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Dating When Biology Is Not On Your Side

Pages: 1 · 2

BrokenheartedUK posted 12/8/2020 11:05 AM

just have some tests run to see where you're at as far as your fertility.

This is really good advice. I had my third child at 38 without any problem at all, but I had a friend who had already entered perimenopause at that time.

FWIW, I would be upfront on your dating profile about what you are looking for. You will still have people who will waste your time, but that's true for all dating experiences. There were plenty of men who were looking for something much more serious before I was ready and it was easier for me to weed those out. It is completely valid to state upfront that you are looking for a serious relationship leading to starting a family together. You may scare some options off but they aren't really options in the first place. It's certainly worth a shot anyway.

But getting a read on your fertility levels is really important in understanding if you actually have the time to parse this.

[This message edited by BrokenheartedUK at 11:06 AM, December 8th (Tuesday)]

JanaGreen posted 12/8/2020 11:09 AM

Oh - and sorry, I have no dating advice, but plenty of stuff to say about fertility lol - be sure and get your thyroid checked too.

barcher144 posted 12/8/2020 13:23 PM

I thought I had done everything "right" before, and covered all of my bases.

And yet I still ended up with a husband who used my mothering instincts toward his children,

Dating advice:

I put these quotes up because they came from you and they suggest that you have a relationship issue. The nice way to describe your personality is "mothering"... the not-nice way would be to describe you as co-dependent. And, I say that as someone who is co-dependent as hell too.

The problem is that assholes love co-dependents (and co-dependents love to take care of assholes!).

To me, this is the biggest and most important thing that you need to work on. You need to see the red flags sooner and trust your instincts better.

Otherwise, you are going to find yourself with someone similar to who you had before. I am almost to the end of my second divorce. I have married my mother's asshole personality twice and I have two wives cheat on me. One could argue that my exes are the problem... but I now know that my people-picker is the problem.

Single Motherhood

As a parent who had a parenting partner, I can't imagine going down this route intentionally as a single person. It's just so damn difficult. But, if you want to... by all means... you're an adult and you get to make adult decisions. Sperm banks are an option. My guess is that you could find a "volunteer" too (I would have been willing to do it back in the day).

Vasectomies

I had a vasectomy about 8 years ago. I was told, repeatedly, to view the procedure as non-reversible. To be clear, I would strongly discourage you from dating another guy who suggests that he'll reverse his vasectomy in the future. That's a colossally large and red flag.

Dating A Woman Who hears her clock ticking

When I was 26 and freshly divorced the first time, I started dating a woman who was 37 years old and she made it clear that her clock was ticking. That was a lot of pressure on me and it did not help an otherwise doomer relationship (in hindsight, we didn't have much in common other than sex).

My suggestion would be to make it clear that you would like to have kids in the future (if you use online dating, this seems to be common in profiles) but do not make it clear that you are worried about your clock ticking. If you are asked early in the dating process, be honest but refuse to have "the talk" until you are certain that you are BOTH ready for a relationship.

The thing is... I read a lot of comments about men think XXX and YYY and women think AAA and BBB. That's all generalizations and there are plenty of exceptions. At age 30, I was ready to have a kid or two. Hell, even today, I would think that it'd be a ton of fun to babysit a little kid for most of day (even a newborn) (can you tell that I miss my kids?).

secondtime posted 12/8/2020 15:36 PM

So. PCOS can be a huge curse.

And a blessing.

I have PCOS..I spent from 20-39 not ovulating regularly. I have two clomid kids and an IUI+injectibles kids.

It's pretty common for your body to get it's shit together in your 40s when you have PCOS.

Which is why, in part, I have an almost 3 year old...and gave birth to her at 42. There was also BC failing in there as well.


