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I'm a single mom and have been dating a guy for a year. We never have any alone time because I have two teenagers that are almost always home when we are. I'm getting very frustrated not being able to be alone with him and he verbalized that but acts like there is no solution. What should I do? I don't want to just get a hotel room every night!

Single mom

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May I talk to you in detail.. Like how old are your kids and how old is that guy??

Single mom

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Dear Lorri! I do not know the age of your children but I think the only solution you could do if you feel that frustrated about it is to go out sometimes. Not every night, but going out from time to time would make both of you feel a bit relieved, and as a first step it might be helpful. You deserve your time with your partner, as well. Also, if you had any relatives around you who your teenagers could visit from time to time might be a solution, too. Obviously, it works only occasionally. Best of luck!

Single mom

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My kids are 17 & 19. I'm 40 & my boyfriend is 42.

Single mom

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Answer every single question, please. 1. How come a 17 and 19 year old are home all the time? Why aren't they wanting to go out with their friends, especially on a Friday and Saturday night? 2. Why aren't they hitting the town together? 3. Do they have the money to? If they do - might they be playing bodyguards (due to a prior relationship of yours wherein you got treated badly) or might they be subconsciously-deliberately trying to get in between you both so that your relationship can't strengthen to the point where Mr moves in and they get even less of your attention? 4. Do they get enough of your attention, especially compared to when you were single? 5. How come your boyfriend isn't as frustrated as you over never getting alone time? Was getting to feel part of a ready-made family his top priority? Otherwise, why is it, do you suspect, that he acts like there are no solutions (when actually, as we've shown, there are)? 6. Can you or the pair of you afford a babysitter? 7. Why hasn't it occurred to either of you to be the ones to go out alone if the kids are playing limpet? Or is this more about getting to have sex and being as noisy as you like about it? 8. How is the state of yours and his relationship nowadays?

Single mom

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Thanks for the great thoughts on this one. It gave me the courage to talk to all parties involved. First, my kids, I asked them if they were concerned about my new guy. They told me they just really feel comfortable around him and like spending time with him! Next, I talked to the boyfriend, I asked him about spending time alone. He was surprised because we do go out quite a bit and spend lots of time alone at my house. I think my concern was mostly sexual. I want to be with him in that way and he feels uncomfortable while the kids are in the house. He also asked if it would be ok if we waited until marriage. I was shocked, still am. I felt kinda bad like I was pushing him into sex. He told me he just has religious beliefs that he feels strongly about. I really love this guy, love being with him, guess I wait!

Single mom

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Oh. LOL - you have the OPPOSITE problem to most people in this situation. Your kids like him TOO much! (- the b***ard!, LOL). Sorry, but if you'd been in MY shoes for god knows how many decades you'd know how amusing for its perfection this is! So, then, this speaks volumes, doesn't it. Finally your boys have a man about the house who's PLEASANT to be around, meaning, the last lot were - WHAT NOW? Yeah - creeps. Or is it, do you think, a case of BOTH agendas: like being around him yet by seeing how good egg he is, are worried that they stand to lose you a little?...and especially if the two of you get to cement and strengthen your relationship on the romantic side VIA MAKING LOVE? Ergo, two birds killed with one stone but wrapped up in the NICER wrapping paper of 'we like him'? Bribe them. There will be something(s) that they care MORE about than keeping you two apart (bedroom-wise). What is it? However.. Why is it your partner isn't as miffed about this lack of bedroomy opportunities as you and is going as far as asking you to wait until marriage of all things? Is it just a simple case of, doesn't dare complain in case he rocks the cosy boat? Believes it's not for him to say (an attitude that as opposed to the usual of thinking he's the dad-figure, will have made their liking him that much easier)? I think you're seeing the product of different agendas on the parts of your partner and your two kids-'in-crime' that just so happen to be compatible in application. They want to keep you and he more separate than they think you'd otherwise grow (and grow more quickly) to be and, as for partner? He loves being a part of you and your family so much that he's holding sex to ransom. And the ransom note says, 'Actually marry me or the sex-life gets it!'. I understood from the way you put it that you and he therefore have never even HAD sex together yet? Well, whether or not you believe abstaining from getting to sample that side of each other is reasonable or sensible (or whether it saves til later what could be a massive dealbreaker or source of permanent dissatisfaction) comes down purely to what your OWN ideas are on that score. You GUESS you'll just have to wait, but - SHOULD YOU IN THIS DAY AND AGE EVEN HAVE TO?

Single mom

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We were just talking about this the other day. LOL. A friend told me that her parents would tie a big red ribbon on the front door and the kids knew that was mom and dad's "alone time." So the kids had to occupy themselves some other way for a time. You kids are old enough to understand that you need some "alone time" so announce that next XXX nite, they need to do something by themselves. (I wouldn't do it on a weekend nite; that's when the kids need to be monitored) No need to explain to them anything more. This private time could be a romantic dinner, etc. etc. or simply just watching a movie without interruption.

Single mom

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My grey jello is still itching, though. "he feels uncomfortable while the kids are in the house. He also asked if it would be ok if we waited until marriage [because] he just has religious beliefs that he feels strongly about." Surely if it were the case of his being in the alleged position of feeling PROHIBITED against committing the act of sexual intercourse before marriage, the fact over whether or not he felt comfortable having sex with the kids in the house wouldn't even FEATURE? What's he REALLY saying? That he doesn't feel comfortable with the kids in the house, but because he doesn't want to help sort that problem, he wants you to believe he couldn't have sex, anyway, even if he wanted to/even if you two were alone? ERROR, DOES NOT COMPUTE. 'My religion prevents pre-marital sex' should be all one needed to say, not, 'and anyway we can't because the kids are in the house'. That's like saying, 'I couldn't call you on my mobile phone because I'd lost it so didn't have it on me...and anyway, its battery was dead'. (Que?) The kids could be up his very NOSTRILS and it wouldn't change his so-called religious barrier! Right? Things that make you go, Hmmmm. This demonstrates that his religious belief ISN'T the real barrier (otherwise it could stand alone as his reason, wouldn't NEED any fortifications). Methinks it could perhaps be that he doesn't want to risk your boys' displeasure, not even remotely or even just potentially. But why would and HOW COULD that mere possibility outweigh a man's normal, natural urges for regular, frequent sexual gratification with the partner he loves and lusts after, to the point of putting paid to them? What, did all his previous relationships go splat due to the womens' kids' resistance and interference? Hate to rain on your parade, here, missus, but... you want to have a long, hard think about all of this and what it suggests because it COULD be pointing to the reality being more about this 'perfect guy' of yours NOT being so perfect - due to lacking a healthy libido (and wanting to hide it from you behind excuses until such time when you get to find out yet are 'trapped' and feel powerless to do anything about it). Also, if he's THAT religious as includes such a firm belief then why didn't he ensure he ended up with a woman of the same religion and beliefs? Were he, her being of the same mind would mean she wouldn't have to swallow her inevitable frustration for however long. Speaking of which: HOW long? I mean, has he even proposed to you yet? Clearly not or you'd have described him as your fiancee rather than a guy you've been dating for a year. So - what...You're going to have to live like a nun for some indeterminate period, possibly years, possibly even a decade for all you know? Getting on with your kids and you and being in all other ways perfectly adequate isn't enough if once you're married to him you have barely any sex-life to speak of, is it. IS IT? Why can't you have ALL of the bog-standard basics? Who said you had to settle to THAT massive degree? You need to sample sex as part and parcel of the bonding/test-drive process. In this day and age, that's normal, has been for AGES now, whereas his attitude could too easily be said to be outdated to point of the abnormal one. So why is you have to bend over backwards to accommodate his abnormal? Why doesn't he have to bend over supposedly backwards to accommodate one of yours and the majority of people's need and expectation aka normal? Or why not a 50/50 compromise? You need to get to the bottom of this as well as ask yourself if you're truly capable of enduring this 'desert' as may or may not be brief or, worse, never-ending-Amen and 'bye-bye sex-life'!

