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A short break or hiatus to evaluate moving forward with relationship?


ecaryn

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A break or hiatus or whatever to evaluate taking next step in relationship?

 

Been in a relationship now for almost a year, will be a year next month. For all intents and purposes, this has been the most honest, sincere, and healthiest relationship that I've ever been in. We are affectionate and considerate with one another, share similar goals and life outlooks, and are both at a settling down stage in life. Communicate well, families, children and friends mesh easily, etc.

 

So, now that everything seems to be in place within the relationship, we have begun talking about moving in together, him moving into my house specifically. We would expect this to be a fairly comfortable transition as he practically already lives here now. He has his own closet, key, hygiene products here etc, and stays with us 4 to 5 days out of the week. Easy enough it seems.

 

Now the reason I am considering a break is he told me after some prompting on my part that he met up with a female friend for a couple hours last week. He admitted this meet up after initially telling me he had stayed home watching sports of which I questioned him about because of vague details not matching up. He came clean and said he was dishonest in the first place because he knew I wouldn't understand the friendship. (More on that later) I asked him to define 'friend' and he said this is someone he briefly dated and had sex with shortly before him and I met. He said it was strictly a platonic visit where they mostly discussed our relationship and how he has changed since she knew him and how she was saddened that he never was willing to take these steps with her. Yada yada. I told him, that yes he was correct in that I didn't understand the friendship and was extremely uncomfortable with how it was carried out.

 

We spoke at length and he understood my objections and told me he would end the friendship permanently so that he didn't lose our relationship. We also discussed expectations and boundaries from here on out and continued with the tentative plan to move him in fully in March. But now I'm questioning if we should spend a week or two apart with no contact so we can fairly evaluate if we are seriously wanting to pursue a future together and move in.

 

For what it's worth, I am not interested in marriage. I do love him and want and value commitment but I've never been interested in the legal aspects of marrying. Moving in, for me, is the equivalent of marriage and I take it seriously as such. Not simply a convenience move. He understands my position on this. He tells me he feels I am 'the one' and he expects us to grow old together. I would agree.

 

In regards to the friendship aspect, he is right, I DON'T understand. I do realize lots of people remain friends with someone where dating didn't work out, but I'm not one of them. In fact, I have a hard time maintaining friendships with my FRIENDS, definitely not with exes or former dating interests or sex partners. I think this has more to do with my childhood and attachment issues than actual romantic relationships. I don't bond with people easily, nor do I make much effort in maintaining those few tentative bonds. So, yes, I don't get the being friends view. But my partner is someone who subscribes to the friendship theory and is in fact friends with almost all of his exes and said he understands the why but cannot relate to my low value in friendships. So the impasse is that I'm having trouble understanding why he met up with this sort-of-ex other than for a catch up chat as he says. And I question how satisfied and committed he is to our relationship if he potentially felt he could be jeopardizing it by meeting with her, but did anyway. I'm thinking a short time apart to seriously evaluate before moving forward could help. But I'm not sure it wouldn't hurt us either. Opinions?

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Why do you need that time apart to evaluate this? If you want to see if you miss him you need longer than 1-2 weeks. Sounds like you are asking him to do this to punish him for lying to you. I would be ok with the friendship but not the lying part. Rather than taking time apart why not see a counselor or therapist to talk about this in a safe and productive environment?

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Hes already lied once. I would be wondering what else is he lying about. he met her alone behind your back and lied about it. That is a huge red flag. Its also a red flag that hes still in touch with all his exes. Exes should be cut out of your life

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Hes already lied once. I would be wondering what else is he lying about. he met her alone behind your back and lied about it. That is a huge red flag. Its also a red flag that hes still in touch with all his exes. Exes should be cut out of your life

 

I don't think exes should be cut out unless they are unsupportive of the current relationship or there is still a strong attraction on either side. Exes can be extremely close friends (including from before the relationship started) so a blanket rule like that wouldn't work for me.

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I wouldn't date someone who had exes in their life or close female friends. I have seen too many threads on trust issues, cheating, lies from these players who are surrounded by a slew of women or guys who settle for second best coz they cant have their best female friend who they have secretly wanted for years..

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It sounds like a crap thing to lie about, I mean why not be up front if it's a platonic meeting but then perhaps he knew he might get this kinda reception.

You seem to want to punish him for it but as someone who has been jerked around before I say power to ya, setting boundaries from the get go is so important to craft a relationship that is functional for you.

