1 year relationship - am I crazy for contemplating giving this up?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2012
1 year relationship - am I crazy for contemplating giving this up?
20
Sat, 02-16-2013 - 11:45am

Hello everyone! I just wanted your thoughts on something. Here's a little background on my story. :)

I've been with someone for about a year now. I'm 26 and he's 29. About 2 months into our relationship, he said he saw me as just a friend (even though we were like a couple), and he said he didn't want to lead me on, and he broke up with me. We got back together because I told him I wanted him to give it some more time because I know we had potential (at that point I knew he was scared of commitment). Five months after that, when I brought "us" up, he had a mini freak out and broke up with me and said I was just a really good friend to him and he said by then he would've known for sure whether he wanted to be with me or not. I was heartbroken and I told him we had to cut off all ties. After staying away from each other for a couple of weeks, he came back and said that he was sure about me and wanted to be with me and for the first time told me he was in love with me. Things have been great since then. We talk about the future. Sometimes we talk about hypothetical babies. We don't really talk about solid plans though.

As we're nearing the one year mark, out of the blue I started getting really depressed last week. I realized my mind's been wandering lately and I was noticing a serious lack of "romance" in the relationship (romance might be a fufu term - I just mean - I don't feel appreciated in the relationship). He never tells me I'm beautiful, he doesn't do anything special for me (even though he's there for me in all the little ways). I didn't really care about any of that stuff before, but somehow right now that's bothering me to the point where I'm thinking of my exs and thinking back to how lovely it was to have someone tell me that I was beautiful (pathetic as that sounds). I feel like I need some validation. That's where my worries started - and then it escalated. I realized we weren't really going anywhere with this relationship - I've never wanted to date someone for 5 years and then be engaged for another 3 years before getting married. While that works for someone people, I don't think it works for me. I want to either move in with the person and have solid plans for a future together. When I brought "us" up a couple of days ago, he said he knows he doesn't give me the attention I deserve - he said right now he's bogged down with work. And then he started bringing up problems that weren't problems right now - for example, he said he wants a dog in the future and I don't like dogs - and he said we're very different. And he asked me "do you think we're different?". It almost sounded like he was making up excuses why we wouldn't work long term. So I told him the reason I brought "us" up right now was not to discuss future problems, but to acknowledge our current problem - which was that I was feeling neglected in the relationship.

Right now we see each other 3-4 times a week. He always comes over when we hang out and stays at my place. He's helping his mom pay for her house, so right now he can't afford a place of his own (and it doesn't look it it's going to happen any time soon). He owns a business, so that's his top priority right now. I don't see him making any kind of solid commitment towards me, even if it is just to live together. I know he cares for me and loves me and won't ever cheat on me. He spends all his free time with me (which isn't much because he's always working). But I want something more. I'm his only best friend. Am I asking for too much if I tell him what I want? Would it be a terrible thing if I wanted to move on if he's not ready to be "my man" and come home to me every night? And most of all, am I dwelling on the romance aspect too much?? 

I know every person is different. Just wanted to see what other women thought about this.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-04-2006

My entire post mysteriously vanished, leaving a blank post.  Awesome.

I'm not willing to retype the entire thing, so here it is paraphrased:

This man is probably not going to "change" into what you would like him to be.  If he does, it would only be temporary and you both would end up resentful, you for him going back on his promise to be more "romantic" and him for you not just accepting him the way he is.

Assuming he isn't going to "change", can you accept him the way he is?  Can you accept that he won't and can't commit to a life with you for an indefinite period of time? Are you willing to wait for someone you feel doesn't meet your needs "as is"?

One more thing...those exes who were more romantic are exes for a reason, I presume.  So them being "romantic" and telling you you're beautiful wasn't enough to keep the relationship going, obviously.  So that's something else to keep in mind.

