How to have less “pressure” in dating as a guy?

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
I find myself attaching too quickly and pressuring things and really just overthinking things as relationships are forming too much. Any tips y’all have to care less in the process of dating?

I sometimes think being single or being a monk may be more fulfilling than marriage because ultimately God is the only one who can fill the void within us all. Everything/everyone else is impermanent and will decay... some days I feel like a relationship is beneficial for my life, and sometimes I think it would only be taking time that I could invest in other things. I use this train of thought to rationally get through the pain of failed relationships. I have learned a lot, but that doesn’t make the pressure I put into meeting women any less... I wish I cared less and felt less loneliness underneath the pressure.

Has anyone been here before and can help me think through this or give any advice on how they go through this struggle?

Edit: Just got back into the game after a breakup 6 months ago and am rusty and some of the things I am struggling with surfaced once again after I found the motivation to start approaching again and coming on too strong and putting too much pressure on this working out... caring about the outcome and having a scarcity mentality are two things I’ve noticed.
 
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Joachim-Gaius

Pigeon
Catholic
I find myself attaching too quickly and pressuring things and really just overthinking things as relationships are forming too much. Any tips y’all have to care less in the process of dating?

I sometimes think being single or being a monk may be more fulfilling than marriage because ultimately God is the only one who can fill the void within us all. Everything/everyone else is impermanent and will decay... some days I feel like a relationship is beneficial for my life, and sometimes I think it would only be taking time that I could invest in other things. I use this train of thought to rationally get through the pain of failed relationships. I have learned a lot, but that doesn’t make the pressure I put into meeting women any less... I wish I cared less and felt less loneliness underneath the pressure.

Has anyone been here before and can help me think through this or give any advice on how they go through this struggle?

Edit: Just got back into the game after a breakup 6 months ago and am rusty and some of the things I am struggling with surfaced once again after I found the motivation to start approaching again and coming on too strong and putting too much pressure on this working out... caring about the outcome and having a scarcity mentality are two things I’ve noticed.
Make yourself available by doing activities you love. This has and will always be the best way to meet someone. First, you will likely meet someone with similar interests and beliefs as you . . . when you're young opposites attract, but as you age opposites detract. Second, there is nothing more attractive than observing someone doing something well. A hard body and clear skin are titilating, but skill and intelligence are irresistible.
 

Spro23

Pigeon
Catholic
Men are way more driven towards women than vice versa. Women aren't really attracted to 80-90% of men. Apparently God wired them this way....they can't really love you. Even when they are, their feelings don't really sustain very long. You have to give them constant social activity or they get bored.

I went to Catholic schools where I heard the delusions of "holy matrimony" where you "love each other forever" when my own observation says that's not going to happen for 95% of people whether you attend a church or not. I got rejected by several Christian girls from good families before I caught onto this. Attending church doesn't mean any of them will be attracted to you.

Women roll their eyes at you, or even despise you for liking them that much. It looks weak and low value in their eyes.

Men not accepting this is why they end up so shocked, hurt, and devastated when a woman loses interest. You need to understand they're hardly into men to begin with, then it all makes sense. Even at my church it's the taller guys who have wives. It's shallow any way you cut it.

The only way to deal with this is like Amish or Muslims where they impose circumstances of dependency.
 
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DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
I find myself attaching too quickly and pressuring things and really just overthinking things as relationships are forming too much. Any tips y’all have to care less in the process of dating?

I sometimes think being single or being a monk may be more fulfilling than marriage because ultimately God is the only one who can fill the void within us all. Everything/everyone else is impermanent and will decay... some days I feel like a relationship is beneficial for my life, and sometimes I think it would only be taking time that I could invest in other things. I use this train of thought to rationally get through the pain of failed relationships. I have learned a lot, but that doesn’t make the pressure I put into meeting women any less... I wish I cared less and felt less loneliness underneath the pressure.
Humans aren't meant to feel the pain of failed relationships. That's not how we were made; in the beginning it was one man and one woman. It is indeed very painful and unnatural. Especially when the relationships take on a sexual nature with someone and you literally become one flesh. It is difficult to have flesh ripped away from you and have your flesh scorn you.

When you go through the damage of a failed relationship, especially if it is sexual, you're never going to heal from that fully, fortunately for you as a man the scars seem to heal much quicker than for women, where after a few failed relationships, they will never be the ideal wife in 99% of cases, which is the other half of the story that @Spro23 mentioned above. The damage a woman gets from failed past relationships is comparable to the PTSD a war veteran feels, but they are told by society to move on, keep dating, live your life girrrll, whatever, which triggers even more trauma. Imagine if we told war veterans with PTSD to just get back on the frontlines if they can't handle civilian life anymore. Doesn't make sense.

As a man you need to make sure you do not destroy women in this manner. It hurts them on every level, and it harms their future husbands. To overcome this you need to be clear with whatever future partner that Christ is your number 1 priority in a relationship. I get the sense that the 1% of marriages with non virgin couples that end up working, work only because they devote their lives to Christ and live almost like married monastics.
Has anyone been here before and can help me think through this or give any advice on how they go through this struggle?

