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How to be more of a gentleman and more romantic

tacomancer

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I need help in the romance department. I have been with a wonderful woman for a year and in that time I have learned a lot about her, but something inside me tells me that this relationship is about to go deeper.

The reason I say that is that we both spent some time early in the relationship getting to know each other, our good sides and our flaws and then spent more time coming to peace with each others flaws. (she has a nasty temper and I have a bad habit of not thinking of how my words will affect others before I speak, for example). We seem to be getting to a point where we are willing to each confront our flaws a bit and try to love the other more on their terms. For example, she loves it when I do little helpful things that I know are going to get in the way of her accomplishing some task (moving the cars around in the driveway while she is getting ready for us to go somewhere) and she is starting to do more of the same (she knows I have a strong need for physical affection so she holds my hand a lot even though she has almost no need to physically express how she feels).

Getting to this point has been rough though, we had a lot of fights since we both are very strong willed and both are inclined to be leader types and I have learned a lot about what love actually is in this process (I think she already knew this stuff and was waiting for me to catch up though).

But we are here (we went through the valley of both of us wanting to give up and then realizing that we simply do not want to be without each other and making that choice) and because I think we are at the point where we want to learn how to love the other on their terms and not our own terms, I want to do as well at it as I know how to.

What she needs is a classically romantic and sweet guy, who is strong, a nice dresser, and who can throw some creativity into the mix. None of which I mind doing at all, I actually have a lot of fun doing that sort of thing, but its not something I am naturally inclined to do (in terms of raw emotional or social talents, which I don't have much of, I need to start this from scratch), so I need to improve my romantic skillset.

Can anyone recommend any good books, psychological manuals, or other data on the matter? Even simple **** like when to be sweet and when to tackle a life issue would be awesome (everything has its place, sometimes you gotta work, sometimes you want to have fun). What to keep to myself, possibly forever, and what to tell her. What kind of atmosphere to foster. That sort of thing. While she needs to be romanced in a certain way, I also know who I am, which is the left brained nerd, which basically means I need to first construct a giant flow chart in my head about how to do this and then internalize and just naturally start doing it, over time (think Dharma and Greg, she is the artistic one, but less hippy and more classy). Any suggestions for good books, webinars, youtube videos, etc?

And before anyone responds, please don't reply with "how to get your woman horny" type stuff, this isn't about sex as much as a different kind of emotional satisfaction. I want to make her feel truly loved and she wants to do the same for me.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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Copy/paste from the other thread:

If you need to change and become a different person for her to 'love you' - she doesn't love you.

If she loves you now as you are then she doesn't need you to change.

What you're doing sounds like cultivating something you aren't - because you imagine she wants it - in order to be something she doesn't actually need or want.
 

tacomancer

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Copy/paste from the other thread:

If you need to change and become a different person for her to 'love you' - she doesn't love you.

If she loves you now as you are then she doesn't need you to change.

What you're doing sounds like cultivating something you aren't - because you imagine she wants it - in order to be something she doesn't actually need or want.

yes and no.

We are a really great match and every day we laugh together and genuinely enjoy each other's company. We genuinely love each other more deeply and thoroughly than I could ever put into words. I am not concerned at all about whether she loves me. This isn't about saving a failing relationship and I may be wrong, but I am getting the impression that is what you read into my opening post.

There are two main points to consider here:

1. People are human and one thing that is constant in life is change and growth. People never stay stagnant and people grow no matter what (unless there is some sort of mental deficiency, but this is not the case). I look at who my parents were when I was young and I look at who they are now. My dad went from someone who would hit first and ask questions later to being about the most gentle person I know. He did it for my mom, he did it for my brother and I, and he did it for himself. My mom went from being very controlling to being much more relaxed, her motivations were the same. A successful relationship is not only one that works today, but one that stands the test of time and where each person helps the other grow to be a better person. That was the point behind the whole statement about her and I confront our flaws. We are helping the other grow and be stronger, more gentle, more loving, etc. That is VERY evident in the relationship when I look at where we started vs where we are today.

