CanMormonGirl

Dating indecision. Wondering if I'll ever feel "right" or "sure" about someone.

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I have been dating in hopes of one day marrying for about 7 years now. I have dated lots of different guys during that time. I even got engaged to one (though I'll admit I never was fully sure about marrying him), and I never felt sure about any of the others either.

Now I'm in probably the healthiest relationship I've ever been in. We've been dating for about 7 months and he says he wants to marry me (and is very patient in regards to how long I want to wait before making that decision and how I feel about it). He's got a lot of great qualities that are important to me, but I still feel indecisive. I have sought the advice of many, but I still wonder and grapple with the question "am I just struggling with indecision and perhaps perfectionism, or is there really just something important that is missing in our relationship?". 

I know I can't expect perfection, nor am I looking for anyone to complete me, and yet I still think to myself "it would be nice if I was more attracted... I wish he was more ambitious about the kind of lifestyle I want to have". I sometimes feel shallow for thinking the former thought, but some say if physical attraction is higher up on my list of what's most important than that's okay. Truth is, I do feel attraction, since there is a lot more to it than purely just the physical aspect, but I've experienced very strong physical attraction to former boyfriends and I sometimes find it very hard not to compare those feelings (and I know it's not fair to, or very productive). I also consider the fact that those intense feelings of physical attraction may fade over time as we age... but for some maybe they don't? Can you tell I'm an over thinker yet?? 

I guess what it boils down to is that there are a few things I really miss about my former relationship that I had with my ex-fiance, that aren't being felt very strongly in my current relationship. But my current boyfriend possesses amazing qualities that weren't present in my ex-fiance. I know I can't meld the two together, and even thinking about doing so leads me to believe I am seeking someone who "has it all". But I feel like I accept my boyfriend's quirks and idiosyncrasies, it's just mainly those two things that I don't feel very sure about. Well, he also struggles with pornography... and I do feel like moving forward I would have to consider the high possibility of relapses occurring during our marriage. But he's a very patient, loving man, and he is trying to overcome it. 

All that being said, I have a big question to ask. Do you (whoever you may be) believe that "when you know, you know", and that if you don't feel that supposed "I just know this is a right person for me", then it's better to be patient and move on? Or do you believe there are some people who will never be the type to truly say "I just know", just based on who they are? Because when I hear people say "when you know, you know", I feel frustrated. Because I have never just known. 

In the end, I know love is a choice, but I would love to say yes to marrying someone without having a doubt in my mind. Though I am beginning to wonder if that is just a romantic idea. What do you think?

Any advice, thoughts, especially in regards to my last big question would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading. 

Edited by CanMormonGirl

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Speaking for myself:  there was no one moment where I was “absolutely sure” I wanted to marry my wife.  Heck, we’ve been married over fifteen years and there are still moments where little nagging doubts try to get into my brain.  To a big degree, love and confidence grow as one keeps one’s commitments to one’s partner; and at the beginning there’s going to be a leap of faith.

On the other hand:  if you aren’t as physically attracted to your spouse as you know you could be to another man—or if you and your spouse have fundamental disagreements over his career goals or your anticipated joint lifestyle—if those specific issues are not *completely* resolved from the beginning of your marriage, you’re going to find yourself confronting them again and again and again—every day in your marriage, and in ways you don’t now expect.  Every kiss that doesn’t have the spark, every meal that you think could have been better if your food budget was more generous, every time you put on a shirt that you had to settle for because it was cheaper than the shirt you *really* wanted to buy.  It can become very wearing on a marriage, and ultimately destructive.

It would be great to be able to resolve these issues within yourself, but if you just can’t do it—don’t let anyone guilt you into marrying your boyfriend with those fundamental problems still hanging out there.  If there’s ever a time in your life to be almost-irrationally picky, it’s when you are selecting your future spouse.

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7 hours ago, CanMormonGirl said:

All that being said, I have a big question to ask. Do you (whoever you may be) believe that "when you know, you know", and that if you don't feel that supposed "I just know this is a right person for me", then it's better to be patient and move on? Or do you believe there are some people who will never be the type to truly say "I just know", just based on who they are? Because when I hear people say "when you know, you know", I feel frustrated. Because I have never just known. 

"When you know, you know" is not about the other person.  It's about YOU.  Attraction is the easy part.  CHOOSING TO LOVE is the harder part.  And if you think that "you just know" without making a conscious decision on your part to make that covenant then more than likely, you're going to end up divorced in short order when things get rough.  "Fall in love" is a stupid phrase, in my opinion.  It's like you're walking minding your own business and you tripped and fell in love.  That's what happens when your hormones are making the decision for you.