Single mom

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Wow, Soulmate!! So.... Here's my response. Yes, my boys like him & yes they are concerned that he will take their mom away. We've talked about that & they want me to "get a life" because they are getting older & plan on leaving the nest. They want to know that I wont be alone and that I'll be happy. As for the other subject. We have "done it" and the next day he felt terrible remorse and even apologized to me. I feel bad because we are of the same faith and share the same values but I have a kinda messed up idea about sex. See, I was married and the guy was a narcissist and we had sex everyday because it was the ONLY time he paid any attention or was nice to me. So unfortunately, I got in a habit of sex everyday & it meant this was how I felt loved. This new guy wants our friendship & our relationship to strengthen before we continue anything physical. I understand this but I've talked him into it in the past and it's hard for me to not want something that feels good & loving.

Single mom

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Tell them, thanks for their very sweet and touching and rather cute concern but to keep their wickle nosies out of the big boss's business, that she'll 'find a life' when SHE decides, which will be when SHE'S good and ready, not when her UNDERLINGS tell her to. Remind them that only ADULTS get to advise other adults about how best to run their own business aaaand you don't see THEM behaving like adults. Rather, you see them opting to stay at home on a Friday and Saturday night like two little 10-year-olds so maybe THEY should be the ones to 'get a life', EH! How exactly DO they plan on 'leaving the nest' if despite they already have wings enough to fly, they're sat there in their little PJs with wings folded and redundant, watching telly on the two biggest 'flying-practise' nights of the week? Doesn't REPETITION make perfect? "We have "done it" and the next day he felt terrible remorse and even apologized to me" Oh, good grief! If you have a 'kinda messed up idea' about sex then so do I and yet I don't see MY life situation featuring my having some fundamental problem. Au contraire! You do not have a messed up idea about sex. You're doing what you're programmed to do which is to be REALISTIC and deal with what's on your reality plate, not on the fantasies menu. "I was married and the guy was a narcissist" What you've done without even knowing it is pendulum swung typically too far from one extreme (too much sex) to the other (none bar the once). You won't be happy until you find a happy medium (hence why it's called HAPPY MEDIUM). Despite having sex ALL the time isn't healthy, neither is total abstinence. So of COURSE it's 'hard for you'. I'm surprised it's not downright impossible. How come he doesn't mind pre-enjoying a perk that EQUALLY belongs only to couples who are married - ie. that of practically living in your house (or does he ACTUALLY live there?) ...and another, called, getting to act like already a member of someone else's family? He can't have it both ways. If he's denying you sex because you're not married yet, you can deny him the other perks of marriage, can't you. Let's see if he likes THEM apples (I'm betting not). Dual Standards.

Single mom

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Don't take sh*t and nonsense just because it's hidden under the veil of something supposedly good and productive like religious belief. Sex and ones attitudes towards it when it's actually part and parcel and a clear expression of ones love for another, not cheap and recreational, demands a high level of compatibility. You and he are not compatible in this way. Can adjustments be made so that you are? If not, then either he agrees to apply the laxity he's currently applying to family life, equally to the OTHER premature perks - ones that YOU need - or he can go the OTHER way and uphold ALL of them. Or does he actually believe tenets are cherry trees that he gets to pick and choose fruit from?

Single mom

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Thanks. Yeah, the boys have an active social life but it's tough cuz they wanna have friends over & run in and outta the house all the time. I really like this guy and really don't want to give him an ultimatum. I will have to talk to him about some kind of happy medium. I'm so frustrated and don't wanna do someone, I mean, something I'd regret.

Single mom

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First he said he did not want to have sex while the kids are home. Then he changed it to not wanting to have sex until he's married due to religious reasons. He's making up fake excuses as to why he does not want sex. This does not bode well for your relationship. Do you really want to be with someone who can't be straightforward and honest with you? Do you really want someone who is not interested in sex?

Single mom

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Exactly, GWENDOLINI - well nutshelled, thank-you! LORRI, "Thanks. Yeah, the boys have an active social life but it's tough cuz they wanna have friends over & run in and outta the house all the time." They want, they want, they want... WHO'S THE BOSS HERE? Are you trying to raise little despots who think they're in charge of the adults? You should only have to TELL them if you want them to make themselves scarce on whatever occasional Saturday night. "I really like this guy and really don't want to give him an ultimatum. I will have to talk to him about some kind of happy medium. I'm so frustrated and don't wanna do someone, I mean, something I'd regret." Nobody suggested an ultimatum, just a firm conversation about how this set-up is loaded too much in his favour and not in yours (although I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be describing abstinence from sex from the male's point of view as being something in HIS favour, jeez). I merely outlined the CRUX (which Gwendolini's just gone and nutshelled), that he can't have it both ways and that, WERE you of a mind to say it, you'd have the RIGHT to say, 'in that case no premature happy families either'. Yes, indeed, DO have a talk to him about a happier medium. And - frustrated? Me, I'd be climbing the ruddy walls by now! And that's the commonsense negative, here: You can try to force your inner animal (i.e. your ovaries and raging repro hormones) to cross its legs ALL YOU LIKE, but it won't like it and at the very least will soon put you into a foul and snappy mood all the time. Worse, it'll leave you vulnerable to the advances of other men or to ending the relationship purely out of over-frustration and mounted-up resentment. How does he think either of those situations a good thing for your relationship? What he's doing is tantamount to making you eat a sugary doughnut and then ordering you not to lick the sugar off your lips, day after day after week after month.... itch-itch-itch...."AAAAARGH!!!". So it would HELP if he weren't sat right beside you, night after night, shoving temptation in your face. On which note - how is HE managing it? Aren't his b*lls aching majorly yet? Again, you need to get to the bottom of the reason why he is barely bothered about having sex with you. Is he living with you or does he have his own house? If so, how many evenings or whole nights is he spending with you every week?

Single mom

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So true! I've always put everyone else's needs above my own!! The boys & now this guy! Sheesh!! He said he felt uncomfortable being too affectionate in front of the boys. We're not living together either. He is living with his elderly mother taking care of her. So it's uncomfortable for us to be there and we only spend a few hrs. together every evening.

Single mom

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So he lives with his mother, basically. And it's (still) her house by the sounds. So being at yours with you and your boys a couple of hours every evening acts like a kind of respite, one he wouldn't want to lose. Plus they're not his kids and he's not taken on the stepdad position due to still only being of guest status, meaning he has no "authoritah". I imagine he doesn't want to rock the boat that isn't even part his yet, but that you're expecting him to join forces with you parentally anyway so that your boys will take a blind bit of notice of your instructions (two Betas against only one Alpha female = Alpha doesn't get her way)... in which case, yeah, he'd be bound to come out with all sorts of excuses rather than have to risk disappointing you with a plain 'No, I don't want to' on that score and/or in the process risk rousing the boys' egos with any sort of seeming confrontation (as could well produce the usual "you're not our dad, you can't tell us what to do, mleugh!" nonsense). Still begs the question, how come he's not climbing the walls, though, doesn't it. So you still need to find out how come [smirk - scuse pun] and before it's too late and you're in too deep to mount a protest. Are you clear on your plan of action now?

Single mom

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Alternatively, you could try putting your foot down more firmly with the boys so that they bog off one Sat night soon (or bribe them, as I say, or appeal to their more reasonable natures)...and then you'll get ultimate PROOF of what this guy's true feelings about it all are, won't you. I mean, don't take too much notice of his so-called apology. When unsure of themselves and where they stand, men ALWAYS do or say something to get a reading rather than come out with a straight question. So I could imagine him issuing this apology NOT because he felt wrong, but because he wondered whether YOU did. You basically gave him the read-out of 'No, NOT feeling like a disgusting sinner', didn't you. So unless he has some other distinct reason/problem, then he should respond favourably to the given opportunity and your attempted 'come on', shouldn't he. That would certainly be the easier way to find out exactly where you stand and why. Actions speak louder than words and all that. PS: Christmas is coming. And Santa frowns on even big boys who don't do as mum says, not just little boys...so I hear. ;-) (And they say Christmas is only for kids, LOL)

Single mom

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Soulmate, I like the idea of "mounting" a protest. Haha!! I'm just really having my doubts about this guy! He talks about the future but just with him & I. I mean I know my kids will eventually leave the nest but they still are my kids & I wanna spend time with them! Just real confused right now!

