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Starter Boyfriend?  

hotdreamer1000 62M
9639 posts
7/16/2021 6:42 am

Last Read:
8/9/2021 3:48 pm

Starter Boyfriend?


So I was watching TV, and this girl is sad because a guy she used be in love with but left because his life was a mess has turned himself around and things are going well. She's not jealous, but it makes her think about her current boyfriend, away on army duty, also used a little on the dark side, and she wonders if is a repeating pattern, based on her attraction people need help.

She says her grandfather, "I think I was just his 'starter girlfriend.' You know, like how sometimes you need training wheels learn how ride, and then one day you don't need them any more."

The grandfather replies sagely, " you just need pick people don't need fixing, or teaching."

And I sit thinking: I wonder how many times I have done that? happens me with friends as well as lovers.

I love help people. I listen problems and I try not offer a glib solution, but lead a discussion towards how the person I am talking to might work things out for themselves, from within. I like the cross flow of ideas about how life and relationships work. But is no doubt I have sometimes fallen in love with women needed help. can take varied forms. I am not, I am glad say, one of those men preys on damaged, needy women. If anything I am more prone finding a way in with someone is self-contained normally shuts people out. But I have been left behind by someone has found a new future armed with skills learned from me more than once.

I don't regret this - if they have better lives and are happy, then that's good. And if I was right for them, they would have wanted stay. I guess I was right for them before they got better. What does that say about me?

has happened me again recently, albeit in a slightly different way. I have a really close, lifelong friend I have helped through two horrible break ups. Both times we became closer when she needed me, and then, when all was well again, I heard from her less and less. That's okay, and 's not unusual. A good friend helps when you need them, not just when they feel like helping. But I don't feel so great myself these days, and I could use a bit of help. But my friend is busy with her new life and I don't see her so much. It wouldn't be fair of me criticise her for this. She would be horrified if she knew I needed her and didn't say. And actually I don't want talk her, because I am not ready answer my own questions - I'm not even sure I know what they are. And I don't feel bad enough go looking for comfort. But I would at least like be asked, you know what I mean? I think I come across as being all okay inside. I guess that's probably how I want come across.

But I am just people's "starter" sometimes.

hotdreamer1000 62M
12244 posts
7/16/2021 6:42 am

In case of the Word Glitch:

So I was watching TV, and this girl is sad because a guy she used to be in love with but ​left because his life was a mess has turned himself around and things are going well. She's not jealous, but it makes her think about her current boyfriend, away on army duty, who also used to play a little on the dark side, and she wonders if there is a repeating pattern, based on her attraction to people who need help.

She says to her grandfather, "I think maybe I was just his 'starter girlfriend.' You know, like how sometimes you need training wheels to learn how to ride, and then one day you don't need them any more."

The grandfather replies sagely, "Maybe you just need to pick people who don't need fixing, or teaching."

And I sit there thinking: I wonder how many times I have done that? It happens to me with friends as well as lovers.

I love to help people. I listen to problems and I try not to offer a glib solution, but to lead a discussion towards how the person I am talking to might work things out for themselves, from within. I like the cross flow of ideas about how life and relationships work. But there is no doubt I have sometimes fallen in love with women who needed help. It can take varied forms. I am not, I am glad to say, one of those men who preys on damaged, needy women. If anything I am more prone to finding a way in with someone who is self-contained who normally shuts people out. But I have been left behind by someone who has found a new future armed with skills learned from me more than once.

I don't regret this - if they have better lives and are happy, then that's good. And if I was right for them, they would have wanted to stay. I guess I was right for them before they got better. What does that say about me?

It has happened to me again recently, albeit in a slightly different way. I have a really close, lifelong friend who I have helped through two horrible break ups. Both times we became closer when she needed me, and then, when all was well again, I heard from her less and less. That's okay, and it's not unusual. A good friend helps when you need them, not just when they feel like helping. But I don't feel so great myself these days, and I could use a bit of help. But my friend is busy with her new life and I don't see her so much. It wouldn't be fair of me to criticise her for this. She would be horrified if she knew I needed her and didn't say. And maybe actually I don't want to talk to her, because I am not ready to answer my own questions - I'm not even sure I know what they are. And I don't feel bad enough to go looking for comfort. But I would at least like to be asked, you know what I mean? I think I come across as being all okay inside. I guess that's probably how I want to come across.