2. In terms of me loving her on her terms and her loving me on mine. I also see no problem with that. I am not even sure I want someone I can just love without conscious effort where the love comes completely naturally. There is no room for growth and I would get bored with that situation very quickly. I would rather be in a situation where I can learn new things, new ways to love, new depths of love, feel the pain of love (and love can be damned painful), aspire to greater things, and genuinely live an authentic love than simply have it easy. If she needs romance (like many women do) and she needs a bit of a fantasy life, that's no big deal, she's not asking anything of me that I don't enjoy doing or that we don't already share on some deep level and that I wouldn't do whether or not she was in the picture. These are things we both want, but at the same time, don't know how to do. She is learning more about philosophy because she finds it fascinating and I know a **** ton about philosophy and she wants to talk with me about it. We are both deepening our religious sides together. We are doing a bunch of **** already and that is all growth and exploration into each other and deeper forms of love and appreciation for one another. We all have interests we haven't had time to explore in life, when she and I met, she kindled some sort of need for romance within me and its a new experience, its not something I know how to do, but its something I don't want to be without ever again, with or without her. She just needs it where I find it a fun hobby. This isn't about making her love me, this is about how to grow together and build things that hopefully last a lifetime.

This is about finding a deeper love than what exists today. This is about true romance. Yeah, she and I can netflix and sex all day, but even sex gets old after a while. If there is nowhere to go in the relationship, it will die.
 
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joG

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I need help in the romance department. I have been with a wonderful woman for a year and in that time I have learned a lot about her, but something inside me tells me that this relationship is about to go deeper.

The reason I say that is that we both spent some time early in the relationship getting to know each other, our good sides and our flaws and then spent more time coming to peace with each others flaws. (she has a nasty temper and I have a bad habit of not thinking of how my words will affect others before I speak, for example). We seem to be getting to a point where we are willing to each confront our flaws a bit and try to love the other more on their terms. For example, she loves it when I do little helpful things that I know are going to get in the way of her accomplishing some task (moving the cars around in the driveway while she is getting ready for us to go somewhere) and she is starting to do more of the same (she knows I have a strong need for physical affection so she holds my hand a lot even though she has almost no need to physically express how she feels).

Getting to this point has been rough though, we had a lot of fights since we both are very strong willed and both are inclined to be leader types and I have learned a lot about what love actually is in this process (I think she already knew this stuff and was waiting for me to catch up though).

But we are here (we went through the valley of both of us wanting to give up and then realizing that we simply do not want to be without each other and making that choice) and because I think we are at the point where we want to learn how to love the other on their terms and not our own terms, I want to do as well at it as I know how to.

What she needs is a classically romantic and sweet guy, who is strong, a nice dresser, and who can throw some creativity into the mix. None of which I mind doing at all, I actually have a lot of fun doing that sort of thing, but its not something I am naturally inclined to do (in terms of raw emotional or social talents, which I don't have much of, I need to start this from scratch), so I need to improve my romantic skillset.

Can anyone recommend any good books, psychological manuals, or other data on the matter? Even simple **** like when to be sweet and when to tackle a life issue would be awesome (everything has its place, sometimes you gotta work, sometimes you want to have fun). What to keep to myself, possibly forever, and what to tell her. What kind of atmosphere to foster. That sort of thing. While she needs to be romanced in a certain way, I also know who I am, which is the left brained nerd, which basically means I need to first construct a giant flow chart in my head about how to do this and then internalize and just naturally start doing it, over time (think Dharma and Greg, she is the artistic one, but less hippy and more classy). Any suggestions for good books, webinars, youtube videos, etc?

And before anyone responds, please don't reply with "how to get your woman horny" type stuff, this isn't about sex as much as a different kind of emotional satisfaction. I want to make her feel truly loved and she wants to do the same for me.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

("If"
BY RUDYARD KIPLING)
 

Lovebug

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I need help in the romance department. I have been with a wonderful woman for a year and in that time I have learned a lot about her, but something inside me tells me that this relationship is about to go deeper.