Single mom

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And I think you're right about the apology. He even phrased it like he was asking a question. I just responded, that we are two consenting adults & in love, and that it seemed like a natural progression.

Single mom

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("I like the idea of "mounting" a protest. Haha!!" Touche! I didn't even spot that one!) "He talks about the future but just with him & I. I mean I know my kids will eventually leave the nest but they still are my kids & I wanna spend time with them! Just real confused right now!" You're going to have to be more specific if you want me capable of differentiating between what is normal and bog-standard disinterest in already-grown lads that are close to flying off solo thus won't feature heavily enough to get included in the verbalised future picture-painting or whether you're talking a secret wish to isolate you for insecurity-led or plain greedy bugger purposes. I can't see him wanting to keep you and your boys separated if there's you saying he demonstrates a clear liking for all four of you hanging out of an evening, can you? Or do you think he's faking that mental affection? "And I think you're right about the apology. He even phrased it like he was asking a question. I just responded, that we are two consenting adults & in love, and that it seemed like a natural progression." Ah! Weren't wowed enough or not acting like you were, i.e. no Sally Met Harry after-grin? Did you, without even meaning to, knock his (possibly already low, possibly from past exes baggage) confidence as has put him off trying again until he's sure you're bang-slap in love with him to point of no return?

Single mom

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Haha! Yeah, I'm the queen of double entandre! Haha! So, we were talking about the future and he said he can't wait for the day that it's just the two of us. That worried me, I'm a mom with two boys. What if they live at home for years? It made me picture him packing their bags on their 18th birthdays!! And crud! Did I mess up by my response to his "question" apology?!

Single mom

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Sorry, you can't be because I am. LOL - en garde, poosycat! "So, we were talking about the future and he said he can't wait for the day that it's just the two of us. " Surely he just meant just the two of you in the house in terms of bog-standard daily routine? "What if they live at home for years?" Its' called, charging them rent yet never letting them have girlfriends stay overnight (- your house, your rules) and making them start to do their own washing and ironing and cleaning and DEFINITELY no farting audibly. ;-) Anyway, you're failing to take into account that big fat truck that might very well (probably, according to you) squish you in the meantime. Or Armageddon, of course. Or winning the lottery (me first!). No, that statement of his is just yet another button-push/litmus-paper dip to elicit a read-out without his having to say what he wants to say, straight. What I think he intended was this: "I *am* really into you (and *do* want to sh*g you dizzy, really) thus seeing into the distant future. ARE YOU (pant-pant!!)?" Your response in terms of what you say, your semantics, how instantly you say it (no hesitation), the tone of voice and enthusiasm with which you say it, etc., is what provides the clear answer to his secret question. (Did you immediately say, 'Me, too!!'? or did you hesitate due to your abovementioned thoughts about the boys?) No, you didn't mess it up per se. I'm thinking he's your deeply sensitive, caring type, which means (secretly) that bit too thin-skinned. He's used to an older woman with better (i.e. old-fashioned) tact, diplomacy and articulation skills and all round learned gentlewomanly-ness, isn't he. Plus he comes over as lacking confidence and experience, whereas you're clearly no shrinking violet. Renault driver suddenly gets given a BMW Sports, anyone? He quite possibly can't believe his luck and feels a bit out of his depth. Is any of that making your mind go "Ping!"?

Single mom

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PING! Ping, ping, ping!!!! And I accept your challenge. (White glove slap across the face, lol) anywaaaayyy.... Yeah, here's the scoop.... When he said "...just the two of us" I didn't reply. I was mad as hell!!! I was thinking What's wrong with this guy! Who the hell does he think HE is!!! Aint nobody telling me to get rid of MY kids!!! Oh yeah, shrinking violet?! Oh heeelllll no!!! I'm not good at bragging on myself & never had a whole lotta self esteem but this poor guy is out of his league for sure!! BMW?! Oh yeah, it's more like skateboard & a Porsche!! Tomato, tomatto, "Shag"? Really?! Do people still use that word? Haha!! Well, I'm gonna stick it out with this guy. I can "handle" myself(wink, wink) I'll just stock up on D batteries, if ya' know what I mean. I really like him & he's helping me get back on my feet after a crappy marriage & divorce!

Single mom

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Just wanted to update..... Sh*g? Check!!!

Single mom

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Yes, I think even the natives of Outer Borneo know what you mean, LOL. I call him B.O.B. (battery-operated boyfriend). Anyway...Crappy marriage and divorce. Ah-hah. Then what you've got there is this classic post-divorcal situation (or, I should now say, given your latest update - 'was'!)... "NEW BALLS, PLEASE!"... Martina Navratilova, still fairly early on in her career, has been trying year after year to win grand-slam tennis doubles matches with Eddie the Eagle (go google). But Eddie always having been a bit sh*t at tennis, she's finally given up out of constant disappointment and frustration... Not without its cost, however, which is loss of confidence (not lack of self-esteem - ha-ha, you?, don't make me laff)... despite there were a few rewards here and there. Martina never realised what was behind her original choice of partner, which was (wait for it) semi-commitmentphobia/fear of success. She also had her eye on just two specific tournament's trophies (the boys)..which she and he (mostly she) managed to win. Other than those two tournaments, her secondary priority was gaining some bad experience in order to better learn about what she definitely DIDN'T like and want in a permanent partner (as a way to to find out what she does) and thereby put paid to her commitmentphobia via the process of suffering its overriding consequence. That done, and with said few trophies under her belt - now she's not just willing, but *almost* ripe and ready to actually strive for a whole non-stop run of grand-slam wins as gain a *permanent* position in the top players ranking. Note 'almost'. Because she's still in the process of recovering her understandable (but temporary) loss of confidence and sense of ambition. Due to lack of suitable time towards *full* recovery, but gagging to keep playing doubles rather than singles for a while, Martina has (that bit too) quickly found a new doubles partner. He's no Bjorn Borg, in fact he's only an Amateur Hopeful, but he'll do nicely for now - not least because he's a distinct improvement on Eddie *and* is nothing like him in personality. The opposite, in fact. He also, she strongly suspects, has great potential where her getting to train (and customise) him to become as good as someone like Borg is concerned. If that transpires *not* to be the case, at least he's someone to for the time being keep practising and keep sharp with... Mr Right Now. If he can realise his potential to become Mr Right, all well and good..great. If not, Martina will, once fully back to her old ambitious self yet a new and improved version, move onto a new, much higher-ranked player. And that explains why, when Mr Right Now came out with what merely appeared to be a suspect shot, or merely *could* have been - Martina automatically assumed its intention had to be negative/selfish...and (internally) reacted accordingly, before even waiting to see where that weirdly-spun ball LANDED. Because that's how Eddie always thought and operated (too busy playing silly buggers with the ball to keep his mind on the prize). So now you've been getting to learn that despite a selfish, in-your-face merchant has enough up-sides, so too does a sensitive, reserved one have his own *down*-sides, a la, 'Every cloud has a silver lining' / Every silver lining has a cloud. Because a sense of company and safety/security means most to you at this juncture of your post-marital/divorcal experience, you attracted a man who feels (and has been acting) likewise. Sex has not been his priority. Will your patience run out before those batteries do? Or is this very latest development proof of things having already changed *permanently* for the better? That's the question. However, I would have thought that were a lower-ranking player ever to find himself believing he was at risk of *losing* - either in one swoop or bit-by-bit - his lucky position of being the doubles partner to none other than the mighty Navratilova, he might well decide to step up - sustainedly. It all depends on whether or WHEN Martina remembers her worth and status thus re-finds the confidence to MAKE - or, now, KEEP making - what is in fact a perfectly reasonable demand of her co-player, doesn't it. And there's your thus-far avoided/dodged life test plonked back on your plate by Fate: finally learning to have the nerve to stand up for your rights and demand you actually get them. ...including getting *regular* shags.... bonks... bits of how's yer father. So! How was it this second time around, and do you think his reticence is now going to be a thing of the past? Also - I'm impressed! What on earth did you do as so quickly had him reversing his seeming stance? Did you let him catch you putting batteries into B.O.B.? LOL Do tell! (Tip: do. :-))

Single mom

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As I bow to the standing "O" of the outer Borneo folk, I humby bow & wave. LOL Wow, you sure do paint quite the vivid story image!! So, what you're saying is I'm just working on my "serve" ? Hitting a few balls, eh? I like that scenario! It sure makes me think the rough childhood, string of crappy relationships and a failed marriage were just me warming up for something good, real & meaningful!!! That I was seeing what I don't want & what is best for me to have a happy life. The problem is, this is all new to me and it's hard to do!!! I've never stood up for myself, I've never told anyone what I really want!! The crazy thing is, this new guys wants to know all these things and is genuinely interested in knowing ME & what I want. Well, I sure am sick of playing singles and solitaire! And about getting what I wanted from the new guy. It just kinda happened. I noticed he has a nice Winnebago out in his moms backyard and asked for a tour of the inside. So there we were all alone in a small enclosed space with beds galore!! Perfect! So then Whammo!! So to speak.. Ah! Finally someone to return my serve!!

