When to let go of a relationship...need advice

Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 07:41 am
Some background info.. I am a 24 year old gay woman.. all I ever wanted was to be in a committed relationship. I dated consistently for over a year and a half not finding anyone I wanted to persue (with 1 or 2 exceptions, but they weren't interested). I dated one woman for about a month but we had nothing in common. Then the very next woman I went out with became my first real girlfriend. We have been together for 4 months and it has been a roller coaster. She is 30 and has a lifetime of dating experience. She has been in several multi-year relationships, lived with three of her ex's, has been "engaged", planned to have a baby with several of these people. A lifetime of experience.

Going into our relationship I told her that all I wanted was a serious committed relationship and she was skeptical b/c of my age but gave me a chance. As time wore on it became crystal clear to me that this was NOT a woman I could spent the rest of my life with.

-manipulative - makes me feel guilty "if you love me you'd drive me 2 hours to the airport at 4AM"
-mood swings
-it's all about her needs and wants, mine are not as important
-has a constant need for drama in her life
-former anorexic who has problems with MY food issues
-boatload of anti depressant/anti anxiety/sleep medication (effexor, klonopin, etc)
-insecurity issues
-tells all of her friends intimate details of our relationship while I am a very private person
-I know I need someone I can really depend on and count on to be there for me. I need someone to be my "rock." I am her rock and I don't like playing that role.

Above all the major sticking point in our relationship has been the fact that her biological clock is ticking like a maniac. She is on a timeframe and knows she wants to have a baby within the next 3 years. I am not on that timeframe (I don't even like kids let alone know if I want one in the future - at any point). I am just not at that stage in my life.

2 months into the relationship I felt incredibly suffocated and trapped and broke up with her. She basically flipped out and bombarded me with emails and phone calls the next day...I came clean to her about how I felt (trapped - not knowing if I want a baby and I can't lie to her and say I do). We worked it out and decided to take it "day by day."

It is now 2 months later and while things have definitely felt better on my end (I no longer feel trapped or like I have to have a kid in the next 3 years)... I have felt her distancing from me. She has picked fights with me over idiocy to have a big blowout... I called her on this and she admitted she is looking for a way out. She knows that it is very unlikely we will be on the same page in a year or three and while we love each other we know we wont have a future together so she deems the relationship as biding time (on both our ends).

I know I'm not in love with her (for the reasons listed above). But I do care for her. I have feelings for her and love her company. We have a blast together, have many things in common etc. I just don't want to be single again right now. It is so difficult for me to find someone to date that I'd almost stay in this unhappy, unfulfilling relationship to avoid "going out there" again. I am unhappy with her but I know I will be unhappy single and alone as well. The fear of going out there again is enough to keep me with her and beg for a few more months of being together. As of last night we agreed to sleep on it and see how we feel.

At what point do I let go and stop forcing these 2 puzzle pieces to fit when I know it is impossible?
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Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 07:53 am

It sounds like you both know there is no hope and you're letting inertia carry you along. Just plain break up. You can do it... it's hard, but you can.

You're unhappy with her and you think you'll be unhappy alone, but you don't actually know. Some of the best times of my life were when I was "between relationships." And if there is someone out there who IS compatible with you, you're making sure you can't find her by staying with this person who makes you unhappy. Time to get out.

Solo or couples counseling can help the process along in a healthy way.

Good luck...
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Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 08:19 am
Yep. End it now, while your girlfriend is also looking to make a break, so it will be easier on her. Yes, I said to think of her in this equation. Even if you don't (or no longer) love someone, there's nothing wrong with being considerate of them in how and when a relationship ends.

Also, don't hang on for the sake of hanging on -- time's a-passing and, even though your clock isn't ticking and you don't want kids, it's also an attractiveness thing. It will be easier to attract women at your age than in 5 years, 10 years, 20.

You might also want to think about your need for a committed relationship. A bad committed relationship is not as good as a good noncommitted one -- or no relationship at all. Bad relationships, even if they are at least faithful ones, sap the life and self-esteem right out of you.

Better to go now, while you and she can, and make your way elsewhere. You can do it. She's not the only game in town and, I have to say, neither are you. It's best to make this break now, and mean it, and be done with it.
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Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 09:56 am
It's just so unsettling to me that all of my friends are in happy relationships and I just can't find one. I was alone for so long feeling so bad about being single and when I finally find someone - it just wasn't all it's cracked up to be. I am so insecure about all my friends being in relationships and my want to be in one that I am willing to make ANYTHING work.

