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Lolamartini, i agree with Persiflager. It's a difficult situation you're in. But yes, the boy needs to make an effort to show you he's serious about the relationship. You stated he's 'surrounded by immaturity'. In what way does that affect his decisions and how big is that influence?

Mouse, sounds like you're doing well. And the thing about modern way of communication, texting and such really hit home.

That's because i find myself obsessing over a guy. This is not good nor healthy. So i need to get this off my chest. We got together twice, the first time was kind of a last-moment-not-in-the-cards-thing. I like him very much. But at the same time i'm questioning my motives. Is he really worth obsessing over? Do i just miss having a crush like i had last year?
I texted him some time ago that i'd like for us to see eachother. I got a text back saying that he was very busy (which i knew) but that he'd really like to see me. Later that week i got another text in the middle of the night, stating the same thing, but with even more enthusiasm. He said he'd call me the next day, but since we were both online the next day we ended up chatting for an hour. He initially wanted to invite me over that same evening, but he had to work the next day. I already had made plans with friends so i couldn't visit him anyway. This was two weeks ago. I know his busy period is over and that he's going on a holiday with a friend. For like, two weeks.
I refrain from contacting him because i don't want to seem like, well, obsessing. The way we hang out is very relaxed and open and honest, that's how i feel about it anyways. And i already texted him if he wanted to hang out in the first place. Bottom line is that i want him to contact me, dammit! And a small part of me gets insecure, like, he is probably dating someone else (and he should be sleeping around, because he's just out of a 5 year relationship).

The thing is, before all this i slept with one of his best friends, it was a fling and it ended last year. I know him through this friend and i get the feeling he already really liked me back then. This is getting really long assed and i don't even have a point. I guess i don't really know what to do. I should probably just wait until i hear from him. I always outwait the boy in this kind of situation. But in this case it's not that easy for me.
I decided not to be a wuss and text him. Turns out he's totally stressed, and it's a buildup which started last year. He needs to deal with his breakup. I knew this, i've been through the same thing last year.
I don't even really know what i want from him. And someone who says he's not always able to cope with a recent breakup cannot give me what i need, whatever that is. I just wanted to let him know i like him, that i would like to see him again, but that i understand he needs time on his own. After that it was complete silence.

I did not sleep well. My bff is like 'it's just a man', and i know she's right. I'm glad it's out there, that i said what i wanted to say. I don't care if it's the wrong timing. So that's it i guess. I won't contact him again. I feel confused and hurt, event though his messages were nice. One thing i'm not going to do; being the rebound girl. I have done the rebound thing last year, and it's not something i object to, but with this guy, i'll pass. It doesn't feel right.

I'm not going to take his texts apart and analyze everything to death. I'll cut my losses and move on.

Le sigh.
Well done futura for being brave and taking care of your needs
Hi all. I'm having a problem. In a nutshell, my longterm mister doesn't really believe in what I do for a living. (Wow, that's even more blunt written down...) In a way our two different areas of work have always clashed. He has been supportive with my recent project--he respected the fact I was working my ass off, but also respected the work itself. However, now that I have a job in my area he has indicated what I do is not 'a good use of the taxpayer's money.' Generally our political positions are aligned--certainly we have had serious wrangles before and have agreed to disagree--but when I hear him say this I am both hurt and want to kill him.

The thing is, I will (hopefully!) be working in or around this field much of my working life. I am proud of myself and the work I am doing, although I am first to admit I have a lot to learn. As I write this, I can imagine you all saying to talk to him and tell him how I feel, and I will, but right now I feel a little like I've been kicked in the teeth. This is also coming on top of some serious but reductive criticism of my recent project, so I probably am feeling a little more sensitive than normal. But seriously, I need him to respect what I do--I can't see that this is negotiable, or even that I should have to negotiate for it. I don't want an uncritical cheerleader--I think it is important to be challenged and called on your shit. But he's just writing off my entire area/career as irrelevant.

Anyway. Any thoughts/perspectives would be welcome. We are together a long time and have been through a lot, and know each other very well. This has emerged before, but now I am doing it fulltime I guess his response feels more overt to me.
syb, may I ask what it is that you do for a living?

That's not fair of him. And, given how well you know each other, I can't imagine he said that without knowing how it would make you feel.

What's going on with the mr's career? Could he be jealousthreatened of your success/passion for your career? Do you think he didn't take your work seriously before, so didn't think it was worth arguing about?

He is behaving dickishly.
That's just awful. I can't help but wonder what brought this on. That's such a devastatingly blunt thing to say. Certainly he must understand how deeply this hurt you. Has he felt this way for a long time? Has he hinted at these feelings occasionally over a period of time or has he been holding it in until recently? Do you think he may have been intentionally trying to hurt you for some reason?

On one level, I'm hoping that he didn't really mean what he said and he's taking his own personal frustrations out on you. It isn't fair and he needs to be told that. If he has made a misstep like this, then you deserve a thorough apology.

But if he really means it ... wow. That's a much deeper problem. I have trouble seeing how he can respect you if he doesn't respect how you choose to spend your days. Does he not respect your whole field of work? Or does he have a specific beef with this particular employer? Could it be that he does not appreciate the way your employer is treating you and he has taken out some of that frustration on you? Obviously he's known for quite some time that this is your area of interest. It would be good to hear what he specific points he objects to so strongly.

Whatever the case, I agree that this is pretty dickish behavior.


CCGirl, I wanted to ask you something about your friend. You said that she cheated on her partner, yet she feels absolutely no guilt about it. I'm curious about how she feels about this other man. Is she in love with him? Or is she just fucking him? Or what?

Wow. Just wow. I'm both shocked, saddened, and pissed off for you. It sounds like the Mister has no understanding how his behavior or words impact you. If he did, then he would not say those things to you. I don't care if he had a bad day or if he grew up with critical parents which makes him critical, there is no excuse for what he said to you. The bottom line, your feelings are hurt as a result of what he said to you. Nuff said. I don't think he realizes that with every critical or backhanded comment he makes to you that he comes across as unsupportive of a career that makes you feel good. As you posted, it seems to be a pattern with him to make comments about your work. Has he been receptive in the past during your discussions about your career? Do you feel he has been supportive?

