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relationship question
Posted by: Tashi ()
Date: June 16, 2006 04:06AM

I have just started going out with this guy and I am a bit confused. He is really cute and nice and fun to be around but we are soooooo different. In some ways we are the same...We are both pretty down to earth people but we have a lot of differences. I am a raw vegan and I don't drink, do drugs, etc. I am very neurotic, although I do my best to appear relaxed. Sometimes I am relaxed but mostly I feel nervous, jumpy and anxious and constantly feel as if I need to be saving the world or something, hence making it a bit hard for me to really chill out.

He, on the other hand, eats all animals, drinks beer and smokes cigarettes. He is reallllly relaxed and fun to be around. However he seems to be a bit ignorant about the state of affairs of the world. Sometimes I cringe at his ignorance and the things that he says. Where as I am constantly thinking about the environment, animals and all that kind of stuff and doing my best to understand how I can make a difference, it seems to me that these things don't really cross his mind all that much.

However, I am strangely attracted to him. I know he likes me and is sort of pushing for us to be in a committed relationship, however I don't really know what to do. I feel as though he lacks a certain kind of worldliness and intelligence but when I am around him I just feel so relaxed. I don't judge him for how he lives his life. I understand that I am very blessed to have the knowledge that I do and I don't judge him for his choices. But I really don't see if I should get really involved with someone when I know we are so different. But he just seems so keen on me and loving after such a short time and not afraid to hide it, which I find so cute and endearing.

My last boyfriend was super intelligent but a bit shy and emotionally reserved and not that courageous or affectionate, whereas this guy is very loving, affectionate and confident.

What do I do?? I need advice!!!

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: June 16, 2006 05:12AM

A little affection goes a long way, stick with the guy!

By the way, I used to eat Burger King and thought vegetarians were kind of funny.

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: Funky Rob ()
Date: June 16, 2006 07:25AM

It depends on what you want out of a relationship. Would you consider living together in the future? If so, could you share a house with someone smoking and eating meat? If it's never going to be that serious then less of a problem.

Rob

--
Rob Hull - Funky Raw
My blog: [www.rawrob.com]

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: Ally ()
Date: June 16, 2006 08:00AM

Hi NNNNNarz. You're one of my favorite people on this forum; but I agree with funky rob and I'd like to go a little further with this, since I married and then divorced a man who was also very fun to be around (at first) but had habits similar to Tashi's friend.

Tashi, have you talked to your friend about your concerns? Have you asked him if he would consider trying to give up smoking and drinking? I wouldn't push it with him at all. No way. Don't try to change him. But he may WANT to change, and he may want to have a lifestyle more like yours. He may even welcome your help and encouragement, since giving up drinking or smoking can be very difficult.

On the other hand, if it appears he really doesn't seem interested in living a healthier life, you should consider the consequences of that for both of you in the long run.

Just for starters, if you got pregnant, would he be willing to never smoke in the house, and would he insist that his friends never smoke in the house? Second hand smoke really does cause some birth defects.

And as far as the drinking - it's pretty common for young people to start out drinking beer and be normal and fine. But later, unfortunately, so MANY of them turn alcoholic, and that can affect your whole life, and your children's lives too. Even the most wonderful people in the world can become just horrible from alcohol.

Suppose you have children, and then suppose at some point in your lives, he becomes alcoholic. Imagine him wanting affection, no, imagine him INSISTING on affection when he is drunk (and pissing on himself). Or imagine yourself worried about your children every time your husband has to drive them somewhere. That's what it can be like.

You may end up sticking it out for years with him because you love him and because you have kids. He will of course be feeding your children meat, even when they are sick, and he will be smoking around your children. At some point, it all may become unbearable. If you get a divorce, and if your child custody is shared in any way, then he will be having the children without you around. That means he may not care about smoking in the house or in the car when they are with him. And it means he may be driving them around when he is drunk.

