At 40, Is It Too Late to Change My Behavior and Get Better At Compromise?

At 40, Is It Too Late to Change My Behavior and Get Better At Compromise

Hi Evan, I am 39 year old female who finally realized a couple of years ago that I was attracting the wrong kind of men. I did a lot of internal work, including therapy, to change. I’m happy to say that last year I finally met a wonderful man and we’ve been together several months. The problem is that we’re both stubborn and sensitive, and want things our way. Part of our problem is the result of being single and living alone for many years. I know that I am part of the problem. I KNOW that I should compromise, but when something happens that drives me crazy, I can’t seem to choose different behavior. I am worried that two type-A 40-somethings won’t be able to make the necessary adjustments to make the relationship work. Please tell me how to get better at compromise. I’d rather choose the relationship over being alone and having everything my way forever.

Jennifer

This is a fascinating and loaded question. I’m happy for you that you’ve done some internal work and that you’re attempting to change. That’s the good news and you should be applauded for it.

Here’s the bad news:

You still – from my perspective – have a number of blind spots that are getting in the way of your happiness.

It’s a popular theory, to be sure, but men are not magnets, drawn to you against your will and theirs. We are human beings. We make choices. You may be attracted to the wrong men. You may have chosen the wrong men. But you did not unknowingly “attract” the wrong men to you.

    2. You can only change your personality so much.

You’re stubborn. You’re sensitive. You want things your way. I get it. I have some of those traits myself, and I will be the first to own that this makes me a “difficult” person, in general. The problem is that no amount of therapy is going to change your stripes. Therapy doesn’t turn introverts into extroverts or mean people into nice people. All therapy can do is work around the edges and nudge you in a healthier direction. This is a MAJOR plank in my coaching platform, namely that…

Marriage is about balance. It’s about puzzle pieces neatly fitting together. It’s not a constant struggle or fight for power or compromise.

    3. It’s much easier to change your choice of men than it is to change yourself.

I am a Type-A opinionated go-getter. I am attracted to Type-A opinionated go-getters. I coach Type-A opinionated go-getters. I am married to an easygoing, happy, flexible woman who doesn’t see me as overly difficult. We get along on 95% of issues and easily find ways to compromise on the 5%. Which brings me to the interesting fourth point.

    4. You are more likely to soften and compromise with a softer and more compromising mate.

I may have some of the traits of the typical alpha male, but my wife is so amazing that 8 years into our marriage, I’ve largely turned into the “Yes, dear” guy. Why? Because it works. Happy wife, happy life. My wife makes things so pleasurable for me that it’s ultimately easy to give her exactly what she wants. In other words, her attitude is what makes me want to be a better (read: more flexible and generous) husband.

When you compromise, you WIN, because you get to maintain a happy relationship.

Presuming that what you wrote is true, it sounds to me like you and your boyfriend are both highly opinionated, stubborn, pain-in-the-asses who really love each other and want to make things work.

I respect that, but, as an objective third party, I can’t say that I’d advocate for such a marriage.

Marriage is about balance. It’s about puzzle pieces neatly fitting together. It’s not a constant struggle or fight for power or compromise. To be fair, many relationships ARE like this – two challenging people constantly struggling for the upper hand – but they are not the kind of marriages I try to help clients cultivate.

I’m not telling you to break up with your boyfriend, Jennifer. I am telling you, however, that, in my experience, it’s much easier to find an easier guy who naturally lets you have your way than it is to battle it out with another difficult, sensitive soul who is stuck in his ways.

But if you want to learn to compromise, there’s only one thing to know:

When you compromise, you WIN, because you get to maintain a happy relationship. When you refuse to compromise, you lose, because you put your desires over your partners’ desires. This reinforces the message that your needs are more important than his – a stance which should rightfully kill any relationship.

If you want to learn how to choose a healthy, complementary partner for a long-term relationship where compromise is EASY, please click here to learn more.

41 Comments

  1. Some compromise is necessary in all relationships, but the more compromise that is necessary, the worse the relationship.
     
