I'M 35 AND WON'T SETTLE! Freedomain Call In - Transcript

Chapters

0:00 - Introduction
5:55 - Unveiling the Past
19:30 - Family Secrets Unraveled
26:44 - Struggles with Addiction
32:29 - Seeking Stability
37:03 - Realization and Reflection
39:18 - Absorbing Knowledge
47:11 - Relationship Evaluation
59:09 - Father-Daughter Dynamics
1:06:07 - Financial Considerations
1:12:51 - Prospective Relationship
1:13:58 - Uncovering Chad's Past
1:16:02 - Exploring Childhood and Relationships
1:32:15 - Unpacking Emotional Avoidance
1:42:17 - Embracing Selective Honesty
1:46:59 - Moving Towards Clarity

Long Summary

In this conversation, we delve into the caller's tumultuous history marked by experiences of domestic violence, addiction, and trauma within her family. She opens up about her past relationship with an ex-boyfriend who also struggled with addiction, highlighting the bond formed through shared trauma. Despite facing challenges stemming from their pasts, they found solace and support in each other. The caller recounts a journey from a troubled childhood to abusive relationships with drug dealers and neglectful individuals, detailing experiences of neglect, abuse, and manipulation. She reflects on the struggles encountered, such as addiction, violence, and instability, emphasizing the importance of growth, setting boundaries, and making healthier choices in relationships.

As the conversation progresses, we address the caller's difficulties in implementing knowledge about red flags and unhealthy relationship patterns into her dating life. We explore her evaluation process for potential partners, linking it to her childhood experiences and past abuse. The discussion unravels complexities in her relationships with her parents, focusing on the internal conflict between loyalty and acknowledging past abuse. Through exploring her challenges in maintaining boundaries with her father, we highlight how unresolved trauma impacts her ability to form healthy connections with others. The importance of self-care, setting boundaries, and pursuing fulfilling partnerships becomes a pivotal theme.

The caller shares her struggles with relationships and her yearning for a family, reflecting on her pattern of choosing unsuitable partners, including her recent involvement with an older, wealthy man. The host emphasizes the significance of realistic expectations and advises her to seek stability in a partner between 30 and 40 years old. She seeks guidance on evaluating potential red flags in her current interest, Chad, as the host stresses the importance of assessing his background and meeting in person before deciding on their future together.

Throughout the discussion, we address the caller's guilt surrounding her rocky relationship with her father and her pattern of overlooking red flags in partners due to her fear of confrontation. We delve into her seeking validation and hoping for change in partners, mirroring dynamics with her father. Encouraging her to prioritize self-care over sustaining a damaging relationship with her father, we provide support and insight. The importance of addressing past experiences, setting boundaries, and nurturing healthy connections emerges as essential for her growth and well-being.

Transcript

[0:00] Introduction

[0:00] Hello hey.

[0:00] How's it going.

[0:01] Great how are you i.

[0:03] Am well i'm well thank you sorry for the slightly rough voice but i'm all ears why don't you tell me what's going on and how i can best help.

[0:11] Okay um thanks so much for taking my call you're welcome your work has been so valuable my life and well-being and i haven't spoken to you in maybe like a decade so this is definitely a call that's been waiting to happen.

[0:29] Well, you sound and look even younger, so that's good.

[0:32] Thank you. I actually am doing so much better than I was back then. So I'm going to be 35 next month, and I have wanted to have a family and to have children since I was in my 20s, and I have failed to do that thus far. I have a string of failed relationships. I don't know how valuable it will be to discuss those um well you only you.

[1:02] Are in possession of whether they're valid whether that's valuable or not so i'll leave it to your discretion i'm certainly happy to hear.

[1:07] Okay um well i had i dated my high school sweetheart for eight years from 17 till about 25 or 26 um and in the middle of that relationship he started experimenting with drugs and then it just got like really out of hand and he ended up being institutionalized a bunch of times and court ordered to take lithium injections um and it it just was uh really bad and then about two years after we broke up he committed suicide so obviously, Obviously, you know, I can't take the blame for that, but it's certainly... Makes me question myself because he and I had what I thought was such a great love. But I certainly was not the priority in his life.

[2:12] Gosh, I'm so sorry to hear about all of that. That's just a monstrous set of events to go through.

[2:18] Yeah, it was definitely something that I don't think I'll ever fully get over. But I've done my best to sort of move on.

[2:28] Well hang on are we just going to step over the eight-year no we don't have to i just feel.

[2:33] Like i just feel like if i don't want to like take us down a five-hour rabbit hole so i'm trying to be as.

[2:39] Poised as possible experience with this stuff it's all right you can let me let me take a tiny bit of a lead so what what red flags family issues what happened that this guy ended up a a drug addict and off his rocker and court ordered and like what was his history what were the red flags so.

[3:01] He um was the son of a very famous person and and his mother kind of wanted to lock his father down. So that was part of why she had him. I don't want to be too critical of whether or not they were actually in love, but what happened was his mom and dad had him. And then shortly after, his mom started to get sort of paranoid about whether or not his father was being faithful in the marriage. And she ended up initiating a divorce. and at the end of the divorce she ended up taking a bunch of money from his dad, and taking the mansion that they lived in but she couldn't afford to pay the mortgage for this massive mansion she did her best to to try to make that happen but meanwhile at that point At that point, my ex was about 13 or 14, and he had a friend whose uncle was importing cocaine.

[4:19] Into, that's where he was living at the time. And this man gave them a kilo of cocaine and told them to sell it or that they could sell it. And for him being an adolescent boy in this situation where his mother was under a lot of pressure to pay all of these bills, he thought the smart thing to do would be to sell drugs so that he could somehow rescue his mother, essentially, was his line of thinking at that time.

[4:53] Sorry, this was his mother's brother who was the drug importer?

[4:56] No, no. This was just some friend of his. So he went to a private school, and it was a friend of his at private school had an uncle that was importing cocaine.

[5:05] Boy, private school. If you can stay off the geographical locations, that'd be great. Boy, private school plus drugs. I've heard that story about a billion times.

[5:13] Okay. I thought that was rare.

[5:16] No, no. Private schools and drugs is like hand in glove a lot of times. Anyway, so he decided to...

[5:23] So he started selling cocaine at the age of about 13 or 14. And then he, of course, started using it and that got out of hand. And he went into such a bad drug spiral that he thought there were bugs crawling under his skin. He got a heart murmur and then eventually he had to be taken to the hospital and the doctors at the hospital told his mom that if he didn't stop using drugs, he was going to die.

[5:50] And how old was he at this point?

[5:53] At this point, he was about 15.

[5:55] Unveiling the Past

[5:55] And how long had he been using for?

[5:57] I guess about two years or so. Not that long, but I guess he just had access to so much of it that that was part of why it got so bad. And then his mom told him that she was going to take him on a vacation to South America and had him kidnapped by a rehabilitation center once he was across the border. and he was kept in this rehabilitation center in Mexico for about a year. And that was very traumatic for him in a number of ways. And then his father got esophageal cancer.

[6:36] Wait, sorry, but wouldn't his father have some say about whether he goes and gets kidnapped in Mexico?

[6:42] I don't really have a direct answer about that because his dad...

[6:47] Well, you only had eight years to find out.

[6:49] No, I mean, so pretty much what I know is that when the divorce happened, around that time, his father was locked out of his job. And so then he was struggling in his own life, and his mother had moved on to start dating someone else, and I guess they didn't have much contact. so I'm assuming what happened is his mom pretty much said to his dad like I don't know what to do with him I think the best thing to do is to put him in rehab and I'm assuming his dad didn't, um, argue against that. So his dad was like a really, really critical alcoholic. He pretty much spent his days working from a bar and he was also a chain smoker.

[7:41] Oh, so hence the esophageal cancer, right? Okay.

[7:44] Right, exactly. So I know that his father didn't always agree with what his mother wanted in terms of parenting, but I get the sense that he kind of just left it in her hands and trusted that she knew what was best for him. So while he was in rehab, he got word that his father had esophageal cancer and it was full-blown and he only had a few months to live. So he went to be with his father in the hospital and his mother didn't come with him like she just stayed behind with her boyfriend and lived her own life so he was about 16 years old at the time and he just watched his dad sort of wither away in a few months in the hospital and his dad had some pretty high-profile friends because of the success he had in his career so my ex was staying with one of his father's friends and sadly his this man molested him which is this weird element to his whole destruction because when I first met him he didn't really say anything about it and it was only throughout the relationship that he started to process what had happened and then he wanted to confronted at a certain point and just got totally gaslit by the guy and by his mom.

[9:13] So this was all happening. And then at that time, he had a girlfriend. It was the girl he was dating before he met me, and she kind of broke his heart. So he wound up kind of just alone and And without much direction after his father passed away. And that's when I met him. And I didn't grow up in a stable home. So I'm sure there were lots of red flags about me as well. And that's probably why at the time I didn't see his past with drugs as much to be as much of a red flag as I probably should have.

[9:56] Have so sorry you you met him and he told you that he'd been a drug addict a raging sorry i don't mean to laugh but so what a raging cocaine addict at the age of 13 or 14 but.

[10:10] He was sober he was completely sober when i met him he didn't drink alcohol he didn't smoke pot he didn't obviously.

[10:18] Rehab work.

[10:21] It worked as much as I suppose it could have. Well, I mean, if he was sober for the first three years. Yeah. So for the first three years that we were dating, he was completely sober, which was a great influence on me because most of my friends used intoxicants recreationally. So it was actually...

[10:37] Sorry, how old were you when you met him?

[10:39] I was about just turned 17.

[10:43] And he was same age?

[10:44] Yeah, he was 18.

[10:46] Okay. And what was it that attracted you to him?

[10:50] I thought he was a brilliant in terms of his intelligence and creativity i thought he was handsome i thought he was a good influence on my life relative to my other peers and um i guess in a way it was kind of one of those like love at first sight things like we just kind of laid eyes That's lust.

[11:15] There's no love at first. That's lust.

[11:17] So we had lust. Okay, so he's a good-looking.

[11:21] Wealthy boy.

[11:23] He wasn't wealthy, but he had promise.

[11:27] Sorry, but he comes from a wealthy family?

[11:30] Well, so what happened was his mom ended up just spending whatever she was able to get.

[11:34] No, no, but when you met him, he's from a wealthy and prominent family.

[11:38] Well, but one that had fallen apart. So it wasn't like he was really living that lavishly. however he was much wealthier than me yes so i mean his mom paid his rent his mom ended up paying for him to go to college sorry he was so he was living on his own.