The reason I say that is that we both spent some time early in the relationship getting to know each other, our good sides and our flaws and then spent more time coming to peace with each others flaws. (she has a nasty temper and I have a bad habit of not thinking of how my words will affect others before I speak, for example). We seem to be getting to a point where we are willing to each confront our flaws a bit and try to love the other more on their terms. For example, she loves it when I do little helpful things that I know are going to get in the way of her accomplishing some task (moving the cars around in the driveway while she is getting ready for us to go somewhere) and she is starting to do more of the same (she knows I have a strong need for physical affection so she holds my hand a lot even though she has almost no need to physically express how she feels).

Getting to this point has been rough though, we had a lot of fights since we both are very strong willed and both are inclined to be leader types and I have learned a lot about what love actually is in this process (I think she already knew this stuff and was waiting for me to catch up though).

But we are here (we went through the valley of both of us wanting to give up and then realizing that we simply do not want to be without each other and making that choice) and because I think we are at the point where we want to learn how to love the other on their terms and not our own terms, I want to do as well at it as I know how to.

What she needs is a classically romantic and sweet guy, who is strong, a nice dresser, and who can throw some creativity into the mix. None of which I mind doing at all, I actually have a lot of fun doing that sort of thing, but its not something I am naturally inclined to do (in terms of raw emotional or social talents, which I don't have much of, I need to start this from scratch), so I need to improve my romantic skillset.

Can anyone recommend any good books, psychological manuals, or other data on the matter? Even simple **** like when to be sweet and when to tackle a life issue would be awesome (everything has its place, sometimes you gotta work, sometimes you want to have fun). What to keep to myself, possibly forever, and what to tell her. What kind of atmosphere to foster. That sort of thing. While she needs to be romanced in a certain way, I also know who I am, which is the left brained nerd, which basically means I need to first construct a giant flow chart in my head about how to do this and then internalize and just naturally start doing it, over time (think Dharma and Greg, she is the artistic one, but less hippy and more classy). Any suggestions for good books, webinars, youtube videos, etc?

And before anyone responds, please don't reply with "how to get your woman horny" type stuff, this isn't about sex as much as a different kind of emotional satisfaction. I want to make her feel truly loved and she wants to do the same for me.

If you both want to accept each other with all your flaws, why do you seek to change? Grow together but always be yourself first. You can't keep up a facade for very long.
 

Lovebug

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Copy/paste from the other thread:

If you need to change and become a different person for her to 'love you' - she doesn't love you.

If she loves you now as you are then she doesn't need you to change.

What you're doing sounds like cultivating something you aren't - because you imagine she wants it - in order to be something she doesn't actually need or want.

I didn't see that, promise, but those are my sentiments exactly.
 

SmokeAndMirrors

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yes and no.

We are a really great match and every day we laugh together and genuinely enjoy each other's company. We genuinely love each other more deeply and thoroughly than I could ever put into words. I am not concerned at all about whether she loves me. This isn't about saving a failing relationship and I may be wrong, but I am getting the impression that is what you read into my opening post.

There are two main points to consider here:

1. People are human and one thing that is constant in life is change and growth. People never stay stagnant and people grow no matter what (unless there is some sort of mental deficiency, but this is not the case). I look at who my parents were when I was young and I look at who they are now. My dad went from someone who would hit first and ask questions later to being about the most gentle person I know. He did it for my mom, he did it for my brother and I, and he did it for himself. My mom went from being very controlling to being much more relaxed, her motivations were the same. A successful relationship is not only one that works today, but one that stands the test of time and where each person helps the other grow to be a better person. That was the point behind the whole statement about her and I confront our flaws. We are helping the other grow and be stronger, more gentle, more loving, etc. That is VERY evident in the relationship when I look at where we started vs where we are today.

