Can we make it work despite our toxic history?

Can we make it work despite our toxic history?

relationships are like glass

Last weekend I ended things with my boyfriend of around 15 months. We’ve broken up a lot but when we weren’t fighting, it was one of my happiest relationships. He’s 24 and I’m 27, the sex has always been great, and we could talk for hours. Our main issues: I like going out drinking and have a lot of guy friends, which he doesn’t like. He prefers to spend the majority of his weekends sleeping, his friends are immature and smoke a lot of pot, he has major anger issues and is ridiculously arrogant.

The other red flag was that I like going on dates but throughout the whole relationship we went on two proper dates. He would promise we’d go on a date or would buy me flowers or something sweet and then after a month or two nothing would happen, I’d go out drinking with my guy friends (a kind of passive-aggressive cycle). We’d argue about this and break-up every month or so. Towards the end of last year I thought if I just stopped socialising with other men it would fix everything. But nothing really changed on his end. So anyway, we went off on holiday, had a huge blow-up over some trivial reason and I broke it off.

Normally he would break it off and we end up reconciling. This time, I refused to speak to him, but now I feel we both have our issues and flaws and if I saw him right now I would go back in an instant. I know love is addictive. And silly as it sounds I need dates, maturity and stability and someone who can express love and appreciation. Some people are wired differently – is this something that can change? And with all the constant drama and his absence I’m so mixed up emotionally, it’s so hard to think straight. If we do get back together, what are the chances it could work out with the ‘toxic’ history we have? Confused

Short answer? Reading your letter, I’m not sure you guys could make this work long-term. Firstly, because breaking up and making up every MONTH is toxic (seriously – how do you deal with that emotional fecking rollercoaster?) and secondly, you’re very different people. Good sex and conversation is great and all, but it’s not the whole package.

I haven’t read it, but I often hear about a book called The 5 Love Languages which is all about the different ways we express and interpret love. Knowing yours and your partner’s ‘love language’ is supposed to foster more understanding between you. It may go some way towards explaining his anti-date thing, but it might not make you any more inclined to grit your teeth and accept it.

I speak from experience, having dated someone who wasn’t into taking me on dates (and don’t get me started about the flowers he never bought me!). It does grind you down, and I only realised quite how much years later after meeting my now-husband (who is super romantic). I’m the kind of gal who needs that affirmation and adoration and I suspect you’re the same. That’s okay, but the fact that it doesn’t come naturally to your guy does, as you say, come down to how he’s ‘wired’ – sadly, a fundamental incompatibility between you that probably won’t change.

I know you want hope and much as I wish I could give it to you, I do feel there’s more wrong than right between the two of you. Also, I can’t help thinking this last break-up is a bit of a blessing and maybe a sign for you to start afresh. Probably not what you want to hear, but something to sit with and think about anyhow. All the very best.

Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


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