how do you know if he's the one

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
how do you know if he's the one
12
Wed, 02-27-2013 - 7:27pm

For someone my age it seems delayed. I'm a late bloomer. What can I say.

I've been back with my bf now.  Boy, did it take me a long time to really clarify what is missing. I don't know if it's a matter of perception or it is for real. In examining my past, my expectation somehow never aligned with what is good for me so I thought I post it here for some objective views.

I have mentioned in the past, my bf's financial handling was a big issue. I've come to term with it somewhat. Mainly b/c he was able to do a re-mod on his home loan so now it's affordable for him to keep. That was a huge step forward for him financially.  It was a combination hard work on his part and luck as well. He still has some habits that I don't entirely agree with. For example, keeps buying expensive online flowers and send it to my office on V-day. I've told him in the past I would be just as happy with fresh flowers from local stores. I still have a collection of vases I can use to put the flowers in. It doesn't detract from the beauty of the occasion and economical at the same time.  Besides I don't like the showing off nature of getting flowers at the office. OR, buying large  quantities of food and waste it. These things although not big but he doesn't make a lot of money. Along with helping his son who's still in school, he hasn't been able to save. So apart from the house, he really has nothing.  Retirement is not an option.  Maybe in the future with a  very modest amount in inheritance, social security, and equity in his house, (and hopefully help from his son), he will be able to retire around 70 or for a reasonable life style but it wouldn't be exactly golden.

But there are other issues as well, I find that as a woman, I need to feel taken care of. In this case not financially but in other ways. For example, doing things around the house. I have a couple of very small things that's not big enough for a handy man but difficult for me to do since I don't have the strength or the skill with power tools. For example, such as changing hinges on a couple of kitchen cabinet doors or attaching a hanging rods for my towels. I tried but didnt know how to use a power drill. The hanging rod, I had to wait for a handy man to come over for another project and did it. The cabinet doors, I've been asking for months and still didn't do it, or a leak in my faucet, or some minor issues with the sprinklers or just help re-arrange the furniture which I can't do by myself. When I told him about not knowing how to use the drill, he interrupted me with a joke on how I was not good with screwing. I was irritated. It would be more endearing to have someone at least listen to your problem and as a man, be willing to help, not interrupted with a joke no matter how funny or clever.

I haven't felt sexual attraction to him for a long time. I thought it was b/c I'm not interested in intimacy but it's not true. I have the desire but not with him. For me to be attracted to a man, I need to admire him and feel he's helping me in some way. I don't admire him. I don't feel taken care of.  He is bothered by the lack of passion from me and I told him part of the reason - the part about not helping me - he got defensive and said maybe I should find a contractor for a bf. Really, I don't expect contractor level work. I have a gay friend whose bf is a really handy guy (he's a cop full time) who's done a few highly skilled things at my house - just because he happened to be visiting and b/c liked tinkering with things started finding things to do. But b/c it's free and he's not even my friend, I don't ask.  Even my brother who is not a really handy guy can do some small things around the house. I really don't expect that level of skill.  I'd rather pay a professional  for that. I'm not that cheap.

Despite that unpleasant talk, he agrees to be more helpful now and will tackle the tasks this coming weekend.

Our R/S at this time is mere companionship, going out to eat, going to shows, outdoors activities.

At the same time, I still talk to Belgian guy. We don't talk that often maybe once or twice a month. He's sort of a teacher to me from a professional aspect. That is a big plus and the main reason I was so attracted to him (physically as well even though he was much older). However, this person is not a nice person, too far, and too old. I'm not bringing him up to show he's a good partner, just to make the point that a man has to have something I admire, or care for me in some way.

I've been praying for guidance. My bf is a nice person with good character overall. If I'm ever in need, I know he would be ther b/c that's how he is, with everybody, not just with me. He is funny at times and does make me laugh. He's a good companion for activities but I just don't have that warm and glow when I think about him. I don't know. Do all women need to feel cared for to be in love? can he be the right person?

 

 

 

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 02-27-2013 - 9:08pm

I can tell from your description right now that he's not the right person for you because he doesn't have what you want.  He's fine for a friend and companion but not for a DH--I don't know if you want to keep him around in "boyfriend" status--it depends on what it means to you, but I'd say date him but don't be exclusive.