Edit: Just got back into the game after a breakup 6 months ago and am rusty and some of the things I am struggling with surfaced once again after I found the motivation to start approaching again and coming on too strong and putting too much pressure on this working out... caring about the outcome and having a scarcity mentality are two things I’ve noticed.
I would really advise not trying to court anyone until you are completely clear-headed. If you don't, you are going to attract another especially damaged person, and then you risk compounding the damage for the both of you. I've heard it takes half as long as the length of a relationship to "get over" someone, so if you dated this person for two years, especially if it was sexual, you're almost certainly going to need more time. Chastity and prayer are your friends at this time.

It sounds like you're really getting in your head as you continue to pursue women which is why you probably need more time. It shouldn't feel like you're a starving lion hunting prey, it should be more centered around patience and developing an organic relationship with someone. I originally disliked @Spro23 's comment but took that away because he did make a good point. Most men are not geared in a way that makes them retain a woman, and neither are most women. From how you're describing yourself, you're in hunt mode, which is not a good foundation for a relationship, and whatever woman you find in this state is probably in the same hunt mode. When you both view the other as prey, that is not a good start, and it causes both of you to hedge your bets. Remember, women don't care about the male body nearly as much as vice versa, they care about their emotional and spiritual needs being fulfilled.

Work on patience, continue discerning if you're meant for a chaste life as a monastic or for marriage.
 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
Humans aren't meant to feel the pain of failed relationships. That's not how we were made; in the beginning it was one man and one woman. It is indeed very painful and unnatural. Especially when the relationships take on a sexual nature with someone and you literally become one flesh. It is difficult to have flesh ripped away from you and have your flesh scorn you.

When you go through the damage of a failed relationship, especially if it is sexual, you're never going to heal from that fully, fortunately for you as a man the scars seem to heal much quicker than for women, where after a few failed relationships, they will never be the ideal wife in 99% of cases, which is the other half of the story that @Spro23 mentioned above. The damage a woman gets from failed past relationships is comparable to the PTSD a war veteran feels, but they are told by society to move on, keep dating, live your life girrrll, whatever, which triggers even more trauma. Imagine if we told war veterans with PTSD to just get back on the frontlines if they can't handle civilian life anymore. Doesn't make sense.

As a man you need to make sure you do not destroy women in this manner. It hurts them on every level, and it harms their future husbands. To overcome this you need to be clear with whatever future partner that Christ is your number 1 priority in a relationship. I get the sense that the 1% of marriages with non virgin couples that end up working, work only because they devote their lives to Christ and live almost like married monastics.

I would really advise not trying to court anyone until you are completely clear-headed. If you don't, you are going to attract another especially damaged person, and then you risk compounding the damage for the both of you. I've heard it takes half as long as the length of a relationship to "get over" someone, so if you dated this person for two years, especially if it was sexual, you're almost certainly going to need more time. Chastity and prayer are your friends at this time.

It sounds like you're really getting in your head as you continue to pursue women which is why you probably need more time. It shouldn't feel like you're a starving lion hunting prey, it should be more centered around patience and developing an organic relationship with someone. I originally disliked @Spro23 's comment but took that away because he did make a good point. Most men are not geared in a way that makes them retain a woman, and neither are most women. From how you're describing yourself, you're in hunt mode, which is not a good foundation for a relationship, and whatever woman you find in this state is probably in the same hunt mode. When you both view the other as prey, that is not a good start, and it causes both of you to hedge your bets. Remember, women don't care about the male body nearly as much as vice versa, they care about their emotional and spiritual needs being fulfilled.

Work on patience, continue discerning if you're meant for a chaste life as a monastic or for marriage.
I agree that I’m in “hunt mode.” However, isn’t that what a man who is a leader is supposed to do? If “hunt mode” is sub-optimal, what is the propor orientation? The part of me that pressures thinks it’s responsible to do that as the man in the relationship (if I don’t, then I’ll just be a passive, weak, beta). That’s just the belief.
I’m pretty much over my ex, so that’s not really the problem now.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
I agree that I’m in “hunt mode.” However, isn’t that what a man who is a leader is supposed to do? If “hunt mode” is sub-optimal, what is the propor orientation? The part of me that pressures thinks it’s responsible to do that as the man in the relationship (if I don’t, then I’ll just be a passive, weak, beta). That’s just the belief.
I’m pretty much over my ex, so that’s not really the problem now.
So, I'm married and never really tried game, but I also wasn't the type of person inclined to game, maybe that's called beta, I don't know. It sounds like you are naturally not a beta, or more accurately not a gamma, so I wouldn't worry about being perceived that way, but stating more than what I've already commented would either require me to know you a lot better (like a spiritual father) or someone who has experienced what you're describing as a guy with an alpha mindset with a past breakup. There's several people on this forum I can think of like that, hopefully one of them gets the chance to comment here.
 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
So, I'm married and never really tried game, but I also wasn't the type of person inclined to game, maybe that's called beta, I don't know. It sounds like you are naturally not a beta, or more accurately not a gamma, so I wouldn't worry about being perceived that way, but stating more than what I've already commented would either require me to know you a lot better (like a spiritual father) or someone who has experienced what you're describing as a guy with an alpha mindset with a past breakup. There's several people on this forum I can think of like that, hopefully one of them gets the chance to comment here.
I get that. I hope so too. But, nevertheless, I appreciate you commenting to the degree you already have. Helpful.
 

soli.deo.gloria

Woodpecker
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
I find myself attaching too quickly and pressuring things and really just overthinking things as relationships are forming too much. Any tips y’all have to care less in the process of dating?

