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Thread: When does it all get easier?

  1. #16
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Good stuff in this thread.

    Tom, the main thing is to realize that happiness is something that ultimately has to come from inside of you. You can't rely on other people for it, because other people can be unreliable. You've found that out. That doesn't mean you can't trust and love and let them into your life, but you can't turn over your self-worth.

    Graduation and geography have given you the opportunity for a clean break. Take advantage of it. Sometimes high school is something you just survive to get to the good part.

    College is fun, and it's an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Of course, if you're like me, you'll eventually get tired of trying on new hats and you'll just start being who you really are, and that'll work out okay. You might be amazed at how easily the people closest to you saw right through it all, and liked and loved you for who you were, not who you were trying to be.
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  3. #17
    Member SandyD's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Participate. Join in group activities. Intramurals, volunteer groups, study groups, clubs. Get a part-time job. Attend athletic events other than football/basketball.

    You will make "connections."

  4. #18
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Tom, it's been more than two years since I talked to anyone I went to high school with. I talk to someone I went to college with almost every day.

    I know plenty of people keep close relationships with those they've known since childhood and I think that's great, but be open to the notion that the bulk of your life is in front of you and pursuing that unknown is going to be a lot more exciting/fulfilling/heartbreaking/etc. than dwelling on the pain of what happen with your high school friends.

    My guess is the mere fact that you typed all this means you're mostly past it.
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  5. #19
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    since you don't really have in interest in getting drunk and the other partying and what not that goes along with that lifestyle than I agree with Sandy. Find some groups to be a part of that share your direction in how you want to spend your college years and get involved.

    Just focus on meeting people and enjoying the experience of hanging out with them ... don't have any expectations and you'll probably end up making some really good friends and having a lot of fun.

    BTW, on Alyssa and Jeff. You'll look back someday and realize that they were just teenagers being young and immature and not really understanding much other than how their decisions affect them. let go of the animosity, it'll only make you miserable.
    Last edited by flyer85; 09-24-2008 at 10:44 PM.
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  6. #20
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    I still talk to Alyssa because she apologized profusely but I doubt I should be talking to her and perhaps filling my head with more false hope. But talking to her does make me happy, and I'd be unhappy either way.
    Tom, really heartfelt post and I appreciate you taking the time to write it. Hopefully, it was a cathartic experience. The reason I wanted to focus on this section of the post is that, while the rest tells us where you've been, this tells us where you are.

    First, I have good news! There's another "Alyssa" out there. Always is. You just haven't found her yet.

    But now the bad news...

    If you keep pining over they "Alyssa" you think you lost, you'll never find the "Alyssa" you actually need. Actually, let me revise- If you keep pining over the "Alyssa" you think you lost without doing something to figure out if she's attainable, you'll never find the "Alyssa" you actually need. In short, if you're still interested in the girl, you need to make a move. Like yesterday.

    In fact, knowing how you feel about the girl, it's entirely bad for you to keep talking to her unless your relationship escalates to "boyfriend/girlfriend" immediately after your next conversation. Yeah, and that means ultimatum. Date me or lose me. Period. Ballsy? Yeah. Necessary? Yeah. Otherwise you're going to risk perpetuating a cycle where you end up lying to yourself about your chances with a girl who may only be re-engaging in order to feel better about herself after crapping all over you (which is generally the true motivation behind the "friend" speech). Anyone been there and done that?

    <Steel raises hand!>

    Oh, BTW, y'know when you sent your friend to tell the girl what you should have told her yourself? Don't do that ever again. Ever. Faced with the proposal of two men she likes, I don't know a woman in the world who is going to choose the less aggressive option after knowing both for any amount of time. Why? Because if she was already far more interested in the less aggressive option, she'd have made the first move well before that time. Moving on...

    Next steps:

    1. Next time you're waiting in line for anything, force yourself to strike up a conversation with anyone nearby. Might sound stupid, but it's practice for shy people.

    2. Next time you're walking toward an attractive girl, especially if you're in a class together, make eye contact and say, "Hi". Nothing more. Just "Hi". First, it's the best pickup line in the world according to women and, second, if she doesn't respond in kind then you've just met a pretty girl who feels less comfortable engaging strangers than you are. If you can't draw strength from that, then what can you draw strength from?

    3. The next time you meet a girl you like, ask her out. Just do it. You can't possibly care about the answer or get hung up on them being a potential "friend"*. At best, you have a date. At worst, you've eliminated someone from your "Could be the One" book. The middle ground is that you've just let someone know you're interested when they dump their boyfriend a couple weeks or months later. Trust me, that's important when you find a "taken" girl who's finally had enough of the infinite number of jerks they meet in college.

