Regretting the mindset I had for relationships pre-mission

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cpy911
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Regretting the mindset I had for relationships pre-mission

Post by cpy911 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:55 pm

Here I am, 45 years old, four kids and my tolerant (to my NOMness) TBM wife. Thank God for this woman! Marriage is good, with ups and downs, but would not have it any other way! She is a wonderful, wonderful, woman and I am very blessed to be with her for 20+ years!

We have been cleaning out lately, preparing for a move and I am running across a lot of things that have brought up a lot of suppressed memories. Let me try to explain, as I am seeking support for my feelings. Note this all applies to pre-mission (mostly high school) age.

I was born to fairly TBM Utah parents OUTSIDE of UTAH in the western US. We were a typical TBM active family who had our various issues. I have one older and one younger sister. My mindset and worldview was reinforced and ingrained toward everything the church teaches (and my parents' interpretation of church teachings) from when I was a baby.

During my child and teen years, I was discouraged by my parents to NOT pursue relationships with girls. Their reasons were that the girls were "gentiles" (my dad even called my high school prom date a "gentile woman") and my main goal in life should be to pursue a mission and not be distracted by girls, even if they were members and not ever marry a gentile.

Somehow, I also took the teachings I learned in church of being cautious with girl relationships, especially "pairing off" to reinforce what my parents taught. I was an obedient boy at both church and at home. So, I followed the path of NOT pursuing relationships with girls. I only dated a handful of times and when I did, it was with Mormon girls who I knew more like as sisters and was not interested in.

There were about half a dozen girls or so that I was really interested in during middle/high school years. They were "gentiles", but beautiful in every way. As a young man, I was attracted to them, seeing their faces, their hair, their smiles, their skin, their smells and dispositions felt like a "temptation" that I should not pursue. I felt that I could only have a peripheral relationship with them and had to hold back. It was like a torment of something so beautiful yet not obtainable. So, this crazy paradigm I was in caused me to miss out on this aspect of life. I regret not pursuing any kind of meaningful relationship with them and to experience some sort of physical touch (with chastity being a goal). Thus, I never had a girlfriend in high school.

At college, (BYU) I dated a few girls but found my lovely wife and it was with her that I had my first real kiss and held hands. Fortunately, we have been compatible ever since and have been navigating a mixed faith relationship for almost a decade now. I attend church every week for her, sometimes it is painful. (My kids are one by one turning away from Mormonism and it hurts her).

So, why am I lamenting and regretting? Or, actually WHAT am I lamenting or regretting? Did I miss out on something in life? Would it have been just a bunch of drama? I guess that I am kind of frustrated and angry that I missed out and lost that part of my life and the idea is hard to put out of my mind...it is just frustrating. Something taken that I can not get back.

Would love to hear your thoughts and if anyone was in a similar situation or if you DID have a relationships (especially gentile ones) pre-mission, was it worth it?

Thank you!

Anon70
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Re: Regretting the mindset I had for relationships pre-mission

Post by Anon70 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:36 pm

It’s interesting to look back and wonder. I dated a bit in high school—members and non members. Dated a lot in college all members. I always told my kids to date around! Have lots of fun dating experiences! All of my dating eligible kids have been in one long term relationship after another. Some good. Some bad. Maybe we just have to make the most of whatever experience we have.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Regretting the mindset I had for relationships pre-mission

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:49 pm

If you cut this down to the core problem, you are realizing that you are a middle aged man who has never had sex with anyone else in his life and you are feeling like you lost out on some fantasy you’ve built up in your head. Just go back and read your post. You're exuding some erotic form of nostalgia towards something that “could have been” and it’s interfering with reality.
”cpy911” wrote:There were about half a dozen girls or so that I was really interested in during middle/high school years. They were "gentiles", but beautiful in every way. As a young man, I was attracted to them, seeing their faces, their hair, their smiles, their skin, their smells and dispositions felt like a "temptation" that I should not pursue. I felt that I could only have a peripheral relationship with them and had to hold back. It was like a torment of something so beautiful yet not obtainable. So, this crazy paradigm I was in caused me to miss out on this aspect of life. I regret not pursuing any kind of meaningful relationship with them and to experience some sort of physical touch (with chastity being a goal).
You’re a 45 year old dude with a beautiful wife, a family, and hopefully some disposable income to take them out to do something fun. Focus your emotional energy on them rather than the high school panties you didn’t have. If you need to scratch that nostalgic itch then go back and look through your high school yearbooks and watch The Princess Bride with your wife!

