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Not sure if my fears are simply commitment fears or more valid


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So I've been in a relationship with a girl for nearly 5 months. I'm a 29 years old and this is my first serious relationship.

To give some context until age 23 I used to be a hopeless romantic. Since then however I'v focussed on getting control of my life and I'm in a far better place, mentally, physically, financially and personally.

I'm very clear on my goals, what I want out of life, and I'd like to believe mature enough to recognise the insecurities from the past when I have them.

 

So, I started to see this girl from a conservative family and she still lives at home being from such a culture (my family is conservative as well, but I'm independently minded). When we met the first date was a hike which was very unusual to dates I'd been on, but something that was immensely impressive to me.

Thereafter we've been getting very close and as rose eyed glasses do, felt like we were soulmates.

From a physical perspective she doesn't want to have sex before marriage, (I do), but we've done a lot outside of the actual act itself.

From a personal perspective we have very common values - family, adventure, resilience and not letting problems take us down. I think we both regard service to others as an important part of our relationship, which is quite great.

 

From a lot of perspectives I feel there are a huge number of positives that make the relationship great. But lately I'm noticing some elements that are bothering me. I'm going to detail them below, but will add - I'm not sure if this is being fair, or me struggling to commit.

1. We disagree to a degree on the future life - I prefer to move in before marriage to see what its like living together - she doesn't think we should as if there are issues we should be working on them together. To me its about assessing the degree of the problems and how easy is it to work through.

2. I'm more keen on kids than she is, but I'd like to be able to move around the world - she (being an educator) thinks its a bad idea and we should stay in one place.

3. When we disagree, its a bit cold for a day, but eventually we come around and acknowledge we care about each other, but not sure we've reached a consensus. Its as though we think spending time together solves these problems, but that's not the case.

4. I sometimes wonder if she is a bit naive - she's not stayed by herself for a long period of time - so sometimes her views about household life feel a bit too romantic (our love and commitment to work together decides everything and we focus on making things work). Also with money, she thinks we shouldn't be focussing on counting pennies - and that we are going to share it all together.

5. Her family - they seem cool with our relationship on the surface, but whenever we plan trips together, her view gets changed by them. The changes themselves haven't bothered me, but it worries me that her family can influence her easily. Sometimes the questions they ask suggest to me a bit of them fishing for information, but she doesn't seem to realise that the questions can be inappropriate.

6. Her dad had come around to my place to help me with some DIY work, and it was the first time he'd been to my place. He was quite impressed by it, and started to ask when I bought the house, if it was with cash or mortgage, as though to get an idea of what I paid for the house. That really unnerved me and while I dodged the question, it is a red flag to me. I come from a pretty well off family, but have always been respectful of the fact that its my families' money. My worry is that people may get into a relationship with me for the wealth and security. So while I don't believe that is the case for her, it may be the case for her family being in favour of this relationship.

7. I don't want to end up with a divorce, or rushing into marriage due to wanting to have sex, or because she is a bit naive, and her family may influence it. That too is part of the reason for wanting to stay together.

 

I would prefer if she moved out and lived independently of her family for a while before we decide to get married.

I think what I'm looking to understand is - are the above valid - or am I just being insecure about the relationship. I do bear in mind its my first serious relationship, so looking for someone to guide if these are common concerns, or perhaps I need a few more relationships before I can decide what I want.

 

I do know its easy to decide for me what I want, but I also acknowledge that it could be different when one is in a relationship, and that plans can change.

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Sorry to hear that. 20 weeks is a good time to observe all these fundamental incompatibilities.

 

You enjoy each other on dating and surface levels, but your vision of the future is not in line with hers and your values are markedly different.

 

If you want premarital sex, you're with the wrong person. If you want a bunch of kids and traveling the world, you're with the wrong person.

 

Even at just 20 weeks there's too much debating and arguments mostly surrounding these incompatibilities.

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Wiseman makes some great points.

 

I will add that these concerns probably won't minimize with time. its usually the opposite... things we used to tolerate, become major annoyances.

 

Does she ever talk about living on her own? Or is this something you want the woman you marry to do?

