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Need a life and relationship advice - a couple of 30yo


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How can I enjoy my life more? This questions bothers me in recent months as I reached my first moment of stagnation in my life. I also feel I am about to make decisions that will dictate how my next 20 years will look like and I have no one to ask for advice in the real life. I am 30 years old male and until this year my life was full of events, good and bad. But overall I am happy with what I achieved and learned from my past mistakes. I come from Poland, but I have spent almost all my last 10 years abroad, including the last 6 in Luxembourg (a tiny country between Belgium, France and Germany).

 

Objectively speaking, I am not in a bad situation – I have a good, stable job (managerial position in a small company) in one of the wealthiest countries in the world – Luxembourg, I have enough time to do a side business (I trade stocks) that can give me some extra income and – more importantly – a set of skills needed to make it the only source of income sometime in the future. That’s a brief description of my professional situation.

 

My finances are good – I spend at most 40% of my income, the rest is invested with varying degree of success, but I consider it a lesson that every investor has to learn – the sooner, the better (and cheaper). I have no debt and I do not need to increase my spending in order to be happier in life. The problem lies somewhere else.

 

As far as my private life is concerned, I am in a relationship for 10 months and we live together since June this year. I am not sure if I love my girlfriend though – there are days when I do, but on the other ones I don’t. We tend to argue for meaningless reasons, at least from my perspective. She’s very jealous and sensitive to any form of criticism, which goes against my personality of loving personal freedom and accepting critique as a form of positive feedback. These are the most common causes of our disagreement.

 

The reason why I chose her after more than a year of living a bachelor lifestyle and dating many girls is that we share similar life objective of creating a big family of at least three kids and being supportive and demanding parents. She’s fairly attractive (8/10 in my opinion) and intelligent, which means that she’ll be a good mother from a genetic point of view.

 

It’s not my goal to show her in bad light and only point out the discrepancies between us. We both love spending time in nature, we prefer to live close to the forest rather than a city centre, we are physically active and both go to the gym on a regular basis, we also share similar political views, which seems to matter a lot these days.

 

Despite having her and general life stability I miss my single life, when I used to meet new people very often and chatting girls up and getting their attention was very satisfying. The other advantage was that some of them had very interesting personalities that I could learn from in terms of new life habits, business opportunities, language and culture enrichment, etc. I feel especially down these days, because I spent the last two months introducing my girlfriend into the new country, people, etc. and I didn’t leave her alone, because everything in Luxembourg is new to her. Before moving she’s always lived in Poland and never lived abroad, even during her studies.

 

Is there any way to restore than joy of life in some way? The only thing that comes to my mind is that I need to start going out without my girlfriend and start meeting new people again. It sounds simple, but this will be a tough pill to swallow for my girlfriend – she would like to be a one organism with me and prefer to always go out together, which in my humble opinion is not healthy for the individuals and the relationship itself.

 

What is also important is the fact that my girlfriend is 29 years old and we both know that the time to start family is now, because her biological clock is ticking fast. It scares me a bit, because I know that taking care of children will probably consume all of my leisure time and I will be trapped between office and home with no options to entertain, travel and interact with other people. Sometimes I think that I should wait another 3-5 years and accumulate enough money to quit my job first and then think about being a family provider that has enough time and resources for that.

 

Thanks for reading this lengthy confession. I am ready to accept any constructive critique and will be grateful for any tips from those smarter and more experienced than me. I am also happy to provide more details on my situation if need be. I tried to be as honest and open as an introvert can be.

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Moving in together after only 7 months was too soon. It's harder to break up when you're living together, and you're still learning about each other and don't know enough to make that major decision so soon. You're now learning she differs with you in her style of social activities. You're feeling smothered because you're the sole center of her universe. And what do you mean that she's jealous? If you can't say hello to the waitress serving you or if she's on the lookout for every infraction that a normal person wouldn't, I'd say to end things because being someone who is jealousy is unwarranted is a living hell.

