hate, and I don't feel pressure to be in a relationship from anyone!

So what's wrong with wanting to be in a relationship? This whole site is devoted mainly to healing from bad relationships of all kinds; what's wrong with wanting to be in a good one??

December 24, 2005
2:27 am
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hopeinhim
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SeekerW,
It was eerie, but I knew the by the post title that it would be you!

Ha! Stunt double - that is great!

Don't get discouraged, but don't rush when you meet a woman. Me, I can dish it out so let's hope I can follow it.

If we would have taken 2 years with any of our X's all said and done, how different would our lives be?

A former pastor - who left Washington for an Oregon church by the way - used to say anybody you date could end up being your future marriage partner.

So - some criteria I have come up with is that the man I date in the future has got to not only profess to be a Christian, but also be involved or willing to be involved with the church. I settled for less in the past - that is just a preference of mine, and I am not suggesting that anybody adopt it.

I am a piano player and am hoping to get on some kind of rotation with the church I started attending last summer. I think it would be so great to have my future husband be more in line with my values and beliefs - not be unable to walk his talk.

Two years is awfully long for loving, indecisive, easily confused, passionate codependents.

Lotsa love,
Hope

December 24, 2005
3:34 am
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bonita1
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Matty!!

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be in a relationship. Wanting to love and be loved is a basic human need.

I was merely pointing out that seeker, in his jesting, was saying how much he wants to marry again and marry quickly and what kind of act he would put on so as to be more attractive to women in recovery. I don't know how much was serious in his post because he did say not to take him too seriously.

Also, while I was typing what I was reading in the book, "Addictive Relationships," I was aware of how the words, "or perhaps our sexual orientation is questioned...", dated to the time when the APA defined homosexuality as a deviant behavior. Yes, I agree, "So what??"

Alsoooooo, I believe that the society the author is referring to is the mainstream American society or perhaps society in general in the Western world.

You are emotionally healthy and ready for a relationship. I say, "More Power to YOU!!" and "good for you!!" You are an example to all of us who are in recovery. However, I was referring to those of us who get out of bad relationships only to once again make bad choices in partners in a vicious cycle over and over and over again. I am speaking from personal experience here as one who has been there, done that and one who wants to learn to make good choices in a partner.

This book, "Addictive Relationships," has given me a lot of insight into what makes us CoDA's choose who we do. Weekly therapy also provides me with insight into making good choices. I am codependent and I am in recovery. Yay!

Sure the book is dated. But so much of the struggles for recovery the book describes are still valid today.

IMHO,

~~bonita

December 24, 2005
3:37 am
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bonita1
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What's wrong with wanting to be in a good relationship?? NOTHING!!!!

Thats what we strive for if that is what we so choose.

December 24, 2005
3:39 am
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bonita1
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But a good relationship entails two emotionally healthy individuals willing to work together to make it "good."

I'm happy for you, Matty. I really am.

December 24, 2005
4:41 am
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Oh Seeker,

Babe, you got what it takes. Not to worry so. Try writing out a list of qualities you would like to find in a woman. The universe has an interesting way of unfolding in that direction. Put it to prayer. Meditate on it. Write affirmations about it. Let it go. Live your life interestedly. Ask questions and really listen between the lines. I would date you if I were single. No lie. Take a gal to a bookstore and ask her her favorite kinds of books, favorite sections. Don't put on that "best image" or "hard guy" stuff, just wear your sweet self to the date. That way you'll know you are being accepted for your indecisive self. Which, you asked, is sexy because women sometimes hate it when men act like know it alls and run everything 24/7. It shows an ability to weigh the choices thoughtfully, rather than just shoot from the hip at everything....

LL

December 24, 2005
5:20 am
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OMG that is so funny!

Hey, this could really work! You should write a book.

December 24, 2005
11:44 am
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Matteo
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bonita,

Dear Seniorita!

Thank you for your kind words to me.

I've been there, done that before as well. I understood the point, but the words you quoted were really strong and, as you've said somewhat outdated.

It really gets to me both when people behave like bunnies jumping from one relationship to another on a rebound, or rising high walls of disbelief and protection, because they've got hurt in the past - or do both at the same time!

I think it is really good to take a break and reflect on one self before starting dating again, but as seekerw pointed out, the rules and the guards should be lowered to a reasonable level. Actually the guards so high might indicate that the person is not ready for dating yet for whatever reason.

And 2 - 3 years before any serious commitment is a must, because after this time you should more less know who your partner is, and what to expect; anything earlier might lead to another fiasco. But have a good time during those years. Don't request your bf/gf jump through the burning hoops to prove that they are worthy of you.! It is not fair to them, and not healthy on both sides. If someone would ask me to do it, I wouldn't. I would rather say: "Good Bye! Find someone else, possibly a codependent to do your tricks!"

