How do you know when a relationship is worth keeping?

I've met people who can see the posture of my neck out of the corner of their eye and just based on that, know exactly what I'm feeling. I'm drawn to people who understand body language and who notice tiny things about the world. I'm drawn to people who already understand the appeal of walking alone in the rain and I don't have to explain why I like it because they already know. I'm drawn to people who hear my voice catch on the second word and they tell me to stop talking, because they already know. Artists, writers seem to have this more often than other people.

I feel like my relationship is incomplete without it.
Originally Posted by tmmy_cat
So you want a mind-reader?

It sounds like you want someone you don't have to communicate with, someone who already knows what you're thinking/feeling. If that is your expectation, I think you will be disappointed in any relationship you ever have.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but I'd hate for you to throw away something good in the hope of a "better" that does not exist.
Psalm 30:11 "You have turned my mourning into dancing."

''Hey, nerds! Who's got two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi.'' - Liz Lemon, 30 Rock
I don't think it's fair to characterize men as generally lacking in empathy. It's easy for me to say because I'm married and my husband possesses this particular trait, but all of my close male friends have this trait as well, and as much as I love my husband and friends, I don't think they're that unusual a sampling of men in general (except for that they have the good taste to be friends with me, of course).

My instinct would be that you need more from a mate than this man can give-- not because he doesn't love you enough, but because you're just not compatible on the level that you seem to want. Obviously neither of you are bad people, but I think in the long run you'll both feel like you should have tried for more, for a better connection.

How do you break up with someone that hasn't done anything wrong? I wish it happened more often. Relationships aren't just a matter of two people who can manage not to piss each other off, it's more than that and I wish more people would realize that. I would explain to him that you love him, but in the long run you don't think you're compatible and that you both deserve a chance at finding a better fit.

I hope it all works out for you.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
ITA. I have broken up with someone who did nothing wrong except be a bad match for me. It was hard, he became upset and somewhat violent. He also called me "cold-hearted" and repeatedly tried to get me to come back. I think it was probably because it was sudden and after 3 years of a relationship. Honestly, I went away for a weekend and had a great time on my own. I was also looking at a doctorate program, met a bunch of people, and realized that I could do things by myself better than with him. In the end, I did what I had to do in order to move on. It faded, he faded, and we were both better off without each other.

I've met people who can see the posture of my neck out of the corner of their eye and just based on that, know exactly what I'm feeling. I'm drawn to people who understand body language and who notice tiny things about the world. I'm drawn to people who already understand the appeal of walking alone in the rain and I don't have to explain why I like it because they already know. I'm drawn to people who hear my voice catch on the second word and they tell me to stop talking, because they already know. Artists, writers seem to have this more often than other people.

I feel like my relationship is incomplete without it.
Originally Posted by tmmy_cat
So you want a mind-reader?

It sounds like you want someone you don't have to communicate with, someone who already knows what you're thinking/feeling. If that is your expectation, I think you will be disappointed in any relationship you ever have.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but I'd hate for you to throw away something good in the hope of a "better" that does not exist.
Originally Posted by Dancing Queen
people that *get* you that well either have known you for a long time or are highly manipulative and are good at reading people.

honestly? it sounds like you're just unhappy in general.
.

Last edited by tmmy_cat; 03-06-2009 at 08:47 PM.
Do you love him?
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Kimshi4242

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/kimshi4242
.

Last edited by tmmy_cat; 03-06-2009 at 08:47 PM.
So I told him: next time I am crying, I really need you to come and find me, hug me, and you don't need to say anything but if you do I need it to be in a gentle voice, something vague and non-judgmental and appeasing like "I understand" or "it'll be ok" or even just some of the silly nicknames you make for me ... that's what I need. I think he freezes up because he doesn't know what to do in that moment, so I told him exactly what I had in mind ... very specific.
Originally Posted by tmmy_cat
My husband is like that too, he just freezes up when any kind of conflict or crying is on the horizon. Any advice I can offer on the subject is something I learned the hard way.

I think that "he'll just know" is one of the romantic myths in our culture that creates unrealistic expectations and sets relationships up for failure. Both of you will need to go outside your comfort zone to establish better communication. However, if you're willing to tell him what you need and he's willing to listen and try to do what you say, I think you'll find the relationship better for it.

Good for you for taking the first step!
Psalm 30:11 "You have turned my mourning into dancing."

''Hey, nerds! Who's got two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi.'' - Liz Lemon, 30 Rock
rainshower's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 6,000
Just wondering if anyone out there has any tips about whether or not this relationship is worth keeping.

We've been together 4 years, no kids ... we get along well and enjoy each other's company 80-90% of the time, but when the occasional conflict comes up, he just doesn't want to talk at all - which is completely at odds with my communication style. I've told him many times that I need conflicts to be resolved openly and honestly - we even went to therapy over it a few years ago - tried my best to make it less frightening for him to talk about his feelings. I have a very gentle, non-aggressive communication style so I never understood why it was scary for him in the first place, but apparently it is scary for a lot of men so who knows.

