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sarahjane90's avatar

Is the romance in my relationship gone for good?

Asked by sarahjane90 (1805points) November 19th, 2010

Yes. Here it is. The question about the spark in romance. We’ve all probably been here once or even twice before. As I ask this question, I feel rather trivial. My boyfriend is a lovely person. He is sweet, attentive, caring, and I can trust him. There is just one problem. I feel married. We are both in our early 20s, he has finished his degree, and I am still completing mine.

About 6 months ago, he stayed at my apartment while I was away for a couple of weeks to feed my fish. Since I’ve returned, he hasn’t been gone for more than a night. Gradually, the toothbrush, shower gel, protein shakes, and clothes found a home within my home. Of course, you wonder how this could magically occur. I suppose these sort of things are overlooked, but after awhile, it becomes noticeable.

I hate that I feel this way. I know how rare it is to find a truly nice guy. So why am I not content? I feel like the constant arguing and battles over trying to make him hang up the bath mat and towels, or wash his dirty dishes, and picking up his things which spread through the apartment like a fire are completely smothering the spark in the relationship for me. He even insists that he must keep his rock climbing equipment in my bedroom. If not in there, in the living room. I’m not sure whats worse. The daily 5:00 am wakeup calls for him going to work also isn’t sitting pretty with me. I try to get passed this, but its terrible to be awakened and not be able to get back to sleep, and then have a long day ahead. Then when I get up in the morning, I find that he has left every light on in the apartment. It wouldn’t bother me, if we didn’t have a mammoth electric bill each month. He does contribute financially, but I feel like all of this is just so much to handle. I don’t know if I’m prepared to live like a married woman. I don’t even feel very interested in sex, and have started doing things more and more on my own, sometimes when he is even here, and I don’t even want to involve him. This is what worries me the most, because I am quite a sexual person. It just doesn’t feel like he is satisfying that need for me any more.

We have suggested he moves back home, and comes to visit instead of park himself here. We actually discussed it tonight, and he agreed to give it a try. The bad part is, a lot of me doesn’t want him to go. What if I don’t like being alone? Maybe its just me that is turning it all into a big deal? After all, with him here I have a companion, help, extra money. I just wish I didn’t feel so overwhelmed by all this. Is it just me, or is even distance not going to cure the spark I’m missing?

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12 Answers

mrlaconic's avatar

My First thought is that it just sounds like you need a break. That doesn’t mean it’s over.

I think it was a good thing for you to live together because that is an important thing. There are a lot of couples that get married and they never lived together and they realize they can’t handle the way the other one lives. So be happy that you figured that out before hand instead of actually getting married and then end up splitting up over that.

So… take a break. You will realize soon enough if you actually miss him or if this is just not the right thing for you. If you do miss him then you can say I want you to move back in with me but you have to pick up after yourself.

wundayatta's avatar

These problems are pretty specific and very solvable. It is natural to feel like your turf is being invaded when he spreads out like this.

If you are going to live together, you need the space to live together. You should move into a place that is both of yours.

You should also have a conversation about your other peeves, and his, too, and make agreements about what will happen. DIshes, etc. Do you eat together or both cook separate meals? You should find a way to eat together. THen clean together. Make it a ritual. You’ll figure it out.

Kardamom's avatar

A friend of mine had this problem only my friend was a guy and the sloppy person was his girlfriend. He tried discussing it with her many times, but she just could not stop being messy and he was pretty neat (not a neat freak, but clean and tidy). Eventually they had to break up because he couldn’t take it any more. I think the cleaner person is the one who has the most stress in a situation like this, because they are the one that is bothered by the mess and they are always the one that has to clean it up. Messy people, although nice, just don’t notice or care about the mess as much.

I’m not suggesting that this whole thing can’t work out, but I think you may have to have a few serious heart to hearts about this situation. And you should make up some lists of things that you can’t tolerate (like sticky jelly left un-wiped on the counter) to things that you will accept occasionally (like leaving dirty dishes in the sink if he’s REALLY in a hurry) to things that you don’t care for, but will tolerate for the sake of the relationship (like his leaving the toilet seat up). Of course all of these things will be your list of things, not mine. After you’ve had the first heart to heart conversation with him, where you tell him that you both have different levels of cleanliness and “my space” areas, tell him that you want to work it out and that you are making a list.

Then show him the list and go through them one by one and let him know what you need and what he’s willing to do. You may also need to invest in some good organizing items (and make him pay for half the cost) like one of those clothes hampers that has the different sections (for darks, for underwear, for whites etc.) And possibly get him some smallish type of dresser drawers for all of his stuff that ends up all over you tables and bathroom. If he insists on keeping the sports gear at your place, tell him they need to stay in the garage (if you have one) or in the storage unit, or he may need to rent off site storage. In the kitchen, be very specific about what you can tolerate.