Other than being overweight and not ovulating on my own for the most part, I've never had any issues from PCOS.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 12/8/2020 21:23 PM

To say I have trust issues surrounding having kids and sex in general is an understatement. I was gaslit for almost 7 years. The fact that I'm even discussing dating right now is a HUGE step for me. I couldn't even get my regular pap smear without bawling crying after we split. And for at least 6 months after DDay the arrival of my monthly period sent me into a spiral. After 15 years with no issues, I couldn't use tampons. Like my body rejected them, I literally couldn't get them in without hurting myself because I was so tensed up.

Apparently this is a trauma response to sexual abuse, it was just delayed. As its been explained to me by my therapist (who is a trauma specialist), I had been unable to process the trauma from his sex addiction while we were still together because I was still in the thick of it, and my brain was in survival mode, not processing mode. So when we split and my brain finally started to address it and process, all of the reactions I wasn't able to have over those years came to a head. I would have sex dreams about him and wake up crying. Feeling horny in any way was completely unsettling until very recently. I basically reacted like a rape victim.

I write all of that to point out that I've come a long, long way on all of this. The fact that I'm even entertaining having a penis anywhere near me is a testament to all of the work I've done the past couple of years.

Costs/Risks

The life schedules of the 21st century diverge from what our bodies have evolved to expect. And while yes, it's easier than it's ever been to have a baby later in life, that doesn't mean it's "easy." It comes with increasingly significant costs and risks.
BSR, thank you for validating my thoughts on this! I know you're not trying to scare me. I also know I'm not crazy to be thinking about it.

And yes, Jana, just because you can get pregnant past a certain age doesn't mean that it will be a viable pregnancy or an easy one to carry to term. My boss/friend got pregnant at 36 and got regular progesterone shots the second half, still ended up giving birth to her oldest son a month prematurely and he was on feeding tubes and a ventilator for over a month. She got pregnant pretty much right away again, but she went in for more thorough exams earlier this time, discovered she had an incompetent cervix, and they were able to address it much earlier so she could carry to term this time, but was told that had she not discovered this issue, it's likely she would have miscarried. Even with our really good union insurance, her medical bills were astronomical!

Ovarian Reserves/Thyroid/Fertility Testing
Re: testing my ovarian reserves, I know I need to get on that. My health insurance is supposed to be reinstated next week, at which point I'll be able to start making appointments. I have names of a couple of doctors that different friends have referred me to. Though my understanding from last time is that insurance won't pay for testing until I have been trying for at least a year with no results, or if I'm over 35... at least that's what I remember from my appointment before he got the reversal.

That's why my doctor suggested trying first before doing additional testing. I remember being very frustrated because we were trying to see if it was even worth spending the $10k on the reversal, but they couldn't test me until we tried, and we couldn't try until he had the reversal, so we were screwed. So all I had to go off of was the fact that I ovulated regularly and had regular periods, both I was told are positive signs for fertility.

And the thing about ovarian reserve is that even if I get it checked now and it's high, that doesn't mean it won't change drastically very quickly. My friend tested her reserves before she did the egg retrieval for her sister and she tested super high. Like, "Oh, you have nothing to worry about! You'll be fertile for years!" type of response. Less than a year later, when she was doing testing before she did her own retrieval for freezing, they had dropped to the lowest possible level that is still considered in the "normal" range. Her doctor basically told her she needs to get on it right away. She did the first round of egg retrieval, the doctor wasn't satisfied with the amount of eggs they got so decided to do another round, then she happened to get pregnant while she was on fertility drugs to do the second round.

There are also several online options available now for checking AMH levels. I'm not sure how much I trust these things, it seems a bit too good to be true that I can just mail away for a test and get accurate, reliable results. Though I found one that I can subscribe to that would send me a test every 3 months to stay on top of it, and it's relatively cheap, so I may just do that anyway.

Jana, luckily I'm good on my thyroid. My mom has hypothyroidism, so this is something I get checked regularly anyway, but I also brought it up with my OB back before we started trying and he said it was definitely important to know, so he ran some advanced thyroid tests. My levels have always come back normal. When I get my health insurance back this will be another check up added to the list though.

