How Many of Our Own Demons Need to be Chained Before We Can Start Dating?

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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
14,095
4,018
113
#1
Hello Everyone,

An ongoing thread raised an excellent point: How perfect do we need to be before we can start dating/looking for a life partner and spouse?

Whenever I write threads, I usually ask for people to share something about themselves, so I feel it's only fair for me to pony up a few details about myself.

One of the fiercest dragons in my own life is depression, and I'm sure that was a huge contributing factor to my divorce. Marriage didn't "cure" me as I had hoped, and the girl he left me for (someone from our workplace) had a very happy-go-lucky personality, which I'm sure was a stark contrast to my own, which I'm sure was part of the attraction.

Many of us here are long-time singles, and repeated brushes with heartache has taught us the need to set limits and boundaries with others. But what about when it comes to ourselves?

* How much of our own issues have to be under control before we could be seen as fit for someone else?

* How do we even begin to measure how much "better" we are with what we're struggling with, and how much is enough?

* Should we just throw ourselves out there anyway, wish the for the best, and see what happens?

* How does one know when they have their own problems "under control" enough to be good for someone else?

I would love to hear your stories and thoughts! If it's too personal, don't feel a need to talk about yourself -- if it's more comfortable, tell us about the things you've observed and learned from others around you.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share!
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
43,322
18,001
113
#2
How does one know when they have their own problems "under control" enough to be good for someone else?
Good morning, Kim :) Another wonderful, well thought-out (articulate) and written OP from you... thank you!

I isolated this line from your array of questions...

I don't know what I thought I had to say about it, beyond a desire to express the fact that I have been grateful that certain people have found me lovable despite my own feelings of not being good enough for anybody else. Of course it is best when the love is mutual. Then each aspires to be a better person, to be the person your S.O. knows you to be even if and when you can both acknowledge you fall short at times. And that is the thing, isn't it? We all fall short of the ideals. So being loved in spite of this is a blessing :)
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
17,157
5,782
113
#3
my answer is probably out of left field. Demons dont really care. They like to go on date rapes with anybody they can easily capture/convince...its someones body they are after.

At the moment Im reading this memoir called Teachers Pet. Its about a 12 year old who has a crush on her drama teacher, and then he ends up grooming her for sex. He is 24 years old and married with a son.
She thinks hes perfect, (he makes her feel special) and he thinks shes perfect (for sex).

He makes friends with her parents and then when he gets her alone after drama rehearsals he kisses her in the car and they start this innaporpriate relationship, where he starts feeling her up in his office at school etc. Its kinda gross but she thinks he loves her cos of all the flattery and she loves the attention.

He doesnt though he's just using her. 20 years later she finally gets the courage to call the police and he goes to jail.

There is a chapter called demons where she writes about how once she starts seeing him she turns into this convincing liar, but what she calls her demons are really her conscience trying to break it off cos its wrong.

if she ever aspires to be a better person, she can only do so if she confesses the truth, but its a drama teacher so she basically became a really good actress. But telling the truth is the hardest thing shed ever have to do. She does have a 'best friend' who she tells those details to. But the best friend is oblivious.

Im about half way through. If she falls pregannt and kills her own child I wouldnt be surprised. He takes her virginity when she is 15 while her parents are upstairs in his house where they are staying as guests. she tries to convince him to leave his wife to go with him but no hes married. Of course. she thinks he could babysit his son..
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
17,157
5,782
113
#4
sorry 'she' could babysit his son
ok its rather harrowing to read stuff like this but a lot of people believe they are in love when they are not, its just lust.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
38,911
15,098
113
67
Tennessee
#5
sorry 'she' could babysit his son
ok its rather harrowing to read stuff like this but a lot of people believe they are in love when they are not, its just lust.
...or infatuation.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
20,757
6,165
113
#6
Hmmm... this one is VERY relative. To some extent it depends on how willing both partners are to tolerate the problem and how much they want to fix the problem. The relativity comes in how far that extent extends.

If the person with the problem doesn't want to change, the other person is cool with it and the whole rest of the world says the problem should be fixed... who is right, and should the problem be fixed?

I'm reminded of an incident in a Sherlock Holmes story, a newspaper article about a couple getting a divorce. Turned out the wife wanted a divorce because the husband had fallen into the peculiar habit of ending every meal by taking out his false teeth and hurling them at her. She said enough is enough, he saw no problem with it, and the rest of the world would probably say she should just get a catcher's mitt. o_O

Then there are some couples where one is a drunk, or at least very lazy, and the other tolerates it to the point of being enabling. Abusive relationships are a more extreme example. The whole world can say "this is very wrong!" but it's hard to get either party to see that anything needs to be fixed.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
20,757
6,165
113
#7
To muddy the water even further, how much of a problem does a problem have to be before it needs to be fixed?

