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La_chica_gomela's avatar

What happens if you love someone, but...

Asked by La_chica_gomela (12532points) October 6th, 2008

AllyMay’s excellent question about marriage prompted me to ask this question. Great question, Ally.
What do you do if you feel strongly that you want to be with someone for the rest of your life in a monogamous relationship, but you feel like you met them “too soon”. Meaning perhaps you thought you would have a few more “wild” experiences before settling down with one person. Obviously you have to choose between how much you love the person, and how much you want to be “wild and free” but as some wise flutherer recently pointed out (was it nikipedia maybe?) what are the units? “love” and “freedom” are not measured in the same units. It’s like apples to oranges. How does one go about making that choice?
It’s a theoretical question. Answer it any way you see fit.

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11 Answers

krose1223's avatar

Hmmm… Good question. I guess I kinda had to make this decision, but it really wasn’t up for debate in my mind. EDIT Before I met my SO I really wasn’t much into the idea of marriage. Now I can’t wait to marry him! Sometimes I do wonder if I am ready to give up the single life and I am quick to answer yes. The love and connection I have with my SO is something I have never found, and never thought I would find. “Freedom” is something I have felt and can still feel even in a relationship. I can be “wild and free” and monogomus at the same time, because my SO will never take away from who I am. I don’t need to sleep around or date other people to feel free. I don’t feel like I am giving anything up to be with my SO for the rest of my life, I feel like I am gaining from our future marriage.

augustlan's avatar

For those who’ve had to read this sappy crap before, I apologize for the repeat.
I was married for 17 years. When we were heading for a separation/divorce I proudly and loudly proclaimed that I’d never get married again. I looked forward to dating, but not committing. Just before we separated I took a job. At that job I met a man. He felt exactly the same way as I did about remarriage. When I separated, we got together, just for fun, and promptly fell in love with each other. Talk about too soon. I railed against the unfairness of the situation. This was literally the first man I dated in 20 years! I was head over heels in love with him, but I didn’t even get a chance to date around, you know? As our relationship progressed, I refused to move in with him (then finally gave in), and refused to marry him (but finally said yes the 6th time he asked). How did I decide? I eventually came to the conclusion that the universe had dropped the perfect man in my lap. How could I refuse that?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Great answers, both!

Oh all right! Hell. I lied. It’s not hypothetical. It’s something I’ve been thinking about. You got me, you two with your insightful comments!! Bah!

Augustlan, that actually sounds a lot like what has happened in my life, recently, except my story is “smaller” (I wasn’t married, and the timeframes have all been a lot shorter).

And right now I’m in the part where, he’s asked me to marry him at least three dozen times, and I’m not budging right now. I’m not getting married, and I’m not moving in with him. Moving in 2 doors down from each other? Great! Together, I don’t think so, buddy. Ok, but we are in no position to get married right now. Just because of some logistics types of things. I think he knows that, he just asks because he knows loves me. So it’s not an immediate decision, it’s just something I’ve been pondering.

I can’t see any reason big enough to ever leave him, even this one, (especially this one) but it’s still something I think about. I want to marry him, and I want to have thought about everything first, you know? Go into it with my eyes open. I know there will still be surprises! Of course! But I want to make sure I’ve figured out everything that I need to figure out. I don’t want to look back and say, “what if i had done xyz?” you know?

augustlan's avatar

Good for you! Better to think beforehand, than wonder afterwards!

qashqai's avatar

What do you do if you feel strongly that you want to be with someone for the rest of your life in a monogamous relationship, but you feel like you met them “too soon”.

Kinda contrasting.
If I feel strongly that I want to be with someone for the rest of my life I try the utmost to stay with her the rest of my life. Simple as that. There’s no good/bad moment to meet someone. There’s no “if” for me.

On the contrary, If you feel you would like to have a couple more “wild” experiences, then go for it. Maybe that means you are not really ready (even If you may seem convinced) to spend your entire life with that someone.

wundayatta's avatar

I suppose you are thinking about the idea of sowing wild oats, and that youth is a time to try out a lot of stuff, before you settle down. You want to make sure you have no regrets, and you need to do your research before you make your decision. You don’t want to end up later wishing you had taken more time and had those “wild” experiences.