My friend had this great idea of the “clean sink” in which you either wash the dish and put it away immediately or you at least rinse it and put it into the dishwasher. And if the dishwasher is full, then you have to empty it immediately but you never leave the sink with dirty dishes. The other idea is to teach him how to fix a sandwich or breakfast without leaving a mess on the counter. You can tell him to work on a paper plate or a paper towel or a dish towel and never to put a food covered utensil directly onto the counter. And after the meal is fixed, everything must be washed and put away immediately and the counter wiped clean. Once people learn how to plan out their meal prep, this gets much easier.

And always have cannisters of wet-wipes on hand, in the kitchen and the bathroom, and make sure that you have plastic bag lined little trashcans in each room and leave a basket in the bedroom and living room (or one at the top and one at the bottom of the stairs) to throw things into that need to be moved to the other area. Then make a habit of moving and emptying them each day. You’ve got to make it much easier for the messy person to be clean an organized or else they simply won’t do it.

Hopefully you can try some of these “drastic” measures and see how he takes it. If after awhile, he simply can’t do it, then you might have to party ways. Let’s hope not. Good luck and please report back to us. : )

BarnacleBill's avatar

It sounds like you weren’t asked; it was assumed that you would be okay with moving in. Part of being married is that generally, the guy asks, and the the girl gets to say yes or no. No one gets married by assumption, that’s probably the source of your resentment.

Are you ready to be making this decision with anyone? Doesn’t sound like it; not yet..

funkdaddy's avatar

Quick answer/guess: You’re not ready, nothing wrong with it.

Keep dating and guard that interest and spark you have in each other. Take time away from each other, go out with separate groups, make the time you DO spend together special. Do what you have to so you WANT to be around each other when you are.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Pack his shit up in a box and tell him to get out immediately!

“I’m not your wife… I’m your girlfriend! If you want to live together, then either marry me or sit down and plan out a future with me”.

You know as well as I do that women hate wishy washy indecisive men who fall mindlessly into any convenient little scenario that presents itself. That’s what the hearts of cheaters are built upon. And deep down inside, you know this, and that’s why the situation is uncomfortable to you.

I’d say it’s time to put some pressure on the relationship and see where his head is at. You can tell a lot about a person when they are forced to get off their lazy ass and actually make a decision. You’ll find out everything you need to know to make your own decision as well, mainly, if you have a real future with him or not.

Don’t let the future guide you dear. It doesn’t want to and has no mind to guide you with. You’re supposed to guide your own future, mindfully, and set it on any course that brings you closer to where you actually want to be. Direct it. It’s there for you to do so, and it’s your responsibility to take hold of your future. Otherwise, your past will eat you alive.

plethora's avatar

@BarnacleBill and @RealEyesRealizeRealLies are right. Further, it sometimes helps to sit back and just observe what the other person is doing. Not how you feel about it, actually WHAT he is doing. It appears to me he is being grossly inconsiderate of you. I would suggest you tell him so and let him know that if he is that inconsiderate of you, then it puts a whole new light on the relationship. You’re not ready to call it quits, but you are ready to step back to the dating posture while he thinks about what it means to live and genuinely love under the same roof. Promise you one thing. It will get no better from here unless you take a very strong stand.

You have ample reason to feel overwhelmed and not interested in sex

funkdaddy's avatar

I’m a little surprised by the “burn him at the stake” trend this question is taking. When reading the original question I really think it’s more about where @sarahjane90 wants right now than a shortcoming from her boyfriend. You can’t put two independent people in the same space and have everything mesh perfectly.

When I first moved in with my girlfriend (now wife) we had all of 400 sq ft of near campus “luxury” to live in. The first month was one of the hardest time of our entire relationship. Specifically I remember her coming in to the living room holding my toothbrush. She was appalled and angry that I left it lying next to the sink. “There’s a cup there for a reason”, she wanted me to store my toothbrush standing up because it’s more sanitary. I’d been laying it next to the sink since I could brush my own teeth, but easy enough, we can fix this. My toothbrush now stands in a cup next to the sink.

If she would have had access to Fluther it seems my stuff may have been in the yard and I’d be a broken lonely bitter man all because of tooth brush sanitation protocol.

That’s a really long way to say your boyfriend leaving towels around or his rock climbing equipment in the bedroom probably isn’t the root of the problem.

The one line from the original question that jumped out at me was

There is just one problem. I feel married.

And you don’t want to be married right now, there’s nothing at all wrong with that. He can be a great guy, you guys could be a great match, but if the timing isn’t right for both of you then figure out what you DO want out of the relationship and discuss that with him. If at some point living together wouldn’t make you feel married or feeling married wouldn’t be a bad thing, then try that phase again. For now, do whatever makes you happy, there’s no rules that say when things are over.

The romance isn’t over until one side decides it is, but it only takes one. There are low times in any relationship but the ones that continue do so because both sides think it’s worth working for.

plethora's avatar

@funkdaddy You missed one thing in the question. He moved in on her without any discussion. It was not a mutual decision and he is being grossly inconsiderate. Ya dont just move in on someone. That alone is very inconsiderate.

kennedy77's avatar

Well.this is pretty complicated. Do things what you feel like. Don’t ask others for a suggestion. We all can give enough of suggestions. but its you who gonna face it.

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