Saturday, March 31, 2007
On Wasting Time in Relationships
Barclay left a great comment on yesterday's post that deserves a comprehensive response so I'm posting it on here.
Hmm .... Vix, although your advice is good as usual, I'm going to jump off on a tangent here: the attitude that the destination is more important than the journey. It pops up in your article as well when you're talking about timelines: "... you don't feel like you've wasted too many years waiting for him."
Wasted? Really? Relationships are evolutionary processes -- where at times, you may grow together, and at times, apart -- but I think you end up missing out on the relationship itself if you're overly concerned about where the relationship is going. It seems there must be plenty of good times to look back on and appreciate in that last year(s), and also lessons learned, so in that respect I would say it's anything but a waste -- on the contrary, it's everything! To mutate an expression, if you're always worried about being older than yesterday, or younger than tomorrow, you're never enjoying today.
If you twist my intentions, you could definitely use my words to justify a carefree and hedonistic lifestyle that only used others for what they can give you right now, or to completely disregard planning for the future. But I believe that's a just reactionary swing on the sine wave; justifying actions instead of acting justly. Regardless, if the end of a relationship isn't the desired outcome, it doesn't mean that the time spent was worthless. It was part of the process; value it but move on. Don't be in such a rush to get somewhere.
Regarding the guy not bringing it up because "he doesn't want to get rejected or make himself more emotionally vulnerable" -- I can see this being an issue if communication is already lacking (the two of you actually are of the same opinion but he doesn't believe that to be the case), or he accurately believes the two of you to not be in the same place regarding marriage. It either of those two cases, there's other issues that need to get resolved prior to a proposal.
Then again, if marriage is non-negotiable for an individual, give it your all. :)
(BTW, I only write this much when I'm responding to someone whom I respect, so keep up the good work.)
Barclay, thanks for the response, haven't heard from you in a while! It's always nice to get to see the other side of the coin. I do agree that all relationships are essential to your development and an evolutionary process that should be appreciated in it's totality, and the whole savoring every moment ideology, that's all me! Remember, I did say, "Don't make marriage a sore topic between you because that will eventually destroy your relationship. Focus your energies instead on savoring and enjoying your relationship and attaining more depth.
However, the 'wasting time
' part comes from when you've been with him forever (as the lady in the example), leaving your most fruitful years waiting for him to make up his mind. The urgency might not be there for guys, but for women, the biological clock and urge to settle down is a very strong thing.
If you were with someone that you both knew wasn't ultimately a good match for you (as in the example) for over 7 years...then yes, you are wasting time. Mostly because I feel that the ideal partner should challenge and help you grow and want to grow with you. There is only so much you can evolve with someone who isn't learning and growing along with you. And not just mentally, but growing emotionally and spiritually as well. If you are meant to be together, somehow you will both end up on the same plane, and it's usually noticeable within the first year.
If you feel like the relationship has long term potential, then by all means hang in there. But you should have at least had a talk (or several) to see if you are on the same wavelength. My sister was with her beau for five years before they got engaged, and according to my timeline that would be atrociously long. However, throughout the relationship they both talked/knew it was a possibility and set definite goals (finishing school, careers, etc.) in place as markers so that when they were ready, they knew it and took it to the next level.
Being in the relationship, enjoying every moment and focusing on the journey instead of the destination is the right thing to do, but in practice, it's fucking ironic to enjoy the journey if you know that you are headed towards Splitsville. No matter how great he is, if he doesn't want to settle down ever and you do, even if you compromise on this, you won't be able to be fully happy in a relationship with him. Having experiences and memories to draw back on years down the road isn't going to help ease the ache in your heart or empty womb. In addition, we feel like our prime 'beauty' years were all frittered away. Even though it sucks, society still does equate youth with beauty and we subconsciously do it too.
The older you get, the more you end up settling what you really want/deserve for someone else because the pickings do get slimmer. The men your age want younger chicks, and almost everyone after 35 has been around the marriage block with children and emotional baggage all up in the mix. So knowing this, why would you want to stay in a relationship that isn't fulfilling to you and doesn't fit all your needs?
As liberated as we act at times, most of us are still mothers/nurturers at heart and want to engage in traditional roles once we are ready to settle down. We have concrete expectations of where we see ourselves in a decade or two. Even though we are enjoying every experience that life is handing our way, we still know where we want to end up. The destination is essential, in fact the destination and journey go hand in hand.
It's like if we were both sitting in the car, waiting for someone to start driving. We might spend time talking while we are sitting, but at the same time-- we are going nowhere. At the end of the day, one of us is going to have to start the car to reach a destination or leave. All that time spent talking---it's all good, and yeah we did learn more about each other, but at the same time, we end up late for whatever we were trying to accomplish.
This scenario of waiting to get to the next phase only to end up disappointed is more common than you think. It is worse when one of the parties has a different expectation/idea of the relationship than the other person. And as women, although we value and have learned from our past relationships, we can call the bullshit ones for what they really were, a waste of time.
Labels: Girl Talk, Relationship issues
Posted by Vixen @ 12:51 AM ::
5 trainees letting it rip!
Talk to Me!