    Many years ago, I dated a girl I was crazy about.  The chemistry was very high, but compatibility was low.  I knew, as the relationship progressed, that if I were to ever marry this person, I would need to make significant compromises every day for the rest of my life.  And my mother gave me the following advice – “relationships should be easy, especially at the beginning.  Sure, arguments happen, but they should be the exception, not the rule.  You should not need a marriage counsellor when you are only 6 months into dating.  If you do, something is not right in the relationship.”
     
    She was very right.  So I agree with Evan – choose a man to complement you, not to mirror you.  The question is not whether you can learn to compromise (of course you can), but whether that strategy will ultimately result in happiness for you.  Learning to compromise is an important relationship skill.  Needing to constantly compromise is not an ideal to which to aspire.

  2. GoWithTheFlow

    Jeremy,
    When my son was in his early 20s he was in a year long relationship that had clearly run it’s course.  It just wasn’t going to be a HEA thing. He would come to the conclusion he was going to end things, but would then back out and say that, “She’s a nice person so I need to try harder.” I had a few conversations with him where I said that when a relationship ends, its not necessarily a “fault” issue, it’s just that two people don’t have enough in common to sustain it.  I think things finally clicked for him when I told him things shouldn’t be this hard at such an early part in the relationship.  Hard was for when you are married, have a mortgage, a new baby, and are struggling with changing needs and roles.

  3. I totally agree with Evan.  After being divorced and dating for 8 years I finally found a wonderful man that complements me.  We have been dating for 15 months now and have yet to have even one disagreement.  We both marvel at this and wonder if it’s too good to be true!  It seems like we both just naturally compromise and are in tune with each other.  It’s a wonderful feeling.  I know other couples dating less time than us that bicker or snip at each other often and I have to say I like how my relationship works better!  I am certain this man will be my husband in the future!   Hang in there for the “easy” relationships!

  4. This post and the podcast on how to Avoid Bad Relationships before they Happen are some of the best material you’ve delivered Evan in a long time… in my opinion.
     
    I say this because each has given me an “aha or “so that is why” moment.
     
    In this post I loved what you said about only being able to compromise so much and that therapy is not a magic cure-all. I think when most of us think of compromising in a relationship, we think of doing it completely, all or nothing to be a good partner/person.
    …   …   …
    I am curious (anyone can answer), how does one know how much is too much or too little compromising for a partner?
     
    I ask this because the last two post with letters, each had a very divided view on the subject from the commenters. Both men and women felt that those issues were and were not something that could be compromised on. If it all just depends on the person, then how can there be effective advice, if no one is ever truly wrong or right for how they feel?
     
    For example some people feel that it is wrong and some feel that it is right to need a ring, be upset about recycled romantic lines, and to not want to date outside of you social class. How can I know what is and what is not worth compromising on? Especially when we can live with all those issues and still find a great partner.

  5. Evan Marc Katz

    This is why being easygoing, flexible and seeing things from another’s point of view are such valuable traits – in both yourself and your choice of partner. Truly, some behaviors are indefensible, but most have a rationale, if you take the time to listen and understand.
    From, there, the compromise stems usually from the person who cares the least about the issue. So my wife and I can agree to disagree – and even argue about it – but we’re never really arguing about US; we’re just trying to problem-solve a single issue in the moment. Yesterday, she wanted to go to a movie, even though I was really tired. I first said no. Then I compromised and agreed to see a 5:30pm movie instead of a 7:30pm movie so I could get home earlier. If I didn’t compromise and we didn’t even see a movie, my wife would have understood and been fine, too. That’s two flexible people who are trying to please each other. If I had such a domineering personality that I insisted on winning EVERY disagreement (or if she did), we’d have a LOT more conflict to manage.
    But basically, our relationship is all about getting to YES, where many other relationships we read about here are about how the partner should adhere to her boundaries (no matter what the boundaries are). I often point out the male POV on things, which they have never considered. Most of the issues are weightier than going to the movies, but if this last wedding ring thread says anything, it’s that there IS a compromise point for both people – if only they can get into problem-solving mode instead of insulting, finger-pointing mode. Seems to me an inexpensive ring would save their relationship. If either he OR she insists on no ring vs. pricey ring, they’re putting the battle and “being right” over the relationship. Healthy couples don’t do this. Healthy couples see fit to compromise reflexively for the good of the relationship.

