Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » advice from people who have left a good relationship for various reasons

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: advice from people who have left a good relationship for various reasons
hunnybunny888
Activist
Member # 29737

Icon 1 posted      Profile for hunnybunny888     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello,

I have been posting for the past year and a half or so about the boyfriend. We've been dating for 2 years and have a few problems but nothing really major, and we've been able to work through them all. Over all we have a very healthy and enjoyable relationship. I have talked to him a few times about wanting to break up simply because I wasn't ready for a big commitment, but that I really loved him and enjoyed our relationship, and wasn't really sure what to do. He had always expressed that he also sometimes wondered about the commitment issue, but he really wanted to stay together. I've been up and down but I've always decided to stay with him, always expecting something would happen to break us up, or that would let me know for sure.

A couple nights ago I brought it up again, and now he shares the exact same concerns as me. We both agreed that dating until we graduated university had never even seemed like a possibility, even after we had been dating for a year or year and a half, it just didn't seem likely. Our relationship was fine and stuff but I don't think either of us were looking for something super long term, or thinking about the relationship future too much. However, at this point we both agreed it seems pretty likely that we could maintain a great relationship for the next year and a half and be very happy. I suppose this has got us both a bit worried about the hole commitment thing, because you don't really get another social oppurtunity like college ever again. The problem is, now we are both in the same boat. We know the breakup will be hard, but we also don't want to regret it later if we stay together (we would have to break up for at least a few years after we graduated, even if we decided we wanted to take it further just because we would both be travelling and moving all over the place since we are both pursuing fairly unstable careers).
so basically, instead of just me not being able to decide, it's both of us not being able to decide. I've seen a few posts on here with similar issues who have broken up with their partners, and I was just wondering if any of you who have been in this position (or anyone else that might have advice) could give some advice, feedback, etc. what you did, how it worked out for you, etc.

sorry for the length!

Posts: 246 | From: canada | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'll share something from my own life if it helps.

Around 1997, I ended a relationship I had been in for close to five years. There was nothing, at all, that was bad about the relationship. The person I was in it with was a marvelous person, still is. Very supportive of me, very kind, very loving, we had a lot in common, we enjoyed one another a lot. At that point, we had been living together for around two of the five years we were together for.

In the least year, it felt pretty clearly like we really were meant to be friends, not lovers or romantic partners or life partners. Some of that was about a very large age difference (which was nothing exploitive, it just caused some friction sometimes between what each of us wanted), some was about the dynamic of the relationship (it was very warm and loving, but just often felt much more friend-like to me than anything else: it was not particularly passionate, and I'm a very passionate person), and an event towards the end made very clear to me that I had come into the relationship, and might have been staying in it, for the wrong reasons (in large part, because it was safe, because it let me stay in my comfort zone: I kind of ran to it away from something else that was not so comfortable, and I really should not have run from that thing to the other: it was careless).

Despite my doing something very foolish and mindless towards the end of our relationship that caused some strife, our split was the most amicable one I ever had, even though it involved separating a household (which always complicates things massively). We talked a lot throughout, we were very honest and open, and in packing up and moving, we even were able to have a little "auction" between the two of us to figure who got what. It was tough to let go of something that was for the most part good for both of us, but we both were pretty clear it was needed. We were able to re-establish a friendship after about six months space apart, and years since then, my ex has two awesome kids (this was one of the places we didn't agree), and a GREAT life partner who is just the bomb, and clearly a fantastic fit. We still check in with each other now and then, and when I go back home to Chicago to visit, we usually all grab a lunch together.

Not sure if that offers you anything, but there you are.

It sounds to me like you and your boyfriend have been really great at communicating about all of this, and also sound like you're on, or at least near, the same page. In my experience, personal and professional, the breakups that are full of drama and strife are those that happen without that constant communication throughout or the kinds of talks you have been having.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hunnybunny888
Activist
Member # 29737

Icon 1 posted      Profile for hunnybunny888     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the response Heather, I think some aspects of my situation are similar, and others are not. Sometimes I feel like I'm staying in the relationship because it's comfortable, but at the same time it's a very loving relationship- and I'm not sure how bad the comfort part is if the love is there too.
What I think the hardest part of my situation is for me, and I think for him, is that we want to end it sometime in the near future, just not right now (because we are having a dandy time). But, then its always now, and the near future is always later. I don't want to like set a date or anything since that would be pretty strange.

I think if we mutually agreed we wanted to be friends as opposed to mutually agreed that we love each other and our relationship but want to see other people taking the step to break up would be a little bit easier, but I may be wrong. You said it took 6 months to start a friendship with him. Even though you had both agreed you should be friends, did you still get the heartwrenching pain that usually comes with a breakup?

I guess the biggest problem is that the sometime soon never comes. And I guess we're not sure how soon we want it to.

I've been reading up on open relationships and seen some different models and stuff. And I think if I showed this to my bf he might be a little more likely to want to try an open relationship (he is strongly opposed, but also does not think it actually happens outside of mormonism )

Heather, I know you are making that transition into an open relationship now, and have worked with people doing it. And I was wondering if you thought it could work out if there was an open relationship on the condition that it would be for a year and a half? For example, my bf and I decide that we could have a great relationship until graduation and could be each others primaries until then. And then we are both interested in more casual dating and other sexual experiences and different relationships and such. And then after graduation see how were feeling then and make a new plan.

sorry if this is all over hte place [Razz]

Posts: 246 | From: canada | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You know, it may be that that "right time" to split hasn't happened yet, is all. In other words, that it hasn't felt totally right for one or both of you yet, and if and when it does, you'll likely know. Who knows what might kind of set that wheel in motion -- it could be a strong feeling, a new opportunity, a certain day you spend together where you communicate in such a way that you both feel that. Who knows.