2. In terms of me loving her on her terms and her loving me on mine. I also see no problem with that. I am not even sure I want someone I can just love without conscious effort where the love comes completely naturally. There is no room for growth and I would get bored with that situation very quickly. I would rather be in a situation where I can learn new things, new ways to love, new depths of love, feel the pain of love (and love can be damned painful), aspire to greater things, and genuinely live an authentic love than simply have it easy. If she needs romance (like many women do) and she needs a bit of a fantasy life, that's no big deal, she's not asking anything of me that I don't enjoy doing or that we don't already share on some deep level and that I wouldn't do whether or not she was in the picture. These are things we both want, but at the same time, don't know how to do. She is learning more about philosophy because she finds it fascinating and I know a **** ton about philosophy and she wants to talk with me about it. We are both deepening our religious sides together. We are doing a bunch of **** already and that is all growth and exploration into each other and deeper forms of love and appreciation for one another. We all have interests we haven't had time to explore in life, when she and I met, she kindled some sort of need for romance within me and its a new experience, its not something I know how to do, but its something I don't want to be without ever again, with or without her...

This is about finding a deeper love than what exists today. This is about true romance. Yeah, she and I can netflix and sex all day, but even sex gets old after a while. If there is nowhere to go in the relationship, it will die.

I'm going to have to agree with Auntie. If you have to turn into basically an entirely different person to please her, then you're with the wrong woman. What you're describing is not equivalent to her reading about philosophy. That is an independent hobby which she is independently interested in, but that interest happens to be sparked by talking to you. What you're describing doing to yourself is a total personality change. Everything from how you dress to your basic mannerisms. That's totally different. Even what your parents did isn't so consuming. They changed basically one big personality flaw, which probably took them years. That's doable, if you work. But most of your personality?

Beyond that, it's not sustainable. What you actually are will win out in the end.

I COMPLETELY disagree with point #2. Having love come easily for being exactly who you are is NOT boring or stagnant. If anything, it's encouraging to become more of what you are, and you can share a level of depth that you maybe never have in your life, with someone like that. If you could just completely eschew everything you do on a day-to-day basis for the sake of social acceptance, what would you be? Dude... that's a hell of a rabbit hole.

And that's not necessarily easy either. We're all a mess of jumbled wires on the inside, especially once we've got a bit of adulthood behind us. It's not easy for me anyway, as someone who happens to have the particular quirk of being a rather guarded person, but it is worth it, and I'm not expected to be a different person.

How are you defining authentic love? I have a hard time reconciling changing your personality into that definition, when I consider the term.
 

tacomancer

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I'm going to have to agree with Auntie. If you have to turn into basically an entirely different person to please her, then you're with the wrong woman. What you're describing is not equivalent to her reading about philosophy. That is an independent hobby which she is independently interested in, but that interest happens to be sparked by talking to you. What you're describing doing to yourself is a total personality change. Everything from how you dress to your basic mannerisms. That's totally different.

Beyond that, it's not sustainable. What you actually are will win out in the end.

I COMPLETELY disagree with point #2. Having love come easily for being exactly who you are is NOT boring or stagnant. If anything, it's encouraging to become more of what you are, and you can share a level of depth that you maybe never have in your life, with someone like that. If you could just completely eschew everything you do on a day-to-day basis for the sake of social acceptance, what would you be? Dude... that's a hell of a rabbit hole.

And that's not necessarily easy either. We're all a mess of jumbled wires on the inside, especially once we've got a bit of adulthood behind us. It's not easy for me anyway, as someone who happens to have the particular quirk of being a rather guarded person, but it is worth it, and I'm not expected to be a different person.

How are you defining authentic love? I have a hard time reconciling changing your personality into that definition, when I consider the term.

I don't see how you guys are coming to this conclusion at all. This romantic thing is not an attempt to keep her, its an attempt to go deeper because those glimpses I have had with her (when we danced in the rain one time or shared an amazing kiss in this one spot) were ****ing awesome experiences and things I never felt before meeting her. I didn't feel this stuff with my ex wife even once.

I see you guys as taking something I intend to do 5% of the time and thinking this is who I will become. No, I will add it to who I already am.

Authentic love is one that works today and in the future, no matter what life throws at you, no matter how one has to adapt to changing circumstances, no matter what tragedies strike. It is one where you can be fully who you are today and grow fully to who you are in the future (and I don't know about other people, but I can look at myself today vs version of myself in the past and I see huge differences in personality, an authentic love is a love that these changes fit into). When I became a parent, my personality changed in a ton of ways, when I became a professional, it changed my personality, when I got divorced, it changed my personality, almost every religious experience I have ever had changes my personality. Sometimes these changes are surface stuff, sometimes these changes go very deep. Life experiences will do that, relationships are no different.
 