So, when do you know?  Here's the best way, in my opinion, to find out.  When you're ready to CHOOSE the person to spend the rest of your life with so that when somebody cuter and finer and richer and more spiritual than your husband comes to you later asking you to leave your husband and spend the rest of your life with him, you can HONESTLY look him in the eye and say, "I'm sorry Brad Pitt - Nelson, you are a great person and will make some lucky woman happy someday, but I chose to build a family with my husband for the rest of my life so I can't be with you.", then you are ready to marry.

Edited by anatess2

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8 hours ago, CanMormonGirl said:

All that being said, I have a big question to ask. Do you (whoever you may be) believe that "when you know, you know", and that if you don't feel that supposed "I just know this is a right person for me", then it's better to be patient and move on?

That there is only one person out there for you and that you will just know that that person is the right one is nothing but a fairly tale.

Edited by Scott

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9 hours ago, CanMormonGirl said:
  • Now I'm in probably the healthiest relationship I've ever been in.
  • We've been dating for about 7 months and he says he wants to marry me.
  • (He) is very patient in regards to how long I want to wait before making that decision and how I feel about it.
  • He's got a lot of great qualities that are important to me.

I guess I'm not seeing the problem here.  What are you waiting for?  The clouds in the sky to open allowing a big booming voice to tell you this is the guy?  I don't even know what the guy looks like and I already want to marry him. 

Tell me he's rich and I'll divorce my wife and beg him to marry me. :) 

Edited by Carborendum

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9 hours ago, CanMormonGirl said:

All that being said, I have a big question to ask. Do you (whoever you may be) believe that "when you know, you know", and that if you don't feel that supposed "I just know this is a right person for me", then it's better to be patient and move on? Or do you believe there are some people who will never be the type to truly say "I just know", just based on who they are? Because when I hear people say "when you know, you know", I feel frustrated. Because I have never just known. 

There's a few people whom need to be UNinvited to this discussion:

- Your ex.  He's just not invited to this discussion and all thoughts about him need to go away.  

- The fairy tale about "the one".  There is no such thing.  There are many different possible people any person could be with and be incredibly happy with.  Love and successful relationship are not about singing at a wishing well "I'm waiting for the one I love to find me today".   No.  That's a fairy tale.   

 

Love is hard work.  Developing & continuing exercising strong communication skills, commitment, placing the other person first, and placing God above all.  How is your communication with this person?  Do you put each other first?  Do you both place God above all else?  Do trusted friends & family see your relationship and see it as being healthy and wise?  

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58 minutes ago, Scott said:

That there is only one person out there for you and that you will just know that that person is the right one is nothing but a fairly tale.

I'm not convinced that this is uniformly true. I do agree that it's often a destructive attitude.

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1 hour ago, Jane_Doe said:

Love is hard work.

No one will agree with me and everyone might jump, but I'm not sure it's "hard work." I've been married since 2002 and we haven't worked a day at our marriage in our lives. And while I would never speak for Melissa, I'd like to think we're both very happy. Maybe it depends how you define "work". Or, maybe we're just unique. 

Relationships, in particular the greatest one, marriage, should be a refuge from the real world. You work 600 hours a week. Why come home and "work" some more? I don't get it. I never did. 

Edited by MormonGator

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10 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

No one will agree with me and every will jump, but I'm not sure it's "hard work." I've been married since 2002 and we haven't worked a day at our marriage in our lives. And while I would never speak for Melissa,

That poor woman... :)

I agree that it may not always be "hard work".  But the fact is that marriage requires people to do certain things to make it work.  Some people have to consciously strive to perform such tasks.  For other people, such things are just second nature.  So, of course they don't think of it as "work."

The reason we emphasize the "work" aspect is that there is a fairy tale that if you marry Mr. Right, then you never have to worry about any problems at all. 

Life itself is full of trials.  And when you sign onto marriage, you agree to go through them together.  People who are single tend not to understand this type of "oneness."  So, they have to "work" through it.  If you're fortunate enough to be a couple who always understood this from before your marriage, then blessed be.

Edited by Carborendum

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18 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

That poor woman... :)

I agree that it may not always be "hard work".  But the fact is that marriage requires people to do certain things to make it work.  Some people have to consciously strive to perform such tasks.  For other people, such things are just second nature.  So, of course they don't think of it as "work."

The reason we emphasize the "work" aspect is that there is a fairy tale that if you marry Mr. Right, then you never have to worry about any problems at all. 