 

I also come from a fairly conservative family and all the women were expected to live at home until marriage. I left after college but! I will tell you it took a lot of independence and will. Everyone seemed to be against the idea of me living on my own. like it was so crazy. I tell you this because had I not really wanted that for myself, I would have caved to the family pressure. So if you're saying you want this, she may try but if the family pushed back.... its a good example of what you can expect, clearance from the family on decisions ...

 

I have found in my own life, its easier to walk away early on based on facts, rather than stay based on hopes.

 

Also the premarital sex.... this is a really personal decision. How important sex is to you. There's nothing wrong with wanting to wait. There's also nothing wrong with not wanting to wait. What's important is being in agreement with it. And its not a sacrifice for one of the people. Otherwise that's a huge problem

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Imo, opposite views on premarital sex, cohabiting before marriage, when to have children and moving around the world vs staying in one place are all too fundamental to settle. In essence you have different life values regarding multiple issues and long-term goals and that's highly unlikely to lead to a harmonious relationship down the road. You wrote that she comes from a very conservative culture. The fact that as a man you get to have the luxury to be "independently minded" doesn't mean that she can afford the same luxury without major hassle. The trouble with conservative cultures are the double standards when it comes men and women. If you were to have premarital sex and then decided to leave her, you would get to ride into the sunset while she could face social stigma. Of course rushing into marriage due to wanting to have sex is NOT the answer. Finding a woman who has the luxury to be "independently minded" when it comes to issues surrounding sex and who wants the same things in life as you is the answer. So yes, it sounds like you need a few more relationships before you can decide what you want. Neither of you should be required to sacrifice your values.

 

P.S. Moving children around the world sounds selfish. Children need stability. Changing schools and friends is a severe disruption of their life yet it sounds like you view it in a very cavalier manner. You may be keen on kids but it doesn't sound like you have thought out properly about how your actions can affect their life once you have them.

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Having been with men with different libidos than mine, I can say it's absolutely hellish. For me, marrying someone without knowing if we match sexually is something I'd never do.

 

Seeing how things are presently, she will be seeking her parents input on everything, and they might be overly involved in your business, while you seethe in resentment that you're forever stuck in close proximity to them with a childish partner.

 

I think your concerns are valid.

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I got through the first two on your list and they are all deal breakers. If your partner isn't on board with any of that it's never going to work, ever. Been with my guy for 30 years, and I have to say if we didn't have the same mind set, goals, interests, etc, we wouldn't be together today. When we first started seeing each other I told him how I felt about marriage and kids (No to both BTW), let him decide before we continued. I didn't leave it months later. It's different if you are very young and not thinking that far off into the future, but you are almost 30. It's very important to discuss, expectations, and values during the first 6 dates at least.

 

You need to take those rose coloured glasses off again. and stop putting them on.

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You have very valid and well articulated concerns. These aren't fears. This list is a list of serious, major fundamental differences and learning about those is the reason we date.

 

The superficial stuff like same sense of humor, sharing some hobbies or interests do not make for a good or lasting marriage, although they do make that early on dating fun. Having the same life goals and vision is what makes for a good partner in marriage and unfortunately, these are the very things you don't share or see eye to eye on.

 

In addition to wanting the same lifestyle and having same goals/vision for how you want to live your life, if you want kids and she is ambivalent about it, just walk away. Biggest deal breaker of them all.

 

Basically, if you want to travel the world, don't marry a homebody. If you are independent minded, don't marry a dependent personality. If you want a woman who knows how to live on her own (super valid point) then don't even bother dating someone who is not only living with her parents, but is so traditional that she will only move into husband's home. If you believe in sex before marriage, then seek someone who is the same.

 

You say that you share the same values and then proceed with a long list that shows you are complete opposites when it comes to those core values.

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I got through the first two on your list and they are all deal breakers. If your partner isn't on board with any of that it's never going to work, ever. Been with my guy for 30 years, and I have to say if we didn't have the same mind set, goals, interests, etc, we wouldn't be together today. When we first started seeing each other I told him how I felt about marriage and kids (No to both BTW), let him decide before we continued. I didn't leave it months later. It's different if you are very young and not thinking that far off into the future, but you are almost 30. It's very important to discuss, expectations, and values during the first 6 dates at least.

 

You need to take those rose coloured glasses off again. and stop putting them on.

 

I agree and think it's worth trying to communicate again about these issues. I don't think sexual compatibility has that much to do with actually having sex before marriage as it does have to do with desire, chemistry, etc. If you have particular fetishes or strong preferences when it comes to sex than it might matter.

