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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
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    Default When to Give Up on a Relationship?

    Probably when you're asking that question, right?

    Thought about altering up for this, then didn't see the point.

    I have been in a relationship for five years (since we were both 18/19) and we had been good friends for a few years before that as well. Met in highschool, went to the same college, live nearby. We hit a rough patch this summer, and have been "broken up" since August, although we still see each other at least once a week and talk daily.

    Last night I found out that he had gone on a few dates (but not slept with) with a girl, but wasn't interested in her and hadn't pursued anything further. Now I've been casually hanging out with guys as well, and he's perfectly within his rights to see other people, but it hit me like a freight train. I of course smiled and continued on with the evening, and then cried to a girlfriend on the phone the whole way home.

    The reason we broke up is that we have both graduated college and are looking for jobs, like all of our friends. We were in one of those weird moments where everyone in both our "groups" were in relationships, no singles. And all of the other couples were...advancing in their relationships, I guess. If they hadn't already moved in together, they were talking about it, and looking for jobs in the same location. Then-BF and I are in popular fields and could easily find jobs near each other, so I attempted (over the summer) to broach the topic with him. There were other issues in the relationship as well, but at that point he said he wasn't ready to get married at 23 (which I wasn't asking for!) and we broke up.

    A few months ago I was getting kind of into the whole dating thing (since I am now the one single person in my "group", so everyone takes pity on me and drags me along on blind double dates. ) but couldn't get Ex-BF off my mind. So I approached him again, and essentially said that: "I'm kinda moving on but I can't get you out of my mind...can you just confirm for me that you don't see a future with me?" He said he wanted to discuss it, but it was late (and I was a little tipsy!), and that we could talk at a different time......three weeks went by and everytime I brought it up, he was too busy, which yes, is obviously an answer in and of itself. I got very angry about his lack of response and didn't speak to him for several weeks, at which point he contacted me to apologize and to patch things up.

    *****

    So now that you have the long and unnecessary backstory...

    Here I am, still madly in love with this boy. (Irrelevant for the relationship, but I also love his family and they love me....I was the topic of Thanksgiving (which I had attended for the past five years, but not this year) and his mother started crying when she saw me the other day. I like the whole package!) I am not trying to get a proposal out of him or even move in with him....a half-hearted effort to look for jobs in the same area would be enough. He is not a great communicator, so I am worried that if we end up "going our separate ways" in the world that that will be it, and my best friend of the last six or seven years will be gone from my life.

    Should I just let that happen? My rational, not head-over-heels in love self is a firm believer in "destiny," if you will....that if it's meant to work out, it just will, even if it's not in the way that I imagine. (We had a running joke for a while that he would be my second husband, for example.) And then the silly, head-over-heels in love side of me is saying "No! You just need to work at it! Make it happen!" Which is hard because everything I've ever wanted in life, I was the driving force to make happen....heck, he was the shy computer nerd in the corner in highschool, and I essentially forced him to speak to me by sitting next to him and talking at him until he eventually started responding.


    -sigh- I understand I'm young, but please go easy on me. This is half a plea for suggestions, and half a single-on-Christmas rant/whine. For what it's worth, I'm perfectly comfortable being single: since August, I have made huge strides with my young horse, made lots of new friends, gotten major projects done, and kicked some butt in school. I'm fine being alone, and I'm not scared to move somewhere by myself....I just don't want to, if I can somehow work things out with him.



  2. #2
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    Jan. 10, 2002
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    Area VIII, Region 2, Zone 5.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    For what it's worth, I'm perfectly comfortable being single: since August, I have made huge strides with my young horse, made lots of new friends, gotten major projects done, and kicked some butt in school. I'm fine being alone, and I'm not scared to move somewhere by myself....I just don't want to, if I can somehow work things out with him.
    I think this is the crux of it. My advice is to move ahead with your life as you're doing now. You seem to be living in a positive way and good things are happening for you. If he wants to be part of your life, it's time for him step up and let you know he wants to be with you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Linny View Post
    Those martingales were so taut, you could play Ode to Joy on them with a comb


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
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    Default

    well, it takes two, and I'm sorry to say it sounds like he's not interested. Move on. The transition from school to work is quite dramatic, and many a relationship falls apart then anyway, so maybe it's for the best if you get your working life established first then look for a new relationship (if that's what you want).


