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Hey everyone.

 

I’m seeking some perspective and constructive criticism concerning my current 9.5 month relationship.

 

Throughout our time together my girlfriend has been both hot and cold. She says this is attributed to the fact that she has chronic depression. Often speaks about emptiness which is a part of her and always has been.

I met her at a time where she wasn’t emotionally available, and still isn’t fully. She told me right from the start and communicates regularly. It has improved over the duration of us incrementally. But it is difficult.

 

She is quite sweet and is mostly receptive to me, always giving to what we have in the capacity she is able to. She very often pays for dates, grocery store food, and is always willing to split bills.

She is a great partner for the most part. Smart, admirable character, attractive. She truly gets me riled up like I’ve never been. I love her.

 

She doesn’t love me though. She said she experienced love once and it was enough for her and doesn’t know if it’s for her (vulnerability issues to me). It took too much of a toll. Her words are that of distance and uncertainty, always contributing doubt in my mind. Her words offer very little emotional stability and support. But she always tells me how amazing and beautiful I am. Says she would never be able to find better than me. Many times has said if we ever did break up, she wouldn’t even pursue another relationship. So her words are that of her own inner ‘brokenness’ as she says.

 

Her actions are always mostly great — date suggestions, plans, our 3 week trip to Europe, sex in abundance, has never bailed on a date and is excited when we have plans or see each other. Usually more reserved with affection than I am though. I pursue her more than her pursuing me.

 

She has talked about a future together. Has said she trusts me more than she’s ever trusted any other romantic partner before. Has said I’m the best boyfriend she’s ever had. Spoken about living together. Future travelling, etc.

 

This leaves me with questions in my head; never ending, it feels. How the words are all over the place and the actions are good. It pulls back and forth. It’s making me needy in some ways, always looking for the detrimental conversation and waiting for it, because I can’t mentally be at peace in a way. So my reticular activating system is always on alert for the slightest ‘hiccup’, rather than just being.

 

She has a busy life. Her articling student work at the law firm, her friends, family, studying for the BAR and our time together, she always notes that there’s no time for rest.

 

She overthinks everything. She’s very critical. She is afraid of vulnerability and to get close. Her attachment style is avoidant/anxious. More-so the former. When we become very close on the weekend, it soon disappears as the week progresses, until the next weekend again. She says work stresses her out and it’s hard to be emotionally here and sexually connected to herself; so in turn me too. It can be lonely and difficult.

But on the weekends when she’s has time to relax, it’s amazing.

 

Right now I’m struggling with my acting career. Hard to get any momentum, and it isn’t due to lack of effort. I don’t have any real close friends, they moved away a while ago and things have drifted, sadly. Or when I make a friend they just don’t align with what I value.

So socially I’m lonely, except for when my girlfriend and I spend time together. Which I would value immensely even with friends.

I have a job which pays me decently. And I take acting classes to keep up a hobby. I workout 3 times a week and sprint twice. I read everyday and eat very healthily. I know I have value but things are definitely not firing on any cylinders for me. I’m a very grateful person and give value where it’s due.

I’m fine with myself and spending time alone. I’m not always texting her and such. It’s healthy in this way.

 

I know my girlfriend needs space and her own time to feel love for me as she internally repairs herself (if she ever does).

I know I need to develop my career and social circle with time.

I don’t want to manipulate attraction and act distant to create anxiety with her. I want it healthy.

 

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Happy to answer any questions so we can find a clear resolve for the time being and setting a good trajectory.

 

Thank you!

Edited by Blackpebble
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"She doesn’t love me though."

 

"She overthinks everything. She’s very critical. She is afraid of vulnerability and to get close. Her attachment style is avoidant/anxious. More-so the former. When we become very close on the weekend, it soon disappears as the week progresses, until the next weekend again. She says work stresses her out and it’s hard to be emotionally here and sexually connected to herself; so in turn me too. It can be lonely and difficult.

But on the weekends when she’s has time to relax, it’s amazing."

Are two days out of the week enough?

 

This is who she is. None of it will change. I don't get why you have continued with her. You need to end this.

 

Perhaps, you should look into your co dependence issues, too.

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Well, you've written a lot of words to avoid saying the simple thing: You have a girlfriend who does not like you in the way you want to be liked. She is offering something else, however, which I'd describe as a lovely mirror into some parts of yourself that you don't quite like either.

 

You can "work on" that, under the guise of working on her, on the fraught and too-thin-for-you think that is you two. And that can go on and on, at least until one of you pulls the cord.

 

And the longer you wait for that? The higher the odds that the pulling of the cord will be pretty awful—like, for instance, when the emotionally elliptical mystery woman tells you she's met someone else, or when she ends things with you to "work on myself," and you learn she is with someone else 48 hours later. Not fun to contemplate, I know, but things that happen every day.