Also when it comes to history of fertility in my family, it's not really a good thing to go off of. Sooo many people have said to me "Well, your mom had 4 kids, she's obviously fertile!" Yeah, buddy, she had all 4 of us before she was 30, we're comparing apples to oranges at this point. My grandma had her two children at 19 and 21, so that's like apples to tomatoes. My aunt on my mom's side had both of hers before 30 too.

I was born premature, as was my oldest cousin. And we were both born to young moms in their early 20s, so I'm not sure what that says about the risks for that in my mid to late 30s. Though we have more advancements in medicine now to help prevent that. We're estranged from my dad's side of the family, so I don't know much about the medical history of the females on his side. I know his mom had 4 kids, also all at a young age, but that's the extent of my knowledge.

Men Who Want Kids Are Out There
fooled13years, phmh, thank you for chiming in on this - I know there are guys who want kids out there. All of my guy friends from college are happily married with kids, engaged and discussing children, or in long, committed relationships and discussing their futures. I see how much they love their wives/fiances/girlfriends, and how excited they are to talk about their kids, current or future. So I know it exists.

And before anyone even goes there, yes, I hooked up with several of them in college. No, seriously dating was never in the cards with any of them, due to various points of incompatibility. I love them as friends. I'm also happy I'm not married to any of them

How To Ask About It

If you are going the dating profile route, I'd be careful about revealing too much about things that are important to you, lest someone alter their actual response to be more in line with what they think you want to hear.
I have to say it, but this is a perfect example of why "Lying is bad", and, if you know a lot of people are going to lie about something, it becomes difficult to trust the truth!
phmh, RIO, these are my thoughts exactly! This is why I'm trying to figure out how to even address it. I clearly attracted the kind of man who would do/say anything to mirror me, but had no intention of following through with it. How do I avoid that without playing mind games myself?

The person lying to you and telling you they really want kids too even though they don't and have every intention of fucking and fleeing, is saying the exact same words as the person who actually does want children. So you have to judge intention, which is something you can't really know until it's put to the test with action.

And this isn't one of those things where you can say "actions speak louder than words, base if off of their actions" until it's too late. I'm not a psycho who is trying to get knocked up after a couple of dates. The only time their action can be tested is way down the line. So what, I build a relationship for a few years based on the idea that we both want the same things, then it comes time to start trying to get pregnant and all of a sudden poof! All I'm left with is a man-sized hole in my wall as he nopes the hell out of there because shit just got real.

Online Dating/Dating In General
Re: a dating profile, I guess I shouldn't even dive into my reticence to date online - that could take pages of discussion. But oh well, it's relevant. For one, I have some serious issues with the idea of window shopping for a partner. I've helped friends go through profiles, and it feels icky as fuck. It also seems to be the exact kind of environment rife with superficial assholes who are already operating from an immature/unhealthy mindset - both male and female. I know that is a broad generalization, and I know many awesome members of SI are on dating apps, so this isn't to disparage them. I'm just trying to acknowledge my own triggers around it.

Second, dating apps are a cheater's paradise. I've had 4 different friends find their significant others using apps like Tinder to find hook ups while they were together - some living together, one married, but all serious relationships. I myself experienced the same thing. It has left a seriously bad taste in my mouth around the whole endeavor. It just feels like an external validation loop, something I'm not interested in perpetuating.

Of course I absolutely don't know what the workaround to that is. I thought I had bypassed having to deal with all of that because I met my X in passing before dating apps became popular. Now it seems dating is pretty much exclusively online now. So we'll see how it goes. I may be forced into it. Especially since in my line of work most of the men are gay, so there's no real chance for meeting anyone there.

I've started putting feelers out there with friends, telling them that if they know of anyone they think I might like, I'm not opposed to hearing more about them. But so far the only guy who has been brought up was a friend of my friend's boyfriend, and after meeting him at a socially distanced hang out for her birthday, he casually decided to cut lines of coke on a table out in the open and then rallied her boyfriend and others to go to a strip club in the middle of a pandemic, sooooo that's a hard pass for me. I'm actually embarrassed that her bf even thought I would go for someone like that. I also think she could do a lot better than him, but that's not my call.