    5 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
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    Westford, Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    Should I just let that happen?
    I don't think you have any choice, you can't force things that he's not ready for, or may not be interested in. Well, you might try, but it wouldn't work out in the long run. If I were you, I would get on with my own life and make decisions based on what's best for you and furthers your individual goals. It sounds like you've been managing this relationship the whole time and he was just along for the ride. That doesn't mean he doesn't love you, it just means that he could afford to be a passenger, since you were taking on all the responsibility. If you move on and make your own priorities paramount, he'll either decide that he wants you back and will man up and do what it takes to pursue a relationship with you, or he won't. But, at least you'll know where you stand. You really don't want to get married and set up a life with someone who is passive about the relationship and expects you to do all the work and make all the decisions.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Aug. 2, 2004
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    Whidbey Is, Wash.
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    Watch (or read) He's Just Not That Into You or whatever the title is. It was an eye-opener for me.

    I'm now happily married.
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
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    You need to just cut him out of your life. I made the mistake of keeping in touch with my ex after I terminated the relationship and it held me back from moving on because she would constantly reach out to me and she pushed my buttons through that.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!


    4 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Dec. 12, 2004
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    Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJenners View Post
    Watch (or read) He's Just Not That Into You or whatever the title is. It was an eye-opener for me.

    I'm now happily married.
    I have seen it. trust me when I say that out of my group of friends, I'm the hardass who is always all "Kick him to the curb if he's not putting the effort in!" I just can't do it for myself! Well, I did dump him, but can't fully admit it I guess. It doesn't help that he frequently calls to make plans because "he really misses me" and was heartbroken when I said I was going to spend Christmas with my own family this year, because I'm not his girlfriend anymore. (we did get each other generous gifts, as usual)

    You all just confirmed my thoughts: I'm not afraid to die alone at the young age of 23, I know I'll find someone else, particularly as I get out of the college world. I just wanted this one, darn it! I guess I will settle for keeping him as a friend, and maybe he will step up at some point if he wants to.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2011
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    Pennsylvania
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    IMO ex-lovers should have names that remind you of why you broke up with them. Why? Because only in fantasy are people all good or all bad. In messy reality people have traits you love and sometimes have traits you can't live with. When you are feeling vulnerable that relationship that didn't work sounds like a wonderful thing that you should revisit. That is normal.

    Case in point -Kevin the Crackhead. IMO there ought to be a rule that if you're a drug addict you should look like crap! Unfortunately that is not the case.

    So, give him a name to remind you why it didn't work. Johnny Inconstant, Mark the Whore, whathaveyou!

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


    4 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    Virginia
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    1,489

    Default

    Aww, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I remember how painful it was to break up with my college sweetheart. Oh dear.

    You're getting a lot of wise words from us older more experienced types. Carry on, muddle through this. My advice would be to break off all contact with him for at least a year. But I KNOW how challenging that is.

    Thing is, you have to move on, as he's not investing much effort into being with you. I can tell just by the way you write that you will have no problem finding another love. IMHO, every time we love, we learn from the experience and learn to love better the next time. So maybe take some time for reflection and think on how you can change your own actions to be able to have the sort of relationship you want.

    Best to you,


    5 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
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    VA
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    11,344

    Default

    What I think you've got going on is a mourning of the loss of the "future" you had planned out. I think you might be more in love with that story book future than you are with the guy himself.

    I was with my HS/college boyfriend from my Sophomore year of HS through my Junior year of college. Loved his family, his Dad helped me find my first car, I lived there summers during college. My family went to their house for Xmas, I was there when his niece and nephew were born, etc. His folks said that if I'd go to the same college as him, they'd pay for my schooling as a wedding gift. I mean, it was assumed we were a done deal. So I was in deep. Breaking up with him meant "breaking up" with the whole family.

    So I get all that. But the on again off again stuff can really just complicate your life. Example: VDay of my senior year, after he had ignored me all summer when I wanted to try again, I was getting ready to leave on a ski trip with my new boyfriend and my ex sent a limo to my dorm with a note to dress up and meet him at a fancy restaurant. I didn't go. But turns out, he had bought an engagement ring and had planned to ask me to marry him. He was pretty broken up about everything.

    I think that if you want to be friends, have that conversation and decide to be friends. But "competition" often kicks in and things can get complicated. At least in my experience. If you both get some experience with others, maybe you'll find that you circle back. But maybe just having a convo and electing to revisit that option in say 6 mos or a year would give you both the freedom to get out there and save the angst and complication. You can always revisit it.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Default

    Been there, done that, we went our own ways in our different lives.

    My BF and I were a pair from 16 to 20 1/2 years, we grew up together and did everything together for all those years, never ever looked at anyone else.

    Then we, well, grew up and apart, so, still happy with each other, life called and each one went our own way.

    Sure, it was hard on us and hard on everyone else, that practically was counting on us getting on with marriage and our own family, but it just was not to be.

    Who knows, maybe you both will later reconsider, but it seems that right now, both of you have other calling in your lives and it is not together.