I sometimes think being single or being a monk may be more fulfilling than marriage because ultimately God is the only one who can fill the void within us all. Everything/everyone else is impermanent and will decay... some days I feel like a relationship is beneficial for my life, and sometimes I think it would only be taking time that I could invest in other things. I use this train of thought to rationally get through the pain of failed relationships. I have learned a lot, but that doesn’t make the pressure I put into meeting women any less... I wish I cared less and felt less loneliness underneath the pressure.

Has anyone been here before and can help me think through this or give any advice on how they go through this struggle?

Edit: Just got back into the game after a breakup 6 months ago and am rusty and some of the things I am struggling with surfaced once again after I found the motivation to start approaching again and coming on too strong and putting too much pressure on this working out... caring about the outcome and having a scarcity mentality are two things I’ve noticed.
Can only speak from personal experience, your mileage may vary. I never felt much pressure because I was 100% up front with everything I was looking for and God was at the top of my list. I am an Orthodox Christian, God is my first priority, then wife & family. My wife must not only be willing to tolerate my faith but embrace it. God and the Orthodox Church will be the foundation for our family unit - if she is still interested we can talk a bit more and see if we like each other and move on from there. Fortunately we have a lot in common and are both very attracted to and love each other very deeply, so it is the whole package. Even still, life isn't all sunshine and rainbows 100% of the time, but we love each other and work through our issues. It is worth it. Good luck.
 
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SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
Can only speak from personal experience, your mileage may vary. I never felt much pressure because I was 100% up front with everything I was looking for and God was at the top of my list. I am an Orthodox Christian, God is my first priority, then wife & family. My wife must not only be willing to tolerate my faith but embrace it. God and the Orthodox Church will be the foundation for our family unit - if she is still interested we can talk a bit more and see if we like each other and move on from there. Fortunately we have a lot in common and are both very attracted to and love each other very deeply, so it is the whole package. Even still, life isn't all sunshine and rainbows 100% of the time, but we love each other and work through our issues. It is worth it. Good luck.
After reading this, it’s possible I may be putting women either on the same level as God or higher, thinking they will provide me happiness, which is fleeting (which is only worldly/impermanent in the grand scheme of things)... I know only God can provide me that joy/happiness in living virtuously. It’s just difficult to know the way to that telos without going off the royal path to the left or to the right here with “pressure.” It seems like you’re saying to divert the pressure to God instead of man, but that still leads me to the question of “how without being passive and weak?”
 

get2choppaaa

Ostrich
Orthodox
After reading this, it’s possible I may be putting women either on the same level as God or higher, thinking they will provide me happiness, which is fleeting (which is only worldly/impermanent in the grand scheme of things)... I know only God can provide me that joy/happiness in living virtuously. It’s just difficult to know the way to that telos without going off the royal path to the left or to the right here with “pressure.” It seems like you’re saying to divert the pressure to God instead of man, but that still leads me to the question of “how without being passive and weak?”
Remember that the point of a relationship is to ultimately result in marriage. The point of marriage is for a man and a woman to work out their salvation together, and raise souls to go to God.

Thirsting for God and not thirsting for validation from a woman will help take off some pressure.

There's a lot more "pressure" in secular sexual relationships then there is in one built with the goal of working toward Heaven together.

From experience, a relationship which is built in secular values will not work for 90% of people...and when times are good things will be good, but in hard times it will break.

Ultimately the "pressure" comes from your own sense of lack of self worth. You have to work on your own self-esteem, realize that you are worth a quality woman, and you wont have to put any pressure on yourself... the woman will be the one to follow your lead as long as she continues to recognize your worth. You can't have that if you have a low opinion of yourself and are acting out of insecurities.

You got to take a step back and work on yourself and get your own hobbies and own life and allow things to happen. Its like the scene in Tommy Boy.

 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
Remember that the point of a relationship is to ultimately result in marriage. The point of marriage is for a man and a woman to work out their salvation together, and raise souls to go to God.

Thirsting for God and not thirsting for validation from a woman will help take off some pressure.

There's a lot more "pressure" in secular sexual relationships then there is in one built with the goal of working toward Heaven together.

From experience, a relationship which is built in secular values will not work for 90% of people...and when times are good things will be good, but in hard times it will break.

Ultimately the "pressure" comes from your own sense of lack of self worth. You have to work on your own self-esteem, realize that you are worth a quality woman, and you wont have to put any pressure on yourself... the woman will be the one to follow your lead as long as she continues to recognize your worth. You can't have that if you have a low opinion of yourself and are acting out of insecurities.

You got to take a step back and work on yourself and get your own hobbies and own life and allow things to happen. Its like the scene in Tommy Boy.

I agree with all of this. I’m in therapy myself to work on this and have been making breakthroughs on self-knowledge. I rationally know I have worth/dignity being made in the image and likeness of God, but it hasn’t sunk into my heart yet in experience due to my sin of vanity that puts my hope in women (not eternal) instead of God (eternal). To this degree, I am not oriented to become more like God because I am acting out of a vain pursuit that expresses the symptom of pressure. I know humility and self-knowledge will restore this experience of the dignity/worth I know I have (rationally) at the moment. Any tips on how to put one step in front of the other here in this process?