 

Otherwise, yes, she needs to develop friendships with women, you need to spend guy time with your buddies, and you also need to have group friends where you all hang out, plus separate hobbies and hobbies together. And you need to realize your life will have to evolve as well when you're in a serious relationship. You will have to give up activities that would harm your serious relationship like chatting up girls. If you're not ready to do that, become single again.

 

Her biological clock isn't ticking that fast. You should be a couple for several years before thinking about having children. You need to enjoy your time together without kids and make sure the relationship will be a lasting one because even though children are a joy, they are also very stressful and a couple needs to be rock solid to handle that stress.

 

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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What you are facing sounds like a very typical dating/relationship dilemma. On paper, this person should be a great mate and the relationship should work. In other words, this person meets certain basic, x,y, z, requirements. In reality, you and her are not a good match at all. Meaning that your actual personalities, temperaments and lifestyle don't actually click and match at all in important ways. So you are feeling bored, smothered, unhappy, etc. At about 3-7 months is when these things start to become clear and obvious. Also, why you shouldn't live with anyone so soon. Makes ending the relationship much more difficult.

 

Sounds to me like you need a woman who has the basics, but is also much more independent, stronger more interesting personality, someone who actually inspires you to strive for more. The right person brings out the best in you and doesn't leave you craving for the single life.

 

This isn't about money, your situation in life, having time for children, etc. This is about the fact that this girl isn't working out for you. End things with her and keep looking. Oh and don't put it off for another x number of years. Meeting the right person isn't like opening catalog and picking one out, delivery by Saturday. You never know when/where you'll meet them, so don't sleep on it and assume that when you have your life just so, the right woman will happen to materialize. Relationships don't work that way.

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Unfortunately, moving in after 10 mos is a mistake and now you are having difficulty getting along.

 

Chronically criticizing someone is abusive, not "constructive feedback" and if you want "personal freedom" do not have relationships or live with anyone. The two are mutually exclusive, just as criticizing someone and getting along are mutually exclusive.

 

Dating is not a eugenics breeding program.

10 months and we live together since June this year. I am not sure if I love my girlfriend. sensitive to any form of criticism, which goes against my personality of loving personal freedom and accepting critique as a form of positive feedback. she’ll be a good mother from a genetic point of view.
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DancingFool has hit the problem right on the head! This relationship isn't working out. If you're constantly arguing about little things, and she is being jealous, controlling and manipulative while you're this free spirit, you're not going to work out. You should probably cut your losses now rather than get more involved in this relationship. Things usually don't get better. They get worse over time.

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The decision to move in together was dictated by the fact that we lived in two different countries before – Luxembourg and Poland. The only chance to spend time with each other was to take flights every second weekend and taking some days off from work to prolong these weekends. It wasn’t sustainable in the long term. The second reason was that I didn’t want to waste her time in a long distance relationship that lasts years – she wants to have a family soon and I respect that. Thirdly, I didn’t want to waste my time not being able to fully enjoy benefits of being in a relationship – in a long distance one you’re neither single nor taken. I don’t like being in that kind of limbo and I already experienced that for some time with my ex before she moved in.

 

When it comes to her biological clock, it depends on the one’s point of view – at the age of almost 30 you have less than 10 years to have kids. Considering 2 years for giving birth to each you aren’t left with that much time, especially if you want to have 3 or more. The science says that after reaching the age of 30 the risk of miscarriage and genetic diseases rises significantly, so I consider the age of 35 the limit for a pregnancy without major risks. After all there’s no coincidence that as the average age of giving birth increases the fertility rate decreases.

 

The argument about kids as a source of stress is very solid, one needs to know their partner very well before they expose themselves to such challenge (especially if you multiply that challenge times 3 or 4), so testing each other in different situations is key. That makes me a bit frustrated, because does not dovetail with her age and her need to have a family soon.

 

It may be true that her personality isn’t very interesting to me and I actually find it hard to continue conversations on topics that do not interest me. She likes talking about weather, complain about the amount of work, workmates, lack of time, etc., whereas I consider myself the last person on Earth to complain about anything and I tend to finish each of her complaint asking ‘why don’t you change it in your life? You’re not forced to do x,y,z’. You get the picture.