But maybe I am just people's "starter" sometimes


smartasswoman 64F  
35211 posts
7/16/2021 5:13 pm

I feel like this has happened to me a few times, but maybe just because I’ve been single for a long time and the folks who tend to be ‘on the market’ at any given time tend to be those who are newly divorced or broken up. I wouldn’t say that being helpful with people is a big skill set for me, but often it turns out I’m the first person someone has dated since their breakup, and I’m the person they get to ‘practice’ dating with.

and yeah, it doesn’t feel good that they decide to keep on meeting more people after practicing with me! I get it though, I don’t think I’d want to settle down with the first person I met after getting divorced.

In one case, the guy was coming on very strong and really seemed into me, and then suddenly his ex contacted him with second thoughts about their breakup, and boom he went back to her.

I hope you will reach out to your friend. Just ask to have a drink or coffee. If you feel ready to talk about what you’re going through, it’ll arise naturally in conversation.


jajo696 66F
4024 posts
7/17/2021 1:49 am

I think that you have a vision of yourself and are invested in keeping up that vision of strength and un needing. Its how males are socialized in general. its not cool...its not macho to seem in need of.

It can be draining and a daunting task to expend all of that support and feel unsupported yourself.

What smart says....reach out to your friend , become a little vulnerable and she how she responds. I agree you may not be ready ...or ready to look internally and ask and answer your own questions.

I, once was talking to a co worker , i didnt know that her current marriage was her second. We got to talking and she referred to her ex as her ' practice husband '. Her words and that concept struck me and stuck with me~~

Do we all need a few practices before we understand the dynamics that we bring with us to relationships...i dunno....


hotdreamer1000 62M
12244 posts
7/17/2021 1:54 am

    Quoting smartasswoman:
    I feel like this has happened to me a few times, but maybe just because I’ve been single for a long time and the folks who tend to be ‘on the market’ at any given time tend to be those who are newly divorced or broken up. I wouldn’t say that being helpful with people is a big skill set for me, but often it turns out I’m the first person someone has dated since their breakup, and I’m the person they get to ‘practice’ dating with.

    and yeah, it doesn’t feel good that they decide to keep on meeting more people after practicing with me! I get it though, I don’t think I’d want to settle down with the first person I met after getting divorced.

    In one case, the guy was coming on very strong and really seemed into me, and then suddenly his ex contacted him with second thoughts about their breakup, and boom he went back to her.

    I hope you will reach out to your friend. Just ask to have a drink or coffee. If you feel ready to talk about what you’re going through, it’ll arise naturally in conversation.
Thanks for sharing Smarty. It doesn't always get easier even with our level of experience does it, lol.

I do see my friend, although less often than usual. But somehow she doesn't notice that I have things I want to talk through with her, and as I am not sure myself exactly what's on my mind it isn't close enough to the surface to come up by itself if you know what I mean. But of course you are right - if I really NEED to talk, she would be there for me, and of course that is still so good to know. It's just.........I kind of feel like I would like to be asked!


smileybugg69 51F
397 posts
7/17/2021 4:42 am

I think I tend to be a fixer as well, or the rebound girl. Could be that I tend to show to the outside world a fun happy go lucky girl. It’s a good thing I have a best friend that helps me get some of those deep down feelings out in the open. Sometimes just talking can bring them out.


BeccaLuvs 59F
20538 posts
7/18/2021 9:04 am

Interesting title hotdreamer, and yes, prob very true as well. I mean when we are very young we may have many relationships, dates, feel it all out before settling down, (okay and occasionally some lucky people will meet their partner for life first time, you know like College sweethearts and such), but most people will, as you say have a "starter boy or girlfriend" - maybe even quite a few of em! And later in life when you may have to "start" again - perhaps now you won't need "starters"?! Oh, and perhaps you should give your friend the chance, sometimes in life we get mixed signals, (plus of course givers often find it difficult to receive), but she, even though her own life is good now, would want to have you confide in her and lean on her?

