So confused about 11-month relationship. Do I move on?

So confused about 11-month relationship. Do I move on?

Hi RC, I’ve written in to you before about my rocky relationship. We’ve been together 11 months now and it got better for a while after we took two weeks out at the end of June, but now it’s hit the skids again. I moved house recently and because we weren’t moving in together what we’re really doing together has been weighing quite heavily on us both I guess. We’ve had a few drunken tiffs in the past few months, nothing I’d call serious, and certainly compared to before. But he feels the tiffs are continuing evidence of why we can’t be together long term and every time they come up he reels off the list of the most recent ones like they’re being tallied against me. There have been other instances where we think very differently about our relationship and our respective pasts. We split the other night, then had an awesome weekend together, great sex, lots of fun etc. But we’re still broken up. We have a large group of friends we’re supposed to be going away with and I’m just so confused about what I want and what he wants. I know he loves me, not that he can say it, in the way that I feel about love – for him ‘I love you’ is ‘I want to spend my life with you’, for me that’s ‘will you marry me’ and ‘I love you’ is ‘I want to see where this goes because you’re awesome’. I need him to want to be with me and admit to himself that he does if that is in fact the case. So do I give him space to do that despite how hard it is or do I accept now that the pain and hurt he’s put me through already is where it should end? It’s just breaking my heart, I want to be with someone who thinks I’m amazing and treats me that way, I wish he would take the risk and give us a real go once and for all, I have said to you before I think it could be truly amazing. Anon

It can be really tough knowing when to move on from something when you get on as friends, share a mutual social life and of course, great sex. But is all that enough if you have different needs, ideas or values? I just don’t think it is. In my humble opinion, I think you have to be on the same page and have the same values for a relationship to really gel. Of course, many of us bumble along in relationships without those things and we negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. Love is a powerful thing and it can inspire us to push on another day and give us hope that things will click into place, and there’ll be harmony at last. But choosing to live that way, choosing to take that path – it’s a bloody hard road. I’ve travelled it and I speak from experience.
Let’s look at the control issues here. We’ve all had drunken tiffs and if they’re harmless most of us sulk for a bit, make up, move on. But he can’t do that. Instead, he looks at these tiffs as a sign that you’re not right for each other long term. That’s a red flag. You’re being tested, and assessed. The clear message is, if you were right for each other, it would be perfect ALL the time. YOU would be perfect all the time. Bollocks.
As for not saying he loves you until he knows he wants to spend his life with you … well, that’s just another form of control, and a way to hold you at arm’s length and withhold the true intimacy he knows you crave. You want the love, the planning of a future, the acknowledgement that he’s happy to be with you. He knows you want it, yet he’s not about to give it up – oh no – until he’s 150 percent SURE you’re right for him and the planets align and there’s a sign from the almighty. When will that be? You don’t know. He doesn’t know. The tests continue. The confusion and mixed messages continue. Limbo continues.
I get the pain you’re in over this but it does boil down to one thing. It doesn’t need to be this hard, hon. It really doesn’t. You deserve a relationship where you’re loved, adored, acknowledged, made to feel special. It’s totally doable. I don’t know what more I can say, but I hope I’ve given you some food for thought.
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).

1 Comment

  1. Lola 9 years ago

    I believe a good way to live your life is by knowing who you are and what you stand for. If you take it from there, Anon, you will see that being trapped in these romantic conundrums won’t lead you far. Your message transmit chaos and confusion, possibly because you feel totally chaotic and confused yourself. RC is right: it doesn’t need to be this hard.
    I just remembered a movie I saw ages ago called “Labyrinth”, a magnificent work of cinematic art that can be interpreted at different levels. The main female role is played by a 13-year-old Jennifer Connelly, together with a thirty-something David Bowie as lead actor. She’s a teenager that has fallen under the spell of Jared, the Goblin King (Bowie), and at the very end of the adventure, she takes control of herself and announces to the beguiling Jared: “you have no power over me”. The spell is over and life goes back to normal, with some newly acquired self-knowledge.
    Anon, nobody has power over you. Only yourself should have the final word. Nobody should attempt to control you in such a way that you dance to their (cacophonous) tune. It may be hard, but it’s doable.

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