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I know it [censored] right now because break-ups are hard, but I think once you process you’ll see that things weren’t as rosy as you thought. Time and distance are beautiful things. I think I said this the first time you broke up with her and Ginger said it a few posts back, but PLEASE steer clear of her for a bit and do not get sucked back in. I know you said y’all are attending a same Christmas party. You can be polite and courteous without letting her suck you back in. If you don’t think you can, find someone you can trust and confide in to run interference.


Me 51, H53
Bomb drop 9/29/2014
Divorce from XH final 12/17/2014
Marriage #2 12/31/2019
5 adult (step)daughters (3 from XH's first marriage, 2 from current H's previous relationships)
6 grandkids
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@Ready2Change - I'm aware of my faults leading here.

--- Irresponsibility ---

Ms. Sunshine would say I'm irresponsible: (a) I didn't have a credit card to pay for dinner on our first date (I asked her to pay for half the tip), (b) I didn't have a driver's license to rent a car without extra fees on our 1:1 trip, and (c) McDonaldGate trying ApplePay and then when my Visa hit a card read error asking her to pay (context--she was in a hurry so I didn't want to re-enter my order on the next kiosk that took ApplePay; my ask was out of consideration for her rush.)

I see issue (c) as a non-issue. It's okay to prefer touchless payments and sometimes card readers hit errors. As for (a) and (b), I do see how these could annoy others. My 5yr XGF dealt with me losing things by getting me a wallet and tile tracker, and my 3yr XGF just chucked and we settled any costs when we returned home from trips.

More importantly, I see how (a) and (b complicate traveling solo. I need to reliably carry a wallet, driver's license, two credit cards, and emergency cash all in good standing. I need a backup government ID like a state ID or passport in case I lose one. Many rental shops accept a temporary driver's license if you have another government photo ID as a backup.

--- Dress ---

My dress REALLY annoys Ms. Sunshine. I have outfits perfect for business casual (Ralph Lauren, Alfani), the outdoors (REI or Eddie Bauer), or beach gatherings (Tommy Bahama). I guess she met me outdoors and our first few dates were outdoors. My XGFs were okay with me wearing business casual on our dinner dates, but I remember my last XGF looking amazing in a white dress. Ms sunshine bought me a $350 outfit for her Christmas party that I'll let her return, but maybe I should invest in one nicer outfit for dinner dates and when I speak in front of others. She thinks I should try to stand out more.

--- Messiness ---

My house and car are no longer so unsightly, but I do want to resolve the food and dish situation because they're embarrassing, prevent me from cooking which I love, and waste money. I have a few more trouble spots to tackle!



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CW - you’ve been making amazing progress!

I must admit, I heaved a sigh of relief when you said you broke up with her. Don’t let your loneliness and desire for a companion lead you to settle for someone who is a toxic choice for you. You’re a good guy and deserve to be with someone who is capable of being supportive and caring in the same way you are in a relationship.

As for Xmas Eve - make it great! I’m assuming you don’t have your kids on Xmas Eve this year? If so, here’s just a few suggestions;

Attend a Xmas Eve public event of some sort

Invite yourself over to the home of some really good friends

Volunteer somewhere

Invite some other single friends over for an impromptu Xmas Eve party
(I knew a guy who threw a Xmas party every year on the night of the 25th - he was single and childless and invited all his friends who weren’t busy with family obligations and called it The Loser’s Xmas. This went on for 30 years and was a lovely event filled with interesting people. )

Snuggle up with your favorite Xmas treats and watch Die Hard (yes, it’s a Xmas movie!!!) or Love Actually, my favorite.

Bake Xmas cookies and deliver them to friends.

I’m sure others will have more suggestions.

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@Ready2Change - I don't want to lose sight of my main priorities, but a tiny bit of effort--

Irresponsibility - I already have a wallet and have a home for my keys, ID, and credit card. I just ordered a Tile (card-finder), a new credit card (existing account), new checks (without my XW's name after 11yrs, lol), and setup an appointment for a passport. I'll add $50 in emergency cash to my wallet the next time I stop by a grocer. That's the easy stuff. (:

Dress - I may prioritize black dress pants. She has a point that most blacks I've owned are more dark grey, and the style guide I read agrees pants shouldn't need a belt to stay up. My work dress pants collection dwindled down to one (navyi)--due to losing weight and fewer office visits during COVID. Black is flexible and makes some tops pop more.

Messiness - My budget and Christmas prep will drive the next steps here.

@kml - Yes, no kids on Christmas eve. Prep can only keep you busy so long. I may take up your idea of inviting other single acquaintances over and cook a fancy meal. I love cooking. Die Hard! Yes, excellent backup idea. (:



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there is nothing more lonely than being with a partner who isn't 100% supportive. i'm proud of you for choosing yourself.


M 20+ T25+
S ~15.5 (BD)
BD 4/6/15
H moved out 4/24/15
D Final 12/23/16

You have no idea what people are going thru in their personal lives. Be nice. It's that simple.
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Originally Posted by CWarrior
Dress - I may prioritize black dress pants. She has a point that most blacks I've owned are more dark grey, and the style guide I read agrees pants shouldn't need a belt to stay up. My work dress pants collection dwindled down to one (navyi)--due to losing weight and fewer office visits during COVID. Black is flexible and makes some tops pop more.
Talking about clothes pulled me out of the shrubberies.