I’m in the gym thrice a week, am building a counseling/therapy business, and have a healthy friend group. But, I still struggle with loneliness/esteem due to what I wrote above. I’m handling it due to knowing that I will only fall into self-pity/pride if I don’t, but Knowing humility is the goal and finding that dignity in God alone instead of imperminant things is when I will not be as shaken when loss occurs or when things/people don’t desire to be with me (fostering more lack of attachment to things passing and fading and not eternal).
 

Cynllo

Sparrow
Other Christian
After reading this, it’s possible I may be putting women either on the same level as God or higher, thinking they will provide me happiness, which is fleeting

How old are you?

I had and have seen many people with something similar to this. My view on relationships were ridiculous all the way up until I was about 30. It was only then that I began to see how relationships work; at that time as a red-pill perspective.

Like a lot of the people I knew I picked up latent-leftist ideas on relationships, i.e. thinking men are inherently worse than women who have just been oppressed, and well, I am this good guy ... and it's not really done anything. Most of my friends were something like this. And despite being a fairly attractive bunch, there were very few women around and the ones that showed up were low quality.

But this goes both ways because I now see and hear about a lot of very soy guys with attractive girlfriends. But digging deeper, you find out these are women who are hurt and have downgraded to the best soy boy in a social circle they ended up in.

And that has always been what I have seen leads to modern secular relationships - having the highest social status in a group of people in which there are girls.

As you touch on, I am not sure how different this is in the world of church, because I don't see a lot of circles where the highest status is with the most pious.

My life was a colossal famine of women. It was largely self inflicted as I did practically nothing to change it. When I tried to change it, it did change. But as a secular, I was looking for it in all the wrong places. My disappointment of what happened led me to a cathedral, and on that day I felt belief after casting off my sins. I have been debauched film and masturbation free for quite a while. It gives you a very different mentality and the derangement and hurt that goes with territory becomes acute.

Before I would seize on any opportunity that was attractive, because for us males they aren't abundant. Since I let opportunities pass if they are not proper. This puts you in the state to attract someone who is, like yourself, less worldly.
 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
How old are you?

I had and have seen many people with something similar to this. My view on relationships were ridiculous all the way up until I was about 30. It was only then that I began to see how relationships work; at that time as a red-pill perspective.

Like a lot of the people I knew I picked up latent-leftist ideas on relationships, i.e. thinking men are inherently worse than women who have just been oppressed, and well, I am this good guy ... and it's not really done anything. Most of my friends were something like this. And despite being a fairly attractive bunch, there were very few women around and the ones that showed up were low quality.

But this goes both ways because I now see and hear about a lot of very soy guys with attractive girlfriends. But digging deeper, you find out these are women who are hurt and have downgraded to the best soy boy in a social circle they ended up in.

And that has always been what I have seen leads to modern secular relationships - having the highest social status in a group of people in which there are girls.

As you touch on, I am not sure how different this is in the world of church, because I don't see a lot of circles where the highest status is with the most pious.

My life was a colossal famine of women. It was largely self inflicted as I did practically nothing to change it. When I tried to change it, it did change. But as a secular, I was looking for it in all the wrong places. My disappointment of what happened led me to a cathedral, and on that day I felt belief after casting off my sins. I have been debauched film and masturbation free for quite a while. It gives you a very different mentality and the derangement and hurt that goes with territory becomes acute.

Before I would seize on any opportunity that was attractive, because for us males they aren't abundant. Since I let opportunities pass if they are not proper. This puts you in the state to attract someone who is, like yourself, less worldly.
I’m 26.

I relate to this a bit. The social status thing is something I’m aware of, but I try not to play into because it just attracts the person who is equally marred in that worldly pursuit. I may be higher status than someone, but I don’t want to be making that my goal in that it is vain to make that the goal. I’d rather be competent and strive towards holiness rather than be seen by others as the alpha. But, I digress a bit there.
 

get2choppaaa

Ostrich
Orthodox
I think with time, wisdom will gain the upper hand in your perspective.

I'll give you a little story time from my own personal experience and pressure as you say....

I met my first wife in college at a country western bar right before I graduated and went into the Marines. She was gorgeous when we met and a bombshell... the life of the party which when couple with my gregarious personality was pretty exhilarating. I had dated other women all attractive, but to me she was the prettiest thing I had seen. I never really viewed her as a person however, and ultimately the relationship was just about my need to satisfy my lust and her need to have someone provide a lavish lifestyle where she was worshiped as some sort of queen... though I didn't understand that at the time... I was incredibly busy while in the Marines as a young officer, and this relationship, while bringing me 2 sons, was one of the most miserable things imaginable. I genuinely could not stand this person as I just saw them as a sex toy and that was it. Again.... I didnt understand that at the time... but it was true in my subconscious. The relationship did not last and once I returned home from a deployment, she left (I knocked her up with kid number 2 the night I came home and then less than 90 days later she was gone) Clearly that was planned while I was overseas. That whole relationship was built on pressures internal and external. Internal pressure for me as a reslut of my inability to control my lust. External pressures of me to propose to her since we were already living in sin and fornicating. Internal pressures of me to want to be a good father and good husband while at the same time completely miserable and had nothing in common with my spouse other than party and sex (not a winning combination for a family) I never fully understood that I dont, through force of will and action, have to matriculate all things into fruition. God decides these things.