  6. Thank you Evan (^_^)!

  7. A little compromise always goes a long way to smoothen the rough edges in any relationship and is perfectly healthy.
    Compromise however should never be the basis on which any long term relationship, much less a marriage, is built.
    I think personalities shouldn’t necessarily be uniform. they should be complementary at best but they should not be at loggerheads all the time. That is recipe for disaster.
    You’ d be surprised what these so called type A people conflict about. From major issues like handling of finances to smaller issues like where one left their stockings or the toilet seat debacle.
    A type A personality probably does best with a type B as in Evan’s example.
    In all the things Jennifer outlined in her letter, there was not one that showed some level of compatibility.
    Evan may not have come out all guns blazing to say it but he did in so many words. She ought to find someone of a complementary personality. The current situation appears untenable, am afraid.

  8. As an alpha male I run from alpha females. I’d just rather not deal with a masculine female personality. Many times I can tell just by looking at their online profile. How it’s written, their accomplishments, occupation and of course their long list of requirements from a man. Many alpha males aren’t attracted to alpha females especially long term. Of course occasionally we find them physically attractive if they actually are but after finding out how they are we usually leave and find something more comfortable. Ironically alpha females are usually attracted to alpha males then they write to Evan to find out why it’s not working or wonder why the man left.

  9. Evan Marc Katz

    One correction to your screed about “their long list of requirements from a man”:
    When e-Cyrano writes profiles, we include a long list in the part “About him”. Why? Not because we’re trying to make women look picky/demanding, but because we’re trying to attract as many men as possible. So if the “About him” section contains 12 unique and specific examples, she’s more likely to find 12 different guys to write interesting to her. Remove those specifics and she’s got a crappy profile and men complain that she hasn’t said anything. Here’s an e-Cyrano “about him” section from a client. She is now married, so no comments if you think this is too long for you. For my clients, it’s just right…
    “You love that I’m attentive in a non-clingy way. Picking up little presents that remind me of you, yes. Freaking out that you didn’t call tonight, no. You’d join me for Monday Night Football in our underwear, or champagne and strawberries in a swanky hotel room. You’d take a trip to Disneyland that gives us a whole new way to look at dark rides. You’ll call to tell me that you’re buried at work but you’re thinking of me. You’d send a flirty text message that challenges me to keep a straight face. You love summer weekends cooking elaborate dinners that we eat outside. You’d call me from a business trip and talk until the wee hours. You think it’s quite amazing that I can look good with only twenty minutes to prepare. You’re up for a dehydrating wine tasting trip in Napa…along with morning mimosas before we return home. You understand me. You’re my co-conspirator. You know it’s perfectly fair for me to dream of a motorcycle riding, guitar playing astrophysicist, because I don’t hold it against you when you fantasize about a well-read, gourmet chef supermodel.

  10. No Evan that’s written much more eloquently than “Don’t contact me if”……
    You’re shorter than 6’1.
    You’re not well educated or as equally or higher than me.
    You don’t earn more than me.
    You voted for Obama. (yep one woman had this)
    You won’t go to church with me.
    You have a “Dad” bod and wear “Dad” jeans. (Yep again!)
    And the grand finale of ridiculousness…….. You don’t like Country music because I want to go to many Country concerts this summer.
    I’m sure you see the difference. I wish e-Cyrano would write all women’s (and men’s for that matter) profiles. Alpha females are much more demanding and direct to the point about it especially if they’re managers at work. That’s all I was saying.

  11. Evan Marc Katz

    Agreed. The problem is that she framed it negatively (“Don’t contact me if”)
    If, on the other hand, she told stories about how she campaigned for Marco Rubio (anti Obama), loves wearing heels to dress sexy for her man (wants tall guys), wants to have a traditional family with Sunday outings at First Presbyterian Church (wants a churchgoer), and would be first in line to see Tim McGraw when he comes to Nashville (wants country music fan)…suddenly her profile is more positive and story-oriented. It’s all in the execution. Her “list” while a bit shortsighted and not based on deeper character traits – is not inherently wrong, just poorly written.