 

If you don't want to let him get away though, make sure it's functional for him too and that he feels he won't get castrated if he makes a mistake.

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The intent is not punishment, I'm not interested in those types of games or ploys, I'd simply end the relationship if I felt that was necessary. What I was considering the break for is a little distance and space for each of us to seriously consider how committed we are to building a life together now BEFORE we get to the stage of cohabitating.

 

For instance, he's been at my house every evening since this occurrence and while it's been beneficial that we are able to openly discuss the situation, I'm not sure being continuously under one another has given either of us the private time to really think about what this might mean for our relationship. If anything.

 

I do realize, as expressed in the responses here, that there are two different camps when it comes to remaining friends with former romantic interests...and I am firmly (maybe somewhat extremely) on the side of 'what's the point?' so I appreciate that he and I have differing views on that and there isn't a 'right' side. But I'm still trying to determine for myself if even I would consider what he did as cheating? I don't know. It sounded too datey, to me at least. And given our different opinions on the subject, I'm having a tough time not seeing this as an active decision on his part to spend time with her for SOME reason. Whether sex/cheating related now or a planned path to that. I figured a few days of silence/apart would allow me to really decide if this is a potential relationship ender and him to figure out how serious he really feels about me if he is/was considering cheating.

 

But anywho, I talked to him about the possibility of a short break last night and he is adamantly against it, saying I will just use the time as an easy out to disengage. And I'm concerned he could be right. So, at this point I've decided I may simply have to choose to believe him (this once) when he says it was only platonic, that no ill will was intended, he made a mistake in how he attempted to carry on the friendship, and will end it now. So I suppose we'll cautiously proceed forward for now... just with more clearly defined boundaries for each of us.

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Just because you do not value friendship does not mean he has to subscribe to your model.

That he didn't tell you, even though it was platonic, was because you would have a hissy fit.

 

I think your "models" are fundamentally not compatible. Your life apparently is work/son/family/bf -- no friends. He has a lot. And your wanting to restrict

his friendships, as well as you having no friends --- in the long run, won't really work.

 

Since you are not planning on marrying, why move in together. His nights "away" are his to socialize....or is that the issue?

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I do not expect him to subscribe to or even agree to my 'model'. To each his own. Neither do I completely disvalue friendships. I do have a small circle of friends, but I'm just not as interested in being as close with friends as I assume more 'normal' people are. And I do actively encourage him to go out and spend time with his buddies and relatives so there is some individual time for each of us. This even includes other of his female friends that I have met and hung out with.

 

What I object to is the hiding of this particular meeting and doubting that it's strictly platonic. At least not from her perspective. I am familiar with who this particular person is and her continued desire for a relationship with him as is obvious to me by her questioning him about why she wasn't good enough to commit to and why does he feel I am the person for him. This is some of what he said they discussed.

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I wouldn't date someone who had exes in their life or close female friends. I have seen too many threads on trust issues, cheating, lies from these players who are surrounded by a slew of women or guys who settle for second best coz they cant have their best female friend who they have secretly wanted for years..

 

And I know too many people who dismiss close friends just because they dated or had a relationship in the past and just because they happen to be dating someone new with no other extenuating circumstances. Doesn't say a lot about that person's loyalty. Of course if the new person is uncomfortable for a reasonable reason (and that's according to each couple) that's different but all else equal I think it's foolish to cut people off so arbitrarily. I also think it's a far far too cynical attitude about men and people. On the other hand a couple who doesn't indulge in that type of black and white thinking and instead can communicate about boundaries based on individual situations are a stronger couple in general.

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If it is your trust in him that you are questioning, and you think a break will help you clarify your feelings about that... then by all means, take it.

 

If you think a break will help him realize the "error of his ways" or whatever... then that's kind of manipulative, and you might want to rethink your motives.

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What I object to is the hiding of this particular meeting and doubting that it's strictly platonic. At least not from her perspective. I am familiar with who this particular person is and her continued desire for a relationship with him as is obvious to me by her questioning him about why she wasn't good enough to commit to and why does he feel I am the person for him. This is some of what he said they discussed.

 

His perspective is the only one you need worry about ---- and he feels YOU are the person for him.

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If it is your trust in him that you are questioning, and you think a break will help you clarify your feelings about that... then by all means, take it.

 

If you think a break will help him realize the "error of his ways" or whatever... then that's kind of manipulative, and you might want to rethink your motives.