Life itself is full of trials.  And when you sign onto marriage, you agree to go through them together.  People who are single tend not to understand this type of "oneness."  So, they have to "work" through it.  If you're fortunate enough to be a couple who always understood this from before your marriage, then blessed be.

Probably right. That's a good explanation, more or less. Though we still view each other as "individuals" and not really as one unit. Just our choice, I guess. 

You'd be amazed how much hate someone can get when they say that marriage "isn't work." 

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2 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

You'd be amazed how much hate someone can get when they say that marriage "isn't work." 

My daddy always told me - do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life.  Which is exactly what I did.  So, now, I'm getting paid doing what I love doing so I can say, "I've never worked a day in my life".  Which is what you're trying to say here, I think, because I HIGHLY doubt you never did a thing for your marriage.

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1 hour ago, Jane_Doe said:

- The fairy tale about "the one".  There is no such thing.  There are many different possible people any person could be with and be incredibly happy with.  Love and successful relationship are not about singing at a wishing well "I'm waiting for the one I love to find me today".   No.  That's a fairy tale. 

I know there is no such thing as "the one". I know there are many different people I could have a good marriage with. That's not what I'm hung up on. In my initial post I mentioned how some people will say they know a person is right for him/her, not that they found the only person who is right for him/her. 

With that in mind, my query was really about whether or not it's realistic to expect that everyone can feel sure about the decision to marry someone, or if perhaps depending upon the personality some might not ever feel completely sure and just have to take that leap of faith. 

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17 minutes ago, CanMormonGirl said:

some people will say they know a person is right for him/her, not that they found the only person who is right for him/her. 

  • Do you feel more complete with him or without him?
  • Do you feel closer to the Lord with him or without him?
  • Does he make you feel like a better person when you're with him or without him?
  • Do you feel stronger as a person with him or without him?

Now.  Reverse those questions.  Does he feel that same way about you?

Even if you're looking for "a" right person, it really is back to basics.  Is he willing to build a life together and work towards common goals?  Will you support each other in all worthy endeavors.  Will you bring each other closer to the Lord?  Then it will work out for you.

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4 hours ago, MormonGator said:

Probably right. That's a good explanation, more or less. Though we still view each other as "individuals" and not really as one unit. Just our choice, I guess. 

You'd be amazed how much hate someone can get when they say that marriage "isn't work." 

Hey, it just occurred to me that if you ever adopt a baby, you have to name him Isaac or her Isabelle.  That way you'd be the TMI family.

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14 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Hey, it just occurred to me that if you ever adopt a baby, you have to name him Isaac or her Isabelle.  That way you'd be the TMI family.

Better than Paul and Diane with baby Alex.

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3 hours ago, CanMormonGirl said:

I know there is no such thing as "the one". I know there are many different people I could have a good marriage with. That's not what I'm hung up on. In my initial post I mentioned how some people will say they know a person is right for him/her, not that they found the only person who is right for him/her. 

With that in mind, my query was really about whether or not it's realistic to expect that everyone can feel sure about the decision to marry someone, or if perhaps depending upon the personality some might not ever feel completely sure and just have to take that leap of faith. 

Have you considered that what you're expecting to feel and what you're asking about are two different things?

A thought occurred to me that you feel all these intellectually good things.  He's kind, dependable, understanding, patient, intelligent, hard working (I'm only guessing).  But you don't really feel all excited about him?

While I don't discount exciting --  I was completely dumbfounded when I met my wife -- I have to say that the fun and exciting and WOW effect are icing on the cake.  The important part (the real substance) is this underlying stuff.  If you're looking WOW, you will certainly know that when you find it.  But what is it you really want?  When you say that you want a person who's right for you, what are you expecting?  That you'll have a happy life together?  What do you think happiness is?

My daughter met a guy who was very excited about her.  He was a good kid.  My son was one of his best friends.  They went out a couple of times.  And he was interested in pursuing a relationship with her.  But she wasn't all that excited about him.

He was actually a good candidate on paper. He would have provided well for her (he was going to be an engineer).  He was certainly nice and would have treated her right.  But one thing that both my son and daughter noted was that he was fairly indecisive.  He was always a bit "too nice" or "too passive."  This is certainly not something that a woman commonly looks for in a man.  Uderstanding, yes.  A good listener, yes.  Compassionate, yes.  But passive?  Confidence is very attractive.  And his passivity certainly didn't WOW her.

So, is that important?  I think it is.  But you need to understand there are other things more important to marriage.