    Try giving each other some space for a while and see where this goes.
    There is no "right" answer to your question.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
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    Lex and Buddy are right. You are mourning the loss of the ideal life you had in mind, and not the reality of the relationship. And I agree "He's Just Not That Into You" perfectly describes the relationship. It's hard to let go and move on, especially around the holidays, but you have grown apart and will never have a permanent relationship. Move on, and keep your chin up. And moving where ever you can get a good job is a great idea, so you won't have everything thrown in your face constantly.

    Everyone has a first crush or first love, and it's not often that is the permanent relationship, because everyone changes and grows during the late teens and early 20's, so it's time to move on. You deserve to be in a relationship with someone who treasures you for who you are, and be happy. He has moved on, and you need to do that also.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Oct. 12, 2005
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    dur-Ham, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    IMO ex-lovers should have names that remind you of why you broke up with them. Why? Because only in fantasy are people all good or all bad. In messy reality people have traits you love and sometimes have traits you can't live with. When you are feeling vulnerable that relationship that didn't work sounds like a wonderful thing that you should revisit. That is normal.

    Case in point -Kevin the Crackhead. IMO there ought to be a rule that if you're a drug addict you should look like crap! Unfortunately that is not the case.

    So, give him a name to remind you why it didn't work. Johnny Inconstant, Mark the Whore, whathaveyou!

    Paula
    OMG. I am DYING right now as I assign names to my exes. \
    Have YOU ever looked into the eyes of a rich white child who has just lost a jumping competition?



    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
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    El Paso, TX
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    I think you are in love with the perception of a relationship with him. Move on. You will find someone better for you.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Apr. 17, 2002
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    between the barn and the pond
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    I think it's time to break loose and cut him out of your life. You can reconnect later if you want to be friends - I mean like five years later you are still tracking a scent that's gone cold. Move on



  16. #16
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    Nov. 1, 2007
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    ....in a classroom in Fl, by the ocean
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    I have nothing to add but I want to extend my support. I agree that you are mourning the future that you foresaw with him. We are girls, we all do it, we can't help it.

    Focus on your career, go out with friends, date, have fun! You have your whole life ahead of you!!



  17. #17
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    Dec. 10, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJenners View Post
    Watch (or read) He's Just Not That Into You or whatever the title is. It was an eye-opener for me.

    I'm now happily married.
    Me TOO,
    very happy now!

    also The Rules, and another

    Its Called a Break up Because Its Broken.



  18. #18
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    Dec. 2, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    IMO ex-lovers should have names that remind you of why you broke up with them

    Paula
    Reminds me of the comedian that said "why do we call them ex's how come we don't call them (wh)y's ???" You will look back later and reflect upon this and understand it then.

    Believe me you're young! You have a lot of life to live first. Get on with that and then the right person that finds that attractive about you will be a whole lot more interesting than this guy sounds. There's a whole lot of adventure ready for you if you're not attached and open to all the possibilities. Go for it girlfriend! Your 20's are the best time for you to be free to grow and experience and become a lovely mature lady later in life.

    Guys have to reach a point of readiness for committment. You'll know when you start meeting the ones that are 'ripe.' I sat next to one that was an early ripe in college - scared the heck out of me at that time!

    So talk yourself into being an adventuress and get out and get started.
    The truth is what you can get other people to believe.

    -- Tommy Smothers



  19. #19
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    Nov. 20, 2010
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    Upstate New York
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    Yup - believe it's the scenario, and being in love with love, that is so hard to break away from.

    My son is 24, been 2 years with his girlfriend, a great gal - and she has been his only serious girlfriend. Nothing happening soon, but if they stayed together, and he never dated anyone else, I would be concerned that he was wondering what he was missing...

    Don't count on it, but if he and you are ultimately a match, perhaps best that he get some "comparisons" out of his system. In the meantime, don't tread water and wait. His lack of response is your answer for now.

    But sounds like you have it together. And who knows how much better the next one might be! It's hard, really hard to move on, but also part of the tough part of being adult. Could work either way, but it isn't right this moment. Look around, look way beyond your usual borders. And hang in there!
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



  20. #20
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    IMO ex-lovers should have names that remind you of why you broke up with them. Why? Because only in fantasy are people all good or all bad. In messy reality people have traits you love and sometimes have traits you can't live with. When you are feeling vulnerable that relationship that didn't work sounds like a wonderful thing that you should revisit. That is normal.

    Case in point -Kevin the Crackhead. IMO there ought to be a rule that if you're a drug addict you should look like crap! Unfortunately that is not the case.

    So, give him a name to remind you why it didn't work. Johnny Inconstant, Mark the Whore, whathaveyou!

    Paula
    Oh Paula, thank you... ROTFLMAO. Making a note to recall this when LMEqT starts dating!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



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