Single mom

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"It sure makes me think the rough childhood, string of crappy relationships and a failed marriage were just me warming up for something good, real & meaningful!!! That I was seeing what I don't want & what is best for me to have a happy life." By jove, she's got it! :-) It's called slow emotional developer. But that's what happens when your emotional legs have been covered in weights. Just takes ONE MORE substantial weight getting strapped on for long enough before a body will go, 'Right, that's it, I've had enough bloody weights!' and kick them all off. Suddenly, what with being newly lighter - you're off and running at the speed of light. THEN what happens is you suddenly find yourself overtaking every-luckier-one else who'd got to stroll merrily along. Ta-daaa - Tortoise wins! (Tennis-playing tortoise, obviously.) "The problem is, this is all new to me and it's hard to do!!! I've never stood up for myself, I've never told anyone what I really want!! " Which is outright CRAZY at your age, isn't it. Hence this life lesson courtesy of another chess piece on the giant, multi-dimensional board belonging to Fate, now being shoved in your face to pose as a bigger than ever incentive AND 'problem', both, to finally get ON with it (practise makes perfect and all that). TALKING of confident self-assertion - ahem!... I ask you for details and all you give me is 'there were beds' and 'whammo'? LOL, I think you're going to have to be a bit more specific than that [Outer Bornean natives now stood scratching their heads]. As in, THIS specific: 1. Who made the first seductive move (be it verbal or behavioural)? 2. And what form out of the two (or both) did that/those move(s) take? 3. Marks out of 10 for Artistic Impression? 4. Marks out of 10 for Technical Merit? 5. And are those marks higher than on the first occasion? 6. Are they higher (yet) than they were for all of your exipoo-poos? 11. Were either or both of you grinning like Cheshire Cats afterwards or making gleeful and smug noises/gestures? 0. Was repeating the exercise next time mentioned/agreed with? By whom? 29. Was it daytime or night? 81. Had the Winnebago moved from the driveway out into the road, LOL, and did you notice any neighbours giving you funny looks when you both emerged? (I'm just thinking next time you could charge them and then use that money to bribe sons with.) Yours, Nosy but deserving. ;-)

Single mom

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Why yes, Watson, I do believe I've got it!! I have become weary from the burdeness weights of crapitude life so generously dished out! And yes, I'm learning this stuff late, but hey, better late than never and all that! I must say, you've been very helpful & I'm grateful! So, in my gratitude, details, details.... He started out talking about sleeping in the Winnebago on occasion & I asked if WE would ever do that. I also asked how that's even possible. ( very sly on my part, I've spent years camping in various Winnebago type campers) Anyway, he showed me the bed he uses and I said Let's see if we both fit. Hmm... He took me up on the challenge & we both laid down spoon type position. We then proceeded to kiss and slowly undress. The rest is history, we'll not really because I'm not recording it in print! Lol. Oh, I would say a10, for impressive maneuvers, a 10 for form. And probably a 10 from the Russian judges for mount & dismount AHAHA! Yes, grins all around, 2 big grins from me, wink, wink nudge, nudge.... No talk of a next time & yes it was dark, and no, it wasn't moving, possibly shaking but it never moved from its spot. Ah!!! Smoke 'em if u got 'em!

Single mom

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One more thing, Martina is a lesbian. Not that it matters just thought it would be funny to point out!

Single mom

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Ah, yes, but!... she was also THE best female tennis player, ever-ever-ever (in fact, had she played Borg, I'm not so sure he'd have won). It's called creative license, dwahling. LOL Anyway - she actually wasn't. Because any idiot could see she was a man born into the wrong body (hence played tennis like a man). Which makes her a man whom accordingly fancies women, equals heterosexual. Ah-hah - see? (Bloody pedants, LOL) Ah-hah again - so HE was the one first mentioned (cough!) sleeping. Good. That's the bit I most wanted to know. ...So that I could type this (which you could write backwards in permanent marker on his forehead for me, if you fancied it): RUMBLED, PAL! NICE TRY, JUST NOT NICE *ENOUGH*! HAH! :-p (Probably best not, though, LOL.) It was never an excuse. It was a test. He was hooping you.. withholding sex to see if you'd fight (push) for it. If you hadn't pushed against his so-called religious and diplomacy blockades [smirk], he'd have concluded he didn't mean enough to you to last long-term, other than someone-anyone-"you'll do for now" to mainly keep you company, and that secretly you didn't really fancy him all that much. The fancying, the chemistry, is the glue that holds couples firmly together no matter WHAT sh*t gets thrown at them (unexpected stressors that life might suddenly fling onto your path, and your normal, couple-style bickers and humdinger arguments (particularly once the Power Struggle phase hits), see. So there we go then, I was right: it WAS Professor Green... in the Library...with the lead piping. (Well, I'll safely assume it was lead piping, given those top scores. :-)) Men are right sneaky, devious buggers. And the more secretly unsure or insecure they are, the more they secretly push-test-push-test... ...which brings me onto: no next time mentioned: Given the rest of the positive signals, not least the giant opening action itself called him taking the barely-there hint just too damn easily and instantly, obviously the understanding about there being lots of next times from here on in is a wholly tacit given (meaning he'll pounce again at the very next available opportunity) OR he hasn't quite finished hooping you and wants to see you go on to create *another* opportunity. The latter's pretty standard for someone who can't believe their luck - one concrete affirmation is never enough. But you definitely did the right thing by having been that incredibly subtle in asking to see inside the Winnebago, because then it left things looking like it had all been HIS brilliant idea. That's clever feminine wiles for ya (you make the preparatory shot and he then slams the winning one over the net). So there ain't nothing wrong with *your* womanly instincts. ....all of which now brings us full circle in terms of your new-found assertiveness gym toooooo....BRIBING AND/OR HAVING A FIRM TALK WITH THE BOYS (- try the firm talk first, obviously). See how Fate locks the gym doors so you can't get out? I've got an idea: Let the BOYS sleep in the Winnebago! They'd bloody love that, they would! Do what - two teenagers? - I should cocoa!! Have him park it outside YOUR house first (obviously), and there you go - Bob's your uncle! (who forevermore lives permanently at the back of the undies drawer). 10p please. :-)

Single mom

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Hi, I'm 16 and i don't go out much either. To be honest if my parents were single I'd be happy for them to have people over and I think it's fine to go have sex as long as you're not to obvious (loud). Just don't mention sex, they already know you're doing it

Single mom

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@soulmate. I should've known she was a man! Lol. Yes, this is not my first rodeo (or tennis match) I'm all too familiar with the male ego & the testing, as it were. Being a girl, I know how to get my way without the man feeling like he's been taken for a ride! And without me feeling like I forced him. I wish I felt more confident about this relationship, but I feel like there's a lot of mind games & assumptions. I just wish it felt more natural.