Maybe your friend seems relaxed, but how much of that relaxation is coming from beer and cigarettes? If he were really relaxed, deep down relaxed, he wouldn't indulge. And if he continues to follow the path he is on, there will be consequences for both of you.

Make sure you take a really good look. Is he really affectionate toward you in a way that he is GIVING affection, rather than just wanting affection for himself? Does he care how you are feeling, etc? If he is not interested in discussing most of the things that are important to you, that's not a good sign. Showing some interest in the things that matter to you is a true sign of affection.

After my husband and I divorced over 20 years ago, I was lucky to find a very kind, generous, but reserved partner who encourages me to strive towards my beliefs, because his vision is so similar to mine. We are able to help each other grow, rather than hold each other back. A good partnership can only exist where both partners have common goals.

My son is 37 years old now, but when he comes to town to visit, I still have to share that time with his father, because my son is a good, loyal son. But it's still hard on my son, and it's hard on me. Now my son has his own family, and it's hard on his wife and their son.

I wish now I'd had enough confidence in myself and enough patience to wait for the right one.

You are fine. You don't sound neurotic to me. Making a commitment is the most important decision of your life. Go slow.

Wishing you the best, Ally



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2006 08:08AM by Ally.

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: davidzanemason ()
Date: June 16, 2006 10:28AM

Opinion:

-You cannot expect anybody to do anything differently after you hook up. That is rather un-realistic and cruel. It's all about whether you can love them and accept them for who they ARE. There is certainly nothing wrong with providing a good example for change......but you can't expect another to change for you - just because YOU are with them.

-Don't hook up with anyone that you can't see them doing exactly what they do NOW for the rest of your life.

-The masters say that a difficult relationship is a chance to practice dignity, strength and acceptance within yourself. It shouldn't be about HIM....it should be about you. What do YOU want?

-The above suggestions are great (Funky Rob, Ally, Narz..etc.) Do you want to live in a house with a guy that smokes?

-David Mason

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Again with a spiritual perspective....
Posted by: Piano Gal ()
Date: June 16, 2006 11:31AM

As DavidZ always starts: Opinion:

What is the purpose of a relationship? Who is it meant to serve. If we think it is meant to give us something - we will forever be dissapointed at some point, because someone will always not fulfill something we think we want or need - and then we're unhappy, and then we try to change them, and then they're unhappy and yadayadayada. I'm sure you know the drill.

What if the purpose of every relationship is to bring something....well....Divine into the planet. And it isn't about what he is or isn't going to give ME.

Personally, whenever I meet anyone of either sex and there is that ZING - I say to myself, "Ah....there is inherent design between me and this other person. What does the ZING mean. What does Life, God, Creator, Source, Spirit - call it what you will - have in mind for this ZING.

And then I let life show me, over time - it's time - what it has in mind.

From my own early experiences (read: messes!) and from observing others, I think when people feel a ZING - they have only one translation for what that ZING means: Let's have sex, and be in a relationship, or get married or...you know what I meant.

I suggest there are as many possibilities in "ZING" as there are combinations of people. If you don't overlay what you think you WANT on that ZINg - then you will discover what LIFE has in mind for it. And then you will experience fuilfillment, creation - not ultimate desolation - from rightly translating ZINg into form.

Could it be the ZING means there is the potential for one life-changing conversation between you, and that's all that needs to happen? Could it mean that you are supposed to write a book together? Could it mean you are life long partners supposed to bear a magical child or three or six? Could it mean you are to become business partners? Let life show you what ZING means. Be patient. ZING doesn't exist for you - it exists so you can participate intelligently relative to ZINg - and be the instrument of creating something beautiful, holy, sacred, of God.

Don't you wish they taught us these things in school???

Much love, and a little zing,

Piano Gal

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: maureen1969 ()
Date: June 16, 2006 11:54AM

When I met dh he smoked, drank and ran a little wild. However, he is very grounded in many many other ways. His confidence and raw power amazed me. His ethics are pure and untainted. He would never ever go out of his way to hurt someone or say something cruel. He always has been very responsible with work, his duties to our children and to me.

