- 5 years ago
I’m considering pulling the trigger on my current relationship of about 10 months. He’s an absolutely wonderful person and we have a great relationship. We see each other 2-3 days a week, usually, and we don’t talk everyday – which suits me just fine, because I like to have my space. I have a blast with him – he cracks me up, I enjoy the time I spend with him, physical stuff is awesome, and we’re very compatible in a lot of ways. We met on Match.
Background: I’m 28, he’s 37. He’s divorced, has been for about five years, no kids. I have had one previous serious relationship that ended really badly at the beginning of 2012. He’s talked about his ex wife a lot (in his credit, very respectfully. I’ve never heard him call her names or get angry about her.) It sounds like they were just totally incompatible (they were married really young and for religious reasons.) She remarried really quickly and has had a few kids.
About five months ago, we split for a few weeks. I had invited him to an event where most of my family was attending, and he hemmed and hawed and said he couldn’t make it at the last minute. After that, I gave him the cold shoulder and hoped the relationship would just end itself via noncommunication (mature, I know.) Within a couple of weeks, he contacted me and said he wanted to get together and talk, whether or not we’d stay together or split. We had a long talk, and his reasoning for not wanting to meet my family was because he was nervous about reciprocating with his family, who tend to have a contentious relationship with each other (and also, they’re super religious and wouldn’t take kindly to knowing he’s no longer part of their faith/with someone who isn’t.) I told him that I understood (which I do) but I wasn’t going to be in a relationship that was strictly casual/fun. I told him that I wasn’t looking for some declaration of commitment on the spot, but I asked him if he saw our relationship as one that had the potential of going somewhere, and he said he did. I really did miss him, and we got back together and have been going strong ever since.
So here’s the issue…
-No one’s ever used the L word. I definitely feel it, but I’m too scared to put it out there if I don’t get it back.
-Other than the conversation in February, there has never been any talk of the future.
-Although we mutually agreed that talking it relatively slow was the best option, I feel like our mutual guardedness is going to prevent this relationship from moving forward. It’s silly things, like taking a long time to respond to text messages. Sometimes I wait a long time for replies from him, but then I’ll purposefully wait a while before responding to him… not mature, I know. Other little things, too… for example, a couple of weeks ago I asked him how he week had been, and he said nothing interesting had happened. Later on, at a party, he was talking to someone about soccer and mentioned he had gone to a playoff match with his brother earlier in the week. I do trust him and I do believe he’s not using his brother as a cover for seeing someone else or something, but it’s like… why not just tell me? I don’t need to keep tabs on him, I trust him, and like I said, I LIKE the fact we’re not attached at the hip… it just seems weird to me.
-He mentioned to me that he had broken up with his last girlfriend after dating A YEAR because she was bringing up getting married and he realized “he didn’t really love her.” Granted, their situation was different (she was closer to his age, also divorced, has a few children, and wanted them to marry in the temple of the faith he’s left) but still… I was a little taken aback that he could be with someone for a year without actually loving them.
The thing is, I’m not dying to get engaged or get married. (I can’t see doing either before the age of 30… and I probably shouldn’t admit this to a wedding board, but I don’t even like weddings, haha.) Eventually I do want to be married. I’m 90% sure I don’t want kids, as does he… I’m totally fine with a relationship that takes it slow, but my fear is that this one will just drop out from underneath me like my last one did.
Admittedly, I’m still pretty burned from the fallout from my last relationship. I was always on eggshells with the last guy, always afraid that one day, out of the blue, he would break up with me… which is exactly what ended up happening. We were not right for each other at all – our background, goals in life, priorities, everything were way too different. I made a lot of concessions with him. He was very immature, scared to be alone (he had recently ended a 7 year relationship when we got together – repeatedly denied that he was rebounding, and I believed him, of course – and he was with someone else within a week of us breaking up. They got engaged after a year of dating. I’ve been in zero contact with him, but heard this from friends who assumed I wanted to know what he was up to. I don’t. My friends suck.) I think part of the reason why I was so scared about losing him was because I hadn’t been in a relationship until I was 25. I was afraid it wouldn’t happen for me, that it was a reflection of me being unattractive or fat or ugly or something. I’ve lost 30 pounds in a couple of years (I met the old guy at my fattest) but I still have about 30-40 to go. In hindsight, I held on to that relationship because I was scared that being single would confirm to the world what I fear – that I am so undesirable that no one will want me.
In the last relationship, he brought up marriage and the future all the time. We had the intense honeymoon period for the first six months or so. Met the families, exchanged the “I love yous” within the first six months. I don’t miss the old guy at all, nor do I want him back. It’s been really hard getting over that relationship, though – I think it’s the fear and the rejection and the betrayal that’s hurt, because it certainly wasn’t losing him. I was feeling a lot better within a year of that break up, but hearing about his engagement was like resetting back to that devastation. Once again, not because I want him back, but because it was like there was something so horrible about me that he had to drop me and apparently was madly in love within days. It’s like for every day I was completely brokenhearted, he was out there enjoying the glow of new love and an engagement and I was totally tossed aside. This person had told me he loved me and wanted to marry me, and has since forgotten about me.
I’m terrified that will happen again. Granted, this new guy is nothing like the old guy. He’s 1000x better – so sweet, so considerate, so funny. Other than the non-communication, I have no faults with him. Our relationship has been slow, steady and enjoyable – we never had the intense honeymoon period, or the drop-off from the new relationship glow – which I’m totally fine with. He really is wonderful, but I can’t get a read on what he feels about me, which is why I’m considering being totally selfish and ending it and potentially hurting him before it can happen to me again. If I felt sure about his feelings for me, I would be very happy with this relationship. But I just don’t know.
I do realize a few things –
-I need to deal with my self-esteem issues
-I’m projecting my old relationship on my new one
-That maybe I’m not ready to move on yet and I shouldn’t have pursued a new relationship (which really kills me, because a year and a half later, my ex gets to propose to his new girlfriend while I get to sit here and “learn lessons.”)
I’m already in therapy. Have been for about a year.
Sorry for the monstrous post… I woke up to see on facebook that a coworker got engaged last night to her boyfriend of about a year/year and a half… I don’t really like her, I think she’s corny and she isn’t very good at her job and I don’t envy her situation, but I am insanely jealous that she and her fiance have made non-stop declarations of love to each other during their relationship while I wait a couple hours for a text response. I don’t even want the gooey public displays… just assurance that my boyfriend gives half a crap about me. Her 5 million posts and pictures in the last few hours set me off. We’ve also gone a period of time without seeing each other.. he went out of town/I went out of town/he went out of town back-to-back, so it will be almost three weeks apart. I’ve had lots of free time to obsess, haha.
So what say you, bees? Am I nuts? Should I trust my gut? He gets back Saturday… I’m either thinking I need to end it this weekend, or initiate a “what are we doing?” conversation. Right now, I thinking if I cry over a guy, I should just end it.