On top of everything else, I am worried I'll never find what I'm looking for (safety, security, reliability coupled with romance and love) so I stick with what I know in my girlfriend even if it isn't what I want. She does love ME and maybe that's good enough for now? I'm just afraid I will be alone forever or bounce from one unfulfilling relationship to another.
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Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 03:46 pm
You won't be alone forever, and this is not the best you can do.

True story (and yes I am a heterosexual female, but the sentiment really is the same):

When I was 24 I was overweight, just out of school finally, in a job where I was making very little money and barely out of my parents' house. I felt I did not deserve much, but I wanted security, and I wanted out, and so when a guy at the local public library started checking me out, I went out with him. For nearly two years, even though he and I really weren't compatible and he was an embarrassment to be around (my folks absolutely hated him), I stuck by him. Why? Because, in my mind, I felt I could do no better. Everyone else was getting married or otherwise committed. I was the odd woman out, again and again and again, and I hated it.

Finally, in February of that year (by the way, that was 1988), I had had enough and, in a moment of strength, I broke up with that guy. I spent about three months being miserable although, since he was still bothering me, I also spent some of that time avoiding him as he lived in the same town as my parents (fortunately I had moved about 40 minutes from there, the previous year).

In May of that year, I decided to do something about being single, and I placed an ad in the local paper. I was looking for a guy with a sense of humor, etc., I can't recall all of the details, but it was apparently well-crafted enough of an ad that I got nearly 100 responses. I got a number of decent first dates out of it, a few second dates, and about three third dates from various guys but nothing really went further than that. Once everything from my own ad was played out, I started answering guys' ads, and I still didn't go beyond a third date until I met one guy who I settled for, for a while, in October of that year. He was no prize but he was pretty nice and I was tired of meeting a bunch of new people and so I settled.

But something in me told me to keep trying, and I have to say he was at least honest enough with me to tell me that I was not the woman of his dreams and that he was going to keep looking, too. In December, I had had it, and it was going to be my last week of looking. After I finished that week, I was going to take some time off, try to lose weight and otherwise find some way to make myself more attractive, maybe take a class or something (I'm not into makeovers and the like).

I answered an ad for a guy who wanted a woman with long hair. I didn't really have any expectations. The first time we talked, it was for 2 hours. The same was true of the second time. We planned to meet on a Friday and he ended up calling me that Wednesday and telling me, "I liked you so much, can we meet tomorrow instead?" We did, and we were married in May of 1992, and we are still married, and he is the love of my life.

From leaving the original bum, through a bunch of okay dates with men where there was really no spark, to meeting the love of my life, from door to door, as it were, took about 10 months.

Yes, yes, I am hetero and it is not absolutely the same, but what is the same is the feeling of wanting to get this commitment stuff over with and be in a relationship, even if it's an inappropriate or bad one or there is no spark. It does not have to be that way. You do not have to settle. You are worth real love. The real thing!

But in order to get from there to a place like here, you have to start by letting this relationship go, because it is wrong for you and it is wrong for your girlfriend and you both deserve the real thing. Don't you?
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Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 03:55 pm
I used to have gay women friends. My interactions with them were invaluable in that it taught how utterly human, complex and normal the gay life can be. This thread teaches that to all its viewers.
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Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 05:07 am
Wow. Well, I've been there! I allowed a situation to drag on and it only got worse and worse. My hope is that you do not waste any time. You sound strong enough and clear enough about this: You can do it, even though it will be hard for a while, then it gets so much better.

The truth is that there really is no going back for you now. You need to break. You already know and have admitted to yourself that this will not work. So, if you keep going, you will know inside it is false, and it will wear you down.

No matter what happens after the break, you will be living freely and true to yourself. I know all this sounds so corny; but that happiness and sanity will make you feel more secure than staying with her! You'll be secure in yourself. And you'll grow stronger. And eventually, you will decide 'it's time to try again'. And eventually, you'll meet someone you aren't even imagining right now. It'll be nourishing and great.

You are 24! I feel old sometimes..but..here I am at 27, not married no kids (though I would like that at some point - maybe). So I do deal with the "when ya going to get married? where's the delay?" enough. Especially from pregnant friends.lol.

I used to agonize. I used to think "Ahh, I give up. Nothing is going to happen for me." So it has been tempting at times to settle, for sure.
See, I thought my time was running up. It wasn't. Not the way I thought anyways. The fear can get the best of us.

