On The Rocks
HANDPICKED STORIES FROM READERS - PAGE TWO
"ON THE ROCKS" - ASKING YOURSELF THE TOUGH QUESTIONS

Added July 05, 1998
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Continuing with this series of Handpicked Stories, I received the following letter and article from a gentleman reader. I was so moved by the effort this gentleman went to, I selected it to be among the Handpicked Stories. This one is very long, but well worth the read. Wild

July 04, 1998 - I want to say that this is a great site and should be a "must read" for anyone using the 'net as a way to meet other people. I've done the 'net thing for the last year or so and have had good and bad experiences. I am an officer in the military and move around frequently making it hard for me to really connect to a community. Also, I don't care for bars too much. So I tried the internet and used both American Singles and Match.com. I've had mixed results ranging from the normal "no chemistry" dates, two serious relationships, to one woman who got drunk and went psycho on me during our first (and LAST) date. As a whole, most of the people I met were above board.

I met a woman 9 months ago on match.com and we entered into a very serious relationship. Unfortunately, she didn't know what she wanted and was intimidated by the thought of leaving South Carolina and travelling with me in the Air Force and giving up her career as a teacher. She and I ended our relationship 2 1/2 months ago and then I promptly checked into Heartbreak Hotel. There's much more to this story as the attached article details.

Would you consider running this article I wrote? It is titled "Relationship on the Rocks: Ask Yourself the Tough Questions!" and tells the story of how I finally got over the end of this painful relationship. When two people in love with each other don't work out and a promising relationship goes down in flames, it's major pain! But, when you sit around in the house and dwell on it too long, its time to take action, ask yourself some serious questions, and get on with your life. This is the story of how I did that and I'd like to offer this technique to other people through your site. It is attached in Rich Text Format.

My advice to other readers: take the precautions offered on this great site, take your time, and don't dwell on the past. Be honest, forthright, and above board. People on the 'net are real people and we need to act accordingly to avoid deceit and unpleasant surprises. I would also suggest that, if you're serious about meeting someone, don't fall into the trap of confining yourself to the Internet. Enlighten yourself. I suggest a couple of books: Dr. John Gray's "Mars and Venus on a Date" and Dr. Joy Brown's "Dating for Dummies." These good reads will get you on board the "clue train" in short order! Then get out and try volunteer work, join a club, socialize in public, and even take a jab at the newspaper personals. Don't put yourself on house arrest and rely exclusively on a computer to meet that special woman...get out of the house! Work on your social skills in public...they come in handy on that first date!

Thanks and have a happy 4th!

"Rocks"

Let me tell you a story...

After two and a half months, I think Iím close to the end of getting over Margery (name changed to protect me from possible lawsuit). Iím almost to the point where I almost deny I even wanted to be with her. I sat down with a pencil and paper and asked myself some questions. The answers I came up with were fact based and undeniable. These are probably things I did not want to face up until this point. Iím not crazy about being alone at 31 and am worried that continuing to dwell on Margery will only waste more time and borders on stupid obsession. So enough is enough. It didnít work out, didnít happen, period. She is history.

To solidify and clarify this empowering sentiment for myself, I started asking myself some good questions:

  • Why is it worthwhile to try to get her back? When I started, it seemed worthwhile to try again to get Margery back after she gets back from her summer science teachersí workshop. She is my age, cultured, had no kids, shares much in common with me, is intensely attractive, and has a great family. Without digging a little deeper, I could really make an argument to try and win this "wonderful woman" back into my life. But I need to dig a little deeper to know for sure that this is actually a dead horse that needs to be buried once and for all.

  • Why did we have problems? Our problems were based in lack of communication due to her unwillingness to communicate or talk in a civil manner about issues that came up. I was unhappy because she was fickle and did not stay consistent in the relationship. Unwilling to make long-term plans, she refused to even discuss them. Sexual interest waned and Margery wanted to spend more time alone, she limited the amount of time we spent together. From male movie stars to coaches at her high school, the subject of other men came up too frequently in conversations. Not only did it grate my nerves, but also it made me wonder what happened sixty miles away where she lived and worked when I was here at home.

  • Why did I have a hard time trusting Margery? Trust became an issue over time. On a trivial note, she drooled over movie stars such as Brad Pitt and Jeff Goldblum. (She even said one time that she would dump me like a ton of bricks if Jeff Goldblum came knocking on her door) At restaurants, her big green eyes would wander all over the room at everything other than me. I noticed her looking around and flirting with other men when she was with me. I donít think I ever felt more lonely and unappreciated than on those occasions when I would dine with her and see her blank expression to me and smiles to everyone else from the busboy to the handsome man passing by. When we would get back to her house, she would clandestinely check her answering machine by turning the volume way down or checking it using the handset of the attached cordless phone. Her placement of a personal ad on the Internet was the coup de grace. Although, I must have had some doubts about this relationship because I was surfing Match.com to see if she had placed an ad and, oh by the way, to see if there might be any new prospects there for me. I sensed that I was on a sinking ship with Margery-actually it felt more like the Titanic.

  • Why did I feel the relationship was threatened? I didnít need a ton of bricks to come crashing down on my head. On occasion during the relationship, she mentioned the idea of "seeing other people". More and more time elapsed between sex and the time we spent together was limited with greater degrees with passing time. There were choir rehearsals she had to attend, workshops she needed to go to, and soccer games coached by her male roommate that she *needed* to attend. When we were together the focus was not on me. It was on papers that had to be graded for her science class, idle chit chat between her and her male roommate, Mad About You or Star Trek Voyager on TV, NPR in the car, a John Gresham novel, or some Power Point presentation that needed to be done for a teachers workshop. If our conversations werenít about high school curriculum development, her future plans by herself, or mundane *household* happenings it wasnít a conversation at all. Needless to say, boredom became an issue for me, not to mention uncertainty. It got to the point where the sixty two mile drive each way from my house to Margery's became the highlight of the evening. Most times when I saw her, she was "exhausted", "worn out", or "not feeling good". Introductions to her family and friends (and there were few of those) were made as me as her "friend" six months into a relationship. Hmmm.

