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?
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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: 06-29-2012

Thank you, Safire. I needed that. We haven't been in touch other than to make arrangements for him to pick up the rest of his stuff from my house. And I haven't seen him since the break up either. 

"A person who loves you like he should would be devastated at the thought of you not being in his life. He, however, fantasizes about some woman he can debate politics with..... He's using this as an excuse so he doesn't have to hurt your feelings with the truth that you're not the one for him."

"Don't risk your heart on someone who was willing to let you go two times already. The right man will never let you go--not even once."

I should print those quotes and stick it on my wall. That is exactly what I need to see every time I push a new guy away with the hopes that my ex might come back for me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013

Hi, I'm very sorry that you're going through this. Good for you for ending a relationship that wasn't right for you. You do imply that you'd take him back if he asks, though, and I think this is a huge mistake. A person who loves you like he should would be devastated at the thought of you not being in his life. He, however, fantasizes about some woman he can debate politics with. Sadly, he's just not that into you. A partner cannot be everything to another. He could argue politics with a friend or relative and get his fix their. He's using this as an excuse so he doesn't have to hurt your feelings with the truth that you're not the one for him.

Go ahead and mourn this relationship. Don't accept his calls or respond to his texts. Change your number if you have to. Communication with him stunt your need for closure. Keep cutting men loose when they aren't on the same page as you. When you finally meet the right man, everything will feel right and you will no longer feel frustrated on a daily basis. I read the advice that you have to date a boatload of men because most won't be right for you. After my divorce, I went on dates with about 30 men before I found my future husband. It was worth all the pain and frustration of unsuccessful dating to get to the treasure. 

Don't risk your heart on someone who was willing to let you go two times already. The right man will never let you go--not even once. Take care.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-14-2001

He broke with you at the two month mark and again at the seven month mark, you haven't been together a year yet and you're talking about marriage and babies??????  Holy cow.  I understand you don't want to be dating for five years and engaged for three, but you do need to be together in a STABLE situation long enough to actually be able to determine whether being married and babies is the right thing to do.  At this point you're ignoring the glaring facts and pushing forward despite it. 

Being together for a long period of time is about having time to observe him in the zillions of situations that you need to observe in order to know whether this is workable or not.  You feel like he's looking for a way out?   Honestly, it sounds a bit like he's going along with you and you're pushing this relationship.

Yeah, I think you should seriously consider ending the relationship.  You're not happy in it and if in this amount of time you're not happy, you sure won't be happy in five years and on and on and on....   I also think you should think about the ramifications of making life choices without the time and information that comes with it that will allow for an informed, appropriate decision.


~ cl-2nd_life

cl-2nd_
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2012
Thank you. It's definitely been a rough couples of weeks and it's been hard not contacting him and asking him if he really meant it when he said we're too different. I figured if he really missed me bad he would have messaged me. On facebook, I took my name out of the relationship, so his still says "in a relationship" - and he hasn't changed it. The last time we broke up, he told me he left it like that with the hopes that we'd get back together. He's implying that we're not completely over. That's bothering me just a little bit because I feel like I'm cheating when I'm talking to other people. I'm almost afraid to talk to other people - what if I get close to them and my ex said he wants me and will do all it takes to make the relationship work??? It's so hard to let go completely when you've been through so much with someone and you know them so well.... aaah. I know, I know. I should just give it time... I shouldn't let him keep me on a hook. We're not the first people in the world to have broken up, after all, right? I know I should delete him off of facebook, but that's going to be really hard. I'm just venting at this point right now. Ok I'm done. :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-04-2006

I have to commend you for being brave enough to talk to him.  Lots of women wouldn't have said anything for fear of "scaring him away" or wouldn't be willing to risk rocking the boat.  They would have just hung in there, waiting and hoping that one day he'd say "let's get married!"  So, you obviously are a strong young woman with a good head on your shoulders and a healthy does of self-esteem.

Soon enough you'll find a man who appreciates all those qualities and will snap you up.  Good luck and stay strong!  Remember, you WILL "miss" him, but don't let that deter you from what is right for you in the long run.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2012
Thank you so much, Kendahke1. What you said makes me feel a little better and somehow I feel like it all makes sense now...... I guess maybe him and his mom both knew all along that this wouldn't go anywhere. I feel a little stupid, but hey it happens - especially when he hung out with me every free time he had and texted me and called me throughout the day.... part of me believed I was important enough to him. Oh well. Another thing that one of my friends said that stuck to my mind is - even if he comes back, once his career is on track and he has time on his hands, he'll start having doubts again - and he'll start wanting/looking for "ideal girl" and I would be left in the dust after having stayed with him through the hard times. I really don't want to be his convenience gf. I guess there are people out there who want the same things as I do and be willing to give me what I want out of a relationship without having to demand it.... this board has been so helpful. I really appreciate everyone's thoughts and comments.
Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012

thatandthat2012 wrote:
<p>Today we had the talk and I told him what I expect out of the relationship. He lead the conversation and told me he has been neglecting me lately because of his financial problems right now. I told him if we kept dating, I would want us to move in together later this year - he could move in with me if he can't split a place with me. And I told him I would possibly want to get married next year. I asked him if he needed time to think. He told me he's been thinking the past few days (the thing with him is, he doesn't start thinking until I bring something up). He said his mind keeps going back to our differences. He brought up that he's really into politics and he's always imagined his partner to be into politics - and he doesn't like it that he can't share that with me. At the same time he said he doesn't know if he's letting go of something amazing. <span>He said the same exact thing when he last broke up with me in October.... then two weeks later he came back to me and said he would never hurt me like that again. At the time it created a lot of trust issues.... I'm just hoping that I can stay strong through this and not take him back even if he does come back - and even if he does, I would want to wait at least a couple of months before I get back with him.... I think my problem is that I'm too easily available and he knows I'll always be there - he doesn't know what it's like to lose me.... or maybe I'm just flattering myself. Either way, I'm trying to stay strong.</span></p>

If he cannot bring himself to give up his expectations about the kind of woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with (one who likes to talk politics, one who likes dogs, one who doesn't mind waiting for him), then he will always be torn and halfway about you.  It shouldn't be down to him being afraid to lose you---it should be down to him knowing that he won't lose himself if he throws in with you.

