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Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by SevenStringSam, Jun 17, 2010.
Best of luck my freind. I hope things keep going smoothly for you.
Yeah, that probably wasn't necessary; I struggle with some pretty significant anger issues so I can relate though. If nothing else it probably really drove the point home that you were serious with what you're saying.
Anyhow, I'm a bit late to the party here since I've been on vacation and it sounds like your situation is already pretty much resolved, but I want you to know that I empathize with your position very strongly. I've been there myself multiple times.
And what works for me may not work for you, but what I realized that helped a lot with those kinds of issues is that I don't have to spend time with her. There is nothing making me do that.
Nobody is going to take it personally if you reply to their proposed plans with "No, I'm out. I'm just feeling really beat and you couldn't get me out of my house tonight for a million dollars."
People get it, because everyone's been there.
A lot of times you're stuck in these situations where you feel like answering / behaving honestly is going to be too self-serving, rude, or 'wrong,' but in reality, the people you're speaking to don't really care because they get it. You'll get an "Oh, that sucks. Next time!" or if you're lucky, a "Damn dude, what's got you so worn?" I always look at this kind of stuff through the lens of "what would I want me to do if the shoe was on the other foot" and the answer is always "stop beating around the bush and tell it like it is," because I don't want someone to spend time with me because they feel obligated or because they're just going with the flow; I want them to spend time with me because they're stoked about it. If we're going somewhere, I want them to be excited about where we're going; if we're doing something, I want them pumped up about whatever it is we're going to do, and if that's ever not true, what's the point?
For example, we'll do the weed thing. Honestly, in your situation I'd have just said "No, maybe tomorrow. I'm already in for the night," I burn so I get it, being out when you don't want to be out blows; but you don't need to burn. His life is not going to come to a screeching halt because he can't light up for another 20 hours, and if it's that big of a concern, that's his problem for not keeping himself stocked up and planning for how he was gunna get more. Not my problem.
tl;dr, honesty is literally always the best policy. Your girl is not gunna get pissy with you because you decided not to see her today and instead got real busy vibing at home taking a mental health day, and if she does, odds are there's a deeper personality conflict at play there. FWIW, I'm not advocating for the 'change her' or 'she needs to change' approach; I tend to subscribe to the 'people should just be who they are' philosophy. So if she isn't going to give you your personal time, you just need to make it yourself. She can be her, while you be you, and the world keeps turning until you're charged up enough to go play with the dog.
^ I appreciate that. I need that reminder from time to time. It's actually part of the plan tonight. I've got a pub night with work friends for an hour or two, then going home (my home). Probably going to bed early like an old man. Thanks for the comments guys.
It saddens me a little bit how much the advice I've been given from anyone I've spoken to has pointed in particular directions. There's a clear pattern to the reactions I get when I tell the story of my last few weeks. In fairness, I know I've only really spoken about negatives, and I've painted a pretty terrible picture. I've got a lot to think about, I guess.
I thought the week was going well, and we made it to the conversation I said we needed to have and it.... did not go the way I had hoped.
I had hoped that we'd go "you know, if you look at where we are now, there are some hiccups, but this is good, so lets keep going with a better understanding of each other and where we stand and what our boundaries are, etc."
Instead what I got was an admission that we don't want the same thing and that it won't be possible to be met half way. I clearly want a pretty standard relationship, and she wants.... I'm not entirely sure? And she doesn't know either, farther than that she cannot "be committed" to anything. No commitments. No exclusivity. No change in priorities or accommodations for our differences in lifestyles. I'm not allowed to interact with the person she calls her best friend. I was told I should spend more time at home on my own.
But somehow this is "not the end". How can I not read that as the beginning of the end? She says we've both just forgotten to take time for ourselves, and cutting back on time spent together will solve things. Resolving to spend time apart is not how a relationship advances, that's how it starts to end.
She wants you to be there when she wants you to be, and doesn't care if you're there for the other times.
You're doing yourself a disservice by staying in it.
I know I gatta split. I think I've reached a record number of people telling me basically the same thing. It just sucks. This next week is going to be unpleasant.
I don't know this woman at all, obviously, since I'm just a dude on the internet, but she sounds like the type that will also make it your fault that things didn't work and I'd say also be prepared for hearing that if you run in any of the same circles. You don't have to play the game and be petty saying why it didn't, etc... but I'd say being the higher person and just moving on with "it didn't work and that's the end of it," would be the best approach (as it usually is).
I don't think she would do that, but a "type" like that is hard to convey online. I honestly have no idea what to expect going forward.
No horse in this race, save that you're a dude I know casually over the net, write some pretty cool music, and I've read the last few pages of this thread.
A couple wanting the same things is about the baseline minimum of what it takes for a relationship to work. An ex girlfriend of mine (ironically enough - long story there, but we should have known better than to try to date, but when everything was said and done I still think she's a pretty emotionally astute person) used to always say that for a relationship to work, you furthermore needed to have the same "values," and find the same things important. Same or similar sense of ethics and morality, same or similar priorities in how you spend time, etc. In many ways we were actually pretty compatible by these standards, but in a few key ways we weren't, so...