After getting divorced, when I wasn't out fornicating... I was looking for the slightest reason to blow up a relationship because I refused to put myself in the position of vulnerability I had previously done. My reaction to having everything taken (not seeing the birth of my second son as my exwife left within 90 days of being home from a deployment) spending well over $30K in legal fees in the divorce, ongoing legal issues with the Ex for custody ect... had conditioned me to be completely distrusting of all women and jaded.

Needless to say, after that experience, I went through a phase of degeneracy now that I am ashamed of and even though sexual sins are extremely common among almost all men and women now... I felt deep down that I know I did a lot of damage to my soul out of an insecure need for physical validation from women in the form of sexual conquest. This need came from the "pressure" I put on myself to want to be liked by others, and the fear that no one will love me...as I didn't know how to love myself and my sense of self worth was gone even though outwardly I exuded an attitude that would have fooled you.

On paper it was all there, well educated, well payed, in great physical shape, Marine Corps Officer with more life experience most men could ever imagine, a persona of confidence that made you believe I was king of my own world and in charge of my own destiny... but in reality, I was still looking for external validation.

In truth everyone struggles with insecurities. Even the most confident people you know do. Personally I could care less what 99.99% of people think about me, I've got no problem completely cutting out family, friends, ect.... and I've been called arrogant/rude/conceited ect... and all the other things that people will associate with Marines based off of my carriage and intense persona. I've built myself up to carry that persona to fend off with the insecurities I have in my own sense of self worth and used that feeling of worthlessness to create an image of some who is highly successful.

I've met women in bars/restaurants/malls/stores ect... I've had the range of relationships from one night stands to marriage to divorce ... Over time I stopped worrying about what was going to happen on dates/bar outings ect... and just assumed that I was going to get whatever I wanted with women. Most of the time I did....but it is as a lie to say that my behavior was good for my well being or my eternal soul. Ultimately I was not treating myself in my heart like I loved myself.

After starting to participate in the Orthodox Church I still found myself with the same issues of lust but something changed over time. Once I started to understand that all men and women are the icons of Christ, that God's divine nature is in all of us, and we need to view each other with that reverence and respect, It really changed a lot on how I viewed women.

I was introduced to my wife now by her mother/uncle. Her mom was my Attorney and had invited me to speak at a function while I was active duty in the Marines and her uncle was also in the Marine Corps. I had been single for a couple years and was pretty heavy into womanizing, had just gotten out of the Marine Corps and was working in a corporate gig and focused on making money and my career. She had just been divorced after being physically abused and was a paramedic who worked a lot of hours. Needless to say, when we were introduced, neither person was in a position to expect a relationship. This turned out to be a blessing because neither person was putting any pressure on it. We both had kids already, and both were busy with our own obligations and had both experienced a lot of trauma from poor choices made in our youth. Both of us just figured we'd have a date, be pleasant to each other, check the box on cordiality and move on.

Since there was zero pressure or expectations, everything just flowed naturally. Since we were introduced by her family I knew I couldn't be anything other than polite and a gentleman and though she is very beautiful.... and I honestly thought I would just go on the date and say howdy, walk her to her car, and be done with it. We talked for a couple weeks, and met right before I turned 30 and went out on a date and instantly it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. For the first time that I can recall I saw someone whom I knew was more than just a member of the opposite sex. I saw someone who was flawed like me, but carried an aura of wanting to walk towards Christ, someone who needed leadership and affection, and desperately wanted to follow a someone who would provide safety and a path to success which involved God as the forefront and central element of the relationship. After that night, I invited her to church with me and have walked on this journey together. We have brought our kids from our previous secular marriages into Orthodoxy and will have more children to bring into The Church.

When you learn to let go of the demands of others or oven internal pressures you put on yourself, and focus on the demands of God, he lines things up in your place. God put the perfect person into my life for me, to both humble me and to remind me that I owe all to him. Like the servants who refuse the banquet... It is already prepared, all you have to do is recognize what youre being called for and participate.
 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
I think with time, wisdom will gain the upper hand in your perspective.

I'll give you a little story time from my own personal experience and pressure as you say....

I met my first wife in college at a country western bar right before I graduated and went into the Marines. She was gorgeous when we met and a bombshell... the life of the party which when couple with my gregarious personality was pretty exhilarating. I had dated other women all attractive, but to me she was the prettiest thing I had seen. I never really viewed her as a person however, and ultimately the relationship was just about my need to satisfy my lust and her need to have someone provide a lavish lifestyle where she was worshiped as some sort of queen... though I didn't understand that at the time... I was incredibly busy while in the Marines as a young officer, and this relationship, while bringing me 2 sons, was one of the most miserable things imaginable. I genuinely could not stand this person as I just saw them as a sex toy and that was it. Again.... I didnt understand that at the time... but it was true in my subconscious. The relationship did not last and once I returned home from a deployment, she left (I knocked her up with kid number 2 the night I came home and then less than 90 days later she was gone) Clearly that was planned while I was overseas. That whole relationship was built on pressures internal and external. Internal pressure for me as a reslut of my inability to control my lust. External pressures of me to propose to her since we were already living in sin and fornicating. Internal pressures of me to want to be a good father and good husband while at the same time completely miserable and had nothing in common with my spouse other than party and sex (not a winning combination for a family) I never fully understood that I dont, through force of will and action, have to matriculate all things into fruition. God decides these things.