I was a vegitarian when I met him, and he was a meat and potato type of guy.

Our politics were so different and continue to be so.

For some reason, it works for us. I don't know how? Mutual respect?

He stopped smoking ten years ago (we've been married 15) and he had the respect never to smoke in our home. One day he just gave it up.

He doesn't drink anymore except for that occasion social beer.

He eats what I prepare for him and doesn't complain and doesn't think anything of eating meatless meals now 3/4 of the week. I still cannot believe it when he does knowing how much he loves meat. I try so hard for it to be filling for him.

There were a lot of things he has tried over the years and he says I lead him by example.

I think in his case he never saw what I saw as he was too wrapped up in his world. I think a lot of people are like that. Habits are so hard to break. As a collective society most people do things a certain way. Sometimes it's hard to look beyond that when you're caught up in the majority.

So, for us, it works. I am very high strung and cannot relax, but I can when I'm with him. I feel protected and taken care of. When I am with him I know that all is well even though we are so very different in so many many many ways.

I never expected him to change, but I knew I couldn't walk away from him. He changed so much! Even his work changed. He was all about money and making money, and now he works for a company that is not for profit to help people get medical care when they can't afford it.

I can understand what you're going through; I felt similar too. I kept him, and in my case, it worked.

Good luck to you! smiling smiley

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: la_veronique ()
Date: June 16, 2006 12:19PM

hey tasha,

u know what you're doing
everyone takes chances
you'll learn either way

good luck

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: vegangoddess ()
Date: June 16, 2006 01:09PM

I would say that it is hard to be with someone who has such vast differences unless of course love comes in the way and melts it all away smiling smiley
But I think that it`s good to have atleast a few of the most important values in common for the relationship to progress in a way that satisfies you both.
But do what you feel you want to do. It depends on whether you could live with the differences and if you think you can you ought to give this man a chance.

Good luck either way smiling smiley

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: fruitgirl ()
Date: June 16, 2006 04:23PM

my yoga teacher told me don't EVER make a committment
til you've dated the person at least six months.

it has been the best advice ever (thank you Satya if
you're here)

like whats the big hurrry?

frankly i have such a tight checklist im sure to be
single for the next 100 lives.

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: June 16, 2006 05:16PM

This is a difficult one because I tend to the type that thinks "people can change".
When I first met my best friend, I was not vegan but she was loving and patient and answered all of my questions with compassion. I was receptive and became vegan shortly thereafter.
I would guess that you will really have to evaluate what you want? If you are considering this person as a potential long-term partner/co-parent, then there are more issues to consider. What values will he contribute to a shared household and to children?
Personally, I have found that many of my "alternative" ideas about diet and values also translate into every other arena of my life (parenting, friendships and such) so it would be hard for me to have a partner who basically represented everything that I believe in the least.
I would want a strong support partner/co-parent.
Now, if you are just looking for someone to have fun with for a while (and him too), maybe it's a different story.

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: June 16, 2006 05:20PM

Veggiemel Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is a difficult one because I tend to the type
> that thinks "people can change".

Of course. People can change what they do but not who they are.

Therefore choose based on who they are not what they do. What people do always evolves over time.

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: teloking57 ()
Date: June 17, 2006 02:43AM

There really are some great answers here. When it comes to relationships, it's really a personal thing. Different things work for different people.

However, I would go with my gut feeling about things. Over the years I've learned to trust my inner voice alot. Although I don't always follow what it says, and then I always ask myself why not after the fact!!!!!

I agree with the comments about not changing him. That never is a good idea!!!!
If you can't love a guy the way he is, then look for someone else.

It is tough when one wants a relationship before the other does. However, pushing the other person into a relationship when they obviously are not ready is not good. It shows little respect for how that person feels.

Writing facts on paper always works wonders for me!!!!!
Perhaps make a sheet of your idea of Mr. Right. List all of the characteristics you want him to possess. Then make a sheet of Mr. Here and now and list his characteristics and see how close they come.