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tacomancer

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If you both want to accept each other with all your flaws, why do you seek to change? Grow together but always be yourself first. You can't keep up a facade for very long.

This is what I am doing. This is not some facade. I want to be more romantic, but I already know I am doing to do it on my terms and in my way.
 

SmokeAndMirrors

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I don't see how you guys are coming to this conclusion at all. This romantic thing is not an attempt to keep her, its an attempt to go deeper because those glimpses I have had with her (when we danced in the rain one time or shared an amazing kiss in this one spot) were ****ing awesome experiences and things I never felt before meeting her. I didn't feel this stuff with my ex wife even once.

Authentic love is one that works today and in the future, no matter what life throws at you, no matter how one has to adapt to changing circumstances, no matter what tragedies strike. It is one where you can be fully who you are today and grow fully to who you are in the future (and I don't know about other people, but I can look at myself today vs version of myself in the past and I see huge differences in personality, an authentic love is a love that these changes fit into). When I became a parent, my personality changed in a ton of ways, when I became a professional, it changed my personality, when I got divorced, it changed my personality. Life experiences will do that, relationships are no different.

I guess I am just not seeing how little day to day stuff can't be just as awesome if the connection is right. Some of my most romantically meaningful moments don't look like that, or wouldn't even make sense without an entire backstory. Hell, one of them he didn't even know he was doing at the time -- and that was arguably the most important moment of a relationship in my entire life.

It's about the connection, not the aesthetic prettiness of the moment.

Anyway, where people are getting that impression is you describing it as "What she needs is..." and then describing a bunch of stuff that is based on intrinsic personality, which you then go on to say isn't anything like you and that you have no natural inclination for.

I promise you, you won't be able to maintain that.

I agree with your definition. I just don't see why you have to overhaul your personality to have that.

If I look at you over the years, for whatever that may be worth from what I can see on a forum, I do see some little differences, but Taco, you're basically the same dude at the bottom of it all. Yeah, you've been through all kinds of stuff. It's tweaked you a little, but it hasn't really changed you.

And there's nothing wrong with that. I mean, hell, look at me. I've been through all kinds of totally crazy **** since I joined DP, and I feel like I've changed a ton. But really? If I really sit down and look at myself? No, I'm basically the same girl I always was. I'm better, more together, more manifestly myself. But I'm the same girl.

Most of us have been basically "the same dude/girl" since we were in elementary school. We are who we are, on a fundamental level. We just whittle and shape and perfect it over our lives, hopefully. And if we have a really serious flaw and we work our ass off for years, maybe we can even change ONE major facet of ourselves, like your parents did. But trying to just be someone else is not a recipe for success.

Focus on just chipping away at being a better version of yourself.
 
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tacomancer

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I guess I am just not seeing how little day to day stuff can't be just as awesome if the connection is right. Some of my most romantically meaningful moments don't look like that, or wouldn't even make sense without an entire backstory. Hell, one of them he didn't even know he was doing at the time -- and that was arguably the most important moment of a relationship in my entire life.

It's about the connection, not the aesthetic prettiness of the moment.

Anyway, where people are getting that impression is you describing it as "What she needs is..." and then describing a bunch of stuff that is based on intrinsic personality, which you then go on to say isn't anything like you and that you have no natural inclination for.

I promise you, you won't be able to maintain that.

I agree with your definition. I just don't see why you have to overhaul your personality to have that.

If I look at you over the years, for whatever that may be worth from what I can see on a forum, I do see some little differences, but Taco, you're basically the same dude at the bottom of it all. Yeah, you've been through all kinds of stuff. It's tweaked you a little, but it hasn't really changed you.

And there's nothing wrong with that. I mean, hell, look at me. I've been through all kinds of totally crazy **** since I joined DP, and I feel like I've changed a ton. But really? If I really sit down and look at myself? No, I'm basically the same girl I always was. I'm better, more together, more manifestly myself. But I'm the same girl.

