So now I am reforming and reconstructing my life.
First of all, calm down. Hey, it's just a game! You sound as if your whole life depends upon whether you win or lose! You might want to read this post about how to deal with losses.
Why do I push my E and D pawns in openings?
I would caution you against criticizing your opening (or any other aspect of your game) based on the outcome of just one humiliating defeat. Many top players have got crushed and humiliated. Look at Deep Blue vs Gary Kasparov, 1997, Game 6; perhaps the most humiliating defeat of Gary Kasparov's career; yet he still remained number 1 in the world for the rest of his career. Also consider Botvinnik's humiliating defeat against Tal in game 6 of their match in 1960, where Tal played an unsound sacrifice and still beat Botvinnik. Botvinnik lost that match, but came back stronger in the rematch and crushed Tal (+10 -5 = 6).
Am I a pawn-push addict? Am I better off with the pawns on the 4th and
5th ranks than on 3rd and 4th?
Only you can answer the first part. For the second part, you may or may not be better off with pawns on the 4th and 5th vs pawns on the 3rd and 4th. It depends upon the position and also your playing style. Pawns on the 4th and 5th rank often occur in these type of configurations-
[FEN "4k3/pp3ppp/3p4/2pP4/4P3/8/PP3PPP/4K3 w - - 0 6"]
Benoni Type Structure (White plans e4-e5 break at some point)
[FEN "4k3/ppp2ppp/4p3/3pP3/3P4/8/PPP2PPP/4K3 w - - 0 3"]
French Type Structure (White plans kingside attack and maybe even f4-f5 break)
[FEN "6k1/ppp2p1p/3p2p1/3Pp3/2P1P3/8/PP3PPP/4K3 w - - 0 7"]
King's Indian Type Structure (White plans c4-c5 and queen side attack)
The advantage of such pawn structure is obvious- White has more space whereas Black has less space to move pieces. The disadvantage is that it's often easier for Black to attack White's pawn chain than for White to do the same (except in case of the Benoni). The simple reason is that it is easier for Black to make moves like
f5 to attack the central d4 or e4 pawns which support the pawns on the 5th rank, than for White to try to play
c4-c5 to undermine the
d6 pawns that hold Black's position. Moreover, White has to make additional moves like
f3 to support the pawn chain, whereas Black's pawns often support the chain from their natural squares like
To determine whether these positions are "good" (suitable to your style of play) for you, you must examine some sample games in these structures to see if they fit your style.
Sample games with these structures - Benoni, French, King's Indian.
If not, you will definitely be better off placing pawns on the 3rd and 4th ranks most of the time. In those cases, you have to note that you will not be able to maintain the pawn center for long. You either have to push your pawns to the 5th rank or exchange pawns when Black attacks.
Some sample structures -
[FEN "4k3/pp3ppp/4p3/2p5/3P4/2P5/PP3PPP/4K3 w - - 0 5"]
Alapin Sicilian Type Structure (White usually gets isolated pawn on d4 but great piece activity)
[FEN "4k3/pp3ppp/4p3/3p4/2PP4/8/PP3PPP/4K3 w - - 0 5"]
Panov Attack Type Structure (Might lead to isolated pawn. White plays on the kingside or queenside depending upon how Black continues)
[FEN "3qk3/ppp2ppp/8/3p4/2PP4/8/PP3PPP/4K3 w - - 0 4"]
Exchange French Type Structure (Might lead to isolated pawn. Black is in no real danger)
[FEN "4k3/pp3ppp/2p1p3/3p4/2PP4/4P3/PP3PPP/4K3 w - - 0 4"]
Queen's Pawn Opening Type Structure (Flexible. White may play on the kingside or the queenside depending upon how the game proceeds. White may try e3-e4 or cxd5 exd5 and b4-b5 if Black allows)
[FEN "4k3/ppp2ppp/3p4/4p3/3PP3/2P5/PP3PPP/4K3 w - - 0 3"]
Ruy Lopez Type Structure (White plans d4-d5 at the opportune moment and kingside attack)
You can look up these openings in a similar way. The advantage is that your pawn center is not that easily attacked and your "mobile" pawns can prevent Black pieces from activity in the center. The disadvantage is that your opponent's center is often strong too. Besides, in such positions, White can often acquire an isolated pawn, which may become a disadvantage in the endgame.
The important think to note is, you can't simply win by maintaining pawns on the 3rd and 4th ranks. Your pawns either have to advance or exchange with enemy pawns to create advantages of space, mobility, outposts, backward pawns for opponent, etc. It's knowing when to push to the 5th rank that's important. That comes with experience and studying games with different pawn structures.