It was really hard for me to give you a response without feeling like I was responding from how I would want my partner to be with my career. I know my work is a part of me and not the whole of me, but, at the same time, I don't know if I could be with someone who did not respect my work or feel the freedom to come home and talk about my work or a project I was working on with him. I would feel unsupported, ignored, and devalued as a woman in the relationship like my contribution to the household was less than. I've worked my ass off during my graduate and doctoral education. I've made alot of sacrifices to get where I'm at professionally speaking and recognition from my partner does not seem like a tall order. But, I know that is alot of my stuff.

QUOTE(stargazer @ Sep 24 2009, 02:38 PM) *
It was really hard for me to give you a response without feeling like I was responding from how I would want my partner to be with my career. I know my work is a part of me and not the whole of me, but, at the same time, I don't know if I could be with someone who did not respect my work or feel the freedom to come home and talk about my work or a project I was working on with him. I would feel unsupported, ignored, and devalued as a woman in the relationship like my contribution to the household was less than. I've worked my ass off during my graduate and doctoral education. I've made alot of sacrifices to get where I'm at professionally speaking and recognition from my partner does not seem like a tall order. But, I know that is alot of my stuff.

Ditto all of this.

I would not know how to talk to my partner about work if I knew he were judging me negatively for it or if I felt that he might be ashamed because of the work I do. And if I did not feel comfortable talking to him about work, that would certainly trickle down into other areas, too Before long I think I would shut down & I wouldn't feel comfortable talking to him about anything personal. But that's just me.
rose, first off, the guy is a friend of her boyfriend! Anyway, she said that there was a lot of sexual tension between them and she found him really attractive. She said it was a one time thing and that they talked about it a lot afterward and agreed to never say anything to her bf. I'm worried though that the friend could end up feeling really guilty and end up saying something. I'm still shocked. She told me that one time, while she was with her last boyfriend, that she ended up making out with a friend when she was really drunk but stopped herself. I know that things with her bf are far from perfect but I can't believe that she did this. I feel like the next time I see her I'm going to have the overwhelming urge to yell "You cheated on your boyfriend!" I don't know what I'm going to do the next time I hang out with her and her boyfriend.
Syb you are totally justified in your feelings! I think this is worth a good heart to heart. Assuming your man is a thoughtful, loving, reasonable person, he should be able to understand why your work is important to you. Maybe you won't agree 100%, but he has to at least acknowledge that if what you do is important to you, it must be important to other people, too.

That sucks if he means it though, because that could be a pretty strong difference in fundamental values. Best to sort it out now rather than further down the road! hopefully in context of other thoughts he had that day it isn't as dickish as it sounds - for example, as much as my boyfriend loves and believes in his (our) own field of work, on bad days he also often wonders if it all isn't a futile a waste of time and money... but that's more about frustration with people and the world than it is about our careers!
Thanks all--I needed some perspective on this. I rarely ask for romantic advice (here or elsewhere) these days and I had forgotten how much an outside perspective can help clarify things.

His opposition to my field of work is a thought-through position. He left a supportive message later yesterday which was good to hear, but he objects to an aspect of what I do on principle. I can even see his point to some degree (although I disagree) but at this point I'm not sure how to reconcile his opinion with the fact I love my new job. I do have problems with the general area, which are probably akin to those you mention angie--I get cynical because so many in our field are--but I love the work itself, and am so grateful I can say that.

RV, this: 'Before long I think I would shut down & I wouldn't feel comfortable talking to him about anything personal' ....has been something I do, too, and it is frustrating, and scary. I don't want to be a stranger to him.

SG, he has been supportive of my research (and emphasised that yesterday)--the criticism I mentioned in my earlier post was actually from someone else in a totally different context--and I think what you describe as reasonable to expect from a partner is absolutely spot-on. He is frustrated by political events where we live so that is framing his comments too; he located my work inside everything else he sees as going wrong. All this is to say, he's not careless and has tried to clarify how he feels with me since.

Possibly the reason it is taking me time to process this is that we operate very independently within our relationship, and this is the way we both like it. It's been like that from the beginning. On the surface, my withholding info about work etc can look like an extension of that, but actually if we are so autonomous it is anything but. If we pursue separate friends, activities etc, all the more reason for us to be able to continue talking honestly.

I feel better this is out in the open, as it were, instead of lurking in my head for me to brood over. 'It's complicated' always sounds like a cop-out, but it applies here as much as it does to anyone--we're generallly happy and have worked hard on our life together, and I feel he is behind me... which is why moments like this come as a shock.

god, syb, i'm sorry. that sounds like a hell of a tough situation. i wish i had some advice to offer you, but other than "communicate!" i'm afraid i don't. i hope you and the mister can work it out, and if he doesn't come around and least he can agree to keep his mouth shut...? political differences i think are the hardest things to work with. ((((sybarite))))

i am wrestling with terrible awful wretched urges to send "FUCK i fucking miss you" texts or do other incredibly untoward things. the two week mark has come and gone and i'm still not over it, i'm still gobsmacked by how much i miss him and how much it actually meant to me. i'm really proud of myself for being strong and not showing my crazy side through this, for being the Cool Girl and not bugging him. but at the same time i wonder if this has just made him think i don't care. i wonder if he thinks about me at all and i wonder if i made the wrong decision. i wonder if there would have been a way to salvage what started out really well (there are more complications to the situation i haven't mentioned, including him being out of town for a month and thus us having to simultaneously kind of start from scratch when he came back/ add another month onto the time we'd been together without actually spending any of that time together).

also--i've never cut anyone out of my life so quickly or cleanly before, and it's wrenching. and since we never actually fought and parted on such bittersweet terms (with both of us being like "i wish we could still just do what we were doing"), it's hard to tell myself "oh, it wouldn't have worked after all, he was a douche, etc". i wish i could run into him just so that we'd have an excuse to talk other than me lapsing and calling him. give me strength, busties!

oh, and new dude is ALSO out of town (or so he claims?), we haven't even made it to a second date yet. what the hell. i need some fucking distraction if i'm going to get through this! argh. sorry.
mouse! I often lurk in this forum but I wanted to delurk to add my .02.... Honestly, I don't see why you shouldn't contact him if you really want to and really feel strongly about him. I don't know about you, but I find it very rare when I truly connect with someone in the ways that matter. Of course there is the big one of what "level" of relationship you're each looking for, but you said that you're actually fine with keeping it sort of causal for a while, as long as there is potential for a full-fledged relationship. But, did he ever actually say there wasn't? I thought you said he misunderstand your intention with the big conversation - he thought you wanted to be his full-fledged girlfriend right now, when really that's not what you were asking for at all, just the potential. Why not clear that up?? Also, you said you saw each other once or twice a week, to me that's a healthy amount of time to spend together that early in a relationship, though I know I may have different standards than some.

