A Reader Stops Chasing the Blistering Inferno of Lust…And Finds Love!

Hi Evan,

 I don’t know if you actually have time to read all the emails you get, but I really hope you read this one. I found your site about 8 months ago or so when I was dating my ex. I signed up for your blog and read the advice you dish with every email. There have been 2 lately that have really just cleared something up for me that nobody else seemed to understand.

I just needed someone to tell me that 1) that blistering inferno will burn you and fizzle out (I may be ad-libbing here) and 2) long term attraction and commitment is different than short term attractions and commitment and there is scientific data to support that.

 My ex and I broke up, it was a long, drug out, very emotional break up for the both of us.  I fell in love with this guy very quickly, and it crashed and burned. So by the time we broke up, I was pretty much at peace with the idea of needing to move on, and felt pretty over him. I went back on Match, and dated several guys, and one stuck.  We are still dating today. We don’t have any of the issues my ex and I had, and the relationship is amazing, the guy is amazing.  Well, about 2 months into my new relationship (2 months after my ex and I broke up) my ex came back. He wanted to get back together, and I was torn.

 My new boyfriend is amazing, he really is, but I don’t have that rush for him like I did with my ex. That was causing me sincere pause. I thought that if things were meant to be with my new guy my feelings would have been as strong for him as they were for my ex. Even though I know that things would never be long term with my ex as I believe they could be with my new boyfriend. This caused me quite a bit of pain. I felt horrible, like I was going to hurt them both. I talked to so many people, and NOBODY could give me advice.  I had condensed my agony into this little question that no-one could answer… do you go with the guy who is a 10 on the spark scale (more inferno-ish, more than a 10) and a 7 (on a good day) on the compatibility scale or the guy who is a 7 on the spark scale (attracted but not overwhelmingly so) but a 9.5 on the compatibility scale?  No-one could answer that!!

 I was so happy to get your email about the gal who met her boyfriend on line and really cares a good deal for him, but is not attracted to him, and then this email about brain chemistry. You answered my question!! Thank you!  I just needed someone to tell me that 1) that blistering inferno will burn you and fizzle out (I may be ad-libbing here) and 2) long term attraction and commitment is different than short term attractions and commitment and there is scientific data to support that.

 That they are not the same, and (this was the part that cleared it all up for me) “… if you spend your whole life chasing that “feeling”, you’re likely to end up in a series of short-term relationships that end in heartbreak.”

I was chasing that feeling.

Thank you. Now I just have to find a way to tell my ex good-bye, for good (which is hard to do, especially when you want that feeling back!)  Any advice on that? :)

 Thanks again,
M

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Curly Girl

    I believe my initial point was that this site is about finding an LTR, with all of the sturm und drang surrounding that, not about dating per se, and I questioned why you don’t open it up a bit to explore all different types of happy, healthy relationships. And never did I say that the site was for women only or for online daters only. Not sure where you got that from.

    But with all due respect, I do agree with Janet in some ways regarding your branding. It’s confusing. What are you marketing here? Love? You say that on the homepage or somewhere, but it isn’t about love, it’s about relationship, and judging by the letters, bad ones. Then you say that it’s advice for all types of relationships, but judging by this post and your reponses here, it’s about getting to the LTR, which, as some other posters have pointed out, goes undefined.

  2. 32
    Selena

    When someone says they want a LTR doesn’t the definition depend on the individual? For one person that might mean “I want to be married. I’m looking for someone to spend the rest of my life with and nothing short of that.” Why don’t they just say that? Because they could come across as *too* serious and scare away potential dates?

    For someone else, wanting an LTR may be code for “I’m not into one-night stands and casual booty call arrangements.” An attempt to weed out players. Why don’t they just say that? Because they could come across as jaded and bitter?

    How long is long term? One person might consider a relationship that lasted 6 mos. long term. Another might dismiss that as “you don’t even really know each other after only 6 mos. !” LT for others might mean several years. Or decades. In any event, who goes about looking for a relationship with a set time frame in mind?

    What about the disappointed women who write in because the guy they had been dating for a few months dumps/does the fade-out on them? “When we met we both agreed we wanted a LTR. He even stated it in his profile!!!” Well, he may still think he wants a LTR, just not with you apparently. Feel better to believe he was lying though?

    Since there is no way to predict how long a relationship will actually last, does saying you want a LTR really mean anything? A relationship is either going to turn out to be long term (depending on individual definition) …or not.

  3. 33
    Jennifer

    @A-L #32, yeah this thread took a *hard* left turn somewhere and i’m not sure what happened. For the most part I agree with your comments though.
    And in general, it really is possible to disagree without being disagreeable….this thread is not a good example of that principle in action!

