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LoneWolf12

the fear of "missing out"

14 posts in this topic

Here's the abbreviated scoop on me - while I find men nice to look at, I can't stomach the thought of having a physical and/or romantic relationship with one. Additionally, I am very uncomfortable when required to engage with small children. In a way, I guess I think of men and kids the same way. They can be cute and funny and all that jazz, but I don't want any in my life. In other words, if you could do a meter reading on my romantic, sexual, and maternal instinct levels, they'd all be set at 0. Always.

 

But gosh darn-nit, whenever I see a pair of newlyweds in Disneyland, a mother and daughter shopping for shoes, or even elderly couples arguing over where they parked their car, I feel this pang of sadness. It's during moments like this that I do a reality check. I try to envision myself in a relationship - as a girlfriend or wife, even perhaps a mother. And I feel nothing. 

 

Am I merely attracted to the bright, shiny, superficial "fantasy" of it all, the IDEA of relationships/marriage/family? Have I been conditioned by society to fear "missing out" on such things - that a life without a partner and/or a family is incomplete? That rejecting such norms and willingly pursuing complete independence translates into "failing at life?" 

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I hope (if you are inclined to it) you can find a QPP.

 

Also, re small children, my cousin's boyfriend and I discussed several times the best age to adopt a kid, because neither of us are really inclined to real little kids. We settled on like 6-8. I don't know how far you define "little" but perhaps adoption could work for you?

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I get what you mean when you mention the possibility that it may be an attraction to the fantasy/idea of it. In a lot of ways I think people are "programmed" to assume that certain things have to happen in their lives, almost like a standard "to-do list" to be successful (whatever on Earth successful even means) - the whole get married, get great job, get suburban house with picket fence, have kids, get pet, retire, etc. is such an ingrained societal idea of what 'successful' is. Missing out on those things that a lot of people are pursuing or already have can definitely feel bad, but it doesn't necessarily mean you want the same things they're after, I suppose? 

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You're not "missing out" on something you don't even want in the first place. If you don't want it, actually having it probably won't do anything for you, so doing it anyway would be pretty disappointing.

 

24 minutes ago, LoneWolf12 said:

But gosh darn-nit, whenever I see a pair of newlyweds in Disneyland, a mother and daughter shopping for shoes, or even elderly couples arguing over where they parked their car, I feel this pang of sadness. It's during moments like this that I do a reality check. I try to envision myself in a relationship - as a girlfriend or wife, even perhaps a mother. And I feel nothing. 

What's your conclusion? Are you sad about the fact that you don't have any of this (which seems unlikely because actually imagining it doesn't do anything for you)? Or are you sad because you just don't feel it? (Would you like to feel it?)

 

24 minutes ago, LoneWolf12 said:

Have I been conditioned by society to fear "missing out" on such things - that a life without a partner and/or a family is incomplete? That rejecting such norms and willingly pursuing complete independence translates into "failing at life?" 

I strongly oppose this "society did [this]... society wants us to believe [that]..." kind of thing. So no, you haven't. It seems like it's just the way you're wired. Nothing bad about that.

 

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I'm going to assume women are out of the question for you as well given that your response was oriented towards males and you expressed nothing about being attracted towards females.

 

It's possible you have a fear of missing out because of society's emphasis on marriage/relationships; I know I often have it because of society's pressures.  You could always try to find a QPP if you were inclined towards that.

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We are conditioned from a young age to want certain things.  It sounds like your societally conditioned desires versus your actual individual desire are at odds.  I suggest you trust your individual desires.  You won't be happy living someone else's dream, even if that dream is very common due to societal conditioning.

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I'm not going to say I'm anti family (the universe works in weird ways, after all), but I'm generally pretty happy with the way things are: single without children.  I'm more of an animal person and have built my visions of the future around that.  However...

