When You Start to Date Someone, Do You Feel Like You Have to Prove to Them You're Not "Everyone Else"?

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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
14,934
4,573
113
You have me curious... how would that one guy in particular test you? And how would you respond?
I need to backtrack a bit here, as I somehow forgot to mention what I think is actually THE most common "test", even just in friendships, whether it be a guy or a gal.

My Mom once told me that I must have been born with a disclaimer on my forehead that says, "Tell me about your most personal problems." Because of that, and, knowing all the things God rescued me from (as an adoptee,) I've always felt a deep commitment to try to help people. But what I didn't realize when I started out was that in a lot of cases, I was enabling and not helping, and I had to learn the hard way that there is a difference between people who actually want help and will work hard to change, and those who just want attention.

So the most common comparison I would hear was, "Oh. You're just going to leave/abandon me just like (my mother, my father, every woman I've ever met, every person who ever said they'd be my friend.) You're just like all the rest... You're going to fail me, too. Thanks a lot. I actually thought I could trust you/that you were a real friend." But when you point out the hard choices they need to make in order to improve their situation, there's always an excuse or reason or someone else to blame as to why they think they can't or won't do it.

This is where I've learned to ask God to give my discernment button a good swift kick ASAP. And I eventually got to a point where I can't stand even hints of emotional manipulation at all anymore. I will very quickly do my best to disengage from anyone who starts to put forth that attitude, because I know when someone gets to that point, they have nothing to give and are becoming an emotional vampire who will only suck the life out of the people around them.

It's certainly not that I don't feel for people who have suffered abandonment. I've struggled with those feelings myself.

But I also know there's a distinction between using that kind of attitude to get others to do what they want versus a person who is truly interested in getting better (because that's a lot more work), and also cares about others along the way.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
14,934
4,573
113
So about this detail... Are you SURE she was a friend? Any friend of mine tried to set me up with a date like that, KNOWING the date was a person like that, I'd have doubts about the matchmaker actually trying to do me a favor, and in fact whether the matchmaker was even really my friend.
Thanks for the reassurance, Lynx. :) I really appreciate it.

I do believe she was a real friend. She had seen the toll the past few years had taken on me and, like a lot of well-meaning people, didn't want to see me alone.

I don't know how to explain it, but I think that maybe she hadn't experienced him being this explicit herself, and so she was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. I think it was one of those situations where you just kind of hear about or get a glimpse of someone's weak spots, but you might not know how far they extend.

I couldn't hold it against her. I think what she was really thinking on the surface was, "Here are two lonely people who have been through a lot and are rooted in the church. Maybe they might enjoy each other's company."

Despite how it turned out, I was grateful that she had thought of me. And it was certainly a learning experience, if nothing else.
 

BrotherMike

Be Still and Know
Jan 8, 2018
1,617
1,670
113
Hi Sculpt,

First of all, my apologies to the old-timers here who might read this and are all too familiar with my regular complaints. :LOL:

I don't know if it's just because my personality, but people often start talking to me very quickly about their personal lives and problems. I don't mind this at all, but I've found that the most common thing that will happen is that guys will tell me all about the ways other women have done them wrong. (And I'm not saying that women, including me, don't do the same -- I'm just speaking from my own experience.)

The number one complaint I always hear from men is that women have used them for money, and all women care about is how much they can use a man as an ATM. They never ask about my experiences, which are much different, as I have always unfortunately wound up supporting the guys I was in relationships with.

What was my response? It finally got to a point where I just automatically pay for any date during which the man talks about this. I always offer to pay for myself anyway, but in these cases (which is pretty much almost every first date I've been on,) I just tell the waiter to bring the check to me -- and that's the end of it. If the guy thinks all women are just out for money, I'm hoping he'll at least realize that for once, he ran into one that was different. But I have also have no interest in seeing him again because who wants to lopped into a stereotype that doesn't even fit you?

Another common occurrence is when guys talk about their personal lives with their exes.