Quote:
<p>Since he sounded like he's made up his mind, I said he should get his things from my house. He wanted to come back for them another day, but I insisted he take it all. So that's that.</p><p>As for my relationship with his mom - I've only met her twice. He never made an attempts to introduce us until I pointed out that it was weird that I haven't met her even though we've been dating 7 months. The first meeting was awkward - we all went to dinner together and it sounded like I knew more about him than she did. She never made any attempts to get to know me.... I knew it was a red flag, but he said his relationship with his mom was mostly professional, and he doesn't like discussing relationships with her.</p>

That woman carried that man for 9 months and spent 29 years rearing him.  She knows her son way better than you do. It could be that she was keeping taciturnly while gathing information about you and where your head was.  She is far more aware of what his priorities are than you.  Don't fool yourself for one minute into believing that he only has a "professional relationship" with a mother he lives with. 

There is a reason why that dinner was awkward: he isn't ready to make room in his life for you in the ways which count the most: emotionally, financially and intimately.  That doesn't necessarily mean he's a mama's boy: it more than likely means that he's had a lot on his plate that he committed himself to long before he met you that he feels he must honor before taking on the obligations which naturally come with committed relationships--such as making you the priority over everything else.  While he was down for a little "bump and tickle", it didn't require obligation and when you pressed, he balked and left.

Your best bet is now to exercise your discipline and see what you're made of.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2012

Today we had the talk and I told him what I expect out of the relationship. He lead the conversation and told me he has been neglecting me lately because of his financial problems right now. I told him if we kept dating, I would want us to move in together later this year - he could move in with me if he can't split a place with me. And I told him I would possibly want to get married next year. I asked him if he needed time to think. He told me he's been thinking the past few days (the thing with him is, he doesn't start thinking until I bring something up). He said his mind keeps going back to our differences. He brought up that he's really into politics and he's always imagined his partner to be into politics - and he doesn't like it that he can't share that with me. At the same time he said he doesn't know if he's letting go of something amazing. He said the same exact thing when he last broke up with me in October.... then two weeks later he came back to me and said he would never hurt me like that again. At the time it created a lot of trust issues.... I'm just hoping that I can stay strong through this and not take him back even if he does come back - and even if he does, I would want to wait at least a couple of months before I get back with him.... I think my problem is that I'm too easily available and he knows I'll always be there - he doesn't know what it's like to lose me.... or maybe I'm just flattering myself. Either way, I'm trying to stay strong.

Since he sounded like he's made up his mind, I said he should get his things from my house. He wanted to come back for them another day, but I insisted he take it all. So that's that.

As for my relationship with his mom - I've only met her twice. He never made an attempts to introduce us until I pointed out that it was weird that I haven't met her even though we've been dating 7 months. The first meeting was awkward - we all went to dinner together and it sounded like I knew more about him than she did. She never made any attempts to get to know me.... I knew it was a red flag, but he said his relationship with his mom was mostly professional, and he doesn't like discussing relationships with her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010

I don't think you're crazy, I think your gut is telling you something that you don't want to hear, so you're trying to ignore it.

As others have suggested you definitely need to have a serious talk with him about several issues. The business paying the mother's mortgage is a red flag---since mortgages are typically for 15 or 20 years and sometimes longer, he could be paying that bill for a long time. Strange business model that has the semi-retired partner taking so much $$ out of the business that the working partner must live like a pauper. And interesting mother that would put her son in that situation. You should get professional advice before mixing finances with him/them.

I would be wondering if you are the "convenience gf"? He has higher priorities than romance and establishing his own family life, and you're mostly willing to stick around anyway. He seems to be sending mixed messages, he thinks you two are too different, yet he loves you and wants to have babies with you. I agree with the others that you need to hear if he has a time line...its easy to talk imaginary babies when you know they will stay imaginary for many years to come.

I think you're right in developing your own timeline. I think you should keep it to yourself while you gather info from him about his plans and dreams for the future, and then decide if they match up.

Just wondering, how do you get along with his mother?

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

thatandthat2012 wrote:
<p>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. ;) </p>

No--don't be vague about anything. That's gameplaying and manipulating.

Own your voice and ask for what you want. If he freaks out and says that you already know that he doesn't feel that way (because you do--he's been quite honest with you about that), then you tell him that you're moving on and you will not be looking back--and make that your policy from that moment forward.  If you give him an out, he will take it.  Ask for what you want, have him declare his intentions (ask him "what are your intentions?" That always will elicit a response) and THEN is when you begin negotiation towards the compromise, provided you're down with waiting x amount of years before he feels he's in a position to be the kind of husband he wants to be. You don't start first by putting your final offer on the table. 

How many years are you willing to wait? 3? 7?15? 20?  His mom's issues may change into something else he feels he has to address; his business may undergo serious changes that he feels he has to put all his time into.  Are you willing to put your life on hold waiting on his problems to clear out?

A man who is not in a frame of mind to ask you to marry him of his own, free volition isn't going to ask you to marry him. Period.  What you can see you two doing has no bearing on what he sees himself doing---he doesnt' have the time or the financial freedom to be your husband right now.

Given his history with you, you should state your case clearly and concisely and be prepared for him freak out and not to be willing to go along.

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