Your Links For Love – January 30

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Comments:

  1. 2
    Karl R

    I was struck by this bit in the New York Times – Modern Love article.
    “I was determined to become a better version of myself — prettier, smarter, more ambitious — and looked for the same in new boyfriends. As it turned out, though, they were looking for someone better, too. [...] it’s hard to dispel the fantasy that there’s always someone better just around the corner.

    “Yet by embracing this notion, I had allowed my life to become an ongoing cycle of shallow disappointments that left me longing for someone like my [ex-boyfriend], who could be satisfied with exactly what he had and who he was. Even more, I longed to be that kind of person again, too.”

    My girlfriend has dated men who were more intelligent, more educated, more successful, more ambitious, better looking, more fit, more exotic and funnier than me. Of all the men she’s ever dated, I’m the easiest to get along with. And the same is true in reverse … including her being the easiest to get along with.

    If we’re going to be in a relationship for years, we’re going to need to get along with each other. Another woman isn’t “better” unless she’s easier to get along with. Prettier, smarter, more successful … those aren’t going to cut it in the day-to-day life for the next few decades.

    I have my girlfriend. Why would I “settle” for someone who is harder to get along with?

  2. 3
    Evan Marc Katz

    Yes, she should have “settled”. She already realized it, albeit too late.

  3. 4
    Michael17

    You know, I disagree with both Evan and Karl here. I’m usually sympathetic to the guy, but here he seems insecure, unambitious, and boring.
     
    It seems that the guy has no interest in growing himself, no ambition. So what would life long-term with him be like? Comfortable, but not very exciting.
     
    It would like us as guys being with a woman who “let’s herself go” physically, all the while there’s this hot aerobics instructor flirting with us.

  4. 5
    starthrower68

    Just bear in mind Michael that in most cases a woman who “lets herself go” is working full time, taking care of a home, and a family.  All women would like to look like the hot aerobics instructor. 

  5. 6
    Michael17

    Yes, I’m talking before marriage and kids, during the dating phase. After marriage and kids it is indeed a different matter, as you pointed out.

  6. 7
    Denise

    #4 Mike

    I think maybe the point of the story is being missed.  It’s not really about the ‘real’ Tim, really nothing about him at all.  It’s bigger than that.  It’s about HER thinking there was something better out there than the loving man who was not only devoted to her, but also that she was comfortable with, attracted to and enjoyed.

    It wasn’t like the imposter Joe was a middle class guy with a ‘regular’ job and a ‘regular’ life that she was being lured into.  It was a man who ‘seemed’ to offer a lot more than what she currently had.  Although he could have seen to be a better catch, was he a better MAN and PARTNER?  She assumed so…

    I don’t think it’s uncommon or not normal to think the grass is greener; to look at someone else and compare them to who you’re with and think you could do better.  However, it is maturity and experience that makes one realize that what they currently have, although not perfect, and sometimes ‘boring’ (as long term relationships can be with the drudgery of life!), is REAL and HAPPY.

  7. 8
    Diana

    Denise #7, I couldn’t agree more. She became star struck and caught up in the superficial qualities of the so called “better” guy, and in the process, she lost the guy who really meant the most to her. Happens all the time.

  8. 9
    Karl R

    Michael17 said: (#4)
    “It seems that the guy has no interest in growing himself, no ambition. So what would life long-term with him be like? Comfortable, but not very exciting.”

    Unless the author is only excited by ambition and success, then there’s no evidence that her boyfriend was be boring.

    Neither my girlfriend or I are ambitious. But we both strive to improve ourselves in different ways. We learn new dances and try to improve the ones we already know, even though we don’t intend to put forth enough effort to become serious competitors. We work on our yoga, even though we don’t intend to become instructors. We exercise daily, even though we don’t expect to become completely ripped.

    We learn new things because we find them interesting, not because they’ll help us achieve some particular goal.

    I have more ambitious coworkers. They spend more time working and less time playing. How exciting is that for their significant others?

    And our unambitious relationship is fun: great sex, lots of dancing, a couple cruises, a week in Scotland, snorkeling, zip-lining, wearing outrageous costumes to Halloween parties, concerts, shows … and all of that on fairly average incomes.

    Of course, a new romance is very exciting. But new romances stop being new after a while … even if you’re dating a gorgeous Harvard grad.

  9. 10
    Michael17

    Well, I think I do get the big picture. Relating this to me, do I stay with a woman (here, sort of hypothetical–sort of ;) ) who is amazingly good to me, loves me for me, accepts my quirks and faults and all that, but for whom my “gut-level” attraction isn’t so strong, because she might be only a ’7′ in looks for me say (forgive me ladies for sounding shallow), and maybe she doesn’t challenge me enough. Or do I give up on her, and try to get with someone who just blows me away in attraction and who even might be emotionally healthier (better boundaries), but who has me on edge all the time because I’m not sure how into me she really is. I see the point that attraction isn’t everything.
     