Also list all the things you do not like about the guy and think about how even now they may be a novelty, after the 5,000th time of hearing or seeing or putting up with it, how will that make you feel?

It's obvious that you have doubts, so this may be a good way to allow you to see what's right in front of your face.

I do believe the main thing is how he treats you. Because when it comes right down to it, that shows alot about how your future will look.

Take the smoking. If he finds it funny to blow smoke around you, or doesn't care about how you feel about him smoking around you, then it's not about the smoking, it's about respecting you and your feelings.



I change my answer.
Run for the fricking hills!!!!@#!@!!@

Wheatgrass, it does a body good!!!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2006 02:52AM by teloking57.

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: Tashi ()
Date: June 17, 2006 03:54AM

Thank you so much for all your help and advice, you are all so wonderful!! Well, as for the smoking and stuff, he wants to quit and only smokes about 5 a day and I don't think he drinks all that much, just or fun. He respects my choices and light heartedly jokes about them in a non-threatening way. He does not really smoke much around me.

He is really considerate and has stong family values...I think I am going to run wih it for a while. He is a super positive person and kind. Whereas I look at what is wrong with the world, he looks at what is right about the world. Maybe that is a good thing for me.... My last boyfriend was absolutely perfect on paper but I just don't get excited about him like I do this new guy. I am not looking to get married any time soon so I am going to do what feels right for me now.

In recent years I have always over-anazlyzed things and I think for once I am just going to let things happen instead of trying to control them. It feels good to be around him so I think I will go for it and see what happens.

Thank you so much for your help and advice, it means a lot to me. xx

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: Ally ()
Date: June 17, 2006 07:26PM

Tashi,

Sounds like he's not too bad. It's good that he is "really considerate and has strong family values" and that he is trying to quit smoking. If he drinks "just for fun", that's a lot better than drinking everyday.

Best of luck to you both,

Ally

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: chickory ()
Date: June 21, 2006 02:51PM

Hi Tashi,
I offer my observations from being in my current relationship for 18 years, expereincing several unhappy relationships previously, observing and talking to other people, and reading a lot on building hea;thy relationships.

The initial magic feeling is often fatasy. It can take 6 months to a year to realize what the other person really is like.

People are often attracted to others who duplicate one's early family life. )Children of alcoholics are attracted to alcoholics, some one with a distant parent is attracted to distant partners, etc. One is trying to do it over again, wanting to "get it right" this time.

Long-term relationships are based on shared values and mutual respect. Physical attraction is short-lived.

Many vegetarian women I've known who marry non-vegetarians end up giving up their vegetarianism. Sometimes because it's too hard to cook different meals all the time, simetimes because the non-vegetarian opposes or undermines the one trying to be healthier.

Good luck in sorting this out.
Chickory

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: cfd7f ()
Date: June 21, 2006 07:41PM

Tashi,

My philosophy is if you like him and he's fun to be with, and he likes you and thinks you are fun to be with, then go, have fun together. That's what life is all about. Enjoy the journey and don't stress on the destination.When my wife and I met (as 18 year olds) we had almost nothing in common, but boy did we hit it off. Now we are 31, married for 7 years, have 2 kids and still giggle in bed after we turn out the lights like a couple of little kids. Enjoy what you've got going and see what happens! That's the fun of it. Bets of luck.

Raw Daddy -- livin' raw and lovin' it

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Re: relationship question
Posted by: rawmark ()
Date: June 21, 2006 08:44PM

Ahh, you need Carol Adams book called "Living Among Meat Eaters". She is a longtime vegan that shares her home with a husband who is an omnivore and a couple of children that don't necessarily share her philosophy about animals and the planet. This book will help you tenfold.

[www.amazon.com]

If you click on the 41 new/used then you can buy from the marketplace and you are supporting refill/recycle/reuse philosophy.


Peace,

Marcos

Go Vegan for your life, your health, the planet and, most importantly, the animals that we share this wonderful world with!

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