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12 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Speaking for myself:  there was no one moment where I was “absolutely sure” I wanted to marry my wife.  Heck, we’ve been married over fifteen years and there are still moments where little nagging doubts try to get into my brain.  To a big degree, love and confidence grow as one keeps one’s commitments to one’s partner; and at the beginning there’s going to be a leap of faith.

On the other hand:  if you aren’t as physically attracted to your spouse as you know you could be to another man—or if you and your spouse have fundamental disagreements over his career goals or your anticipated joint lifestyle—if those specific issues are not *completely* resolved from the beginning of your marriage, you’re going to find yourself confronting them again and again and again—every day in your marriage, and in ways you don’t now expect.  Every kiss that doesn’t have the spark, every meal that you think could have been better if your food budget was more generous, every time you put on a shirt that you had to settle for because it was cheaper than the shirt you *really* wanted to buy.  It can become very wearing on a marriage, and ultimately destructive.

It would be great to be able to resolve these issues within yourself, but if you just can’t do it—don’t let anyone guilt you into marrying your boyfriend with those fundamental problems still hanging out there.  If there’s ever a time in your life to be almost-irrationally picky, it’s when you are selecting your future spouse.

Regardless of the specific circumstances or the quality and nature and personality of the two people involved, their families, their past, their addictions, their level of worthiness, their attitudes, their involvement in church, their income, their employment, the strength of their testimonies, the answer to this question, and all others like it is very simple: make a decision and then pray to know if you have made the right decision and then wait for an answer, however it may come. If God, through the Spirit says it right, then its right, regardless of whatever the circumstances might be. If God does not say it's right, then you cannot be sure it is right, and you proceed at your own peril. Love is a good foundation on which to build a marriage, but I don't believe its the strongest foundation. Love fades over time, and sometimes it even dies. The word of God is sure. My experience is that the strongest foundation on which to build a marrage is an undeniable spiritual confirmation that you should marry that person. Knowing that you have had such a spiritual confirmation that you should marry a person can sustain you through a mountain of difficulties that otherwise might be heavy enough to crush any feelings of love. A note of caution - for this approach to work for you, you have to have some experience with prayer and answers to prayer and spiritual confirmation so that you can recognise that confirmation when it happens, and, equally importantly, when it doesn't.

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Hello Lady. First, it would do you well to know that attraction is nothing more than a chemical reaction to make animals reproduce. It may it you hard now, but it will slowly fade away until you won't feel not even the slightly sign of attraction to your husband. So becareful, Choose well, focus on things that matter such as inteligence, this one won't fade.

And you can feel love for almost everyone, this quality is developed over a certain period of time living with the chosen one. But if you choose someone merely because he or she is "good looking", chances are your marriage is going to be pretty sad.

Btw, i just want to say that you re not an animal, you are rational, so don't let attraction ( aka chemical reaction ) decide for you.

If you choose someone based on good qualities ( the quality i most value in a girl is inteligence for example haha)you 'll probably be fine.

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On ‎5‎/‎15‎/‎2020 at 10:54 AM, CanMormonGirl said:

I know there is no such thing as "the one". I know there are many different people I could have a good marriage with. That's not what I'm hung up on. In my initial post I mentioned how some people will say they know a person is right for him/her, not that they found the only person who is right for him/her. 

With that in mind, my query was really about whether or not it's realistic to expect that everyone can feel sure about the decision to marry someone, or if perhaps depending upon the personality some might not ever feel completely sure and just have to take that leap of faith. 

I believe it takes a minimum of a year to get to know a person enough to want to marry them.  That puts you through a "life cycle" of holidays, vacations, dealing with family problems, sicknesses, going to Church, possibly receiving callings, etc. etc.  Hopefully, one can see it all works out and how your future partner deals with day to day problems.

Seven months is too short for this IMHO.  You're just barely getting past the hormonal/infatuation stage of the relationship.

 

Carry on...……..:)

Edited by mrmarklin

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31 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

I believe it takes a minimum of a year to get to know a person enough to want to marry them...

Seven months is too short for this IMHO. 

Wow.  I must have been the most foolish person you've ever met. 

  • I knew I wanted to marry when I first met her.
  • I called on her for about a month before she agreed to date me.
  • We went on exactly two dates and we talked about marriage.
  • We were formally engaged about two months later.
  • We married about 7 months from the time we first met.
Quote

You're just barely getting past the hormonal/infatuation stage of the relationship.

After 24 years and 7 children later, we've never gotten past the infatuation stage of the relationship.  I hope we never do.

Edited by Carborendum

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