[11:52] When he was in high school.

[11:54] Yeah so what happened was after his father passed away his mom paid for him to live in an apartment in the town that i happened to be living in okay um and i was where did.

[12:04] You meet him i.

[12:06] Met him so i I was best friends with his cousin.

[12:09] Okay.

[12:10] So I met him through his cousin. It was actually at a show. He was a musician. So he was playing music and that's, that's how we met. And the first.

[12:20] Groupie.

[12:21] I know, but I couldn't help it. He was just so amazing, you know? And, and I, I certainly don't regret falling in lust or love or whatever it was.

[12:31] It was a part of life from the wall. Want to take a bath? Anyway. Okay. So, So you groupie up this guy, and you start dating, and he's telling you all the red flags, but because of your background, which we haven't really talked about, I suppose, you kind of blew past that stuff, right?

[12:50] Yeah, I would describe it that way. I mean, it was definitely an upgrade to my lifestyle, right? It was like I was spending time with someone that wasn't entertaining themselves with intoxication.

[13:00] Okay, so what's your history that this was an upgrade?

[13:05] So my personal history is my mother grew up in a very sort of sheltered Christian or Catholic Protestant household. And when she was 22, she met my dad. He was 32 at the time. He lied to her, told her he was 27. He was an alcoholic, ex-drug trafficker and heroin addict. and he pretty much lied all the way home and married her and had me and then continued drinking and doing drugs and was violent and then my parents had a lot of issues in the first three years of my life they kidnapped me from each other a series of times, flew me to places across the border like into the and there was just a big drama and then.

[14:07] Um my mom never wanted to ask my dad for child support she said that she thought it would be, hurting him and if she hurt him it would hurt me so she chose to work and we've kind of you and I I've touched a bit on this. Sometimes I'm in like the chats that you do. So pretty much forever until I spoke to you about it. I thought that my mom just couldn't afford to take care of me, but actually like she just worked 40 or 50 hours a week and then smoked like two packs of cigarettes a day and was an alcoholic and was drinking constantly. So I was living in an impoverished state and then my father was not supportive either. Um, And then when I was six, my mom's dad committed suicide, which was just a big impact on me because he was, like, my favorite person, and it made my mom really depressed.

[15:05] Was he ill, or was there some other reason that would give some explanation?

[15:13] So, see, this is the thing. Like, you're so good at digging out the rabbit holes. It just can seem endless sometimes. times so my my mother's mother was abused by her stepmother while she was growing up severely and, long story short she ended up essentially allowing her own brother to molest her daughters.

[15:39] This is who's.

[15:40] Who my mom so my mother and her sisters were molested by their uncle And this was openly known to her own mother.

[15:50] Your grandmother on your mother's side permitted the molestation of her daughters in return for...

[15:56] For pot, is the story.

[15:59] Oh, God.

[16:00] For pot, yeah. So, pretty much, that was all just so much. It was all heavy. And my mother, you know, she dealt with it the way that she did.

[16:18] Sorry, I don't know what that means.

[16:19] Well, she just drank more and got more violent and aggressive. And she told me it was my fault that... My grandfather committed suicide because I didn't go to the store with him one time. It was just stuff like that, you know, where it's like even as a six-year-old child, like I knew that I was being treated unfairly.

[16:43] Sorry, your grandfather was the one who molested?

[16:47] No, my grandfather. So my grandfather, so my aunt, my eldest aunt on my mom's side.

[16:53] Again, stay off names if you could.

[16:55] Oh, sorry.

[16:55] Sorry.

[16:55] So she ended up having an argument with my grandmother one night and pretty much said out loud, like, the reason I'm so messed up is because you let your brother molest me. and my grandfather I guess heard what she had said and the story is there were also some other issues like with his taxes or something like his accountant had been not doing his taxes properly maybe he owed some money not maybe I mean that was a story so anyway the next day he took himself to the garbage dump and blew his head off with a shotgun and it was two weeks before Christmas, and he didn't leave a note and it was just kind of obviously very traumatic.

[17:47] And sorry, this had to do with taxes and because he overheard your aunt talking about the child who was molested. The aunt was molested by the man in return for the pot.

[18:00] Well, I don't know if you knew about the pot, but the thing is that my My grandmother was the second wife of my grandfather. So his first wife, he had three children with her. And my grandfather was an inventor. He invented tools. And him and his brother had like a factory where they produced the things that they created. And they had employed this guy from Germany to work with them. And this guy was staying in a spare room in my grandfather's home. And he ended up having an affair with my grandfather's first wife. So he ended up, they ended up ending their marriage. And then his second wife was my grandmother. And to me, I mean, I was only a child and I've, you know, spent my life thinking about this, but I don't have all the information. But to me, I think that it was just kind of like, he felt like he had always done the right thing in his life.

[18:59] But these awful things kept happening around him. I think he definitely felt like what happened with his ex-wife negatively impacted the three children that he had with her. And I think maybe he was horrified that his own children were being assaulted without him knowing and that this was permitted by his own wife. I mean, I'm assuming that, you know, that's what happened.

[19:30] Family Secrets Unraveled

[19:30] And yeah, after that happened, things spiraled a lot. My mother was like severely physically and emotionally and mentally abusive for my entire life. Really, really bad corporal punishment, sadistic stuff, nothing sexual, thank God. just just you know terrorized me for my entire childhood and then when I started to get a bit older around eight or nine I started to sort of push back because I was getting bigger, and that aggravated her a lot and eventually my school found out about what was happening.

[20:18] And they ended up helping me leave my mom with the help of children's services. And I went to live with my father. So that happened when I was about 10. And my father's house was definitely better. Like it was less hysterical and psychotic. But he was an alcoholic and very neglectful and also was abusive and aggressive. massive just not in such a like a psychotic way more like in a savage brutal way so I ended up putting up with that until I was about uh 14 and then I met my first quote first boyfriend, which was the person I dated before the guy that we were just talking about and he was about eight years older than me and he was a drug dealer as well so he was pretty much, a pedophile but i didn't see it that way because i suppose i was young and i just wanted to get out of my father's home so i ran away when i was 15 and then i was abused severely in that relationship and then finally when i was in what.

[21:38] Way you were what age and how in what way were you abused.

[21:41] So i ran away when i was 15 i started dating him when i was 14 and he um would do things like leave me in our apartment without a key so i couldn't leave and get back in and without any food or without anything and just leave for days. He was physically violent with me. He controlled everything I did. Like I couldn't really even have a conversation on the phone without him becoming paranoid about my intentions. in our relationship um and then when i finally decided that i wanted to leave him he ended up, vandalizing my belongings and essentially tried to like coerce me into being with him and i i somehow overcame that and ended up blocking his number and just somehow moving on, um and then it was how long were you.

[22:51] With him i.

[22:52] Was with him from about 14 till 16 and then i was single for about seven months before i met um guy yeah the main guy yeah okay yeah so yeah about three and a half years into my relationship with that guy he started using drugs and then he just spiraled into what uh what.

[23:15] Happened over the three and a half years i mean how was it.

[23:18] It was great Great. We were in love and we had plans for the future. And I don't know, it was just a great romance. And then what happened was one day he was kind of in a bad mood about something like just, you know, like a random thing. And he was hanging out with one of his friends and his friend suggested that they like have a beer to sort of take the edge off and this friend of his knew that he was like a recovering alcoholic but i don't think he really understood sorry i thought.

[23:54] It so it wasn't just the cocaine it was alcohol as well.

[23:56] Well he wasn't addicted to alcohol when he was younger but that's that's what he would call it like he would say i'm a recovering alcoholic that was i guess the terminology that he had learned at the rehab center no.

[24:09] But he was a.

[24:10] Cocaine addict He was. He was an addict, yeah. But I guess that was the terminology... they used for it no i don't think no i'm.

[24:21] I don't think that's true though i'm not an expert obviously.

[24:23] I mean that's what he would call no but i mean if he was a coke addict wouldn't he say he's a coke addict.

[24:28] I mean if you if you're addicted.

[24:29] To coke i mean he would say that yeah i mean he would say that specifically but he never referred to it as like i'm a recovering addict or i'm a recover like i'm i'm going to narcotics anonymous like he wouldn't go to narcotics anonymous he would go to alcoholics anonymous though.

[24:48] He was not.

[24:48] An alcoholic no okay all right so he went to have a beer with his friend and then he had a couple beers and i guess he just had a lot of fun being a young man and going out and drinking and partying and then he decided that he wanted to continue doing that and it moved very quickly like within three months he went from like having a couple beers to like.

[25:15] Mixing straight drugs and being on drugs for days at a time. And then that was obviously a lot of tension on our relationship. We would fight and then he would kind of stop and then he would start again. And that was when everything really started to fall apart because then there were a few times when I decided I needed to just like leave. And I went to live in another city and then he would call me and say, you know, I'm sober and I'm sorry, and I can't believe I've done this and please come home. And then at a certain point when I was about 18 or 19, he asked me to marry him. So we were technically engaged, which put like a lot more pressure on the relationship because I wanted to have a future with him. And we had talked about like, okay, we're going to go to school and we're going to save for a house. We're going to buy a house and then we're going to have Like we would, you know, we would make these plans and then he would go off on some drug crazed binge and I would obviously fall apart.

[26:28] So finally, yeah. it was at a certain point he started using heroin. And that for some reason for me was something that I just couldn't accept. Like it was just a step too far.

[26:44] Struggles with Addiction

[26:45] So that was when we really, really just sort of ended things. And then, um, as I mentioned sometime after that, he ended up committing suicide. But, uh, after, after that ended, I just kind of wanted to be single for a little while because I had realized that, of course, I had spent like half my life in a relationship and that I didn't really know what life was like.

[27:11] And you were in your mid-20s? No.

[27:14] Yes.

[27:15] 22? Sorry, 24, 23?

[27:17] No, I was 25.

[27:18] 25, okay. I was about 25.

[27:19] Yeah. So obviously that's not the best time to want to be single, but that's what I felt like I needed to do. Okay. So then I was single for a bit, and then I ended up dating this guy for six weeks, who ended up being totally insane and ended up stalking me and trying to break into my house.

[27:41] I'm sorry, had you gone to therapy? Did you go to university? No.

[27:46] So I didn't finish high school, and then I went to university as a mature student. And actually, some years ago when I spoke to you, I spoke to you about, so I went to university and ended up, being assaulted by one of my professors, which you and I spoke about it, and you were pretty much like, you shouldn't have put yourself in that situation. And like, maybe you're right. But for me, emotionally, I was quite, quite traumatized by that.