The biggest thing to me is that you aren't attracted to him sexually.  I think that's the one insurmountable problem and if you don't have that, a romantic relationship isn't going to work unless you don't believe in sex outside of marriage.  The other things are minor.  If you don't get married, his financial status shouldn't affect you unless you decide to move in together.  If you do, you'd have to decide whether you could willingly be with someone who had less money than you do--some women in highly paid professions are willing to do that because the guy brings other things to the table--the guy might not have money but he's really nice, caring, they have things in common, common values, maybe intellectually compatible, etc.  So only you can decide if it's important that the man makes a certain amt. of money.  I think you said he's older than you so you won't be retired any time soon either.  

As far as not being able to fix things around the house, I think that's a trivial problem.  Not every man is handy around the house.  It's one thing if you just need his physical strength to move furniture, but why do you automatically expect him to be able to hang a towel rod just cause he's a man?  You could figure out how to do that equally as well.  I think his joke was kind of right about that--if you want someone who's handy, you could look for a plumber, electrician or someone like that--but they might not have the intellectual capacity that you want as well.  

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Wed, 02-27-2013 - 9:42pm
If you're not sexually attracted to him, he's not boyfriend material. None of the other stuff really matters. That one is a deal breaker as far as I'm concerned.
Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Wed, 02-27-2013 - 10:26pm
Cared for or taken care of? I want to be cared for but these things you mention, while I would want to know that he could do those types of things, it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. For some odd reason, I've never attracted that kind of man before. However, I've always heard that men LIKE to take care of women. The kinds of men I've always attracted were always happy to let me do for myself, LOL. Maybe only because they sensed my independent spirit? Answering the second of your questions is tough because I think only you have the right answer. Nobody is ever going to be the absolute ideal. I think that most everyone has to make allowances. You have to remember, there may be things about yourself that he wishes he could change. I think it all boils down to how you feel at the end of the day. If you feel in your heart that you're settling, then perhaps you are . . .
Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Wed, 02-27-2013 - 11:34pm

With regards to the power drill and other things you need fixing around the house:  Go to the Home Depot or the Lowes or whatever your neighborhood hardware store is and talk to the sales persons there about whether or not they either have classes on how to use power tools, how to do small home projects or if someone there can show you what you need to tackle the project on your own (what your'e talking about isn't that hard to do if you know the right tools for the job and how to use them--and yes, I'm a woman. Power drills have direction switches on them that rotate the bit either into what you're drilling our out of what you are drilling.). Either that, or just hire the handy man to have it done and be done with it. 

Go on amazon and purchase the book "The Five Love Languages" and read that book.  The guy your'e with does not speak the same "love language" you do and you do not speak his "love language".  For you, to feel loved and cared about, you want to have things done for you.  For him, he wants to make brilliant displays of his affection to the world for you.  Until you both can appreciate how the other feels loved and cherished, you're both going to continue to rub the other person the wrong way.

with regards to what other women need--it's as individual as the woman.  I love loving words and brilliant displays to the world of my guy's affection for me; I can fix a dripping faucet, install a shower head, drill holes and whatnot because I really like doing that kind of stuff--always have. I couldn't build an addition unless I took some carpentry classes. I know my way to the mechanic to have my oil changed--so I don't need to have things done for me in order to feel cared for.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-08-2011
Thu, 02-28-2013 - 8:17am
I've often seen on these boards quite a bit of worry from different women about settling too much for a guy due to overlooking many problems or dislikes. Your post should be referenced for anyone concerned about what settling too much looks like.
 
You sound like two siblings who have learned to tolerate each other long enough over time just enough to keep things going. But if that works for you both, great.
Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Fri, 03-01-2013 - 8:53am

Do all women need to feel cared for to be in love? can he be the right person?

In answer to the first question, I'll say it's hard to define "cared for". As a woman who has had to become very handy around the house (hey, I own a driver drill, chainsaw and belt sander), it would be wonderful to have a man who could take care of all those things. But, like a lot of single women, I just hire a handyman/trade professional for the things I can't do. But it wouldn't be a deal breaker. It would be good to be with a man who at least would call the handyman/trade professional and take care of it so that I didn't have to do every little thing. I also expect to be an equal partner financially, so I am not looking for someone to pay for our life together. But like you, I do want someone who is financially responsible and solvent. And at this age, if a man (or woman) doesn't have it together financially, it's pretty doubtful that they will be able to make up for lost time before retirement (not impossible, just unlikely). I also think men aren't really socialized to "tend to" and "care" for women the way women care for men. It doesn't occur to them to bring her a glass of orange juice when she's laying in bed with a terrible cold. 

