Healthy and fulfilling expectations for a relationship
November 25, 2012 3:33 PM Subscribe
What are the healthy and fulfilling expectations of what a relationship should be and do for you?
posted by yeahyeahyeah to Human Relations (8 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not currently dating and haven't been for about six months. And generally, I'm fine with the situation as it is. For a long time, I realize I had an obsessive need to be in a relationship (I didn't feel happy unless I was dating). That wasn't healthy (obviously, but I think I had to learn that for myself and let experience teach me that). Now though, it's odd because I realize I don't need a relationship and so I'm sort of confused about what I would actually expect a relationship to do for me. I have fun with my friends. I have a job which I moderately enjoy. I have hobbies I enjoy. I've reconciled with my family. Life isn't perfect, but it's pretty stable and comfortable.
All of this makes me wonder, what do I need a relationship for? Really, what do I want a relationship for? I'm agnostic about having kids. I have no religious pressure or feeling of obligation to get married. I have companionship with my friends and family. I get fulfillment from my hobbies and close friendships. Perhaps TMI, and maybe related somehow or not, I've noticed my libido lower in my mid/late twenties.
Part of me remembers fondly, if not incorrectly, those times when I was obsessed with women. I'd get crushes. I'd fall hard for a girl. There'd be great emotional highs (with the obligatory gnashing of teeth for the emotional lows). Relationships added a certain magic to life.
But now I feel jaded about it. I feel like I've swung far to the other side. I shouldn't depend on relationships for happiness. My emotional well-being is separate from being in a relationship. And so, I don't even know what to expect. Am I done with falling in love? If you don't need a relationship, do you really want a relationship? What should my expectations or a want for a relationship be (besides compatibility and companionship, or is that really it and I'm too busy trying to make it more complex than it should be)? Should it be transcendental or fun or passionate or safe? I mean, I don't think I want to live alone (although I guess I'd be fine if I did, or is this itself an admonition that I wouldn't be) and so I'm just trying to figure out what to actually expect of my next relationship.
Just trying to get some insight while I'm on the sidelines (so to speak).