  4. 34
    Lance

    @EMK #30: Most hot girls are crazy, that’s for sure, but I wouldn’t advise anyone to date a 7. I say go for the 10 that’s awesome on the inside, too. They’re out there, you just have to look around and be the man that’s worthy enough to get with that gal. If you fall short, look in the mirror, and make the changes that make you attractive enough to land a 10/10.

    Lance´s last blog post…Tax Returns: Complete and Total Satisfaction

  5. 35
    Evan Marc Katz

    Lance, my friend…

    “I wouldn’t advise anyone to date a 7″ is a recipe for dissatisfaction.

    My wife married a 7. I trust that she feels she made a good decision.

    In fact, this is a whole other blog post… thanks for the inspiration.

  6. 36
    pete

    I don’t think that what Lance was necessarily referring to in this context was the 10 in looks but rather the parameters that had been established by “M”.
    That would be passion and compatibility.
    He made a good point about becoming the person that deserves a 10 on whatever parameter you determine is important to you.
    “M” s parameters are passion and compatibility and she sought reassurance that a substandard number, would be satisfactory in the long run.
    If she didn’t think that 7 in the sparks/passion department was substandard for her, she wouldn’t have written the letter in the first place.
    Lance’s point of view comes from abundance. If you deserve it, they will come.
    The other point comes from lack. “There aren’t enough men/women that are halfway decent so I better get this one.”

  7. 37
    M

    Ok…
    I am 31, a single mother, divorced for 10 years. After my divorce I worked on my career and did not really date. I am attractive, fit, and financially secure. I spent a good portion of my adult life alone and was extremely happy in that. I started dating because I broke my foot and had to sit on the couch and got bored within 2 hours so I decided to post a few personal ads to occupy my time. I dated several men from match, both times I was on it (I met both my ex and my current bf there). I never experienced a lack of options (not to sound arrogant, just repsonding to the implication that I was writing from a “there are not enough good men, so I better snag one up” comment).
    About my ex, we were together for about 6 months (not long term to me). When I started dating him it was like I woke up. I was happy alone, but I really felt like I was living with my ex, I felt charged emotionally. However, we bickered daily, about anything, about everything. We always worked it out and were ok, but the bickering never went away (7 compatibility), there is something about this man that is so incredibly attractive to me, I cannot expalin it (10+ spark). But ex has comittment issues, in the 6 months we dated he never wanted to lose me, but never wanted to comitt (roller coaster). I tried very hard to make that work but it didn’t. He now says that he thinks things can be better, but he still doesn’t know that he wants a relationship with me, he just wants to try again. When I see him, I can feel that attraction in my stomach, it is strong, and things are much more pleasant between us, but I have a sneaking suspision that it is because I am taken and not really available for a relationship with him, if the situation were different I think it would probably go the same.
    About new guy, I don’t want to make it sound like it is a chore to be with this man, because it is not. He is amazing and I AM attracted to him, I am attracted to him when he isn’t even around, just thinking about him. When I started dating this guy it was like I found things I never realized I didnt have. He made me happy in ways I didn’t realize I wasn’t happy in. We get along and communicate incredibley well. He is understanding and generous. He really is amazing. I give it a 7 for spark because I have felt stronger attraction for people before, not because I only have a mild attraction for him.
    I did the alone thing and I was happy, I did the casual things and that was fun, now I am doing the relationship thing, and it is different than both the others. And I don’t know if this is forever or not, but I do know that all my relationship, short or otherwise, have given me quite a bit. They were all worth it for their own reasons and I don’t feel incomplete or unworthy. I don’t think I am somehow less because I am no longer married. I think I have found someone that makes me happy, turns me on (allbeit not in a rollercoaster kind of way), and is comitted to rolling up his sleeves and working on this relationship with me becasue he wants to be with me, and us together is peaceful and serene and amazing. I don’t think he will see in my eyes or feel in my kiss that I am not on a roller coaster with him, his kisses stop time and that is what he feels when we kiss.
    ***posts are hard to judge, I was not being snippy or rude or anything like that. I really appreciate you all giving your perspectives, even if I disagreed with it, your opinion is still valid to me. So thank you all for your feedback. I read them and thought about them and that is how I came to this post.
    So thanks again :)
    M

  8. 39
    Joe

    Pete wrote:
    Sports cars are unreliable.
    Sports cars are as reliable as any other car, given the right maintenance. Same for relationships.

  9. 40
    downtowngal

    Good points on this post, but I think there needs to be some perspective. OP was comparing the new BF to her ex. I wonder if she’d feel as torn if she had never dated her ex?

