dating / Desire / Gender / Long Term Relationships / Stress

Are your exes really all psycho? What is settling? What are unrealistic expectations?

Question to the Sexpert:

“I’ve had shitty dating luck the last six years. It started when my heart got ripped out of my chest by this wretched monster who looked vaguely like the wonderful girl I had fallen in love with. We were together for 3 years and I was nuts about her. Since we broke up, I’ve had a string of short-term things with girls who end up doing something that makes me realize they’re psycho after a month or two. I have no problem meeting people and all these girls seems cool at first. I know I’ll never have anything like I used to have with my ex, but I’d like to find someone reasonable. It’s starting to get annoying and I want to quit dating all together.”

There’s something I noticed about people who say that multiple exes of theirs are crazy. They tend to be crazy.

Not you, of course. But it’s certainly a thing that I’ve seen happen.

Let’s be real about crazy exes. Are we talking about girls who have diagnosable mental health issues that cause them to be a danger to themselves and to others, who would be best served by medication, professional treatment and possible time in an inpatient facility? Or are we talking about girls who call you too often and who seem like they might be clingy? Are we talking ‘faking cancer, setting fire to your apartment and threatening suicide if you go out with your friends’ crazy or ‘overly anxious about what people think of her, occasionally has conflicts with family members’ crazy?

To be fair, everyone is ‘crazy.’ It might be a phase, it might be under specific circumstances or just a matter of worldview. Real love is about is finding someone with whom you have compatible crazy.

But some folks are definitely less stable than others. The thing is that they may try to hide their crazy from you initially… or even forever. But without a doubt, it will show eventually. The key is honing your Crazy-dar and then assessing whether their type of crazy goes with yours.

But if you just…. keep…. finding crazies, one after another, you have to consider the common denominator: you.

And there are two possible explanations. One: they ARE nuts. There is something about these women that is attractive to you at first. Perhaps it’s a sense of adventure, spontaneity or creativity. Their bedroom behavior is like a methed-up puma going after a bird. Or option two: you have unrealistic expectations. What you call “psycho” is just the normal behavior of someone getting blown off.

Some might guess that your bad breakup made you shoot up a series of protective walls around your heart. And now they’re functioning to keep you from ever being vulnerable by either directing you towards girls with whom you can never have a real relationship or by convincing you that the options before you are not good enough… so you’ll never let anyone in again.

How can you tell? What is normal in a relationship? What is unrealistic? And what is settling? ‘Cause there are plenty of people who aren’t particularly wild about their partners but stay anyway.  Let’s take a look at some scenarios that will get you thinking. There’s something in here for everybody!

Checking out other people, noticing who is attractive Looking to better deal your partner whenever they’re not present, being unable to be without attention Being with your partner somewhere and thinking about how many other people would be better for you
Fighting and disagreeing periodically Having to win every fight, never ceding ground or compromising Never ever fighting or fighting more than a quarter of the time you spend together
Being aware of your relative market values, knowing how hot of commodities you each are to other people Only thinking people are hot or interesting at first, they inevitably lose their shine after they show real interest or put out Thinking your partner is only ok, but staying because you probably can’t do better.
Attraction and passion wanes with the length of the relationship, frequency of sex goes down as intimacy increases Obsessing about novelty and newness, losing interest once you have someone’s loyalty Not having sex at all or not being able to describe how you are different than friends who just happen to have sex together
Fitting in your dates and time together around a busy schedule Expecting someone to be at your beck and call Being clearly put low on a priority list, losing out to friends or hobbies
Experimenting together sexually, trying out new things Only getting off by objectifying your partner or fantasizing Not telling your partner what you actually want, doing things you’re not at all into
Finding someone’s assets, powers and traits to be attractive Being with someone entirely for their fame, money, influence, looks; losing interest when one of these traits disappears Getting nervous when one’s partner gets too good at something, is too attractive to others
Talking to friends about your relationship and its details Bragging to friends about scores, talking bad about your partner in front of others Friends are more aware of the issues in your relationship than your partner.
Shared interests and separate interests, time together and time apart Expecting your partner to share every single interest and belief, needing to be together all the time Having only superficial or past things in common, having more fun when apart


So now you’ve got some things to think about. Maybe it’s not that you can’t find good girls, maybe you need a new pair of eyes on the dating world.

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One thought on “Are your exes really all psycho? What is settling? What are unrealistic expectations?

  1. “I know I’ll never have anything like I used to have with my ex”
    Not with that attitude. WTF, dude? If you’re still hung up on your ex six years after the fact, you need to seek professional counseling.

    “Real love is about is finding someone with whom you have compatible crazy.”
    I don’t think I’ve ever heard this put better.

    I went through a bad breakup after a very long term relationship a few months ago. Looking through your table, I see far too many familiar sounding entries in columns 2 and 3. Wish I’d seen it about 5 years ago.

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