..... And always 'hold onto all those sexy thoughts'!
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hippiechick1967 57F
13154 posts
7/18/2021 10:33 am

Hi Dreamer, how are you? How has it been going for you? What's new?

Elevate me...


hotdreamer1000 62M
12244 posts
7/20/2021 8:14 am

    Quoting jajo696:
    I think that you have a vision of yourself and are invested in keeping up that vision of strength and un needing. Its how males are socialized in general. its not cool...its not macho to seem in need of.

    It can be draining and a daunting task to expend all of that support and feel unsupported yourself.

    What smart says....reach out to your friend , become a little vulnerable and she how she responds. I agree you may not be ready ...or ready to look internally and ask and answer your own questions.

    I, once was talking to a co worker , i didnt know that her current marriage was her second. We got to talking and she referred to her ex as her ' practice husband '. Her words and that concept struck me and stuck with me~~

    Do we all need a few practices before we understand the dynamics that we bring with us to relationships...i dunno....
Thanks Jajo for your thoughtful and interesting comment. It's true that I do sometimes resist asking for help because I want to maintain an image of non-neediness, (can that be a word?) but it wouldn't be accurate to see me as one who can not admit to, or show vulnerability.

In this particular case I think my instinct is rather more like that of an aloof cat, punishing its owner for having been away, although I realise that's not a sensible way to behave, and I am not doing it on purpose, it is just how I feel. Somehow I feel this usually close friend ought to be more ready to ask how I am rather than me have to initiate.

However, as I said to Smarty, she would be horrified to think I wanted her help but didn't ask, and she would be there for me if I really needed her, which is good to know.


hotdreamer1000 62M
12244 posts
7/20/2021 8:19 am

    Quoting smileybugg69:
    I think I tend to be a fixer as well, or the rebound girl. Could be that I tend to show to the outside world a fun happy go lucky girl. It’s a good thing I have a best friend that helps me get some of those deep down feelings out in the open. Sometimes just talking can bring them out.
Interesting. I don't think I have ever been a rebound, or at least not that I know of. I'm not sure it really bothers me either. I tend not to worry about why someone wants me - if they want me and I feel the same, that's good enough for me; their reasons are their own!

But a good friend who helps you work out your feelings is valuable. For me though, I am usually quite good at looking inside my own feelings, and tend to know what I want or what is wrong on my own. So if I don't know, then a friend pushing me to open up isn't what I need! So why am I complaining that this friend isn't pushing? Lol!


hotdreamer1000 62M
12244 posts
7/20/2021 8:23 am

    Quoting hippiechick1967:
    Hi Dreamer, how are you? How has it been going for you? What's new?
You are such a good friend Hip, lol. Actually I am fine - and today I feel particularly happy and enthusiastic. But since you ask, I have been up and down a bit lately, and I can't exactly put my finger on why. But on the more down days I just feel like I don't want to talk about it.

I guess part if it is knowing that perhaps the current phase of my life is drawing to an end and I have the chance to decide what I really want to do with the time I have left, however long that turns out to be. I don't like the thought of getting much older, but I know we all have to make the best we can of it. Whether there is anything else more specific bothering me I am really not sure, but if it comes into my mind I will send you some mail! Thank you so much for asking.
Seriously!


hotdreamer1000 62M
12244 posts
7/20/2021 8:29 am

    Quoting BeccaLuvs:
    Interesting title hotdreamer, and yes, prob very true as well. I mean when we are very young we may have many relationships, dates, feel it all out before settling down, (okay and occasionally some lucky people will meet their partner for life first time, you know like College sweethearts and such), but most people will, as you say have a "starter boy or girlfriend" - maybe even quite a few of em! And later in life when you may have to "start" again - perhaps now you won't need "starters"?! Oh, and perhaps you should give your friend the chance, sometimes in life we get mixed signals, (plus of course givers often find it difficult to receive), but she, even though her own life is good now, would want to have you confide in her and lean on her?
Thanks Becca. Yes, when we are young we all need starter lovers, probably more than one as you say - and I remember mine very fondly. I think that's different. Later in life we shouldn't need them anymore, or treat people like that, but people do.