You're asking me about if, even with the agreement of myself and my ex to be friends, if we still had pain. For starters, I wouldn't say we agreed to be friends so much as we both expressed a love for each other, had hoped that would evolve in time, but left each other room to have as much time and space as we needed to suss out what felt right. We left room in the case either of us did NOT want to be friends, too. Was the breakup still painful even though it was loving and amicable (and even though I did something totally stupid)? Yes. In the case of that relationship, I think it was more painful for him than it was for me, since I felt like the romantic part of it had been pretty much dead in the water for a while longer than he did, I think, but it still was...well, how a breakup is. Disappointing, sad, scary, with moments of doubt and guilt.

In terms of what you're asking about opening up your relationship, what I'd say -- and most people who consult on open relationships say -- is that when it comes to "rules," it's usually important for everyone involved to always be open to revisiting and revising them. For instance, I don't see anything wrong with saying, "Let's see about trying this for around a year and a half," if you both agree on that so long as it's also understood that a) during that time you both can ask about revising that if need be and b) you figure that at that year and a half, you'll see how you're feeling. It might be, for instance, that at that point in time, one or both of you has been in another relationship that you don't just want to stop when the bell rings, and where someone else's feelings are also involved, so doing that could be hurtful.

However, you say your boyfriend has pretty strong feelings of opposition to open relationships, and that's not minor. For them to work, it's really important that anyone involved feels very supportive of them, and wants that for themselves as well as for a partner.

(I realized that since it's bound with all of what you're asking me about in my life, and perhaps pertinent to your decision-making process, I should perhaps mention that in my current open relationship, my other partner is someone I was first with when I was around your age.

Our first breakup -- this is technically Act III of us -- was in no way mellow, and we did have some serious issues at the time, though they were primarily about each of our own histories and issues more than our relationship itself having any big flaws: we loved one another immensely, we just had a lot to deal with and were unable to handle it all together. While this is certainly not an uncomplicated situation now, so far, we both feel like the new relationship we have NOW is the best one we have ever had.

It involved a wait of almost two decades, which is obviously very long, and probably looks even longer to you, but the point is that often enough, the really, really good stuff never is truly lost and that a relationship that's good but not quite right now may well be something you choose to have later and do just fine, if not even better. So, just my two cents on that while it's clearly a fresh issue at the time.)

[ 01-30-2009, 10:28 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hunnybunny888
Activist
Member # 29737

Icon 1 posted      Profile for hunnybunny888     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the response, I'm really not sure what is going to happen right now. I sent him a few articles on open relationships to try to explain it a bit better to him, they were a bit more aimed at older adults, but I still found them helpful. Anyways he completely mis-understood the point of them, thought that they talked about loving many people and it would be "wrong" of us to do it for casual dating, that we wouldn't be able to find anyone else who was willing to date someone in an open relationship without going on a specific dating site, and that it's super wierd that I want to do this and the idea is wierd that you would be dating someone who's dating someone else and it would be like "sharing". That's just really not how I see it, I don't really know where he's getting that from but anyways I guess an open relationship is out of the question.

he said if I really wanted to see other people I could break up with him, and he's taking a boys night to clear his head. He was pretty upset by this, even though I was just trying to shed some light on something he knew extremely little about.

I guess I'm kinda frustrated that he took it so badly. I wasn't trying to force him into this- which I feel I made clear, even though he's acting like this is an all or nothing thing. I figured since we are both on the same page it might be something to try out, not something we have to do if we want to stay together...anyways...

I think you are right when you say the time may just not have come yet...maybe this will set things in motion...I'm not sure...before it was like we were on the same page, and now it seems like he's putting all the onus on me to make a decision.

On top of this I'm having some medical issues right now and really don't have the energy to deal with this. Since we took a break back in october things have been going really well, but I still think about other people...or sometimes I'm just afraid I'm becoming too dependent on him and want to be alone for a while. Maybe this whole open relationship thing is a sign to break up

Posts: 246 | From: canada | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hunnybunny888
Activist
Member # 29737

Icon 1 posted      Profile for hunnybunny888     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
sorry to post again, but I'm just feeling really shitty right now about our "fight" and the thought that we might break up. I've already had to drop a course and am really struggling with school because of the medical stuff and I'm almost afraid that if I break up with him it's going to jeorpordize the entire term. That makes me feel even worse because I know that's a bad reason to stay in a relationship. Then again, if I'm not sure that could help decide the next few months anyways.

I guess I'm feeling bad about the whole suggesting open thing. I've brought it up before and he said know, but he was also grossly misinformed about open relationships so I didn't think sending him this stuff would be a bad thing but maybe it was. I don't really get jealous or anything, so it's hard for me to understand sometimes when people do get jealous, or that he would take my wanting to have an open relationship personally and like he wasn't adequate or something. I don't really know...in the last few months its come to my attention just through talking to friends about this that I am a lot less jealous than the average person, and I never really thought about it that way before, so maybe I shouldn't have assumed he would be okay with me bringing it up again

Posts: 246 | From: canada | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3