  12. Also you are viewed more positively by people when you rule them in, vs. ruling them out, e.g. “contact me if you A, B or C” rather than “don’t contact me if you X, Y or Z.”

  13. I think anybody who’s online dated would be at some point itching to write a “don’t contact me if” list, it’s a grown up’s equivalent of a temper tantrum which ensues after a string of disappointing and emotionally draining experiences. Kind of like “listen up all you short losers, stop contacting me already, how dare you imagine that I would go out with you who do you think I am?” ???? That what it reads like to me. Most people are able to resist that urge and stay positive, but some will actually write it. I don’t think it’s an “alpha” male or female thing, its an exhaustion thing. Definitely nothing about it says alpha.

  14. GoWithTheFlow

    JB,
    Absolutely the “Don’t even think about contacting me if. . .” list is a huge turn off, and not just to the people it excludes but also to those they’re trying to rope in because they sound demanding, inflexible, and entitled.
    The most common demand I have seen on men’s profiles is, “Don’t contact me if you’re above a size X or older than Y.”  If I’m below on both counts, I’m passing on this guy anyway.
    Now if the profile said something like, “I want you to be my half-marathon training partner for a few years before we buy a running stroller for out first chid.” then I can see where a profile reader would select in or out without forming a negative opinion of the poster.

  15. SparklingEmerald

    I like that the “about him” section also tells him “what’s in it for him”  He’ll get little presents just because, someone to watch football with (half naked even) someone who will accept his fantasies . . .
    I think my “about him”section that said he must think spooning is under-rated is what grabbed my sweeties attention (among other things . . .)

  16. I’m pretty sure more women than men have the “Don’t contact me if” list because and we know Evan will back me on this. Women are way more picky than men. I know there’s a few men that will have the “if you’re above a certain size” thing because at the very least they are stupid and don’t understand how women think….lol Kind of like the “you have to make 150K on match to date me” section….lol I’m sure all the rich guys email those gals first…..yeah right. That’s the male equivalent to the body size thing for women.
    For the record 90% of men are ecstatic if any woman contacts them. All I was saying is…. it’s more likely an alpha female trait to be more “demanding” in her profile because she’s that way in real life. Both are turn offs to men. Evan teaches women to be the “CEO’s” of their love life and men are just applying for “internship”. Which is great, except intelligent men do the same. Guess who the CEO of JB incorporated is?…..LOL And I won’t hiring another C E O or any woman that acts like one!

  17. I see a lot of posts about how a type B partner is recommended for type A personalities. I wonder what the downside is two type B people is?

  18. Evan Marc Katz

    Lack of passion, drive, confidence, leadership, decision-making. Two Type Bs may get along but they will likely not feel much spark, nor will they get much done, because they are so indecisive, eager to please, and conflict averse that they stay in a flat relationship. That’s just a caricature, of course – the same as two Type As throwing plates at each others’ heads because they’re so passionate and headstrong.

  19. Evan’s characterization of Type B relationships is actually not that far off the mark (or at least, my own experiences).  I’m sure the indecisiveness of my past dates with Type Bs would drive Type As crazy LOL:
    “What do you want to do tonight?”
    “I don’t care, what do you want to do?”
    (and around and around that goes…sometimes indefinitely…)
    After the domineering Type A alpha males, I think I over-corrected and swung way too much to the other direction, with men who couldn’t make a decision to save their lives.  I’m now much happier with someone who strikes a happy medium between the two extremes.
     

  20. GoWithTheFlow

    LOL!
    This dynamic. . .
    “What do you want to do tonight?”
    “I don’t care, what do you want to do?”
    . . .can exist in relationships with people other than SOs.
    I’m thinking here of my (now deceased) aunt and I.  ????  The only problem was, she did have an opinion and was just not expressing it.  Then she would be dissatisfied with what we wound up doing.  I finally told her that if I say I don’t care where we go to eat, I really don’t care.  So of she does care, she needs to tell me or she might just be unhappy with what I chose.

  21. *of two type B people is.

  22. Evan,
    Hopefully this isn’t to personal or cause you to reveal too much of the secret sauce. What was the catalyst that caused you to consciously focus on your complement, rather than Type-A opinionated go-getters? How do you get your clients to believe that it is possible to find a fulfilling partnership counter to their intuition? In some circles, it might feel as if they are settling because they are naturally drawn to a certain personality type.