Anyway, if what you truly want are words of advice on how to stay away from him, then I apologize as my post wasn't helpful. You are fully capable of not contacting him, keep doing what you're doing, hang out with your friends and post here instead. Either way, I hope it works out for the best for you
Sybarite, I wish I had some great words of advice for you. I know that there are couples out there who have differing opinions on important topics, but I don't know how they do it. We like to think that who you are when you're together is all that matters, but a career takes up so much time and energy & shapes who you are, so it inevitably will affect your relationship.

The situation kinda reminds me of a funny sketch from Mitchell & Webb: The Doctor and the Ice Cream Tester.
In the sketch we have a couple who have just come home from a tough day on the job. They'd both like to vent. The catch: One is a taster down at the ice cream factory and the other is a pediatrician who tends to a ward full of severely ill children at the hospital. As you can imagine, the ice cream tester doesn't feel that he has the right to complain about his job considering his husband has been treating dying kids all day long. I know it isn't the same as what you're going through, Sybarite, but I appreciate the way it shows the strange affect our career paths can have on our relationships. Plus it's hilarious!

Mouse, I don't even know if I can be of much help. See, for me, I can tell pretty damn quickly whether I really like a guy or not. If I'm not blown away by him and willing to make things exclusive within a couple of weeks of dating, then I quickly move on. If you look at my history since high school, you'll find a couple of guys who got one date out of me and then two long term relationships: SmokeBoy (7 years) and Sheff (6 years and counting). So I'm thinking that since your feelings for that guy have always been pretty casual, you're better off moving along until you find somebody with that wow factor.

But again, that's just me. Sounds like you may be wired differently. If so, then maybe you can call him. Maybe you can try doing things his way for a bit and see what you think. Or you can trust your instincts ... the instincts that told you to end it with him. There's a reason why you decided to end it, right? Remind yourself of that reason.
QUOTE(roseviolet @ Sep 26 2009, 04:52 PM) *

Mouse, I don't even know if I can be of much help. See, for me, I can tell pretty damn quickly whether I really like a guy or not. If I'm not blown away by him and willing to make things exclusive within a couple of weeks of dating, then I quickly move on. If you look at my history since high school, you'll find a couple of guys who got one date out of me and then two long term relationships: SmokeBoy (7 years) and Sheff (6 years and counting). So I'm thinking that since your feelings for that guy have always been pretty casual, you're better off moving along until you find somebody with that wow factor.

But again, that's just me. Sounds like you may be wired differently. If so, then maybe you can call him. Maybe you can try doing things his way for a bit and see what you think. Or you can trust your instincts ... the instincts that told you to end it with him. There's a reason why you decided to end it, right? Remind yourself of that reason.

oh, no, i'm completely the opposite. it takes me ages to warm up to someone, and i'm pretty reserved. historically it's taken me about three or four dates before i even decide if i'm into the person at all. it's also rare that i'm ever even in a relationship at all, so i'm sure that only amplifies my natural caution and slowness. i'm not the type to fall immediately.

the reason i ended it was because i didn't want it to turn into the same sort of situation i had with my exboyfriend, where he was telling me very clearly he didn't want a relationship but since he was still perfectly happy to sleep with me, hang out with me all the time, talk & text constantly, and come to me for comfort, advice & other needs, i thought things would change. yes, this was very stupid on my part and caused me a lot of hurt. and i'm adamant that i won't let myself end up in that state again. but...this dude is not my ex, and the situation is not as cut and dried. so i'm worrying that i reacted the way i should have with my ex, but maybe not necessarily the way i should have with this guy. it's hard to know.

likeanyother, thank you so much for your thoughts. honestly, everything you said is everything that's been going through my head this whole time. but i'm also so wary of ruining this the way i've ruined other breakups. zoya has such a painful but true point about the power balance involved. and the chance that he may say "no, sorry, you were right the first time, it's actually not something i want to pursue in any way" is high. i'm not sure i want to risk trading in my (albeit sad & regretful) upper hand, amicable parting and cool demeanor for flat-out rejection. i also don't quite know what i would propose...i wonder if i would resent him if we did get back together in the same form as we were, and he would resent the pressure of "someday this will have to change". it's just a mess, in my brain. i wish there was a way to see him again without being the one to request it.

i'm staying away, but i'm not having a great time of it.

i'm sorry if this is the wrong thread for this...i don't want to hijack this one for something that should be in "moving on". :/

sybarite, how are you doing? have you and the man come to any better understanding?
QUOTE(mouse @ Sep 26 2009, 09:48 PM) *
since we never actually fought and parted on such bittersweet terms with both of us being like "i wish we could still just do what we were doing"

Not trying to downplay everything that you've gone through mouse, but why can't you guys just keep doing what you're doing? I know that he's busy but if you're seeing each other twice a week, I think that's great. I guess it reminds me of cc_boy and myself. Right now I am really fucking busy so at most we see each other once or twice a week. But you know what? We hang out and we have fun and that is all that matters to me. I don't see why you should deny yourself something (or rather someone) that makes you happy.
Hey Mouse,
Just thought I would delurk because recently I put myself through a similar situation to the one you're in and thought my perspective might be useful to you.

My story: Met a spectacular dude (like, hadn't met this good a match in 7 years) when he was about to move to the middle of nowhere, had a long-distance vague thing for 8 months (like visits and daily-to-weekly deep conversation but no statement of commitment/not much sharing of feely stuff, though neither of us is particularly feely), started to feel like I couldn't do that forever and deserved escalation of some kind, he said he "would be very happy to keep going along with things the way they are." I started bringing it to a head around some concrete things like when we would fly to visit each other next, he resisted escalation, then about 6 weeks ago we called it off very cordially and that was it. I'm 95% sure we'll never speak to each other again. I figure my 10 months long distance might have been similar "seriousness" to your 3 (4?) months of real dating, and I went with the decision to finish it and try to move on.