But it’s hard to answer this question, because you don’t really describe what kind of wild experiences you are talking about. The implication is that you’re talking about sleeping with a few other guys, or something like that. But you know that’s going to be empty. It might be fun. It might stroke your ego. It might give you an STD (well probably not you, given your caution).

The real “wildness” would mean falling in love. Well, that’s not going to happen. Anything else would be an empty experience.

I think what’s going on is a kind of “buyer’s remorse.” You’ve made your decision, but you are now wondering if that other car on the lot really would have made you happier.

You can’t do that. Once you’ve made a choice, you have to go with it, or you’ll screw it up even worse. You have to act like this is the best thing, and guess what? It’ll become the best thing.

Freedom is not the issue. You can do what you want, even married. You can travel, and have friends, start a business, whatever. Of course, once you have kids, some of these options become a little more difficult to navigate. Some people consider that a boundary on freedom, but I think of it as a choice. Yeah, I haven’t seen more than a couple movies a year for the last decade, but who cares? I get to see my kids grow from fumbling around the piano to fighting each other to claim a spot. I get to see my 12 year old daughter composing these chord progressions that I had no chance of understanding even when I was in college.

It’s all choices. And once you make it, you need to recognize you’ve made it, and then throw your all into it!

flameboi's avatar

Appleas and oranges, mmm, let’s add more frueits and we will have fruit salad…
No seriously, you better stay wild and free as much as you can, that person you love can be back and forth in your life until you decide that you’ve had enough…

gailcalled's avatar

In one of the best marriages I have seen, they met young and were inseparable for several years. Then, during part of their college years (I think) they took a break to test the waters. They re-united,married after graduation but young, and the marriage endured and flourished for decades, until one of the partners died an untimely death from illness.

cyndyh's avatar

I think you should take steps to figure out exactly what it is you want to do in your life and write those things down. Are there any of them that you really couldn’t do if you were married? Or are they just things that require a major decision you should discuss with him? You might find that you wouldn’t really be asked to give anything up. You might find he has things he wants to do, too. Those are the things you should discuss -from both lists.

With luck and some work you may find you can help each other with everything on both lists. Or you might find out that you’re a lot less compatible than you thought. Either way it’s better to find out now.

I don’t think I gave up any freedom by getting married. It just led to a lot more discussion and cooperation.

Allie's avatar

Hmm.. tough question. Answering as myself in my present situation (having fun and being a bit wild) I’d say that if he really, really loved me and I really, really loved I don’t see why we couldn’t date and be a couple, but not get married. While we’re dating we could have crazy fun together. And then when we feel like settling down, we can.
If the person made me choose, then I don’t know what I would pick. It would all depend on how much I loved him and wanted to be with him. If he meant enough to me, I would have no problem marrying young.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I don’t really know how to answer, but I will say this, for what’s it’s worth: I’ve been seeing someone, off and on, for about five years now. We have had our ups and our downs (a lot of them and pretty big ones) because, in my mind, I feel that he doesn’t want to commit – even though he told me many times that I’m the one he wants to marry, absolutely no doubt about it. We aren’t even currently together, but he’s still asked me to marry him multiple times. The problem? I don’t believe him. I still sense that he wants to have that wild side and I have major trust issues with him.

I love him, to death. Sometimes I feel like I’m dying because of the situation. Even though he says I’m the only one, I would still have to wait for him, I think, for a very long time – even if we were to get back together. I’m not even talking about getting married… Just being committed to each other. He can say he wants to marry me all he wants, say he’s absolutely in love with me… But it just doesn’t mean much when actions speak louder than words. You don’t do certain things if you’re truly in love with someone because you no longer even have the desire to.

I’ve been thinking a lot, the last few days, about just walking away from him for good. I will not wait for his words to match his behavior. I feel like I’m wasting my life. There is no “I love you, but hold on… I wanna do this first! Okay. No… Wait!” No… marriage or even love in general has no restrictions, besides the ones people, foolishly, place on them. Nothing becomes impossible in love or marriage—- as long as you’ve found a true match.

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