Anyway, I digress. If having the same fundamental values is important to a relationship succeeding, the ability to commit to the other is maybe about as fundamental as you can get. If you were looking for a very casual, informal, "there when you want it to be" relationship, then this would be perfect. You're looking for more of a committed partner, though. She's not. And unless that were to change, that will never let both of you be happy together. And you deserve better than that.
My current relationship drama, which is about as lowercase-d drama as you can ask for and on the measure things are going very well, a bit more than a year in, is, well, my girlfriend is a big proponent of that "languages of love" metaphor, and hers is basically who she chooses to spend time with, whereas mine is more doing things for the other person. This is a little problematic because it follows that she wants to spend as much of her free time with me as she can, whereas I want to maximize the quality of time I have with her, but also want to make sure I'm getting time in to train on my road bike and hit my cycling goals, that I'm getting time in to practice guitar and write and record music, and as a pretty typical introvert, every once in a while just having a night alone to decompress (high overlap here with guitar nights). It's a good problem to have that we're trying to figure out how best to navigate this, and like 85% of being in a relationship I think it's just a matter of making sure we're both communicating what we need from the other and making sure that we both have the same expectations about how we've decided to spend our time on a particular night, and that if I go home and get on my bike after work and then we don't get together until a late dinner, it's not that I care more about my bike than her so much as I'm just on a pretty strict training schedule (she's gradually starting to get it that I don't just "ride bikes" and that I'm training at a very high competitive level - ditto on the guitar, though I think that's a lot easier for her to understand, probably because we don't play music together but we DO occasionally go for 15-30 mile social cruises at 10-11mph and I don't know if she fully realizes that when I'm doing that I'm barely above a resting heartrate, lol - it helped, after the initial eyeroll, when I pointed out that when I set a new PR on the 8 mile, 2700 foot climb up a mountain I grew up at the foot of a month or two ago, I'd averaged faster on the climb as we did on our last ride together). Idunno. Rambling here, but I'm in a good spot with a great girl, I think, it's just even a year in we're still sort of working on how to best communicate our needs to the other. I don't think that ever stops, learning to do that better, in a relationship.
I mean... there's always going to be special/ unique attributes that no one online is going to be able to see since we don't know her like you do but if anything you've posted about her and this relationship is even remotely actual ( which I believe it is since you come across as very genuine and transparent) then I don't think that any of this SSO advice would change... not at all.
Despite any aspect of intimacy or connection that you've experienced with her, there's no way that she's taking this relationship seriously nor respecting you as an individual. And she does fit a "type" from what you've said. No matter how unique or special a relationship appears at times, men and women all fit some degree of "type". And if I'm gonna briefly run with this premise then I'd say that she's the type who doesn't appreciate truly caring people and doesn't deal well with responsibility. She's not ready for commitment and regardless of whether or not that's just commitment to you or to anyone... that's irrelevant. I think you're a kind dude and I'll just about guarantee that you deserve "better"...someone who respects your words and feelings. She may be a decent person... no idea but she's obviously not able nor willing to be involved in a mature/ committed relationship. Hell, she's not even trying.
And I know that none of this matters cause when we have a great deal of feelings invested in someone ( even given that it may be short-lived) all it takes is that person sensing that you're fixin to blaze and if they're not good with that then they'll pull you back in with flirtatious or remorseful or whatever kind of behavior that they know will pull you back in and keep you hanging on. Idk... don't be a doormat, dude. It's difficult but very necessary. I wouldn't even consider any standpoint of "just remaining friends) because real friends wouldn't treat you like this either.
Sincerely... Best of luck whatever direction that you proceed.
I think the bit that sort of screwed me in this case, and leaves me on the fence about what went wrong is that realistically it's been all of maybe three months of dating at this point (although we've known eachother for a long time before that). I feel like I'm running into the kind of issues that I'd expect to run into a year in or something, not a couple of months in. It leaves me wondering if maybe I just rushed things and she panicked. Like is it normal to already be at a point that feels analogous to living together? We've basically not spent any time apart that we didn't have to for the whole last month, which in itself is a source of some of the frustration, and I'm willing to admit some fault or it. Maybe a lot of the fault.
I imagine from her end she saw us as just casually seeing each other and the more serious side of things just kind of crept up. At the same time I was in the mindset of building towards a partnership of sorts.
Sorry to hear this for you man. Personally I'm a hopeless romantic type and always try way to hard to make things work out so I'm usually the one getting dumped rather than the dumper.
