T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 36078
posted 02-17-2008 07:51 AM
Obviously it differs from people to people (I say people because it at least involves two people, right?), but I'm finding this one difficult recently.
Have you ever been in a relationship where you feel like it has the 'potential' to be a good relationship, yet the honest truth is that right now it isn't a good relationship? There's so much stuff which I like about my boyfriend, so much stuff I think is totally wonderful, but I'm increasingly thinking that this is not in a relationship capacity. I don't know whether it's partly because he's never had previous relationships, so hasn't kind of tried it out before, or that he just isn't open enough... I'm not sure exactly what makes me think this, but he doesn't feel like a 'boyfriend', you know? He feels like a best friend, with whom I act upon my sexual desires, and likewise him to me. I find it really strange - how do you work out the boundaries of your relationships? I know the majority of people would be really uncomfortable with anything but monogamy, but I'm starting to think that monogamy just kind of limits people... why are people so uncomfortable with their bf/ gf just kissing someone else? I don't understand it. I kind of want to be able to do that, but I know it's something that my boyfriend would totally not be comfortable with (I've tried to talk about it with him, he doesn't like the idea at all, and doesn't have any inclinations to act upon what he feels sexually towards anyone but me.) Another thing is the actual sex. I just don't find it exciting enough, and I know he doesn't feel comfortable just being naked around me (it is obvious - whenever he is not aroused or erect, he won't just like lay on my bed and chat or cuddle or anything - stuff which really doesn't bother me at all, but which I enjoy). Plus, phone sex/ just talking about things he or I imagine just don't come into it at all. It's not as playful as perhaps I'd like, you know. I want to be able to lick someone's feet and tickle them and that be okay, and to focus on the whole body, rather than just the areas typically thought of as sexual (again, I've tried suggesting this, and tried doing it to him, but he just doesn't seem bothered at all - he doesn't respond, you know?) I can understand that this probably sounds very much centred on sex, but I really do think it's quite an important part of the relationship, and (unlike him) I'd prefer to have the mental intimacy before the sex, but that doesn't seem something he considers important. I've tried saying these things, and now I just feel like I'm giving up. I have these ideas of a relationship which is really open, you know, just honest: about what people need, what feels good/ what doesn't, what both people would like to make them both feel good in it. Maybe I'm just too idealistic. About the boundaries thing, I guess it's probably unrealistic to hope to have a kind of realtionship like that.. so many people seem incredibly jealous in their relationships, and wouldn't like to see their partner with someone else/ know that they are... okay, I've not tried it, but so long as you know what is 'okay' and what's not, why should there be a problem? After all, they would be returning to you in the relationship, and making that conscious decision to choose and love you as their partner... hmmm...
Member # 3
posted 02-17-2008 11:15 AM
I think if you even just re-read this post, it'll probably be clear to you that it doesn't sound like this relationship is what you want.
You want a different model than you have in terms of monogamy and non-monogamy. You don't feel all that close. You feel like the sexual dynamic isn't what works for you. Not getting those things you want, or being able to explore them isn't idealism. What relationships are a good fit for us is highly individual, and about our very individual needs. If yours aren't being met, it's not sensible to stay in something. That's realism, not idealism. "Settling" for someone that isn't what you want isn't fair to you, or really, to the other person, either. If you do feel like this *could* be what you want and aren't sure if you're being hasty, by all means, just bring all of this to the table for one big talk and see what your boyfriend has to say. But I'd also encourage you to trust your gut on this one: if you just intrinsically feel like something isn't right, it usually isn't.
Member # 36078
posted 02-18-2008 02:55 PM
Hi Heather, thanks again so much for the support and sense. We had the conversation, and although I'm feeling a bit emotional right now, I am so glad that we decided to end it, because it didn't make sense to prolong it anymore than had already been attempted, or keep pretending/ hoping that things which had already had plenty of opportunity to change, would change.
Member # 36078
posted 02-20-2008 03:58 PM
I didn't and don't expect it to be easy deciding and talking about the transition from our relationship as a 'together' kind of couple to a friendship, but what I'm really puzzled over now is a couple of things.
He says that recently he's realised that he loves me more than ever, but this *still* conflicts with the way he's acting. Like, when we were discussing it, he kept saying things which gave the impression that he wanted to communicate how he had also thought about it, and how it was a 'mutual decision' for both of us, even though we'd already talked about this. It's kind of difficult to articulate, but it basically sounded like even then, he couldn't risk saving face, because the idea of me instigating the end of our couple-relationship would obviously be too much to just accept. Then he seemed to get really defensive when we talked on the phone (a couple of hours after), saying how there had always been 'something there', that he was always more 'cold and distant' with me than other people. This seems utterly ridiculous to me - now the relationship's 'over' I get all this blame shifted onto me. How does that work? I don't think it does, nor, IMO, do I think blame is useful, particularly in these kind of situations where it's used as a kind of barrier against any kind of vulnerability of their own person, when there's not as much to 'lose', so to speak. And I just ended up thinking that this is not the kind of person who is healthy for me to be around, because, you know, if someone is so often making you feel like ****, and putting their insecurities onto you, it can't really be good, can it? But, he really wants us to have a really good friendship, to still spend a lot of time with me (and mostly, it will just be us, bar when with family, because our social groups don't really mix well.) How can this happen when there's a load of unsorted ****, and blame is still being pushed around? I don't honestly think it can, even though I would like to imagine I could hang out with him and just have a fun time. One thing I have realised, however, is how important my friends are to me. And how much I love them just running up to me and picking me up and giving me a hug... Thanks for the advice, again. A bit of venting here, I'm afraid.