 

The problem with more independent, stronger and more interesting women is that they rarely put families before their career and fun. This is the exact description of my ex-girlfriend, with whom I got along very well, but our life objectives differed substantially.

 

I am also aware that if I leave her I cannot wait several years until I start searching again – if fact, I didn’t wait long after my last breakup, but it took me more than 1 year to find my current girlfriend – I didn’t start the new relationship with the first girl I dated. But I think it was still too soon and I wasn’t picky enough…

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  • 10 months later...

Here is an update after 13 months of living together.

 

Things got more complicated since the creation of that thread – we have had a major argument 1,5 week ago and since then we do not consider being together anymore. But the reality is that we still live together until she finds a new place for herself. Our current apartment – although she loves it and furnished it the way she wanted – is too expensive for her to stay in. I do not like the idea paying so much either, so if we definitely decide to break up I will leave the apartment and search for a new tenant, because we are renting it.

 

During the last argument she blamed me for meeting other girls (not true) and not prioritizing her. She feels unloved and neglected, which should be no surprise for her, because I gradually became more and more withdrawn with my feelings towards her due to her jealousy, not listening to what I say and misinterpreting my words. I also had an access to her messages on social media and I could see that she was complaining about me to her family female friends and exaggerating stories from our relationship to show me in a bad light.

 

I told her that I know that she gives me a bad name, but I did not reveal the source of my knowledge. I also told her that she should not be with a guy that will never want to see her family and most of her friends again because of what they told her about me. Their conclusion is that I am a toxic, abusive bad boy that she always had weakness for and that I will ruin her life. She repeatedly told them that she loves me, but I believe it’s because I give her emotions and I am a good candidate for a family provider.

 

The breakup clear step backward for both of us, because we wanted to have children now. Luckily or not, we have not decided to have them yet due to our frequent arguments and misunderstandings. Now it would take a lot of time to heal the wounds made during this quasi-breakup and I do not believe it is worth giving ourselves a second chance. What do you think?

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Your update is, in ways, a repeat of your first post, but now everyone is just much more unhappy and much more confused.

 

Eleven months ago what you described—at least to my eyes—was one person (you) who was forcing a relationship with someone they did not love, respect, or were crazy about (her) because, on paper, it all seemed to make sense according to a mathematical equation or cultural algorithm involving the turning of 30 and the bearing of children. Flash forward to today and it seems your girlfriend has grown very tired of feeling more like a variable in your puzzle than, you know, a human being.

 

I can't say I'm surprised she feels unloved, not a priority, since eleven months ago you spoke about not loving her and missing being single. She is tuned into the deep core here—your lack of interest in her, your lack of respect for her humanity, your simmering desire to not be with her and be with others—and it sounds like, unfortunately, she didn't have the confidence to break up with you earlier. So the "wounds" you're now complaining about—her jealousy, her bad mouthing you—are really just her slightly immature means of addressing the very real point that you, in an equally immature way, have refused to address honestly for over a year.

 

You seem to like taking the high road, presenting yourself as stable, grounded, mature, and blaming your withdrawal on her, her jealousy, and so on. But c'mon—dig deeper, find some humility. She moved from Poland, at 29, and quickly found herself living with a guy who didn't much care about her. Imagine that. Imagine the isolation she has felt. Not easy. So own that, hold yourself accountable for the very real role you've played in her unhappiness. Yeah, your intentions may have driven by some authentic desires—to be a good guy, to make a family—but minus that core ingredient (authentic love) it's all just kind of icky.

 

So, to your question: "What do you think?" I think what you're learning, right now, is that nothing good comes from forcing a square peg into a round hole, that relationships are impossible to sustain without love and respect, regardless of some common goals, interests, political views. I think you're learning that, when everything is done based on "clocks" instead of hearts, the irony is that more precious time is lost rather than "optimized." I think it's time for both of you to listen to the true voice inside you—the one screaming that this is not, and has not been, a good relationship for either of you—and to stop trying to corral dysfunction into functionality.

