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Not bad, but not what I want

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  • #366829
    Dee
    Participant

    Hi there. Not sure exactly how to start or say anything but i’ll give it a shot. I’m 22 f dating 25 m. I have a lot on my mind and I don’t know who I can spill this all out to.I don’t feel like myself. I’m in a relationship that I’m not sure is sustainable, and I feel like i’m too deep into it to end things. I have a really hard time communicating and saying the things I want to say. I have a hard time setting boundaries with people. I feel like a mess and am not sure how to approach this but I know I need to end it, or change the overall circumstances to something I’m comfortable with, because I’m just not happy. Previous to dating my current boyfriend, I was constantly bubbly, had no bad days, always a smile on face, I felt great all the time. I still feel pretty positive and don’t necessarily feel like any day is bad but I know I would feel more at ease if I was single. I have a major fear of commitment. I am incredibly independent. I just don’t think I am going to be happy with the way my future will go if I stay with him. My ideal future does not include marriage or kids. I don’t want him to resent me if those are things he truly wants. My heart is so heavy because I have the purest intentions all the time and don’t ever want to hurt anyone. I have such a hard time using my words effectively it’s awful, I’m a generous girl with so much love to offer.. just not in a romantic way. How can I be so generous and so selfish all at one? I hate to be toxic and I know I am only going to become more toxic, not only towards myself like I am now, but it is going to come out when I am with my partner as well if I don’t set my boundaries or end things. This man enjoys me so much. He thinks so highly of me and trusts me, I just know staying with him is a safe bet. Exactly that and nothing more, to an extent. I’m not very attracted to him, but if he TRIED to have sex more then I would, and that would definitely make me happier. But we are not sexually compatible and it’s an issue i’ve never faced before. He sweats a lot and sleeps loud. He doesn’t have a car. There are so many minor (or not minor I don’t know)  things that bother me about him. These things wouldn’t bother me if it was meant to be right? He is wonderful though, he will do anything and everything for me. Within reason you know. But even that bothers me! I’m just not sure I am ready for the responsibilities of a relationship. Or maybe he’s just really not the right person, hard to tell. We get along really well , haven’t had a single argument. It’s easy to be around him. Despite that, I don’t know how to have a conversation with him about my feelings without feeling like the devil. To add just a little bit of context, he has recently moved out of his rent free space where he was living with his ex and her family. to live with his coworker for $700 a month. He essentially much did this just for me… Because he really believes we are going to be together forever. Essentially. I just don’t know how to handle this. Do I just distance myself and hope he catches the vibe? Could I write him a letter? Start being awful and undesirable? All the possibilities have crossed my mind. I am not someone who has serious conversations well. I don’t want to keep having this “grass is greener” mindset, I just want out.  As much as I don’t want to be the bad guy I want to get it over with so I can start living my best life again. I cannot fathom the idea of actually confronting him. Even in my one and only previous relationship I waited until I completely broke and had just sent him a message ending it. I’m not sure what I came here for, I guess I just needed to speak my truth on this even if I don’t end up saying anything. Any words of advice or encouragement would be very appreciated.

    #366830
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dee:

    I think that looking into your experience, as a child, of your parents’ marriage, and the relationships between you and your mother, and between you and your father, will be relevant to understanding your current struggle. Would you like to share about these things?

    anita

    #366834
    Dee
    Participant

    Hi Anita! I’m an open book and don’t think I’ve got anything to lose here so I will definitely share a bit of my past. I’ve felt the way I feel about relationships now and have for a very long time, since I was a child, because of my parents. I absolutely love them both and have a good relationship with them personally but their relationship was not what I would ever want for myself and I felt for basically the entirety of my life that no relationship or marriage I saw was ideal. So i’ve seen it best to stay single since i was younger. My parents divorced when I was 10. My dad was always out with friends throughout the week and weekend. He would come home late, after we’d all be asleep. My dad has now been with his current partner on and off for 12 years, well really it’s been longer than that. I find out more things as the years pass but even just this year I found out my father had been seeing his girlfriend since 2003! I was 5. My parents didn’t separate until I was 10. My mind was blown when I found that out because honestly he was probably being sneaky from the start of their marriage. Yeah so I don’t trust easily and have major commitment issues. I resent my father because I just don’t know why he would do that considering my mother is an amazing woman. However, after asking my dad for a divorce she started cheating on him before they actually did part ways. Their divorce was a mess and definitely impacted me. But still, I love them both endlessly and wouldn’t trade them for the world.

