Both are wonderful - which one?
I'm extremely confused. For the past year I have been seeing 2 wonderful men. One I have history with, the other was a business contact that became friendly. We are all successful, well respected, financially stable and roughly the same age.
Let me describe each: "Flashy" - we've been on/off for several years. He becomes the center of attention without trying and he loves it - women and men are drawn to him - he's very charming, self absorbed and not exactly dependable. He tends to be excessive and almost "over the top" with everything. Likes wearing the suit. At first that was part of the attraction - he was exciting, different and fun. "Old School" - such a gentlemen in every sense of the word. Very detailed oriented, warm, in high demand but prefers to do the behind the scene work and let others take the glory, wears the suit but prefers jeans. Extremely dependable and wants everyone to be comfortable and at ease. You'd never know he can repair anything around the house or the car and has a garden. Very dependable, always answers the phone. I find all of that so refreshing.
"Flashy" is divorced with 1 daughter in college and 1 teenage son living with the Ex in another state. His kids are very demanding and I see as disrespectful and manipulative. I don't have kids so I don't try to tell him how to parent but I do know people - lying and almost doing something should not be rewarded. We were engaged for a while but the kids started dropping little hints and saying things to keep us from moving forward in our relationship. Yes, I asked them and they did not deny it. The son is not a problem but the daughter has daddy wrapped and I know that father daughter relationship would always come first - it already has.
"Old School" has 3 grown sons - all happily married, completely independent and financially stable. He moved out of the family home when the youngest finished college and was established in his career. He and the boys mother are still married but have not lived together for over 10 years but still communicate.
I guess my problem is: I can't seem to cut ties with "Flashy" but I know his kids will always be an issue. "Old School" says he never had a reason to get a divorce until now. When he told me he was still friends with his wife, I told him I couldn't see him and tried to end it but we kept running into each other due to business. I don't like the idea of him making legal changes because of me even if the marriage was over years ago.
Me: I was married for a short period just after college. It didn't work because we were both too involved in our careers.
Any ideas on what to do....
At want flashy, then you have to accept his kids the way they are. It's a package deal. They're grown up and they will not change for you nor their daddy. You'll have to learn to deal with whatever issues that come up with them. If you're prepared for that and have the hots for him, by all means, go with flashy.
Personally, I hate drama in relationships. If it was my choice and I like both men the same way, I will pick the one with less drama. Too much drama can eventually wear you down.
Correction: "If you want flashy"
Forget "Flashy" - he will exhaust you - then replace you in 20 years with a young version of yourself because he needs that constant adoration.
But what's this about "Mr. Dependable" ??
"He and the boys mother are still married but have not lived together for over 10 years but still communicate."
He's really not available is he?
So Option 3 is find yourself an Option 3. These two are not marriage material.
What do you mean when you say you can't seem to cut ties with Flashy? Did you say you let his kids chase you off? Did you tell Flashy that when you broke the engagement? What did he say?
Has Old School said he would file for divorce and marry you? What is the nature of his continuing friendship with his wife? Is there still romantic attachment there or is it just about taking care of their kids'? Why would his being able to stay friends with his yet-to-be-divorced wife be a bad thing if you believe he'd be faithful to you? Or do you feel he isn't trustworthy? If you don't want him to divorce for your sake, then do you really want him at all?
You've been seeing both men for the past year? What's happened that only now you feel the need to decide between them?
Are you looking for reasons to run from both men? Could your confusion be more about a fear of committment than about any flaws you attribute to either of these men? Which of these men can you see yourself with for better or worse? No man is "perfect" so ask yourself, what qualities do you need? And what qualities do you want? Are you willing to fight for one of these men or do you need to start looking for another?
My thoughts exactly. One has too much drama and can be exhausting - nothing is every simple - he says I make it complicated. The other is not legally available but has keeper qualities. I was hoping for a different way of looking at the situation.
"Mr Dependable" says he has started looking into the financial and legal aspect of things. He seems to think it will not be an issue but who knows. I truly enjoy this man but she may not be as accommodating as he thinks.
"Flashy" wants to get married and says the kids will be fine and we should move forward. I truly enjoy this man then his kids aren't having melt downs.
I could see myself with either one of them and they both say they love me but ......
Smiles: Good points - that's what I was looking for. I don't know that I want to be married but I do want a good man in my life. I am ready to slow down and enjoy my life, travel, no pressure or deadlines.
Have you asked these men what they envision for their future? What they would want your life together to look like? Which man gives the answer that best matches what you want? Or, which man is the most willing to accomodate your needs and meet you halfway?
"So Option 3 is find yourself an Option 3. These two are not marriage material."
And neither are you, LS. It's obvious. Which is WHY you attracted/are attracted to men who are at the more-or-less same developmental stage as you, romantically-speaking.
Do Flashy and Dependable each even know you've all this time being seeing another man?
I think Flashy represents the old you that thinks she's not the settling down type (in so far as actual marriage) and Dependable the new you're newly, imperceptibly heading for. But you're not even ON the cusp of readiness yet, just inching towards it - hence the tug-o-war going on in your mind made representationally manifest in these two direct opposite types in terms of marriage material and the marriage's potential for ultimate longevity.
Sorry - typo - 'and Dependable the new you'...
Well, I think it's important to recognize that LS was not asking who she should marry, nor does she want to marry. I interpret her deeper concerns to be about ethics: how to conduct herself and make her choices so that she can find happiness for herself without trampling on the happiness of others. I think who is or is not marriage material is mostly a red herring here. I think she has a responsibility to be honest about what she wants for her life right now (no marriage) and that she doesn't feel comfortable in a relationship with a man who is still married to another woman even if it's just a technicality (so Old School needs to finalize his divorce if he wants to continue their relationship even if there is no guarantee that marriage will be the end result). Marriage isn't always the endgame for everyone. And even people who choose to marry don't always stay that way. For some people, marriage never feels like the right choice. There are many different ways to live your life and I think as long as you are honest and respectful of yourself and others, it's fine to be that way.