    There has to be SOME passion, and it sounds as if it’s there. I think the sooner she forgets her ex and stops comparing, the greater the chance it will develop with the new guy.

  10. 41
    Selena

    Re:#45

    If you notice these two r’ships are also back to back. She broke up with the hot chemistry guy 2 mos. ago/ has been with new guy 2 mos. It’s hardly surprising she would be comparing…two months is not long to have been broken up and not very long for a new relationship to develop either.

  11. 42
    M

    ***Update***
    Specially posted for all you doubters and haters :)
    I emailed this update to Evan yesterday…
    Hi Evan,

    I just wanted to give you an update, me and the great guy are still together, although my ex does come back around ever couple months or so. It is difficult every time my ex comes back around because I remember that feeling, but it’s getting easier. That feeling has come around with my current boyfriend too, but it goes also. I guess I am finally learning that the passion comes and goes, its the mutual respect, commitment, and dedication to each other that make a relationship work. Look at me, growing up so quickly :)
    I find myself coming to your blog less frequently (sorry :), but am glad my letter to you 8 months ago continues to be relevant and linked to your current postings. Thanks for all your help, I hope I continue to visit your site less and less, because that means it is continuing to work with the guy I am with now.

    All the best!
    M

  12. 43
    Susiecue

    I don’t have opinions to share here, just my own experience…
    In my early twenties, I had the most passionate of relationships – the sexual sparks were there, but even more importantly for each of us, we had this huge, deep connection. We were true partners in crime. We listened to so much (90s indie and grunge) music together and were very happy and so, so connected.
    But it started to fall apart, because he was damaged goods – serious mental instability, a LOT of angst, a tendency to suddenly become completely detatched from the rest of the world and hostile. I didn’t know how to handle it, and handled it badly, getting very upset with the things he was doing and not knowing how to help. I ended up depressed too, and angry because he would be so hostile to be around. We parted, barely even friends.
    I have been with my soon to be ex husband for the past decade, now. He was the “7″. The sex was only OK. The feeling of belonging and of ‘soft love’ and friendship and cuddly, almost semi-platonic connection was what I married him for. I really thought I was doing the right thing. And for him, I was the 10, and he didn’t want me to leave – but I don’t love him any more, and feel that I maybe did not love him enough to get married, but that I finally had a true friend and partner who loved me and treated me so well.
    Unfortunately the treating me well bit did not last through the very trying times of two babies in quick succession, possibly due to lack of sleep, and exhaustion. I was so exhausted from all the breastfeeding and waking up at night and pregnancy-related illness that I didn’t have any energy or time for him and his wants and needs, and he ended up feeling hurt and completely neglected. This soon led to a lot of resentment between us, anger from me that he could/would not understand and accept that I just HADN”T been able to do much for him when the babies were little, anger from him that he was so far down on my list that he didn’t even figure anymore (his words), and the connection between us died, replaced by bad and upset feelings on both sides. The kids are at preschool now, but the warmth never returned, just constant, low-range sniping and frustration about small household things.
    When I finally do move on from this, I would love to possibly find some fun, flirtatious times with a nice guy, rather than a dependable, second possible husband, at least not for a long time. I don’t think I even want committment any more.
     

  13. 44
    Denise

    Susiecue, if there is ANY love in  your heart for this man, I would highly encourage you and him to work on finding your way back to each other.  This is for your sake and  your kids’ sake.  Really contemplate your feelings for him.  You’ve gone through a ton of stress and having and caring for children is an incredible burden.  What you’ve gone through in your marriage is pretty common, you’re not alone. 

    Finding a way to come back together to a meaningful, loving relationship is FAR better than being a young, single mother, then trying to find new love (even if you don’t feel like it now, there probably would be a day where you would want that in your life).

    My friends and I who are divorced all agree on this point.  Of course, there is NO accepting abuse or neglect…but if there is any glimpse of love, sieze on it and see if you can’t make it grow.  It won’t be like what you had when you first married, but it actually could be much better.

    Good luck!

  14. 45
    Sparkling Emerald

    EMK #37 you said . . .
    Lance, my friend…
    “I wouldn’t advise anyone to date a 7″ is a recipe for dissatisfaction.
    My wife married a 7. I trust that she feels she made a good decision.
    In fact, this is a whole other blog post… thanks for the inspiration.
     
    Are you talking looks or overall person ?  Is 5 average or is 7 average ?

    (EMK responds: 5 is average. I think I’m better than a 5. But I’m not a 10 in looks, that’s for sure.)

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