If the sexual chemistry is not found or established within the first few dates, then I am going to take NO for an answer about the potential of the relationship.
From the position of strength and clarity, you can set out on our next relationship adventure with all of your confidence and energy pointing towards your goal. You do know your goal, right?
You must give your partner the assurance that you are not running away. And you must also allow them to hold their own pain. By "staying in your own lane" you are giving them several strong messages.
And when we have done the very best we can, given trying circumstances, and fought to the very last point, it is okay to accept defeat. And in defeat, learn the lesson of the day. The lawnmowers are going to show up in your life. You cannot control them. But you can control your response to them, by taking responsibility for yourself, and ultimately, taking care of yourself.
Today, I release the devil I know in both him ("step-dad" stereotype personified) and my ex-wife. I hope that their mutual anger and unresolved pain can find resolution at some point in their lives. I no longer have to give him a centimeter in my heart.
The parents in Marriage Story tried. And when the mom is unable to read the things she loves about her husband, we see her hot flash of realization as she leaves the mediation without engaging in the process.
There was absolutely no reason for my ex-wife to file against me with the welfare connections system of the state of Texas. She did it specifically to hurt me financially, emotionally, and physically.
Are you settling in your dating aspirations? Are you in a relationship that feels like a compromise? If your relationship is not heading in the "long-term" direction, in my opinion, it's not worth your time.