Social Question

Paradox1's avatar

Is it wrong to have a romantic relationship with someone you can't see yourself with forever?

Asked by Paradox1 (1177points) December 10th, 2011

Do you think it is wrong to be involved emotionally and sexually with a person if you can say you are almost certain you know you couldn’t marry them?

What if the other person knew that you felt this way?

I care deeply about this person – in fact she has saved my life and I am eternally grateful to her, but she is not someone I would like to marry. While we do have that emotional connection, a big part of the relationship is physical too. Do you think it is wrong for me to continue pursuing her if I feel as though we could never be married? For example if I thought that I knew I would end things at some future date, but enjoy our time together now.

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36 Answers

HungryGuy's avatar

No. I don’t think so. As long as both people know the others’ intentions and it’s mutually consensual, there’s nothing wrong with having some short-term fun. I’ve had a few short-term flings where we both knew it was just temporary.

janbb's avatar

Not if you both know that’s where things are going. Why not enjoy it?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I do think you should make the person aware of this if, especially, they’re talking about a forever.

submariner's avatar

Yes, usually.

john65pennington's avatar

I never was in this situation, but I have given tons of advice, concerning it to people in domestic confrontations.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. By this, I mean why marry a person, if your relationship is on an even keel? If both couples are happy, then a piece of paper may make the relationship a whole, new ball game.

If both of you are aware that marriage is not going to happen, then continue with your relationship,,,“as is”.

Like the song says, “Don’t rock the boat, baby”.

CWOTUS's avatar

It’s wrong if you’ve made representations to her that it might be permanent.

It may be wrong for you because it takes you “off the market” for the right permanent partner.

Paradox1's avatar

To elaborate,
I have not made any conscious efforts to pursue her other than to determine that there is indeed something there to pursue through brief but deep conversations we’ve had.
If I DID decide to, I would be upfront about my intentions.
@CWOTUS I was thinking that it would be wrong to take her “off the market” for her right permanent partner, as she will likely want to marry much sooner than me – I do not plan on it anytime soon until I am financially viable.

prioritymail's avatar

I think it is important to be clear up front about how you are framing the relationship and if both people are on the same page it is all good!

Eureka's avatar

As long as she is aware of how you feel, and you are not misleading her into thinking this is going to develop into something “forever”, then I see no problem with this relationship. But, let me say this – a lot of times females accept and agree to this sort of thing, thinking that time and emotions will change your mind about marriage. (Female, here, if that matters).

So, enjoy it while it lasts, but be careful and watch her for signs that her feelings are changing. You clearly care about her, and I know you would not want to be responsible for causing her pain.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

No, not as long as she knows you want to be married to a different person in your future, that she isn’t going to become that person out of familiarity and good times.

Paradox1's avatar

@Eureka Yes, I was worried about that as well, that she would secretly hope that we would end up together – even if she doesn’t feel this way now or initially, but over time she would probably come to feel this way simply due to the scientific emotional things that happen through sex.

I really can’t stand to cause her pain. Simultaneously I can’t say I know 100% without a doubt that there is no possibility for marriage.

CaptainHarley's avatar

The only way it would be “wrong” or inappropriate is if you were being decietful or misleading.

CWOTUS's avatar

Let me put it this way: I don’t think it’s wise.

Paradox1's avatar

@CWOTUS I am beginning to see why, and tend to agree.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Wrong no, unwise yes.

You may both go into it with your eyes open, but if either one of you isn’t honest with yourself and each other it can turn out bad.

marinelife's avatar

Not if you are honest with your partner.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Paradox1: If you’re talking about your relationship this way now, you’ve most definitely not been swept off your feet or hit by a thunderbolt. People usually start to contemplate a future together after that sort of infatuation which you seem to convey you don’t have.

janbb's avatar

I don’t think any can or should judge another relationship as long as the two people involved are honest with each other.

WestRiverrat's avatar

To expand my answer, I have seen too many relationships like this start and end badly. One or the other of you will gradually change your expectations, often without realising you are doing so. If you catch it early enough, you can sometimes end the relationship without losing the friendship. But if it is too far gone it will sour the friendship too.

A friends with benefits relationship can work out, and I am not saying you should or shouldn’t make that decision. You just need to weigh the short term benefits against the long term risks.

I wish you both good luck whatever you decide to do.

saint's avatar

No. Life is a constant transition.

Coloma's avatar

If you REALLY care for her you won’t lead her on or use her sexually. Should you tell her? Uh, let me think….that would be a YES!