The mental excavation continued and I continued to ask myself more questions.

  • What would have to be different in order for me to be happy with Margery if I were successful in getting her back? My pen wasted no time moving as soon as I wrote this question down. She would have to get rid of the male roommate and/or have a more normal and appropriate relationship with him. She would have to treat me with more respect, especially in public-no more dramas at the checkout counter at Stein Mart or smart remarks in front of her family friends at the Christmas party. She would need to be consistent in the relationship and willing to make a long term commitment-only reasonable when a relationship has gone as far as ours had-way past the "I love you" stage. Margery would need to compromise and be willing to accept things on terms other than just her own. It would need to be more like a healthy adult relationship where things are equal.

Pretty tall order to fill here. Fat chance!

Ok-but why was it great about being with Margery?

  • She was attractive, and was not needy.
  • Her head was squarely on her shoulders when it came to finances and her career.
  • She was very intelligent, cultured, and was a magnificent singer.
  • I was proud of her.
  • The sex was magnificent.
  • We shared a great deal in common as two highly intelligent and cultured people.
  • She had a great family and very nice parents-I liked and respected her father from the first moment after I met him.
  • She had no kids, no baggage, and was a year younger than me.
  • When we had fun, we had FUN!
  • Most importantly, being with her excited me 24 hours a day.

Now the tough question: why was it not so great being with Margery?

  • Communication broke down on tough issues-she would get upset and defensive at the slightest provocation.
  • The abnormally close relationship between her and her male roommate became not only a nuisance but also a trust issue-in a word, it was weird!
  • On frequent occasions, Margeryís rudeness and lack of consideration to me was readily apparent in our e-mails, on the phone, and in person. I almost hated to call on the phone because she was always abrupt and rude.
  • Her "fierce independence" left me feeling not needed and not wanted-not feelings which lend themselves well to bubbling feelings of manhood.
  • Her inability to commit to the relationship and make long-term plans made me uneasy and raised questions like "Why am I bothering with this woman?"
  • She ran hot then cold-mostly cold towards the end.
  • Margeryís stubbornness bordered on the legendary; her inflexibility was unshakable.
  • Not only did I not feel like (or even like) myself when I was with her, I was ill at ease and nervous. In short-it was painful! Ouch!
  • The relationship became unbalanced and awkward. I said most of the "I love youĎs".
  • I did most of the driving, spent lots of money, and initiated all of our dates.
  • Towards the end, her interest in me seemed passive at best, non-existent at worse.
  • Not only would were future plans a taboo subject, it was a cause of major arguments as she would get upset and defensive almost instantaneously; or stone silent, if I even brought it up.

My mother said on the phone, "Does a ton of bricks have to come crashing down on your head?! Wake up! Sheís NOT for you!" My brother said, "You need to dump her on the curb!" My friends advised, "Cut your losses!"

It was almost redundant, at this point, to ask myself why it would be a bad idea to attempt to re-start this relationship. For one thing, itís a long shot at best, and total foolishness at worst. My self-respect took enough of a beating already and Iím sure that my friends and family would lose respect for me if I foolishly opened myself to more shoddy treatment from this woman. As I reflect on the frame of mind I was in when I was with her, Iím sure I wouldnít want to go there again. Most importantly, wasting more time on Margery could mean I lose an opportunity to meet the right person in the process. No way, Jose!

Before you all run and call me the "desperate fool", get in line behind me and then consider that love can blind even the most astute! Guys, hereís some advice for you: take your time and get to know someone before you say, "I love you." Donít make the mistake I did and blindly assume that someone will change their personality or life to suit you. What you see is what you get, especially after the first month of "best behavior" passes. Most importantly, if the relationship isnít mutual, talk about it. If that doesnít work, CUT YOUR LOSSES NOW and save yourself incredible amounts of pain and humiliation! There are lots of women out there who will treat you right and are willing to invest the time and energy to have a relationship on an equal basis-donít waste your time with a "steel magnolia" who only cares about herself and doesnít know what she wants. Lifeís too short (and too long).

Some good books are out there that might help you buy a ticket on the clue train. After all, none of us are born with the knowledge to know the difference between a winning relationship and a futile waste of time. Some learn it in high school. Then there are late bloomers like me, who learn it in their early thirties! Read "Dating for Dummies" by Dr. Joy Brown and Dr. John Grayís "Mars and Venus on a Date". These good reads will clue you in real fast. If only I had read these before I went on *Mission Impossible: Operation Margery*.

I learned a lot from my experience with Margery and emerged from it much stronger and smarter. But I took the hard route and the tuition for this newfound wisdom was very high: burning pain and anger, humiliation, a (temporary) loss of self esteem and respect, 2 months of "house arres"Ē, thousands of dollars, thousands of miles of driving, and nothing to show for it. Donít let this happen to you! It sucks and is not worth it! Sit down with a pencil and paper and ask yourself the hard questions. Ask *why* questions-and let your brain come up with the answers. Just write down your thoughts. Look at your answers every couple days. Pretty soon you will feel better about the situation and more empowered to get over it. It works whether you in the throes of a miserable relationship or are getting over one. You wonít regret it and youíll feel better. I promise! Just do it! IT WORKS!

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