- I would just do whatever you want in your personal life, and then when you're ready to see her or feel like hanging out with her again hit her up, but on the side leave yourself open to other possibilites/relationships. This way you can relieve some pressures on you two, go at her pace, and still work on building the relationship without feeling rushed or obligated from either person. Somethings take time to grow and you're moving to fast for her it sounds like. Normally I'd say split, but since you've talked so well about her previously and you know her well enough and like her I'd really be careful about it and think twice. Life is strange and developing long term relationships can takes a long time before your both on the same page. It's a major adjustment and some people really need time to realize what's going on, even though they're hearing all the words and having the talks etc. Basically, don't through away a good thing if there's any hope in saving it because these things come less and less in life, especially as ou get older. Don't take it for granted. Just something to ponder I guess.
Honestly, it's tough (and probably impossible) to say for sure. Three months is not an abnormally short time to decide that you want to be in a relationship with someone, but I think what the "timeline" is is another one of those things that varies person by person and by recent experience (the girl I'm dating now both is probably on the longer end of that spectrum but had also (unbeknownst to me) gone through a pretty ugly breakup a few months before we met, so I was ready before she was and that definitely caused some stress), and just because it may be objectively "reasonable" does not preclude the other person from possibly feeling rushed and panicking.
But, if you're spending all your free time together, while at the same time she's telling you she wants a more casual relationship and isn't ready to commit, then the "costs" of continuing the relationship are going to be disproportionately borne by you. How you navigate that is anyone's guess. I guess talking through it explicitly is probably the most sensible course of action and straight up asking her what she was looking for at the outset... but, if I were someone seeing someone who was ready to commit to a relationship where I wasn't, and they wanted to keep sitting down to "talk about what we're doing," then yeah, I could see that potentially making me even more freaked out.
Basically, relationships are fucking awful, and I don't see why any of us do this to ourselves. I'm pretty happy in mine, but even then every now and then I find myself wondering if maybe a lifetime of celibacy, guitar, and riding my bike up mountains wouldn't be so bad, after all.
If there's any sure-fire way to make me feel like trash on legs, it's basically any relationship nonsense.
Joke's on you, I don't need to be in a relationship to treat myself like trash on legs
S A M E.
It's tough dude; it's been 3 years now and this is still a regularly recurring problem.
I dunno. Three months sounds short in the grand scheme of things, but thinking back, I don't think I've ever reached that milestone without knowing how I felt about the relationship. Or seeing red flags, for that matter. I'd actually make the argument that this is the best time to be having these discussions because it's been long enough that you guys are attached, but short enough that either one of you should probably be able to walk away without any major damage. If you suck it up and put it off for a year and a half, and then shit goes south, it's a lot more likely that someone's gunna take it really hard.
I'm not gunna push you to leave her because I am not you and I don't know your guys' dynamic.
I will say that if it were me, and I wanted and expressed that I wanted to be serious / exclusive and she didn't, I would always feel like a second fiddle; and that's a relationship I wouldn't want to take part in.
That said, who knows. Maybe she just isn't sure yet. Maybe she's in a weird phase in her life right now. Could be anything. Her line about forgetting to take time for yourselves honestly sounds like she's trying to accommodate you. You came to her and told her you felt like you were drowning and needed some time to slow down and right yourself. If I were her, I'd have the same assessment: Ted needs some time for Ted.
And that's true. Nothing wrong with that.
Her digging her feet in taking the "we can't compromise" approach and the whole weird thing with her friend are major red flags, but you know that already.
The relationship I'm in now started out as a friends with benefits arrangement. I got uncomfortable. I pushed for something 'official,' even though we had already talked about that and threw it out. She complied. Then I realized I still had feelings for my ex and couldn't deny that anymore, and broke it off. We got back together less than a month later. Relationships are messy and people are stupid. I'd talk with her some more and try to suss out what she really wants. Even if she doesn't tell you explicitly, see if you can piece it together, because the chances are pretty decent that she doesn't even fucking know. And if whatever you figure out doesn't line up with you and what you want? Well, I'd probably urge you to leave...because if you don't, later on down the line, you'll probably start feeling trapped, and that's not where you wanna be.
^ I think you've hit a lot of it on the head.
The problem is that both angles are kind of right at the same time.
Yeah, I think a lot of it is that she's not sure herself. The line about space to ourselves was in part meant to accommodate me, I'm sure, but she said the same about herself. It's not wrong that even long-established couples need to keep some element of independence. I get a lot of mixed messages where at one moment it's "I really don't want to commit something because I don't know what I want", and the next moment it's "I know there was no plan for you to come over after what you needed to do today but.... what are you doing after?" I mean, there's a clear desire for some form of relationship to happen.
But at the same time, the red flags are very real. The lack of respect for my time is real. She's got some weed use patterns I'm not a fan of. The sketchy bit with her best friend can't be ignored. The fact that we drifted so far off the same page as eachother and she didn't really notice until I practically shouted it at her can't be denied. I feel like I'm up against a sort of lack of emotional maturity in some ways that I don't know outweigh the positives.
And that's just it - I have to decide what elements of this relationship are more important, what outweighs what.