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If you've communicated about these things and she still doesn't seem to understand or agree, I think you have fundamental issues or differences regarding life stage. Let it go if it doesn't feel right. The more you date or the older you get you'll see this more often as people live longer or aren't at the same life stage as you or don't have similar experiences.

 

Don't be too discouraged.

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So, I've spoken to her about the above in general. Essentially the culture we come from is quite backwards and would see her living with me adversely and she is concerned about that. She has however said she is willing to spend a month or more with us living together somewhere to see what its like to live together.

 

Regarding sex before marriage - I'd be her first and she wants to be sure about us, before we have sex. She's mentioned a few times in the heat of the moment how she could go all the way, but has said - she would only consider it after at least engagement. That way, we are sure about us and we're committed to each other. I understand where she's coming from in that regard.

 

What Clio said is particularly relevant - because her view is exactly the same about kids and moving. It does seem I'm a bit cavalier and she believes I need to think it out. To me I was a child that moved around, and looked forward to it so for me stability wasn't great. But being an educator she has seen firsthand how instability has impacted children and their upbringing and she wouldn't want to do that to them.

 

Also I have a lot of goals that are taking up my time - and she wants to be sure that I will be pulling my weight, if we have kids. She doesn't want to be a homebody left to manage kids if I'm off on my goals, so in a way she's suggested that if we have kids - the children need to be our priority over everything else. If we don't agree on that - then it will be impossible to raise children together.

 

She has been on the fence - she's wanted to move out and be independent of her family (they are putting down a mortgage on a flat for her to move into - which has been delayed by the Rona). However she seems conflicted as she keeps saying her family have sacrificed a lot for her and hence she feels bad abandoning them. We've obviously discussed its not abandonment - but its a point that exists.

 

I think more than the above, I guess my biggest worry is if eventually actions will match words. When we met (on the first few dates) - we were on the same page about her living independently, travelling and to a degree on kids.

 

What has worried me more than anything else however is that - originally we had plans to move out of country and live abroad for a few months - but when her family pointed out it means her staying with someone overseas, she started to back out of the idea. Similarly we had a marathon planned (virtual due to the Rona) and her family were uncomfortable so instead of doing a route I wanted to do, we did one that would make her family feel safe.

 

My worry is that the independent streak - is being impacted by her family - and that unnerves me. When I've met them they are generally nice people, in fact her mum is quite an inspiration. Yet there is something that bothers me about her dad asking about the property value and trying to fish out how well off I am. And at the time, she didn't seem to clock on that the question was inappropriate - and put it down to the fact her dad was just casually asking as he is curious.

 

I feel she is quite naive and can be influenced by her family easily - and that makes me a bit nervous. I think her outer shell is what she discussed and said she wanted but it seems a bit at odds with her inner self - and hence the actions don't eventually match up to her words.

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Set both yourselves free.

 

You may have represented a sort of freedom fantasy for her at first but clearly in the long run she's going to do what's appropriate for her, her family and her beliefs

 

Are more free spirited women hard to find in your area? Don't waste your time trying to fix or change her, her family and centuries of thier traditions.

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Even when I was a teen, I had the intelligence to break up with a Mama's boy after 2 years of dating. I could always see that his mother's influence would always override what was best for he and I. (No, it had nothing to do with normal parenting rules.) And your gf feeling guilty is another symptom of their overbearing ways. They've instigated that dynamic as part of their emotional manipulation.

 

The dynamic you see is how it is. It'll be foolish for you to expect it to change. Expect that her parents opinion will be more important than yours in all of your decisions. Where you spend holidays. What schools your children will attend. Where you live. How you're raising your kids. Does that sound like the life you envisioned?

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1. We disagree to a degree on the future life - I prefer to move in before marriage to see what its like living together - she doesn't think we should as if there are issues we should be working on them together. To me its about assessing the degree of the problems and how easy is it to work through.

2. I'm more keen on kids than she is, but I'd like to be able to move around the world - she (being an educator) thinks its a bad idea and we should stay in one place.

3. When we disagree, its a bit cold for a day, but eventually we come around and acknowledge we care about each other, but not sure we've reached a consensus. Its as though we think spending time together solves these problems, but that's not the case.