The coulda, woulda, shoulda mind games will only pull you emotionally away from the most important things in your life that are already right in front of you.

And don’t worry; you’re 100% normal for having these thoughts. We all have them.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

cpy911
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Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:51 pm

Re: Regretting the mindset I had for relationships pre-mission

Post by cpy911 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:53 pm

I guess I have to get this stuff out of my head and move on. It is definitely not constant, so not all that bad. It just comes up from time to time if triggered by something. But, glad to hear it is normal. That actually helps.

No more gentile women fantasies for me! Ha, ha. :lol:

Funny about Princess Bride comment. My wife "encourages" me to get her a glass of water every night before bed. I sometimes remember to say "as you wish." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF6DGe2wUco
Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:49 pm
If you cut this down to the core problem, you are realizing that you are a middle aged man who has never had sex with anyone else in his life and you are feeling like you lost out on some fantasy you’ve built up in your head. Just go back and read your post. You're exuding some erotic form of nostalgia towards something that “could have been” and it’s interfering with reality.
”cpy911” wrote:There were about half a dozen girls or so that I was really interested in during middle/high school years. They were "gentiles", but beautiful in every way. As a young man, I was attracted to them, seeing their faces, their hair, their smiles, their skin, their smells and dispositions felt like a "temptation" that I should not pursue. I felt that I could only have a peripheral relationship with them and had to hold back. It was like a torment of something so beautiful yet not obtainable. So, this crazy paradigm I was in caused me to miss out on this aspect of life. I regret not pursuing any kind of meaningful relationship with them and to experience some sort of physical touch (with chastity being a goal).
You’re a 45 year old dude with a beautiful wife, a family, and hopefully some disposable income to take them out to do something fun. Focus your emotional energy on them rather than the high school panties you didn’t have. If you need to scratch that nostalgic itch then go back and look through your high school yearbooks and watch The Princess Bride with your wife!

The coulda, woulda, shoulda mind games will only pull you emotionally away from the most important things in your life that are already right in front of you.

And don’t worry; you’re 100% normal for having these thoughts. We all have them.

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DPRoberts
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Re: Regretting the mindset I had for relationships pre-mission

Post by DPRoberts » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:52 pm

I don't have much to add to what RR already said, but yes, I have found myself in this same kind of mind game. But unless your current life totally sucks there is little to gain from it. You will quickly realize the time traveler's problem of change one thing, change everything. And you look at the good things in the life you have now and realize that the only thing you can be sure of if you could change the past is that the present would be different. So would it have been better or worse? We will never know, will we. So it is best to focus on the now and doing our best to cultivate the best life we can have given the choices we have made. Hang on to the baby as you toss the bath water and don't waste energy on the babies that might have been.

It really would be cool if parallel realities actually did exist and at some point we would get to see what our parallel lives looked like. But, alas, that is not the reality we deal with in our current limited sphere.

I wish you well.
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease to be mistaken or cease to be honest. -anon
The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world. -Max Born

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Regretting the mindset I had for relationships pre-mission

Post by RubinHighlander » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:07 pm

I've thought back on those Jr. High and HS days as well, trying to imagine how my relationships would have been different. As a TBM I was doing my best to keep the chastity madness in every way. Although I experienced some make out sessions I still managed to marry my first wife as a virgin after my mission. I think back to a lot of awkward moments, holding back all the temptations and feeling so much guilt, it was very torturous at times. But in my immature teenage brain, I think the sex would have added drama. Still, I think all the mental gymnastics and anguish of guilt invoked by the Mormon way were overall much more damaging than it would have been not being TBM. But like Red said, no reason to get torn up over the past and the what ifs, there's more value in finding new freedoms to enjoy today, so carpe diem!
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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