Hope this one doesn't disappear!  I'm not trying a third time LOL!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2012

I have thought about it a lot... I think I can forgo the romance if I knew for sure we're building up for a future together. I love and care for him a lot.. and I can most definitely see us spending our lives together... he cares for me so much - but I just don't see him making a move any time in the near future (mainly for financial and time constraints)..... at this point I sort of want to know if this is going somewhere or not - if not, I'd rather move on...... would it be a terrible idea if I told him what my vague timeline is - how I want to be settling down with him in a year or so, and let him know that there is a way for us to work through this, and ask him to marry me? Or should I just talk about the timeline and drop the proposal bit? lol. I feel like if I don't take control in this situation, I will be in the same shoes 3 years from now waiting for him to figure out his career, pay off his mom's house and THEN marry me. Why does it have to be the guy who has to propose? haha. ;) 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I'm on the fence about this one but I do see some problems here.

The biggest thing that jumped out at me, maybe because I have a DD about your age, is why is he helping his mom pay for her house at the expense of his living situation?  I would never expect my kids to be helping me pay for a house--is she disabled, is she temporarily unemployed & looking for work, where it's an emergency, is there some kind of end date here?  A woman w/ a 29 yr old son who has a GF should be realizing that he needs to be saving for his own future--and this definitely has an effect on your relationship unless both of you are going to be living w/ mom.  Have you discussed how long this is going to go on?

The fact that he is busy starting a business is really no reason not to become serious in a relationship.  Most people in their 20's are starting out in their careers and working long hours and that's still when most people end up getting married.

It seems like you are putting more thought into this relationship than he is.  His reservations about the future (dog & such) might be kind of lame excuses but the point that you should be getting is that maybe he's looking at reasons that you can't be together.  I'd think a guy who really saw his future with you would be thinking of reasons that you can make it together, not reasons why it wouldn't work out.  I don't think you should directly ask him to marry you, but I do think you should have a discussion with him about where he sees things going--when he thinks about his future, does he see the 2 of you together?  Is it important to him to get married & have kids?  When would he ideally like to do that?  Does he want to live together before getting married?  Would living together be an end in itself or a step toward getting married?  (Personally I think especially for women sometimes they think living together is the step toward marriage and men are content to just stay there indefinitely.)  Ask him why he thinks you are too different and if he thinks that means that he doesn't see you ending up together.  I just think you have to have a lot of talks because these are serious thing.

I think the romance doesn't matter that much in the long run.  He seems to come over a sufficient amount considering that he's busy.  Yes it would be nice if he told you that you are beautiful but in the long run it's kind of trivial compared to whether he treats you nicely.

I just think you need answers to those questions and you do need to explain to him that you don't want to date for years and find out that the relationship is going nowhere because your goal for the future is getting married and having kids--but one year of dating when the first part of the relationship was only acknowledged as a "friendship" really isn't that long.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2012

The reason he's helping with the house payments is because him and his mom co-own the business. So the house payments come out of the business - and as of right now, he essentially runs the business (since she semi retired from the business). She was a single mom who raised him and then started the business - so that's how he's tied in with her house payments. Not sure how long that's going to continue - I wouldn't want to live with them - but I understand and accept his responsibilities towards his mom - and I don't think that's something that can be changed.

I guess I'll drop the proposal idea and talk to him and see what he thinks of my vague timeline. I was hoping he could move in with me later this year and then we could possibly get married next year. I'm afraid of moving in together without any solid plans of marriage - like you mentioned, I wouldn't want him to get content with just the living together situation....

We often talk about the future... he especially brings up what our future kids would look like on random occasions. But who knows... maybe it was just casual talk. Hopefully I won't be on this board heartbroken tomorrow after we have the talk. :-/