 

You know why they happen? They happen when two people are in a relationship that is not satisfying them fully. You are both in such a relationship, and no amount of tenderness or analysis or patience will change that.

 

In your shoes I would gracefully bow out of this, give yourself a minute to explore why something so unsatisfying holds a kind of pull over you. Find what that something is inside of you and carve it out, so you can connect to someone as you want to, feel seen as you want to be seen, and experience love for what it is: a very simple thing, not a gem we mine by breaking our spirit.

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She needs to get her depression under control and you really should get a handle on your career. If it's not working for you, it's just not working. There is no shame in that but you'll have to find something more reliable or look into re-evaluating your entire idea about acting as a profession.

 

Her comments would put anyone off and stress is not an excuse. Both of you are a ticking time bomb together. Don't nitpick the relationship if you're not happy with it. Work on yourself and don't settle for shoddy behaviour in relationships.

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Give it a year and reevaluate at that time. If she hasn't seen a doctor or therapist by then to address her mood disorder, consider ending things. Don't try to fix her if she keeps telling you how 'broken' she is. She needs to want to fix herself. She may be great dating material, fun, thrills, novelty, etc but someone like this may be too rough around the edges (until she addresses things) to stay with long term.

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Are two days out of the week enough?

 

This is who she is. None of it will change. I don't get why you have continued with her. You need to end this.

 

Perhaps, you should look into your co dependence issues, too.

We usually also see each other once during the week. Maybe twice. It all depends on schedules. It's nice to see one another during the week so things stay connected. Although she does get in work mode and it's difficult for her to switch gears and soften.

 

I have continued because we have great times with each other and there are many shared interests and values. There have been some difficulties throughout; like most relationships. I think this is who she is right now. I'm not sure if any of her paradigms or behaviors will shift substantially any time soon, but there are many aspects of our lives which are enriched by the other. I'm on the fence about ending it.

 

I have started to look in to co-dependence as per your suggestion and I do believe I have some traits which could be sopping my power, unbeknownst to me. And this would have been a common thread throughout past relationships as well.

 

 

Well, you've written a lot of words to avoid saying the simple thing: You have a girlfriend who does not like you in the way you want to be liked. She is offering something else, however, which I'd describe as a lovely mirror into some parts of yourself that you don't quite like either.

 

You can "work on" that, under the guise of working on her, on the fraught and too-thin-for-you think that is you two. And that can go on and on, at least until one of you pulls the cord.

 

And the longer you wait for that? The higher the odds that the pulling of the cord will be pretty awful—like, for instance, when the emotionally elliptical mystery woman tells you she's met someone else, or when she ends things with you to "work on myself," and you learn she is with someone else 48 hours later. Not fun to contemplate, I know, but things that happen every day.

 

You know why they happen? They happen when two people are in a relationship that is not satisfying them fully. You are both in such a relationship, and no amount of tenderness or analysis or patience will change that.

 

In your shoes I would gracefully bow out of this, give yourself a minute to explore why something so unsatisfying holds a kind of pull over you. Find what that something is inside of you and carve it out, so you can connect to someone as you want to, feel seen as you want to be seen, and experience love for what it is: a very simple thing, not a gem we mine by breaking our spirit.

You have many valid points and I have often reflected on such things. I can't say why things which are unsatisfying to me have a pull over me. It has to do with some internal belief. What that is? I can't completely say.

I wouldn't totally say we're unsatisfied though. But there could be some crucial aspects that we're not aligned in on some "soul" level or just how we operate in the world. She's an intellectual, I'm an expressive personality type.

 

She needs to get her depression under control and you really should get a handle on your career. If it's not working for you, it's just not working. There is no shame in that but you'll have to find something more reliable or look into re-evaluating your entire idea about acting as a profession.

 

Her comments would put anyone off and stress is not an excuse. Both of you are a ticking time bomb together. Don't nitpick the relationship if you're not happy with it. Work on yourself and don't settle for shoddy behaviour in relationships.

I try often to get things going, so it's not like my energy towards it is lying dormant. I may go back to school at some point if things further don't pan out as I wish.

She is starting to see a counselor next week, so she is certainly trying. I'm not sure if it will be a regular thing though. I hope for her sake she is able to shake away some old brain patterning.

 

I think working on myself is the best path to take here, while abstaining from relationship talks. Some of her comments like I've stated are very very off putting as its almost her in a way pushing me away to fulfill some sort of self sabotage (which she agreed was partially true). If she is acting up with her words, next time i will leave my apartment or the vicinity and go for a walk while communicating that detrimental conversations while she's in a negative mood cannot happen.

 

 

Was she cheated on?

 

I was emotionally unavailable for ages after I was. The behaviour of being hot and cold comes with it too. :l

No she wasn't. Her parents relationship had a history of multiple infidelities; her mother being the victim of this. She also grew up in a house with abusive behavior.

