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kevbo's avatar

LTR people, how did you reassess your relationship when the time came?

Asked by kevbo (25611points) March 24th, 2011

My gf and I have been together for almost 6 years. It has far and away and without a doubt been the best relationship of my life, and we have given and received a lot of love to each other in many different ways.

There are some factors that have made it something less than a full commitment. A lot of it has been long distance. Expectations of each other, I think, are fairly relaxed. And there’s a lot of compromise (or perhaps plain old codependence). We have certainly given each other a lot but I don’t know that we push each other to be our best selves. We have different “life aesthetics” or perhaps styles that we each do more adapting to than embracing.

I think, too, part of our journey together has been a molting of sorts vis a vis the friction between the beliefs we brought with us and what we’ve learned from the other. From my point of view, this has been a good (but I couldn’t call it great) thing for me in that the result is that I’ve been shaken out of some of my dogma. I know it has been good for her as well.

I’m anticipating a personal shift in my life that’s been gestating for 15 years or so—some actualizing that will require cutting dead weight and picking up significant pace along “my” path. I know this is also more or less what is happening for her, although hers is, of course, an experience unique to mine with different dead weight and a different path. So part of our discussion will be assessing whether changes are done better together or separately.

I think for some here, this may be kind of a duh question. For me, the handicap is that I don’t shit or get off the pot in my relationships. I hang in there until they are dead. And, I don’t do a great job of navigating my “I need, I want, I don’t need, I don’t want” ship. I tend to let it go with the current. So I am kind of a novice with the actualizing concept mentioned above.

In the end, for me, I think the possible outcomes run along the lines of:
a) staying together and being kind of surprised by the degree of change she wants that aligns with change that I want,
b) staying together and accepting slower, less than ideally aligned change but not making it a dealbreaker,
c) deciding to part and looking forward to lots of positive personal change and momentum, and
d) deciding to part and continuing to fail miserably at my effort for change for the rest of my life The End.

- – -

Have you been there and done that? What perspective can you offer?

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6 Answers

Judi's avatar

Or, deciding to part, and then realizing she was the love of your life and you threw away the best thing that ever happened to you. 6 years is a big investment.

augustlan's avatar

I think if you’re in a good relationship, it’s far better to attempt to navigate change while still together. To my mind, partners in a good relationship accept that some change is inevitable, and will support each other through them. Now, if the change you have in mind is, say, becoming a celibate priest or something, then that’s different, of course. ;)

If you’re worried that one or both of you will hold the other partner back, that’s what you really need to discuss and assess. Anyway, it just seems like it couldn’t hurt to at least try to stay together as you change.

BarnacleBill's avatar

When you begin equating a relationship and “dead weight” it would not seem to bode well for the relationship. And if in 6 years, plans to live in the same location have never come to fruition, perhaps the relationship is more of a habit than an actual relationship.

As Woody Allen said, “A relationship, I think, is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.”

marinelife's avatar

I think it is interesting and significant that you hold yourself and your path of change separate from the relationship in your thinking.

It almost sounds as if you have the relationship in a box, and it’s not allowed to bleed over into your “real life.”

Are you truly committed? Can you be truly committed if you compartmentalize (and she does as well) the relationship?

By holding on to this partial relationship, are you keeping yourself from the possibility of finding a true life partner?

Those are the questions that I would be asking myself.

Paradox1's avatar

I think your answers are too rigid. You’re using logic to solve a mathematically unpredictable outcome based on the uniqueness of your situation. Try looking at it from another angle..

Cruiser's avatar

You got the 7 year itch and looking for us to tell you to move on with your life solo. Change is good and not always good when done for the sake of just change. You seem to want change to solve some issues or problems you have. IMO…change won’t change a thing unless you are clear as a bell with what it is you want out of your life. Life is too short to waste too much of it on compromise.

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