[28:15] I'm pretty sure I didn't blame you for being assaulted.

[28:17] Well, no, you didn't blame me.

[28:18] Yeah, I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be the case.

[28:19] You should have done things differently. And you were right. But for me, I was just sort of winging life like I've never really had much, guidance in my life so I've made a.

[28:35] Stupid decisions, for sure, when I was younger. Looking back, I mean, I wouldn't do things the same way, of course. But yeah, so I pretty much left university after that. But it was probably for the best because I studied, like I did one year of psychology. I thought this is not the way I want to approach understanding human behavior. And then I did one year of philosophy and I thought, well, this is stupid. I shouldn't be paying someone to tell me to read books and write essays. I can do this on my own. so um yeah after after the whole thing with the guy who stopped me i met another guy who i dated for about three years and i i really liked him um but that it didn't work out because he felt like he couldn't give me what i needed he was an odd character you know he was like educated he was a lawyer. He was educated to be a lawyer, decided he didn't want to be a lawyer, that he wanted to be a musician. Maybe that should have been a red flag. I don't know. So he was kind of not in a stable position in his life. And I ended up just sort of wasting three years on that relationship.

[29:54] But sorry, so he didn't make it as a musician? He didn't make any money?

[29:58] Not really, no. Like even to this day, he tells me I'm the love of his life and that He wants to marry me, and he's still trying to make his music career work. He's actually in the UK right now, trying it out there.

[30:15] But sorry, why did it not work out emotionally, though?

[30:19] Um, he would just do he, so he was the first person that ever ghosted me first and only person that ever ghosted me. I didn't even know what ghosting was before I dated him, but he would just sometimes disappear. And I found out that what he was doing was just locking himself away in his apartment and feeling sorry for himself, which was better than him like cheating on me.

[30:39] So he cheated on you too?

[30:41] No, I don't, I honestly don't think he did.

[30:43] So this is better than if he had cheated.

[30:44] It was better, yes, but still obviously not sufficient for me to feel secure and happy in a relationship. Like if your partner is just disappearing on you, completely not reachable for a week or sometimes even three weeks at a time.

[31:01] Did you meet any stable, normal guys?

[31:06] So I thought I did.

[31:08] No, no, no. Did you meet any stable, normal guys? I don't think I've ever been a stable, normal guy.

[31:42] Appeared to be a good match for me maybe it was that i.

[31:47] Okay so i'm just i'm just trying to i'm just trying to get an answer to the question i.

[31:52] Can't think of one i.

[31:54] Mean i must i mean right like you're you're a an attractive woman right i mean yeah profile picture so you're in university you're in you're at work you're in social environments you're at parties and and so dinner parties this that and the other right yeah.

[32:09] But then i was dating that guy like i I.

[32:11] Get it.

[32:12] When you said university, I'm thinking that there was this one guy. He was a really nice guy, super smart. He wanted to be a neurologist, but I wasn't open to that because I was dating the other guy. And I loved him.

[32:22] So there was a nice, normal guy, the guy who wanted to be a neurologist, right?

[32:25] There was one that I actually just called.

[32:27] Yeah. Obviously, there was more than one, right?

[32:29] Seeking Stability

[32:29] Okay.

[32:30] So do you have the guys you look back and you say, well, this guy was kind of floating around. This guy was, you know, maybe you can, now you have these sequels, like you can find out what happened to people. So were there guys, when you look back and you say, that was that nice, normal guy, I should have...

[32:50] No, to be honest, like, I mean, I grew up in such a degenerate environment that most of the men I knew are dead or in jail or addicted to drugs.

[33:02] I understand that, but that's in the environment you came from. I'm talking about the social circles, and some of them, I mean, the chosen circle circles would probably be dysfunctional, but you would meet people over the course of your life or in university. There would be young men around who weren't crazy, right?

[33:22] Yeah. But I mean, I was very much loyal to this guy. So we're talking from 17 till about 25 and sometime a little bit after that, right? Because I was still heartbroken. I was committed to this guy, even though it wasn't three years ago, even though he was on drugs. No, no, no. The guy who got on drugs and committed suicide.

[33:44] Oh, so the first guy. Okay. Now, were there ever Have you ever had any young men who floated around your environment and you think in hindsight might have been angling to offer you something better?

[33:57] So there was one, and he's kind of one of the last ones I dated. So there was this guy I knew before I even met the long-term guy. But we were always just friends. and then sometime after the suicide thing happened and whatever he and I reconnected and we tried dating for a year and it turned out to just be another situation where I obviously just wasn't paying attention to any red flags like that must have been it because I always thought he was the most diplomatic sound of mind reasonable hard-working guy and we everything was great for three months. And then I started to notice that he had like a problem with aggressive outbursts. The first time it happened was towards his mother. Then I started to see him do it to just people in public and like even old people. And I just couldn't.

[34:53] Okay, so this is not a healthy guy.

[34:55] No, but that I would say he was the guy who I thought was the most.

[34:57] Okay, so let's not answer my question. Were there any guys that in hindsight, you look back and you say, They maybe were offering him a hand up or were at least telling me that this wasn't a good relationship. I mean, if you're around in a social environment and your boyfriend is spiraling into drugs and psychosis, aren't there people saying, you know, this is not a good idea, you got to leave this guy, you can't help him?

[35:22] I think it's just the problem was everyone else around me was like somewhat worse off.

[35:30] What? They can't have been worse off than the guy who committed suicide.

[35:34] They really were.

[35:35] Oh, they were. Okay.

[35:37] Yeah. So.

[35:39] Because there are normal healthy people out there, right?

[35:43] There are, but I think I was very much isolated from anyone like that for a while, but I didn't realize it. It was just, I was in the habit. Well, I think I was just in the habit of keeping certain kinds of company, like people that were more hedonistic. And it took me time to have higher standards for the people that are in my life.

[36:09] Yeah, because listen, I mean, I guarantee you, like just as a man, like I guarantee you that there were nice, healthy guys around who were incredibly frustrated that, you know, a very intelligent and attractive young woman was trailing after the crazies and bonding with the crazies. I mean, certainly.

[36:28] Okay. You know, it could have been, but I wouldn't have let them close enough to me for me to even know. No, because from 17 to about 25, I was completely devoted to that one guy. And then after that, the people I dated in some ways were an upgrade. They weren't drug addicts and they were a bit more stable, but they were still not, you know, at the level that I would need them to be at in order for me to feel secure in the relationship and for it to be like adding to my life, to share my life with them. Okay.

[37:03] Realization and Reflection

[37:03] So you knew that the guys you were dating were pretty terrible, right? I mean, as far as husband and father material.

[37:11] Like as I met them, I thought that they were great. And it was only after observing like in real time, how dysfunctional the relationships were that I realized all of the things about those relationships that wouldn't work.

[37:25] Sorry, how long have you been listening to what I do?

[37:27] So I've been listening since 2013.

[37:30] It's funny, you know, I just had another call in with a guy who started listening the same year. So you've been listening to me since you were 24.

[37:38] Yeah, but you've got to understand, I'm like a changed person.

[37:40] I mean, you've been listening to call-in shows. So it's like, okay, let me find out about your childhood? If the childhood was good, great. If the childhood was bad, have you done therapy? Have you processed it? Do you have boundaries with the crazy people in your life? I mean, you would have learned about that in your early to mid-twenties, right?

[37:57] So it took me pretty much this entire decade to do all of that. So I have now. No, no, no, no.

[38:05] I have way better now than before. Hang on. What do you mean it took you?

[38:08] It took because i was so depressed and and impoverished and like disorganized oh you.

[38:17] Had no free will that's your.

[38:19] Well i did but i was just like so distracted no no and i didn't even no no.

[38:25] Did you have free will and a better example.

[38:27] Well like you were the first human being i really had encountered in my life that made me feel like I was rational for wanting to reject my abusers. And that made me think that maybe early therapy could help me.

[38:47] So 24... You encountered me, pretty healthy person, and you got a methodology because you always heard me talking about red flags and you can't change abusers who don't admit fault and take responsibility and all of that and family history and family trauma and all of that. So you had access to all of that rich material and you were absorbing it, I assume, fairly, I dare say, religiously. So you had all of that.

[39:18] Absorbing Knowledge

[39:18] So why didn't you apply it?

[39:48] Better standards, but I, I continually, um, find myself getting into relationships where I'm being lied to, or maybe I'm not paying attention.

[40:01] Okay. So what's your process of evaluating a dating partner? I mean, let's just say after you started listening to what I do or other people who would give you that, or these are the red flags, bad childhood, unprocessed, still have abusers in their life. You know, know this guy who's screaming at his mother or whatever right so what is your process or what was your process after being exposed to here's how to filter for dysfunctional people what's your process for evaluating a guy that you want to date or what was your process.

[40:33] Well, I would say like the first step in that process was obviously like unpacking my relationship with my father and understanding the difference between feeling like something is familiar and genuinely loving a person because they're a good person. So I'd say, like, now I look for somebody who is confident, who knows what they want, who appears to be honest, who values family over hedonism.

[41:03] Yeah, but people can say whatever stuff they want.

[41:06] I know.

[41:06] So how do you evaluate independent of what someone says, right? Right? Right. So, you know, if you were running a bank, right, people always come and say, I want a loan. And you'll say, okay, well, what's your collateral? And if they say, I have a billion dollars buried in my backyard, well, you might want a little bit of evidence for that, right? Right. So people can say whatever they want. So what's your empirical approach to checking for red flags and trying to find out if somebody's trustworthy?

[41:34] Worthy well most recently i think i've been kind of looking for signs of material wealth looking.

[41:45] For somebody who you're you're your father had material wealth and there was no wealth sorry in your in your boyfriend's family there was some material wealth so money doesn't mean stability so no and i've certainly never said anything like that i've never said like the guy The guy with the most money is always the most mentally healthy.

[42:04] No, but you have said people who are smart will make more money than people who are not smart.

[42:11] Yes, but people who are smart can also be horribly manipulative, and intelligence without virtue is a great danger, right? Right. So how do you go about evaluating that?

[42:21] I guess after that, I guess after that, I look at like their their lifestyle schedule, you know, like, are they working every day? Do they exercise? Do they take care of their health? Do they have any vices like that would probably be the next things I would look for. I don't usually date people, obviously, who drink or who smoke because it's not not compatible with me. And then I suppose the next thing I would do is look at like how they treat other people, what they think about, of course, like peaceful parenting. Like, I mean, I will usually ask people directly, like, were you assaulted as a child and would you assault your own children or have you assaulted your own children? Because that's definitely a deal breaker for me.