It's such a mind fuck because I'm blunt like a lead pipe, straightforward to a fault. So I just don't get why people lie about shit when dating. It doesn't lead anywhere good, just a whole lot of drama! I mean I get it, I'm great in bed, I would want to sleep with me too But I know there are other women out there who are equally as attractive and willing who DON'T want kids. I'm friends with several of them. So why bother with the time/effort of trying to bed me when you could have a much simpler/easier time with someone else?

The Old "You're Intimidating" Trope
But I've also been told many times that I'm intimidating. It was a common refrain among men I dated in college and early 20s. My XH used to say it to me all the time too, to my great annoyance. I've since been told that some men view this as a challenge, something to overcome and "win". So I end up attracting the guys who want to "win," not the guys who actually care if we're on the same page. That's just some armchair psychology from friends, but I can see how the argument holds water.

It's not like I'm trying to be intimidating. I'm just out here doing my thing, living my life, and those are the comments I get. I actually find it very frustrating, because I can't seem to get a straight answer from anyone on what it actually is about me that is intimidating. So because I'm just out here being me, I can only assume it's something about me intrinsically. Which means I don't know how to be less intimidating without completely changing who I am. And I happen to really like who I am. So here I find myself.

Maybe that's it - the fact that I like who I am, I'm self-assured. I thought that was a good thing, that because I was in a good place I surely would be attracting the right kind of people. I don't know. Part of me feels like good, you should be intimidated. I bring a lot to the table, and you're going to have to meet me at my level. But I guess if I hear someone say I'm intimidating I should just run for the hills. Because if they were at my level, they wouldn't be intimidated. And just the fact that they're even vocalizing their intimidation (in my XH's case, over, and over, and over again) should show me how low their self-esteem is, and we all know the loads of drama that bullshit leads to.

My therapist has explored this with me, that we don't all have the same capacities. Specifically when we talk about empathy and emotional maturity. She's asked me many times what I want in a partner, and those are at the top of my list. She keeps repeating that I operate at a level of empathy that my XH just wasn't capable of. That asking him to meet me at my level was a fool's errand, akin to asking a so-so athlete to compete in the Olympics. He might not be the worst person out there, but he certainly didn't have the capacity to keep up with someone at that level.

I dunno. I'm chalking it up as a win that I'm even thinking about dating someone again after the hell I lived through.

Mothering Kids vs. Mothering a Spouse
barcher, trust me I hear you on the codependence issue. I have worked and am working really hard on that. I still bristle at the label, I'm not a fan of how broad it is, but I'm working on the individual behaviors. I've done a lot of FOO investigation and surprise, surprise, I've got some daddy issues. Namely that he's a covert narcissist and the entire family dynamic revolves around him and keeping his anger at bay.

Even just a year ago I wouldn't have openly admitted that, because I didn't see it. It wasn't overt enough, so I was convinced it wasn't that bad. My XH showed a depth of emotion and empathy, especially around his daughters, that I took to be the opposite of my dad. Turned out they're very similar in many ways that weren't readily apparent until I was in too deep already.

I do want to specify though that when I say my "mothering" tendencies toward his children, I mean exactly that - I mothered them. Taught them things so they would know how to do it themselves rather than rely on me to do it for them. Yes, I helped them a lot. I made sure I was available to help with homework. Provided a listening ear when they were having issues with friends, or each other. I made sure they never needed to worry about having food in the house, or clothes to wear, or the school supplies they needed like they had to with their negligent bio mom, but I also taught them how to cook for themselves, how to clean up after themselves, how to try and fail, then try again.