For instance, I was once set up on a blind date by some youth missionary friends with a guy whom they said had been a worship leader. We met for lunch, and he started telling me about his ex-wife. I understand this, but when he got to he part when he started saying that she used to bribe him to do things for her with sex, he then paused, looked me up and down, and said, "And I would LOVE it if YOU tried to bribe me."

How did I react? When he called and asked if I wanted to go out with him again, I immediately declined and flat-out told him that I thought his approach was completely inappropriate.

Now I realize I probably sound like a stick in the mud. Some will say, "Well Seoul, you're dealing with grown-ups and this is just grown-up talk," but I'm sorry. I'm really not interested in hearing about your sex life with your ex on a first date, and I'm certainly not going to put myself where you're trying to imagine me in comparison to her in your head. I know it's a very human reaction but that doesn't mean I have to allow or be around it.

Now I know some people would say I'm making this up or exaggerating, but when my friend asked how it went, she wasn't the least bit surprised. I was the one who was surprised, because I wondered why she would suggest I go out with him, knowing this was apparently a well-known trait about him.

So in answer to your question as to how I deal with it -- let's just say I've been on a lot of first dates, and that's all it's been. When I was younger I tried to be understanding and just listen to all their problems -- after all, it's not like I don't have problems of my own -- but over time, I just realized I was much happier spending my energy on friends who understand what it's like rather than keep jumping back into the dating shark pool.

But like most other singles, I'm still a glutton for punishment every now and then, but that's what happens to all of us, both guys and gals, when we just can't seem to give up on the idea of finding love.

I hope your experiences have been at least somewhat better?
Just send them a bill for your counseling services and maybe even the food lol
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
23,458
7,168
113
Do you work in HR seoul? Just wondering.

'Tell me all your personnel problems'
 
S

Starsdance

Guest
I don't care what type he likes, I'm just the most natural and best me, okay

If he truly loves you, he will tolerate your shortcomings and be patient to help you change. If he does not love you, you will always become a licking dog, in order to please his taste. So, I don't need to prove that I'm the only one for him if he really fears God
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
23,458
7,168
113
Nope.

Just always wind up talking to people about their lives wherever I go.
I think that's what people naturally do in US, while in other countries they are more reserved and they dont really want people to know all their business.

not saying you are nosy but people are more ready to spill it seems in the US. maybe its because there are not many people to talk to, they are lonely and so far away at times.

IN other cultures if you had a therapist that would be seen as totally weird ...like you want to listen to stuff you can't do anything about? Plus pay you for your time?

So it might not just be you but everyone gets this. or the people you meet cannot afford therapists. ?!
 

Lighthearted

Senior Member
Oct 17, 2016
1,782
841
113
53
Hey Everyone,

Some posts in another thread reminded me of a topic I've been meaning to bring up for a while.

When you start to date someone, do you feel like you have to spend a lot of time, energy, and money to try to prove that you're not "all the other" men or women who hurt this person before you?

I know I sure do feel this way.

As a shortcut, I'm going taking this excerpt from another post I wrote:

"With nearly every guy I meet, for the first several dates, I spend nearly all my time apologizing to him for what women have done to him in the past. I've spent countless hours listening to men tell me about women rejecting them, using them as an ATM machine, blocking them from seeing their kids, and, what I think is the most personal level of all, I have held a guy's hand on numerous occasions as he told me about the sexual abuse he suffered -- from another man.

You should have seen the letters and messages I've received from guys who have gone through hell and back, starting with their childhood (growing up as victims of pedophile stepfathers,) and now they are unsure of where to begin to find wholeness. Most believed it started with finding a woman.

This is exactly why I pay for the first date, no matter who asked. I take the check before the waitress can set it down, because I don't want a man to feel that he's just going to be used. And if I plan to take a guy somewhere for a special date (usually a theme park,) I try my very best to save up and make sure I can pay for everything so all he has to do is relax and hopefully have an amazing time. I've also helped men pay for their court expenses to be able to keep their children or gain visitation rights.