After getting divorced, when I wasn't out fornicating... I was looking for the slightest reason to blow up a relationship because I refused to put myself in the position of vulnerability I had previously done. My reaction to having everything taken (not seeing the birth of my second son as my exwife left within 90 days of being home from a deployment) spending well over $30K in legal fees in the divorce, ongoing legal issues with the Ex for custody ect... had conditioned me to be completely distrusting of all women and jaded.

Needless to say, after that experience, I went through a phase of degeneracy now that I am ashamed of and even though sexual sins are extremely common among almost all men and women now... I felt deep down that I know I did a lot of damage to my soul out of an insecure need for physical validation from women in the form of sexual conquest. This need came from the "pressure" I put on myself to want to be liked by others, and the fear that no one will love me...as I didn't know how to love myself and my sense of self worth was gone even though outwardly I exuded an attitude that would have fooled you.

On paper it was all there, well educated, well payed, in great physical shape, Marine Corps Officer with more life experience most men could ever imagine, a persona of confidence that made you believe I was king of my own world and in charge of my own destiny... but in reality, I was still looking for external validation.

In truth everyone struggles with insecurities. Even the most confident people you know do. Personally I could care less what 99.99% of people think about me, I've got no problem completely cutting out family, friends, ect.... and I've been called arrogant/rude/conceited ect... and all the other things that people will associate with Marines based off of my carriage and intense persona. I've built myself up to carry that persona to fend off with the insecurities I have in my own sense of self worth and used that feeling of worthlessness to create an image of some who is highly successful.

I've met women in bars/restaurants/malls/stores ect... I've had the range of relationships from one night stands to marriage to divorce ... Over time I stopped worrying about what was going to happen on dates/bar outings ect... and just assumed that I was going to get whatever I wanted with women. Most of the time I did....but it is as a lie to say that my behavior was good for my well being or my eternal soul. Ultimately I was not treating myself in my heart like I loved myself.

After starting to participate in the Orthodox Church I still found myself with the same issues of lust but something changed over time. Once I started to understand that all men and women are the icons of Christ, that God's divine nature is in all of us, and we need to view each other with that reverence and respect, It really changed a lot on how I viewed women.

I was introduced to my wife now by her mother/uncle. Her mom was my Attorney and had invited me to speak at a function while I was active duty in the Marines and her uncle was also in the Marine Corps. I had been single for a couple years and was pretty heavy into womanizing, had just gotten out of the Marine Corps and was working in a corporate gig and focused on making money and my career. She had just been divorced after being physically abused and was a paramedic who worked a lot of hours. Needless to say, when we were introduced, neither person was in a position to expect a relationship. This turned out to be a blessing because neither person was putting any pressure on it. We both had kids already, and both were busy with our own obligations and had both experienced a lot of trauma from poor choices made in our youth. Both of us just figured we'd have a date, be pleasant to each other, check the box on cordiality and move on.

Since there was zero pressure or expectations, everything just flowed naturally. Since we were introduced by her family I knew I couldn't be anything other than polite and a gentleman and though she is very beautiful.... and I honestly thought I would just go on the date and say howdy, walk her to her car, and be done with it. We talked for a couple weeks, and met right before I turned 30 and went out on a date and instantly it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. For the first time that I can recall I saw someone whom I knew was more than just a member of the opposite sex. I saw someone who was flawed like me, but carried an aura of wanting to walk towards Christ, someone who needed leadership and affection, and desperately wanted to follow a someone who would provide safety and a path to success which involved God as the forefront and central element of the relationship. After that night, I invited her to church with me and have walked on this journey together. We have brought our kids from our previous secular marriages into Orthodoxy and will have more children to bring into The Church.

When you learn to let go of the demands of others or oven internal pressures you put on yourself, and focus on the demands of God, he lines things up in your place. God put the perfect person into my life for me, to both humble me and to remind me that I owe all to him. Like the servants who refuse the banquet... It is already prepared, all you have to do is recognize what youre being called for and participate.
Yeah, I really relate with the “This need came from the "pressure" I put on myself to want to be liked by others, and the fear that no one will love me...as I didn't know how to love myself and my sense of self worth was gone” part. However, my expression has a different set of defense mechanisms such as overthinking, perfectionism, self-criticism, over-responsibility, etc. essentially self-pity which is covered up by a “oh, I’m okay” kinda persona that looks good to others and seeks validation subconsciously from others. So I relate more than anything to that core pain.

I had a similar experience from joining the Orthodox Church in the realm of ideas being transformed from the worldly PUA view of women to the “men and women are the icons of Christ, that God's divine nature is in all of us, and we need to view each other with that reverence and respect.” I totally agree.