There is one key thing about clothes that is vital. Fit. It matters more than fabric, style or colour. I'm fortunate that I can buy most clothes other than shirts off the rack even though I'm on the larger size of regular fits. My shirts I get through my tailor and don't actually pay a lot more for them and since I take care of them and yes, they are of higher quality fabric, they last. I'd love to be able to buy off the rack but with a 19" neck, that just doesn't happen. The pants I am wearing these days actually come from the same industrial supply place as the company uniforms we have at the plant. But they fit and wear well. I am sure though that I am the only person who carefully presses them to get the proper crease I want crazy

There's a book that I got in the 80s that has undoubtedly been updated called "Color for Men". It informed a lot of my choices. I tend to wear basic primary colours with accessories that give it a little "pop" and reflect my personality. But that is based on my slighly olive skin tone and darker / salt-and-pepper hair.

For me, dress is an expression of my personality. Conservative, reliable, but somewhat quirky.

I've read about some of your adventures in housekeeping, but not about laundry. Style is a very personal thing in my opinion. You can be informed on current trends but your personal style needs to reflect who you are, who you want to be seen to be, and be consistent with what looks good for your body shape, skin tone etc.

On the other hand, this is something that is important to me so I give it a lot more thought and effort than perhaps you may feel is reasonable. Not everyone wants to spend a couple of hours every weekend starching and pressing their clothes I'm sure laugh

PS - I've found that women I've shopped with tend to recommend clothes that compliment "them" and their own colour palette so don't just follow those suggestions unless they match what works for you when you aren't around them.

Anyhoo - just my 2 cents.


On BD
H52, W50
T27, M26
S21, D23
BD-9-Mar-16
D-15-Jan-18 Final-19-Apr-18
I am a storyteller. The story may do you no good.
But a story is never for the listener. It is always for the one who tells
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@Andrew, ha! I thought watching Tucker & Dale vs. Evil around Halloween would get your attention. wink The first time I watched it (when it was released) I had too much to drink and it was a blur. This time I appreciated it. It's quite funny!

The book you recommended, alas, is only available in print and costs $50+. Since I'm shopping tomorrow, I picked up "Effortless Outfits" on Kindle. It says to focus on how your wardrobe fits together as a whole and aim to be able to mix and match most pieces, instead of focusing on individual clothing items or individual outfits.

For work or dates, I go with navy dress pants + one of five neutral button-up shirts.

For casual, I wear distressed jeans + 12 t-shirts with various outdoor prints OR 2 polos OR one faux outdoorsy shirt. For colder seasons I have a brown flannel, red/black sweaters, and a dark grey puffy.

I'm quickly getting that my wardrobe has many supporting pieces but few statement pieces. In other words, beyond black dress pants, I could probably use a dress shirt with a bold color. Which, coincidentally, is what she picked up for me (returning). Practically, I could use those black dress pants and dress shoes for work. The bold shirt is only if there's a good sale.



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I had an urge to call her at 9:30pm. Luckily, my kids (first day over) monopolized my attention. 10:300-12:30am we’re hard. There’s that urge—“This is a misunderstanding, right? I just need you to stop harping on what you see as and imagine could be my flaws. Focus on the good—both you and your son had a wonderful weekend.”

With the morning comes clarity. She had the lowest tolerance of any partner for my dress, my disorganization, my feelings. I didn’t feel accepted. Sex was infrequent. She wanted more time together than I did. She wanted to meet my kids and our... non-meshing… kept that out of the range of possibility. I wasn’t looking forward to the holidays with her, which meant dressing in the outfits she picked to meet friends and colleagues, with the promise of sex after. I guess the core is I want someone who can see the good in me, and she seemed to mostly see my flaws, my differences (as flaws), and my potential flaws. She couldn’t see my journey and changes, either. I’ll be that someone who believes in me for now!

A good day ahead. I’m beginning by making my bed!



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Yes, journaling, journaling, lol.

When I think about it, my XGF also felt I could up my fashion game. She mentioned she liked StitchFix and other services where people pick clothes for you on a budget, encouraged me to try new things, and complimented me when I did. That felt different than Ms Sunshine buying me an outfit and insisting I wear it to her Christmas party.

I swapped the bit of fashion-consciousness I had for "Do I have something clean to wear?!" survival mode at some point. With the exception of the outdoors, of course, where I need performance threads.



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Good job resisting the urge to call her. Just as she wanted to turn you into something you aren’t, you keep hoping she would just stop being a whackadoodle so that you could enjoy a relationship with a different version of her. But this is who she is.

As for the whole clothes discussion - wow. Maybe I’m the odd one, but it has never crossed my mind to criticize the clothing choices of the men I date. ExH with his surfer casual clothes, crazy exBF with his thrift store designer brand clothing and name brand workout wear, CMM with his Lands End polo shirts, the guys in my old band with their cargo shorts and punk tshirts - honestly, none of it mattered to me. If they were reasonably clean and their clothes fit, why should it? Now granted - I live in So Cal and fancy dress events are few and far between.

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