It is still fucking hard. I worry that I will never meet someone I admire this much and could actually live with/not get annoyed by. I know that I could have maintained a relationship with him if I continued things on his terms, and maybe I'd be happier in many ways. But here are the reasons I had for doing what I did:

1) I wasn't sure he was right for me. He had some weird expectations of a partner that I couldn't live up to, and that's part of why he was hesitating. But it put me on the defensive, so that the relationship was organized around whether I could meet his standards. I humored that for awhile because I thought he might outgrow them, and I wasn't desperate for a commitment so it didn't seem to matter at first, but after several months I was ready for things to shift, so I could get down to figuring out if he met my standards, y'know? And things needed to escalate in order for me to get enough information to figure that question out.

2) I know what I'm looking for. I'm 28, and I'm not all "My eggs are slipping away, marry meeeee!!!," but I do know I want to be with someone I can consider a future with, and I'd like that to happen in the next few years, and I don't think that's asking too much.

3) He wasn't looking for that yet. There was evidence of this in his moving to the wilderness to be alone for a year, his inability to express feelings, his unreasonable standards. These weren't alarming at first because I wasn't necessarily looking for a commitment then, but after awhile they started to look like red flags.

4) When I think someone is rad, I want more of them. And I deserve that too. How busy I am, how crazy my family life is, etc. don't matter because I'm at a point in my life where I want to figure out the relationship piece. It's just as important as those other pieces that take my energy (career/family/friends/living sitch/health). And I wanna point out also, that one's attitude about this doesn't reflect on how cool the potential partner is. I've dated supercool dudes at times when I wasn't ready, and they weren't compelling because I wasn't willing to give up my time/selfishness. So if your dude is too busy/stressed to maximize the Mouse in his life, it's not "Mouse isn't rad enough," it's 100% about whether he's willing to make that piece important. And who wants to go along for ages being someone's unimportant piece??

So you may feel that aspects of your relationship are totally different from mine, but I would think these things might carry over:

A) You may need a certain amount of escalation just to figure stuff out. Eventually you need to be able to talk about an "us" in order to figure out, "hey, "us" isn't going to work for me." Or alternatively, "I want to take "us" to the next level."

B) You deserve to be important to someone if you're willing to make someone important to you. A person who's a good fit for you won't let you slip by. I think this is true even if neither person is hardcore looking for a partner.

The tough thing about being the one to bring it to a head is that you question your level of patience and your capacity for hope. I definitely had to call it off for reasons having to do with pride, which may be bad. But I could feel my patience getting thin, and I needed more infusions of hope than I was getting from his behavior.

So, Mouse, my deepest sympathies for what is a sucky, hard time. If you decide you want to get over it, my best practical advice is to make yourself busy, surround yourself with the people who think you're spectacular, focus on the parts of your life that you make you special (creative projects, etc.), humor some rebound dates, and if it feels good to think about this, fantasize about how you will improve on this dude's faults and weird quirks with your next partner. Remind yourself that you can "wow" people, and that a person who gives you their attention is cooler than someone who doesn't have time for that. Good luck!!

momo, thanks so much for your input. you make a lot of really good points.

ccgirl, well, we're NOT seeing each other twice a week. we're not seeing each other at all. i said i didn't want to drag it out and that it was over, and i did all the 21st century bullshit you gotta do when you break up with someone--deleted him from facebook, untagged myself from all his photos, etc. i cut him out of my life pretty severely, so going back is more complicated than just saying "hey let's keep doing what we're doing".

anyway, thanks everyone for the input. you are so helpful. it's really cathartic for me to write about things like this with an audience, so thank you.
I know that you're not doing that anymore, mouse. I just meant that when you two were doing that, it sounds like it was pretty good. Also, how long has it been since you cut him out of your life? I know that you want to retain the upper hand and not go crawling back to him but I just don't see why. I'm just thinking that instead of cutting him out you could have said "Look, I don't want to have girlfriend status with you right now but why don't we just keep dating and see what happens?" Of course, I know it's bad to do the whole "coulda, woulda, shoulda" but if you are really, really, really into this guy then I think you should give it a chance. It seems like you've already made up your mind, though.
Well, what mouse actually said was that he couldn't have a relationship "at the moment". Also, she herself said something about retaining the upper hand so I was just commenting on that. However, after going back to her original post and reading about her situation with her ex, I understand where she's coming from. There is no point in getting burned again. However, to me what really matters is the kind of connection you have with someone. I know it sounds lame but I can't be the only person who has met a guy and clicked with him immediately. When cc_boy and I first started going out we said that it felt like we had known each other for years, despite never having met before. I know that ours isn't a perfect relationship but I'm really happy with where we are now.
QUOTE(candycane_girl @ Sep 28 2009, 04:38 AM) *
However, to me what really matters is the kind of connection you have with someone. I know it sounds lame but I can't be the only person who has met a guy and clicked with him immediately. .

I've met plenty of guys that i've clicked with immediately, who weren't in a place where they were ready for a relationship, and things ended with them. As momo says so well:
QUOTE(momo @ Sep 27 2009, 06:44 AM) *
I've dated supercool dudes at times when I wasn't ready, and they weren't compelling because I wasn't willing to give up my time/selfishness.

A "connection" is great, but a connection doesn't automatically mean that things are going to work out. A connection isn't enough in and of itself to sustain things if they are to move towards anything more serious. If the interest isn't there, for whatever reason, in things progressing further, then it's just not going to happen, no matter how great the connection. A connection can spark the interest in things going further, but only if both people are capable of it / willing to act on it, at the same time.

Mouse, hang in there, as shitty as it feels, I sooo think that this is such a big step for you in defining what you want, and taking charge of your life by not putting yourself in situations where you'll potentially go down that street you know you want to avoid. I have done the same thing in the past that you're trying to avoid, over and over - and I admire your strength in recognizing it this time, saying "no, I want to do things differently," and taking control of what your goals and ultimate wants in life are. Growth can fucking hurt, whether its physical, mental, or emotional growth - so yeah, it feels pretty shitty - but that doesn't mean you've fucked up - it just means you're doing something different. Keep going with that gut feeling, lady, I know you're honoring yourself and what you know deep inside you want to feel like. xx

zoya, I think you're misconstruing what I'm saying. When I say a connection, I mean a real, strong, almost indescribable connection. Not something that you could experience with "plenty of guys" but rather an incredibly deep connection that one would probably only experience a few times in her/his life. I really don't know how else to describe it.

rudderless, I agree with what you're saying. No one should have to change themselves or what they want just to make someone else comfortable. But I think that honesty really could have been the best policy. Mouse could just say "Hey, I don't want to be your girlfriend right now anyway. I like what we were doing but if I'm going to be with you I need to know whether or not we could eventually have a relationship." A simple yes or no from him would do and then that's it. No more questions, no more wondering.