I'm really not sure how to tell if this relationship is worth keeping. There are other little things too, but none of them serious enough on their own to make a difference ... he wants dogs, I don't ... I want to travel and see the world, he's afraid of flying ... his sense of humor overlaps with mine only rarely ...

We love each other a lot and both would make huge sacrifices for each other, but we can't seem to get past that sticking point - my communication style frustrates and confuses him - and his communication style frustrates and confuses me.

I'm just not sure any more. Isn't this communication issue common to 99% of men? If we move on and the next person in my life also has trouble talking about things, I would feel like it was a bad decision to move on.
Originally Posted by tmmy_cat
to me your "little" things would be on my list of dealbreakers right up there with, for example, him not wanting kids, when i want to be a mother one day.

i guess a way to answer your question is this: he's an animal (dog) lover; you aren't. he's a homebody/won't travel due to phobia; you want to see the world. your idea of humor is seldom aligned. when you look at what is left, is there enough that you two have in common that can keep the foundation of your relationship strong so that you can continue to build upon it? if not, maybe the communication/conflict resolution thing is the least of your worries.

what i mean by that is, what's the point of resolving your communication skills during arguments when on a more basic level, you two have little in common.

could it be that all the "little" stuff that you don't have in common is the source of all your conflicts and related communication issues?
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
I was in a situation sort of like this. Nothing was horribly wrong, but it wasn't really right either. Inertia is a powerful thing. So is loneliness.

Eventually though, I hit some sort of tipping point and had to get out.
I always thought that if you have to ask that question, the relationship is not worth keeping.

Many years ago I broke up with someone. Not because he was mean to me or did anything terribly wrong, but because I realized we wanted different things in life. Yes, it hurts if you do not have a "reason," but why drag it out when you and he can have the opportunity to be fully happy with someone? Life is too short.

And it does not matter if there are "little" things because "little" things can add up to huge problem (sort of like a death by a thousands cuts). And like rainshower, your little things are deal breakers for me.

Plus, going to therapy before you are married/committed would be a red flag to me.
You cannot invite someone to your house in the Hamptons and when she arrives, not let her stay. Tacky. Very Tacky. ~ East Village hipster.

People in Ward Three disdain three things: cleavage, hunting and dumb people who are richer than they are. ~ David Brooks


Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. ~Armaments 2:9-21

I always thought that if you have to ask that question, the relationship is not worth keeping.
Originally Posted by iara
See, I disagree with that. Perhaps it's true, but the way I see it, it also means the person values the relationship enough to give it serious thought. Obviously there are enough good aspects to the relationship that the person doesn't just want to cut out and leave. S/he just needs thinking time.

Plus, going to therapy before you are married/committed would be a red flag to me.
Originally Posted by iara
In a way I agree needing relationship counseling so early is not a good sign. But going to therapy in itself is an indicator there's some level of committment.
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Kimshi4242

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/kimshi4242
.

Last edited by tmmy_cat; 03-06-2009 at 08:48 PM.
Really hard dilemma that I've never had to face, but I know close friends who've gone through this. What you describe as empathy is something I've noticed a lot in other women. And I find it invasive, a lot of the time. But if it's important to you, you should leave space in your life for someone to give you what you really want.

I, personally, value communication and words so much that I could never be with someone who wasn't verbal or demonstrative, at least in some way. Of course, I can't stand dependency so they have to be communicative, demonstrative but not clingy or demanding in the least. Tall order? Probably, but I know those things matter to me so I have to have them.

Your situation reminds me of a friend who almost married someone but dropped him before making that huge commitment. I think it was a very good decision she made though a hard one. Like others have said, companionship and avoiding being alone are huge drivers. Nothing wrong with them driving you to be with this person other than your sacrificing the connection you really want.

Good luck with your choice. Sounds hard to me.
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
The things that you talk about, especially the humor mismatch would be big for me. My husband and I "get" each other so well. He can tell and so can I from across a room if the other is having a good time at something, ready to go, bored, etc. We are passionate about our relationship. We are calm and almost businesslike with some of our logistical issues and have a great "working" relationship. We have great fun together; sometimes we laugh until we cry over the same thing. I was in many relationships before this one and we've been together now over ten years and it still feels brand new and as if we've been together at the same time. It's not perfect but I've never wanted to leave him.

