Does this have any hope of not ending in tragedy?
December 2, 2010 9:00 AM Subscribe
Star cross'd lovers facing another hurdle - can I convince him it's worth it to keep trying?
posted by lizbunny to human relations (41 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 27, an engineer with a graduate degree, divorcee of 2.5 years and have plenty of dating experience since then. I have a good sense of what I want in life and relationships. R's 29, a military materials technician who went on tour to Afghanistan for 7 months a few years ago, been in the army since 22. Hasn't got a lot of dating experience - didn't date in HS, longest relationship was 3 months and that was last year - not enough time for him and school. His military career has otherwise prevented him from trying to have lasting relationships of any kind because of his moving so much.
Our relationship thus far has been a long story of star cross'd lovers - a month of casual dating before we took a break for 2 months and then became long-distance for 4 because of both our work assignments and a scheduled holiday of his. It was passionate when together but he's not very communicative otherwise (tends to be reserved with all but those closest to him), which led to him not feeling very close to me and he was a bit depressed as well, so we took another break for the last month while he traveled. I thought we were going to break up when we finally met again in person because of his seeming lack of interest, but he wanted to give the relationship a try. He said this was the first time he's ever had someone really want to be in a relationship with him, no matter what life threw in our way. I told him he hurt me and would have to regain my trust, but I was willing to try again.
So we've had a very good past 6 weeks of real in-person dating. I'm very happy with the relationship. He's a good boyfriend, eager to learn and spend time with me. We've got a lot in common, feels like we're cut from the same cloth and when we're together it's a pretty natural fit. I like his friends, family, he fits in well with mine. Great sex life. Things are progressing well and I feel that we're growing closer as we get to know eachother. He seems to feel the same way, that it's slowly but surely coming along.
Last week he found out he's getting reposted next summer, to the next province over. We thought he'd be here a few more years. It is a bit soon to make the call based on what's been a somewhat rocky past and a short but sweet courtship recently. I thought about it, and said if things were going well between us I'd move out there for him, get my own apartment and find another job. I've got savings and a decent amount of luck at finding myself good jobs, I'm ok with making new friends again because this isn't the first time I'd start over. I'm optimistic, prepared, and cautious about not being dependent on him if I go. I like him enough that this price of admission is worth continuing the ride. And he seemed good with this, just smiled and kissed me.
Last night he found out he's got a training program for 50 days from mid-Jan to March, and was given a few options for where to do it, some nearby and some far away and remote (no cell or internet access). He was thinking of picking a remote one, for the adventure. That hurt, that he'd actively choose to break off contact again for a few months right when we're still trying to get to know eachother and when I'm trying to make the decision to leave all behind for him. It feels selfish of him. I told him I need him to pick the closer one, or else I think we will have to break up, because I can't follow someone in good faith who gives little thought to my welfare in return.
He said he's going to keep making these mistakes and hurting me. I said he'd learn with time. I know it's because he's not used to thinking like he's part of a couple, and the military life's more familiar to him. No relationship is without its rough times though, particularly for a military man, and it requires adaptability and compromise on both sides.
I left him to think about it last night and he'll talk to me tonight. I'm in a lot of turmoil at this point. I feel both validated and guilty for issuing an ultimatum like that. I don't feel this is insurmountable, but I can't speak for him. Part of me simply wants to withdraw and see whether he's willing to bridge the gap here on his own, or if he's chickening out, whether because he doesn't feel strongly enough about me yet or whether he doubts his own capacity to commit despite inexperience. And part of me wants to just keep going, try to work on things and let come what may, despite the obstacles looming in the future.
TL;DR - We've been together a relatively short time but the relationship seems great thus far. Times are going to be difficult ahead and I need him to either show more commitment to me or call it quits. Talking tonight.
So, mefites, please give me your advice and insight on how to proceed with talks this evening, questions I should be asking both him and myself, how I should have approached things with this manly-man type of guy instead. Thanks in advance.