If their bathroom was a mess, so be it, they're choosing that. If they didn't have clean clothes well they'd better throw something in the laundry. I let them bear the consequences of their poor decision making. I taught them how to speak up for themselves when they knew they had too much homework and couldn't go to the beach with their dad that day. Or when they wanted to sleep in for once. Or they just wanted time to themselves. I know I made mistakes, but I did my damndest to learn from every one of them and I'm ultimately very proud of my mothering of them.

When I say my ex had an issue with my mothering tendencies towards my step daughters, codependency wasn't the issue, it's that he was angry that I would not be a mother to him. He basically wanted me to fix everything that went wrong in his life for him. He wanted me to be his mommy/caretaker/therapist/lover all rolled into one. I refused, I wanted an equal partner, not a petulant child. He told me he loved me for that, and how much he appreciated how I held him accountable. In actuality he resented me for that.

When he borrowed money from me, I made him pay me back like he said he would. Apparently that was an offense. When he promised he would do something, I held him to it. That was mean. I didn't fall all over myself to uproot our lives every time he came home and proclaimed he wanted to move to Hawaii, or Texas, or Oregon on a whim. What a terrible wife I was. He told me my portion of the health insurance was $117 a month, which I paid him on time every month. He then snapped a year later about how much he was paying for me because it was actually closer to $400 a month, but it was obviously my fault for taking him at his word that it cost what he said it did I didn't give in to his paranoid delusions that everyone, everywhere was staring at him or trying to start a fight. I didn't immediately take out my earrings and prepare to throw down every time he lost his temper at someone over nothing, and that apparently meant I wasn't "ride or die" enough. Oh, and my personal favorite, I refused to spend my entire time at the beach staring at him so I could catch a picture of the one wave he caught in 2 hours time surfing, so his "entire day was a waste" and "Why did you even bother to come?!" How selfish of me to want to go swimming with my step daughters and not be his personal unpaid photographer.

I found out after the split that he had been talking to the girls behind my back, complaining that I loved them more than I loved him. He viewed love as someone taking care of him like a child, bending to his every whim, and putting a lid on his emotions for him every time they boiled over because he couldn't seem to do it for himself. I on the other hand wanted to be married to a responsible adult who admitted fault and took ownership of his actions and any resulting consequences. These two goals were obviously at odds with each other.

I wanted him to stop being an asshole, and he wanted me to be an asshole whisperer. I refused to budge, so he threw a temper tantrum, screamed that he wanted a divorce, then fucked someone in our bed to really seal the deal. Yes, I was traumatized, but looking back the trash took itself out as far as I'm concerned. Yes, I stayed for far too long hoping that he would step up and be the person he promised to be, and admittedly showed glimmers of from time to time. But I know not to wait on glimmers anymore.

PCOS/Ovulation and Fertility
secondtime, glad to hear that PCOS didn't end up getting in the way for you! I am lucky in that I know I ovulate regularly. We did the ultrasound at my OB where he could see that the egg had erupted. He mentioned that it looked like I might have mild PCOS, but it was hard to tell from that one scan, which is why he suggested just working on getting my cycle down to a better length with a better diet, stress reduction etc. I'm also not sure how much of my cycle length issues could be attributed to the ongoing stress of living with an addict. I haven't been tracking it since the split, it was hard to even think about for a while, but I started writing it down this month, so we'll see.

I also had an ovulation tracker that I inserted while I slept that could pinpoint my temp drop with crazy accuracy, and in the time I was using it I never missed a month. I've always had mittelschmertz too, so I can tell when I'm ovulating due to the cramping, plus my boobs get huge. Fellas, you're getting a crash course in fertility in this thread, huh?

Dating On The Clock | Fertility Knowledge + Lack Thereof
re: dating and the clock, I totally hear you on the pressure it can create. It certainly feels like pressure to me too as I watch the months pass by. Only a guy can walk away and relieve that pressure, mine is built in. I still have a hard time with the idea of not letting someone know my clock is ticking because, well, it is. I would rather someone own that they can't take the pressure and walk away - if you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. I mean you said yourself barcher that the relationship with your baby-crazy ex was doomed anyway because you didn't have much in common besides sex. I can't see how ignoring her clock in the name of taking pressure off of you would have made that better. If anything it rightfully forced the relationship to end. Avoiding it would have just delayed the inevitable.