 

You're both still young. There is plenty of time to find what you want, a more loving, authentic connection that is sustaining and that can sustain a functional family. Let this go, since what you've seen is that something "not great" does not miraculously turn "great" over time, but just worse. You each owe it to yourselves, and to each other, to let this go so you can find what you both want, seek, and deserve.

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Here is an update after 13 months of living together.

 

Things got more complicated since the creation of that thread – we have had a major argument 1,5 week ago and since then we do not consider being together anymore. But the reality is that we still live together until she finds a new place for herself. Our current apartment – although she loves it and furnished it the way she wanted – is too expensive for her to stay in. I do not like the idea paying so much either, so if we definitely decide to break up I will leave the apartment and search for a new tenant, because we are renting it.

 

During the last argument she blamed me for meeting other girls (not true) and not prioritizing her. She feels unloved and neglected, which should be no surprise for her, because I gradually became more and more withdrawn with my feelings towards her due to her jealousy, not listening to what I say and misinterpreting my words. I also had an access to her messages on social media and I could see that she was complaining about me to her family female friends and exaggerating stories from our relationship to show me in a bad light.

 

I told her that I know that she gives me a bad name, but I did not reveal the source of my knowledge. I also told her that she should not be with a guy that will never want to see her family and most of her friends again because of what they told her about me. Their conclusion is that I am a toxic, abusive bad boy that she always had weakness for and that I will ruin her life. She repeatedly told them that she loves me, but I believe it’s because I give her emotions and I am a good candidate for a family provider.

 

The breakup clear step backward for both of us, because we wanted to have children now. Luckily or not, we have not decided to have them yet due to our frequent arguments and misunderstandings. Now it would take a lot of time to heal the wounds made during this quasi-breakup and I do not believe it is worth giving ourselves a second chance. What do you think?

 

 

No. There is no second chance on this one. If you are looking at your relationship like a business, it is not a good one. You speak about her in very sterile terms: she is a candidate for a mate, she is "fairly" attractive, she will be a good mother from a genetic point of view. But do you actually LIKE her? Have you ever actually liked a girl that you are dating, or is it more of an appearance that you show to others?

 

You are looking at relationships through the wrong lens. They are a means to an end for you. You will never be truly happy with that mindset. I had a past relationship that was very similar. He was a lovely man--very similar to how you describe yourself. But there was no passion, no true joy, and no actual romantic love. I loved him for being a good man. And he loved me because I fit the mold of what what he deemed appropriate and attractive for his stage in life. But neither of us were in love with each other. I left. He married another woman, and they are very content. They are not passionate, nor are they exciting, but they fit an image. He is a wonderful man and I hope that he can find some passion!

 

Please take this with a grain of salt: get over yourself. You are concentrating on what a great catch you are and how any woman would be lucky to have you. Take that down a notch. Find someone that makes you sweat. Literally. Someone that makes you the best kind of nervous and who drives you nuts at the same time! THIS is when you will be happy.

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The last 11 months were also full of good moments – we travelled a lot, had tons of different sport activities and we both truly enjoyed it. We run our household perfectly and managed to find an equilibrium when it comes to splitting chores, although in the moment of anger she still repeated that I do not help her with her household chores, which deeply hurt me knowing how much I did.

 

I agree that she changed her whole life to live with me and I thanked her for that. But I also did my best to make her adaptation process as smooth as possible – I introduced her to almost all my friends, found a beautiful apartment in the best neighbourhood that she absolutely loves, I helped her with all new things that are associated with living in a new country – I wish someone helped me to such extent when I left Poland at the age of 21. I was alone, broke and barely spoke the language, while she did not experience any headwinds of that kind.

 

My big complaint against her is that she does not listen to me during our conversations, yet she still expects me to talk a lot with her and explain my plans and expectations about our relationship and our family life in the future. She wants to feel prepared and it makes sense to me, but the problem is that I keep repeating the same statements and she does not listen. She still has the same fears that I will abandon her with kids, cheat on her, etc. It’s not uncommon for me to get accused of things I didn’t do only because she did not listen to what I already explained.