However, this whole situation already seems to be over and done with and I can't blame mouse for not wanting to get strung along for two years again.
wow, look at everyone rallying around me! aw shucks. bless your li'l hearts.

candy has it right on the nose--it's the uncertainty that's been bugging me. however, i wouldn't say that we had a once-in-a-lifetime Connection. i just do find it very rare to find people who like me who i like back, and if this person is a decent human being with a good job, heart in the right place, a bunch in common with me and interesting hobbies, then that's even more rare. but of course, it's obvious he's not into me as much as i'm into him right now and that is the root of many problems (though of course, this balance can change--when we first started dating i felt like the shoe was on the other foot). i think the main thing at this point is that it's turning into a big distraction--i'm obsessing over it too much, should i call him, should i not call him, what if what if what if--so part of me just wants to know for sure so i can get over it. i even went so far this weekend to draft an email to him..but it wasn't sent. i'm feeling less obsessivey about it today, so he remains uncontacted. i may call him up casually in a few weeks or so just to see how he is and let him know i miss him in my life simply as one of the more interesting people i've met lately, but i don't think i'm going to do that yet.

again, thank you so much for your input. back to your regularly scheduled programming. xo.
I know exactly what you're saying, cc, and at 41 I think I've experienced it a couple times more than you. Really fucking intensely, as a matter of fact. That's just how life is. There's more than just "the one" or even a couple "ones" sometimes. I was using "plenty" more as a figure of speech, not meaning dozens or anything, but still, more than a couple. And that's just how life is.

Sorry, cc, but you're not terminally unique. I know you have, in your estimation, a great relationship based on an incredible connection with cc_boy, but you're not the only one who's ever experienced those things, and what your experiencing in your personal relationship right now doesn't necessarily make it so for someone else.

that type of connection you're speaking of is amazing. but my point is that merely a connection like that doesn't ensure that you're destined to be together in a long term relationship. There has to be more than just really really really being into someone. And that "more" has to be equal, because like it or not, intensity fades, and you have to be left with a shared mutual desire with the other party to do the relationship. It's not a great sign if it's not an equal desire from the get go. And I'm talking even just a mutual interest in it potentially going somewhere.

and lest you think that I'm some bitter old chick, I'm not. I have an incredible life, filled with incredible people and as to why I am single - I know from experience that a connection like that will indeed come into my world again - and I also know that for me, it has to be accompanied by equality from the beginning. Exactly what Rudderless said so beautifully: "If someone really is into you, he shows it. He calls for no reason. He bores his friends babbling about you. He can't wait to show you all of his favorite films. He WANTS to let you into his life, and he wants to be part of yours." I'm not going to settle for less.

Okay zoya, you know I was really just trying to be polite. And to clarify, I never once said that I was terminally unique. I also never said that because I am in a certain situation that everyone else would experience the same thing. I was relating what I have been through. Our experiences shape how we view the world, by relating my experience I am trying to offer insight as to why I say or do certain things or give a certain piece of advice.

I'm not old, I'm not super experienced, I just try to give my two cents. It wouldn't kill people to give love a chance.
QUOTE(candycane_girl @ Sep 28 2009, 06:13 PM) *
It wouldn't kill people to give love a chance.

... and that is why I'm not willing to settle for merely a connection.
*hi cc_girl! not disagreeing with you at all, just posting a general thought*

I'm all for giving love a chance, but actually I think love's a cheeky bugger that takes its own chances. It's not a tender blossom that needs care and nourishing to bloom - it's a hardy, wild weed that flourishes in the strangest nooks and crannies (now, your committed relationship is a much tricker vegetable...)

*sorry, I can't sleep and am thinking fuzzily*

ETA:Cross-posted with zoya, hi zoya!

I still think we have vastly different ideas of what a connection is. Obviously there has to be more than just that but that deep, intense connection has to be there in the first place. And to clarify, I'm not settling. And my relationship isn't just good "in my estimation", it is good. I got what I wanted.

Persiflager, I think that love is like a plant that can grow pretty wildly but there are going to be times when it needs a little bit of extra sunlight or more water. Just a little something to help it out.
To stick with the metaphor, I'm a lazy gardener! Hardy perennials only please smile.gif

Just to make clear, I'm not knocking anyone else who chooses to work hard and make their love-plant grow (oh dear, I'm regretting this image now...), I just know how much effort I'm able/willing to put in. I've put a lot of effort into promising relationships that didn't work out, and I made the decision to hold out for something sensational this time. I'm willing to work hard on building an excellent relationship, and I think that my best shot at the long-term involves a relationship that starts out easy.
lol, I agree with you persiflager. I couldn't handle plant that required constant care and attention and would die without it. But every now and then there are weeds that need to be taken care of. Okay, I can't handle much more of this metaphor, I know nothing of gardening.
Huh. I think I must be a love succulent. I gets my monthly rain (When it rains it pours!) & am happy as a clam.
lol, why am I viewing this as more of a sex metaphor? You should have seen me and cc_boy after 3 weeks apart. Dayum!
I think it's a little of both. We put in a lot of work on the phone & IM'ing & shit when we're apart & there is a hell of a lot of shagging that goes into it when we're back together, which is great. But I think it's just the being together more than anything that rocks. I feel suffused with this giddy feeling sometimes just sitting at a stop light knowing that I can reach over & grab his hand. And I know it's the real deal because I don't feel embarrassed for acting like a total fucking moron, I feel proud.
The last couple of posts reminded me of a question.

What does it really mean when someone says that they just "don't have time for a relationship right now"?

I most cases, it sounds like a cop-out to me. But that's because, as I've said before, I only bother to enter into romantic relationships with people who totally blow me away (and with people who are just as taken with me as I am with them). If I'm that strongly attracted to someone, we make the time to be together. Even if we're both working 12 hours a day. Even if we're separated by 5000 miles and a 6 hour time difference. If you're truly smitten with one another, you find a way to make it work.