[43:11] Oh, you mean if they have children and have assaulted them?

[43:14] Yeah.

[43:14] Okay, so a guy having kids and not being married, that's someone you would date and marry into, is that right?

[43:22] No, but in my 30s, I've been open to dating people who were married before and are divorced. Which is definitely a red flag for me because I feel like, well, obviously, you walked away from your responsibility and your commitment to your marriage.

[43:43] Okay, so why is none of your evaluation of potential partners having to do with their childhoods?

[43:50] Um, I don't know. I mean, I definitely ask people like usually if I go on a date within the first date, I'm going to ask them about like who their parents were and what their childhood was like. Do they have siblings? Like, did they have a happy childhood? And I think that generally people tell me that they did have a pretty okay childhood, but if they told me that they didn't, then that might be an area where I could maybe make an error in judgment. I might well.

[44:19] No but if somebody says I had a good childhood you what was good about it what was bad about it how were you disciplined you know that kind of stuff right yeah and if they say well I was beaten and I damn well deserved it well that's your right get out of jail free charge right exactly so yeah yeah the fact that they say they had a good childhood you say well you know what were the details and what actually happened and right.

[44:38] Well like the last person I dated he said He said that he didn't get assaulted in his childhood because his mother passed away when he was 10 years old. And so his father sort of showed him mercy and that his father had assaulted his other siblings, but that he was never treated that way. So I took that in a way that was like, he mustn't have a tendency to be aggressive.

[45:14] Wait, sorry, that's just the beginning of the evaluation, right? So if the guy says, well, I wasn't assaulted, my mother died, but my father beat the hell out of my siblings, right?

[45:25] Right.

[45:26] Then what's the next question?

[45:29] Well, what I asked him was, well, what, what did he do?

[45:32] Okay. So he beat the kids. And so what's the next question?

[45:38] Usually at that point, I would just say, I'm really sorry to hear that.

[45:43] Oh my gosh.

[45:44] That's really sad. I don't know. What am I supposed to say?

[45:46] Hi, I'm Stefan Molyneux. I run the show called Free Domain. Nice to meet you. Apparently, we haven't met before. What's the next question?

[45:54] I don't know. I'm getting brain fog.

[45:56] Okay, the next question is, are you still in contact with an unrepentant child abuser if your father hasn't apologized, made amends, paid for therapy, all that kind of stuff?

[46:07] Right.

[46:08] Isn't that the next question?

[46:09] Yes.

[46:10] Okay.

[46:10] In the case of the last person.

[46:11] Did you ask that question?

[46:13] Well, in the case of the last person, his father had passed away. So I didn't ask.

[46:19] Okay. Did you confront your father about his abuse?

[46:25] Like, I should ask the person if they confronted.

[46:29] Yeah. Maybe he's normalized it. Maybe he's internalized it. Maybe he's defending it.

[46:33] Right. And he had. like he he definitely felt that at the time that was the way parents did things and that it wasn't excessive okay and he also he saw.

[46:44] His siblings being beaten and.

[46:46] He justified it yeah okay.

[46:48] So check please we're gone right.

[46:50] Right yeah okay but i i didn't do that okay.

[46:55] So you didn't do that so what happened.

[46:56] No oh is this the guy.

[46:57] Who ended up being mean to everyone.

[46:58] No this is the guy who You ended up being married. Yeah.

[47:04] Okay. And how long ago was this?

[47:06] So we broke up six months ago.

[47:08] And how long did you date for?

[47:10] Almost two years.

[47:11] Relationship Evaluation

[47:12] And when in those two years did you find out he was married?

[47:16] Right around the end.

[47:18] Oh, come on.

[47:19] No, yeah.

[47:20] Oh, come on. You dated for two years. You had no idea he was married.

[47:23] So he told, well, he told me he was separated, but that he didn't want to fully go through with like, like moving out and dividing everything until he had found someone that he really wanted to be with. And he told me that his wife was also sort of seeing other people.

[47:44] Okay.

[47:45] That wasn't true. I don't know all the details about their relationship. I just know that what happened was we were out. so you're dating this guy.

[47:54] Sorry you're dating this guy for two years and he's still living with his wife.

[47:57] Yeah but he says.

[48:00] It's like this open relationship or something.

[48:02] Well he says that they were separated and that they're no longer having an intimate relationship because she doesn't want to do that and so they agreed that they would be open to finding someone else and and to, divorcing in a very peaceful way okay.

[48:23] So so you know how you check that right.

[48:25] No contact her yeah.

[48:29] Of course i.

[48:30] Know but i don't know why i felt like it wasn't my place to do that but looking back i realized it wasn't your place to do that first i mean no you done you.

[48:38] You don't have to contact her like hi i'm dating your husband or anything like that but if the guy says it's an open relationship, then he'll have no problem you coming over to his house, right?

[48:54] I guess so, but he had...

[48:56] No, no, logically, logically.

[48:57] Logically.

[48:58] Okay, so then you say, okay, next time I'll come in and I'll have a cup of coffee at your place and then we'll head out.

[49:05] Right. I don't know. I mean, he told me that he hadn't told her about me, but he told me that he had told his sisters about me, and he had told his daughters about me throughout the first relationship.

[49:19] Hang on. So he said that his wife was fine with him dating, but he hadn't told her that he's dating.

[49:28] Yeah, because he said he wanted to be sure that it was something that he wanted to move on to.

[49:36] No, but he told his children.

[49:36] Children that's what he said okay.

[49:39] So if he told his children then he's sure because it's harder to tell your kids than your wife right i.

[49:46] Imagine okay.

[49:47] So then you'd go over and be no problem going to his house right.

[49:51] Yeah and he had sort of tentatively made plans for me to like meet his sister and he wanted to meet my father which i mean i know this is going to be another big red red flag for you because i had he was aware of the abuse i experienced but he still wanted me to sort of sentimentalize my parents so he you know had told me he wanted to meet my father and ask his father if he could marry me and sorry ask my father if he could marry me and and i don't know looking back i just feel like really stupid what.

[50:26] Is your relationship with your parents.

[50:29] So at this point my mother refuses to speak to me because i refuse to have like a false relationship with her where she gaslights me and i pretend like everything's fine, and she specifically said to me like i don't want to talk to you anymore i probably only have like 10 years to live and i just want to be left alone so i guess that makes it easier for me to do the right thing and to not.

[51:01] Pretend like she didn't abuse me and then my dad I try my best to distance myself from him but he still wants to have a relationship with me so I'm just in this weird limbo with him where I'll go you know like two weeks or the longest maybe three weeks and then I'll have some casual casual conversation with him about the weather and then feel like super traumatized and then just avoid, avoid him. And actually the last time we spoke was the first time we ever really had like a major breakthrough where I pretty much said to him, like, I'm really hurt by the things that you did. And it's cost me a lot in my life. And I could tell that he felt, like saddened by that but um i don't i don't think we can ever really work through, the damage that's been done so yeah i'm just kind of in this loop of.

[52:11] Gaslighting myself and feeling guilty and feeling sad and sorry that i I am avoiding him because he's older and I know he wants to speak with me regularly, but he doesn't want to have any real conversations.

[52:28] And why are you obligated to speak with him? I'm not sure I follow.

[52:33] I don't think I'm obligated, but if there is something in me that feels that way, it's probably related to like a spiritual idea that he's my father and that our relationship is sacred despite all of the abuse and that it's wrong for me to, reject him and abandon him even though yes he did that to me as a child 100 in so many ways but it's just really hard for me to put the nail in the coffin i still i'm struggling.

[53:11] Sorry are you saying that there's the things that he empirically did to you which were terrible, yeah and but then there's this silvery ghost of father daughter that overlays the actual relationship you had and you have loyalty to that idea of, or was it the spiritual? Like there's a soul in the relationship that's independent of the actions?

[53:34] Yes.

[53:35] Well, that's just mysticism.

[53:37] Right, I know. I try to battle it.

[53:40] It's so painful.

[53:40] I don't know why it's so painful. You would think the normal reaction would be that I would, be happy. It's weird because it's like if I speak to him, I'm super traumatized and upset. After speaking to him. But when I completely don't speak to him and I feel like I'm abandoning him, that also is unpleasant in a different way. So I.

[54:10] Well, no, I mean, I mean, you have made up a bunch of nonsense about this ghost in the relationship that's different from the actual behavior. But. I mean, let's say you meet a quality man, right? Yeah. He likes you, admires you, obviously excellent verbal and intellectual skills and so on, right? And he sees your relationship with your father. And what's he going to think?

[54:41] Well, if he's really a good man and he really loves me, he's going to think that it's not healthy for me to maintain a relationship with my father. because there's all this unresolved trauma and pretty much the abuse is still there. Like if I challenge my father, it will very quickly escalate into him abusing me. And if I'm in his presence...

[55:06] So he's still bullying you?

[55:07] Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Okay. So... And I think I've realized...

[55:14] It costs you quality men in your life.

[55:18] It may. I mean...

[55:19] Oh, no, it does.

[55:20] No.

[55:20] It's crossed my mind. It's not may. It does.

[55:25] It's definitely crossed my mind that maybe I've always sort of chosen men that are not going to confront my father.

[55:34] Well, I mean, if you and I were dating, I wouldn't feel any obligation to confront your father. But I'd say, look, if we're going to be together, you need to be loyal to me. Because I'm a good guy. I've earned it. I'm a moral man. You need to be loyal to me. And I don't want you bleeding off loyalty to this jerk. I don't want you under his thumb. I don't want you under my thumb. But I sure as heck don't want you under his thumb. Yeah, it makes perfect sense. I don't want this abuser to come in regularly and take a wrecking ball to our relationship.

[56:14] Right.

[56:15] Because then there's no stability. You can't have stability. You can't relax. You can't pair bond. You can't trust. You can't love because you're always, oh, my God, the phone's ringing. Is it my dad? You know, we can't build anything because your father's going to keep knocking it down.

[56:29] Yeah. No, absolutely. Absolutely. It's something that I just kind of try to deal with sometimes, and other times I just ignore it because then the problem gets deeper. It's like, well, I know. Are you listening to what I'm saying?

[56:41] Because now you're just going off on another verbal tear here.

[56:44] Sorry. No, I mean, I am hearing things. what you're saying. Okay.