Most of us have been basically "the same dude/girl" since we were in elementary school. We are who we are, on a fundamental level. We just whittle and shape and perfect it over our lives, hopefully. And if we have a really serious flaw and we work our ass off for years, maybe we can even change ONE major facet of ourselves, like your parents did. But trying to just be someone else is not a recipe for success.

Focus on just chipping away at being a better version of yourself.

Every day little stuff is awesome. I text her that our song was playing on the radio and she blushed. Last night, we shared a look for no reason at all.

I still think you are reading far more into this than is there. Why do you think I am changing my entire personality?
 

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Every day little stuff is awesome. I text her that our song was playing on the radio and she blushed. Last night, we shared a look for no reason at all.

I still think you are reading far more into this than is there. Why do you think I am changing my entire personality?

Because the stuff you're describing is personality stuff.

I don't think you can "go deeper" by changing yourself. On the contrary, I think the deepest you can get is sharing the very most basic of who you unalterably are.

And one of those moments where that happened was, again, one of the most important of my love life -- even though it wasn't the sort of thing that would look attractive in a Hollywood movie like the rain kissing thing.
 

tacomancer

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Because the stuff you're describing is personality stuff.

I don't think you can "go deeper" by changing yourself. On the contrary, I think the deepest you can get is sharing the very most basic of who you unalterably are.

And one of those moments where that happened was, again, one of the most important of my love life -- even though it wasn't the sort of thing that would look attractive in a Hollywood moving like the rain kissing thing.

How am I changing myself by acquiring a new skill? Did I change myself when I learned to ride a bike? Did I change myself when I learned to take care of a baby? How am I changing myself by taking the time to write a love note? What is the difference?
 

SmokeAndMirrors

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How am I changing myself by acquiring a new skill? Did I change myself when I learned to ride a bike? Did I change myself when I learned to take care of a baby? How am I changing myself by taking the time to write a love note? What is the difference?

Being "sweet" or "strong" (whatever those terms mean to you) is a basic personality trait. Being a "classic romantic" is usually some combination of basic personality and an entire lifetime of cultural influence. Being creative is also a personality trait.

If your goal was to simply make a bit more time for little deeds, I'd get it. Hell, set a reminder in your phone for once every couple weeks, and when it goes off sit down and do a thing, like the little note.

What you're describing is far more sweeping, and completely unrealistic to maintain.

Authentic love -- going as deep as you can go, which I am working on and still haven't entirely achieved -- is not sweet or pretty. It is the exact opposite of doing something new. It's letting them know your oldest self.
 

tacomancer

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Being "sweet" or "strong" (whatever those terms mean to you) is a basic personality trait. Being a "classic romantic" is usually some combination of basic personality and an entire lifetime of cultural influence. Being creative is also a personality trait.

If your goal was to simply make a bit more time for little deeds, I'd get it. Hell, set a reminder in your phone for once every couple weeks, and when it goes off sit down and do a thing, like the little note.

What you're describing is far more sweeping, and completely unrealistic to maintain.

Authentic love -- going as deep as you can go, which I am working on and still haven't entirely achieved -- is not sweet or pretty. It is the exact opposite of doing something new. It's letting them know your oldest self.

Again I have to disagree. Giving a love note (since this seems to be the example du jour) will be interpreted as sweet or being sweet. By doing things like that such as giving flowers, copying some poetry, taking her to a scenic view, etc, I will be being sweeter. Nothing about me changes, I am just taking the time to give her what she needs. All of that stuff is just actions and all of that stuff can be copied from books or what not, until I get used to it. It is simply acquiring a skill. Its like learning how to throw a baseball or benefiting from a creative writing workshop by learning to keep a creative journal to reference later.

Its not a personality trait. I know people who have gone from being really fat to having a muscular and athletic body because they changed habits. This is a matter of changing habits.
 
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Copy/paste from the other thread:

If you need to change and become a different person for her to 'love you' - she doesn't love you.

If she loves you now as you are then she doesn't need you to change.

What you're doing sounds like cultivating something you aren't - because you imagine she wants it - in order to be something she doesn't actually need or want.