Note that when my parents met, their schedules were terribly busy. My mother was a young nurse working the graveyard shift at a hospital. My father was a graduate student in Theology who drove a school bus for extra money and preached every weekend at a small country church. They had VERY little free time. Hell, they were rarely even awake at the same time! But they made it work. My mom got out of work at the hospital at about 6am. She and Dad met at a playground near the hospital where they talked and ate donuts for an hour before my dad had to drive the school bus. They went on a couple of formal dates, but most of their time together was spent on that playground. My dad even proposed to Mom on that playground. Sure, it wasn't ideal, but that didn't matter so much to them. They wanted to be together, so they found a way to make it work.

Now, sometimes "making it work" means you can't see one another for a few weeks at a time. Hell, Sheff and I occasionally had to go three MONTHS without seeing one another! But we still talked on the phone nearly every day for about 30 minutes. I would expect no less from any other relationship.

So basically, if a guy were to tell me that he "didn't have time" to be my boyfriend I would assume that he really wanted to cut off the relationship, but thought he'd let me go easy. That or he's too wimpy to cut it off himself & hoped that I'd do it for him.
I think it really is relative but yeah, if you want to see someone then you will. However, being in a relationship also means different things to different people. Like maybe a guy would say that he doesn't have time for a relationship because he figures that by being in a relationship the woman will expect to see him 4 or 5 days out of the week. So instead of saying "I'd like to be in a relationship but I can only see you once or twice a week" he says "I don't have time."

I even differ from RV in what I want (or need) in a relationship. You said that you spent at least 30 minutes a day talking on the phone to Sheff. Right now I wouldn't have time for that because of school and work (ignore the fact that I'm posting here, I swear I'm doing school work in other windows). For example, if you count school, work, and the fact that I had a doctor's appointment I ended up having a 12 hour day. And then I came home and had to read and communicate with group members for various projects. Fun times.

My parents' situation wasn't as extreme as yours RV, but they were also busy. My mom worked full time at a college library while my dad was attending that college (that's how they met) and also working. They only saw each other once a week but when they saw each other they spent quite a few hours together.

That is why my mom was so perplexed when my brother's ex-gf insisted on seeing him every single day even if my brother was working late and couldn't see her until after 1am. I agree with my mom that that is totally extreme. In fact, I think it's a bit immature if you can't handle being apart from the person. Seriously, the world will not come crashing down if you are apart for a few days.

Anyway, I think I got totally off topic and didn't really answer the question.
it really takes all kinds. i don't think i'd ever talk on the phone 30 minutes a day to ANYONE, even my mom or my best friend. ha!

and just wanted to clear things up--i've really enjoyed hearing from both cc-girl and zoya. you two somehow manage to eerily represent each half of my brain right now, and it's nice to hear personal experience from both paths. xo.
Rudderless, you and I are clearly in the same boat. I don't talk to my mom or my BestGalPal everyday, but that's because the connection I have with them is not the same as what I have with Sheff. I love them dearly, but I'm closest with Sheff. He an I genuinely want to see and talk to one another every day. I think that's an important prerequisite if you're going to marry one another and live together! Nevertheless, is something happens in our life and we're forced to be apart again for a while, I'm sure we'll try to make it work just as we did before. We learned long ago that communication is the key to a successful relationship, so as long as we have that, we feel our chances are good.

A part of me has always been a tad envious of those who can date more casually. I've always wondered what that felt like. It always seemed like a great way to have your cake and eat it too - to be independent and unencumbered by the responsibilities of an intense relationship, while still having this fun person on the side for regularly-occurring dates and sex. But that just never happened for me. The idea just worked better in theory than it did in reality. When I found myself smitten with someone, we really wanted to talk everyday. It would have felt dishonest to do anything different. Actually, I probably would have felt really stressed and confused by the whole casual dating thing! I'm just not built for it.

Rudderless, I think you said everything I was thinking.

Rosev, I DID have those casual dating relationships for years and I thought that would always be the kind of relationship I wanted. Until I met paperboy, I couldn't imagine wanting to talk to someone every single day. I was always the kind of person who needed a lot of space and didn't want to feel like a guy was hounding me for my attention. But just this morning I was thinking that paperboy and I probably haven't gone more than one day without some sort of communication almost since the very beginning of our relationship and I can't imagine not talking to him at SOME point during the day. At this point we're both really busy and can only see each other 2-3 times a week but we make some time for each other every day because, like rose and rudderless said, we want to. He's my best friend, absolutely. I know we've only been together for a year, but I've been with a fair number of men and I've never felt this way about any of the others. Which is why we're about to move in together.

Which is a LONG way around to answering RV's question. In my case, if I told someone I didn't have time for a relationship, it would mean that I didn't feel that much for them to begin with. If I dig someone, I *make* time. Across continents or oceans, after a hellacious all-nighter, whatever. If I choose someone for a partner, that person is already my best friend, and therefore the first person I want to call when anything happens.

And if someone tells me *they* don't have time... I believe them. But I generally assume it's because they're not really jonesing for a relationship with *me*. And that's cool. If they want me, they can show me.

This is exactly how I feel. And I've been the one saying "I don't have time" for years. I'm still just as busy as I ever was, but I want to make the time for paperboy.
Don't apologize, Rudder! Especially when you're hitting 'em out of the park. smile.gif
QUOTE(rudderlesschild @ Sep 29 2009, 04:01 PM) *
There is, I should point out, a big difference between "I can't wait to call/see him tonight" and "If I don't call/see him tonight, he's gonna get cranky/weepy/insecure." Relationships that demand a certain schedule of contact prematurely or un-organically are, indeed, suffocating.

That's exactly it! I think that it's fine to want to see each other everyday. But both parties have to understand that if it can't happen, then it can't happen. If someone truly loves and respects you then they'll understand that you can't go out because you have to study for midterms. Or you've made a commitment to be in a band and you have practice. Or you're playing hockey that night and you can't just skip out on it. To me, that person has to understand that your world does consist of other aspects and they should support you in those things.

One of my friends is dating this guy who threatened to break up with her because she was spending "so much time studying" and then whenever they did get to hang out there were times when she was cranky because she was stressed. Um, she's a third year nursing student! Of course she's going to be studying all the time and get stressed out!
Hi all, I've been lurking here... Rudderless, after reading your post, I just had kind of an epiphany. I think that I want the tangled-together type relationship, and my boyfriend wants the parallel-lives type relationship.

