Social Question

imgr8's avatar

Is it better to be straight up about feelings of 'forever' in a relationship?

Asked by imgr8 (422 points ) September 4th, 2012

I am not someone who believes in marriage or the concept of being together forever, I think its a great concept, and possible, but most of the time is unrealistic. I feel right now, that I would like to be with my boyfriend forever, and even though I admit we most likely will not be, its enough that I want it.
My boyfriend and I were talking about this the other day very casually and we were just like, “can you imagine if we were together forever? That would be awful”. We always talk like that and say things like “when we break up…” but neither of us have any desire to break up anytime soon and we are very serious.
All my friends say this is really weird and why bother being with someone if you admit your going to break up, i find this odd…Are you supposed to just deny it?
I think that it makes more sense to be happy with someone until your not happy anymore, and know that day will eventually come. Is this a weird way of looking at things?

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12 Answers

AnonymousWoman's avatar

It seems pretty depressing if you’re telling each other it would be awful if you were together forever (unless it’s said sarcastically/jokingly/playfully), but as you said, you are trying to be realistic. Maybe explain that you recognize that relationships can be very temporary, so prefer to accept that because it seems more realistic than believing in fairytales. You could also add in that the way you view things makes you not feel trapped (if this is true), whereas viewing it as permanent would make you feel trapped (again, if this is true).

gailcalled's avatar

Perhaps you should find other things to talk about, particular since you are only 18.
(Your is not the same thing as you’re)

tranquilsea's avatar

I don’t think it’s a weird way of looking at things when you’re 18.

Personally, I don’t look at anyone in my life as temporary. The friends I have will be the friends I have my whole life. Ditto my hubby. I admit that I used to think that long term relationships were unrealistic but then I met my husband. We’ve been through thick and thin together. He has always had my back and I his. He adores me and I adore him (in more ways than I can count). I cannot imagine my life without him. But if you’d have asked me at 18 if this was possible I would have laughed at you.

imgr8's avatar

@AnonymousWoman of course we’re saying it playfully! We’re not that bad! I just mean that we are quite light about the topic. @gailcalled the reason the topic comes up often is because his family members are jw’s so they don’t think you should even date until you are ready for marriage soon after.

gailcalled's avatar

What are jw’s? Jehovah’s Witnesses?

If you and your boyfriend are simply being playful, then tell your friends to butt out.

Sunny2's avatar

I think you’re smart to realize that it may not last when you’re as young as you are. On the other hand, it may. No harm done. It’s good to be realistic.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes. And realistically, there is NO forever. You and the partner are ships passing in the night. Sometimes relationships last 50 years. Sometimes 50 hours. Most are in between.

wk143sk's avatar

Well, by constantly saying stuff like, “When we break up” it’s already doomed to fail anyway. Like you said, most people aren’t together forever, but that’s because they aren’t willing to work on it. They just want to throw in the towel with things get too rough and that’s the cowardly way to live. I’m not saying that people who don’t get married are cowards, that’s not what I’m saying at all. Just the one’s who bounce from one relationship to the next because they can’t handle something about their mate anymore. I truly believe that unless their is cheating or abuse, that all things can be worked out if you try hard enough and compromise.

Shippy's avatar

No one knows how long forever is. If I die tomorrow I have been with a guy I know, forever. My parents were together forever, as they died married and together. I really don’t think one should talk about when you break up, it is kind of preempting an event.

wundayatta's avatar

“Forever” is often another way of asking “where are we going?” Or “What is our relationship?”

It’s interesting that you guys both seem to be addressing it. In my experience, this is a topic women raise sooner than men do. I’m not sure what to make of that. I suspect men think about it, but just won’t raise it as an issue quite as quickly. But I also think women can put unnecessary pressure on a relationship by asking their partner to define it. Are we headed for marriage or not? If not….

In not, then what? I guess the implication is that you are out of there if it isn’t headed in a “serious” direction.

So you both agree it isn’t headed in a serious direction. Or maybe you aren’t saying that. Maybe you are saying you both don’t want to define things for now. Personally, I think it is wise to remain agnostic about relationships, especially at your age. Most relationships with people your age don’t last.

On the other hand, I was always serious about my relationships—at least the ones where we got to be having sex. I didn’t believe in marriage, but I did believe in long term relationships. I believed in commitment. I believed in “I love you.” I believed in children. I would have had children with any of the four or five women I had serious relationships with. But I only married one and had children with her.

Be straight up? Frankly, I don’t think you can know enough about the future to be straight up in this conversation. I also don’t think it’s useful. All I think you can know is your feeling about what you want from the relationship. Do you see it ending? Do you see a specific end? If not, then you don’t see it ending. You don’t know.

If you don’t see a specific ending, then you don’t see it ending. It may not last forever, but until you see it ending; until you want it to end, then you want it to go on. That, it seems to me, should be enough.

hug_of_war's avatar

I do think it’s important to discuss these things just because one person can enjoy the relationship but not see it ending in marriage and the other might think marriage is where it’s headed. I think you avoid a lot of heartache when you have open lines of communication about your expectations.

I also think it’s good to be realistic about what stage of life you are in, and that what works for you at 18 may be different than at 25. However, I also think you can be too realistic, that is to say, you never fully commit and give yourself to what the relationship could be because you see it all as temporary.

imgr8's avatar

@wundnayatta “If you don’t see a specific ending, then you don’t see it ending. It may not last forever, but until you see it ending; until you want it to end, then you want it to go on. That, it seems to me, should be enough.” thank you, you just described EXACTLY how i feel about the whole thing.

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