  23. NewlyMarriedWoman

    Evan surely does not need me to speak for him but as i recall the “catalyst” was he met the Future Mrs. Evan and a lightbulb went on over his head. Well, first it lit up his heart. ????

  24. NewlyMarriedWoman

    Is that a smiling winky face? It’s supposed to be a smiley winky face!

  25. Evan Marc Katz

    My job is to reveal the secret sauce. I’m not too worried. Basically, I dated 300 women online over the course of 10 years – which did a few things:
    1. Helped me get a lot of dating experience.
    2. Helped me create a new career.
    3. Helped me get “better” at dating and coaching women by looking at things from both sides
    4. Helped me realize that whatever I was doing wasn’t working. Definition of insanity, you know?
    I largely stumbled into my answer in 2006 when I wrote to a gorgeous, 23-year-old blond on JDate…who turned out to be not so gorgeous. She was average. A little heavy set and ungainly. But she was the kindest, warmest, silliest, most generous woman I’d ever dated. She was an actress. She did odd jobs for a living. But my relationship with her was incredible. I broke up with her after 8 months because I was 10 years older than she and I needed more of a “woman”…however, my paradigm was shifted. I’d been undervaluing happy, easygoing and family oriented and overvaluing hot, brilliant and interesting.
    I met my wife six months after my breakup – and it is no faint praise to say that she is a LOT like my ex – just 13 years older, a bit worldlier, and somewhat sexier. Personality wise, however, I found my match.
    Part of me wants to say it’s not everybody’s match…but on the other hand, my wife is close to the Type O Wife. If you can’t be happy with her, you’ll have a hard time being happy with anybody.
    Ultimately, people can complain that they have their “type” and won’t diverge. I’ll always ask how things are going with their “type”. Their answer is usually the opening I need to get people to realize that just because someone is just like you or you’re really attracted to him doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good fit.

  26. I think, the “downside” of a type-B person is that a lot of times they’re so boooring and generally it’s hard to get excited about them. Not always, but a lot of times. With type-Bs you really need to dig deeper to really grow to like them, as there’s rarely a “spark”. Most type-As, I think, after going through a roller-coaster with other TypeAs begin to appreciate boring and go for a TypeBs as long-term partners. As a variation, some of them will frequently later cheat on said TypeB partner with a TypeA that they are really attracted to, but know they can’t make things work with them.

  27. Emily, the original

    Stacy2,
    Most type-As, I think, after going through a roller-coaster with other TypeAs begin to appreciate boring and go for a TypeBs as long-term partners. As a variation, some of them will frequently later cheat on said TypeB partner with a TypeA that they are really attracted to.
    Ah, the old “Alpha Fux Beta Bux” theory of the manosphere. The woman has great sex with the alpha guy for free, but he won’t commit. She settles for the beta guy, who will marry her and then he pays for her lifestyle.  Is it true? I don’t know. Thoughts?

  28. GoWithTheFlow

    NOT true.
    People are on an alpha-beta continuum, so most people will have a combo of alpha and beta traits with a tendency to be on one side or the other most of the time, and it can be different in different venues.  Some hard-driving career man that people would place in the Alpha group totally cede control of the house and family life to their wives–what would be considered a very Beta thing to do.
    Alpha vs. Beta traits in an individual develop through teen years and young adult hood, and what is expressed can change over time.  The cute high school quarterback who has girls falling at his feet, even though he is often mean to them, may be a totally different person 20 years later if he never had any life goals after high school and is content with low wage jobs and sitting on the couch perching a beer bottle on his belly.
    So if some women get involved with asshole guys when they are younger, and some guys make fools of themselves over crazy bitches, and then 2, 5, 10 years down the road they wind up in an LTR with someone more stable, it’s not necessarily an alpha-beta issue, it’s that they were out there figuring out what works best for them and learning along the way.  It’s not that they are begrudgingly settling, they are waking up and smelling the coffee and figuring out what truly make them happy.
     