    #366837
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dee:

    I am looking forward to read your recent post and reply when I am back to the computer, in about 11 hours from now.

    anita

    #366856
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dee:

    You shared about your parents: “their relationship was not what I would ever want for myself… My parents divorced when I was 10. My dad was always out with friends throughout the week and weekend. He would come home late, after we’d all be asleep. My dad has now been with his current partner on and off for 12 years, well really it’s been longer than that.. I found out my father had been seeing his girlfriend since 2003! I was 5… he was probably sneaky from the start of their marriage… I resent my father because I just don’t know why he would do that considering my mother is an amazing woman. However, after asking my dad for a divorce she started cheating on him before they actually part ways. Their divorce was a mess and definitely impacted me”.

    About you, you shared: “I’m 22.. I have a really hard time communicating and saying the things I want to say. I have a hard time setting boundaries with people.. Previous to dating my current boyfriend, I was constantly bubbly, had no bad days, always a smile on face, I felt great all the time. I still feel pretty positive and don’t necessarily feel like any day is bad but I  know I would feel more at ease if I was single. I have a major fear of commitment. I am incredibly independent… My ideal future does not include marriage or kids… I have the purest intentions all the time and don’t want to hurt anyone.. I’m a generous girl with so much love to offer.. just not in a romantic way… I don’t know how to have a conversation with him about my feelings without feeling like the devil… I am not someone who has serious conversations well… I just want out.. I want to get it over with so I can start living my best life again. I cannot fathom the idea of actually confronting him.. I’m an open book”.

    About the relationship with your boyfriend, you shared: “The man enjoys me so much. He thinks so highly of me and trusts me.. I’m not very attracted to him, but if he TRIED to have sex more than I would, that would definitely make me happier. But we are not sexually compatible.. He sweats a lot and sleeps loud. He doesn’t have a car.. He is wonderful though, he will do anything and everything for me… We get along really well, haven’t had a single argument… It’s easy to be around him… he really believes we are going to be together forever”.

    My thoughts:

    1. “I love them both endlessly“.. I am a generous girl with so much love to offer.. just not in a romantic way“-

    – I think that the core of who you are is your endless, generous, so much love for your mother and for your father.

    You experienced plenty of bad days in your home when your father was so often out of the home during the week and weekend, with friends and with his girlfriend, and during their divorce. But you became a “constantly bubbly, had no bad days, always a smile on face” girl because you love your parents so much that you want them to see you happy and not worry about you.

    But the bad days are inside the “no bad days, always a smile on face” girl. These bad days exist in the form of an emotional resolution to never allow yourself to be in your parent’s marriage. And that means, to  never allow yourself to be in any marriage. You don’t have the experience of witnessing a good marriage at home, so as far as your personal experience goes, there is only one kind of marriage, and you don’t want to be in it.

    2. “I’m an open book”- not in this context: “I have a really hard time communicating and saying the things I want to say.. I don’t know how to have a conversation with him about my feelings.. I am not someone who has serious conversations well”. If you learned to communicate well and talk to a boyfriend about your feelings, then you will experience a relationship that is different from the one between your parents.

    3. “he really believes we are going to be together forever”, because the two  of you “get along really well”, and because you are an “always a smile on face” girl who did not tell him that she feels anything negative toward him/ the relationship.

    4. “I just don’t know how to handle this. Do I just distance myself and hope he catches the vibe? Could I write him a letter? Start being awful and undesirable? .. I just want out.. (but) cannot fathom the idea of actually confronting him”-

    – to make breaking up with him a learning experience for you and for him, better you tell him the truth. First step, prepare a letter with the truth in it. You may give him the letter to read in your presence or out of your presence, or you may read it to him out loud. Or you can use it as a preparation for a conversation with him. If you want me to help you to prepare this letter, let me know.