Before I always thought that a "mature, healthy" (whatever that means) relationship would be a parallel type one. That's what I'd observed in many of the couples I knew who had been together for a few years- both had very full lives and seemed to do a lot of stuff separately, but still seemed to make it work. I always wanted that because it seemed like a way to have it all (have your cake and eat it too, as you said, Rose), but maybe I'm not cut out for it. My bf, meanwhile, has been pushing lately for more independence (I posted about our issues a few months ago in the committed thread, things are stable now but the issues haven't disappeared).

Rose, I really relate to what you said- I've had 3 long term 'ships, and other than that, nothing beyond a month of dating with anyone else. I pretty much always knew right away that it was right (or not- and when it wasn't, I didn't want to waste my time or his on something that felt forced- even if there was an attraction or affection). And I've always wanted the tangled-together relationship. I think that, yes, I need to work on not NEEDING to see or talk to my partner all the time (because some of that stems from insecurity), but I also need to accept that it's 100% okay to want this kind of relationship.
One note about the "tangled up" relationship.

It is GOOD to have some separation. It is GOOD to get out and do your own, independent thing without your partner. It is GOOD to nurture yourself as an individual with unique interests, unique taste, and unique perspectives that are separate from your partner. And it's really good to go out and have fun with your girlfriends, too.

I just don't want you to read these posts some of us have written and think that means that a co-dependent relationship is best. It simply isn't. You have to maintain some level of personal, psychological independence.

Here's how that works for me and my relationship. I love my husband. He's my best friend. when I have a problem, he's the person I want to talk to about it. He gives great advice. He also makes me think about things in ways I hadn't considered before. He is my rock. But he is not my EVERYTHING. Nor do I expect him to be. He's just another, flawed human being. He has his own interests, his own issues, his own past. Luckily, a lot of our interests and tastes overlap, but not all. I can't stand some of the music he loves. There are TV shows I watch every week that he just cannot get into. I love roller coasters, he hates them. I love performing on the stage, he has trouble speaking in front of more than 2 people at a time. We work things out through compromise. For instance, if I want to go to an opera, I have a girlfriend who will go with me. If I want to see a play, sometimes Sheff will go with me as my "wing man", but sometimes I go alone.

I really truly love Sheff, but I don't expect him to satisfy every single social/relationship craving I may have. Instead, I have prioritized my needs. There are some things that I expect my husband to provide, but there are other things that I feel I can get from friends. It's hard for me to put into words, but I think it's a very important balance.

The key is to prioritize. Decide what you really NEED from a partner versus what a friend can provide. For me, I need emotional intimacy with my partner. I need t be able to lay it all out, warts and all. And I need my partner to be just as open with me. This can be tough and scary from both ends of the deal, but the trust and work involved are worth it. From there, I need my partner to discuss these issues with me and work towards finding solutions. I'm a very verbal person, so I need someone who is willing to be verbal with me about the really important things in life. Sheff is a fairly quiet guy - he will not talk at you for 30 minutes about his favorite book or anything like that - but when it really matters, he's a great listener and he's a great talker. We will sometimes talk for hours as we work out the best solution to a problem. This level of communication means the world to me and is why he is my husband. Do we talk about celebrity gossip? Not really. Do we talk about Project Runway? Not so much. But that's why I have girlfriends. biggrin.gif

Everyone has their own priorities. Find out yours. Be honest with yourself, no matter how much that hurts. Then go for what you need.
it's great to see so many busties have relationships that are perfect for them smile.gif personally, i think i may be more of a paralell-type relationship gal, but that may just be because i've never met someone i wanted to be with 100% of the time. my first relationship was very co-dependent and it ended up being pretty harmful to the rest of my life--but that of course is the extreme and not the healthy kind. my last boyfriend (the one that things went to shit with in the end) and i drove across country together and ended up living together for about a month after that too, and even though he may be the person for whom my feelings have been the strongest yet most realistic (no 17-year-old obsessed smitten kitten anymore, but i still loved him more than anyone i've met yet), we were together nearly 24/7 for over a month and it drove me CRAZY sometimes. especially during the drive, i'd have to be like "ok, we're in st louis, i'm going on a walk. i'll see you in two hours back at the car". and then we got back and were happy to see each other again. but i needed the break. i'm an only child and have always been pretty private; i think it's just how i'm wired. my "alone time" is crucial to my well-being.

anyway, i came in here to update: i finally ended up emailing the guy, because i figured it was just making me really obsessive and it wasn't going away, it was only getting worse, and that was way more unhealthy than anything else. he responded and said he'd like to catch up too, but mentioned that he is probably getting relocated to a different city for his job. i'm almost relieved--it's kind of a nice deus ex machina solution. AND! the guy i went out with directly after we broke up, who was MIA, got in touch tonight and we've made plans for friday. things are looking good. thanks, again, for your help. <3
(ETA: Mouse, so glad to hear that you are feeling better about things. Deus ex machina indeed!)

Who said anything about wanting to be with their partner 100% of the time? It definitely wasn't me! I assure you that Sheff and I have no desire to be in the same room together 24/7!

We both value having time all alone. Every evening when Sheff comes home from work, we talk for 15 minutes or so, but then he goes upstairs to unwind by himself for a while. He'll spend an hour or so reading a book or taking a nap or playing on his computer. About 2 hours later when I'm done cooking dinner, I'll call him downstairs to eat. From there we may spend the rest of the evening together or we may spend more time alone. It just depends on what we want on that particular day. In addition, I often go out and do things on my own or with girlfriends. I enjoy going out with Sheff and I certainly go out with him more than anyone else, but that doesn't mean we're attached at the hip.

Note that Sheff and I are each the youngest of 3 kids. That means that after our older brothers moved out, we both had years when we essentially lived as "only children". After having siblings around for so many years, we appreciated the quiet and privacy of a life as an older only child. That's probably why we still value our own private quiet time.
anna k
Aww mouse, I'm glad you got some closure, and that you feel so relieved and comforted. And you have a date for the weekend!

I agree on alone time being crucial. I love it whenever I spend time with friends or family, but after a few hours I want to be alone and relax apart from them.

roseviolet, that's a really healthy way of looking at a relationship, and keeping your own interests and passions and not having to do everything together. I would hate that if I had a boyfriend who was with me all of the time, or who put down my interests. I have friends who I go to for different things, and separate what I do talk about with them. With one guy friend of mine, we talk about action films and our favorite foods and tease each other. Another friend, we're very girly and talkative and can be silly. It's nice having a range of people to express different interests and sides of yourself with.