How she has treated me is not original. Her previous boyfriend went through the same things as she told me one night. her style within relationships is that of creating issues or second guessing everything. So the issues at hand stem from her childhood, rather than an interpersonal romantic partner.

 

Give it a year and reevaluate at that time. If she hasn't seen a doctor or therapist by then to address her mood disorder, consider ending things. Don't try to fix her if she keeps telling you how 'broken' she is. She needs to want to fix herself. She may be great dating material, fun, thrills, novelty, etc but someone like this may be too rough around the edges (until she addresses things) to stay with long term.

This is a very pragmatic perspective. As stated above, she is going to see someone next Monday - I don't know if its work related issues or general mood issues. Could be both as they are tied together. Would be good for her to talk to someone about anything though. Simply going to an office is step one, and a big step too.

 

I think for me, your suggestion of giving things time and reevaluating is a good move, whether that be 3, 6, or 12 months from this date. She is certainly fun to date and I agree she is too rough right now for a serious long-term partner; unless she clears up some intrinsic issues. I have to stay to myself when she speaks about being broken. As a partner we want to assist in healing, however I think by me voicing my concerns it may make matters worse and enable her to some degree.

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She doesn't love you in the way you deserve to be loved. It does not have anything to do with your value as a person. It is all about how capable she is of forming a relationship and that is not something that you should even begin to try to "prove" to her. Maybe some day she will get to a point in her therapy and illness to be able to feel for someone but its not here, not now, not you.

 

If you want to deal with someone who feels middling towards you - you are a pleasant person to pass the time with but speaks about love in the past tense, then go ahead. But you will be miserable.

 

I dated someone who talked about a great love - in the past. Who he held on a pedestal. I felt like chopped liver.

 

I really do think that its a good time to learn about boundaries and how you wish to be treated. You cannot heal someone with deep seated issues. It just is not practical or possible. Yes, you enable her and you are relinquishing your boundaries if someone is clear that they don't "love" love you and you stay. Its heartbreaking.

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Yes, please focus more on yourself. I like the part you wrote in response to me. Focus on you. She also seems emotionally burnt out and tired. You may be draining an already low/stressed person.

 

If you're not able to pull your weight and develop your career in tandem with hers, I think you're running the risk of depending on her not just emotionally but financially. Shift the balance and start feeling more confident about yourself and where you're going with your life. I used the word 'nitpick' earlier. I think you just have too much brain space awarded to this relationship and the outcome isn't looking too good. There's good focus and there's bad focus.

 

When I was a lot younger and still starting out/going to school, I was dating a man 8 years older than me and more established. I wanted all the things he had etc. Perhaps I was dating a projection of the type of 'me' I wanted to be when I grew up/got older. I hyperfocused on a lot of things because... deep down, I really was insecure about myself. I kept going on and on and on about what x, y, z, should be and nitpicked the relationship too. Looking back I must have been quite difficult to be around with (all that overanalysis). I have been accused of being an 'overthinker' or my favourite, an 'interrogator'. I'm so over all that now and it's all a mindless blur. What I needed to grow into was more direction in my life - less talking, more doing.

 

I'm a big believer of boundaries but I also no longer expect someone to behave a certain way towards me if I don't earn it or if I don't pull my own weight or bring my share to the table, so to speak. I hope you feel comfortable with your direction too and pursue your goals. Focus on the real stuff, practice more faith in each other, nurture a growing trust that builds naturally over time with nothing forced or fabricated. Be genuine and yourself without trying so hard and don't be afraid of change.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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She doesn't love you in the way you deserve to be loved. It does not have anything to do with your value as a person. It is all about how capable she is of forming a relationship and that is not something that you should even begin to try to "prove" to her. Maybe some day she will get to a point in her therapy and illness to be able to feel for someone but its not here, not now, not you.

 

If you want to deal with someone who feels middling towards you - you are a pleasant person to pass the time with but speaks about love in the past tense, then go ahead. But you will be miserable.

 

I dated someone who talked about a great love - in the past. Who he held on a pedestal. I felt like chopped liver.

 

I really do think that its a good time to learn about boundaries and how you wish to be treated. You cannot heal someone with deep seated issues. It just is not practical or possible. Yes, you enable her and you are relinquishing your boundaries if someone is clear that they don't "love" love you and you stay. Its heartbreaking.

This was a great response. Thank you.

She always talks about her capabilities within the realm of emotions and giving. And it feels honest; seems like she can’t give from a full place like she used to, but does desire to. However it comes at a cost of her mental health. She had the whole mad love thing before and she even said it was too much for her; it was a tumultuous relationship very much so and he had issues - she suspected he was a closet homosexual and he was a alcoholic.