As to my friend, I am not shutting her out, I am just disappointed that she doesn't seem to have the same sense of just noticing something isn't right - like I have had with her in the past. But as I said to Smarty and Jajo, I know she would be there for me if I really needed her, and if I really wanted to talk things though with her I would ask. That should be good enough for me.


Violette001 49F
4614 posts
7/20/2021 10:51 pm

Hello My dear Friend!

You've been on my mind lately. I've been away from here for a while. Sometimes, there's so much on my mind that i can't fit it all into words.

I know what you need. You need to be seen. And it isn't so much that you have things that you need to talk about, because the minute your friend notices that you're slightly Off, and asks you how if you're doing ok, the sun will come out and you WILL be ok! That's the problem with being in this kind of a shadow. The problem is the Absence of something good, not the presence of something bad.

Perhaps your heart is wondering if you exist for her on her strong days, and not just on her weak days, when she is in need of your friendship and attention.

Today, i remembered a lady i had a brief conversation with a year ago. We only spoke for a few weeks. But she gave me a valuable bit of information that i benefitted from SO MUCH and today, for some reason, she came to mind. So i dug through my messages to find our conversation. I had even forgotten her name. And i thanked her for what she'd one for me. I don't know if she even cares. But, she made a difference in my life.

So, that's why i'm here today - i found a LOT of old messages from so many forgotten people, while i looked for that one lady. And a beautiful picture began to form in my mind -- of all the friends i've had along the way -- But - that's going on my blog, not here! lol

Thank you for being my friend, Dreamer. You're a Most Excellent Starter Friend. You're also the Absolute Best Keeper Friend too!

"Do not put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket"
--Author Unknown



hotdreamer1000 62M
12244 posts
7/21/2021 8:03 am

    Quoting Violette001:
    Hello My dear Friend!

    You've been on my mind lately. I've been away from here for a while. Sometimes, there's so much on my mind that i can't fit it all into words.

    I know what you need. You need to be seen. And it isn't so much that you have things that you need to talk about, because the minute your friend notices that you're slightly Off, and asks you how if you're doing ok, the sun will come out and you WILL be ok! That's the problem with being in this kind of a shadow. The problem is the Absence of something good, not the presence of something bad.

    Perhaps your heart is wondering if you exist for her on her strong days, and not just on her weak days, when she is in need of your friendship and attention.

    Today, i remembered a lady i had a brief conversation with a year ago. We only spoke for a few weeks. But she gave me a valuable bit of information that i benefitted from SO MUCH and today, for some reason, she came to mind. So i dug through my messages to find our conversation. I had even forgotten her name. And i thanked her for what she'd one for me. I don't know if she even cares. But, she made a difference in my life.

    So, that's why i'm here today - i found a LOT of old messages from so many forgotten people, while i looked for that one lady. And a beautiful picture began to form in my mind -- of all the friends i've had along the way -- But - that's going on my blog, not here! lol

    Thank you for being my friend, Dreamer. You're a Most Excellent Starter Friend. You're also the Absolute Best Keeper Friend too!
Hiya V, and thanks for your very kind, and oh so well observed comment. I know I do exist for her, even on her strong days, but I am not needed then. I feel I want to be appreciated whether I am needed or not!.


Jules1590 53F
7940 posts
8/7/2021 1:44 pm

    Quoting jajo696:
    I think that you have a vision of yourself and are invested in keeping up that vision of strength and un needing. Its how males are socialized in general. its not cool...its not macho to seem in need of.

    It can be draining and a daunting task to expend all of that support and feel unsupported yourself.

    What smart says....reach out to your friend , become a little vulnerable and she how she responds. I agree you may not be ready ...or ready to look internally and ask and answer your own questions.

    I, once was talking to a co worker , i didnt know that her current marriage was her second. We got to talking and she referred to her ex as her ' practice husband '. Her words and that concept struck me and stuck with me~~

    Do we all need a few practices before we understand the dynamics that we bring with us to relationships...i dunno....
You're so intuitive and smart my friend.

I love Dreamer's post and I love your response to it. Right on the money.

"Do we all need a few practices before we understand the dynamics..." YES. Not only do we need the practice, but we are learning. Learning about ourselves, what we like and don't like, how to interact, and above all, who we are and what is important to us.