Single mom

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Well, sorry. Relationships are hard, hard work (because those increasingly amazing perks do NOT come for free). Obviously, perks weight or amount always has to slightly out-do the workload, otherwise you've only ever got half a reason to stay and half a reason to go = conflict = paralaysis (doing nuffink but whinging and complaining with your mouth as achieved ugger all with men who note and operate according to actions). But if when you step back and view the relationship OVERALL, you can see that the (what I call) Light to Dark ratio is however much loaded firmly on the Light side, that's all you need to know as well as all the incentive you need to just keeep swii-mming, just keeep swii-ming (and shagging). But I'm going to leave you for a while to chat with BMM17 because, in case it had escaped your notice, she's your teenage focus group who can give you ideas and tips on how to make or encourage your two boys skiddaddle on a Fridee or Satdee night. Innit. What do you think of the Winnebago idea, BMM17? BMM17, are you still there? (kkkkkkkkkkk...) Ten Four for a copy, buddy?

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Hey Soulmate, got another problem. Tonight the boyfriend scolded me for being late when meeting him for dinner. He wasn't yelling or anything but just was condescending & asked me why I didn't call or txt why I would be late. I was only 10 mins. late & didn't think it was a big deal. I didn't know what to say so I turned around & left. He said that hurt his feelings & he feels like I don't care about him. Am I wrong here? I explained that I was on a call & got delayed. I feel awful but also a little shocked. Is this a big deal for men?

Single mom

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Hey again, Lorri. Well, he was altogether entitled to know why you hadn't called or texted but a condescending manner is another kettle of fish entirely. Is that how he automatically gets whenever he's annoyed or is this the first time you've seen that tone/side of him? Also, why do you suppose he panicked? Has he been stood up lots of times before in his dating history? Er.. Why did you overreact in flouncing off? And why does he feel you don't care about him? I think you're both wrong, actually, albeit in the context of being right. I think you're just seeing a natural byproduct of having got closer. The fights tend to get more heated and personal as well (because everything is suddenly so much more real and important and *dangerous* in terms of how much worse it'd feel to find oneself rejected or destined to be treated anywhere between insensitively and downright shoddily). So, in answer to your question, is this a big d-HA-HA, DON'T MAKE ME LAFF!. Basically. IOW, no it's perfectly normal and par for the course (sadly, LOL). Lovers tiff. But there could be some tiny little red flags in there having waved hello to signify they need a quick ironing out, like how much control over your negative emotions and imaginations you both tend to have under fire, and whether you need to find a more mutually compatible and productive/mature way of disagreeing and clashing. Have you both sat down for a debrief yet?

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I mentioned it to one of my girl friends and she told me he's a control freak & inshould dump him! I did feel in the wrong but I also thought he overreacted!! I've often been late & he mentioned it but didn't seem upset. This time he kinda lectured me. I just didn't like his tone & didn't wanna hear anymore so I left. I've never stood him up so I didn't understand him being upset! I'm concerned that this is a HUGE red flag! And no, we didn't iron it out. I apologized & am waiting for him to do the same!

Single mom

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In my experience, men *always* overreact when their hearts and egos are right on the line (which they are when they're extremely into you). Some hide it whilst some are more outwardly honest. The latter are like bloomin' drama kings. This girlfriend. Single or in a less than thrilling relationship or not very tolerant when it comes to hearing you rant on and on for as long as you need to, is she? And is SHE offering to sleep with you from now on and sit on your sofa with you every evening, and generally be there for you come rain or shine, especially every public holiday, and-and-AND, is she? No? And did she have a relationship with him prior to you? No? Then what she thinks means diddly squat, particularly if you're forgetting to give her all the highlights rather than just the lowlights thereby biasing her opinion. So what if he lectured you? He's going to try it on and see what boundaries he can push like every bloke (or woman) will tend to do when a relationship looks like having scope for lastingness, it's only natural.. as if finding any excuse for doing so. You reacted to that by flouncing off and leaving him standing there like a giant lemon. Can't get a clearer message across than THAT when it comes to telling him never to behave like that with you again, can ya? Mission thwarted (him), mission accomplished (you). Huge red flag, my arse. You've still got steam coming out of your ears, that's all. Never, ever, EVER make decisions in an emotionally roused state. See how you feel once you've calmed down and can review the overall light-to-dark ratio. If it's lower than 70:30 then by all means dump him. But the pair of you are still post-spat prat mode so - do nothing but wait for said steam to clear.

Single mom

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Sorry - as IS finding any excuse. PS: Men's egos are bigger so they take longer to deflate back to normal size. Plus, some can't say "I'm suh-suh-suh..." outright in words like that and tend to *do* sorry with some or other gesture, so don't be surprised if you don't get to hear the actual S word. Keep your eyes peeled for the action(s).

Single mom

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But what about ME?! I'm mad!! I won't be talked to like that! Yeah, yeah, male ego, blah, blah... Do you think he got the point? Think he'll do that again? I guess I just have to keep showing him what I will & won't put up with! Oh & the girlfriend, yeah, you're right, she's a little bitter. (Unlike me, lol) I'm just not a fan of all this work with not much pay out! ( or should I say putting out, lol)

Single mom

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What ABOUT you? You made it CLEAR you won't be talked to like that, didn't you? (answer: yes - crystal) So, yes, I doubt VERY much he'll dare do that again. But he's going to sulk for a while, I expect, because he's probably not used to a woman reacting that no-nonsense. Trouble is, I think you've perhaps spent too long on your own and have become a tad *too* intolerant, like all woman who've spent too long not having to take demands or make many adult-adult compromises are apt to do. You can show him where your limits lie without going so OTT, however, without it losing effectiveness. Example: try to give him a warning in future, which means instead of just walking off, next time saying, 'If you don't stop talking to me in that pompous manner then, I'm going to go home because I'm not going to tolerate being spoken to like that'. If then he still persists, then do so. Me, I'd have taken the piss and said, 'Hey, who let my dad in?', and, if that hadn't worked, dunked his face in the nearest puddle. ;-) What do you mean, not much pay-out/putting out? Has the sex-life screeched to a halt again?

Single mom

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Wow! That's exactly what's happening!! He's still sulking! He's very quiet & is continuously busy every night! I wish I would've said something witty like Who let my dad in here? That's much better than what I wanted to say! I was gonna pull out some F-bombs and throw a little finger gesture in! But being the mature grown-up that I am (ha!)I simply walked away. Truly, yes, I have been on my own way, way too long!! Left home young to raise my neighbors kids, married young and had to practically raise him too!! I've always been the one in charge!! Now this guy comes along & thinks I'm gonna do what he says?! Well... I love him, he's great & yeah, I guess that's good for a marriage to have one leader. But he's gotta realize, I'm swimming in foreign waters here!! I'm not used to submission!! This is gonna take time! And yeah, screeching, HALT! Ugh!!

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So sorry for ignoring you, Lorri, I've been really up against it lately! I'm not surprised you didn't think of the dad comment, it's still early days, meaning you're hyper-sensitive where he's concerned (and vice versa), meaning any marked contention and your brain goes PLEUGH! (fight, freeze or flight) as you try to cope with the momentary shock and disillusionment and knee-jerk reactivity. I mean, you can GET to that stage with practise and from then gaining positive reinforcement whenever you try it, but you're OUT of practise lately, aren't you. It'll take time to learn to think before shooting (same for him). Walking away is still better than giving him the finger, though, LOL, so you still get a Silver star if not Gold just yet. :-) LET him be quiet and continuously busy. His temporary loss! Sulking aside, however, the point of this part of the dating stage, particularly within the conflict stage (which you two have obviously just entered) is that he show you how MASTERFUL he is. That means, yes, you WILL rescind at least half of your boss-of-you status - and naturally/involuntarily - but only once he's protractedly and consistently shown you he's CAPABLE of being anyone's boss. You need a boss who's mature, sensible, understanding, rational and whom generally proves he puts your interests at least equal to his own, *and* all of that UNDER FIRE. And unfortunately, that doesn't include sulking like a big kid. Mwack-mwack-oops to him, then. No promotion to boss coming any time soon, back to the drawing board he goes. So, yep, I'm with you. Submission has to be EARNED thus done gladly and happily (and relievedly!), it's not something you just arbitrarily decide to do...just because he's a man (yawn). You'll do what he says when he shows he can do what he says too! And you'll do what he says when he shows you that he knows and can do EVEN BETTER THAN YOU. *Meanwhile* - because you're a TEAM of two bosses who play swapsies with taking care of (you him, he you) - you have to show him likewise. However, if you've been a capable, independent woman for such a long time, he's got a lot to match then surpass, hasn't he. What about him? What's HE used to in a woman? A whingy, naggy, do nothing of any substance (let alone walk off!) except flap her helpless lips all night or indeed sulk whilst being pitifully teary, along the lines of, how could he talk to her like that and be so meeean when it wasn't even her fault she was late mew-mew-mew-boo-hoo? I'd say the fact he's (or was) withdrawing himself so abjectly points to YES - SPOT ON! Well, does he WANT a BMW Sports or a Reliant Robin? He'd better make his mind up on that score, hadn't he, before you get so distinctly unimpressed you start wandering off and filling your time with other things/people. So what's the latest? Has he started making signs of coming round and down yet or is he still pouting his little lipsypoos and giving you Coventry like he thinks his name is Claire-Louise-Foo-Foo? :-p