The whole love thing.. This was before she had an actual job and was only going to school. Says she couldn’t do that now because her focuses are different.

 

I think timing is a key part of life. In every realm. And it’s clear to see we met each other at a difficult time for her to fully experience what she wants. And like you said, I don’t think it’s because I lack value. She has stated many times I’m not the issue. I however, always have trouble believing lines like those. But she has also stated she doesn’t want anyone else, but knows something is shut down in her.

 

Maybe you’re right. If I continue down this path with her, I will be miserable. Because it is sad for me to witness someone who thinks love is a past tense. When in reality it’s not to be feared and is right here. I think she looks at love like it will hurt (the losing of it) rather than the healing.

 

And I will take a look at boundaries further and implement them in a firmer manner.

 

 

Yes, please focus more on yourself. I like the part you wrote in response to me. Focus on you. She also seems emotionally burnt out and tired. You may be draining an already low/stressed person.

 

If you're not able to pull your weight and develop your career in tandem with hers, I think you're running the risk of depending on her not just emotionally but financially. Shift the balance and start feeling more confident about yourself and where you're going with your life. I used the word 'nitpick' earlier. I think you just have too much brain space awarded to this relationship and the outcome isn't looking too good. There's good focus and there's bad focus.

 

I'm a big believer of boundaries but I also no longer expect someone to behave a certain way towards me if I don't earn it or if I don't pull my own weight or bring my share to the table, so to speak. I hope you feel comfortable with your direction too and pursue your goals. Focus on the real stuff, practice more faith in each other, nurture a growing trust that builds naturally over time with nothing forced or fabricated. Be genuine and yourself without trying so hard and don't be afraid of change.

 

Yes I am focusing on me. I don’t think I’ve never not. But there have been some parts where a lot of my energies have been on the relationship. And this hasn’t been good. So it makes me more reactive than I should be and also just creates too much focus on some things which need none. But I don’t believe it’s only me.

I do have a tendency of becoming very consumed with women whom I date. I don’t know why.

 

She has stated before that she feels emotionally burnt out and tired. Not from me, but just from life. I don’t think I drain her energy at all. As any time we spend time together I know I’m increasing hers. I think life is just tiring for her. But her past has drained her. It’s all quite confusing and a lot.

 

I do feel confident in my directions. There are some uncertainties for sure, but I do have faith. I think I need to learn this within the relationship though. And just trust everything will be fine. Take all the pressure and expectations off.

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I think faith is a good word. To be very frank with you, it doesn't sound like she has a problem. I'm going to come at this with a different perspective because the more you speak about her the less and less of an issue the both of you seem to have.

 

She's cautious and intelligent enough to know that you're worth being with and that life throws curveballs (relationships are not a must). You may be misunderstanding her wording about not being motivated to ever be with someone else if this relationship ends. You should check in with each other more often (when time permits) and don't overanalyze or get insecure. My husband knows I'm not interested in ever marrying again and at my age a relationship is the last thing on my mind. In fact it wasn't even that important when we met. Being a very social and loving person, he was also at first put off by this and thought there must be something he was doing wrong or something wrong with me. I just explained it patiently and repeated it and it took a couple of years for him to 'get it' that romantic relationships are viewed differently by different people. She's got other things going on in her life that she needs to take care of. Respect that overall and respect that of her, don't diminish or pity her opinion or hang onto doom and gloom because her viewpoints are different from yours.

 

She isn't interested in tumultuous relationships and she may not be as whimsical or be as willing to fly by the seat of her pants as others. She doesn't strike me as the type to wax poetic or fall out of line or be easily moved either. Age and experience will temper a lot of enthusiasm. If you're holding each other to different standards or having unrealistic expectations about your enthusiasm for each other, I think being more down to earth might help.

 

I really don't see any issues with your relationship other than your differing viewpoints and your sensitivity to her lack of exuberant enthusiasm. It's ok to have expectations but I think it's also important to see what's actually before you and don't undermine each other. You shouldn't be increasing anyone's energy or feeling like you have to overextend yourself. My husband is naturally very intense and can be very serious about a lot of matters. I'm a complete goof and am always joking in the relationship. I do see his moods lighten up quite a lot when he's around me but I definitely don't take it upon myself to make him feel better. I only know that his personality is intense. I also have no problem telling him to snap out of it and eat something if he's grumpy. It goes both ways and he guides me back to my better self when I'm too blind to see things (he's quick on that). We support each other that way. Take everything in stride and remember that you're both a team in this.

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What bothers me about what you describe is that this woman isn't making any effort to come out of her shell, she is just leaning back and letting you do all of the emotional work in the relationship. This isn't healthy for either of you, and the stage has been set for this to continue indefinitely.