We are supposed to meet, practice, make mistakes and learn from them. It is how we evolve. It is the process. But as Dreamer so keenly noted, only when we are ready and not before.

I like to think relationships are also about "timing." Was I in "practice mode" and learning when I met my first love? Absolutely. I was practice for him too. If I met him today would we have connected? Unlikely. Our experiences shape and define us.

I think "practicing" is a good and necessary, (albeit sometimes painful) exercise and necessary to our development as people.


Jules1590 53F
7940 posts
8/7/2021 1:58 pm

Hello Dreamer,

Shame on me for not finding you and following your blog sooner. You take an honest look at yourself and can hone in on what's bothering you. You're a good person and friend to provide that support when someone needs you. Would she truly be horrified to know you needed her? If yes, then you need to call her. Pronto.

I too, easily fall into the role of supportive friend and listener. Even in general conversation, I will ask a lot of questions about them because I am genuinely curious and care about them. If there is limited time, we sometimes don't get to "me." Which is ok.

When I feel down sometimes, I'll ask myself, "When's the last time she called me? Asked me how I'm doing? Why am I always chasing her down?
Friendships are a two-way street. "

The truth is that people get caught up in their own lives. Its not an "us" thing, they're just busy. As a few noted above, if you call your friend and chat with her, she'll be there for you too.


lindoboy100 58M
23884 posts
8/9/2021 9:34 am

I made the mistake of not asking for help for many years, when I really really needed it. I am still paying a heavy price for it. If you can find a way to seek and get some of that help I'd urge you to go for it, even though you may think you're not ready, you won't ever regret it. Please do, please don't ever look back and wish you had.

Nada más que fallas......


hotdreamer1000 62M
12244 posts
8/9/2021 1:21 pm

    Quoting Jules1590:
    Hello Dreamer,

    Shame on me for not finding you and following your blog sooner. You take an honest look at yourself and can hone in on what's bothering you. You're a good person and friend to provide that support when someone needs you. Would she truly be horrified to know you needed her? If yes, then you need to call her. Pronto.

    I too, easily fall into the role of supportive friend and listener. Even in general conversation, I will ask a lot of questions about them because I am genuinely curious and care about them. If there is limited time, we sometimes don't get to "me." Which is ok.

    When I feel down sometimes, I'll ask myself, "When's the last time she called me? Asked me how I'm doing? Why am I always chasing her down?
    Friendships are a two-way street. "

    The truth is that people get caught up in their own lives. Its not an "us" thing, they're just busy. As a few noted above, if you call your friend and chat with her, she'll be there for you too.

Hi Jules, really nice to see you here!

Yes, Jajo was right up to a point, although as you might have seen in my reply to her, it isn't that I am unwilling to admit vulnerability - it is more that I don't like to off load a burden onto someone else. I am still in regular contact with my friend, just not as often as when she needed me more, and I would ask for her help if I actually needed it.

I know it isn't personal and she is just busy with her own life. But, like you, I would like it to be more of a two way street. Because I am reluctant to burden someone else perhaps it is not so easy for people to get me talking about any problems straightaway. It needs a little bit of empathy and persistence. If I begin to feel really neglected I will tell her, but not unless it begins to impair our friendship.


hotdreamer1000 62M
12244 posts
8/9/2021 1:25 pm

    Quoting lindoboy100:
    I made the mistake of not asking for help for many years, when I really really needed it. I am still paying a heavy price for it. If you can find a way to seek and get some of that help I'd urge you to go for it, even though you may think you're not ready, you won't ever regret it. Please do, please don't ever look back and wish you had.
Thanks Lindo - but I think there has been a bot of a misunderstanding here, and you are not the only one. I don't "need help" in the sort of way your comment suggests. I mean seriously - that isn't me doing the classic "I don't need help" when in fact I am having a mental breakdown!

I am just pissed off with my friend for not noticing I could use a shoulder. And as I said to Jules, if it got so that it was affecting our friendship I would say something. I have done in the past, and don't worry, I will do again if needed. Right now I am okay.

And I am sad to hear about the price you are still paying. I hope you can start from where you are now and move forward anyway.


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