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I can relate!! I picked up 2 extra part-time jobs for some extra Christmas cash & to be "unavailable"!! He's starting to come around. We talked & he FINALLY understood that I did the right thing by walking away! (Duh, I'm ALWAYS right, haha!) he understands I come from a rough past & best to walk away rather than get "hit" wether verbally or physically. To clarify, not that he has ever hit me but I'm used to men that do. We agreed that it was good that I'm finally learning to stand up for myself & walk away when I'm uncomfortable. It was hard for him because he took it as a sign that I was giving up on him & our relationship. I'm proud to say that I really was! I'm usually the stay-together-no-matter-what kind of gal. I feel it's a good & mature step for me that I was willing to walk away!! Yeah, this guy was married to a wimpy, cry all the time, victim type of gal. He's NEVER met a gal like me before! Even his family that knows me very well was surprised that he would date me. Thanks for all this advice!! I really feel unsure & confused by this whole new part of my life!

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Do you think he truly did understand or was just saying whatever it took to put paid to his missing you too much? Irrespective, I'll give you a tip for future ref: Whenever he claims to understands why you did what you did, say this (to ensure he's not just agreeably paying lip-service): "Let me hear it from you in your own words, then?...just so's we can both be sure you actually do and can both move on from it without fear of future repetition?". Used to men that hit you, eh? Well, then, here's another little tip: Nature is actually very fair and that is one of the reasons why she put their danglies within such easy, instant reach of our hands and knees (and handbags). Any man apt to Mac-try it on for the first time over seeing, even if only experimentally, whether he can enforce instant lord & master position would definitely (psychopaths excepted) think twice before ever trying to lay his hands on you a second time given a retaliatory swift kick in or fistigrab of the jewels. Doesn't have to be a hard whack/squeeze, it's more the 'lightning-ness' of it that's important... the fact you'll, oh yes SIREE!, go there if ever you have to. (Emphasis on have to, obviously.) After all, if HE'S going to crash through a relationship taboo, then crashed it *is*, meaning that taboo likewise has ceased to exist *for you*. Best he doesn't ever create a 'have to' situation, then, isn't it. Alternatively, there's this little gem which a female friend told me about vis-a-vis a truly delightful(!) ex of hers: she said (growled), 'Go ahead - hit me... but just remember - at some point tonight you'll nod off.' Is that genius or is that genius! Cue him putting his fist back in his pocket faster than she could say, 'Grade 1 Skinhead, anyone?'. Obviously the optimum response in that situation is to extricate yourself from acquaintanceship with him, there and then. But it's worth knowing for the sense of empowerment it gives you (and don't get me started on why secondary schools fail to include self-defense lessons for all girls within any national curriculum, grr!). However, if you're still as yet unused to defending yourself in that no-nonsense, ['scuse pun!] bud-nipping way then you need to bear in mind that, with increased bonding equals increased argument heat, you *will* tend towards over-reactivity, both out of a need to pre-empt and as retro catharcism/revenge on the ghosts of lovers past. (Forewarned is forearmed and all that...) Excellent that you're prepared to walk away in the deepest sense if ever need be, though, (or in the words of Whitney, would rather be a-lone than un-ha-ppy) because that means you have no fear (certainly at this juncture) to hold you back or stand in the way of you insisting (nicely) on getting what you know you expect and deserve, *and* means you don't have to become a slave to nagging, harping and whinging. Saying that, however - you mustn't let that power go to your head or it's too damn tempting to start waving that Sword of Damocles over his head any time he seems to be refusing to see eye-to-eye or simply isn't seeing it as quickly as you'd like. The key is context: knowing when 'walking away' is a sign of weakness (quitting either too soon or too late) or strength (quitting when appropriately called for). Over-use any tool and it loses its power, fact, because you end up desensitizing the other person to their fear of it. The good news is: though he may not be USED to a self-respecting, self-assured, more dignified type of woman - clearly he likes it...because, look, he came back for more! :-) So that means he, likewise, is ripe and ready for an upgrade. So that's an excellent basis for building on and points to a successful journey being there to be had. Your instincts, therefore, were evidently correct! ...in which case you can hand me back the Silver star and have this Gold one instead. :-) ...on which note.., actually, it seems I'm less advising you than more have fallen into relationship coaching you. It's 10p a pop. Can you afford that with your two jobs? LOL Alternatively - and speaking wholly seriously now - it'll cost you you coming back on here as an adviser to pass on your new-found enlightenment courtesy of both the theory and, most importantly, the practical regarding how to succeed a new romance to whatever point of tenure (hopefully permanency!), no matter yours and the fella concerned's mutual baggage. You game?? PS though - I forgot to ask the No. 1 burning question: WHO WAS THE ONE TO BREAK THE STAND-OFF BY INITIATING CONTACT?

Single mom

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Ok, first off, he was the one who called me to explain his new enlightened ideas that I was right. He said he thought about my past and that standing up to him was the final step in me not allowing anyone to hurt me anymore! I agree. I'm done fighting & I'm done forcing things to be ok. If this guy truly loves me as he says he'll stick around and I won't need to continuously teach him how to treat me. Knee to the groin trick? Yeah, been there, done that! Quite effective! I've spent my life fighting & struggling, I won't do it anymore! I'm done! I set this guy straight. I told him I want a partner not an adversary. Either he's with me or I'm moving on. I have a chance to be happy & if he wants we can be happy together. I am independent and I know I'll be happy no matter what. And as far as your offer's concerned. Me?!! Not sure what kind of advice I could give, I'm just figuring this stuff out myself. If I could help someone I'd love to! I've been through so very much & I survived. I'd like a chance to keep someone else from making the same mistakes I made.

Single mom

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It was him. PHEW! Excellent! And as it should be. After all - society tells them they're the leaders? Well, power includes *responsibility*. Also, the nature of his statement tells me quite clearly that, yes, he WAS testing you out with his condescending lecture that night! You passed the test. The NEXT test of his was whether you'd DROP that self-dignity given the pressure of him having taken himself away for an, at that point, indeterminate period. You passed again. Note, he may or may not BE AWARE he's holding up all these invisible hoops for you to succeed or fail to soar through, but tests they still are. He's test-driving you with future permanency in mind. ;-) Oh, yes, you WILL have to teach him how to treat you. But it's about *degrees*. You want basically house-trained but with scope for customisation on top (as requires his flexibility and speedy adaptability). Teamship comes *after* the Conflict Stage. Yes, it seems to exist prior to it, but that's not true teamship, it's sychophancy and cupboard love. You two continue getting through this conflict stage like you currently are doing, and it's Successville Part 1 from there. Then comes the 18 month/2 year mark... and then comes... (- LOL, don't hang yourself quite yet because there are fun parts to it as well, Nature ain't "shtoopid", LOL.) Course you're not sure what kind of advice you'd give. It's still early days. I'm talking future. *sniff*...dun't mean we're engaged or nuffin, tho. ;-D Anyway, I can thoroughly recommend it, not least because it earns you great Karma Kredits. And you'll bloody need those if you're intending on living the rest of your life at closest quarters possible with a [ducks rotten tomatoes] man. (Quick - leg-it!)