    * With very VERY rare exceptions it's nearly impossible for a straight male to have a female "friend" he once wanted to sleep with. The problem is that if the girl was attractive enough to want to sleep with in the beginning, the further growth of an emotional bond is only going to enhance that longing.

    4. Figure out how to read signs. If you're talking to a girl and she's making eye contact all the time, saying "Me too" (or some variation) a lot, and complimenting you, she's probably interested. Go back to #3.

    5. Again, figure out how to read signs. If the girl went out with you and she's paid attention to you the entire time, it's ok to go for the kiss at the end of the date. Nothing more, mind you (unless she insists), but don't wait for a written contract. The girl decided that you were at least "kissable" before she agreed to the date. Unless the date was a disaster, you're still at least that at the end.

    6. While you're searching for the right girl to date, don't ask for phone numbers. In fact, you should be declining the offer of phone numbers unless the girl really insists. This is based on my own theory (IMHO, proven) that an attractive girl is asked for her phone number many times a night. So do something different and tell her that the best compliment she could give you is to call your own phone number to continue your conversation. You may not get a call from every girl, but you'll definitely get calls from girls who're interested (and, really, isn't that the point?).

    Now, is that the end-all-be-all of advice? Not even close. But you should know that I was the shy type in high school, just like you. However, after I figured out a few things in college, I had a complete blast and it led me to marry an incredible girl who wasn't initially on my radar; but who appeared exactly in the right place at the right time. By then, I'd figured out how to all of the above and more (I was very shy in high school due to moving a LOT).

    Not sure if all that helps, but the above only scratches the surface of how to really play the game. If you want stuff that's more manipulative, please PM me.
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  7. #21
    Member jimbo's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Steel.....what are your office hours and are you accepting new patients?

    Great post and some very sound and useful advice.

  8. #22
    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    In fact, knowing how you feel about the girl, it's entirely bad for you to keep talking to her unless your relationship escalates to "boyfriend/girlfriend" immediately after your next conversation. Yeah, and that means ultimatum. Date me or lose me. Period. Ballsy? Yeah. Necessary? Yeah. Otherwise you're going to risk perpetuating a cycle where you end up lying to yourself about your chances with a girl who may only be re-engaging in order to feel better about herself after crapping all over you (which is generally the true motivation behind the "friend" speech). Anyone been there and done that?

    <Steel raises hand!>
    *Paint raises hand* It took me until the summer before my senior year to figure this out as well. But the moment I did, my relationships became so much healthier, happier and less angst-filled. I had some really great catches (including my current girlfriend who is simply off the charts).

    I spent the first half of my college life lying to myself over a girl. Sure, we'd go on a random date here or there, but it never progressed because I never pressed the issue. Looking back, I realize that she gave me every sign in the book and could have had a great relationship. But I never took the chance.

    But eventually I woke and realized that I'm just not going to randomly find a great relationship at my feet. I had to hear "no" a few times after putting myself out there. And you know what? The actual answers I got surprised me. I wasn't hearing "no" at all.

    And Steel is absolutely right when he says that don't ever send a friend to do your bidding. That's simply not a winning strategy.
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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  9. #23
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    *Question*

    What are your motivations for talking to Alyssa?

    When I was in High School I fell for a girl. Pretty hard in the high school way. A while later the relationship was over and I was upset. I quit talking to her completely but we still hung around the same group of friends. It took a year or so but we started to become better friends. When I would come home from college she would be one of the people I would want to see. After a year or so over a xmas break we got together again. Needless to say same result, a little while later it was over and I was back at square one again.

    I guess I ask your motivations for talking to Alyssa because I knew what it felt like to value someone as a friends but at the same time it didn't stop me from wanting something more. When I look back it may have stopped me from pursuing a relationship with someone else at the time but no big deal. Just be careful in that your talking to this girl as a friends doesn't have an ulterior motive.

  10. #24
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Wow some awesome advice Tom, really awesome. And Steel can you let me know when you are free for a consultation, crap that was good stuff.

    All I can really add Tom is that I had thee almost exact same scenario take place. To make a long story short I did what you are doing for far longer than any human should. Let it go, because if you don't it will get worse along with everything else around you. You don't wanna be 35 years old and still having the same issues do you, cut it loose or you will.

    What you have to ultimately realize is that your own self worth is greater than you allow yourself to believe. You are an intelligent, articulate and overall good man who deserves better than what you were dealt. And you will never fully trust Alyssa at this point anyway so I say cut her loose all the way and move on.

    Anyhow it's time to explore yourself and there is so much time for relationships later. Take the next 4-5 years of your life and figure out Tom and what it is that you enjoy most about life itself.