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008

I'm confused.  You said you might be willing to give up the romance part....why????  Is that important to you?  And maybe you have a different definition of romance than it sounds like - are you talking specifically about giving up sex or giving up the "romantic" stuff it sounds is currently missing - him thinking of you first, him being the one to be eager for a future with you and saying so, and so on.  Maybe I'm imagining it, but is he coming up with excuses to keep things just as they are, like how he wants a dog and he thinks you don't, him needing to help him mom financially, etc.?  Where there's a will, there really is a way.  And.....a huge thing here is I don't hear either of you mentioning the basic thing:  love.  Is it possible the two of you would be better friends than partners?  Would that be so bad or would it be a deal breaker?  Him asking you if you think you're "different" - I think there's a big hint in that question, it sounds like he thinks so and is holding back because of it.  Maybe there's a bond between you and nothing more?  Which isn't such a bad thing, if he is saying you are his only best friend, I'd believe it and perhaps that's what he WANTS.  I just hear the guy hesitant to truly make a commitment to the future.  I think a major discussion is in order right about now.  You seem to want to move forward and he's dragging his feet. 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2012

*duplicate comment deleted*

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2012

When I mentioned giving up romance - i meant giving up on ideas of him buying me flowers randomly - him telling me I'm most the most beautiful woman in the world to him - that sort of thing. We have a healthy sex life. He seems to be completely satisfied sexually.... there's a bit lacking there for me, but I think it's something we can work on as well.

I do feel like he's coming up with exuses to keep things the way it is. If we hadn't had "the talk" a few months back, I would still be his "best friend in the grey area" even though I had the title of a "gf". When I started getting vibes that he still saw me as a best friend, even though I had the title of a "gf", and he confirmed it, I said we had to call it quits. After 2 weeks, he realized he couldn't do without me and asked to take him back, and said he would never hurt me like that again. Since then our relationship grew to a whole new level..... I feel like I sort of have to keep shocking him into realizing that what we have is real - as bad as that sounds. Now I feel like we're at that point again where he needs a little push to keep this growing.

I do love him - he means so much to me. I know he loves me as well - there's no doubt about that at all. whatever I need, he's there in a heartbeat - maybe not in the most romantic fashion, but definitely in a very practical manner.... as for whether or not he is serious about spending the rest of his life with me - I'm not sure of that.... which is what I want to know before I keep investing everything I have in this relationship. 

Like you mentioned, I do think he's hesitent because of our differences... or maybe because he's afraid of commitment at this point in his life, he's trying to think of differences?

Either way, I've noticed in the past that if I tell him "we are so different", that will cause doubts within him nad he'll go analyzing that for days. On the other hand, if I tell him "different as we are, we love each other and we can work through anything - isn't that what life is about?", he'll instantly change his mind and agree with me. It's like he can't make up his mind about me. Definitely having that talk with him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2004
I don't want to be Debbie Downer here... but I once called off a relationship before it began, because he didn't want dogs (or any pets), and if I got any, none could never come in the house. I know it sounds trivial to many, but that's a big thing for others. (he's still one of my best friends, though, so all's good. I'd miss him like crazy if he wasn't.)
Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004

Hi,

Read his lips: "I'm a commit-a-phobe and a mama's boy."

Drop him once and for all and go find a real man, aka "a man with a plan and place of his own."

You're trying too hard to make this guy "fit" into your dream when he keeps telling you and showing you he can't. STOP IT.

Get busy living your life. When you do, you put yourself in a position to meet someone who shares your values (not just your interests) and who "fits."