With one guy I dated, I never even got to tell him that my then-husband left for another girl until after about 3 dates because the whole time, he was telling ME about all the women who have used and rejected him throughout the years -- so yes, it most CERTAINLY happens to both genders.

One of the biggest problems I've found in dating is having to work my butt off to try to prove to a guy that I'm not the 50 girls who came before me and did all the things he's telling me about now (even if the guy has never been married; and when I try to tell him about my husband rejecting me for another girl, he acts like it doesn't count or just brushes it aside.)

So if I become interested in a guy, I already know I have start "gearing up" (emotionally and financially,) because I'm expecting that it's going to take an armory for me just to be able to try knocking on the fortress door of his heart.

Maybe one of these days, I'll find one I can break through to.

And I most certainly and definitely know that women can be the exact same way -- in fact, I have often wondered if a good percentage of dating is actually trying to prove to someone that you're not all the people whom they've encountered before.

Not everyone is like this, of course. Some people have moved past their hurts, and the rarest ones of all have never been hurt.

But it only reinforces the old saying that Love is (truly) a Battlefield."


Do the rest of you find this happening as well?

* Do you feel that you have to "prove" to someone that you're different?

* How do you go about doing that?

* How long will you put up with being "tested" or having to "prove yourself"? I was thinking of one guy in particular as I'm writing this, and it took about 6 months before he finally said, "I get it now. You're not like the others..." But oh my goodness, I was feeling like I was about at wits end.

And then I thought of the few guys I talked to (even just as friends) during my early years of recovering from some rough patches in my life who probably felt the exact same way about ME. I have tried very hard over the years to get better, but I know it's a work in progress.

How about the rest of you?

Our married friends are welcome to answer too, as I'm curious:

1. How did you get over the people who hurt you in order to give your spouse a chance?

2. How did you help your spouse get over the people who hurt them in order to give YOU a chance?

Thank you for your time!
That's simple. I'm NOT everyone else or anyone else for that matter.
I have learned that someone attempting to prove themselves superficially doesn't build trust. Trust from someone that wears scars and is guarded takes time, not necessarily energy.
 

Sculpt

Well-known member
Apr 18, 2021
1,004
309
83
Hi Sculpt,

First of all, my apologies to the old-timers here who might read this and are all too familiar with my regular complaints. :LOL:

I don't know if it's just because my personality, but people often start talking to me very quickly about their personal lives and problems. I don't mind this at all, but I've found that the most common thing that will happen is that guys will tell me all about the ways other women have done them wrong. (And I'm not saying that women, including me, don't do the same -- I'm just speaking from my own experience.)

The number one complaint I always hear from men is that women have used them for money, and all women care about is how much they can use a man as an ATM. They never ask about my experiences, which are much different, as I have always unfortunately wound up supporting the guys I was in relationships with.

What was my response? It finally got to a point where I just automatically pay for any date during which the man talks about this. I always offer to pay for myself anyway, but in these cases (which is pretty much almost every first date I've been on,) I just tell the waiter to bring the check to me -- and that's the end of it. If the guy thinks all women are just out for money, I'm hoping he'll at least realize that for once, he ran into one that was different. But I have also have no interest in seeing him again because who wants to lopped into a stereotype that doesn't even fit you?
Yes, I remember you talking about this a few times before. It's a shame the guys experienced the usury, and probably a shame they tell you about it. I don't talk about ex's on first dates. In early dates I might if the subject comes up. I've had some entertaining convos with an early GF about ex's. I think it can be a beneficial convo, and an entertaining one, as long as you don't paint yourself as an overly critical person, and you don't mention names where you're violating someone's privacy. Laughing about what some ex's or dates have done can be good therapy and tells the other person about yourself: your values and likes.



Another common occurrence is when guys talk about their personal lives with their exes.

