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Thread: Relationship hindering personal growth?

  1. #1
    ~Cooper~

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    Relationship hindering personal growth?

    Hey all, I've been lurking on these boards for years, only just now decided to create an account

    I have no one who I can talk to about this and expect objective input from, so cheers and thanks in advance...

    My girlfriend and I have been together for 3+ years, we have a fantastic relationship, both our families love both of us together, we have all the same friends, all in all everything about us is great. We've talked many times about getting married after college (we'll both have our Bachelor's degrees when we're 19), and we know that we want to be together. We're a bit more mature compared to others our age I'd say, we're realistic about things, we won't get married until we're financially ready and personally ready.

    After I get my degree, my goal is to become an Officer in the Army. Officer training takes upwards of a whole year, and she understands that and is totally willing to wait for me (we plan on getting married upon my return).

    MY problem, however, is that I feel I have certain things I need to get out of my system before marriage. I have places that I've always wanted to travel, experiences I need to experience. She's always had the mindset that you get married young and experience everything together, whereas I've always envisioned "living life" a little and then 'settling down'. She believes in 'waiting until marriage' to have sex, I DON'T, so we compromise by being physical in other ways (skewed logic, I know). (That's totally not the reason we want to get married, but the longer until marriage the harder things become).

    SO my question is, what advice do you have? I'm fine with waiting to get married, to me we're already together in our hearts and that's all that matters, but when I become an Officer she'd either have to marry me then and move with me to where I get stationed, or not get married then (allowing me some more "personal growth time") but be apart until marriage.

  2. #2
    wheatgrass82
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    WHAT DO YOU NEED>>>>> WHAT DO YOU WANT?

    Do you want to have some time apart to explore yourself and the possibilities out there? I think that is a WONDERFUL IDEA. If what is holding you back is that she believes a,b,c so you dont want to rock the boat..... bad idea.

    I was with my lst bf for 3 yrs... madly in love. best r/ship and i left him becuase I had a niggling feeling i wanted to do some things on my own beforfe i considered marrige. marrigae is a HUGE step. it's great you see it that way...

    anyway.. years past and we reunited..i had learned a lot and think i needed to grow up a little to gain percpective on the world... love.. and us in general...we were together for another 3 very happy years... we eventually did split but remain friendly.

    be true to yourslef. listen to the feeling in your gut.. not what your gf thinks you should do... but what you FEEL is the right thing.... we are all responsible for ourselves. you are not being cruel by speaking up.

    ps no sex before marriage????????? oh my lord..... i dont balme ya for being annoyed about that..!!!!!!!!!! i couldnt last 2 weeks let alone 3 yrs

  3. #3
    lostnscared
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    Well I think it's a case by case basis. Honestly some people have managed to grow together and they are not at all hindered by their relationships. However, to be completely honest with you it's very difficult to do this and I've found that the younger you are the more difficult it is to have the proper amount of personal development while being committed to someone else.

    The reason being that when you're young you go through MANY changes and developments. And most people are not the SAME people that are when they are 18 as they are when they are 25. Between those ages, you become a COMPLETELY different person.

    I'm 23 and when I was 18 I can't even tell you how *little* I knew.

    I wouldn't say that you have to break up or that you guys should postpone your plans. Because it's your life, and if you honestly feel ready to take that step then you *should*.

    But something to think about: Do you HONESTLY think that at 18 you are truly ready for marriage to someone that you've been with since you were ONLY 15?

    At 18 do you feel as if you are ready to make that commitment without really experiencing life, and growing up as an individual rather than as a couple?

    I've been with my guy since I was 17, and I can tell you it hasn't been easy. Thank God we didn't marry. I'd say that I'm JUST now becoming a mature person and that I'm JUST now starting to know myself. But I am in no way where I want to be.

    I personally believe that you can grow in a relationship, but I think that when you're young in many ways it is difficult to grow in the way you NEED to if you are tied down to someone and have been tied down to someone for such a long time and at an early age.

    Just something to think about--you have completely different views on these matters. I wonder if they'll clash eventually?

    You guys still have time to think.... But make sure you are following YOUR values and not conforming to hers--especially if you don't agree with hers.

    If you want to go travel the world on your own, without a wife, then do so. You are still young and you have all the time in the world to marry her.

  4. #4
    ~Cooper~

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    Thanks for the responses, I appreciate the advice.

    I agree with what you both say, and I think deep-down I know what I have to do. My biggest thing is, is acting on that tiny niggling feeling of living independently for a while really worth risking losing such a great relationship?

    I'm already asking her to wait a year while I'm training to become an Officer, and I feel asking her to wait any longer than that is just pushing it. I'm totally divided in my mind, one half says get married, have an amazing life together, and it'd be great. The EXACT other half says experience life without her, and see what there is in the world.

    I agree with you both in that I should do what I need to do, and that there's all the time in the world to get married, I just feel the risk of losing the relationship is too great :/ She does love me, she would be willing to let me have as much time as I need, but I know deep-down it'd just kill her inside being away from each other so long.

  5. #5
    wheatgrass82
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    i want to add that i do think if she is right for you and you will see how much she cares for you if you do choose to spend time alone.... my ex i referred to.... he stuck around me for years.. .always there... always loving me..... and it paid off and part of me will still always love him even though we diecided to split in the end..... he waited for me for a year here and a year there...... i knew then

  6. #6
    Circe~
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Cooper~ [Register to see the link]
    I agree with what you both say, and I think deep-down I know what I have to do. My biggest thing is, is acting on that tiny niggling feeling of living independently for a while really worth risking losing such a great relationship?
    I would say, no. It's not worth losing a great relationship. That said I think early 20s is too early to get married because you are still changing a lot at that point. It takes a bit longer and a few more life experiences to really grow up (don't mean that condescendingly) - no matter how mature you both are.

  7. #7
    geekgirl4
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    It's a tough decision. If you do get married, despite her being the love of your life, will YOU be happy with YOURSELF? Love, as awesome as it is, isn't the all encompassing answer to a good and happy life. You can be happy for awhile loving someone great but at the same time, you have to be able to love yourself for it to be complete. You need to figure yourself out and let yourself grow. While there are some cases where couples marrying young end up with great lives, it happens when both people are on the same page and of the same mindset. If you're having second thoughts on pushing through with marriage, then listen to those thoughts. It's unfair that you marry your gf without all of your heart in it. And marrying later is nice and great for financial reasons BUT, it's also wise because you're a more stable person by that time. I'm not the same person I was when I was 21 and that was only 3 years ago!

  8. #8
    Scott12
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    Cooper,

    Do you feel like you have to do these things alone? You mention that there are places where you want to travel; is it necessary for you to travel alone? Because it wouldn't be that much harder for her to travel with you and you don't have to be married to do it. You then mention "experiences" and "living life" in a vague sort of way. Specifically, what type of experiences? If it's a "sowing your wild oats" kind of thing, then yes, you definitely should break things off with her. But you need to determine if you need to have these "experiences" as a single person or if you can have them as part of a (unmarried) couple.

    Scott

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