About 1.5 years ago, I entered into a relationship with a lovely person. Like most (all) of my previous boyfriends, he was kind, caring, considerate, intelligent, a little different to the usual, and sees things in the world that many people miss - all the things I initially look for in a potential partner. Our relationship went pretty well for almost a year, albeit with the usual minor issues. Then we hit the real rocky ground.
It wasn't sudden or easily recognisable, like running in to a cliff face; it was more like slowly drifting out to sea on a little dingy, not seeing any obvious problems but always having that nagging feeling something wasn't right, until one day you look around expecting to see land somewhere and realise you have no idea where you are or where you're going, and start to feel a little frightened and helpless while wondering how it got this far. Situations like this can be confusing, because he hadn't really changed, but perhaps I had changed and needed different things. The other confusing part was that I didn't really have any motivation to leave, because he was still a lovely person, I just didn't have any motivation to stay either. That was the key issue - lack of motivation and inspiration.
One of the key aspects of relationships is communication. So, we talked about all of these issues, and many more. After talking, and talking, and then talking some more, making some changes on both sides, I expected things to settle down a little... but nothing really changed, we just kept having the same conflicts and same problems. If anything, we started having more serious problems, and since this was happening at a time when our lives are relatively simple I wondered how our relationship would ever survive the inevitable future complications life tends to bring. We kept feeling distant and detached, like we were clinging so hard to the idea of a relationship that it wasn't really a relationship anymore. As I said before, I don't hate him; I enjoy being around him a great deal. But there is a hole in my soul that I long to fill, and the fact that it is still there tells me the relationship isn't going the way I expected or hoped.
So, do I leave? Do I hurt someone I care deeply about, for the potential to be happier with someone else? Do I give up the opportunity to make a comfortable enough life, perhaps lacking in the romantic passion I fantasised about in my younger days but happy enough all the same, and risk never finding a person who makes me feel completely whole?
Or Do I stay? Do I settle for a life of okay, a life that is better than being alone but always feeling like I wanted something more?
Perhaps it is cruel on the other person to stay for so long feeling so undecided, denying them the chance to move on and find their own potential soul-mate. I worry about that all the time, but find comfort knowing that we have talked through these issues together, and he chooses to stay knowing how I feel - it is his choice to make, if that is the life that makes him happy.
Like many things in my life, I don't know when is the time to keep persisting, and when is the time to give up and move on to something else.
So I keep persisting, hoping that some new revelation or experience will bring new light to make the decision and everything so much clearer...
I am not getting any younger, and have reached a stage of emotional maturity where I feel like it is time to make these decisions about my future - either I decide it's worth staying for the rest of my life, or decided we're not in it for the long haul and leave in search of something different. Procrastinating and hoping things will get better will not make the decision any easier.
It's just such a hard decision to make...
Perhaps it's not just a problem with my relationship, though.
Perhaps it's because i've lost my passion for life, my reason to get out of bed in the morning.
relationships are interesting:
before you meet each other, you each have a whole life on your own full of so many things that make you happy. then when you meet each other, you have to try and fit your 2 individual lives in to 1 shared life, which depending on the degree of sharing is probably about 1.5 lives. some things fit together really well and make you both happy and feel like you "belong" together; other things clash and one or both may end up postponing, reducing, giving up or missing out on the things that make them happy, which may lead to some regret and resentment.
I always assumed that a successful relationship is one which has the maximum amount of fitting with the least amount of clashing. however, my current partner told me something he learned from his parents, that relationships are not about fitting together perfectly to start with, but the process of learning about each other and how to fit together. so, I guess a successful relationship needs the right balance between fitting together the things that are most important to each person, and compromising with the less important things to keep things interesting and make each person feel important and cared about.
just some thoughts...
ENFJ - "Persuader". Outstanding leader of groups. Can be aggressive at helping others to be the best that they can be. 2.5% of total population.