 

I love her and having lived together for the last year made me realize that we could be a great couple if she stopped accusing, badmouthing and start listening to me. I kept saying that for the last half a year, but nothing has changed. She still tries to spy on my phone and overtly says that she doesn’t trust me, while I never cheated on her and did not have the intention to do so. Otherwise I could really say that I like her and feel attracted to her despite her pessimistic nature.

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So....you've turned yourself inside out to please her.....and....nothing. She is still the same person. So at what point do you accept the reality that she isn't the right partner for you? Quit being a martyr....it isn't working. However, if you like this misery, then quit complaining about it. Choose your path. You either put up with her sh$t and pretend to be happy or you find some confidence to look for a better match. One or the other or as they say, sh$t or get off the pot.

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Like and feel attracted, balanced against the other stuff to me doesn't seem like a stable relationship.

 

My perspective/context- when my husband and I got back together about 8 years later (dated seriously in the past/engaged) we knew from the day we got back together that if we became serious/marriage potential I most likely would have to relocate for his job -for the first time in my life. Away from a major city where I'd lived 40 years, away from our families to a smaller city hundreds of miles away (or elsewhere) . I accepted that, I owned that -but he also knew I would adjust and that I would be proactive about meeting people. When I moved after one year of a commuter marriage (since I was pregnant) it was hard - new parents/newlywed/me home full time. And over the last 10 years it's been harder for me than I thought to maintain my friendships from back home and to make new friends. No matter that you pulled out all the stops she's only in her 20s and there's a language barrier and unfortunately she may not have thought this through. plus she is with someone who claims to be an introvert but a lot of what you complain about is more typical of an extrovert -you want to be out there socializing, etc.

 

So as far as the listening understand that it's difficult for her to do that because she feels disoriented/unmoored and she hears your words but she senses you really don't want to be there -so she filters it through that.

 

The "if she stopped accusing me/badmouthing" is a biggie. She doesn't trust you. Without trust what do you have? Is there a counselor you can speak to where you can express that you do not feel listened to? What happens when you tell her gently "yes, you mentioned this and I thought we'd discussed this -is there something new you'd like to add?"

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I slowly realize that what you write here is true, i.e. it makes no more sense to stay together. There is zero understanding between each other in fundamentals, our views on marriage, career versus raising kids are even more divergent than before.

 

I also talked with her mom last weekend and she confirmed all the biases that my girlfriend had. In her view she is too smart to stay at home with children and I should not limit her potential, even though raising kids was my girlfriend’s preferred choice half a year ago. It seems that she changed her mind under the influence of her mother and her feminist friend. I told her mother that if this is the case then the only viable option is to leave and she agreed with me, so hopefully she will pass that message to my girlfriend.

 

During that conversation I heard again that I am not a trustworthy person and that my girlfriend sacrificed her previous life in the name of love for me. The fact that I greatly helped her establishing her new life in a new country and made several sacrifices too went unnoticed.

 

I felt embarrassed talking about her daughter’s flaws of character and explaining my side of the story that she was completely unaware of (sic!). After 45 minutes of talking I made a realization that they have a very similar character and they hold a conversation in a similar manner, which means that only their view matters and I have no right to have a different opinion. Right now I feel relieved because I did my best to express my views and they cannot accuse me of not making enough effort to save this relationship.

 

The "if she stopped accusing me/badmouthing" is a biggie. She doesn't trust you. Without trust what do you have? Is there a counselor you can speak to where you can express that you do not feel listened to? What happens when you tell her gently "yes, you mentioned this and I thought we'd discussed this -is there something new you'd like to add?"

 

Good point - I kept telling her that and I always heard that we did not discuss it thoroughly enough. On top of that her conclusions were always different from what I told her, which brought a lot of misunderstandings.

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Why do end-runs around the gf and talk to her mother? Tell your gf yourself that you have different goals and end it.

I told her mother that if this is the case then the only viable option is to leave and she agreed with me, so hopefully she will pass that message to my girlfriend.
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