4. I sometimes wonder if she is a bit naive - she's not stayed by herself for a long period of time - so sometimes her views about household life feel a bit too romantic (our love and commitment to work together decides everything and we focus on making things work). Also with money, she thinks we shouldn't be focussing on counting pennies - and that we are going to share it all together.

5. Her family - they seem cool with our relationship on the surface, but whenever we plan trips together, her view gets changed by them. The changes themselves haven't bothered me, but it worries me that her family can influence her easily. Sometimes the questions they ask suggest to me a bit of them fishing for information, but she doesn't seem to realise that the questions can be inappropriate.

6. Her dad had come around to my place to help me with some DIY work, and it was the first time he'd been to my place. He was quite impressed by it, and started to ask when I bought the house, if it was with cash or mortgage, as though to get an idea of what I paid for the house. That really unnerved me and while I dodged the question, it is a red flag to me. I come from a pretty well off family, but have always been respectful of the fact that its my families' money. My worry is that people may get into a relationship with me for the wealth and security. So while I don't believe that is the case for her, it may be the case for her family being in favour of this relationship.

7. I don't want to end up with a divorce, or rushing into marriage due to wanting to have sex, or because she is a bit naive, and her family may influence it. That too is part of the reason for wanting to stay together.

 

 

She's a smart girl - i would not want to move in with a guy so he could "try me out."

Do you seriously believe you are going to move around the world? Have you moved around at all so far? Are you really the globetrotter you portray?

How you both view money IS an issue.

Some people ask how much a house is because they want to get an idea of the market.

 

Actually, if two people take marriage seriously, the divorce rate for people who get married and then move in vs people who live together for quite awhile and eventually get marrired

 

I don't think she is damaged or naive - i think with all your excuses you just don't want a serious relationship right now and that's okay. no need to tear her down because of that

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@abitbroken

I've never believed or expressed she's damaged. In a lot of respects she is quite resilient, and a tough person. I think it is quite disrespectful to her - for you to assume based on the above that I'm saying she's damaged. She isn't. We have different views on different matters, and that she loves her family and believes them as being the best. That is admirable - but also not how I operate.

 

And moving in is not related to 'trying her out'. I love her and care about her. But I do want to see what its like to live together, particularly since she seems in some respects 'allergic' to me. She gets asthma attacks after we spend time (in different settings). She recovers once she goes home, (we've tried cleaning out the house, bed sheets, using seperate clothes etc) so I'm a little concerned if its actually something to do with me.

 

I have moved around plenty - 5 times in different places.

 

Re the house - agree - how much a house is worth - is a generic question. To ask how you financed the purchase of the house - is a bit different.

 

@Wiseman2 - My first impression of her was free-spirited but obviously that's changed. To me its a balance of free spirit but respecting where people and their cultures come from as well. She is extremely kind, supportive and really loyal. She is willing to prioritise my needs over her own (and likewise). So in a lot of respects she's very giving and willing to sacrifice things for me.

 

But the issue is that she's the first girl in 8 years, where we both really love each other and for the most part - she's someone I really respect in a lot of ways. And I think she has been more independent in the past - but lately that seems to be fading away - the longer she's stayed at home and with family. I was actually seeing another girl at the beginning (both of them knew I was seeing others) and it was very easy to choose my current girlfriend, because fundamentally she was a good person and our interests are 100% aligned. I think in general our values in terms of improving ourselves, being kind to other people and working on making the world a better place are quite aligned. I'd almost say she is perfect for me (except for the few issues above).

 

In a way the living together before and after marriage - is not the hugest deal breaker - because while I've been accustomed to the idea, if it meant not being with her, I'm happy to let it go. But the children point is one that slightly worries me - because I don't know if it is my thinking about life with kids that is skewed or not.

 

In the end the key is - can she be independent enough of her family - so as Andrina says - we as a couple make the decision (with advice from a lot of people) and not be afraid to upset our families if the decisions don't line up 100% with their expectations.

 

I think in general my worry is the feeling - firstly- love and romance will solve everything - that if we face any challenges we go through them together. Sometimes I'm not sure that's sensible. Plus I feel then a greater sense of pressure from her to get married for our relationship to move forward - she might be happy to move out of the country - if we are married.

And secondly the influence her parents have in her life.

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