 

OP at the end of the day, she might be the nicest person in the world, but she doesn't love you and will always be holding part of herself back from committing fully to your relationship. You will always feel like you are the one chasing and doing the heavy lifting, figuratively speaking. You deserve to have a relationship that is not just reciprocal financially, but also emotionally.

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I think faith is a good word. To be very frank with you, it doesn't sound like she has a problem. I'm going to come at this with a different perspective because the more you speak about her the less and less of an issue the both of you seem to have.

You don’t believe her saying she feels emotionally gutted or broken is a problem?

 

She's cautious and intelligent enough to know that you're worth being with and that life throws curveballs (relationships are not a must). You may be misunderstanding her wording about not being motivated to ever be with someone else if this relationship ends. You should check in with each other more often (when time permits) and don't overanalyze or get insecure. My husband knows I'm not interested in ever marrying again and at my age a relationship is the last thing on my mind. In fact it wasn't even that important when we met. Being a very social and loving person, he was also at first put off by this and thought there must be something he was doing wrong or something wrong with me. I just explained it patiently and repeated it and it took a couple of years for him to 'get it' that romantic relationships are viewed differently by different people. She's got other things going on in her life that she needs to take care of. Respect that overall and respect that of her, don't diminish or pity her opinion or hang onto doom and gloom because her viewpoints are different from yours.

She is really smart and does recognize I am a great man. This is what she has stated multiple amounts of time. And she’s very cautious; she thinks that my goodness isn’t always authentic, that it will come to an end at some point, as this is what she is used to.

 

Well she has said she doesn’t want anyone else. Even if the relationship ended. And if she did get in to something, somewhere around 7 months she would start to experience the same issue she is with me - her damages and past issues arising. She experienced the same in her last as well.

 

I don’t hang on to doom and gloom necessarily. I think what makes me gloomy is when she’s saying things like she will never experience love again due to brokenness, or she can’t have both a career and relationship, or she sometimes feels she needs toxicity, or the questioning of things so much where we can’t even connect emotionally or physically.

 

I respect that she has other things going on. I always encourage it. I don’t demand more time with her or act needy in that sense.

 

 

She isn't interested in tumultuous relationships and she may not be as whimsical or be as willing to fly by the seat of her pants as others. She doesn't strike me as the type to wax poetic or fall out of line or be easily moved either. Age and experience will temper a lot of enthusiasm. If you're holding each other to different standards or having unrealistic expectations about your enthusiasm for each other, I think being more down to earth might help.

I think being more down to earth is a good suggestion. I’m very ardent in my views of togetherness and relationship. I think we’re cut from a different cloth in this sense. And I agree that her enthusiasm for things has been diminished due to partial jadedness. So what the standard I hold of her then?

 

I really don't see any issues with your relationship other than your differing viewpoints and your sensitivity to her lack of exuberant enthusiasm. It's ok to have expectations but I think it's also important to see what's actually before you and don't undermine each other.

It often feels as though she is undermining us with her constant worries or distance she creates. Her inability to be able to come back together and connect.

I am being sensitive toward her lack of enthusiasm for sure. But how could I not be if I’m always the one expected to initiate a kiss/hug? And if I don’t do that, she becomes aware of it, but doesn’t do any actionable things to put herself forward when I don’t..

 

You shouldn't be increasing anyone's energy or feeling like you have to overextend yourself. My husband is naturally very intense and can be very serious about a lot of matters.

She always tells me I have an intensity. And this makes her feel like it takes time to warm up and relax. I have very penetrating energy. She says I’m not like most men she’s dated. Generally goes for effeminate men because she can relax easily, however sexual attraction is usually blunted. But with me because I’m quite masculine, she can’t so easily relax, but sexual attraction is very high.

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What bothers me about what you describe is that this woman isn't making any effort to come out of her shell, she is just leaning back and letting you do all of the emotional work in the relationship. This isn't healthy for either of you, and the stage has been set for this to continue indefinitely.

 

OP at the end of the day, she might be the nicest person in the world, but she doesn't love you and will always be holding part of herself back from committing fully to your relationship. You will always feel like you are the one chasing and doing the heavy lifting, figuratively speaking. You deserve to have a relationship that is not just reciprocal financially, but also emotionally.

You’re totally correct in the idea of me being the one to hold up the emotional aspect.

But there might be a way for her to put in more of her emotional self and for me to retreat a bit, right? Just by pursuing other interests of mine?

 

She doesn’t love me yet. Everyone falls at different times. I came in to the relationship shop clean of any past hurts or damage. She came in to it still licking her wounds from a past relationship; which she did communicate.

 

The thing which may be true.. is she might just be the type to always hold back parts of herself within intimacy and I will always be able to sense this as it won’t be completely free and playful.

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But there might be a way for her to put in more of her emotional self and for me to retreat a bit, right? Just by pursuing other interests of mine?