When I was 21: I met someone I truly believed I would marry and do the whole deal with. We were together several years - common law. Looked for rings, the whole deal. When that met a sad end: I spent lots of time just on my own...and bouncing from relationship to relationship....and times where I was seeing people and not having anything to do with relationships (casual bee-bopping)....sometimes I thought I'd always be alone...

Point of my personal story: Now I can see how little so many of my worries were before. I actually delayed getting what I want by trying to hold on to old ideas and old ways of maintaining security!
I am currently in a relationship that I am very passionate about and it is wonderful. It is exactly where I need to be.

Please do not worry about your friends and all that. It will only hamper all the things that need to happen for you. Comparing will kill ya' inside. Your life is unique and has its own story. It will happen.

You deserve all the happiness you want for yourself: and I know 100% it is out there for you.
You just need to be available for it and to show up!!
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material girl
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 05:17 am
All my friends are attatched.Ive been single for years.
Yes i hate it but from what you describe of the woman you are with Id prefer to be single than be with someone like that!!

If you split up with her you will be gaining everything, not losing anything.
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Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2006 08:18 am
A quick update..

So we are broken up and have been for about a week now. She still calls/emails me all the time pressuring me to hang out, etc, which was an issue in our relationship as well. I just needed some space and she wouldn't give it to me. We got together over the weekend and I was surprised over how attracted to her I still was. Should I not hang out with her while I am still attracted b/c it may stir up feelings and the need to be physical?

In an effort to move on from that whole situation I went on match.com and made a date with a new girl who lives closeby. We went out last night and had a really good time. She is the complete opposite of my ex-girlfriend. I described my ex to her and she unequivically said "Oh, she's crazy." And I didn't even tell her half of it! I found myself talking about my ex a lot throughout the night. Maybe b/c it's the first serious relationship I've had and it was all I had to draw on? I liked how this new girl was the polar opposite of my ex.

Still, throughout the evening I had a sense of sadness regarding my last relationship.... I thought of her often and missed her. When she normal she was quite enjoyable to be around hahah. Anyway, is it wrong of me to feel guilty about moving on and dating other people? Why do I feel this way? Throughout our entire relationship she made me feel guilty over small issues... perhaps a continuation of that?

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material girl
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2006 08:24 am
You need to mourn the end of the relationship.
I agree you should move on but dating soon after isnt the best way to do it(thats what guys do).
Take a few weeks.Think about things.
Fair enough you are still attracted to your ex but she is a mad woman and you dont need her kind of confusing crap in your life.

Keep this other lady as a friend for now, if in a few weeks you feel better start dating her/others if you want.
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Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2006 03:56 pm
You aren't just missing a partner. The two of you built a world together and you're doing some major reconstruction of your personal universe.

Part of this re-construction is deciding how you will treat your Ex. Does it bother you to be with her? Or to go home without her?

In hetrosexual couples a heightened physical attraction is part of separation and divorce--perfectly normal. Mother Nature wants you to remember the good times, but Mother Nature isn't living with the character flaws and the constant irritations and abrasions.

Socialize, date, but beware of the Rebound. You're just out of an uncomfortable relationship and you certainly don't want to "prove" to yourself that you're an attractive woman by jumping into a new relationship.

You're Single Again because you needed time and space. Now that you've got four dimensions to explore, explore them.
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Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2006 04:59 pm
What the last 2 posters said. Smile

And, next time you're on a date with someone else, try to think of things to talk about that don't involve your ex. This girl was polite and sounds very nice but most people find that to be a huge turnoff and an enormous red flag that you're not really ready for a new relationship.
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Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2006 07:54 pm
Yup, what every one else said. BTW: Good for you for having the strength to end it when you knew you needed to. Kudos for that!

It will take some time to mourn the relationship. I get the feeling guilty thing: it's like 'betraying' your ex, in your heart, bc you still have some feelings for her.
Perfectly normal. Passes with time and as you work through the finality of the break.
Could have to do with the fact that you chose to date so early. Perhaps a signal to just keep things slow while you heal?

Anyways, nothing to worry about. I wish you happiness.
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Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 01:26 am
i guess when one day you woke up and then you just realize that you're not inlove with the person..it just happened to me recently
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Reply Fri 11 Aug, 2006 02:53 am
I'm also in agreement with everyone else. I know I would much rather be alone than to be with someone who I wasn't happy with.

I still haven't found that right person for me, but I haven't lost hope.

I wish you the very best :-D
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