[56:48] So what are you getting out of what I'm saying?

[56:51] Well, I'm getting that I can't have a relationship with my father while having a relationship with a healthy man that loves me.

[57:00] Okay. So what do you think of that?

[57:03] Well, I think that I'm willing to, to, not have a relationship with my father, but I, it feels very painful. So it's like, you know, I suppose that pain is something I have to work through.

[57:27] Why is it painful?

[57:31] Well, I think I tell myself, like, I think I create excuses, right, for my dad, and, like, the way that he grew up and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, is the reason why, even though, yes, he had free will, he has total control over his actions.

[57:53] But you understand that when you give excuses to your father, you take excuses for yourself. This is why you say, honestly, ridiculous stuff like, well, it took me this amount of time. And this is just excuses. Yes. yeah i mean you know how to evaluate a guy and and i'm a phone call away right i know so you you could you could have called me up years ago and said well there's this guy what do you think, and i'd say well you know here's some questions that i would ask right so you you didn't do that right no now what you do is you say well i wasn't ready or it didn't take me that it took me this this long to this, that, and the other. And it's like, no, because if you say in the past, well, I just wasn't ready and I didn't have to do the right sensible self-protective thing, then you're going to say that in the present. So you always have an excuse for not doing the right sensible self-protective thing.

[58:53] No, yeah. And it's literally stealing a big part of my life away.

[58:59] Well, you're 35.

[59:00] Like 35, right? And you want to have kids? I do. I would like to maybe at least, you know, to have one.

[59:09] Father-Daughter Dynamics

[59:09] I've been somehow trying to form like a solid relationship.

[59:17] No, no, no.

[59:18] Oh, my gosh.

[59:20] Listen, do you want me to go along with the stuff or do you want me to bring it?

[59:24] No, I mean, I mean.

[59:25] I have not been trying to become a wife and mother because you've been dating all the wrong guys. It's completely obvious that they're all the wrong guys. You have all the resources to choose better, and you've not chosen those things. And I can understand that, you know, you had a difficult childhood, but, you know, that's 20 years ago.

[59:42] Yeah, I know.

[59:43] Okay, so let's not with the, well, I've just, you know, I married the lying married guy. I married the guy who, I dated the guy, sorry, I dated the married lying guy. I dated the stalker guy. I dated the Lutheran musician who hid in his room. But mysteriously, I'm not a wife and mother.

[1:00:01] I know but i feel like i was like all the other guys i was i think drawn to them because there was something about them that felt familiar but the last guy i dated i thought i was choosing for like more practical reasons which you're choosing.

[1:00:20] A guy still living with his wife.

[1:00:22] I know but i mean come on i don't know i was yes you know come on come on no i just i don't know ask anyone.

[1:00:32] Ask anyone is it a good idea if you want to get married and have kids to date a guy who's still living with his wife i.

[1:00:44] Mean no of course not, no i know i don't know why married for for longer than i've been alive, what yeah for 37 years how.

[1:00:58] Old was this guy he.

[1:01:00] Was 53 when i met him, what yeah you're.

[1:01:08] You're you're dating a guy.

[1:01:10] Who's yeah who's.

[1:01:11] 53 still living with his wife of 37 years and you want to become a wife and mother are you trolling me.

[1:01:18] I'm so no no you you seriously this has got to be a prank you always ask me if i'm trolling you and i'm just really this messed up i mean i'm 57.

[1:01:28] And 53 seems bloody old.

[1:01:30] No i it's because i guess i now have like a bit of of low self-esteem because i feel like oh.

[1:01:38] That's another excuse oh.

[1:01:40] Now it's low self-esteem.

[1:01:41] It's not that i'm not ready.

[1:01:42] It's not this and that the other you have no free will because now.

[1:01:46] It's low self-esteem.

[1:01:47] Well i feel like why would i date someone so much older like i i personally feel like if i date someone who's older than me i mean maybe not that much older but if i date someone who's older than me they're going to appreciate me more they're going to have more stability, it's going to be sorry did he want to have a father again so he did like that was one of the first things that he said he has two daughters and they're grown up and he wanted to have a son that's what he wanted okay.

[1:02:22] And is he wealthy.

[1:02:23] Yes okay.

[1:02:25] And he was i guess relatively attractive.

[1:02:29] Well we got along we had okay so not that attractive because you went no but but i definitely i definitely really liked him until i realized that i was just making another stupid mistake and now i'm kind of upset for sure i don't think i would date him again like i think you.

[1:02:50] Don't think you would date him again with.

[1:02:51] Him no i mean like if if he came back and was like oh oh, you know, I want to marry you, and I've dealt with my divorce.

[1:03:01] Oh, he's 55 now.

[1:03:02] I would kind of say he's lied to me. Yeah, and he's 55.

[1:03:05] Okay. Do you think it's hugely responsible to have a kid with a guy who's 55?

[1:03:11] No, and we did talk about that and how, you know, a child needs to have a father.

[1:03:17] I mean, he's lucky to make it to graduation of high school.

[1:03:20] Right.

[1:03:20] And, you know, those are some seriously creaky dino sperms, right?

[1:03:25] They are. They are. But he was promising me a certain kind of life, and I thought that he could.

[1:03:34] Be a good partner. Hang on, hang on. What do you mean, a certain kind of life?

[1:03:38] Well, his daughters went to private school, and they went to Harvard.

[1:03:44] He was bribing you.

[1:03:45] And I wouldn't say bribing.

[1:03:48] He was offering you money.

[1:03:50] Well, he was offering a certain kind of life.

[1:03:52] Which cost money.

[1:03:54] Which cost money.

[1:03:55] Okay.

[1:03:56] Yeah.

[1:03:57] So you were hoping to strike it rich?

[1:03:59] That was part of it. I wasn't hoping to strike it rich. I was hoping to live comfortably and to know that my child would have all the resources they needed at their disposal to have security in their life. And maybe it was a bit... Strike it rich.

[1:04:15] Like you wanted a guy with money.

[1:04:19] I suppose so. I don't think I really looked at it like, oh, I'm going to strike it rich. I looked at it like this guy can afford to give me a great life with ease and we get along really well.

[1:04:32] Okay. So it's all about money. I'm not saying that the guy was terrible, although it turns out he was, but you wouldn't have dated him if he was not wealthy.

[1:04:41] If he was not wealthy, I wouldn't have dated him. But there's a lot of guys that I wouldn't date that are younger and better looking that I also wouldn't date if they didn't have financial stability okay because that was a big problem for me in my other relationship with money so.

[1:05:00] He's got to be wealthy and listen i'm not i'm not saying good or bad right or wrong i'm just that's a standard right.

[1:05:09] Yeah i would like him to be so he's gonna bring.

[1:05:12] He's got to bring himself plus money to the relationship and what are you bringing plus.

[1:05:17] Yeah and he's also got got to be pretty outstanding as a person and i'm bringing me which is i'm also an outstanding person okay so you're both bringing you hang on.

[1:05:28] So you're both bringing you.

[1:05:29] Yeah and.

[1:05:31] He's got to bring money too.

[1:05:33] Yeah he's definitely got okay so what what is the extra what is the extra that hang on.

[1:05:38] What is the extra that you're bringing for the money.

[1:05:44] Well, I feel like I don't really need to bring extra if we're going to share the roles in the relationship.

[1:05:53] No, but you're not sharing the role. Hang on, hang on.

[1:05:55] Technically, I could.

[1:05:56] Hang on, hang on. You need to see this from the man's perspective, if you want.

[1:06:00] Okay.

[1:06:00] Right? So he's got to be him plus, let's say, a million dollars, right?

[1:06:06] Okay.

[1:06:07] Financial Considerations

[1:06:07] Whatever amount of money, assets.

[1:06:09] Whatever, yeah, okay.

[1:06:09] He's got to be him plus a million dollars. So what are you bringing? that's worth a million dollars to him because he's got to be him plus a million dollars so what are you bringing that's plus that is worth the million dollars for him.

[1:06:24] Well hopefully if we get along then i bring a lot of joy and nurturing and well.

[1:06:33] No no because that's equal he's going to bring.

[1:06:35] Into his life okay it's not that i have no money like if i wanted to i could we could have like a modern relationship where we both work full time and no but you want to be home.

[1:06:49] And have kids right.

[1:06:49] Ideally i would like to find someone that sees a value in that that actually so what is he getting happy what.

[1:06:56] Is he getting that's plus plus plus for the million dollars well.

[1:07:02] Currently i'm looking for somebody who wants to have a family and who was looking for someone they think would be a great mother and a great wife Right.

[1:07:11] But he has to be a great husband and father plus have a million dollars.

[1:07:16] Okay, well, I definitely have more savings than the average person, so it's not like I have no money. If we're talking about just money, it's not like I'm totally destitute and unstable and looking for some payday.

[1:07:31] Okay, but you need him to bring more money, right?

[1:07:34] I would like him to earn enough money that we're not going to find ourselves in a situation where we can't afford basic necessity.

[1:07:46] No, I get it. None of this is a criticism at all.

[1:07:49] You want private schools.

[1:07:53] And you want a nice neighborhood, and you want a nice house, and you want two cars. I have no issue with any of this at all. I just want to be clear.

[1:08:01] I mean, I do. I could compromise on that a little bit for an exceptional person, but I feel like the two kind of go hand in hand at my age.

[1:08:11] Okay. So you want him to provide, right? Right?

[1:08:14] I'd like him to be able to provide, yes.

[1:08:16] Okay. And what do you bring that makes him want to provide for you?

[1:08:24] Well, loyalty, commitment.

[1:08:27] Hang on. What evidence does he have of that based on your life so far?

[1:08:35] Well, he wouldn't have really any evidence per se. He would have what I tell him. about my life. I've never cheated on any of my partners.

[1:08:49] I mean, I was completely loyal. Your partners have killed themselves, lied to you, been drug addicts, been loser musicians, been like psychos who yell at strangers, right?

[1:09:02] Totally.

[1:09:03] Okay. So what evidence do you have to bring to a guy of means and quality that you can can sustain a relationship with a healthy man.

[1:09:15] Currently, the people that I've been chatting with and who are prospecting me and vice versa tell me that I am a very intelligent, charming person and that I make them happy and that they love spending time with me and that they want to continue getting to me. I don't know.

[1:09:34] My sister in Christ, you bring personal qualities to the relationship. I absolutely accept that. Okay.

[1:09:41] Yeah.

