Singlestalk: In doubt-A A +A
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Michelle: Our story is about a woman in her mid-30s who is in a four-year relationship. She says her relationship with her boyfriend is generally a smooth one. They hardly fight. But it seems like there is little connection between them. She admits the relationship is boring. And she is asking if the relationship is worth pursuing considering she’s not getting any younger.
If there is one advice that I can give her that is clear and needs no further explanation, it is “when in doubt, don’t.” How their relationship lasted for four years is worth considering because if one sees it has no future, it should be pretty clear from the get go. And whether she should go on with it or not is something that they both have to decide.
This means they have to talk about it. She has to communicate her dilemma with her boyfriend not only because of her age concerns but I’d like to believe that it is only fair to let him know if she cannot see a future with him.
DJ: It looks like a relationship, smells like a relationship and it sounds like a relationship but it lacks something essential—a bond that holds everything together. Call it connection. Call it an emotional or intellectual bond. Call it both. But for a relationship to last there has to be something that keeps it through life’s ups and downs. Considering her age and the time invested on the relationship, it’s understandable for her communicate with the guy what she thinks and feels about how things are going and take it from there.
Two individuals in a relationship need to share hopes, dreams and life goals for them to know whether they’re something they will pursue together or apart.
M: The question that is foremost in our minds at any stage of our lives is what our priority is and what should be our focus, for now and for the future. If one has no clear idea what she wants in the here and now, it would be difficult to plan about the future.
I think the woman will have a better idea on how to decide things if she knows her priorities at this point in her life. If you’ve been in a relationship for many years and still aren’t sure if you should commit to be together, then it’s probably time to step back, assess where you are and decide if you still want to go further or farther. What’s the point of staying in a smooth sailing relationship that’s headed nowhere?
DJ: It’s usual to have a predetermined set of expectations upon entering a relationship. They may be influenced by family, past experiences, friends or all of the above. What she needs to assess though is whether her expectations are realistic. Otherwise, any guy will be a disappointment. I suggest that she make time to be still and distinguish what she wants from what she needs from a partner. Wants can be social standing, occupation, eye color, even his sentence construction and how his subject and verb agree. Her wants are negotiable but her needs are not.
Needs are those that matter to her the most: values, goals in life, hopes and dreams. Are they something she can support and live with for the rest of her life? We don’t get these things by eyeing people as they walk in a mall or by reading someone’s profile on Facebook. It takes time. But it’s been four years. At least she should have an idea. If she doesn’t, the probability that there is light at the end of this boring tunnel is low. That’s just my opinion.
M: There are instances when a guy still doesn’t want to commit even after years of being together. It’s possible that he cannot commit.
Period. So, it is better to talk about where the relationship is at and where it’s heading. Patience is a good virtue but I think there’s no sense in waiting in vain.
Boredom does not necessarily mean that a relationship is getting nowhere. It probably just means that you need alone time to discern more, pray and deliberate. And when it is time to decide, one way or another, there’s no point in prolonging the agony. And when you know the right thing to do, just do it!
DJ: No one is perfect. But for a relationship to last, it should be with someone who loves you for the person you are, not for who you’d like to be or what you can become.
I think they have shared enough time to be honest, shed those pretenses and just be who they are. Whatever the outcome is, the truth will set them free. And whether together or apart, for sure they will live happily ever after.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 17, 2013.