 

Yes, to the first part. That is essentially what I feel I need the space to determine. And being an introvert, I tend to find it challenging to clarify my thoughts while actively engaged with someone constantly.

 

As to the second part, no. I don't necessarily think there was an err to his ways, at least not from his view point, other than the initial dishonesty. (This, of course, is based on a choice to believe him when he says it was only platonic.) I'd hope he would use the time to reflect on if his need to meet her behind my back is something other than friendship and possibly a reflection on any dissatisfaction with our relationship he hasn't addressed.

 

His perspective is the only one you need worry about ---- and he feels YOU are the person for him.

 

Ah, the simplicity of that logic and unfettered trust is the point I would hope to get back to.

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It's not time to process a general conflict, but rather, as the thread title states, to reevaluate the idea of moving forward in the relationship at all at this stage.

 

Moving in together, whenever that may occur - but most certainly after a disagreement such as this, should be thoroughly weighed out in whatever manner is most conducive to each person. In terms of why move in together at all given my view on marriage: it's not that I don't desire a family life and commitment, but that I've never much wanted a wedding and, to be honest, would prefer the simpler, less expensive out of a break up as opposed to a divorce should it ever, unfortunately, come to that.

 

But in any event, it may be a moot point now, because as I've mentioned previously, the boyfriend is against the idea of a 'break' unless I feel it would help and I can't say with certainty that I think it would. So, I don't know. Perhaps I'm over dramatizing this, but it doesn't feel that way.

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If moving in to you is the equivalent of marriage how does that square with you wanting to avoid marriage because it's easier to break up than divorce? Perhaps your boyfriend is feeling that you're looking for too many easy ways out in general? Sorry if you discussed this but does he want marriage or is he ok with your arrangement where you have an easier way out than divorce?

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If moving in to you is the equivalent of marriage how does that square with you wanting to avoid marriage because it's easier to break up than divorce? Perhaps your boyfriend is feeling that you're looking for too many easy ways out in general? Sorry if you discussed this but does he want marriage or is he ok with your arrangement where you have an easier way out than divorce?

 

I do realize I probably seem rigid and inflexible on here, but I'm really not. My boyfriend actually says one of the things he appreciates most about me is I'm easy going and undemanding. So in that sense, it's not that I'm completely against marrying, I just don't feel any particular persuasion towards it at this point in my life... If he, however, found it to be important it is something I would consider down the line. Though it may sound that way by this thread, our relationship really is a negotiated and joint venture. It's most definitely not my way or the highway.

 

But, yes, financially speaking, a break up makes more sense to me than a divorce and my boyfriend says he agrees with the logic and feels no pressing need for a legalized marriage either. Neither of us wants to have more children (one each already, his son lives with his mother out of state), won't be buying real estate jointly anytime soon (I already own my own home), and no major assets or debts on either of our parts. So a monogamous, committed, cohabitating relationship is satisfactory for us.

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It seems that way from the outside looking in.

 

Thank you. That is what I came to ena for...outside perspective.

 

I've been wondering if I'm over emphasizing or under emphasizing the significance of the incident and the third party imput is helpful.

 

I think the dishonesty about the meeting and the specifics of it are what has had me questioning what's the right action if any for me to take, other than just discussing it with him. Without going back to look if I included the details in the original post; their visit was picking up take out and going back to eat at her place. Alone. At 10 at night. That, in my opinion, is inappropriate for a man in a relationship. Friend only or not.

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I understand -it sounds like you both want that (it just seemed to me that you actually don't want a marital-type relationship because you do want to be able to have an easier out). I'm glad you're on the same page including the same page about being flexible if things change.

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I have had dinner/beers with my best male.friend on numerous occasions... at his home.

His wife works in another city. She often calls when I am there...and when he tells her I am there..she sends a "hello" and tells him she will call later.

 

I think you are making this bigger than it is.

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Op he met up with her alone without telling you. This is not some friend he meets for a beer once a month who he is happy to introduce you to so you can all hang out together. No hes keeping her away from you for a reason.

 

I had a good male friend who moved away a few years back. I never hung out with him alone or text him late at night etc. We would meet up in a group for a drink or a game of pool and I introduced them all to my bf when we started dating. He also has a group of friends. One was a childhood female friend who he introduced me to and me and her became very close..

 

we went on double dates a lot and had a lot of fun.

 

It is a red flag because of the secrecy

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