This indecision's bugging me
February 24, 2014 3:35 PM Subscribe
For the past two and a half years, I've been in a relationship with a Very Nice Man. We are both in our early 40s, and when we met we had both recently left much longer relationships, although neither of us came straight into this. We own our own houses, and neither of us has kids, although we do have pets. So we're fairly stable, with few obvious complications. The Little Big Words were said long ago and are repeated sometimes, and he describes the relationship as serious. There are no significant problems in the relationship, and things are always good when we're together. So what could possibly be wrong?
posted by sockasm to Human Relations (33 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
He has always said (most recently a couple of months ago) that he does not want to live with anyone or marry anyone. We spend one afternoon and one evening a week together, for a total of maybe eight hours. For practical reasons, many of them on my end, we aren't usually able to do much more than that. For a while now, I've been thinking that I want more, and have been sad and depressed that he doesn't. So the answer is obvious: I should end it if it's making me unhappy and there's no prospect of that changing, right? This afternoon I had firmly convinced myself that I should.
Except: I don't really want to live with anyone, either! I love my silence and my solitude (except very occasionally when I don't), and really need a lot of quiet time to myself. I don't like having anyone around all the time or even very much of the time, it leaves me tense and on edge no matter who it is (unless they have four feet). I can think about living with him and while I see how it would make some things easier I can also see exactly how it would bug the living crap out of me.
So why does it bother me so much that the Very Nice Man doesn't want to live with me, either? I can think of reasons: a narcissistic need for him to want me more than he does, maybe, or a feeling that we're not equally invested in this, or that I don't matter that much to him, but none of them ring true to me. And how do I deal with this reaction? Is there something to calm it that I'm not doing (ideally without going to the crossroads at midnight)? Or is my first solution probably right? I've been chasing my own tail thinking about it for months now and it isn't even good exercise. I couldn't even think of good clear tags for this past "relationship". And this all makes me feel stupid that I can't figure it out, but that would be another question well beyond the scope of this one.