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Okay. I've been saving this one for months, waiting to feel comfortable writing about it.

I know this post is long; I've included a lot of background that's important to me, for framing purposes. To avoid tl;dr, you can skip to the most important part and my questions, in black.

When I first joined PC, I was trying to truly understand myself for the first time. It didn't take long to figure out that my functions mark me as ISTP, which was a revolutionary discovery. Back in college, I took the Myers Briggs and received a result of ISTJ. That probably matched my public demeanor, but I perhaps should have known better based on my thoughts, opinions, and desires, and how I acted when alone.

In any case, before moving to Madison, I started dating my INFP ex. We met through friends who were playing D&D, instantly hit it off, and stuck together like glue for several years, until I moved away for work.

I came out here and didn't know what to do with myself, how to make friends, or how to explore the city, especially when trying to respect my ideals regarding my long distance relationship. As a result, I basically did nothing but work and find a new gaming group before my ex eventually followed me out and moved in.

We were never as close as we first were, but we still cared about each other deeply and felt committed to one another. Because of our shared goals for the future, our generally compatible world views, and perceived social pressure, we got married three years ago.

Since then, we found that trying to live together, dealing with each others' stress responses, and our paths towards self-discovery and personal growth were tearing us apart and causing us to stifle our own personalities in order to survive as a couple.

Four months ago, enough was enough. She had slowly fallen in love with someone else, we both stopped pretending that everything was okay, and we seriously contemplated our future. We ended up filing papers and we're now approaching divorce with a little apprehension and a great deal of relief. And because respect was a cornerstone for our relationship, we're still able to interact peacefully and even socially.

Now I find myself alone often, with only a few friends. They're typically busy with work, relationships, and other commitments. Although I certainly do need time to myself, I'd like to get out and see the city, become comfortable exploring on my own, and generally take part in new experiences (engage my Se). No more sitting at home, playing video games, no matter how much I like Brian Fury.

And - I'm not rushing into anything, I just want to be ready when the time comes - I'd also like to figure out how to date. I didn't really do it right the first time around. And now, I have actual honest to God baggage
that I don't know how to handle (as opposed to annoying/benign "I've never really dated, what am I supposed to do?" pseudo-baggage). I don't like hiding secrets and don't want to spend my time dreading the big reveal, but I can't imagine that rushing to tell all will win me any points.

So ISTP forum, I humbly ask, what advice would you have for a man in my situation?



  • What's the best way for an ISTP to find new, interesting activities and meet cool people?
  • What sorts of places and activities would you feel comfortable going to on your own?
  • What does a divorced man in his early 30's need to cognizant of when interacting with single women?
 

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@TazMadISTP


The outdoor recreational groups at mem union: Hoofers | Excellence in Outdoor Leadership & Recreation Since 1931
And if that's not your style, check out UW extension or the union mini-courses for craft classes, or other types of outings.

As for meeting women? Worry about it *after* your divorced. Seriously. Like a year after. When that question simply becomes "How do I date?" and not "How do I date with this baggage?"
 

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@TadMadISTP
:dry:
Highlight their username, ctrl+v, click the text box, ctrl+p.



Anyways...
Find groups that do what you like. Google your city + the interest.

Where you feel comfortable depends on your interest. I feel immediately comfortable in activities that center around science. I live by a major university so they often hold science activities there. You should find an activity you are comfortable with so you have a comfort when trying to meet new people. When you've established some friends and they become your comfort area, you can venture into new activities.

Though some tips:
If it requires social interaction, I would feel most comfortable going to activities where you can observe first, without participating.
If it's a more independent thing, I would bring something that would keep me busy like a book or a cell phone.

Act like a normal man.
Don't treat your marriage/divorce as a secret but don't throw it in their faces. Just let it come out naturally when the time feels right.
 
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  • What's the best way for an ISTP to find new, interesting activities and meet cool people?
  • What sorts of places and activities would you feel comfortable going to on your own?
  • What does a divorced man in his early 30's need to cognizant of when interacting with single women?
Let your curiosity lead you and don't worry about people, don't even worry about interacting with single women. If you're living well and enjoying yourself, they will want to get in on the fun.
 

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When you're over the divorce (which it doesn't sound like you are quite yet and that's normal), then dating or your story won't be such a big deal. Right now, your biggest goal is to just get back to being you comfortably and being happy alone. You don't really need a club or organised activity for that, just do what you love to do. When you're content, you're more expansive or approachable and stable and things fall into place.
 

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Instead of making it a goal on how to date and forget about the baggage, make a goal of how to be a content, happy person instead. If you can be comfortable doing what you do and find happiness in your life then everything else comes a lot easier also. Dating, work, hobbies. Everything. Most people rush into a relationship hoping that will fix them but it will not. Best way to really sort out your life is to learn to accept the inner peace and happiness first. That is one of the biggest cornerstones of a successful relationship.

So, instead of worrying about dating, baggage and everything related to it learn how to have fun and enjoy yourself.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the advice. I appreciate it!

Instead of making it a goal on how to date and forget about the baggage, make a goal of how to be a content, happy person instead. If you can be comfortable doing what you do and find happiness in your life then everything else comes a lot easier also. Dating, work, hobbies. Everything. Most people rush into a relationship hoping that will fix them but it will not. Best way to really sort out your life is to learn to accept the inner peace and happiness first. That is one of the biggest cornerstones of a successful relationship.

So, instead of worrying about dating, baggage and everything related to it learn how to have fun and enjoy yourself.
This is just fantastic advice for anyone. I'm going to add this to my printed collection of material that resonates with the direction in which I'm trying to grow.

At this point, most of my printed material comes from personalitypage.com. The ISTP growth page has been especially helpful: ISTP Personal Growth

If anyone knows of additional resources I should check out, I'd love to see your recommendations.
 
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