I can't fault men for not understanding it, it is a failure on the part of our education system that men, and many women, know so little of the ticking time bomb that is female fertility. Because almost every female friend of mine is in similar shoes, whether it's trying for another kid or trying for their first, and their husbands are very flippant about it and seem to think they can just wait indefinitely. My best friend with the low ovarian reserve had to have this convo with her fiance about trying for their second recently. He thought they could just wait another 3 or 4 years and all would be well. When she explained what low ovarian reserve meant he was shocked. I think the way we teach sex ed and basically make it sound like you're going to get pregnant every time you have sex does a huge disservice to discussions re: fertility. Sure, you are playing with fire every time you have sex, and you need to use birth control if you aren't ready for kids. But it's not a sure fire thing by any means, especially as you get older.

I guess I'm asking for too much, but in a perfect world I would rather be with someone who viewed it as a challenge to be met head on together, not as pressure. Both sides doing what they can to make a mutual goal a reality, not a daunting task.

Thank you all for the loads of different advice. It's nice to be able to get such varying perspectives! Although I'm not super excited at the prospect of being a single parent by choice, if it comes down to it and that's the only way for me to have a kid, so be it. IUI is looking much more reasonable the further I look into it. It's not like I wouldn't have any help, my brothers would all be awesome, involved uncles as they were with my step daughters, and I know my mom and my grandma would be thrilled. But I know it's a lot of work to do on your own, so I don't take that lightly.

Bringing It Up/Dating
Annie, funny how he didn't see that he was trying to fit you into his own little box even after you told him right there in your profile what you wanted. At least he was honest and didn't try to fake it to sleep with you I guess. But yeah, in my experience, wanting to change their partner isn't exclusive to women. I've seen plenty of guys act shocked when the girl they've been fucking for years who has been consistently saying she wants marriage and kids "all of a sudden," wants marriage and kids

Phmh, I like how you cajoled some honest answers out of people re: their fidelity by being a bit more subversive with your questions. Actually, I hate that you even had to do that, but I'm glad you got the authentic answer and didn't get taken along for a ride.

I mean the convo around kids tends to come up pretty naturally when I talk to new people anyway. I'm still very close with my eldest step daughter, so she comes up. Then that's an easy segue into, "Do you have any kids?" If yes, "Oh cool, tell me about them!" If no, I guess that's when I ask, "Oh, is that by design, or do you want kids at some point?" I've had this discussion with multiple people at work as we get to know each other, because it's an easy conversation starter. People love to talk about their kids! But it's never been in an attempt to date anyone, just getting to know them. I'll be interested to see how that type of convo plays out in a dating capacity.

If I can get myself to actually go on a date ever again. UGH, I hate dating. I hate it so much. Online dating aside, I'm pretty sure I've forgotten how to date in general now. Like how do you even talk to new people? The small talk, the formality of a sit down dinner, going for drinks and feeling like you're on an interview etc. None of that sounds even remotely fun to me. I hate feeling like I'm supposed to be impressing someone, but I hate it even more when I can sense someone is trying to impress me. I wish there was a bypass button where I could just skip all of that nonsense. Oy, I sound like an old lady, but it truly sounds so exhausting. That's an entirely different dilemma though.

**Edited to break the paragraphs down further and title/bold different sections for ease of reading**

[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 12:35 PM, December 10th (Thursday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 12/9/2020 12:51 PM

This 1000X:

If I was looking for a husband who wanted kids, any man with a vasectomy would be out. Men don't get vasectomies lightly. Most who are positive they don't want kids or more kids won't get one.