Along the lines of ” You know I CARE about you, BUT, I don’t see a future with you.”
Man up sonny boy!
If she still wants to sleep with you at least you have shown integrity.
Proceed at her own risk,

Ponderer983's avatar

No – this is the reason why I am dating 3 people at once because none of them are serious relationship material, but damnit if I’m not going have fun while I can!

Paradox25's avatar

No, as long as she knows your intentions. For me personally I’m extremely conservative on these types of issues so I would answer yes for myself if this was me personally.

martianspringtime's avatar

No. Not everything you do has to lead to “forever.” Who breaks up with someone just because they aren’t sure they want to end up married to them? Except for, I guess, people who are very concentrated on finding that. I mean, when you make a friend, you don’t generally think “oh well, I probably won’t want to be best friends with them anymore 10 years from now, so I should probably break it off now, even though I’m content with them at this point in my life.”

Focus on the happiness and compatibility you have in your relationship now, unless you’re currently itching for something more ‘permanent’. Leading them on – insinuating that you’ll get married – probably isn’t the best thing to do, obviously, but it’s fine to be with someone you might not be with forever.

Uberwench's avatar

As long as you’re not misleading her, it’s not wrong to have a romantic relationship with someone you can’t see yourself with the next day.

the_overthinker's avatar

Firstly, I have to say that this question has crossed my mind before as well…

It is not wrong, in some cases. For me, I would put more thought into it if I were choosing whether not to date a close friend, and felt there is a predetermined end date for the relationship… Since I could just end up losing or hurting a close friend in the end.

But for you, the other person knows that you have no intention of marrying her, and knows you may end the relationship at some future date. Live in the present. You both seem to know what you both want out of the relationship, and that’s good.

Sunny2's avatar

I hope not. It kind of depends on your age and situation. If you’re both young, available and planning to marry someone sometime, I think it could be very hurtful to her. Or you. Don’t forget that women often think they can change men and are heartbroken when they can’t.

laureth's avatar

Let me put it this way. Is it wrong to buy a house, that you don’t see yourself living in forever?

People change. Needs and desires change. Lives change. All you really have is the “now,” the past is done and the future, no matter how well you plan it, is uncertain.

Some people get along really well, but later on, they drift apart and there’s nothing you can really do about it, that’s just the way life is. But I don’t think that makes it wrong to be happy for the time you have together. It might even provide happy memories and some kind of friendship for “forever,” too, if you eventually part amicably.

I don’t think there’s one answer that fits every person. Heck, I don’t think there’s one answer to fit every phase of one person’s life.

Coloma's avatar

Not wanting a LT relationship with someone isn’t the issue here.
The issue is honesty.
If this girl/woman thinks there might be a future and she is wanting a LT relationship, to be less than 100% disclosing of the lack of desire for that is unfair to her.

Living in the now does not mean it’s okay to use another and sexually or otherwise objectify someone. Infact, truly living in the now, means one is fully conscious of where there head and feelings are in the moment, and they act in congruence.

You do not think one thing, say another, and act in yet another way.
That’s duplicity at it’s finest and a hallmark of low integrity and fucked upness.

Mariah's avatar

I don’t think it’s wrong at all as long as you know the other person is okay with it. Best to openly talk about it so you don’t end up wasting somebody’s time. If you know the other person is looking to settle down, it’s probably best to come clean and end it.

Even for very young people, it’s best not to assume. Most high school or college kids don’t limit their relationships to people they’d like to marry, but you should still communicate with your partner because it might surprise you what they’re thinking. I dated a guy when I was 15 and thought it was just for fun, until one day he asked me, “how do you think we should handle things when we go off to college?” Whoa, what? That’s three years away! Shocked the hell out of me. This is why I now understand the importance of communication.

SmartAZ's avatar

I just typed a long comment HERE and the same applies to your question.

Uberwench's avatar

@SmartAZ That comment is shitty. It’s also not really the same. Though I did a little research and found out that you repost the same shitty answers all over the place regardless of how tangentially related they might be to the topic.

SmartAZ's avatar

Yes, it’s true. Most of my answers are collected in a file and I paste them into forums. That is because the same questions come up repeatedly, and I give them the same answers.

You really should try to improve your manners. The fact that you don’t like an answer does not mean it’s a bad answer.

Uberwench's avatar

@SmartAZ I didn’t say it was bad because I dislike it. I dislike it because it is bad. And given that you just admitted to spouting off prefabricated bullshit regardless of whether it fits the question, I’m pretty comfortable with my assessment.

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