[1:09:42] Because the men also bring personal qualities to the relationship.

[1:09:45] I would hope so.

[1:09:47] Enough that we're compatible.

[1:09:50] Okay.

[1:09:50] So you're saying, well, I bring him joy. Well, he's going to bring you joy that cancels out, right?

[1:09:55] Okay. So in terms of the money, I don't really know what cancels out money. Because like I said, I mean, I do have money. And if I wanted to, I could work full-time as well.

[1:10:06] No, no, but if you want, let's say you want, hang on. Sorry to interrupt. Let's say that you want two kids and you want him to provide for 10 to 15 years, right? Okay.

[1:10:15] And I want him to enjoy it.

[1:10:17] Obviously. No, no.

[1:10:17] Like, I don't want...

[1:10:18] No, no, it's just material, material, practical, right?

[1:10:21] Okay. Okay.

[1:10:22] So he's going to have to bring a lot of assets and a lot of income to the table, right?

[1:10:29] Yeah. And I have no assets to inherit and no strong bond with a family. I have none of that.

[1:10:39] I have myself.

[1:10:40] I have my own...

[1:10:40] No, hang on. You're a 35-year-old woman still half-terrorized by your dad.

[1:10:46] Yes. Okay. See, now I'm brain fogging. Like, I have no idea what that's supposed to imply.

[1:10:54] I very much want you to get married and have kids.

[1:10:58] Thank you.

[1:10:59] I very much do.

[1:10:59] I'm really so glad I had the courage to do this Hail Mary.

[1:11:05] Yeah, listen, I wish you'd done it 10 years ago. More than we did. But I want you to get married and to have a family. But you have to be realistic.

[1:11:21] Okay. What does that mean?

[1:11:22] So, you need a guy not too old, somewhere between 30 and 40, making probably six figures, who's intelligent and affectionate and probably comes from a healthy family, or at least has done a lot of work on himself, right?

[1:11:48] Yep.

[1:11:49] Now, you want the very top tier of top tier guys, right?

[1:11:54] I do, yeah.

[1:11:56] Right. Now, the very top tier of top tier guys has an almost infinite number of options. You're in competition with everyone.

[1:12:07] That's true. But I am exceptional. It's not like the men that I go for aren't interested in me. Right now where I'm at is just trying to figure out, like, am I choosing people for the right reasons?

[1:12:26] Okay. So the word exceptional is not a magic word that has a guy choose you.

[1:12:33] Okay.

[1:12:34] Right.

[1:12:35] Right well i do i just i just find like the people that i'm currently speaking with they seem to really really like me you mean the.

[1:12:48] Men who you might be able to marry.

[1:12:51] Prospective Relationship

[1:12:51] Yeah so i've been i've been chatting with some people there's one person that's sort of at the the forefront he's 47 a bit older but not as old as the last guy and he went to princeton he is in ai he's been divorced for six years he has three children 14 18 21 and he says he's looking for the love of his life and he wants to have a child and he seems to really really like me Thank you.

[1:13:30] Okay, so then you probably don't need my advice.

[1:13:35] But I think I do. Because every time I get into a relationship, I think it's so great. And then I find out it's not. And then I find myself looking back and thinking, oh, there were these red flags. It's like, how do I know?

[1:13:53] Okay, so let's call AI guy. We'll call him Chad. All right?

[1:13:58] Uncovering Chad's Past

[1:13:58] Okay.

[1:13:59] So, what's Chad's childhood like?

[1:14:04] He said that he had a good relationship with his parents. I haven't specifically asked him.

[1:14:11] How long have you known Chad?

[1:14:13] We've only been chatting for about a month.

[1:14:15] Okay. And you haven't met?

[1:14:18] No.

[1:14:19] Okay. He's some more remote place?

[1:14:22] Well, he lives in LA. And I am going to be visiting LA next month. And so I started chatting with people who live in LA and he and I happened to hit it off. So we're going to meet when I'm down there traveling. And he says that if we get along as well in person as we do on the phone and through messages, then he would be willing to come visit me here. And then we could sort of build our relationship that way. And I've said I would be willing to move there if we got married. and he says he is looking to get married okay.

[1:15:02] Got it got it.

[1:15:05] But he also said that his wife was very difficult his ex-wife was very difficult and that she was especially difficult in the divorce.

[1:15:18] And he still.

[1:15:18] Has kids.

[1:15:19] Who were kids right.

[1:15:21] Yeah he has a 14 year old it's their 50 50 custody okay Okay.

[1:15:28] Okay. And how long ago did he get divorced?

[1:15:33] Six years.

[1:15:34] Six years. Okay.

[1:15:35] Yeah.

[1:15:35] Do you know if he's dated in the interim?

[1:15:38] He says that he has, but none of the relationships have worked out. They were all short term. He didn't feel like a love, a deep love connection with any of them.

[1:15:51] Okay. Okay. And you don't know much about his childhood other than he says he got along with his parents?

[1:15:59] Yeah.

[1:16:02] Exploring Childhood and Relationships

[1:16:02] Why do you think you haven't asked him more about his childhood?

[1:16:10] I maybe have just been looking at the positive things. things and maybe i should just be more assertive and ask him more serious questions yeah it's been.

[1:16:27] Fun and flirty and all of that and there's nothing wrong with that but not at the expense of really finding out about the person and.

[1:16:32] Right what.

[1:16:33] Does he know about you and your family and your dating history so.

[1:16:39] I pretty much told him everything that i could have told him within the time that we've been speaking like i'm very open about who i am because i know that it makes me a bit complicated, so i don't i don't bother falsifying any of that and he says that, he understands that i don't for example have a relationship with my mother, but i i definitely get the feeling see here's see here's a red flag that i have been kind of ignoring so it's like he said to me like would would your mom help you like raise, our child if we had a child and i said i really don't think my mom would want to do that or that sorry sorry so he.

[1:17:28] Did he knows that your mother was like pretty horrible and abusive right.

[1:17:31] Yeah Yeah, yeah.

[1:17:32] So why would he then say he would want your mother around his kids?

[1:17:35] I don't know, because I thought he was just being like, like sentimental, like, like, who wouldn't want. someone's parents or your your child's grandparents around maybe he doesn't he chose.

[1:17:50] A difficult wife to be the mother of his children and.

[1:17:54] He doesn't.

[1:17:54] Seem to process that your mother is abusive and would be negative for his future children.

[1:17:59] Yeah like i i felt like where we left it was that if things move forward with us he's going to want to potentially like meet my mother and try to try to make things right oh he wants to fix your family i mean he didn't say that but that was kind of the the subtext i got from what he said that he didn't want to press on it well he he just kind of said i said i don't think my mother you know would would want to do that or that she it would be a good idea that she did that like the last time i spoke to her she just said she didn't want want to speak to me anymore um and he was just like okay well like i'm sure that if you talk to her things could change and i was like i really don't think that they will because i'm certainly so he's.

[1:18:48] Like you need to fix things with your mom and i know better than you and i've chatted with you for a couple of weeks.

[1:18:53] I suppose so i said and i just completely brushed over that like we'll just deal with that in the future okay.

[1:19:03] So why why would you brush over that he's telling you that you don't know your relationship with your mother and he knows better.

[1:19:09] You know what i didn't think of it that way like now that you say it it's like this is so obvious but at the time i just thought oh he probably just doesn't understand the severity of what i'm talking about and i'm gonna have to like really unpack it for him and then he'll understand all right.

[1:19:30] Do you know if he's ever done any therapy?

[1:19:34] He said that he did go to therapy after his divorce and that he's back in therapy now because he's having a really hard time with his 18-year-old child. I guess there's tension between them. So he's currently going to therapy to help him manage that.

[1:19:56] Right.

[1:19:58] He hasn't specifically told me why they're fighting he just said it's like has to do with the divorce and that she feels like he didn't do what he should have done, to keep his marriage together but he says he's done everything he did everything he could do, so but see now Steph it went from sounding like a great idea like this this AI guy who who is enthusiastic about me to just another one of these situations where there's all these red flags everywhere that I'm just.

[1:20:35] No, no, I haven't said any of that. I'm, I'm, I mean, I, I don't know. I mean, I guess, so he feels he did everything right in his marriage and that the blame is on his wife.

[1:20:48] That that's the main red flag, I would say.

[1:20:51] Yeah, that's not great. No, no, i'm perfect she just went crazy that's.

[1:21:00] Pretty much it yeah.

[1:21:01] And i know better than you about your mother yeah.

[1:21:07] So you see i should probably just stop.

[1:21:08] No if if no i mean just be honest with the guy.

[1:21:13] And say what and say you're, you're not.

[1:21:19] Do you guys talk on the on the i mean quote phone or do you just text.

[1:21:24] So we have talked on the phone, but I have said I don't really want to talk on the phone every day because I don't really want to develop a strong attachment to him before I actually meet him. So we talk once a week and then we text once a day.

[1:21:42] So you've had three or four conversations with him by phone?

[1:21:46] Yeah. They were long conversations. Like, we definitely have a great rapport. We kind of have to, like, stop the conversation or it could just go on forever. I'd say our shortest conversation was probably an hour.

[1:21:58] How much are you self-suppressing?

[1:22:01] Probably a lot. Like, now that I'm thinking about all of this, I mean, already there's been a few instances, right, where I just completely brushed my own feelings and alarms under the rug.

[1:22:12] Well, it's, you know, the guy says, I did everything right in the divorce. I did everything right in the marriage. marriage, and be like, okay, like, you know, that's a bit of a red flag, right? I mean, you could be positive about it and kind of funny about it, right? You know, like, I mean, you know, I mean, maybe in divorces, there are some people who act a little better than the others, but the idea that there's an angel and a devil is not very reassuring.

[1:22:36] No, because it's false. It has to be dishonest.

[1:22:40] Well, and then this is probably why his 18-year-old is having problems with him.

[1:22:45] Exactly. But then I look at myself and I'm like, okay, yeah, sure, I'm really smart and I'm successful in my own right and I'm beautiful and I know I make a great partner, but what are my options, right? And it's like, this guy seems amazing, so I think this is what I always do, maybe, is I just feel limited or I have low self-esteem or whatever you want to call it, and then I ignore all of these things.

[1:23:11] I don't know the low self-esteem thing. I mean, you're magical and magnificent and wonderful and beautiful and smart. And I don't see how that fits with the low self-esteem thing.

[1:23:19] But then why would I just ignore all of those red flags and tell myself, well, this is probably a really good match. And you should have thrown away.

