Moving In Too Fast - Getting To Know Someone Takes Time. Relationship Advice
I need an advise. I have been dating my boyfriend last 6-7 months. We
met 9 months ago and then something wonderful happened, and shortly
after decided to move together. All was fine except that my boyfriend
started having issues with my personality. He is a great guy btw. the
only concern is might be over sensitive, and not as negative thing but
rather something that makes me feel to be careful what I say and how, so
we do not enter in an argue, as he does not know to deal with it-he
says. I am a person that sometimes (not intentionally) when I am
stressed or so I become a bit angry-and for him its terrible. He said
that to me at our first "argue" but I could not figure it out how
difficult is that as sometimes seemed to me that he is overreacting. In
relationship when u do not know the other person yet enough to trust etc
its hard. I would say our connection was strong and we stayed together.
The second time it happened was because of a critic. I was criticizing
him as he said, though was more worry from my side. He said he wanted to
end the relationship. For me was a big shook as I expected as carrying
is he, he would try to talk so we try solve it first. I realized how
much I hurt him-without knowing. Made him talk, and took so much time
until we made the things improved. He went on a trip after abroad and
we did plan to meet again soon and continue.
A bit for my background: I had job problems and I quit, and am jobless which makes me stressful. No matter how wonderful was my connection with this man, was affected with more worries-my dad got ill and he died 6 weeks ago. I became detached from the world. My boy was abroad. I felt like I do not have what to give to anyone any more. It took me time to feel agai n. Anyhow kept the contact with him and as I could, let him know that I miss him.
Recently we had talk to continue again, but I have noticed that he changed. He again raised that he does not like how I treat him sometimes. I know that with no excuse that is happening always when I am under stress or feeling hurt, just that he does not see it. We talked on the phone, and I was afraid that he was not yet contacted me to move together again that he might had second thoughts, I felt hurt, it set me off and reacted in the way-that he does not like it. Immediately he said, he wanted to break up before, that he does not feel "it" anymore, he was analyzing himself. He means a lot to me, and I tried to explain to him, but I do not want to push him or pressure him. I just can't find the way to make him realize that I was going through difficult period, and still am, and I do want to try with him, but it needs patience. I could not work much on myself last months being under so mu ch pressure from many sides and plus being afraid I will lose him. Otherwise I am aware what personality issue I have and I do want to become better. He says-do not change because of me. Well I do want to change because of myself first. I do not know what to do. I think I love him. We are both over 30/
It is smart that you want to change the mean or attacking part of your personality for yourself. Not him.
I've stressed this point in several hubs. It's never good to change for a partner, it usually ends in resentment. It's the same as expecting a partner to change for you. People are who they are, and if you can't accept someone the way they are, you should look elsewhere. If you fall in love with someone it should be for what you see in them right now. It's not a healthy relationship if it's built on what you think they could be if they changed for you.
I appreciate your insight into yourself here. We can decide there is something we want to work on that will make us happier better people. Quitting smoking, getting into shape, changing a negative attitude, wanting to learn to be more patient, these are all things that a person may decide to work on and change about themselves. As long as you're doing this work for yourself then I really do wish you luck with this. I really think it's amazing that you take such ownership of your shortcoming and want to improve. That takes bravery honesty and insight.
Being that you and your boyfriend are both over 30 years old, I would say
you are both old enough to know what you want and what you're doing. You're both at a good age to consider the situation you're in with valid reasoning.
The big problem I see from what you described is that you moved in together too quickly. You said it yourself, there is that time in that beginning of the relationship when you are getting to know the person. It's hard to do so while living together. It can be too much. You don't get the normal breaks to regroup, you don't get to go home and think, you don't get to miss him if you're never apart. I think in your case it was a strain that broke him. Not only was it more than he could handle, it was more than he wanted to work through. It broke the relationship. Its very hard to undo a first impression. When you think about it, as compared to an entire future together, those first 6 to 9 months are all "first impression."
With your situation with your family loss you were not at your best. If he had been at a little more distance during that time, he might have wanted to be more supportive, and at the same time he would have been able to step back and give you some leeway with your reactions and temper during that stressful time. Had you been living separately at that time he may have had the chance to ease into that personality issue he had with you, in a gradual way. He may have been able to limit exposure. Plus he may have had the opportunity to see it from a distance and then go home by himself and regroup. He could have talked to you about it, and brought his thoughts to light before feeling overwhelmed by them.
But that's not what happened. He was living there with you, experiencing that part of your personality that he can't handle in it's exaggerated form every day. With his personality being very sensitive, it was a bad match. He couldn't take them on one at a time, talk to you, step away, etc. All those things that couples getting to know each other can do because they are going at a normal pace. Those early clashes may not be rectifiable. I'm sorry but these things happen when fools rush in.
When you make the decision to live with someone, you really should be at a headspace with them that says you know a great deal about them, and you accept them. When you're discovering these things that are hard for you to deal with after you've made this huge commit of cohabitation, it's like trial by fire. You already in it. You don't feel balanced, you don't see any way to conclude except being engulfed. it's not just you. Anyone in this situation would have gone through this the same way.
I can relate to your situation on a personal level. I am an overly sensitive person. I have had a hard time maintaining friendships with people that are sarcastic, or that tease. I don't get it, I don't understand the humor. I'm often called thin-skinned, and been told "I can't take it." And that's right, I can't. I get hurt easily, and I wind up feeling emotionally attacked and sad. So your email was one I could relate to from your boyfriend's point of view. But I could also relate to your side. I really respect how you have identified something about yourself that you want to work on. That shows real bravery and honesty. You've seen the type of man you want to attract, you've listened to him, you've taken a good deal of time to understand what it is that didn't work for him, and you've made the decision to change it. It's not about changing for another person, it's about wanting to be the best person you can be. And you're doing that. You're doing the real work, and I can't even tell you how much I admire and respect that.
As much as you love him and want to work on this for yourself, it really may not be something you can fix as far as the relationship goes. It may not be something he can shake now from the way he sees you. He may not have known this about you before you moved in together.in any case, this isn't a blame game. You two moved too fast. During that period he figured out that this can't work for him in one of those stressful first impressions. It just didn't work.
You're wonderful for wanting to grow from this experience, and learn about yourself. It has been if nothing else, an awesome opportunity for self examination.
I feel bad because you're so accepting of his problem with your issue, and you're so wonderful about owning it and acknowledging it. I really wish I had a different feeling about this one. But I think his saying he wanted to end the relationship is the true way he feels. I don't think it's a matter of getting him to understand that you were under stress or that you want to change this thin about your personality. Actually, I'm sure he does understand. It's just not something he wants to deal with.
The good news is that you said you "think" you love him. That's much better than knowing you're head over heels in love with him. It sounds to me like you can recover from this. Maybe what you really "think" is just a little guilt or a stretch of yourself and the work you want to do. Maybe you're sort of projecting that disappointment and dismay as feelings for him. That is a way some people process remorse.
I think you can walk away from this knowing you were honest, and that you tried to fix this. It's not like you did anything on purpose. You move on with a lesson. Maybe this is a part of your personality that you don't feel good about. If you like you you'd be hurt if someone spoke to you in that tone, that's a good sign that this is something you should change about the way you lash out in communications. Go ahead and work on that. Maybe you can find a counsellor that would want to help you with this effort. In the meantime you have a better understanding of the kind of guy you'd be most compatible with. Someone overly sensitive isn't the best fit for you.
Who knows, after some time apart and after you've had a chance to work on this within yourself, maybe you and your boyfriend could give it another try. You could go slowly next time and see what happens. But I do think that for now, you need to let this one go. Good luck to you.
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