I think if it's not the right relationship you will probably sabotage it at some point or he will but who knows when that will occur - in six months or fifteen years??
I tend to agree with that. The realist in me says that every relationship has its ups and downs, and if I make it my "policy" to break up whenever I feel unsure of things, then none of my relationships would ever last. I tend to look at everything from different angles and I tend to see things in shades of gray. There are very, very few things that seem "black and white" to me - generalizations seem difficult and inaccurate - it's just the way I am.
Originally Posted by tmmy_cat
Which reason would tell me you are not with the right person. This does not mean there is something wrong with you or your partner. You are not good together and should free each other to be with people with whom you both will be a better match.

Sure, people disagree in relationships, but when I see good relationships, there are not up and downs with the people in it. If you want a good example of this, read some of Partyhair's posts about her marriage (There are others, but hers always stands out to me).

I always thought that if you have to ask that question, the relationship is not worth keeping.
Originally Posted by iara
See, I disagree with that. Perhaps it's true, but the way I see it, it also means the person values the relationship enough to give it serious thought.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
People truly happy in their relationship do not think about ending it.

In my experience, you do not have to think about good relationships; you just know. When you ask, "should I end it?" the answer is usually yes but you will try to rationalize it because for some reason you do not want to be alone.



Life is too short to be unhappy.
You cannot invite someone to your house in the Hamptons and when she arrives, not let her stay. Tacky. Very Tacky. ~ East Village hipster.

People in Ward Three disdain three things: cleavage, hunting and dumb people who are richer than they are. ~ David Brooks


Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. ~Armaments 2:9-21

I do have to agree that when you're truly happy in a relationship the thought of ending it never even crosses your mind. In fact, you don't even think about it that much, you just live it, basically.

And I know you see it as positive that you told him how you want him to react if you're crying, but it struck me as unfair. It's one thing to ask someone to quit smoking, or something similar, but I don't think it's fair to want him to have an unnatural reaction to something. Some people just aren't as emotionally open as others, and there's only so much they can do to change that.
I guess what I'm saying is that it's not his fault that his natural reaction is different from yours. Some people have nurturing personalities, some don't. People are different.
If you want someone closer to your personality, it seems you should be looking elsewhere instead of wanting him to be more like your idea of an ideal match.

Last edited by Saria; 02-06-2009 at 07:25 AM.
I tend to agree with that. The realist in me says that every relationship has its ups and downs, and if I make it my "policy" to break up whenever I feel unsure of things, then none of my relationships would ever last. I tend to look at everything from different angles and I tend to see things in shades of gray. There are very, very few things that seem "black and white" to me - generalizations seem difficult and inaccurate - it's just the way I am.
Originally Posted by tmmy_cat
Which reason would tell me you are not with the right person. This does not mean there is something wrong with you or your partner. You are not good together and should free each other to be with people with whom you both will be a better match.

Sure, people disagree in relationships, but when I see good relationships, there are not up and downs with the people in it. If you want a good example of this, read some of Partyhair's posts about her marriage (There are others, but hers always stands out to me).

I always thought that if you have to ask that question, the relationship is not worth keeping.
Originally Posted by iara
See, I disagree with that. Perhaps it's true, but the way I see it, it also means the person values the relationship enough to give it serious thought.
Originally Posted by Phoenix
People truly happy in their relationship do not think about ending it.

In my experience, you do not have to think about good relationships; you just know. When you ask, "should I end it?" the answer is usually yes but you will try to rationalize it because for some reason you do not want to be alone.



Life is too short to be unhappy.
Originally Posted by iara
I agree with the first bolded sentence but think the second one is just too romanticized a notion.

And just because one is unhappy in a relationship doesn't mean it has to end or that something is fundamentally wrong/unhealthy with it. It could be a bad patch; couples will go through tough times, things happen. It's unreasonable to think you'll always be happy with your SO. Of course, only the individual(s) can decide what's worth leaving (or staying) for. It depends on exactly what is making the person unhappy, how long and how deeply they've been unhappy, and other factors.

And even when one is unhappy it doesn't necessarily mean they want to leave or even need to leave.
No MAS.

I am the new Black.

"Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Kimshi4242

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/kimshi4242
.

Last edited by tmmy_cat; 03-06-2009 at 08:48 PM.
.

Last edited by tmmy_cat; 03-06-2009 at 08:48 PM.
Phoenix, imo, a temporary state of unhappiness would not create doubts that prompt you to ask if the relationship is worth keeping. A permanent state of unhappiness, anger, drama, apathy, etc. would cause you to question your relationship. If I find myself constantly debating should I stay or go, I go.


We have a fundamental different view of relationships. I believe there are good men (although not everyone is good for me). I believe if you are not happy then you should not stay. What is the point of being unhappy?
You cannot invite someone to your house in the Hamptons and when she arrives, not let her stay. Tacky. Very Tacky. ~ East Village hipster.

People in Ward Three disdain three things: cleavage, hunting and dumb people who are richer than they are. ~ David Brooks


Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. ~Armaments 2:9-21

Trending Topics


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011 NaturallyCurly.com