 

46 minutes ago, LoneWolf12 said:

But gosh darn-nit, whenever I see a pair of newlyweds in Disneyland, a mother and daughter shopping for shoes, or even elderly couples arguing over where they parked their car, I feel this pang of sadness.

I can so relate to this.  I think for me it's just a matter of wanting to feel that happiness/ bond they're sharing.  It's like being on the outside of a circle of people sharing a secret.  The secret may be stupid, but you can't help that feeling of exclusion.  While kids are not likely in my future, I'm hoping a hubby is, and when I think about the reason why I want one, it comes downs to me wanting to have someone to share life with.  Yes, I can do that with friends and family, but I want someone just there for me and me for them.  Seeing others having that loving bond, I can't help but feel a little lonely, no matter how happy I am.  I say continue to go with what makes you happiest, and in those rare moments, I find it's always helpful to call up and talk to a friend. 

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One of my old school teachers used to quote a poem (of which, sadly, I can't remember the beginning). The last line was 'but when I see what I'm not with, I'm glad that I'm without it!'

Sums my opinion up neatly.

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I think the best way to know if you 'are missing out' is by trying it out. There is no harm in trying! 

You can try casual dating. See if you like being in a relationship. If you think are not romantic, try a relationship with not-so-romantic partner. 

For kids, see if you can get baby sitting opportunities. Or if your friend/family have kids, you can visit them and spend time with them.

In the end, you will see for yourself if you like these things or not. Then, based on your feelings and your commitment levels, you can decide to pursue these things or not.

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Eh, if you're single, you miss out on the perks of being in a relationship. If you're in a relationship, you miss out on the perks of being single. It's all opportunity cost.

 

I think it's easy to get empathetic of others who are happy in relationships though, and that can make you want that same joy even if a relationship might not have the same positive effect on you as it would others. (Not to assume one way or the other about how you'd feel about dating, but speaking generally if dating isn't for you.) Plus, there is a lot of social pressures toward marriage and relationships, so it's hard not to idealize the nicest moments of relationships regardless of orientations.

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You'll never see when those newlyweds argue or that daughter when she's screaming at her mom, who knows those if those elderly are still in love or still together cause it's convenient. They may seem like they have something you don't but we never know others' stories.

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I get those feelings also. I was out for dinner with a bunch of friends and they were all couples and were holding hands under the table and touching each other's shoulders and things and it suddenly made me so sad that I would never have that. But I tried to imagine having it and realized I didn't even want it, and that still made me sad.

 

Like a couple people said, I like the idea of a person who puts me first and who I put first. But at the same time, I feel like without sexual attraction to make me go all gooey over one person, I feel all of my platonic connections almost equally intensely. I really don't like the idea of having someone I'm obligated to put first, when I have so many amazing friends and family who may need me. When I had a boyfriend, I didn't like having to choose seeing his family or friends over mine when events happened the same day.

 

Now that I'm single again, I really like being able to put myself and my dog first, and everyone else in second. I can do what I want and be who I choose and let my dog sleep on the bed and just be myself without worrying about starting an argument or annoying someone or disappointing them or whether or not they're having a good time. I can just be me. And it is so nice.

 

So, while I still get sad about what I won't have, I try to remind myself of what I do have. And it's a lot.

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Another thought....this is the kind of tactic that advertisers use when trying to sell something we don't really need ....'you'll be missing out if you don't have this!'.....depends on if you want to fall into that trap or not, after you've sampled it (for free, presumably, in the case of consumables).

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5 minutes ago, chandrakirti said:

Another thought....this is the kind of tactic that advertisers use when trying to sell something we don't really need ....'you'll be missing out if you don't have this!'.....depends on if you want to fall into that trap or not, after you've sampled it (for free, presumably, in the case of consumables).

Whili I can see the thought behind that, I fail to recognize the subsequent benefit. Advertisers are spamming to make money, they aren't concerned about you possibly missing out on something. They are concerned about missing out on cash.

 

There's nobody directly benefitting from you having sex or being in a relationship though. Who would win anything?

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