I've been seeing a guy I met through an online dating match service, for one month. We go out for dinner, movies, and talk a lot. He's very nice, and is kind to me, but I feel he's almost too nice, if that's possible. I'm waiting for the feeling of chemistry between us, something that will excite me about seeing him each time.
But I wonder if I have a problem with chemistry, due to my background. I never knew my father. He abandoned my mom when he learned she was pregnant with me, and they'd never married. She raised me alone, unable to trust any other man.
Ever since I'm a young girl, she'd always warn me to never fall for a "bad boy" like my father. She said "bad boys" appear exciting and sexy, they say they love you and will be with you forever, but you can't believe them.
Is her experience affecting my feelings about the men I meet.... like, do I need a guy to be "bad" and hard to get, before I can feel a strong physical attraction? The only "long" relationship I ever had was with a guy I adored, who ended up cheating on me. And I should've seen that it would happen, by his always having lame excuses when he didn't show up.
We're all affected by past experiences, not only our own but those that have been drilled into our consciousness by parents and early teachings.
Yes, your mother may've unwittingly or purposefully made this shadowy figure of an "exciting" biological father part of your attitudes about men in general. She was trying to protect you, but instead created an elusive, yet alluring aura around certain kinds of men. It's affecting your deepest responses to the men you meet.
Your father's absence in your life clearly loomed large, since she referred to his compelling nature and "bad" behaviour repeatedly.
You need individual counselling to get past this, in order to separate the images given to you as a child, from your adult, rational mind.
Meanwhile, do not judge this guy or any other based on a comparison scale to a father you never met. "Nice" is a good trait, not to be dismissed too quickly - at least not until the "chemistry" you seek comes from a natural response, not one implanted by your mother.
My out-of-town in-laws occasionally visit for extended periods and refuse to eat the foods I prepare. They buy their own food (mostly potato chips, hot dogs, etc.). Worse, they comment to my kids about how vegetables are disgusting, how they'd never eat salads, etc.
My husband says they're old, not around much, and only saying this to get me angry. I was raised to eat what's in front of you, especially as a guest, and I want my kids to behave similarly. Am I out of line expecting them to eat vegetables while in my house, or at least keep their negative comments to themselves? Shouldn't my husband be supportive and speak to them?
Pick your battles. The critical one here is about your husband's support. He can't force his parents to eat veggies, but he can insist they not criticize your ways to the kids.
And you can stop reacting. Your children feel your influence 99% of the time. Explain that family harmony during these occasional visits is more important than trying to teach "old dogs" new tricks.
When is it appropriate to end a relationship with a family member? Is it ever ok to cut ties with a blood relative?
This is not only a tough personal decision, but often has wide impact on other family members and your relationships with them.
Think through what the issues are and if you've tried - honestly - to surmount or manage them. For example, by limiting contact, changing topics that hit a nerve, agreeing to disagree on touchy matters, etc.
Also, think through what your losses and gains will be. Will other relatives you care for be obligated to pull away? Can you live comfortably if estranged from the people who were once so close?
Toxic relatives are people who impact your life, self-esteem, and other important relationships negatively, over the long term. Decide whether cutting ties is worth the inevitable fallout, which will also have some negative results.
Tip of the day:
A "bad boy" (or girl) usually brings disappointments and hurts along with their so-called allure.