    Uggh...Tom let it go Bro! Live in the now and not the past!
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  11. #25
    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Tom, it's been more than two years since I talked to anyone I went to high school with. I talk to someone I went to college with almost every day.
    About five years after I graduated, I had already lost touch with everyone I knew in high school. Meanwhile, my closest friends today are people I met in college 20 years ago. Obviously, that's not everyone's experience but it's just an example of how quickly high school can fade into near-insignificance.

    There's some really good advice in this thread, by the way. I could've used some of it when I was a shy 18-year-old. I found my way though and so will you, Tom.
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  12. #26
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Otherwise you're going to risk perpetuating a cycle where you end up lying to yourself about your chances with a girl who may only be re-engaging in order to feel better about herself after crapping all over you (which is generally the true motivation behind the "friend" speech). Anyone been there and done that?

    <Steel raises hand!>
    Yo.

    It's kinda funny. My children are 20, almost 18, and 15. Being relatively normal kids (an amazing accomplishment given the father they have), they are doing the boyfriend/girlfriend thang.

    And I see this a lot. Someone does something really bad, wrongs the current boyfriend/girlfriend, but somehow feels thge need to feel OK about what they did. So they continually badger the wronged party saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, tell me its all OK and you don't hate me", i.e. have their cake and eat it too. And then my children say "Dad, what should I do?".

    Being the vindictive bastard I am, I tell them their "friend" chopped them off at the knees and don't deserve a second chance. Smile, but tell them they blew it but they will always be "just friends". And *move* *on* and don't look back. Be the best person you can possibly be and let the ex-whatever have all the regret over missing out on a shining star you *will* become. Let them be the one that says "jeez, I really blew that one".

    I'm getting to be a crusty old guy now, but I'm convinced that relationships in the developmental stage are a binary state. Either they work or they don't.

    If its difficult, if someone dithers about and straddles the fence, if someone can't make up their mind, if there is ambiguity and doubt, then you know what? It's not worth it. You may be able to prop it up for a while, but you're just setting yourself up for 50 miles of bad road. When the right one comes along, it is plainly obvious. Their jokes are funny, you want to spend all your time with them, you seem to never get tired of them, and you can't wait for the next time you see them. And the biggest part is that they feel the same about you. It all just flows.

    So chop off Alyssa and what-his-face at the knees, tell them you'll "always be friends" and not mean it, and get busy with your future. As in the cheesy movie "Gumball Rally" when the Italian driver twists off the rear-view mirror and says "the first rule of Italian racing.. what is behind you does not-a-matter".

    Pay attention to the open sky

  13. #27
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered View Post
    *Paint raises hand* It took me until the summer before my senior year to figure this out as well. But the moment I did, my relationships became so much healthier, happier and less angst-filled. I had some really great catches (including my current girlfriend who is simply off the charts).
    Let me confirm what Paint says here. When I had those Reds/Cubs tickets available, she was ready and willing to step into the crucible of The Invasion of the Cubs fans to witness first hand whether they're jerks or not. And we beat the blue socks off them at the game. Paint is a lucky man, to say the least.
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  14. #28
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Gumball Rally quote! We're now working at a higher level of consciousness.

    Love that movie.

    Anyway, quick add here: One thing that most people seem to learn as they get older (into their late 20s), is not to treat dating like it's a quasi-marital situation. You don't have to become convinced the other person is THE ONE before you go on a first date. It really can be as easy as "you're cute, you seem like someone I could get along with, let's take it from there." The person you like who says yes may not be the person with whom you spend the rest of your life. And it's not the end of the world when you like someone and it never materializes. As you get older, you realize dating should be a lot more fun and 100% less dramatic.

    Like Roy said, when you finally do find someone you really like (and who feels the same way about you), you spontaneously become a couple. No one issues a mock proposal (e.g. will you be my girlfriend). It just happens. With the great ones there isn't a ton of palace intrigue. With them it's easy and unforced.
    Last edited by M2; 09-25-2008 at 01:48 PM.
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  15. #29
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Gumball Rally quote! We're now working at a higher level of consciousness.

    Love that movie.
    Amen. Saw it at the drive-in when I was 13

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  16. #30
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: When does it all get easier?

    Hey Tom,
    I have never had any relationship problems, but I've been through some personal trauma in my life. If I may just offer one nugget; time makes a big difference. It may be a little overwhelming right now, but you'll look back on this a year from now and my guess is that you won't feel the same way about the situation at all.

    That doesn't help you right now, but perhaps if you try to just focus on the priorities at hand in your daily life you will start to emerge from the post relationship funk. I would also suggest getting involved with some clubs at school. Find people with similar interests, build new friendships and start creating new memories.

    You'll get there, just keep your priorities straight and things will be fine.

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