I know some people who are disturbingly into video games. They use video games as a replacement for a social life. Some of these people are married, and their partners are... cool with it.

Video game addiction is a real thing, but if both people in the relationship are okay with it... is it a problem?

I'm using video games because it's the mildest problem I can think of, that I know is a real problem.

If the other person's friends try to say "You should dump that person if this problem doesn't get fixed!" are the friends trying to fix a real problem? Or are they trying to stir up trouble in a relationship that is going just fine?
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
4,197
2,218
113
#8
* How much of our own issues have to be under control before we could be seen as fit for someone else?

* How do we even begin to measure how much "better" we are with what we're struggling with, and how much is enough?

* Should we just throw ourselves out there anyway, wish the for the best, and see what happens?

* How does one know when they have their own problems "under control" enough to be good for someone else?

I would love to hear your stories and thoughts! If it's too personal, don't feel a need to talk about yourself -- if it's more comfortable, tell us about the things you've observed and learned from others around you.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share!
How under control do our issues have to be before we can have a healthy relationship? I'm going to say we need to be able to function successfully as independent adults in society on our own. If your issues are under control enough that they don't dominate or dictate your life (which I'm thinking is as much attitude as issues), then you can probably make a good go of a relationship.

How do we measure betterness? Well the best way may be to keep a log or journal of some sort so that you can look back with some accuracy as to how bad you used to be (it also has the incentive of making your record your failures which should motivate you to behave so that you have less to record). The second best way may be to find a way to quantify objectives. So currently I do this x times per week, my goal is to stop completely, but my intermediate goal can be something like I do this x times (or less) every two weeks or every month so that my frequency of whatever I want to eliminate is decreasing. Any progress that can be measured can be used to help us know that we are getting better. How much is enough really depends on what you're dealing with? (ie one night stands with strangers you need to eliminate completely, overindulging in cake or brownies well if you cut back from once a week to 4 times a year, that's probably something that a partner can reasonably live with).

Should we throw ourselves out there anyway? As serious partnership seekers; I'm kind of a perfectionist and idealist so I'd say no. But i think we do need to distinguish that from getting out just to mix socially and let people know and come to accept the real uses warts and all.

How do you know when you've go things under control enough? Well a wise person once said that in the best marriages both people think they got the better end of the deal and are the luckiest person on earth. So I guess when you meet someone who knows you warts and all and thinks you're a great catch and you think that person is a great catch as well. That's best case scenario, but a good metric for those of us perfectionists who see every little blemish and problem in ourselves as insurmountable. Another good test is to look at yourself as honestly as possible and ask if you'd be willing to marry someone with your issues (or to have your family member or dear friend marry such a person).
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
20,757
6,165
113
#9
How do you know when you've go things under control enough? Well a wise person once said that in the best marriages both people think they got the better end of the deal and are the luckiest person on earth. So I guess when you meet someone who knows you warts and all and thinks you're a great catch and you think that person is a great catch as well.
You think I'm great and
I think you're crazy
For thinking I'm great
I think you're awesome
And you just can't see it
Quite that way

But if you see something
That I don't see in me
And I see something in you
Maybe we need each other
To see this life through
 

Gojira

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2021
2,026
757
113
Mesa, AZ
#10
Hello Everyone,

An ongoing thread raised an excellent point: How perfect do we need to be before we can start dating/looking for a life partner and spouse? ... Thank you so much for taking the time to share!
I'm no expert in this, but I can say that no one would be married if we had to be "perfect". However, I think it may be a case-by-case thing.

There are no absolute rules in this, I would think, unless you're talking about abusive tendencies, or you have a basement in which you like to keep your loved ones in safe-keeping.

I think most of us have neuroses and sinful traits that can always cause a problem. It's a question of severity, in my opinion, and sometimes maybe... that should be left up to God to decide.

Sometimes an imperfection in you can be balanced by the strength of your mate. For example, I was good with money, and my late wife was not. I taught her to be a better manager of her finances. I, on the other hand, have tended to fly off the handle and jump before looking at a situation. This has gotten me into trouble. But, my late honey was cool, thoughtful, methodical, and showed me that I need to calm down and gather info before reacting.

Also, don't knock the idea that if having a spouse is an idol for you, God may wish to knock that idol off the throne before He allows someone to come into your life.