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012

thatandthat2012 wrote:
<p>Hello everyone! I just wanted your thoughts on something. Here's a little background on my story. :)</p><p>I've been with someone for about a year now. I'm 26 and he's 29. About 2 months into our relationship, he said he saw me as just a friend (even though we were like a couple), and he said he didn't want to lead me on, and he broke up with me. We got back together because I told him I wanted him to give it some more time because I know we had potential (at that point I knew he was scared of commitment). Five months after that,<span> when I brought "us" up, he had a mini freak out and broke up with me and said I was just a really good friend to him and he said by then he would've known for sure whether he wanted to be with me or not. I was heartbroken and I told him we had to cut off all ties. After staying away from each other for a couple of weeks, he came back and said that he was sure about me and wanted to be with me and for the first time told me he was in love with me. Things have been great since then. We talk about the future. Sometimes we talk about hypothetical babies. We don't really talk about solid plans though.</span></p><p>As we're nearing the one year mark, out of the blue I started getting really depressed last week. I realized my mind's been wandering lately and I was noticing a serious lack of "romance" in the relationship (romance might be a fufu term - I just mean - I don't feel appreciated in the relationship). He never tells me I'm beautiful, he doesn't do anything special for me (even though he's there for me in all the little ways). I didn't really care about any of that stuff before, but somehow right now that's bothering me to the point where I'm thinking of my exs and thinking back to how lovely it was to have someone tell me that I was beautiful (pathetic as that sounds). I feel like I need some validation. That's where my worries started - and then it escalated. I realized we weren't really going anywhere with this relationship - <span>I've never wanted to date someone for 5 years and then be engaged for another 3 years before getting married. While that works for someone people, I don't think it works for me. I want to either move in with the person and have solid plans for a future together. When I brought "us" up a couple of days ago, he said he knows he doesn't give me the attention I deserve - he said right now he's bogged down with work. And then he started bringing up problems that weren't problems right now - for example, he said he wants a dog in the future and I don't like dogs - and he said we're very different. And he asked me "do you think we're different?". It almost sounded like he was making up excuses why we wouldn't work long term. So I told him the reason I brought "us" up right now was not to discuss future problems, but to acknowledge our current problem - which was that I was feeling neglected in the relationship.</span></p><p>Right now we see each other 3-4 times a week. He always comes over when we hang out and stays at my place. He's helping his mom pay for her house, so right now he can't afford a place of his own (and it doesn't look it it's going to happen any time soon). He owns a business, so that's his top priority right now. I don't see him making any kind of solid commitment towards me, even if it is just to live together. I know he cares for me and loves me and won't ever cheat on me. He spends all his free time with me (which isn't much because he's always working). But I want something more. I'm his only best friend. Am I asking for too much if I tell him what I want? Would it be a terrible thing if I wanted to move on if he's not ready to be "my man" and come home to me every night? And most of all, am I dwelling on the romance aspect too much?? </p><p>I know every person is different. Just wanted to see what other women thought about this.</p>

The part I highlighted/bolded above is the cruxt of the problem you have and all the love in the world is not going to move that boulder, whether you just date him or your move in with him.  He is committed to this course in his life for the time being and you're going to have to decide if you're willing to wait him out and see if he possibly, maybe wants to give you what you want/be who you need---or you cut bait and let him go so you can find someone who wants what you want and be who you need. As long as his mom's house needs to be paid for and he has a company he's trying to make work, you are going to be neglected to a certain extent---there are 2 other things in front of you on his priority list which were in his life and unsettled/unresolved before he met you. From what you've written, I don't get the sense that he's eager to get married or make whatever you have with him any more permanent or official other than being his bud that he has sex with.  He's not in a position to give you more.

Whether you wait or leave all depends upon what you want and how willing you are to exercise the requisite discipline to stick with it, even when the going gets hard.  Are you willing to be by yourself for an undetermined length of time until the right, compatible man comes into your life? Do you have the discipline to wait or, as you've done with this guy time and again, will you break down and give in to a bad course of action once again to keep you from being alone?

This guy has been telling you, both directly and indirectly, for about a year that he is not interested in being who you need for him to be. You've been settling for something you know is not making you happy.  He has been truthful with you, but you haven't been truthful with yourself.

I don't believe that talking about a dog in the future is making up excuses about the future: he knows that he wants a dog once he's straightened out his life and finances and you don't want a dog. For some people, that's all the reason they need to not want to get any further entwined in a relationship. Plenty of women come on boards complaining about their boyfriend/guy they just met doesn't like their pet and they feel as if they have to choose.  People who love/want pets and intend upon having them in their lives should defintely not lose their heart to someone who is not like that.  It's just unnecessary friction that they can avoid.

Also, in the future, never base any relationship you're in on potential. You will always be let down.

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