I like that you describe Sheff as a quiet and private guy. I feel the same about myself, but sometimes feel like it's more expected to be an outspoken, talkative woman rather than laid-back and quiet. It is nice to value your own private quiet time.
Good morning Busties,

It's been really good to be able to read a good number of the most recent posts. Amazing how sometimes we just happen to come across posts that really fit with where we're at. We gal and I are also in a conundrum around living together or not, and last night it all came to a head again - it does on a fairly regular basis sometimes.

We've been in each others' lives for three years now, dating darn seriously at the start, a break in the middle and now we've been together much more seriously for about a year and half. One complicating factor, she's from the UK and not legally able to stay in Canada for more than 6 months at a time. She's hasn't applied for residency yet, but that's another matter altogether!

For me, I want to live with my partner (for pretty darn ordinary and standard reasons) and I've always stated that it's a deal breaker. For her, she does not want to live with her partner. Her reasons include a strong need for serious time alone, loss of wanting to be intimate with her partner (this has happened in all of her previous live-together relationships),

About two weeks ago, due to a mix of circumstances, she moved into my tiny 1 bedroom attic apartment. She is in town for another month before heading back to the UK - to return again a month after that.

We've been looking at it as a kind of dry run, all the while talking about how if we are going to live together, we'd need to get a much bigger place, it would have to be one we both choose and make "ours". Unfortunately, the problems around her losing desire for intimacy have already started.

Before this, we were getting to a much deeper place than wed ever been before; tons of joy around being together, making love lots and generally just feeling so content.

This discussion isn't new for us. She has told me from the get go that she does not want to live with her partner and why, just as I've told her that I do. We've come so damn close to ending things before, yet we haven't. Our connection is very strong, and while I'm much more expressive around it, we both feel passionately for each other.

After going around it all last night, we agreed that we're still at a point where we want to figure this out, see if we can come up with a compromise. I keep wondering what in the world that could look like?

This morning she came up with the idea of our writing down what the essence is of what we each want, breaking it down into what those wants are really about, in hopes that having those in front of us will help to figure out how to make this work. I think it's a really great idea but having a heck of a time putting it all into words.

To me, living together means a deeper level of commitment, a way of continuing to deepen a connection. It's about maximizing your time together, pooling resources so you can save for things like wonderful holidays, its the opportunity to wake-up beside the person you adore and come together at the end of everyday to share your ups and downs.

I think what's causing me difficulty in coming up with the list is that each time I think of something, my mind goes straight to find the holes. I need to remind myself that this isn't about convincing the other person to come to the 'other side' but figuring out how we can meet in the middle.

Sorry this has gone on for so darn long. I'm not really sure what I'm asking from this wonderful forum but it's immensely helpful just to share.

If anyone feels like taking the time, I'd love to here what the essences are behind your reasons for or wanting to live together.

Thanks to all those who take the time to read my post - you're all so amazing.

juicygirl, I know you didn't address the residency thing much, but I have some questions about it anyway. Is she coming back to Canada on a tourist visa waiver? Or is it a work or student visa? For your sake I hope she isn't trying to trick Immigration by returning over and over again as a "tourist". That's a very risky move. I say this as an American who tried to do the same thing in the UK - tried and was eventually caught. That's why this concerns me. If she is entering Canada under false pretenses and she gets caught, Canada will deny her entry, she will be deported, and she may not be allowed to re-enter the country for a very long time. That would certainly affect your relationship! Of course, if I'm way off base you can ignore all of this. It's just that her travel pattern is very suspicious & an immigration official is bound to notice sooner or later..

Back to your question. You want to know why people choose to live together. I don't know if my situation is going to be much help to you, but I'll tell you anyway.

Legally-speaking, I have to live with my husband. He is English and I am American. The only reason why he's allowed to stay in the USA with me is because he is married to me. In order to stay here with me, we have to do certain things to keep the Department of Homeland Security happy. For example, we have to live together. If we didn't live together and DHS found out, we'd face a lot of questions and, more than likely, my husband would be deported.

When Sheff came home from work tonight, I asked him about this question. To be honest, I think we just assumed that we'd live together because that's what the vast majority of married people do. Even if we didn't have to live together I bet we would chose to anyway. For one thing, we don't like living alone. We each have realized that we're happier if there's another person rattling around the house with us. Also, we've lived with other people and we definitely get along far better than anyone else we've ever lived with before. But mainly we live together because we like each other. We like being around each other. I like coming home and finding him here because, in some ways, he represents home for me.

But as I said, we're married. It's much more expected for us to live together. It's a whole different ballgame for couples who are dating.

Juicy, I can't tell you why people choose to live together but I can tell you why I don't plan on ever living with someone.

Besides the fact that I would be totally ostracized from my family, I actually don't like the idea of living with someone. Maybe it's because I've seen so many of my friends move in with a SO and then they break up. I can't stand the idea of breaking up with someone and having to see that person everyday until it's possible to move out. It just seems so messy.

Also, call me old fashioned but I just really don't want to live with someone unless I am married to him. I feel like if a guy wants to see me everyday and wants to be in my bed every night then he has to commit to me 100% or "put a ring on it" as it were. I guess that if a guy thinks he's ready to live with me then he has to be ready to marry me. Otherwise it's no dice.
Juicygirl, I don't really know what a compromise would look like in your situation. I do think that if you choose to move in together, you should definitely find a fairly big place and you should each have designated personal space within it. That "compromise" however, is still more towards your preference in this situation. More towards hers would be, I dunno, living apart but spending most of your time together at one place, and trying to make it a home? I don't think that would really satisfy you, though, and that's what a lot of living-apart couples do anyway.

I am living with my partner right now in a pretty small apartment, and I think we could both benefit from more personal space. If we could afford it, we would certainly move to a place where we could each have our own room besides the bedroom (an office, or just our own little 2nd living room or whatever). One of my friends was actually really surprised that we don't each have our own room (he's German, maybe it's common there?).

I understand your girlfriend's hesitations about living together. It's hard to go back to not living together once you've made that move (which is why it's a big commitment, and I understand the appeal of that too). It's not like you can never go back, but it's harder to go back than forward- so don't rush into it. I am nostalgic for the times when there was more division between his space and mine- biking to his house late at night and letting myself in, the different things we would do in his 'hood vs. mine... however we had really good reasons for moving in together- we both wanted to try it, and wanted to live together more than with roommates or alone.
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