In answer to your second question: in a word, no. You've written about him before expressing your dissatisfaction with him, plus you've already broken up with him once. And everything you've written here spells doom for a marriage. You seem to have no respect for him plus you are not sexually attracted. He may well be "the right man" just not for you. I really get wanting to settle down finally with someone, to end the seemingly endless search. I know you can begin to really doubt your judgement, feel too picky, and just tire of the whole thing. But speaking as a divorced woman, marrying the wrong person is a decision that will reverberate for a long time. 

I think if you have to ask "is he the right one" then it's pretty clear that he isn't.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2000
Fri, 03-01-2013 - 11:21am

If he doesn't make you feel hot, then why bother?  No, I don't think he's the one. God has answered your question.  If he does things that you can't stand now, it will only get worse.  Take your time to find the right one.  You will.  He has to make you happy, to make you feel loved. If you don't feel sexy with him, why waste your time?  You need to know what good love feels like all the time.  You can do bad by yourself.  Don't do bad with someone else. Life is too short, live it to the fullness.  You won't get another chance.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Fri, 03-01-2013 - 7:11pm

 For many reasons this relationship is nothing more than a place holder.  It also is a lie that you are telling yourself.  Your own laziness in many ways is to blame.  You can learn to do those little jobs around the house. Many people have this internal list that they  must have and this guy is not one on most of yours.  His financial,he is not Mr handi man, he is not GIB,you are not sexually attracted, he spends unwisely(according to you) .  Why lead him on?  Why waste your time if you are not being honest with yourself and him.

      " my expectation somehow never aligned with what is good for me"

Duh!  You are not pursuing what you want not making the changes in your self.  What are your retirement plans?  Why have you not taken classes to do home repairs?  Do you have a plan "B" in case of sickness or accident. 

  "I haven't felt sexual attraction to him for a long time. I thought it was b/c I'm not interested in intimacy but it's not true. I have the desire but not with him. For me to be attracted to a man, I need to admire him and feel he's helping me in some way. I don't admire him. I don't feel taken care of.  He is bothered by the lack of passion from me and I told him part of the reason - the part about not helping me - he got defensive and said maybe I should find a contractor for a bf. Really, I don't expect contractor level work. I have a gay friend whose bf is a really handy guy (he's a cop full time) who's done a few highly skilled things at my house - just because he happened to be visiting and b/c liked tinkering with things started finding things to do. But b/c it's free and he's not even my friend, I don't ask.  Even my brother who is not a really handy guy can do some small things around the house. I really don't expect that level of skill.  I'd rather pay a professional  for that. I'm not that cheap."

    It is your "expectations" that torpedo this pseudo relationship.    Your sexuality is tied to those things it is not about being sexually attracted but your need to be taken care of.  Not the same at all.   Dump this BF now before you waste anymore time. 

  The Belgian guy is the same.  He might make a great lover while waiting for handi-andy com prince frugal.  But easy to dump or have an arrangement with.   Most of use have seen such a GF/BF relationship or been in one it's unfair to yourself and to the other.

   You can't unlearn being taken care of.  So no this is not the person for you.

Goldfish

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Sun, 03-03-2013 - 1:14pm

First, I'd like to thank everyone for thoughtful responses.  It was a long post :)

I can always count on the old timers MusicLover and FloridaGirl for your support over the years.

Kendahke, the concept of love languages describes well what's going on between us (will give it a read). It always seemed there was no meeting of the minds when it comes to expressing love.  I see love as doing practical things b/c that's what I would do for my partner. The friend that helps you when you're in need, however small the problem may be, always earns a place in my heart. I haven't had much need with anything else in my life. It seemed the women he was serious with are the ones with financial problems. He himself is no Donald Trump as I many times alluded to but when you hook up a women who can't even pay rent but drives a leased Mercedes, you would be a hero just b/c you are able pay your rent and HERS too.

We've had this discussion many times too. He said I don't show enough affection and appreciation. And I don't. Why? Because I don't like PDA. I like it to be our little secret. I thank him when he cooks a good dish or washes my car for example. But the other day he faulted me for not thanking him for something he did (I can't remember what it was). He likes a woman that gushes over everything he does and lots of rubbing, touching, kissing, etc...It appears that the trash he married did that a lot. So he was willing to fork over what little he had to save a major mess damsel in distress b/c of cheap sweet talk.

I show my love by showing consideration for his well being and his pocket. For instance, when he's tired I'd rather that he sleeps than stay up or drive to my house. Many times, I drive to his house b/c of his long schedule, it's not so convenient for him, or I let him choose TV programs over my own b/c he likes watching TV more than me.  I tell him not to spend unneccesary money on me (such as the flowers) or try to save money for him, etc...I even volunteer to help him around his house. Many of these things he can do himself but they are scut work that's more fun when someone helps you. That's why I felt he should help me around my house.