[1:23:28] Do you really want to know why?

[1:23:29] I do. I desperately do.

[1:23:31] Oh, okay. Because if you're bad.

[1:23:35] Okay. How does that?

[1:23:36] Because you suppress yourself with your dad. You can't be honest with your dad. You can't be direct with your dad. So that's your standard. And you're willing to accept that and that's fine for you. So that's what you get. And so... can't self-express with these guys, you can't be yourself, you can't be skeptical, which you should be, and they should be.

[1:23:55] Right? Yeah.

[1:23:57] So, with your dad, you're like, oh, well, if he wants me to not say things, I just won't say things.

[1:24:03] Right.

[1:24:03] So then with these guys, if there's something that you disagree with, you're like, oh, I guess I better shut up, because that's my standard with my dad.

[1:24:13] Yeah, it really is like a total mirror of that. Yeah. But then how do you think I should go about, dealing with this situation with my father like do you think if i completely stopped talking to my father that i would stop gaslighting myself are.

[1:24:31] You asking me to tell you.

[1:24:33] What to do no i'm not asking you okay good do you think that the solution or could be or do you think that it would be helpful if i just completely stop speaking with him or is there something i should say first that might be helpful.

[1:24:49] Well, doesn't he, I mean, you're 35 years old, right?

[1:24:51] Yeah.

[1:24:52] And when was the last time you said something and he got aggressive?

[1:24:57] So I spoke to him two weeks ago and we kind of had a bit of a heart to heart, but I could tell if I continued speaking on the subject, his sadness would quickly turn to anger and violence. So I just backed away.

[1:25:13] Okay. Okay, so he's continuing to bully you.

[1:25:17] Right.

[1:25:20] So what's there?

[1:25:23] Just a false hope.

[1:25:25] What do you mean a false hope?

[1:25:27] Like a false hope that one day he's just going to get it.

[1:25:33] Oh, so magic will happen and the bad guy turns into a good guy.

[1:25:37] Yes.

[1:25:38] Which is your whole dating strategy.

[1:25:41] I guess so.

[1:25:42] Well, it is, right?

[1:25:44] I mean, apparently.

[1:25:45] No, no, don't apparently me. Don't fuck me now, sister. No, I mean, I'm not trying to fuck you on this thing. Don't go fuck you on me now.

[1:25:51] That's what it looks like, right? That's clearly what's happening.

[1:25:53] Well, you date these guys and you hope that magic is going to turn them into good guys. Has it ever happened?

[1:26:00] No.

[1:26:00] So why are you still believing in stuff that never happens?

[1:26:03] Well, I don't know. It's like, look at this guy, right? This AI guy. He seems great, but it's like, actually, he's probably just the exact same kind of person that I keep dating over and over again.

[1:26:13] Well, you can't date people you're scared of. And if you can't be honest, it's because you're scared of them.

[1:26:25] Yeah.

[1:26:25] And then you say, gee, these guys turn out to be unreliable, manipulative, and aggressive. And it's like, but from the very beginning, you're scared. And it's not because you're a coward, right? I mean, you're a brave woman, you've taken on a lot in your life. but it's because you have that central principle with your father, That I shut up, I appease, I don't confront, I'm not honest, I cross my fingers and wait for magic to happen.

[1:26:56] Yeah, and it's totally, it's ruined a big part of my life.

[1:26:59] Well, you've been doing this for 20 years with your dating life, right?

[1:27:02] Yeah.

[1:27:03] Maybe the coke addict will magically become fine. Maybe the failed musician will suddenly become successful. Maybe the guy who's really aggressive will suddenly turn nice.

[1:27:16] Yeah.

[1:27:17] Maybe the guy who's still living with his wife of 37 years is a great prospect for a husband and a father.

[1:27:24] I know, it's so insane.

[1:27:26] No, it's not insane at all. It's just based on, this is the price you have of appeasing your father. Like, I personally, I don't have people in my life that I have to appease.

[1:27:38] Right.

[1:27:38] Because that would spread everywhere.

[1:27:44] Was it was it very easy for you to make the decision to stop talking to your mom like i've been listening to you for a while and i i know you've said there was a time that you actually tried to help her oh yes yes absolutely.

[1:27:58] I earned i earned my way out with great honor.

[1:28:04] So was there like was there just a point where you realized that you had to just completely Completely not speak to her? And did you just simply do that?

[1:28:13] What do you mean have to?

[1:28:16] I mean, for your own well-being.

[1:28:18] I mean, I just didn't want to talk to her anymore. Because I tried my best and I was just direct and honest and she just escalated and manipulated and lied and gaslit and then ended up throwing things around the room. And it's like, okay, well, I can't do anything here.

[1:28:37] Yeah, and I feel like that's pretty much where I'm at with my dad, but I just, for some reason, I have this deep sense of guilt.

[1:28:51] Okay, so you understand these mechanics.

[1:28:54] Right?

[1:28:54] So, it's nothing to do with you. It's not you. It's not your sense of guilt. There's no big silver ghost of a relationship that you believe in. You are used to complying with your dad because he's terrifying. yeah so you comply with him because you're scared so he wants you to stick around, He wants you to stick around. What's the benefit to you? Well, you can't tell the truth. You can't be honest. You can't be direct. And it has a huge ripple effect on your other relationships. When was the last time you had a problem? You went to your father and you got some really great advice.

[1:29:32] Never, I don't think.

[1:29:33] Okay. So he's not parented you.

[1:29:35] No.

[1:29:36] So he's not a parent. He's a sperm donor. He lived in the same house. But he didn't parent you. you because parenting you is giving you guidance and and wisdom and being helpful as a resource for your life to get better right so he's not he didn't parent you.

[1:29:54] No no i think he usually gives me bad advice.

[1:30:00] Okay so he actually corrupts your decision-making process with bad advice so he sabotages you i guess so no no no he does don't guess so i'm i'm trying to figure out i'm sorry i'm not trying to convince you of something you're right.

[1:30:15] I think i'm just terrified i think there's a huge part of me that's just constantly living in terror.

[1:30:19] Yes i know and i totally sympathize with that i really do i mean you were raised in a terrifying environment terrifying Terrifying.

[1:30:34] Yeah, I really got to figure out how I'm going to sever this relationship. And then there's a part of me that feels like, oh, well, he's old, right? So he's not going to be around forever.

[1:30:52] Yeah, but he can wait out your fertility window.

[1:30:55] Yeah. I mean, what does it matter?

[1:30:57] What does it matter? If he dies in 10 years and you're 45, then you don't get your family.

[1:31:04] No, absolutely.

[1:31:05] And your looks are half-shortened. Then you've got to start dating 70-year-olds and circling them like a freaking Nazgul.

[1:31:14] You've got a nice house.

[1:31:15] You can't live forever.

[1:31:20] Yeah, no, and that's not what I want for myself, and it's certainly not what I envisioned for myself, you know, in my youth when I still had my whole life ahead of me. So it was really helpful for you to point out that I actually am constantly avoiding confrontation while I'm getting to know… You.

[1:31:41] Think it's confrontation because of your father's so aggressive. It's a confrontation. Just telling the truth. Listen, I mean, have I been fairly blunt with you?

[1:31:50] Yes.

[1:31:51] Would you call this a confrontation?

[1:31:53] No.

[1:31:53] No, I'm just being honest and you're being honest and I'm trying to be as helpful as possible. I hope, I mean, I'm not trying to be judgy or negative or hostile.

[1:32:02] No, you're saving me here.

[1:32:03] I'm just being honest as far as I can see. But it's not a big confrontation. or like the confrontation is the word we use when there are bullies in the room.

[1:32:12] Right.

[1:32:15] Unpacking Emotional Avoidance

[1:32:16] Yeah. No, you're totally right. This is just, it's blowing my mind because I'm looking back at all of these interactions I've had where I can actually sense that there might be an emotional outburst and I intentionally avoid. void. Like I could have, for example, the guy who was married, like I could have pressed him more to integrate me into his life and to introduce me to his kids and his family sooner. But I didn't push back because I think I could sense that there might be a conflict there. Sorry to interrupt.

[1:32:55] You didn't need to do any of that to know he was a bad guy. and i can tell you how this is this is like super magic here okay okay so i'm gonna put myself in the shoes of a 53 year old guy still living with his wife of 37 years right okay and i'm dating this pretty 35 year old woman who wants to get married and have kids right yeah now the first The first thing that I'm going to say, if I'm legit, right, is I'm going to say, look, my living situation is a huge red flag. I know that. I'm still living with my wife of 37 years, right?

[1:33:40] Yeah.

[1:33:42] So you have absolutely every reason to be skeptical of what I'm saying. So here's what I'm going to do. And I know this may be uncomfortable. You don't have to do anything, but I'll tell you what I'm willing to do to prove to you that I'm on the up and up. I'm going to show you the separation papers. I'm going to have my wife email you and tell you that it's fine to date. And if you're not comfortable with that, I can set up a very short coffee thing because, listen, I mean, I'm not trying to make you uncomfortable, but I'm making these claims here that I'm available while I'm still living with my wife.

[1:34:19] Yeah.

[1:34:20] So I'm going to do everything I can to reassure you that this is all legitimate because I'm not an asshole and I don't want to waste a 35-year-old woman's fertile years. Did he do any of that?

[1:34:33] No.

[1:34:34] Okay, so that's all you need to know. You don't have to confront him. the fact that he's not saying here's how I'm going to make you comfortable with this obviously crazy situation, like you have every reason to be skeptical so the fact that he wasn't bending over backwards to prove his claims means that his claims were bullshit, because if you're legit if you're legit and you're in a situation and you're making these claims you would prove them to put you at ease Peace. So you don't need to confront anyone. You would simply say, you would look at this guy and you'd say, I mean, first of all, you could just wait and say, see if he says I've got proof and here's how I'm going to reassure you. If he doesn't do any of that, just assume he's lying. Now you can, if you want, say, I need proof. Obviously I need proof. I can't just hand over my heart to some guy who's still living with his wife. Lots of guys lie and nothing personal, but I need proof, right?

[1:35:36] Right.

[1:35:37] But even if you don't do that, the fact that he's not offering proof means he's not legit.

[1:35:44] Yeah, it makes perfect sense.

[1:35:46] I mean, if I say I have a yacht, and every time you come down to the marina, I say, oh, no, it's in for repair. Oh, no, I lent it to a friend of mine. Oh, no, blah, blah, blah, right?

[1:35:56] Yeah.

[1:35:56] I mean, I'm lying.