We also need to be open to the idea also that if we're not meeting anyone, it may be us, not them. Our standards could be too high (some Christian women are obsessed with height, e.g., and at 5-6 I've been rejected because the lady didn't want to stand next to me while wearing heels... or, maybe a man has watched too many sinful movies and is only looking for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model). Or, maybe we're unapproachable, or we don't visually present ourselves well.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
17,157
5,782
113
#11
...or infatuation.
yea spot on

At that age you have no idea. Thats why Bible says to flee youthful lusts.

I finished reading the book. The girl ended up suffering depression and trigger moments from the abuse. She also fell pregnant at one point after that, when she was sleeping round and drinking and had no idea who the father was. She was prepared to have the child tho, even not knowing, but she miscarried.

At the end she got the courage to call the police about the abuse and tell her parents, after her new bf got her to see a counsellor, who asked her what started it all and she finally realised that it was wrong, what the teacher did was wrong. I dont know if she ended up staying with the new bf, he was one of several, but by confessing the abuse and her teacher admitted he was guilty and so avoided a trial, but he lost his wife and family and got 2 years sentence,

she still hoped to be married one day and living in a farmhouse with children. So who knows maybe shes still looking, but that pattern of seeking out charming men or controlling, inappropriate men was stopped once her secret was out. She wrote a whole book on it and told the world so...I guess anyone reading her story would benefit from it and also forgive her foolishness. And yes the guy is named in the book and I think she also used her real name.

I thought back to my teachers in high school none of them I ever had a crush on tho some girls did on the PE teacher and there was also some weird things going on with a maths teacher but no way would the stuff that happened to this girl be happening at schools I went to if there was even a hint if that they would lose their job I guess depends on the school tho some dont check.

unfortunately there are perverts who prey on the young, it can happens in schools, foster homes and definitely still happens in a lot of workplaces.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
17,157
5,782
113
#12
I think if whatever you struggled with in the past still hurts you NOW then you havent healed yet.

You can consider yourself healed when you can say this or that happened but it was in the past, and you no longer cry over it or have trouble sleeping or go into rages or stop eating or whatever. And you have forgiven that person who hurt you. Yes what you or somene else did was wrong but now you know you CAN do the right thing. I guess thats how you know. You confessed whatever sin it was (even if someone tricked you into believing a lie) and God forgave you
 

love_comes_softly

Well-known member
Feb 13, 2019
748
800
93
#13
Beautifully written thread and topic.

My initial thought is that it’s going to be different for everyone.

I think we all have issues and we could count them and compare numbers, but it isn’t comparable in that manner. I may have the same amount of issues as someone else and yet they are ready to be married way before me or the other way around.


I think it depends on these things:
1. How much are these demons or issues controlling or leading your life?

2. Do these demons/issues hurt just you or is it something that would also hurt or bring down a spouse? Some people can handle others that struggle with depression, unworthiness or poor self-image etc., while some aren’t equipped to deal with those issues within themselves yet, so they naturally can’t help others with them.

3. Sometimes I just believe we are never truly “ready” nor will we be ready to get married, but rather are we willing to put in the work that marriage requires?

Very thought provoking thread. I may share again as my mind wraps around your questions. Thanks for sharing!
 

true_believer

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2020
515
278
63
#14
Hello Everyone,

An ongoing thread raised an excellent point: How perfect do we need to be before we can start dating/looking for a life partner and spouse?

Whenever I write threads, I usually ask for people to share something about themselves, so I feel it's only fair for me to pony up a few details about myself.

One of the fiercest dragons in my own life is depression, and I'm sure that was a huge contributing factor to my divorce. Marriage didn't "cure" me as I had hoped, and the girl he left me for (someone from our workplace) had a very happy-go-lucky personality, which I'm sure was a stark contrast to my own, which I'm sure was part of the attraction.

Many of us here are long-time singles, and repeated brushes with heartache has taught us the need to set limits and boundaries with others. But what about when it comes to ourselves?

* How much of our own issues have to be under control before we could be seen as fit for someone else?

* How do we even begin to measure how much "better" we are with what we're struggling with, and how much is enough?

* Should we just throw ourselves out there anyway, wish the for the best, and see what happens?

* How does one know when they have their own problems "under control" enough to be good for someone else?

I would love to hear your stories and thoughts! If it's too personal, don't feel a need to talk about yourself -- if it's more comfortable, tell us about the things you've observed and learned from others around you.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share!
If someone's "demons" are damaging personal relationships or hindering themselves from living productively, they should stay single.