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Thanks Soulmate! All these tests are really wearing me out!! I hope it's all worth it in the end! On the one hand I feel like we're getting everything out in the open and resolving conflicts now rather than later, but a part of me feels like I'll be so damn old it won't matter anymore!! I've met good, happy couples and I wonder if they go through all this!! When does my life get easier? Sheesh!

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I remember back at the 1 year point, now-husband - having just realised what I'd been up to the whole way, saying, 'I don't think a woman has EVER worked me this hard before!'. I laughed and said, 'Sorry about that'. His immediate reply with all sincerity in his voice was, 'Don't be. I've really enjoyed it'. That's not to say he hadn't the whole time simultaneously been holding up hoops of his own to see how I'd* do with them. But he wasn't used to a woman holding her OWN aloft for him, is the point. There are plenty of woman who do, whether wittingly or under even their own radars. But these days they're sadly rather too few and far between. You make a man WORK for his position and perks (and men ENJOY hard work) (even more than women) and you become that shiny BMW Sports they for AGES had to sweat blood and tears for, meaning they ain't ever giving THAT up in a hurry or driving it carelessly into a ditch and failing to get it regularly serviced, etc. No, siree. It gets washed, polished, admired, tended to, constantly pimped and taken great pride in. And if it drives like a dream as well - maintained in excellent condition for as long as it'll last (which is an interdependent/chicken-egg situation anyway). "She makes me want to be a better man". That and all versions of it is what men just engaged or newly married tend to say about why they chose that particular woman to marry. You don't have to be all harpily dramatic or dominatrix about it (aside from occasionally, just as a treat LOL). It's purely about SELF-CONFIDENCE: knowing your worth, thinking you're a queen amongst women who deserves a king amongst men (and vice versa) and consistently behaving/expecting & holding out for accordingly. Depends on what your own personal (*two-way) standards are - what you'll stand for and what you won't (*based on the effort you put into how you treat others). Everyone has their own standards. But higher standards produce a romantic-style parallel to the really top executive job. YES, you work harder and for longer hours. But the salary and perks as effect the whole quality of your life, are AMAZING. And self-confidence begets self-confidence. So if you don't have it - fake it..and then soon enough it'll become a reality. I've been out with lazy idiots before, though. They fell flat on their faces through my hoops yet expected me to jump and dive like superwoman through theirs. "One Rule For Them...", shortened to ORFT, I called it. For a while there, I questioned whether maybe my standards were unrealistic. But then I stubbornly though, NO - it's NOT my standards are too high, it's that all those exes' standards were TOO LOW (either going both ways or where expecting to have to meet mine were concerned). So, with a leap of faith and constantly focusing on Whitney's "I'd rather be a-lone than un-ha-ppy" philosophy, I continued behaving like royalty and dismissing peasants until my king came along. Don't get me wrong - he's not PERFECT. But even his faults and weaknesses are more impressive than other past men's strengths. Is it an innate state of being? Could be, but I tend to think EVERYONE can be a queen or king if they know that's what's expected of them and what any package of perks takes to win and forevermore possess. It's about INCENTIVE and whether you SEE something as an incentive to begin with. And the best news is (and this'll definitely spur you on whenever you're knackering, LOL): when you and he finally have a relationship to be envied by everyone you know (which takes anywhere between 2-5 years depending on how fast you build/conduct it), it increasingly starts to get reflected in the quality of your sex-life as well. It gets shunted from Good Sex to Great Sex to Best Sex to "Mountaintop" Sex to "Headf**k" Sex to "It's So Good It's Practically Traumatic & Surely I'm About To Have A Heart-Attack?!!!" Sex to "THERE *IS* A GOD! Sex". You probably think I'm joking, don't you. Well, I'm bloody not, I'm dead serious. It's like, who the hell knew THIS existed??!! And here's the magic bit: the whole perks package/quality of the relationship turns into *Grade A Petrol*, meaning, you're knackered from all the initial building then maintenance work but the perks at the same time RE-ENERGIZE you! :-) So you CEASE feeling knackered! Quite the opposite! In answer to your comment, therefore: It doesn't *get* easier. Wrong word. It gets ....um.... [Soulmate lost for words, look, LOL].... RICHER BUT NORMAL. It becomes your normal, your perfectly do-able. I guess it's no different to being your Joe Schmoe jogger who gets trained up professionally until running your marathons becomes a piece of piss. But where the muscles getting serious pumped to rock-hardness are the heart and brain. I'm 'here' and you're still back 'there' with a ways to go yet, despite it's the one same path, so - is any of this making any sense to you? I'm trying to describe an amazing mountain range that the path (if walked correctly) eventually opens onto and climbs up, which you can't see yet and have NEVER seen, and it's a path to a sort-of heaven. So - is it making sense?

Single mom

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PS: In other words: happiness is not one setting. It's a degree on a spectrum. Choose your level. Work to get it. Then live on it. Content. Happy. Ecstatic! I chose Ecstatic. Sometimes we fleetingly slide down to Content. But I'd rather that than sliding down to 'I wish I'd never bloody met you, you creep.' (:-D) Nutshelled it's this: If you want special, you have to BE special.

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...and I don't mean in a 'licky windows num-num'/white minibus way, either (although that probably helps a bit, LOL).

Single mom

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Wow! Well, I suppose I'm getting to the point that I understand it's not easy & nothing worthwhile ever is. Tonight I tried holding up a hoop for him to jump through & I could tell it made a small shift in our relationship. This whole time I think I wanted him to be what I was comfortable with. A narcissistic guy with only one thing on his mind. Men like that are what I'm used to & that easy for me to handle. Unfortunately, they suck! To be blunt! They don't give a lick about me & it's fine to a point because I'm independent but when I truly need them they're gone or unconcerned. This new guy has thrown me for a complete loop!! He says he'd rather listen to me & learn all about me than sleep with me. He is genuinely interested in me & what I'm doing, what I'm slooowly learning is that this guy wants the real deal! A good strong forever type of relationship. And you're very right! I deserve that & if he wants to treat me like a queen then heck I'll wear the darn tiara & curtsy! And who knows maybe I'll even seen him as my King, someday! Sheesh! This sure has taken me forever to get all this! I guess I'm a slow learner!! One question, Do I need to keep coming up with bigger & better hoops?

Single mom

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"it's not easy & nothing worthwhile ever is" There you go - you've got it. "This new guy has thrown me for a complete loop!! He says he'd rather listen to me & learn all about me than sleep with me. He is genuinely interested in me & what I'm doing, what I'm slooowly learning is that this guy wants the real deal! A good strong forever type of relationship. And you're very right! I deserve that & if he wants to treat me like a queen then heck I'll wear the darn tiara & curtsy! And who knows maybe I'll even seen him as my King, someday!" Rather listen/etc. than sleep with you? Er.. This still makes me a bit suspicious, Lorri, because - who said he can't do *both*? *Is* he doing both since he said that and/or since the camper-van episode?