[1:36:00] Yeah. No, it makes perfect sense to me now. I wish it...

[1:36:06] But you're not used to that kind of consideration for your thoughts and feelings.

[1:36:11] No, I guess I'm not.

[1:36:13] You're not used to people saying, I really, really need to work to reassure this fine young lady. Because I'm making some pretty wild claims here. And I need to really make sure that she understands and is taken care of as well. People putting your needs first. Like, I can tell you how to get the AI guy if you want.

[1:36:31] Well, do I even want him anymore?

[1:36:33] I don't know, but I can tell you have to get him or any other man in your stage of life.

[1:36:39] Okay. Please do.

[1:36:43] So the way that you get a high-quality man is by reducing the number of variables in his life.

[1:36:51] Okay.

[1:36:51] So the way you get a high-quality man is you bring uncomplicated devotion to his happiness and welfare, and that's your million dollars. us.

[1:37:03] No, that makes perfect sense.

[1:37:04] You say, I'm going to make your life better. I'm not bringing a complicated father-in-law. I'm not bringing a messy mother-in-law. I don't have kids. I'm ready for family. I'm ready for wife. I want to support you and make your life better and simpler. I'll do your taxes. I'll run the household. I'll reduce the variables in your life so you can focus entirely on your success and being a father. And your life is going to to be a million-fold better because I'm in it making your life much less complicated, much more supported, and much happier. If you need me to deal with your ex, I'll deal with your ex. I mean, that may be a bridge too far, but I will make your life, I'll deal with all the mail, I will just make your life simple and you can focus on what you do best, which which is do the AI stuff, have a great career, and be a great dad. Your ex-wife complicated your life. I'm going to simplify your life to the point where you say a million bucks. That's a great deal.

[1:38:09] Yeah now and that's that's what i i want to do but i appreciate you putting it to words i think sometimes i think to myself you know all of those things are simple or obvious but it's not i think i really need to communicate more clearly like what i intend to bring to a man's life right Right.

[1:38:33] And the spark of your personality, I mean, I'm not saying that that's not there, you're delightful to chat with, but he's bringing that too, right? Because if you say, well, you have to bring a million dollars, I'm just bringing myself, you're telling the guy he's minus a million dollars, and he has to bring a million dollars just to make up for how terrible and boring and lame he is. And a man feels humiliated by that and won't marry you.

[1:38:57] Right, of course.

[1:38:58] So you have to say listen you're bringing you plus a million dollars i'm bringing me plus plus plus right all of these ways i'm going to make your life fantastic, because your million dollars makes my life fantastic and i'm going to bring all of this stuff that's going to make you more than like you bring a million dollars to me you're going to end up with 10 million dollars exactly because your life is going to be so focused, on you know because i bet you this guy like his career got kind of crippled by the divorce and And I mean, I remember working with a guy who was a computer, a fantastic computer programmer. And, you know, he every time the phone rang, you could see his face turn 19 different shades of red and green. And right, because it was his wife's lawyer or ex-wife's lawyer, and he just couldn't concentrate. And his whole career was crippled. Right. I mean, so you're like, no, man, I'm I'm turning you into a racehorse.

[1:39:50] And that's what I really want. But I want to make sure that I give that energy to the right person. And I think I'm going to start by being a bit more confrontational.

[1:40:03] No, no, no. Don't think of it as confrontational, because that's going to mean you get aggressive.

[1:40:07] Right. No, that's not what I want to do.

[1:40:09] I mean, passionate. And it can all be good humored.

[1:40:13] Right.

[1:40:14] Right. It can be, oh, so listen, I get that you're an AI guy, but let's not pretend that you know better than me how my relationship goes with my mom, right? Like, with all due respect, you know, I appreciate the concern. I really do. But, you know, let's not get ahead of ourselves. You've known me precisely for a couple of weeks. I've known my mother for 35 years, okay? So, you know, please, just, you know, give me a little credit here. here right it can be very positive it's not conference like how dare you and that's just very aggressive and negative right yeah but people you know giving them some reasonable boundaries that are positive and enjoyable i mean i i think i've quote confronted you on some things here that i think might need a few tweaks but i don't think it's been a horrible experience.

[1:41:00] No it's a great experience to have an honest conversation with somebody you know when everything's coming from a place of love.

[1:41:08] Yeah. I mean, I, I, I want what's, what's best for you. And you know, but, but, but you, you have to be, you know, you have to be ruthless because, you know, I don't have to tell you clock is ticking, but clock is ticking, right?

[1:41:22] Yeah.

[1:41:22] You, you got to get married in the next year.

[1:41:25] Yeah. No, it's really, it's really a high pressure situation. And I feel like all the skills I've acquired over the past 10 years of me trying to to heal and become a more rational and reasonable person all of that is is coming into effect now and i need to use all of these skills to try to make the right decision because i've never wanted to get married and get divorced like i really of course of course want to make sure that whoever i marry i'm going to stick with it all right i'm going to give you one piece.

[1:41:56] Of advice i didn't drop i'm going to give you one other piece of advice that may seem the most surprising advice i've ever given.

[1:42:01] Okay stop being honest oh i don't know what that means about your exes really yeah absolutely really absolutely he you don't think he needs to know no.

[1:42:17] Embracing Selective Honesty

[1:42:18] Please god please god stop being honest.

[1:42:24] What should i say then should i just yeah i've had good relationships.

[1:42:28] I've had some in different relationships. You know, I've been single for quite a while. And, you know, I've made some mistakes, I've learned. But please, God, stop talking about, well, there's this guy who was a drug addict and he committed suicide. And there's this guy who was... It's fine with me because, you know, we're not dating. But, yeah, you gotta...

[1:42:47] It's just scaring them away.

[1:42:48] Well... You have had a lot of time to process all this information. Right. Dump this on a man's lap. This is all he knows.

[1:43:00] Yeah. Okay, noted. Thank you for that. Because usually I just bear it all because I feel like all the relationships I've been in have had such an impact on who I am as a person.

[1:43:15] But that's terrible, right? Because they're failed relationships, right?

[1:43:19] Yeah.

[1:43:19] And I would argue that this level of honesty regarding past relationships is a form of self-sabotage and filtering out healthy guys.

[1:43:32] Yeah, I mean, I definitely usually, when I tell someone that I dated a guy who was a drug addict and committed suicide, they go from being very happy to looking kind of sad.

[1:43:43] Yeah, like, honestly, please, please shut up about that stuff. Please, God, take it to your grave. Take it to your grave.

[1:43:50] Okay i will i know seriously it would have occurred to me because this.

[1:43:54] Is this is a long time ago it.

[1:43:57] Was it was i would never date anyone that i've dated in the past now that's for sure okay.

[1:44:03] So why are you like i guess you get some drama like why would you.

[1:44:07] No i'm just trying to be honest like i don't i just feel like i owe it to the person to tell them i don't know because Because I guess it's part of my own red flags. It's like I'm trying to just lay it all out.

[1:44:21] No, but you're raising red flags like crazy.

[1:44:26] I guess so. I don't know.

[1:44:28] Personally, I think it's your dad driving you to tell all of this stuff, so you stay single and available to him when he's old. I don't think it's your... There's no self-interest for you in this.

[1:44:38] I guess not. I think I'll try that out for sure.

[1:44:42] Yeah. Yeah, I mean, nobody expects you to be a virgin, but men don't want to think of you, Romeo and Julietting, some guy who was a drug addict. That's just, that's sordid, vile, trashy, trailer park stuff.

[1:44:59] I know.

[1:45:00] So, shut up about this stuff, for God's sakes.

[1:45:05] Well, now I'm going to feel better about that.

[1:45:06] It's okay to have a little mystery.

[1:45:08] Okay. We'll definitely do that. Thank you for the advice, Steph, and thank you for, you know, just every day putting out philosophy into the world.

[1:45:23] You are very welcome. Is there anything else that I can help you with? Because I don't want to be another 10 years and you'll be like, well, I dated a space alien and it turned out he had one too many tentacles. I mean, I just want to.

[1:45:35] No, but maybe I will give you a call back in six months and let you know how it's going. Please.

[1:45:43] And I have nothing against the AI guy, just in case that matters to you at all.

[1:45:49] A little bit, yeah.

[1:45:50] He could be the guy.

[1:45:52] He could be the guy.

[1:45:54] And I don't even mind the fact that you've decided to hold your peace with regards to all of this stuff. But if you guys are talking about moving fast, because you have to move fast, and when you have to move fast, you have to get information pretty quickly. So fine, you know, I would say fly out to meet him. I wouldn't wait. Just fly out to meet him.

[1:46:15] Yeah.

[1:46:16] And, you know, just be real frank, right? And like, okay, so what am I getting into? What's the X? What's the story of the marriage? You know, if I'm going to be a stepmom, I need to know what's going on with these kids. Like, you know, you've got to just have to be like boom, boom, boom, right?

[1:46:30] Yeah, absolutely. I haven't been boom, boom, boom enough. I need to... not be passive at all.

[1:46:37] Well, I think, you know, and I know it's tough because, you know, there's that fun, flirty, chatty stuff, which is great. I'm not trying to diminish that, but you know, you're, you're on a bit of a mission here, right?

[1:46:47] Yeah. No. And, and he does know that. And I've been very clear about that. And he's been very clear that he's, if we meet and we have a great connection the way we do now, then he wants to get married.

[1:46:59] Moving Towards Clarity

[1:47:00] Okay. So good. And, um, I would certainly figure out you know what's the story with your dad you can have relationships in which you're silenced bullied and frightened and appeasing but just know especially if it's a relationship like with a father the ripple effects are huge yeah and there's a big price to be paid and i don't think you should pay it because it's not you didn't choose this relationship with your father and you don't have any control over him no i don't we shouldn't let accidents of history rob us of the benefits of the future absolutely.

[1:47:39] It's gonna be it's gonna be hard to accept the reality and maybe that's part of why i still haven't let go of the relationship is i tell myself that you know things could be better than they are but i know that they're never going to change.

[1:47:53] No they're not at.

[1:47:54] This point no.

[1:47:55] No way no way no yeah so all right Right. Well, listen, keep me posted. I certainly wish you the best. I really do appreciate the conversation. And, you know, I got my fingers crossed that this is a good guy. Maybe he is. And I hope that you'll let me know how it goes.

[1:48:10] I will. Thank you so much again, Steph.

[1:48:12] You're welcome.

[1:48:13] I really appreciate the advice. Bye. Okay, you too. Bye.

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