 

This is what they call a "faint hope clause"... the thing that people grab onto in the faint hope that maybe, just maybe, if they wait long enough the other person will change.

 

Staying with someone for their "potential" always ends up in disappointment and frustration... just look at the 1000's of posts of others on here that have been with emotionally unavailable people.

 

The reality is probably not OP. She is emotionally unavailable, has told you this is who she is, and showed you who she is as well, and expects you to accept her as is.

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I see what you mean. I don't think either of you are compatible if you're easily perturbed by her. Sorry to say that. If you have such a problem with her personality, simply end the relationship and move on. There's really no point in finding constant fault with your partner. I don't think she's emotionally unavailable. She's shown you and spoken about your future together and indicated in her actions that she's into you. I think you're just way too sensitive and insecure about the relationship; it goes both ways (or can be seen in different ways). I don't live your reality so it's difficult for anyone, including me, to pass judgment. My personality with yours? We definitely wouldn't get along very well for example. I'd be walking on eggshells with everything I say because you're apt to misconstrue or take things too personally. I don't know how bad your bad days with her are. I can't hear the tone in her voice if she's feeling insecure (everyone has bad days). I'm just not one to make a big deal of a lot of things.

 

I think what you said about the being free and playful might be right but I don't see why you can't be free and playful and let her be exactly as she is. It's a lot of pressure and I'd personally find you unbearable to be around (I mean this in the most not mean way ever - just being honest). You're clearly unhappy. No one would be happy with an unhappy person or knowing their partner is expecting more. Maybe this is you venting because you don't have much clear communication with your partner. I think being honest and upfront is important. Again, if you find her intolerable and disturbing, end the relationship and move on. Don't hold this inside you or let it fester. It's a terrible way to live.

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I'm going to try to take a simple approach here.

 

The first few months with someone—the first year, let's say—is when we build a foundation. Your foundation, by the sound of it, is heavily built on a number of feelings that many people do not, in a vacuum, describe as what they want from romance: edginess, headiness, doubts. You have questioned things with her—literally, in talks, to say nothing of your own head—at a pitch and frequency that surpasses those in ten year marriages. That's not going to go away by building on it, but will just become more cemented and entrenched.

 

This is, in short, a pretty clear portrait of what incompatibility looks and feels like.

 

Think of it like this. She meets a man, starts dating. She is with that man exactly as she is with you: saying x, doing y. How does he respond to all that? With a sweet sigh of calm where you hyperventilate, with a shrug where you shudder. His calm calms her. Her calm calms him. That is their foundation for opening up to one another. That is what compatibility looks like: simple thing, mysteriously formed.

 

Rose has offered a lot of wisdom, a wonderful way to approach this. But I also think what she is describing is the way my straw person man would approach this—because that is just who he is, how he operates, not a state of being he has to try on to feel calm instead of hyperventilating, to train himself how to shrug at stimuli that makes him shudder.

 

Just as you'd like her to be, you know, just a touch different than how she is, I'd imagine that she'd like you to be a touch different than how you are. Then you both could just chill, enjoying all the goodness without the static edge. Nice story, and many people spend years inside such dynamics, less comforted by the other than by the sense that once x and y falls into place comfort will be attained.

 

I don't think it ever works that way. You don't meet a lot of people who, in year two or three, describe how an initial foundation of disharmony evolved into harmony.

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This is what they call a "faint hope clause"... the thing that people grab onto in the faint hope that maybe, just maybe, if they wait long enough the other person will change.

 

Staying with someone for their "potential" always ends up in disappointment and frustration... just look at the 1000's of posts of others on here that have been with emotionally unavailable people.

 

The reality is probably not OP. She is emotionally unavailable, has told you this is who she is, and showed you who she is as well, and expects you to accept her as is.

I see what you’re saying.

 

I’m not with her based on potential. We share a hell of a lot together. However there are simply some issues she’s attempting to get through. But she isn’t fully available.. she said she was like 45%-50% when I met her, and now she’s about 65%. So it’s improvement but still lacking to the level she would ideally like.

 

I think if I were to give up, I would be letting go of a really good thing based on a couple of ideal circumstances. Just don’t want to let it go, unless she stated she would never get better or didn’t desire to.

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Rose has offered a lot of wisdom, a wonderful way to approach this. But I also think what she is describing is the way my straw person man would approach this—because that is just who he is, how he operates, not a state of being he has to try on to feel calm instead of hyperventilating, to train himself how to shrug at stimuli that makes him shudder.

 

This is actually quite rude and unnecessary. You're discrediting my opinions and undercutting them. Please stop referencing me in an effort to push your own ideas forward.

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This is actually quite rude and unnecessary. You're discrediting my opinions and undercutting them. Please stop referencing me in an effort to push your own ideas forward.