My WH has a vas, and hilariously he would wax on and on with his AP about how he would consider a reversal when they rode off into the sunset together. What a pile of shit! He would rather have set himself of fire and be burned beyond recognition than have another kid (he also had a very unplanned child when he was young and got the snip in his late 20s because he never wanted kids to begin with). So to listen (read) him carrying on about possibly having a reversal because they were so in love was total and complete bullshit. If anyone tries to sell you that, don't buy it.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 12/9/2020 12:57 PM

And are you kidding me with this?


I put these quotes up because they came from you and they suggest that you have a relationship issue. The nice way to describe your personality is "mothering"... the not-nice way would be to describe you as co-dependent.

This site should be called surviving infidelity and getting your unsolicited amateur co-dependency diagnosis. Sigh.

You really have a few choices - put yourself out there and in no uncertain terms, like from the get go, tell someone that you are looking for serious marriage potential and kids or do it on your own via sperm bank (or by sleeping around until you get knocked up). Being upfront about what you want is going to scare some people off. Being up front about what you want is also not going to scare some people off who don't actually want the same things but are willing to pretend like they do/try to convince themselves they do (like your ex). Looking for Mr. Right is a gamble - so is the sperm bank and sleeping around - just a different kind of gamble.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 12:57 PM, December 9th (Wednesday)]

Darkness Falls posted 12/10/2020 11:33 AM

RIO is right on the point about autism sometimes correlating with paternal ageómy H was 46 when we conceived my autistic daughter.

However, when he was 48 we conceived a neurotypical one, so.

But had my older daughter been dxíd prior to my getting pregnant with our second, Iíd never have taken the chance. Just my two cents on that.

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 11:35 AM, December 10th (Thursday)]

HeHadADoubleLife posted 12/10/2020 12:14 PM

This site should be called surviving infidelity and getting your unsolicited amateur co-dependency diagnosis.

ThisIsSoLonely, I'm pretty used to it at this point. I know it's meant with good intentions.

I'm aware of the shit I need to work on, and yes, some of it can be considered codependent. But I prefer to focus on the individual unhealthy behaviors rather than the label.

One of the things I'm working on is trying to be less hyper-vigilant and suspicious, basically, to be able to trust people. While obviously a lot of that comes from the repeated betrayals while living with a sex addict, then the final EA/PA betrayal, it's also just part of my personality.

My therapist and I have talked a lot about it. The more we discuss my childhood and early adulthood, the more apparent it is that I've always been on the hyper-vigilant side. Yeah, some of that comes from FOO stuff with my dad, but the more we talk about even really early childhood memories, its become apparent that it's a pretty inherent part of me, because I can't even remember a time when I wasn't that way. She suggests I was primed for a relationship like this because I'm so used to that feeling. I get confused by that because I had to do a lot of mental gymnastics to even get myself to accept that his feelings might be real.

See the weird thing is, I had a lot of red flag feelings about the X in the beginning. Felt super awkward about how over-the-top he was. All of the effusive compliments irked me. The poems he would send, the texts upon texts of compliments. Has anyone read over on r/NiceGuys? He's basically that. Before they flip out and rage because you rejected them it's line after line of over-the-top, "romantic" crap. And I felt super uncomfortable with it. Like physically cringed every time he sent a poem or a complimentary text.

But I had convinced myself that I was the problem. That I was just bad at taking compliments. I was too closed off and needed to open myself up to the idea that some people are just really nice. I had never been with a "nice guy," I had picked assholes, so I needed to stop self-sabotaging and accept that maybe he really was that nice. These were the things going on in my head, even while the alarm bells were ringing. He kept it up for so long, I eventually believed that this was truly who he was. So I let my guard down. I'm not going to lie, it was nice to finally be able to accept a compliment without cringing. Then it all came crashing down when I realized that he was just a bundle of contradictions and resentments.

My gut obviously knew there were some serious issues with my X, and I logic-ed and argued my way out of it. So it's not as much that I don't trust my gut anymore. It's that I probably trust it even more now, and my gut wants me to run away from anyone who shows even remote levels of interest in me, because they must be full of shit. My gut is pretty much always screaming at me that every single person I interact with has some kind of ulterior motive, and now after my X I'm much more inclined to believe it.