That last paragraph really sums up my struggle, so I’m glad you wrote it. Do you mean that you don’t approach anyone and just be passive, or am I missing your point in the last paragraph? I guess I don’t know how to focus on the demands of God and let go of my own/others demands... it’s like I fear becoming slothful in the process and falling back into the pain if I don’t pressure (if that makes sense)?
 

get2choppaaa

Ostrich
Orthodox
I am not saying don't approach people. I am saying don't do so with purely lust in your mind. If you've had success with women in the past, then you realize for 99.999999999% of them, there's no reason to worry about whatever they say, and if you engage with them physically, there's nothing that special about it other than purely getting your jollies off. But if you don't look for someone, or are not open to the possibility of meeting someone and living in your own bubble... you'll not meet that .0000000001% person that God has set aside for you to help you grow and walk towards salvation. You have to be discerning of whom you attach yourself to and realize that you cant place the love of a woman above your love of God. You cant build your woman into a thing you worship.

What I am getting at is, you have to realize that when these things happen right, and God is behind it... you wont have to move mountains. You wont feel pressure, it won't make you fearful. It will happen, if YOU are the example of the Christian man the woman needs, she will follow and while no relationship is without challenges... the feeling of needing to rush things is just not there.

Like I said, with my ex wife, I had challenge after challenge after challenge and no matter how much I tried, I could not force things to be as I envisioned them. Having kids with her didn't solve the issue... she was just a broken person who thrived on chaos, and it was so exhilarating I learned to need that same chaos too for basic emotional gratification. The arc of fight, reconcile, passionate coitus, repeat... that was pretty much the way things went for 5 years of my life. The need for me to feel in control of a wild experience superseded my rational brain that knew how nuts the broad was. Again I look back now, and I go "wtf dude, why were you such a simp" but realize 99% of men will do this and few will ever wake up. God had to teach me a lesson through the expensive school of experience but as they saying goes, a fool will learn no other way.

However, with my wife now, whom I am very fortunate to have.... there hasnt been much of a struggle about anything. Of course there's disagreements like in any relationship, especially one with the baggage we both had to unpack before meeting each other. But at the end of the day, when I say "this is what we are doing" she says "ok" and thats the end of it. I have never, since the day I met her thought "Oh my, If I dont do XYZ she might not love me anymore ect..." Obviously I know I have to maintain my role as provider, keep myself physically attractive, and provide direction to her and the kids when it is needed just as much as I expect her to keep up with her feminine duties ect... The point is... there isnt pressure to do these things, its just understood that it is what you do to show love/appreciation/affection ect to the other person. In fact... the only time we ever fight is when one of us is not being attentive to one of their responsibilities and the other person has to call them on it. If I am doing my job and setting the direction for the relationship... there isnt much need for me to feel insecure or worried. If a woman leaves, thats her problem... you really have to learn to accept that and believe in yourself as the best ride at the carnival. Women sense that stuff and learn if you really believe in yourself pretty quickly.

Again, I strongly suggest you find someone who is on the same spiritual path. Maybe like me you start dating someone who is looking for guidance and is willing to follow you to the Orthodox Church and you come in together, and make that the center of your relationship. Or may you find someone who goes to a different church but is open to your faith ect... Bottom line, the sort of woman you are looking for is one that will follow your lead, submit to you, and support your endeavors. Women who are genuine in that regard however, only support strong leaders who actually know what their vision is and are willing to ensure it happens.

Again that's coming from my experience. Some may disagree... but everyone I know who has a successful marriage has basically indicated the above to be their experience.

So...... Learn to be the best embodiment of a Christian man, worthy of leading a Christian woman and family and in the process God will avail things to you and provide it for you. The rest is just your own attempt to manifest your own insecurities onto another person.

Hope that helps mate. Cheers.
 
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SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
I am not saying don't approach people. I am saying don't do so with purely lust in your mind. If you've had success with women in the past, then you realize for 99.999999999% of them, there's no reason to worry about whatever they say, and if you engage with them physically, there's nothing that special about it other than purely getting your jollies off. But if you don't look for someone, or are not open to the possibility of meeting someone and living in your own bubble... you'll not meet that .0000000001% person that God has set aside for you to help you grow and walk towards salvation. You have to be discerning of whom you attach yourself to and realize that you cant place the love of a woman above your love of God. You cant build your woman into a thing you worship.

What I am getting at is, you have to realize that when these things happen right, and God is behind it... you wont have to move mountains. You wont feel pressure, it won't make you fearful. It will happen, if YOU are the example of the Christian man the woman needs, she will follow and while no relationship is without challenges... the feeling of needing to rush things is just not there.

Like I said, with my ex wife, I had challenge after challenge after challenge and no matter how much I tried, I could not force things to be as I envisioned them. Having kids with her didn't solve the issue... she was just a broken person who thrived on chaos, and it was so exhilarating I learned to need that same chaos too for basic emotional gratification. The arc of fight, reconcile, passionate coitus, repeat... that was pretty much the way things went for 5 years of my life. The need for me to feel in control of a wild experience superseded my rational brain that knew how nuts the broad was. Again I look back now, and I go "wtf dude, why were you such a simp" but realize 99% of men will do this and few will ever wake up. God had to teach me a lesson through the expensive school of experience but as they saying goes, a fool will learn no other way.