For instance, I was once set up on a blind date by some youth missionary friends with a guy whom they said had been a worship leader. We met for lunch, and he started telling me about his ex-wife. I understand this, but when he got to he part when he started saying that she used to bribe him to do things for her with sex, he then paused, looked me up and down, and said, "And I would LOVE it if YOU tried to bribe me."

How did I react? When he called and asked if I wanted to go out with him again, I immediately declined and flat-out told him that I thought his approach was completely inappropriate.

Now I realize I probably sound like a stick in the mud. Some will say, "Well Seoul, you're dealing with grown-ups and this is just grown-up talk," but I'm sorry. I'm really not interested in hearing about your sex life with your ex on a first date, and I'm certainly not going to put myself where you're trying to imagine me in comparison to her in your head. I know it's a very human reaction but that doesn't mean I have to allow or be around it.

Now I know some people would say I'm making this up or exaggerating, but when my friend asked how it went, she wasn't the least bit surprised. I was the one who was surprised, because I wondered why she would suggest I go out with him, knowing this was apparently a well-known trait about him.
LOL Wow, that's a really forward joke. Did you just ignore what he said at the time? Guess he was laying it out. Good to find out during the first date rather than much later, don't you think?



So in answer to your question as to how I deal with it
LOL Nope... that is literary not the question I asked you. Actually, in both of your two replies you didn't answer my question. I have noticed that about you: sometimes you don't answer the question asked... you just talk about something else. (Which is your perfect right.) Anyone ever tell you that before? :giggle:

In your OP you wrote, "How long will you put up with being "tested" or having to "prove yourself"? I was thinking of one guy in particular as I'm writing this, and it took about 6 months before he finally said, "I get it now. You're not like the others..." But oh my goodness, I was feeling like I was about at wits end."
And so, I asked, "You have me curious... how would that one guy in particular test you? And how do you respond?" Of course, you don't have to answer that if you don't want to. I am really curious. I think it's really interesting.



-- let's just say I've been on a lot of first dates, and that's all it's been. When I was younger I tried to be understanding and just listen to all their problems -- after all, it's not like I don't have problems of my own -- but over time, I just realized I was much happier spending my energy on friends who understand what it's like rather than keep jumping back into the dating shark pool.
People open-up quick and tell me their problems too, sometimes dates. I think it's difficult to determine if someone is an emotional leach -- or worse, a selfish, cold, ungiving narcissist -- from just one convo... but if I was more aware/wiser I could probably determine that. And I need to determine that as fast as possible.

By-in-large I haven't really considered that (people telling me about their problems) a problem, even with someone I was dating. I like helping people, and it's flatting to be asked. It could potentially become too much, especially if you're dealing with people with chronic issues... that, or they won't/can't be your 'therapist' as well.

There was one girl I started dating who immediately over the phone would tell me about family problems she was having. It was unloading. She didn't ask me if she could talk about it. She went on at length and every call. I tried to help during the calls... but that person and situation was a turnoff, and I ended it fast.



But like most other singles, I'm still a glutton for punishment every now and then, but that's what happens to all of us, both guys and gals, when we just can't seem to give up on the idea of finding love.

I hope your experiences have been at least somewhat better?
Shoot, Seoul, what else are we going to do? They are the only game in town. There isn't a replacement. A dog or cat isn't even close. For me, I say you have to put yourself out there. open-up. If you're like me, you're going to get attached, and likely hurt if it "doesn't work out", but hopefully you weed out the wrong people better and faster.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
24,700
8,042
113
LOL Nope... that is literary not the question I asked you. Actually, in both of your two replies you didn't answer my question. I have noticed that about you: sometimes you don't answer the question asked... you just talk about something else. (Which is your perfect right.) Anyone ever tell you that before? :giggle:
In fairness she DOES always answer the question. It might be a three page response, but the direct answer to your question is always in there somewhere. And all the rest of the three pages always has good points, worth the read.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
23,458
7,168
113
Ok I come up with a good date

I havent done this before on a date but it might work...go to an Escape Room

You'll all be so intent on trying to figure out the mystery of escaping from the room that theres no time to talk or drone on about personal problems.
 
