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Move forward or breakup?

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  • Move forward or breakup?


    This is my first post at this site, but I'm hoping that your advice can help me in my current situation.

    I have been dating my current girlfriend for 3 years now. We dated post college and were (and still are) great friends. We live together and have a dog as well. We have a lot of shared furniture and what not so generally speaking we are embedded into each others lives. She is attractive, smart, ambitious and meets a lot of the "checkbox items" that I would be looking for a long term partner. There are subtle things and a few things I wish were different, but generally speaking - things are good. Nobody is perfect and neither am I.

    About 2 years into the relationship and up to this point I have started to wonder if I should continue to move forward or breakup. I don't know what exactly I should "feel" to move forward long term. For me, the next stage would be engagement in the next 6-12 months. I have two challenges 1) my gut feeling is that I simply don't know if she is the right one 2) I have been thinking a lot about other potential partners mostly from the perspective of physical attraction. Nobody in particular, more of a "is the grass greener" question for myself. I probably could find someone more attractive (at least initially), but would I end up feeling the same? would they end up having the checkbox items? Who knows. That's the risky part.

    My question ultimately is - if you found someone that meets all of your general/important requirements, but you question the direction forward in your gut - what do you do? Our lease isn't up until next September, but I don't want to drag it out for either of us. I just wish I had that gut feeling saying = yes this is the one...maybe even more so over the checkbox items.


    Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    The fact that you're questioning your feelings tells me that she is NOT the right one for you. After three years you should KNOW if someone is right for you in the long haul.

    Have you had a talk with her about your feelings and where you're headed?
    "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay


    • #3
      What to do depends in large part on what it is you think marriage is for and about.

      If you are looking for someone who is going to fill in the check-boxes, be attractive, fulfill all of your desires, and make you feel happy consistently for the rest of your life, you'll NEVER find that person. As you said, no one is perfect and even if they were for a moment, the next moment things will be different. It is human nature, or at least male nature, to focus on what's missing rather than being grateful for what we have. Therefore, the day after you decide she's perfect and you're going to propose, she'll do something that will make you question that decision.

      If, on the other hand, you are looking for someone with compatible goals, the same core values, whom you share mutual respect, and you could see yourself tackling life with then you've got something that can overcome the missing checks and carry you through the difficult seasons and overcome the unpleasant feelings.

      You're young and, it seems, basing this doubts on relatively superficial things. Feelings are certainly important. However, they are transitory and, to a large degree influenced by your thoughts and what you choose to focus on. Common goals, values, and respect are much firmer foundation on which to build a long-term relationship.

      Good luck


      • #4
        SarahLancaster We did talk about it (twice now) and it almost makes it worse because I can't describe to her what exactly makes me doubt moving forward. I agree to some degree the fact that I have question it might be the issue in of itself. However, to @Pollon's point the foundation is there for a good long-term relationship, I suppose it's mostly out of fear of commitment & to a degree superficial things (namely - looks). It's strange too, because I still find her attractive but it's more or less questioning - what else there could be better.


        • #5
          Originally posted by ele926 View Post
          .... the foundation is there for a good long-term relationship, I suppose it's mostly out of fear of commitment & to a degree superficial things (namely - looks). It's strange too, because I still find her attractive but it's more or less questioning - what else there could be better....
          What I think you're describing is not fear of commitment but rather fear of making a mistake. That leaves you straddling the fence and making no decision at all. You can stay there for some amount of time, but eventually either you'll make a decision or she'll make if for you. Do you have trouble making important decisions in other areas of your life?

          Successful people and adults make decisions. Then they stop looking backwards and questioning their decision. They focus forward and WORK their tails off to make it the right decision.

          So if you can bring yourself to commit to her, stop thinking about all the "could have beens" and focus on what you do find attractive about her rather than the unattractive parts. Then start planning your future and moving toward your goals. Doing all those things will reinforce your decision and build your confidence that you made the right decision.


          • #6
            Her looks seem to be bothering you. This is a valid reason not to be with someone in the long term. If you're not finding them very attractive or are looking(distracted) by other better looking passer bys, this is obviously a serious concern. She doesn't need to be around someone like you, honestly, and if you both married each other it'd be a very sad place. Can you imagine if someone married you and you eventually found out what that person really thought about your looks? Turn it the other way and ask yourself if it's acceptable.


            • #7
              Fair, it could be fear of making a mistake more than commitment as if I knew she was the one - the commitment part would be easy (for me). I don't generally have problems making decisions - maybe the opposite - but not in this case. I don't want to paint the picture that shes not attractive / I'm not attracted to her. I just seem to be thinking about what else is out there vs. seeing what is in front of me. Yes, that would suck to know someone wasn't attracted to you, but that's not necessarily the case here. It's simply a thought that runs through my head and I'd assume most guys.


              • #8
                Have you created other threads on this forum before about the same topic? You seem extremely familiar. If you are the member I'm thinking of you also had some questions/issues about her tattoos etc.


                • #9
                  Haha no tattoos here - first thread as well.