Sorry, SUD, but let's keep it real here (and as brief as poss so's not to muddy the thread): No-one is going to tell me that any sane, healthy woman stood at such an important crossroad regarding whether or to whom to commit the rest (or large portion) of her life is going to be disposed to place other people's welfare so far above her own as to warrant you saying this is her main issue whilst the crux is nothing but a Red Herring (irrelevant).
It's called moral COMPASS. It's just the guide. The DRIVER is natural human urge plus conscious desire(s). The compass should AID the driver, not slow him down or confuse him.
If you read again you'll see how the order of priority is contained (amongst others) in these facts and clues:
1. LS agreed with Susie ('my thoughts exactly') before she THEN went on to agree with you over the issue of how not to end up in any ongoing less than ideal or tricky set-up that could hurt her and others. But that's an issue as requires compass consultation in a concerted, conscious control way only if she feels she has to choose between solely these TWO men, about each of whom she then says, knows loves her *BUT*.
So moral-compass consultation in a conscious fashion is only a necessity *because* conditions aren't naturally 'perfect'.
Susie (with me expounding) was trying to remind her not to make the huge and sadly typical mistake of settling just because there are only these two on the table *at this present juncture*, and to have faith that the 'third man' (or fourth, fifth, but usually third when the woman's this side of ready), quite possibly Mr- not perfect but Perfect-FOR-HER, is highly likely to be just around that corner.
To pairbond, and in the most safe and secure way possible, is one of the oldest, most fundamental human drives there is ...the human raison d'etre aside from actual survival habits. People who feel as if marriage wasn't the right choice for them tend, in fact, to be those that caught the very first or second bus that came along, precisely because they *did't* have faith enough to hold out. And those people who decide against marriage per se / making their union solid tend to be up against some or other issues or obstacles (not necessarily their own first-hand). However, most soon change their tune the minute babies come into the frame, which is because only legally-recognised marriage ensures those kids adequate financial protection in the event of a split.
2. No, LS did *not* say 'nor does she want to marry'. She said she didn't KNOW that she (and then in the context of only these two).
3. But evidently she DOES know. Because this is a woman (sorry to talk about you in the third, btw, LS) who'd ALREADY once before got engaged. That's not the action of a woman who's anti-marriage, now, is it.
What LS was actually saying to you as far as I could tell was that IRRESPECTIVE of merely under whichever format she and her chosen soulmate commit, what SHE wants to ensure is that he is a good man, i.e. also doesn't have unresolved issues/situations both practical and psychological that are going to eventually cast them asunder or make for a frustrating/horrid existence.
LS, if a woman even *has* to um and ah over a man in this regard - let alone neither man having exclusivity by the close of an entire year - then the writing is on the wall. And it says this: [insert Edvard Munch's "The Scream"]
You do not have just one bus with your destination on it. Whether you know it or not, there is a whole fleet (your soulmate pool). Some will be better than others. One or a few might be the very cream of that fleet. What dictates which, is them being ripe, ready and willing and devoid of issues or baggage known to prove ill-conducive to a blissfully happy, never-ending union. If in your 20s you were too busy at the office amassing a pleasingly large future-nest-egg to have frequented the bus-stop or even moreover wanted to, meaning, a number of buses have long been and gone and this, now, is your first proper opportunity or urge, then you must execute the same patient waiting, scrutinising and deliberating that you'd have been expected to have done back at the time. But the buses are not going to run out because (think about it and the status of just these two) a large number will have already hit the terminus and started to head back to your particular route and stop.
You don't want to be cash-rich yet love- or happiness-poor. So, as Susie indicated originally - just hold out and have faith that this is *not* as good as it gets. You do not have to approach this like a business venture, let your HEART lead whilst you leave your head to simply either nod its approval or urge you against (or to bide your time).
If you don't force and rush things then despite you might not get what you (THINK you) want, you will get what you ***NEED***.
And here's another truism: when it's right, as right as it CAN be, one doesn't *get* married. Married gets *you*. There's the diff that makes ALL the diff!
I have a different point of view about most of what you've said and I still consider myself reasonably sane. I just want to clarify that I never meant to advocate against marriage, only for tolerance when people make other fully consenting choices. Also, I want to apologize to both you and and Susie for trampling on your advice. I'll try to be more careful.
You've misunderstood, SUD. You aren't the one stood at the crossroads so your sanity doesn't feature. Neither were you trampling on our advice. But you did seem to be disappointed through taking our lack of comment as silent disapproval rather than silent approval, thus unnecessarily defending your stance. What I'm saying is, there are many different angles of approach. Yours was as valid as Susie's but NOT where it, wanting to satisfy ethics, became the primary objective or issue (more like its marriage partner). If you wish to focus on one angle and Susie (plus my expansions) from another, sooner or later we're going to meet up at the centre, anyway. So it's all good. Different angles, difference focuses, are what I like to think separates PP from the usual forum out there and ensures happier shoppers.
I don't think you need to be more careful per se. I think it's like you've already admitted over on TH's thread, that you get that tiny bit too sucked in - where it shows. That level of enthusiasm is great - really! - but if you don't turn your dial down a bit you'll, as I said, burn out too quickly, whereas if you do, your 'taking care' will happen *naturally*.
I sound like your mother. Next I'll be telling you to sit up straight and eat yer greens. Well, in a way, that's one of the remits of a mod: everyone's (bossy) mum who has to take responsibility where warranted for the wellbeing of the advisers as well as the visitors. I'm on your case a little bit lately *because* you have great potential. Capiche?