Single mom

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Sorry, didn't answer your final question or #other points: No, it's not a case of presenting bigger and better hoops if you mean in any conscious way (that's just me and my inside knowledge, making me aware in real time as allows me to contrive) because [1] the increasing heat and weight of growing attachment tends to elicit bigger hoops from you naturally and under your own radar (until however many days/weeks later) anyway, and [2] after a while of being together it becomes LIFE that throws the tests onto your path, e.g., financial stress, illness, other people coming into your picture whom might pose as threats... even normal arguments themselves, as in how they get conducted, pose as hoops (as you've only just witnessed). Arguments get heavier in proportion to how much more upsetting it feels to have fallen out of harmony, obviously. But the trick to lessening the need for arguments in the first place is to keep checking that they're happy with everything and have no complaints (- think waitress: "How are you doing, is everything to your liking?"), which encourages your man to doing likewise. (I'm quite open and straightforward about it, though, and would just ask him, 'You still a happy bunny lately?'.) It's obviously simpler and easier to deal with emerging tiny buds than to have to lop off great big branches. Tree surgery is noisier and messier, for the simple reason that by then you can't even tell which branch has produced which erroneous/onerous overgrowth, meaning you sit there trying to defend how upset you're getting by blaming it on the fact that he does or says A, B or C when in reality it's Z, meaning it wastes time and elongates the argument. It depends, though - on how compatible you are in terms of early then later, shaping training and experiences when added to how in-love and -lust you are. Chemistry makes everything feel so damn important in your mind - every little slight or suspicious-seeming movement - and incompatibilities here and there are what cause the clash in the first place... bit like love/lust being opened toed shoes as opposed to closed, with chemistry being the nerve network in the toes, and incompatibilities either real or just seeming at the time being the stone that lands on your toes as produces whatever strength of pain reaction. (If you don't love and fancy them that much, the shoes are then anywhere between un-open and steel-capped - which is WHY some men know instinctively to test whether they can upset you and to what degree.) So if your rearing and shaping is very similar then either it's unlikely any stone will get dropped onto your exposed toes in the first place or, if it does, it'll be a tiny pebble. Saying that, though, sometimes there's the case where the argument is no big deal and yet the differing ways in which you argue are what cause the argument to escalate. So, ideally, you've got to be compatible in arguing style as well (- I know - yeesh!). Also, being a slow learner doesn't necessarily mean your brain processes and stores at a slower rate. Assuming it's not down to you having had too many other plates to spin at the time as impede concentration and assimilation, it can mean you process each piece or set of data *deeper* than others who might do it on a more superficial level, and/or that you prefer doing the PRACTICAL to just the theory (which obviously makes for a longer learning duration). For that reason, I prefer to call it, deep learner. Deep learners may find their global penny dropping later on in life than others, but when it does drop - that's where it STAYS, CEMENTED PERMANENTLY... they don't have to go back and re-learn this or that aspect because nothing gets forgotten. So they certainly don't need to revise before any exam-sitting (i.e. doing the real thing). So it's all good... comme ci, comme ca. Now back to my above question about whether the camper van set a precedent?

Single mom

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Ok. Most important point first... We have now come to a mutual no sex rule. Yeah, I know it's crazy but the more we talked about it the more I was all for it. I really want to have a relationship for once in my life that isn't based on or around sex! In a way it's not easy but it has kept us talking more & doing fun things together like working out, roller skating, etc... We're still having silly fights and I'm shocked at how crazy angry I find myself getting about stupid things!! Good idea about asking him occasionally how he feels about our relationship. We have been trying to get everything out in the open.

Single mom

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Oh, Lorri. Lorri, Lorri, Lorri... So basically, he's managed to sell you the idea of no sex before marriage like it's some *positive* thing. *huge sigh* Having sex with your romantic partner as part of the overall test-drive does NOT then mean the relationship is "BASED ON SEX"! "In a way it's not easy but it has kept us talking more & doing fun things together like working out, roller skating, etc..." Yeah, great. "Friend Dot Com". BUT YOU WANTED AND ADVERTISED FOR A *ROMANTIC* RELATIONSHIP WHICH INCLUDES *PHYSICAL*, not a bloody friendship that maybe-who-knows *might* include a full sex life later on which might not or *might* be anywhere between below-par and utter crap which you then by virtue of being married to the guy are trapped in regardless! "We're still having silly fights and I'm shocked at how crazy angry I find myself getting about stupid things!! " Well, *I'm* not. Trust me: as I clearly indicated earlier on in this thread: Without sexual relations you are going to increasingly get far more over-reactive than THAT! *sigh*

Single mom

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Please, please, please go and read 1Jean's threads, 'Am I being a fool?' and 'What's wrong with me?' to see a woman of steel holding out for what SHE wants and deserves (and knowing what she deserves in the first place) or who was prepared, if need be, to at least demand a *compromise* (or - "no cigar!"). Your guy is not compromising. He wants marriage without you getting to sexually test-drive him, you want marriage that includes ready ascertainment that you're all-round sexually compatible, HE'S GOT *HIS* WAY whilst you have not. NOT. How is that fair? How is that representative of an EQUAL relationship? *SIGH* Sorry, mate, but this guy is either [a] just not into sex and never was or [b] in his baggage-ridden-ness, has stupidly blamed sex for the demise of his last relationships hence now wants to cut it out of the pre-commitment equation, or [c] really, really likes you and is fond of you but doesn't fancy you as much as he should. Sorry. But this is a man we're talking about. So when a man can have sex with his woman but refuses to, there's a problem, Houston.

Single mom

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Ok, oh great love guru, what should I do? I'm kinda liking being sexy as hell then at the end of the night giving him a peck on the cheek & saying g'night.

Single mom

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No, no, no - I'm not spoonfeeding you, I'm merely guiding you. Go and read Jean's two threads (should only take you 10 mins). And then you'll be coming back onto this thread, telling ME what you think you should do. "I'm kinda liking being sexy as hell then at the end of the night giving him a peck on the cheek & saying g'night." And, no you don't. You just think you're getting to sneakily wind him up to where he'll want to pounce on and ravish you. I'm now thinking - 'not gonna happen'. Don't know, though. For all we know, he's still testing you. And that could be - equal to the above theoretical suppositions - because his past exes started OUT keen as sexy mustard but then suddenly 'went off' the idea of having sex, meaning he's basically trying to remain for as long as possible playing hard-to-get out of some silly idea that if you end up revved up to the max then your ardour might never, ever wane, even after 1 year, 2 years, 3...10 of being married. Who KNOWS what his particular thinking is or where it stemmed from and what he hopes to achieve. All I know is the above - IT'S NOT NORMAL and it signifies something being amiss somewhere. I'm orf to beddybyes now (just noticed the time, yikes!) so I'll check in tomorrow to see if you've read them yet.

Single mom

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Ok, I read them. I think I get it. I need to tell him what I WANT out of this relationship and not just go along with everything HE wants! I have been way too available to his calls & jumping when he wants me to. 1Jean's man sounds like my guy. He gushes about me to his family & tells them about our future but when we're together he doesn't talk like that. I think another "Sit down, we need to talk" is in order here! Cuz my plan was to just get another job & be less available isn't working & it doesn't let him know how I feel or what I need.

Single mom

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Well, clearly SORT-OF got it, but you're not considering the bleedin' obvious: getting to test-drive ALL facets of a potentially long-term union as is normal for the times (and in fact always was and was just kept a far tighter secret than today - hence so many illegal abortions back then), is not something that should solely come under what *you* want. *HE EQUALLY* should want it. It shouldn't even be an issue! Remember, he can't claim his wish for abstinence is down to his religion because - WINNEBAGO! (- Ace card). And I'm presuming he's NOT ever since that day been whipping himself bloodied with a cat o' nine tails - correct? So that's just tosh wrapped up in semi-credibility which you're going to instantly dismiss or slam down accordingly (should he try it). Hmm. Interesting that he gushes about you only behind your back. Yup, you're right - that smacks of over-guardedness to me same as Jean's fella. So, then, it looks like this loathness to have regular sexual relations is indeed something to do with that sense of vulnerability. Again - him wanting to see how hard and far you'll push for it? Yup, push all the way and finally find out what the bleedin' 'ell he thinks he's doing (or not doing as the case stands) and for what purpose. He shouldn't be manipulating like this, he should be TALKING about it with you and seeking your full consensual permission if there's something not strictly in the rulebook that he wants. You do NOT want to find yourself in a totally sex-less marriage or near as damnit; it would slowly send you fruit loopy. I mean, would he expect you to literally buy a car after having just sat in it in the car showroom with the engine ticking over without ever having taken it out on the road? Well, okay, that's an over-exaggeration, but.. certainly his expecting you to go through the rest of the prior motions to signing on the dotted line after having driven it only around the industrial estate rather than taken it up to 80mph on the motorway is just plain unrealistic. So would he rather come across as some weirdo or just spill his REAL feelings about it all? You're looking for a soulmate, not a bessiemate. Now, either he lets you do your right of finding out if that's truly him, or he'll have to settle for a limitation on the perks like a mere platonic friend, which means 'watch' you dating another or other guys - ones who DO want the full kit and caboodle AND ARE PREPARED TO PROVE IT. Good on ya, Lorri. Glad to see you're not a 'settler'!

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