I am become rather obsessed with the idea that I want more from a relationship and might need to end this one. Should I? Details inside.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I’m a woman in my late 30s in a 3.5-year long distance relationship with a man in his mid-30s who lives several states away. We have always been long distance, seeing each other every 6-8 weeks or so, with longer 6-week visits in the summers and a few weeks during winter holiday breaks. It probably comes out to about 100 days a year. We are both in academia, hence not being able to live in the same city or state. We get along; he is very nice, smart, handsome, likes to travel. The one thing that has always been lacking is passion.
There is very little physical affection unless we are about to have sex, and I prefer sex a lot more frequently that he does. After not seeing each other for several weeks, I want to have sex nearly every day that we are together! We have talked a lot about this, and he understands that my drive is higher than his. Yes, I initiate! He does not drink or use any recreational drugs. He is taking a low dose of antidepressant meds, which I recognize can interfere with the sex drive. We have incorporated a rare bit of phone/skype sex into our relationship to try keep the momentum going between visits.
When we do kiss, he gets instantly aroused; there are no “dysfunctions” once the act begins. He just avoids kissing or any other type of affection unless we’ve “agreed” to go to the bedroom to, as he puts it, “do it.” There is no sweet PDA or romantic moments in restaurants gazing at one another across the table, that kind of thing that I really enjoy. He says he loves me “more than anything in the world,” and that I “mean everything” to him. He says I'm the hottest woman he's been with, and he thinks I'm sexy. However, he makes little eye contact with me and (weirdly) has never said my name to me. Never. At first I wondered if he was on the autism spectrum. He is a little weird, but so am I. He is quite introverted and does not have any friends (he has been in his current city for 7 years), although he is close to his family, whom I like a lot. I am a bit more extroverted and prefer to have a handful of friends to hang out with once or twice a month. I live in a fun city and like to take advantage of what it has to offer. He lives in a not-so-fun small city. We do have a pleasant time together, especially when he comes to my city or when we travel.
I love him and like him a lot, but I don’t feel as though I would ever want to live with him. I just don’t see being happy long-term in that situation. The LDR has made this possibility rather convenient to avoid. We are both divorced and have discussed many times how neither of us would like to get married again. However, about six months ago he hinted that he would like for us to get engaged and then married a few years down the road. This happened on the heels of his fun family reunion that we both attended. He caught me off guard, and I was a bit caught up too, and I think I said something like “awww, how sweet … we’ll see...” I wondered if his enthusiasm for marriage would die down after a while. However, he has brought it up again a couple of times recently. I am just not there. I plan on talking with him about this next week when I see him again. He deserves to know that I am not wanting marriage. I would never marry someone I haven't lived with for at least a year or two, anyway.
Basically, my issues are:
1. I love him, but I don’t want to get married. Neither of us wants kids, and I just don’t see the point of marriage at this point in my life. I plan on telling him this next week. I don’t think this will be a deal breaker for him, but I do think that it will initiate a very serious discussion about our future.
2. For the first two years, I thought that he wasn't really into me because even on long visits, we had infrequent (in my view) sex and affection. I continued this relationship because he was kind, and it was "easy." I need to stop obsessing about whether or not this relationship is good for me. It’s distracting me from my work, and I spend way too much energy thinking about it. It no longer feels so easy, but I realize my brain might be doing this to me. (I see a therapist and take anti-anxiety meds.)
3. Student loans are killing me, and this is an expensive relationship to maintain. I have no savings account right now, and I need to think about my future.
I know that folks on here tend to be anti-LDRs, especially those where the distance has no end in sight. What should I do? Break it off? If so, how can I do this kindly? Or, should I have another frank discussion about the physical stuff, and hope for the best? If so, how long should a person wait for those changes to happen? Will they ever happen? I know people rarely change unless they really want to. He's a kind old soul, rather set in his ways, I am afraid. Thank you, wise ones!