Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dating a Man with Kids

Dear Edahn,

It's happened once before, and it's starting to happen again: I seem to be doing this thing when I date men with kids, where I admire and love that they are so committed to their kids. It makes me respect them and even like them more. I think I can deal with it. Then, a little into the relationship, I start resenting the kids and the attention the man gives them and the way they impact our relationship (logistics, attention, time distribution). It happened in my last relationship where eventually just couldn't stand the kids and even the fact that he had kids with another woman. The kids did nothing wrong, the man did nothing wrong, and I did nothing wrong in order to bring on these feelings in me. I just went from liking them and finding them wonderful, to resenting the heck out of them and feeling extremely insecure.

I'm starting to date a man with one older kid (in her early twenties), who should be on her way to becoming independent, but I'm noticing that he seems to coddle her. What are your thoughts on this, and is this something I should work through (by myself or with a professional), or should I end the relationship with him and forget about dating men with kids?

SO IT SOUND LIKE you're attracted to his sense of loyalty, but get disappointed when you realize that the loyalty primarily belongs to his children. The truth is, I don't think that's ever really going to change. He can be loyal to you, sure, but his primary loyalty will always be to his children. I think most parents are like that even when they stay married.

It seems like you want a guy to make you the primary target of his devotion and loyalty. Nothing wrong with that, but we it should be recognized and acknowledged so you can see the conflict you're having in plain view: you want something that most likely, you won't be able to get from this person.

I haven't had much luck changing my fundamental needs, nor do I think they should be changed in your case. Rather than injecting yourself into situations like these that are destined for conflict and disappointment, I think you'd be better off looking for that same quality of loyalty in other, single men. I assure you it's out there.

Got a question? Go here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How do I deal with partner's exes on FB?

hi edahn,

Recently I've found myself in a relationship. The first really important one in a very long time. It's going well and I feel very secure and happy, except when I have to deal with facebook. I have to say it's been almost 4 years since my last very serious relationship and I don't remember having to deal with these sorts of things. You know what I mean... pictures of exes and your current bf hanging out with the ex gf doing stuff that people who are together do.

It seems strange to me that while I don't feel threatened, it still makes we feel kind of weird. Early on in our relationship I did mention to my current beau that his ex sure did seem to be interested in everything he posted. His solution - validate my feelings and cut his ex of his fb. It's not what I expected, but that's what happened. I suppose I was satisfied. He really is wonderful and creative, but I'm wondering if it's normal to feel a little inferior of your partner's exes simply because of fb. It's kind of dumb........................right?


Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Self-Improvement is a Hoax

So often, we (and I) think of growth as a process of becoming someone else--a better version of yourself. But it's in moments of extreme honesty and contemplation that you realize that you never grow by becoming someone else. You grow by becoming who you already are.

The person you already are isn't conceptual, so if you're thinking "I'm caring, I'm funny, I'm word savvy" you're on the wrong track. If you're using adjectives, you're not talking about who you already are, you're talking about a conceptual, mental image of who you are, and that only exists in thought.

The person you are is happening right now. It exists outside of language. You can feel it right now. When you breathe and just sit here, looking at your monitor, that's who you already are. When you slowly start to feel the tensions in your body and the strange feelings they associate with, that's who you already are. When you simple exist with no particular goal, not to analyze, not to find an answer, not to get anywhere, that's who you already are.

Self-improvement is a hoax. You can't really improve yourself because all virtue comes from becoming who you already are, not anyone else.

Got a question? Go here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Thoughts on Job-Skipping

I look at my parents and I look at our generation and I wonder how things are different. My parents have financial stability. Some of my friends seem to have it too. They seem to. They have a set career path in a stable industry and they look like they're going to have their jobs for a very long time. And frankly, they don't seem unhappy about it either. I envy them sometimes.

Then there're my other friends who seem to be drifting from job to job. They don't really build much from one job to the next, but seem to move from island to island. It's less certain and much more volatile. They won't have pensions and probably won't have retirement accounts either.

I sometimes wonder whether this is the new model for living...just trying to get what we can in a world that sees employees as products rather than people. It's sad to say, but it's hard to deny. People are treated as tools that fulfill a certain job. There's still some camaraderie, sure, but it's not like a family or an army unit. In those groups people rescue one another. They did things together and built deep relationships and loyalties. You would stick up for your fellow troops. Now things are different. It's not easy to build strong loyalties in an atmosphere that encourages dispensing people in the name of efficiency and other bullshit values that should never trump basic humanity.

I don't think we can change the system. We can just change how we would do things if we were in power.