 

I'm sorry if that came across as rude. Truly wasn't meant that way. I adore everything you're saying, per usual, and agree with it, universally, as an approach to connecting. It seems we were both hitting the incompatibility button at the same moment, which I reached for after reading OP's response to you.

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I'm going to try to take a simple approach here.

 

The first few months with someone—the first year, let's say—is when we build a foundation. Your foundation, by the sound of it, is heavily built on a number of feelings that many people do not, in a vacuum, describe as what they want from romance: edginess, headiness, doubts. You have questioned things with her—literally, in talks, to say nothing of your own head—at a pitch and frequency that surpasses those in ten year marriages. That's not going to go away by building on it, but will just become more cemented and entrenched.

 

This is, in short, a pretty clear portrait of what incompatibility looks and feels like.

 

Think of it like this. She meets a man, starts dating. She is with that man exactly as she is with you: saying x, doing y. How does he respond to all that? With a sweet sigh of calm where you hyperventilate, with a shrug where you shudder. His calm calms her. Her calm calms him. That is their foundation for opening up to one another. That is what compatibility looks like: simple thing, mysteriously formed.

 

Rose has offered a lot of wisdom, a wonderful way to approach this. But I also think what she is describing is the way my straw person man would approach this—because that is just who he is, how he operates, not a state of being he has to try on to feel calm instead of hyperventilating, to train himself how to shrug at stimuli that makes him shudder.

 

Just as you'd like her to be, you know, just a touch different than how she is, I'd imagine that she'd like you to be a touch different than how you are. Then you both could just chill, enjoying all the goodness without the static edge. Nice story, and many people spend years inside such dynamics, less comforted by the other than by the sense that once x and y falls into place comfort will be attained.

 

I don't think it ever works that way. You don't meet a lot of people who, in year two or three, describe how an initial foundation of disharmony evolved into harmony.

Wow. You’re completely correct. It’s me who is the issue; partially of course, as it always takes two.

 

She’s opening up and showing me who she is and I’m getting panicked by what I see and hear and this is creating problems.

I’m not setting the right boundaries FOR ME. So in turn she’s wreaking havoc and spilling her thoughts because I’ve allowed it which makes me uneasy.

She tells me things and I get perturbed about it, hyperventilate, act sensitive, chase her and then repeat.

She mentioned her ex did the same in some ways, same issues. They had a similar foundation.

 

I think the great thing about the above sentiment is that with enough self excavation and mindfulness I will be able to shift my behaviour.

Because we do have many many things working for us. But I do believe my sensitivity and slight neediness causes issues which put her off.

But there are parts of her which need work as well. It takes two.

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I see what you mean. I don't think either of you are compatible if you're easily perturbed by her. Sorry to say that. If you have such a problem with her personality, simply end the relationship and move on. There's really no point in finding constant fault with your partner. I don't think she's emotionally unavailable. She's shown you and spoken about your future together and indicated in her actions that she's into you. I think you're just way too sensitive and insecure about the relationship; it goes both ways (or can be seen in different ways). I don't live your reality so it's difficult for anyone, including me, to pass judgment. My personality with yours? We definitely wouldn't get along very well for example. I'd be walking on eggshells with everything I say because you're apt to misconstrue or take things too personally. I don't know how bad your bad days with her are. I can't hear the tone in her voice if she's feeling insecure (everyone has bad days). I'm just not one to make a big deal of a lot of things.

 

I think what you said about the being free and playful might be right but I don't see why you can't be free and playful and let her be exactly as she is. It's a lot of pressure and I'd personally find you unbearable to be around (I mean this in the most not mean way ever - just being honest). You're clearly unhappy. No one would be happy with an unhappy person or knowing their partner is expecting more. Maybe this is you venting because you don't have much clear communication with your partner. I think being honest and upfront is important. Again, if you find her intolerable and disturbing, end the relationship and move on. Don't hold this inside you or let it fester. It's a terrible way to live.

I think there is a lot of truth in here.

 

I’m perturbed by her voicing certain uncertainties and beliefs she has toward relationships and is. Or her past.

I do think I’m insecure. However it does matter if your partner is making you feel insecure or secure. And she’s done more of the former.

 

I do think I need to practice being free and playful without some reciprocity if something specific.

We do have communication. But she will often communicate about her concerns or worries. Rather than all the aspects she really likes. Those get slotted in while she’s talking about her worries. But the conversation is spawned through her being very cold and distant.

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I’m not with her based on potential. We share a hell of a lot together. However there are simply some issues she’s attempting to get through. But she isn’t fully available.. she said she was like 45%-50% when I met her, and now she’s about 65%. So it’s improvement but still lacking to the level she would ideally like.

 

I totally understand not wanting to let something go—and whether you do, or don't, is going to be a choice you make when it's the right choice for you.

