So, am I a magnet for toxic relationships? Is it them? Is it me? And...is it really such a bad thing?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm 21/gay/f. So, I've been in three "relationships" so far, none of which would probably be considered very "healthy" (or real "relationships"). But I don't really know what that means, being inexperienced, and at this point the qualifications people give for being a "healthy relationship" seem unreasonably high! (Like, "You have to enjoy your time together at all times and if you argue once during the beginning stages, it's basically OVER.)
The first one was when I was 18, with someone who was 23 and had been divorced before (!!!) That lasted maybe about three weeks, not including a two-week interval at the beginning where I had left town for winter break and we just talked over the internet. I wasn't really attracted to her, but I didn't really care cause I was 18 and had nothing better to do. It got intense really quickly, and we spent almost all of our time literally in bed together (we were both unemployed). She started saying things to me like I was bad at sex (it was my first time) and other sarcastic remarks, which if I returned them, even in jest, she's start either crying or telling me I was some mean horrible person. She broke up with me pretty suddenly, telling me we argued too much and "relationships aren't supposed to start like that." These arguments consisted of things like her wanting me to come to her house, and me saying I didn't want to because I was extremely allergic to her cats.
The second one was when I was 20, and lasted less than a week. I was not attracted to her at ALL, in fact I couldn't imagine being intimate with her and avoided it, but I liked her friendship so I let her hang around. We never really argued, it was pretty blah.
But the one that's making me actually think there's a theme here, is the one I'm in now. It's not really a real deep relationship per se, because we met once, I moved, and now we've been talking online every night for almost a month. But it also got intense really fast. We were talking about visiting each other, but now it's going downhill and I don't really think that will happen. When I first met her, she was really nice and I liked her. Sure, she was very opinionated and talkative, but I thought she was interesting enough and I liked her. Once it got online though, she started seeming more self-absorbed and kind of needy. She's been complaining about everything lately, and it's getting hard to play the sympathetic listener role EVERY SINGLE TIME!
I think about just letting our friendship die off, but I like her in all other areas, and if she wasn't so depressed all the time it'd be fine. I don't want to be that person who leaves you just because you're down. And it's hard to just tell her I'm done, because once we have an argument and she texts me the next day like nothing ever happened, I'm completely ready to think everything's OK again. Of course it's not, though. I want to think it will get better once we meet offline again and her own life situation improves, but I don't even know when that will be.
I think possibly she's been this way the whole time, and I just started to notice. Ever since I noticed how one-sided it was though, I've been a little irritated and not really as passive about it. And now, although I'm still really trying to be sympathetic, our last two conversations have turned into arguments somehow.
I suggested taking a break and only talking when we felt like we weren't going to argue, which implied that I was a PART of the problem, you know? But she just repeated that it was only me who was the problem. I'm so ready to incriminate myself and say it was all my fault (although she said some hurtful things, I admit I did also say insensitive things), but when she says I "just won't let it go" or something like that, it makes me feel worse, when I'm just trying to make up. It makes me feel like I'm a stupid nagging girl who always has to "talk about what just happened" for ten hours.
And now I feel like whenever I talk to her I have to make all the effort to keep the conversation upbeat, which is hard when you're the only one doing it. Still, I do like her otherwise and sometimes she's happy (and when she is, she's really great!), and maybe I should just be supportive and stick through it, even though it seems like everything I say is wrong...and it's quickly getting hard to talk to her at all. Like, she really needs a whole ton of support for whatever reason, but I don't feel like I'm the person for that.
Still, I'm out of school and unemployed right now, and I know that if I just end it, I myself will have nothing to do and will probably get pretty depressed without that extra interesting thing in my life, confusing and terrible or not. (I call it a "thing" cause it's still just long-distance online chatting.)
Maybe it really is my fault for trying to be too serious too soon. Or too meta. I just have no experience with this. I can't talk to her about it because she just says she doesn't want to talk about it or that I'm being annoying. But I'm scared to just end it cause when if I'm wrong? What if I really am the problem, the jerk who provokes depressed people? I keep thinking if I could just change it would be OK again.
Now to the actual question(s)...
--Are these things normal?
--Did we just get burnt out too fast? A month is like seven in straight years.
--Will it ever get better if it starts out bad (like will I always be walking on eggshells)?
--How/When can you tell it's "not going to work out" and how can you tell it's worth it to at least keep trying?
--Am I wrong for not wanting to be "the positive one" all the time?
--Do you think I'm the problem? Am I not being sympathetic enough?
--Is it different when it's long-distance or online?
--How can you be assertive without looking like a pushy a-hole?
--What if I just...stayed? I mean, I'm 21, if there's any time for short-term roller-coaster relationships, it's now, right?
Any advice appreciated. I don't know what it's "supposed" to be like.