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Yellowdog's avatar

How do I know my girlfriend is the right one for me?

Asked by Yellowdog (11159points) February 24th, 2017

I am not a teenager or young adult—I’m 51, but until about 10 years ago mingled well with the young adult / coffeehouse crowd. I never really accomplished much and spent my life doing things that helped people but accumulated little by way of resources.

My GF was someone I met earlier in life and she wanted almost nothing to do with me—(I now know that the things I did then to seem harmless and nonthreatening made me seem very odd to her)—- but I was extremely “lovesick” at 35—it had been 15 years since I had had a girlfriend, and I met no one of interest in the 15 years after her.

Even then, when I was in my mid thirties and she in her mid twenties, once she discovered the way I was, developed an appreciation for me but was very shy. Friends brought us together but we were very nervous in each others’ presence.

Fast forward to 2015 (its 2017 when I write this)—and I rescue her from an abusive home environment with relatives but have little resources (I am on disability due to injuries from a robbery but probably need to be working again). I am struggling immensely to support her in a nice apartment which she is the main resident.

I have no doubt that she loves me—but I am not sure she is the right one for me. Don’t get me wrong—I haven’t had many chances during the middle 25 years of my life. I was not attracted to any person that was available in the ensuing years. THough the roles may seem reversed, she seems far more physical and I am looking for some tenderness and even reticience.

I am also a very creative, artistic, poetic type. I have been a minister, a guidance counselor, and worked in book stores and have published a few things. Though she has a strong sense of balance and proportion she lives in what she calls reality and sees a lot of my things as superfluous. In short, she is not really the artsy, boutique / 2nd hand store shopping woman I once thought she was (she just lived in that environment by default all those years ago)—and sometimes I wake up wondering if there is not someone out there who IS that person.

It is possible that I am just feeling burn-out from the whirlwind our lives together has been these past couple of years—especially the last two months— or having my decorating ideas (I must surround myself with things that inspire me—she and I both have reasonably good taste but are picky) flatly rejected—but I cannot relate to her my own deepest dreams, inspiration, and aspirations. She is more hung up in the events of the past 10–12 years where she was horribly mistreated and taken advantage of and stolen from.

Some of this may sound very shallow to many of you—I am mainly talking about taste in decorating. But not really. I am needing someone who will allow me the things that inspire me, and whom I can work with as a team if my career in ministry or nonprofit work requires it. I can’t shake the feeling that someone else might be out there.

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12 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

I’ll give you my perspective, given I was 50 when I got out of a horrible abusive marriage,

About six months after I left my marriage, I met someone who was beyond my wildest dreams in all ways. After we had been dating for a year or so, I turned to her and said, “you bring out the best in me, you make me want to be a best person i can be.” We dated for over six years, until she relocated for a job that was a huge step up for her. We are still close and communicate.

But then a couple years ago, I reconnected with a woman I had know in the 1980s. Despite living a thousand miles away, we started dating 2½ years ago, and she moved to my area 18 months ago. It was an eyeopener to realize that she doesn’t want me to be the “best person I can be”; she wants me to be the best ME I can be.

In other words, she accepts and encourages my own quirks and weirdness because that is what makes me wholly myself.

Only you can answer if you are getting the support and encouragement and love you need. If yes, you are lucky and in a good spot. If not, it may be time to move on, with no regrets, just understanding that you were there for each other at a critical time in each other’s lives. Cherish that.

I heard the singer Fiona Apple once talking about past loves. Her perspective was that those we truly love will always be held in our hearts, and they make our heart larger to love another more fully.

janbb's avatar

I was in a so-so marriage for nearly 40 years and while it allowed me wonderful things like a family – much of who I really have become was squelched in the relationship. I did not enter into a separation or divorce willingly, I would have tried to keep working on things, but ultimately, the end of the relationship has led to my having a much fuller, richer and more authentic life. I have dated but have found no-one that is available whom I would consider a worthy partner so far.

Only you can decide if being in a relationship is a higher priority for you than being truly who you are. You have to face the fact that there may not be anyone else for you out there and see if that possibility is acceptable to you. If it isn’t, then stay where you are but it does sound like you have very valid dissatisfactions.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@janbb Nice. So very, very glad to see you out the other side! I know that was hell for you.

I guess if you have to question it, she isn’t the right one.

Yellowdog's avatar

Maybe there is no “right” one. Just sometimes I think there might be someone out there who needs me just as much as my GF does—maybe more—and is waiting for me. Ah, melancholia.

rojo's avatar

I think perhaps @Yellowdog is right. Perhaps there is no “right” one, just the right one for this point in my life.

rojo's avatar

On the other hand I would refer you to Jim Croce

”...I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with.”

flutherother's avatar

There is always someone more beautiful and more intelligent out there but you don’t think of that if you are happy with your partner. But you don’t sound happy with your partner and if you have doubts now it doesn’t augur well for the long term future. However, you says he loves you and I would say that is a gift beyond price. Being loved doesn’t come to everyone and it may not come your way again.

Cruiser's avatar

If you have to ask this and cannot answer this on your own then I say she is not the right one. You know when you meet the right one.

JLeslie's avatar

I think if you ask the question then it’s likely she’s not the ideal mate for you. It doesn’t mean it can’t work, but I think relationships are best when you are excited about moving forward with the person, and not hesitant. When I was dating my husband I wanted to be with him all the time. I still do. I swear I have separation anxiety when he leaves in the morning. LOL.

A lot of my friends who are over 40, it’s really tough for them to take the step of living together or getting married. I can really understand why. You know yourself better now (than when you were 20) and if you are used to living alone, having to deal with someone else can be annoying.

I think as we age we analyze relationships more logically than emotionally. That can make moving forward in relationships more difficult.

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