 

But what you described above is what an investment in potential looks like, right down to the percentages. It was "okay" when she was at 45, is "better" now that she's at 65. So the idea, I guess, is that once the "attempt" to get through the issues is actualized, the availability quotient is raised to—to what? 85? 99? What's the number you need to be comfortable?

 

Think about all that for a moment. Were you talking about starting a company, it would make sense. You take some hits and take on some debt in the early days, to see if you can grow. But with a person? It's like saying they are one half or two thirds what you want and need. The rub of that can be addressed in how "better" (at 65 percent) is actually not quite better than "okay" (45 percent). Because odds are you are a bit edgier today than you were, I don't know, five months ago, so as things get "better" you are feeling a little worse for the wear. Five months ago you were not posting about it because you were happier in it, I'm guessing.

 

Everyone has issues, and everyone, in one way or another, spends their entire life attempting to sort through them. The people we work well with in romance are often people who, thanks to some voodoo no one can package, can work through their issues alongside us, as we work through ours alongside them, without a lot of friction and without the sense that those issues are at all impediments to the connection.

 

You are thinking now of ways you can change, fulfill more of your potential: mindfulness, self evacuation, behavioral shifts. Great. Good stuff, for you, regardless of what happens here. My advice, right now, is to remember that: that there is no negative outcome to wherever this goes. That way you drop the percentage game—the potential game—and inhabit what is actual about all connections: it might not work, and that is okay.

 

It sounds odd, but there can be real comfort in that. Knowing it's okay, however it goes, is what allows you to be in it, inhaling and exhaling as yourself rather than hyperventilating. And if the hyperventilating doesn't abate? Great sign that you can't be yourself alongside another.

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I totally understand not wanting to let something go—and whether you do, or don't, is going to be a choice you make when it's the right choice for you.

 

But what you described above is what an investment in potential looks like, right down to the percentages. It was "okay" when she was at 45, is "better" now that she's at 65. So the idea, I guess, is that once the "attempt" to get through the issues is actualized, the availability quotient is raised to—to what? 85? 99? What's the number you need to be comfortable?

I don’t think letting it go right now is the best. Because what we have is substantial. I know I would regret it. And miss her very much. And I would like to see what she does in the coming months since she has taken some steps towards seeing a counsellor.. if that sticks. But like you said, I’ll know when it’s right if that time comes.

 

The number would be more around 80-85 to be good, in my mind. It’s more-so hoping she will rid those thoughts of feeling like she won’t love again or has that space. It’s just odd to me.

 

 

Because odds are you are a bit edgier today than you were, I don't know, five months ago, so as things get "better" you are feeling a little worse for the wear. Five months ago you were not posting about it because you were happier in it, I'm guessing.

I don’t know if I’m edgier. I think I’m less hopeful. Things have been easier in some regards, but her regression does surprise and baffle me too.

Five months ago I did post about our relationship. Just not to this site. She’s always been all over the place. So I don’t know if that’s I’ll ever change. Or if I want to live like that.

But I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a shrug it off kind of place with her. This is what I need to focus on, as per our recent messages.

 

Everyone has issues, and everyone, in one way or another, spends their entire life attempting to sort through them. The people we work well with in romance are often people who, thanks to some voodoo no one can package, can work through their issues alongside us, as we work through ours alongside them, without a lot of friction and without the sense that those issues are at all impediments to the connection.

I don’t mind her working through her stuff with me. And me her. The only issue I have is when she doubts what we have.

She said she often feels guilty because she can’t give to me in the manner I give to her. And she can’t give because she feels she can’t go that deep ever again because of her brokenness. But I’ve never once asked her for more than she has given.

She often feels guilty because of how well I treat her and she recognizes how wounded or how damaged she has become.

 

You are thinking now of ways you can change, fulfill more of your potential: mindfulness, self evacuation, behavioral shifts. Great. Good stuff, for you, regardless of what happens here. My advice, right now, is to remember that: that there is no negative outcome to wherever this goes. That way you drop the percentage game—the potential game—and inhabit what is actual about all connections: it might not work, and that is okay.

 

It sounds odd, but there can be real comfort in that. Knowing it's okay, however it goes, is what allows you to be in it, inhaling and exhaling as yourself rather than hyperventilating. And if the hyperventilating doesn't abate? Great sign that you can't be yourself alongside another.

Well said.

 

So what would your advice be when she does start vocalizing her doubts or saying her uncertainties about us?

Just shrug it off and move forward?

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Neutral. "oh", etc. Just let her vent and do not try to fix or defend anything. But don't shrug it off. Take mental notes and watch the patterns. At her age, what you see is what you get. It will only get worse, unfortunately or keep cycling and wear you down. Use the 6 mos away from her to think things over.

when she does start vocalizing her doubts or saying her uncertainties about us?
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