    anita

    #366890
    Dee
    Participant

    Hello again Anita. I would love to just thank you for this insightful response, I really appreciate it! I think you are pretty spot on here.  I guess I’ll just go over everything you brought up here. I suppose I do believe the core of who I am is my endless love and caring, for my parents, and that because I love them so much I don’t want them to see me unhappy or have them worrying about me. I always felt they had so many other things to worry about, like finances and my brother who is older than me but throughout our childhood he definitely was a bigger handful. In fact I would like to think I was just about the easiest kid ever to have, I don’t know I just really have never liked to people to have to worry about me too much. As far as “having no bad days” and having decided no marriage is good I’m not sure that part is so true. I recognize that healthy relationships do exist and it is very possible, I just am not sure I can see myself ever being into it. I do have my own bad days for no reason at all sometimes, I just don’t care to think of it as a bad day because I have trained myself to have this ridiculously positive outlook on life, I know my circumstances are never that bad and I have a lot to be grateful for, I could have a ~romantic~ relationship, I just need it to be completely on my own terms and I don’t want to have to ask anyone to change for me, or adjust to my many little quirks. I am complicated and selfish and I know it, for that reason I would way rather be single. It’s also for that reason I believe I’m pretty generous, I just really don’t want my preferences to inconvenience anyone else. I thought my current relationship was going to work out for me and be on my terms, but the further in I get the less positive I feel about it. So when I say I am an open book, I  do feel this is kind of true still. I am very willing to share my feelings, thoughts, and experiences of all kinds with anyone, it’s just easier to do so if someone asks me things? I have a really hard time with communication as a whole, speech isn’t something I’m very good at. It’s a work in progress but my lack of confidence in the past was the problem for sure. I know because of the way I act as if nothing is wrong for me, that my boyfriend thinks there really isn’t anything/ we’ll be together forever, however I don’t know how to act as if anything IS wrong because the problem is completely mine! In the beginning just a couple of months ago I only had good feelings about this whole thing. I stopped feeling like myself and I only came to the conclusion that I want to be single again. I lived a fabulous single life full of positivity and self growth, and I realize now I just wasn’t done there yet.  I do want this to be a learning experience for both of us but I’m not sure he will see it that way. We were distant friends and ex coworkers for about four years before dating, I would be hurt if he ended up really hating me for deciding that this isn’t for me. I am more so actually in fear of the immediate response he will have, and just dealing with that. I am terrified of the confrontation, I so badly wish he could see it and come to me asking if I really want a future with him. I would love to write a letter to him.. maybe with the intent of actually giving ti to him? I would love any help you are willing to give Anita, thank you!

    #366891
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dee:

    You are very welcome. I read some of your recent post but will need to be more focused to thoroughly read it all and reply. I will be able to do so in a few hours, or in as long as 16 hours from now… I just noticed you like the idea of writing him a letter (?)- you are welcome to post me a first draft of a letter and I will give you my input when I am back.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by anita.
    #366932
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dee:

    “I would like to think I was just about the easiest kid ever to have, .. I just really have never liked for people to have to worry about me….  I am complicated and selfish and I know it”-

    – you became the easiest kid for your parents so that they won’t worry about you, because you loved them. Fast forward, being the easiest person to get along with became your habit-of-being/ your personality. The cost of is that you hide/ hold in any thoughts, preferences and emotions that may inconvenience the other person. This kind of hiding makes a long term, healthy, honest and intimate relationship- impossible.

    Because of this hiding and holding in, the easiest kid… became a complicated young woman.

    “I could have a romantic relationship, I just need it to be completely on my own terms and I don’t want to have to ask anyone to change for me”- it is okay for a person to change some things for you, it is healthy, not a bad thing. It is okay for two people to compromise some things for each other, it makes team work possible, not only in the workplace, but in romantic relationships as well.

    I can’t think of any healthy, long term, intimate relationship of any kind being possible when it is  completely on one person’s terms (“I just need it to be completely on my own terms”), or one where neither person is ever inconvenienced by the other (“I just really don’t want my preferences to inconvenience anyone else”).

    “my boyfriend thinks there really isn’t anything (wrong).. I don’t know how to act as if anything IS wrong because the problem is completely mine!”- the problem is not completely yours in the context of a relationship with another person. The problem is yours and his. If indeed he is not aware of the problem, he soon will.

    “I am very willing to share my feelings, thoughts, and experiences of all kinds with anyone, it’s just easier to do so if someone asks me things?”

    I am asking then regarding your fear and terror (“I am more so actually in fear of the immediate response he will have.. I am terrified of the confrontation”)- how did your parents confront each other and how did they confront your brother and you?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by anita.
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