What is a "successful" relationship
May 27, 2009 8:16 PM Subscribe
How do you define "success" in relationships?
posted by pauldonato to Human Relations (22 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I think I'm hung up on how my previous relationships went that I'm too scared to form new ones.
Is success defined in relationships based on whether neither party regrets having gotten in it? Or is it based on whether both parties behaved honestly with good intentions? It obviously can't be based on whether either party got hurt, because then that means most people are inevitably going to be failures.
Here's the cases that are bugging me...
Two cases where she got hurt:
- My first girlfriend (Sr. year of High School) fell in love with me, then I broke up with her, then we kept sleeping together, and then I told her that we had to stop, and then she got depressed and had to take Zoloft
- My first girlfriend after college fell in love with me, then I broke up with her. We were very passionate and close together, and her best friend (who was also a good friend of mine at the time), really got on my case for "leading her on."
Two cases where I got hurt:
- I dated my next door neighbor in my freshman year dorm, but I felt soo insecure around her, and I was so paranoid anytime she'd show any kind gesture to any of my other dormmates. After she broke it off with me, I became really neurotic about her, and obsessed about her the following summer, especially when some of my former friends/dormmates were visiting her during the summer.
- I dated someone recently who always went hot and cold, and she drove me into insane neuroses that were hard to shake off. It was so hard that I got physically ill, and I broke it off because I couldn't stand how aloof and emotionally unavailable she was. Afterwards, I kept thinking about her and got really angry with her for months.
In these four cases, I've come away with a really strong feeling that I fucked up majorly somehow. In the cases where she got hurt, I imagine the tears in her eyes and hear the message, "Why the fuck did you do this to me?? And don't you dare do this to anybody else." And from the cases where I got hurt, I get the strong message from myself, "What the fuck did you get yourself into?? Don't you dare do that again."
I feel that people around me don't blame themselves as hard, and see relationships as learning experiences like trial-and-error. I also kind of view them skeptically, like they're being irresponsible, by only being into a relationship for what it affords them now, and not even realistically considering whether they see themselves with this person forever.
Is there some perspective I'm missing? How can people feel good being in relationships knowing that they inevitably end (given divorce rates and how long we're living anyway)?