  29. Thanks for this comment, I couldn’t have said it any better myself.  After going through a string of alpha a-holes, I love the peace that my guy now brings to me.  I finally woke up and smelled the coffee that I don’t want constant roller coasters after all!

  30. GoWithTheFlow

    Christine,
    Yep, I hear you!
    I just don’t see where the either/or paradigm of the “Alpha fux/Beta bux” plays out in absolute terms in real life.  Women just don’t go sleep with bad boys and let them rip my heart out (or worse) and then find a meek guy they don’t really like to marry them.  My one bad boy experience as a teen wasn’t emotionally, spiritually, or physically rewarding at all.
    I think both men and women work through dating to find the someone that they get along with, respect, have goals in common with, and want to sleep with too.  It’s attraction and interest with safety and comfort.

  31. I think it really does exist along a continuum.  I really did swing to extremes earlier in my life, with domineering bad boys and then, to wishy-washy meek men.  However, my guy now really is in the happy medium–a nice, generous, giving guy who also has confidence and leadership (the “nice guy with balls” as Evan puts it).  They’re out there!

  32. It’s time to stop letting selfish, uncompromising, bullies hide behind the “Alpha” label. Men (and women) who treat people like accessories are not alphas–they’re assholes. It’s not a personality type. It’s not behavior we have to resign ourselves to putting up with if we want a go-getter. It’s a defect and it’s borderline pathological.
    Look back to the origins of that term as we use it now. Among animals, the alpha is the leader of the pack, but while the alpha makes and executes decisions, he is acting in the interest of the whole pack. He’s protecting the safety of the group, the social order, the fair distribution of resources. Anyone who is acting purely in his own self-interest is not an alpha. He’s a narcissistic jerk.
    The man who gets up every morning and goes to work, takes care of the car, cleans the gutters, makes sure his kids have enough to eat, does dishes and folds laundry with his wife, keeps the home running smoothly and makes sure his family is taken care of is what we call a boring beta, but that’s an alpha male in my book. He’s truly leading the pack and he has more backbone than the coward who spends all night at the bar with his buddies. I’ve never been interested in that type myself. I have more respect for the guys everyone looks down on as pussy-whipped betas.

  33. Emily, the original

    Rachel,
    People seems to view men and relationships as an either/or proposition. A woman is either in a relationship where she experiences high highs and low lows, lots of chemistry and excitement but the guy is slippery and elusive and causing her pain. Like a high-sugar, high-carb diet or what people term the Alpha man. Or she is with Mr. Reliable, Mr. Dependable … the guy who is a good person, consistent and wants a legitimate relationship with her. He’s like a low-sugar, low-carb, clean foods diet. He’s the beta. He’s healthy but a little bland.
    Is there nothing in between?
     
     
     

  34. @Stacy2,
    I agree with you. However, the excitement and that redhot chemistry these Type As tend to generate is only but a fleeting sensation that will wear off sooner than later. It can’t be peaches and cream forever you know.
    Now when you ( *not you Stacy just generally speaking) are pushing 40 like the OP, it’s not all doom and gloom but then again you start getting the feeling that maybe Elvis has left the building.
    At that point it would seem that a life without so much squabbles isn’t so bad after all. Boring? Maybe. But then one still has someone to come home to and get to share how the day was.. and watch reruns of Senfield ( don’t know how much fun that is)
    Either that or a life with an indifferent type A who couldn’t care less about your feelings and is maybe out with the boys ( and new girls)….
    OR.
    Alone with 5 cats..
    I honestly don’t know which one is worse.
    The boring type B doesn’t seem so bad after all.

  35. Emily, the original

    Sparkxx,
    By 40, Elvis hasn’t just left the building. He is completely inaccessible and in another country.

  36. GoWithTheFlow

    Disagree that Type B is boring.  My Type A girlfriend has been married almost 30 years to an easygoing Type B man.  He is very intelligent, willing to take reasonable risks (mid-life career change to a field he is passionate about), has been a great dad to two girls, and is funny as hell.  Just if anyone is going to get upset and lose their shit, it will be his wife, while he let’s it roll off his back.