I don't completely agree with this.
He did not start this topic with the assertation that she is pressuring him to change. It is my believe that with the right person we just want to make changes to ourselves.
If I perceived that taco was feeling compelled into making changes then I would be taking the position you are. but he is obviously willing and wanting to, he just is asking for some tips and advice.
A desire to evolve into a better person for the relationship should be encouraged not dismissed. As long as it is not self destructive of course.


Taco you have the heart of a romantic , that much is obvious. you just don't have the playbook I think is what you are saying.
 

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Taco you have the heart of a romantic , that much is obvious. you just don't have the playbook I think is what you are saying.

:yt

You hit the nail on the head. A relationship never just works out. I have known way too many people who were (not always, but generally) happily married for decades to believe that nonsense. Those people who were in a successful relationship for life put their blood, sweat, souls, and tears into it. Relationships are work. This is not to say that you can make it without some sort of natural foundation, that needs to be there as well, but nobody is an emotional clone of someone else, there are always things to work on.

People who think that having to put work into a relationship is a sign of a bad relationship probably will never have a successful relationship but a series of short lived ones that fall apart due to neglect.

I love romance, but I have no idea what to do. What I have started doing since this thread is to open a notebook on my phone and write down ideas as they come to me. This is a start at least.
 

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People who think that having to put work into a relationship is a sign of a bad relationship probably will never have a successful relationship but a series of short lived ones that fall apart due to neglect.

Agreed.

That has been, more or less, my experience.

If it were up to me I'd drink too much, sleep too late, never get out of sweat pants, play Battlefield 3 at least 12 hours a day, and go fishing twice a week.

Unfortunately none of those things are conducive to a happy marriage or the responsible upbringing of children.

So I don't do those things.

In some cases I've moderated, and in others I've cut them out completely.

Do I feel as though I've "changed who I am"?

Sure, in some ways I guess I have.

But I've changed plenty of things about myself that maybe I wouldn't have if there weren't consequences.

I quit smoking and recreational drug use, I exercise regularly, and I don't eat enormous amounts of fat, salt, sugar, or other carbohydrates because, while I enjoy all those things, and despite the fact that they were once "who I was", I know that I've got a much better chance of living a long(er), healthy(ier) life if I eliminate or seriously reduce their consumption.

I went back to school in my 30s and got an undergraduate degree and then a graduate degree.

Wouldn't have been my first choice, in a "perfect world", of how I would have wanted to spend 6 years and $100,000, but it made me a much more educated person, gave me skills I wouldn't otherwise have had, opened doors for me, and drastically increased my earnings and my lifetime earning potential.

Life, to include the relationships we forge while living it, is a balancing act.

There are some changes I simply wouldn't be willing you make, but most things are negotiable.
 

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:yt

You hit the nail on the head. A relationship never just works out. I have known way too many people who were (not always, but generally) happily married for decades to believe that nonsense. Those people who were in a successful relationship for life put their blood, sweat, souls, and tears into it. Relationships are work. This is not to say that you can make it without some sort of natural foundation, that needs to be there as well, but nobody is an emotional clone of someone else, there are always things to work on.

People who think that having to put work into a relationship is a sign of a bad relationship probably will never have a successful relationship but a series of short lived ones that fall apart due to neglect.

I love romance, but I have no idea what to do. What I have started doing since this thread is to open a notebook on my phone and write down ideas as they come to me. This is a start at least.

Yea. I think about when your gal wants to go see a chick flick. Most guys, should they be picking a movie to go see, wouldn't have any sort of movie in mind. But she wants to go, so you go because she will enjoy herself and if she is happy it makes you happy.
 

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Yea. I think about when your gal wants to go see a chick flick. Most guys, should they be picking a movie to go see, wouldn't have any sort of movie in mind. But she wants to go, so you go because she will enjoy herself and if she is happy it makes you happy.

Luckily she is allergic to chick flicks (she would rather watch a science or history documentary than a chick flick). But having her dress up to go dance the bolero or a nice intimate dinner for two and she will make eyes at me all evening.
 
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