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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > Strength of character, or character flaw?      Home login  
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Strength of character, or character flaw?Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
"I tend to be a better person, when I have someone in my life to be a better person for."

My son has long been grown up and gone for many years now, and I haven't been involved long term with a woman for quite a while, meaning the only responsibility I typically have is myself. Not that I ever completely embrace my inner Costanza and sit around in my underwear eating cheese (lol), but its easy to lose focus and purpose when you don't see yourself reflected in another person's eyes. I've found myself saying that over the years in different situations, sometimes looking back at something that might have been, or while looking forward, trying to figure out where I want to go. I recently said that to someone who told me "that is a lovely sentiment." But is it really? Does being capable of being there for someone else qualify as strength of character, or is trying to solve other people's problems just a clever way of avoiding your own? Evaluate, for you personally, does the statement above qualify as a positive or a negative?
 Stray__Cat
Joined: 7/12/2006
Msg: 2
Strength of character, or character flaw?
Posted: 2/18/2010 8:28:00 PM
I don't think it has anything to do with strength of character.
Just gives us a purpose.

If you go to work and do what you ought just cus you do...
You got plenty of strength in your character.

When you meet the right girl....
she'll be very lucky cus you do.
She will be made better thru knowing you.
And you'll have a purpose for all that strength.
strength + purpose = noble

 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 3
Strength of character, or character flaw?
Posted: 2/18/2010 8:49:03 PM
I agree with TuffLuv, men seem to give up after just one bad break.

But I also believe that the best relationships are between people who are NOT "perfect" for each other. I think you actually need someone in your life who doesn't just adore you, and let you be as you are, as many men seem to prefer. I think you actually need someone to call you on your BS. Perhaps the "standard" that others et for us is actually more realistic--I mean, we all rationalize our problems away, and if you have someone who truly loves you and cares about you, they won't ALLOW you to be self-delusional (and therefore take the easy way out).

So to me, it's not that "I'm an honorable man and I want ot be good for HER" thing you spun, but it's more the other perons saying to you, "Hey, wake up and smell the coffee, bub--and go on a diet/clean up your filthy apartment/get a new job"
 ItsMargo
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 4
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Strength of character, or character flaw?
Posted: 2/18/2010 9:12:56 PM
Interesting question(s), I'm finding myself viewing it from several perspectives.

I'd like to think that I'm the same me wherever I am. whew, I've certainly invested enough of my stuff into being congruent, I hope I'm that way more often than I'm not.

Even so...
I do get to see the me he sees reflected back in his eyes. I like the me he sees. Validation gets a bum rap around here sometimes. It is very powerful knowing he thinks I'm something. And dayum, if that positive feel good doesn't just have me sit up just a little bit straighter, walk with a bounce in my step and smile from ear to ear. So, yeah, I'm a lighter, better person because I'm basking in the warmth of the love he is beaming at me. Good stuff.

And then I have to consider this part, which, to me, seems different than the original question.

Does being capable of being there for someone else qualify as strength of character, or is trying to solve other people's problems just a clever way of avoiding your own?

I don't think of it so much as strength of character as a refection of who you are.

"Being there" is relating.

I don't see 'being there' and 'trying to solve their problems' as the same thing at all. I think you might be getting sidetracked trying to compare them. Often 'being there' is watching them solve their own problems. Being a sounding board or company. Yanno, that company we want to share life's journey with.
 HuluAddicted
Joined: 12/16/2009
Msg: 5
Strength of character, or character flaw?
Posted: 2/18/2010 9:22:01 PM
I find that statement to be kind of sad.
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 6
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Strength of character, or character flaw?
Posted: 2/18/2010 9:47:36 PM
Well, I think the statement and the subsequent question asked are really dealing with two different things, as you extrapolated on the original quote. No, I don't think it is a positive thing as written in the first line of this post. It means that you are content to sit and spin until you have someone in your life to detach your ass from whatever anchors it.

The question asked, however, is that being there for someone else qualifies as strength of character, there is no doubt that it does and that trying to help other people solve their problems is always a good thing unless you internalize their angst and drive yourself crazy over other people's stuff. Are you by chance intimating about the knight in shining armor thing, that you are attracted to someone that needs you to help sort herself?

Can someone be there to help an SO and not be around to help other people in his/her life? Wouldn't that toward the SO just be an extension of how a person naturally is?

I think the only way this would be a problem was if you found someone that caused your behavior to be co-dependent. Also, while you are waiting for someone to be better for, what are you doing? I think these are the two things that are important. I do think that the attitude that your happiness or level of exuberance for life is somehow influenced by whether you have a romantic partner, you have some issues you need to address before getting into a relationship.
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 7
Strength of character, or character flaw?
Posted: 2/19/2010 6:42:21 AM

Does being capable of being there for someone else qualify as strength of character,

Yes.

or is trying to solve other people's problems just a clever way of avoiding your own? Evaluate, for you personally, does the statement above qualify as a positive or a negative?

Trying to solve someone else's problem(s)? I don't think that's wise, nor is it possible. These two questions completely contradict each other. JMO
Strength of character, or character flaw?
Posted: 2/19/2010 1:55:40 PM
See, I knew what my answer was before I posted this, was just curious what others thought. I'm not one of those sorry sorts who wants someone to "complete" me, but I do know that too often (not always though) I am much more of a better person, or closer to the person I want to be, when I have someone special in my life. So yes, that makes it a weakness in my eyes, but one I'm mindful of, and working to overcome. To be that better person I think it takes honesty, especially when it comes to looking in the mirror.
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 9
Strength of character, or character flaw?
Posted: 2/19/2010 2:19:16 PM
Oh, I see, you think it's a weakness in YOURSELF because you need a "Muse" to become a "better person"?

I'm not so sure I would be so harsh on myself (or you), I just think humans have a great capacity for self-delusion. When you share your life with another person, they won't allow you to BE self-deluded. Even if they're nice about it, you can see the disappointment in their eyes if you do something "bad".

In fact, I see your willingness to "improve" for another--to make her happy/respect you more--as a strength, not a weakness. I see the willlingness to face up to --and try to correct-- one's flaws as one of the biggest strengths anyone can have.

It's a bit of a balancing act between saying "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darnit, people like me" and saying "I'm a pretty good person, but there are things I can improve upon." Sometimes you just need that "objective shove" from someone you respect/love to start you on the way.


It's practically the definition of man: one who is in charge of his own little kingdom.

UGH. Maybe that's YOUR definition. Not mine. Basically, you are saying you ARE an island. And no one, no-how, can come onto YOUR island and tell you anything! OK. I just think you are going to have a hard time finding anyone to share your kingdom. I know you THINK you know it all, but I also know you really don't.

<div class='quote'>There is nothing demeaning about supporting and nurturing a man.
Who said there was?
 Vannili
Joined: 7/8/2008
Msg: 10
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Strength of character, or character flaw?
Posted: 2/19/2010 6:06:33 PM
I am a better person for myself and not for other people, because it affected me and not them...
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