Aug 2, 2009
24,561
4,255
113
Hey Everyone,

Some posts in another thread reminded me of a topic I've been meaning to bring up for a while.

When you start to date someone, do you feel like you have to spend a lot of time, energy, and money to try to prove that you're not "all the other" men or women who hurt this person before you?

I know I sure do feel this way.

As a shortcut, I'm going taking this excerpt from another post I wrote:

"With nearly every guy I meet, for the first several dates, I spend nearly all my time apologizing to him for what women have done to him in the past. I've spent countless hours listening to men tell me about women rejecting them, using them as an ATM machine, blocking them from seeing their kids, and, what I think is the most personal level of all, I have held a guy's hand on numerous occasions as he told me about the sexual abuse he suffered -- from another man.

You should have seen the letters and messages I've received from guys who have gone through hell and back, starting with their childhood (growing up as victims of pedophile stepfathers,) and now they are unsure of where to begin to find wholeness. Most believed it started with finding a woman.

This is exactly why I pay for the first date, no matter who asked. I take the check before the waitress can set it down, because I don't want a man to feel that he's just going to be used. And if I plan to take a guy somewhere for a special date (usually a theme park,) I try my very best to save up and make sure I can pay for everything so all he has to do is relax and hopefully have an amazing time. I've also helped men pay for their court expenses to be able to keep their children or gain visitation rights.

With one guy I dated, I never even got to tell him that my then-husband left for another girl until after about 3 dates because the whole time, he was telling ME about all the women who have used and rejected him throughout the years -- so yes, it most CERTAINLY happens to both genders.

One of the biggest problems I've found in dating is having to work my butt off to try to prove to a guy that I'm not the 50 girls who came before me and did all the things he's telling me about now (even if the guy has never been married; and when I try to tell him about my husband rejecting me for another girl, he acts like it doesn't count or just brushes it aside.)

So if I become interested in a guy, I already know I have start "gearing up" (emotionally and financially,) because I'm expecting that it's going to take an armory for me just to be able to try knocking on the fortress door of his heart.

Maybe one of these days, I'll find one I can break through to.

And I most certainly and definitely know that women can be the exact same way -- in fact, I have often wondered if a good percentage of dating is actually trying to prove to someone that you're not all the people whom they've encountered before.

Not everyone is like this, of course. Some people have moved past their hurts, and the rarest ones of all have never been hurt.

But it only reinforces the old saying that Love is (truly) a Battlefield."


Do the rest of you find this happening as well?

* Do you feel that you have to "prove" to someone that you're different?

* How do you go about doing that?

* How long will you put up with being "tested" or having to "prove yourself"? I was thinking of one guy in particular as I'm writing this, and it took about 6 months before he finally said, "I get it now. You're not like the others..." But oh my goodness, I was feeling like I was about at wits end.

And then I thought of the few guys I talked to (even just as friends) during my early years of recovering from some rough patches in my life who probably felt the exact same way about ME. I have tried very hard over the years to get better, but I know it's a work in progress.

How about the rest of you?

Our married friends are welcome to answer too, as I'm curious:

1. How did you get over the people who hurt you in order to give your spouse a chance?

2. How did you help your spouse get over the people who hurt them in order to give YOU a chance?

Thank you for your time!
I haven't dated in a long time but I never had to prove that I wasn't like other guys. One woman actually said that she noticed right away that I wasn't like other guys (she meant it in a good way).
 

Sculpt

Well-known member
Apr 18, 2021
1,004
309
83
In fairness she DOES always answer the question. It might be a three page response, but the direct answer to your question is always in there somewhere. And all the rest of the three pages always has good points, worth the read.
You are right. My mistake. Seoul's answers are much richer, edifying and loving than the question asked. I wouldn't have any other way.