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  1. #1611
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Apr 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by YUI View Post
    You're right. I'm an atheist, and I'm familiar with telling little white lies and fudging the truth in order to keep peace in social settings.

    Of course, the difference with a story about a fake girlfriend is that people pry. They feel it's okay to ask about details, ask how you met, ask what it's like putting up with an LDR, etc. But whatever. I guess that's the price one pays to keep the peace. Like I say, I've been in an actual LDR previously and had to explain it socially. So I know what's required. I'll just prep a good story accordingly.

    I also dug out an old, plain, back-up wedding band from my first marriage. I'm thinking of putting it on my right (non-marriage) ring finger. It may seem like overkill, but I've definitely noticed that walking around without any jewelry on my hands these last 5-6 years is like having a target painted on my back. Older women look at older men's hands the same way that young men look at young women's cleavage. Sometimes I feel like saying to older women, "Eyes up here!"

    The ring wouldn't be on the marriage finger, but it should at least cause women to pause and ask. I envision conversations with female friends going like this:

    Friend: You have a ring on your right hand?
    Me: It's kind of a "going steady" ring. We're not engaged or anything, but my girlfriend wanted us to wear something to show that we're in a committed relationship. Just so that there are no misunderstandings.
    Friend: But it's a wedding band.
    Me: It's all I could find when "Liz" brought it up. But "Liz" was fine with it being a wedding band. She seemed to like it.
    Friend: I'm guessing that "Liz" wears the pants in your relationship.
    Me: Happy wife, happy life. But that works with girlfriends too.

    It may seem kind of silly to go to such lengths as wearing a fake ring, but people really do pry. When I was in a real LDR, some friends would poke and pry about my girlfriend, wanting details. Some even refused to believe that an LDR could be a serious relationship, and they would quiz me on it. So today, if I'm in a social scene, I know that people are going to want to hear about "Liz," invite me to bring her to events, etc. So it helps to have a seamless story, with the help of props if needed. Besides, a ring will remind *me* to keep my story the same with everyone. In a way, embarking on a lie of that magnitude is a big endeavor. I feel like I'm a gay guy 50 years ago who needs to marry a straight woman as a "beard" in order to pass in straight society.

    It would be a whole lot easier to tell the truth. But if I do that, then I'm just a "woman-hater in need of therapy." So I guess I have to prepare a whole song-and-dance about "Liz," the elusive girlfriend who never seems to be available to meet my friends. At least with "Liz," when the single older women lament, "Where have all the good men gone," I can just smile and shrug my shoulders. I'll be safely shacked up with "Liz," and it won't be my job to account for the comings and goings of all the single men in the world (as has been the case in the past).

    Oh well, that's life. No complaints, no regrets. I now know my place in the grand scheme of things; I just need to firm up my story and pick up a few props as needed. There was a time after my second divorce when I enjoyed all the attention coming from the women around me. And I thought I was pretty good at deflecting them and dodging their advances. But sooner or later the drama would always start up. Nowadays, I just want some way to shut women down before they even get started. If a little white lie will do the trick, that's fine with me. The main thing is not to get caught in the lie. People get pretty disappointed if they find out you're not who you said you were. Also, then I would be back to being the "woman-hater in need of therapy."

    Again, you've been helpful, kyuuei. Any other tips or suggestions on how to manage relationships with phantom partners?
    This is waaaaay too much work. How hard is it to draw boundaries and why is it bad to say - my relationship is none of your business? Of course people pry, that doesn't mean you have to allow it.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  2. #1612
    Senior Member YUI's Avatar
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    Jul 2014


    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    This is waaaaay too much work. How hard is it to draw boundaries and why is it bad to say - my relationship is none of your business? Of course people pry, that doesn't mean you have to allow it.
    When I first read your comment (above), I misunderstood it and I typed and posted a different response. Initially I thought you were saying that the whole LDR idea was unnnecessary and I just needed to have firmer boundaries. But now that I've read your post another time, I understand that you're saying that LDR story is fine but that the ring and the elaborate explanations in particular sound like too much work?

    Anyway, in response to the latter issue:

    When I was in a real LDR in the past, I mostly cut people off when they asked too many questions. I don't mind telling people to butt out when they're being too nosy. After all, if they weren't going to meet my girlfriend, then they didn't need to know every little detail about her. But still, the relationship occasionally gets mentioned for one reason or another in conversation with friends and family, and it's natural to at least be able to provide a basic backstory on it. After all, when you really *are* in a relationship, that other person becomes a presence in your life (dates when you'll be getting together, travel plans, etc.) and gets mentioned in conversation even when they're not around.

    So you're right, I'll be cutting people off after a certain point. But up to that point, I have to at least go through the motions like there's a real person out there who is a part of my life. People ask questions, and it's normal to share some backstory. If I insist on being super-secret about my relationship, people are going to start wondering what the hell I'm hiding.

    Also, as I said in a previous post, the ring is also partly for me--to remind me to keep my story straight and also to give women pause when we first meet--to provoke questions and allow me to get my story out there.

    "Liz" could be a part of my life for a long time to come. So I might as well flesh her out a bit right from the start so that she's a real presence.

  3. #1613
    Senior Member YUI's Avatar
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    Jul 2014


    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post

    It seems like you feel a lot of pressure from the expectations of others and are trying your best to get away from that. It can be frustrating when you are trying to walk your own path and other people are unhappy about the direction that may take for you. And try to make you change direction.

    I can get backing off, too. I was married for a little over 20 years, had an ugly divorce, and still have to deal with all of that. I find dealing with men (well...relationships) difficult at best. I think in the end, I am afraid of how ugly interaction between two people can become if one (or both) step to another person full of entitlements and expectations. If those are not met, then things can go really bad. And a good bit of people do absorb cultural expectations in relationships and when things don't roll that way, it may be interpreted as it not going right because the person isn't doing what they are supposed to make the relationship work. Then the pressure to change starts...under the guise of "improving" things.

    I think most people mean no real harm and that this is just what they believe what will make them happy. They do want a relationship that makes them feel good and works. And it can be hard to resist ideas of how men and women supposedly are and the formulas/behaviors that supposedly bring success. But I believe it may be good to question whether a person really wants to be with someone else or if that person just happens to be fulfilling a roll in someone else's play about how to have a mate and be happy.
    Hi Redbone,

    Thanks for your post. Yes, a lot of it gets down to inertia. People think that life is supposed to be a certain way, so they just push ahead and play certain roles without hearing what the other party is saying. And older women really go for it. As I said elsewhere, I enjoyed the attention once upon a time, but now it's just a headache. Tired of the drama.

    So I'm hoping to "misdirect" them with the story of a fake long-distance relationship. Expectations and behavior are suddenly very different when you're seen as "already taken."
    Likes SearchingforPeace liked this post

  4. #1614
    Senior Member YUI's Avatar
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    Jul 2014


    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Make sure you deal with their phantom quirks, like occasionally having the ghostbusters come knocking on your door.
    In a way, I feel like *I'm* the one becoming the phantom. I feel like I'm putting on camouflage in order to disappear off single women's radar screens. "Going stealth."

    But whatever. I put on that old ring today to go out in town. It felt good. I felt like I was finally doing something to address a longstanding problem that's been gnawing at me: The fact that I keep running into drama from single women when I socialize in mixed company. So the ring is on my finger for the duration. As I said, I've got some heavy socializing to do in the weeks ahead. I'll see what kind of reaction it gets there.

    Anyway, no more complaining from me. I'm done with this thread. I've got a work-around for my problem; I'll tinker with it as I go. If it proves awkward, "Liz" and I can always break up and I'll try something else.

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