Turned out the cabinet door problem required two person b/c while one person attaches the hinge, the other person needs to hold it. Also, the screws were so stuck even he had trouble undoing them. He was able to fix one door, the other he will need to get a more powerful screw driver since mine is not. See what I mean about  needing a man? This was not handy-man worthy job but it requires a little bit of help. Much like a woman does dishes and a man takes out the trash. I'm not taking this litterally b/c I take out trash, fix a leaking toilet/faucets. I can do many things. I'm just a little naive with power tools. Besides, lately, I've been bogged down with other things so haven't had the time or energy for these things.  And a very important man in my life, my BF, can't help me with it?

I see lots of bonding from helping each other. That's why when people work on projects together, they become close friends. That was what I felt was missing. I have much more endearing feeling for him now that he has fixed one of the doors. But boy, was it a battle.  I don't know how long this can keep up.

Xxx, I do put money aside regularly for my retirement. It's not making a lot of money from the investment b/c I'm not good at picking out investments but I'm trying and learning. I'm good at saving. Not too good at making (except for my job).

Begian guy (I write about it here to show what I like - not that he would be a good partner b/c the nice factor is missing which is of utmost important to me). Can teach me a lot professionally. Is good with money. How he expressed his passion was also more in tune with me. We didn't have to fall over each other to show our love. We can do our own things while in the same room.  My bf for some strange reason, wants me to watch TV with him (w/o any regard for what I like) and watches him while he plays video games b/c to him they was so fascinating. Belgian guy did want me to read what he likes to read, which was OK with me. While I don't like reading, the material he was interested in was also of interest to me and would improve my knowledge. While the silly TV programs and the loud and often time violent video games don't do a thing for me.

But my bf is a nice and good person. That is the most important thing but how about the second, or third, or fourth most important things? I don't have much luck with men but in the past have turned down some good guys b/c of looks and "chemistry". Later one, realized they were good catches. Now, I'm much more lenient in the looks dept but other things. I wonder too if I would make the same mistake. That was what I meant when I said my expectations don't align with what's good for me.

 

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 9:07am

white_satin wrote:
<p>First, I'd like to thank everyone for thoughtful responses.  It was a long post :)</p><p>I can always count on the old timers MusicLover and FloridaGirl for your support over the years.</p><p>Kendahke, the concept of love languages describes well what's going on between us (will give it a read). It always seemed there was no meeting of the minds when it comes to expressing love.  I see love as doing practical things b/c that's what I would do for my partner. The friend that helps you when you're in need, however small the problem may be, always earns a place in my heart. I haven't had much need with anything else in my life. It seemed the women he was serious with are the ones with financial problems. He himself is no Donald Trump as I many times alluded to but when you hook up a women who can't even pay rent but drives a leased Mercedes, you would be a hero just b/c you are able pay your rent and HERS too.</p><p>We've had this discussion many times too. He said I don't show enough affection and appreciation. And I don't. Why? Because I don't like PDA. I like it to be our little secret. I thank him when he cooks a good dish or washes my car for example. But the other day he faulted me for not thanking him for something he did (I can't remember what it was). He likes a woman that gushes over everything he does and lots of rubbing, touching, kissing, etc...It appears that the trash he married did that a lot. So he was willing to fork over what little he had to save a major mess damsel in distress b/c of cheap sweet talk.</p>

Just because it's not your way of expressing love doesn't require you to diminish or discount what is important for him to feel loved or to call his ex out of her name.  You two just have different ways of expressing and feeling loved and neither of you are wrong: you are just wrong for each other.  Some men like to feel not only needed, but appreciated.  Perhaps the "major mess damsel" understood that about him and because he felt that he was loved, he didn't mind forking over his last dime to help her.  Different things will motivate different people into action.

Quote:
 And a very important man in my life, my BF, can't help me with it?

He could very well turn this around on you and say "a very important woman in my life can't give me a hug and kiss when I think of her and show her how much she means to me?  All I get is disapproval for how I show her how I feel about her."

You both need to work on your communication skills.  You've got a lot of missed signals going off between you two.  I suggest that if you're not going to dump this guy, because really, it's obvious that while he may be a good guy, he rubs you the total wrong way, that you get that book today and read it.  While it may not help with this relationship, it will help you going foward to look out for what you need out of a man instead of settling and being frustrated with who orbits into your path.

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