  37. GoWithTheFlow

    An additional example from my friend’s marriage.  She recently had to have surgery on the –ahem–lady parts.  Afterwards sex was physically painful for a sustained amount of time.  My friend sought out solutions and tried different things, and after several months’ of effort, sex became enjoyable again, and they returned to their normal of having sex 2-4 times a week  (found that tidbit out after I asked about her surgery).
    So yes, wives do desire and enjoy sex with beta husbands ????

  38. GoWithTheFlow,
     
    You know you remind me of those really annoying characters from adventure books and movies.
     
    You pop in, giving great wisdom and advice, but then you disappear for weeks leaving everyone craving more.
     
    But I’m a fan, so I’ll take whatever sage counsel you give…
     
    Though, if you pop up next time wearing a wizard’s robe, and telling me I have to go slay some fire breathing dragon, then I might have to see about getting your MD revoked! That stands for Magical degree right? (^_^)
    …   …   …
    You really gave me an “Aha” moment with the finding yourself comment. For years I have heard men and women complain about the sheer audacity of a person whom they knew in their 20s that turned them down for the bad boy or hot girl, now wanting to date them.
     
    But holding a grudge against someone for their actions when they were an ignorant child says far more about you than it does about them.
     
    That was awesome advice, thank you.

  39. GoWithTheFlow

    Hey Adrian,
    I’m in the last stages of moving back home from a nearby state.  The move was originally planned for the summer after school was out, but then it became a need-to-move-now-thing.  It was ugly ????  I didn’t have internet for 2 weeks and had to keep a lid on the cell phone data charges, so I would only go online if it was a necessity.
    Please don’t revoke my Magical Degree!  My life would be bereft without Gandolph, Dumbledore, and my new fave, Melisandre–Jon Snow lives!  Having a Magical Degree is really another way of telling the world you’re a nerd at heart.  And I would never ask you to slay dragons.  Dragons are my friends.  What I need is someone who can fix a garbage disposal (I destroy them), hook up the smart TV (because I’m a fantasy nerd not a techie), and grill meat (which I just suck at).
    As for “Aha” moments, I think it’s wise to try and apply the “assume non malevolent intent” to past partners/love interests as well as current ones.  My former teen bad boy grew up just like I did, and is a full fledged responsible adult.  I think that since we no longer have such rigid gender roles, teens and young adults struggle with defining and expressing what femininity and masculinity is to them.  So we get the exaggerated bad boys and crazy bitches who are really trying to figure themselves out and falling into stereotypical behavior.
    I would like men to know that for a lot of women, the bad boy entanglement is not something we remember fondly.  A bad boy will make a girl feel confused, insecure, and used.  Lesson learned.  And watching a brother and son experience those same emotions that a crazy woman brings to a man causes pain by association to a Mama and Big Sis.  But lessons were learned, too.
    You are right about holding grudges.  It says more about (and is unhealthier for) the grudge holder than the grudgee.
     
     

  40. Boring? I love LOVEEEEE boring if it means me NOT being filled with anxiety and uncertainty. In fact, too much chemistry and I run the other way. I have never come across a time when feeling like this about someone ends well.
    I am 38 years old (not that far from 40) and I am not drawn to guys who make me second guess how they feel. After all, that is what the ‘excitement’ of extreme alphas tend to bring (at least based on what people tend to describe in these posts as alphas, which is debatable in itself). I will take stable and consistent over time with a side order of no more butterflies.

  41. There’s the type A/ type B match but how about the secure/insecure attachment styles match? The worry is that as you get older the secure types have paired off, leaving a higher proportion of insecure types in the dating pool. Ideally insecure types need a secure person to help temper their cra cra, but with fewer of those around it gets harder and harder!
    This is from a self-aware insecure type. For reasons outside of my control, and I think reasons that would deeply affect most people, I (used to) suck at trusting in love and vulnerability. Best person ever at giving advice and support though, as proved by my five times a maid of honour credentials. I have over the years taken responsibility, I’ve done therapy, coaching, I even moved from law into psychology in a bid to better understand myself and others, and it’s helped a great deal but some of my sabotaging behaviours are still there. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is. But it’s a work in progress, I understand that. And I hope my boyfriend truly understands that too because I really don’t want to fuck it up, not again, not with such a great guy.
    I’d be interested to hear any thoughts on this.

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