December 24, 2005
12:08 pm
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bonita1
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LOL!! Too true, matty, too true!

December 24, 2005
5:48 pm
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Anonymous
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Thanks to all you ladies for your comments! Yes, as Bonita suspected, I do worry that no woman could possibly want me, and that if one does, I'd better cling to her because she might be my only chance ever again for a relationship. (Dang, I can't keep anything hidden from you!)

But then, if your ex's could win you over, being who they were, then certainly I stand a decent chance to win over a decent woman. I just need a game plan, and patience (and a stunt double!).

When I was in high-school, I heard of a guy who took a less popular, less attractive girl to the prom. The girl was so enamored for the experience that it made the night extra special for him.

Ever since this, I felt obligated to seek out girls I find less attractive, to rescue them from loneliness, as I supposed they didn't get very many dates. I figured the more attractive women would have enough guys fawning over them and would already have enough dates. But all I ended up doing was cheating myself and building up resentment inside.

It may sound selfish and shallow, but I'm going to, when I'm available, date only those women who I find especially attractive. But then, I have a habit of finding God-fearing women attractive irrespective to some degree of their physical appearance, so maybe it won't be so shallow after all.

BTW, I was at the store today doing some last minute Christmas shopping. I was thinking about this thread in the store and I was more self-assured and confident than I normally am, and it didn't feel like an act -- I only slipped into my indecisve mode once.

Lass, thanks for the ideas. If you ever become available, let me know, and we'll browse amazon dot com together. :o)

December 24, 2005
6:19 pm
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hopeinhim,

That was indeed eerie that you knew me from the title of the thread. Must be woman's intuition -- but then, we're in neighboring states, so you didn't have to intuit too far. I'm not denigrating the quality of your intuiting, mind you. I can't even intuit somebody from only two feet away myself. :o)

You suggested taking two years in a relationship before making a serious commitment (which I interpret as marriage -- is that what you meant?). I can see your point about taking enough time to be sure; however, two years would be especially tough for me. You see, I've made a vow to abstain from sex outside marriage, and that's an awful lot of temptation to withstand if you're in a close relationship with somebody for two years. (I've found it isn't too great of a temptation if you're not in a relationship with somebody.)

So, what do you think of this, at least for myself? Take a year to establish whether or not you're compatible and ready for marriage. If you both decide you are, get the blessing for your marriage from appropriate family members, friends and clergy. Then, rather than waiting for eight months or a year for the fancy, formal wedding arrangements to be able to be made, elope and start married life immediately! Why put it off any longer?

You can throw a reception for your family and friends after the fact, even a few months after the fact, if necessary. Or simply throw an open house for them when you get back from your honeymoon. You get married for your own sakes, not for family and friends, although you want to share your joy with them.

What do you think of this? Does it make sense to you?

December 24, 2005
6:23 pm
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Worried_Dad,

"OMG that is so funny!

Hey, this could really work! You should write a book."

Thanks. Perhaps it would make a good story.

December 24, 2005
6:30 pm
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bonita,

"DO NOT BE IN A HEADLONG RUSH TO RE-MARRY. I am speaking from personal experience here, hon. Work on discovering that gorgeous guy inside. Even if it takes a year or more, you will be happier in the long run.
"

I'm sure you're right. However, I've now been separated from my wife for going on two years. I really don't want to wait too much longer to re-marry, perhaps no more than a year after the divorce.

I've already been working on developing a better relationship with myself for the last few months. I'm afraid if I keep it up too long, I'll become narcissistic (spelling?) to the point where I'll only want to marry myself. Ugh! What a thought.

December 24, 2005
6:35 pm
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kathygy
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seek,

I didn't read through this whole thread so what I say is based soley on your first post.

I'm sorry but that's the way it is. I would never date a man newly divorceed or separated. I see such a man as very vulnerable and really not ready for another relationship.

I think someone coming out of a marriage needs to take time to grieve the loss and to honor the relationship. Also, they need to get re-group.

What's so awful about waiting two years to have another serious relationship.

My feeling is if a man feels that he needs to jump into another relationship too soon then I'm not interested.

I want a man who has worked through all his issues and feelings about his marriage and is free and clear for another relationship.

I am not interested in being a transition person.

December 24, 2005
6:35 pm
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Anonymous
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Kasie,

No, I wouldn't say you're out. But cyber dating isn't very workable -- how would I show my affection? I know, I'd do this: ((((Kasie))))

Ras,

Thanks for your support. You always encourage everybody along, I've noticed.

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