    I stick by what I wrote though, for this particular story. I actually think she was NOT attracted to “her” Tim anymore, and I blame him (“her” Tim) and how he handled things for that. *He* was actually the one who left *her*, for one thing. For another, when she was moving up in her career and he didn’t make any effort to keep up (and started sulking like a little kid), she lost her attraction for him. He basically stopped trying to grow and better himself, and so there was no more “mystery” about him. He became boring.
     
    So relating back:  Attraction isn’t everything, but it is something. When we’re in a relationship with someone, we can’t stop doing the things that attract them, even if we are a great friend and a loyal committed partner. I feel that this “should” change somewhat when you marry (I really believe in “for better or for worse”), but this only makes me feel more strongly that she was right to move on. He wasn’t married to the guy either, he was her boyfriend. It was *smart* of her for her to see if she could indeed spend the rest of her life with him and to look at things. 
     
    By the way, that’s not to say that I think Tim #2 would have been a better partner. Maybe he would have been a great boyfriend. Maybe she would have been only one of the girls he sees. Maybe he would break up with her to look for someone prettier, more successful, whatever.

  10. 11
    Michael17

    Karl, what you and your girlfriend are doing might not qualify as “ambition”, but it (dancing, yoga, zip-lining, and so on) is still a big difference from falling asleep every evening watching TV or coming over drunk. (Tim #1). No matter that you don’t ever intend to go on “Dancing With The Stars” or win the Crossfit Games or not.
     
    Also, you and your girlfriend match each other. This woman and “her” Tim did not.

  11. 12
    Michael17

    Karl, reread the article again too. She did what she could to make the relationship work. She tried to AVOID the other guy. Tim #1 was the one who pulled away.

  12. 13
    Denise

    It’s really interesting when several people read the same article but interpret it in different ways.  Guess that’s what makes the world go ’round!

  13. 14
    Diana

    I think the writer makes it very clear that it wasn’t Tim who had changed, but it was her. She mentions that it was no fault of his own that he was still a Production Assistant. While she questioned whether he was lazy or complacent, she knew that wasn’t the case at all. The new, great looking Tim headed off to a charity event in a tuxedo, while she retreated to her humble abode, the old Tim asleep on the couch (perhaps from working long hours), golf on the TV, and wondered, “Oh, will this be all there is to my life?” She compared a built-up fantasy life and attraction in her mind vs. the everyday reality of temporary hum drum, as if she was a helpless victim who played no role at all or was powerless in making her life what it was; as if her future fell solely on the old Tim’s shoulders.
     
    Of course, he eventually left her. When a man feels that he can no longer make his girlfriend/wife happy or that you no longer have his back, that’s when things start to slowly shut down. I feel pretty certain that when she did speak of the new Tim, the old Tim could see everything in her eyes, and hear it in her voice. Her later silence about speaking of the new Tim didn’t matter. His presence could still be felt in their lives. No respectable man wants to feel a comparison.
     
    And in the end, she longed for someone like her old Tim again. She woke up and realized that life is not always greener on the other side of the fence. And that physical attraction wanes, no matter how great it was to start with.
     
    Most of how we dream life to be is not as life truly is. Sometimes it’s actually better, but more often than not, our dreams do not match with reality. Sometimes people cannot see when they are blessed. We always have what we need; not necessarily what we want. I hope she finds another old Tim someday.

  14. 15
    Michael17

    Diana, of course she had changed. It’s called GROWTH.
     
    And I am afraid that there is always going to be some sort of “competition”–be it a coworker, next-door neighbor, whatever. A real man wouldn’t react so unconfidently though.
     
    We’re probably going to have to agree to disagree on this.

  15. 16
    Diana

    Michael, I agree. The writer did experience personal growth. It would be impossible not to, especially when she gained the wisdom in realizing that she had lost something that was more meaningful and valuable to her than she had previously realized. You know the saying … “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”
     
    It’s easy to say that the old Tim wasn’t a real man because he reacted in a way that you perceive as unconfident, but she set the scene and the tone. Not only was she comparing men, she was comparing her self-inflicted life with him against the fantasized life of the new Tim. There are comparisons … and there are comparisons.
     
    I don’t see Tim’s leaving as unconfident. What was he supposed to feel confident about? No amount of confidence with himself could make her love him as she should, and accept him as he was no matter what life brought? Isn’t this what each of us strives for in life with a partner? It was clear she was the one who was unconfident: about herself, about both men, about her existing life.

  16. 17
    Joey

    About Bald Men, Do Bald Men make better Husbands?  Something tells me that Bald Men have difficulty finding dates with women, unless they are really rich, lol.  Seriously, there should be a website for Single Bald Men and the women who want to marry them.  I just think women are just as superficial about baldness, but I don’t have the studies to back it up.

  17. 18
    Joey

    About Monogamy, Can women and men have open marriage or open relationships?  Or do Single women automatically shut the door when her boyfriend/husband cheats?  This is a fair question since so many marriages end in divorce because one of the spouses cheat.  In this new age of liberalism, and free love, can marriage be Open, Liberal, and Loving of Many?  Or does an Open marriage defeat the purpose of Marriage?  Will Single Women and Single men be happier if they have found their soul mate, but shares them with another person, it seems to work on Big Love.

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