However, with my wife now, whom I am very fortunate to have.... there hasnt been much of a struggle about anything. Of course there's disagreements like in any relationship, especially one with the baggage we both had to unpack before meeting each other. But at the end of the day, when I say "this is what we are doing" she says "ok" and thats the end of it. I have never, since the day I met her thought "Oh my, If I dont do XYZ she might not love me anymore ect..." Obviously I know I have to maintain my role as provider, keep myself physically attractive, and provide direction to her and the kids when it is needed just as much as I expect her to keep up with her feminine duties ect... The point is... there isnt pressure to do these things, its just understood that it is what you do to show love/appreciation/affection ect to the other person. In fact... the only time we ever fight is when one of us is not being attentive to one of their responsibilities and the other person has to call them on it. If I am doing my job and setting the direction for the relationship... there isnt much need for me to feel insecure or worried. If a woman leaves, thats her problem... you really have to learn to accept that and believe in yourself as the best ride at the carnival. Women sense that stuff and learn if you really believe in yourself pretty quickly.

Again, I strongly suggest you find someone who is on the same spiritual path. Maybe like me you start dating someone who is looking for guidance and is willing to follow you to the Orthodox Church and you come in together, and make that the center of your relationship. Or may you find someone who goes to a different church but is open to your faith ect... Bottom line, the sort of woman you are looking for is one that will follow your lead, submit to you, and support your endeavors. Women who are genuine in that regard however, only support strong leaders who actually know what their vision is and are willing to ensure it happens.

Again that's coming from my experience. Some may disagree... but everyone I know who has a successful marriage has basically indicated the above to be their experience.

So...... Learn to be the best embodiment of a Christian man, worthy of leading a Christian woman and family and in the process God will avail things to you and provide it for you. The rest is just your own attempt to manifest your own insecurities onto another person.

Hope that helps mate. Cheers.
Thanks, I appreciate the time you’ve put in to helping me here. I think I just need to keep enduring and trusting the Lord’s Providence and practice what you said above to the best of my ability. I need to be okay with letting women go and really knowing I’m the “best carnival ride out there.” Not sure what is different from “pressure” and “setting the direction of the relationship,” but I know that I have to work on some things before I even get there, I think. Please pray for me.
 

OrthoSerb

Robin
Orthodox
Since there was zero pressure or expectations, everything just flowed naturally. Since we were introduced by her family I knew I couldn't be anything other than polite and a gentleman and though she is very beautiful.... and I honestly thought I would just go on the date and say howdy, walk her to her car, and be done with it. We talked for a couple weeks, and met right before I turned 30 and went out on a date and instantly it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. For the first time that I can recall I saw someone whom I knew was more than just a member of the opposite sex. I saw someone who was flawed like me, but carried an aura of wanting to walk towards Christ, someone who needed leadership and affection, and desperately wanted to follow a someone who would provide safety and a path to success which involved God as the forefront and central element of the relationship. After that night, I invited her to church with me and have walked on this journey together. We have brought our kids from our previous secular marriages into Orthodoxy and will have more children to bring into The Church.
Beautiful story, thanks for sharing.
 

ZAMSKI

Robin
Men are way more driven towards women than vice versa. Women aren't really attracted to 80-90% of men. Apparently God wired them this way....they can't really love you. Even when they are, their feelings don't really sustain very long. You have to give them constant social activity or they get bored.

I went to Catholic schools where I heard the delusions of "holy matrimony" where you "love each other forever" when my own observation says that's not going to happen for 95% of people whether you attend a church or not. I got rejected by several Christian girls from good families before I caught onto this. Attending church doesn't mean any of them will be attracted to you.

Women roll their eyes at you, or even despise you for liking them that much. It looks weak and low value in their eyes.

Men not accepting this is why they end up so shocked, hurt, and devastated when a woman loses interest. You need to understand they're hardly into men to begin with, then it all makes sense. Even at my church it's the taller guys who have wives. It's shallow any way you cut it.

The only way to deal with this is like Amish or Muslims where they impose circumstances of dependency.
100%

I'm super happy that there are still men on this board that are still grounded in reality.

The cold truth is just because you interact with women within the compound of religion does not make biology and biomechanics dissapear. I saw and currently still see this in my church. And my church consist of marriages that "work out" 99% of the time. I can count on one hand the number of divorces that took place within the members of my church.
 

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
This is sad to say, but most women hate themselves. When you shower them with love and attention right off the bat, they begin to think something is wrong with you, because the way you're treating them does not line up with their self-image. When you're cool, collected, charming, non-needy and make them "earn" your attention a bit by actually behaving properly towards you, they subconsciously (consciously?) believe that you "understand them" better than the guys throwing money/attention/love/favors their way. Then, when you reward them with attention and affection, they believe (correctly) that they've actually earned it after putting effort in to please and impress you, knowing (again correctly) that you're selective and not desperate enough to throw attention at any woman who happens to be nice to you.

Something I once read on the internet: "Don't deprive her of the struggle towards yin fulfillment."

Also note that this should be natural and genuine for you, not some act you're putting on to pretend you're a selective guy. Women can sniff out the difference quickly. You should be an authentically selective person for who you allow into your life, not just with women but with people in general. When you're like this with everybody, you're already the guy she's looking for.
 
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