I'm very much used to the motive being "I just want to fuck her." Those guys are pretty easy to spot. And sure, in my 20s I definitely indulged in a few one night stands from those interactions, because I knew it wasn't going to go any further than that. They were hot, and I was cool with it, so it didn't matter. In those situations I would much rather just cut the crap and get to bed. Like please, stop with the compliments and flirting, we both know we're going home together, let's just cut to that and stop wasting our time. But I don't have time for that anymore.

I could see how talking about kids in that instance might be an easy way to get someone into bed. A totally dishonest move, sure, but it would get the job done. But those kinds of guys are the fuck 'em and leave 'em type, so after the ONS, maybe even a couple of months of getting all the sexual mileage they can out of the "relationship," they would nope the hell out of there.

What I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around is those like my ex who just keep going, and going, and going. Like we didn't have a bunch of really great sex, then call it quits. That would have been easy, and honestly, what I was expecting. Only we kept dating. He would buy tickets to concerts months in advance, and when that day came we would... go. We would make plans and... actually do them. So what I had dismissed as "future-faking," - but just kept going along with because who cared, the sex was great - was turning out to be authentic, it seemed.

He introduced me to his kids. Met my family, I met his. Moved in together. Got married. I thought it was a series of willful decisions in the development of a mature relationship. Turned out to be him just stumbling along blindly, accepting whatever turn of events as something that happened "to" him, not choices he was making with consequences.

Having a kid should be one of the most measured, well-thought-out decisions anybody ever makes. So I'd like to figure out how to do that with someone who gives it an equal amount of thought and treats it as the gift and responsibility that it is. He insisted he was exactly that kind of person. Turns out he was not who he purported to be. He was full of shit.

You're right, there are risks no matter which way I go. I guess I was hoping there was a way to ask these questions that inspire honest answers. Rather than feeling like I have to be subversive or even downright manipulative to get them. I would rather not feel like an interrogator, holding info close to the vest in order to elicit an honest confession. Though it seems like that's the only real way to expose the liars.

It's not that I don't know how to do that, in fact I'm quite good at it when I don't let my logic-driven brain talk me out of it. I just don't like how manipulative it feels, so I was hoping there was another way.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 12/10/2020 12:22 PM

Thanks for that info DF! It's especially good to know since I have a history of dating men who are at least a few years older than me. My XH is 7 years older.

ThisIsSoLonely, I know if I were to decide to do it on my own it would be via sperm bank, not sleeping around. As fun as that might be, I would want my kid(s) to have the option of knowing who their father is. And if I were to have more than one, I would like the option of having them share the same father so they would be full biological siblings.

Not to mention, it would require going without protection with people I didn't really know all that well - at least I'm assuming if I was sleeping around I wouldn't be vetting people in the same way I would if I were actually dating them.

Trapped74 posted 12/12/2020 09:26 AM

He wanted me to be an asshole whisperer.

That made me guffaw!!

To the point: Iíve never done OLD, but arenít there sites that arenít hookup sites? Like Match? I know youíre not excited by the prospect of OLD but that may be the most efficient way of reaching your goals. I could be mistaken, but I think there are dating sites that at least make it a tad harder for PD folks to find victims. If someone has to fork out money and answer a bazillion questions about their values to be a member, the odds of finding a decent person have to go up a bit, right?

Barring that, my bffís sister did sperm donor. It has been challenging going it alone, but both she and her son are happy and healthy. Sounds like you have a supportive family unit. If having a child is your primary goal, maybe talk to your mom, sibs, etc. Could you count on support from them if you relocated to be closer? Iíve had friends who had kids who lived in LA... they realized fairly early on that they did NOT want to raise them there!

That was a long-winded way of saying: if having children is your number one goal, there are ways of making it happen. Youíll just likely need to reprioritize everything else.

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