- Family and Parenting
Fight For It Or Let It Go?
Do You Know Why You Are Still In Your Relationship?
Let's have a honest conversation. How many of you are in a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship? I am not talking about being with someone for the winter, but truly sticking together for years...
I recently spoke wo a couple that has been together for several years and live together. They share household bills, including rent. There are no rings or children in this particular picture. The couple said they argue frequently about the smallest things, to the point they aren't sharing a bed at night. They are both college educated and have stable careers and trades.
As I attempted to "counsel" the couple, they bickered back and forth, cursed, huffed and puffed and doctored the truth about what was going on.
I tried. I attempted. I participated in this sham of an attempt to recognize some of their underlying issues. We have all been there when we try to predict how long a couple will be together. I have been at weddings where people were taking bets on how long the couple will last before they get divorced (definitely bad taste, but sometimes it's that obvious). Sometimes people on the outside can determine who is in the relationship for the wrong reasons, right from the beginning.
We were on a conference call, but they were in the same room. I could imagine their body language- sitting apart, extravagant hand gestures, poked out and pouted lips- with looks that could kill.
At this thought, I asked out of curiosity and frustration and because they couldn't stop talking "at" each other; "Why are you together?" If he is so bad and you're an independent woman who can do it all, why are you wasting your time with him? If she's boring and you're still ready to get out and have spontaneous fun, why are you trying to change her to fit what you want? My question was met with both bitter and epiphany type silence.
I repeated my question, offering more detail, hoping for more than they gave me the first time. "WHY are the 2 of you together? Are you afraid of being alone? Have you invested so much time you want to see it through? Are you afraid you "lose" if you leave? 2 twenty-somethings who are paying rent, not mortgage. 2 twenty-somethings who don't have any children binding you together. 2 twenty-somethings who see eye-to-eye less and less frequently. 2 twenty-somethings who still have their whole lives ahead of them. And 2 twenty-somethings who have not really and sincerely discussed the possibility of a future together. Why are you still together?"
His response was something like, he's still trying to figure that out. Her response was non existent. I'm no expert, but there you go. Neither stopped to say we are together because we love each other. Neither actually said that at any point during our conversation. Neither said the other made them better. Neither said they couldn't see their future without the other. Neither defended the other.
My answer? It may be time to stop wasting each other's time and accept you aren't meant to be- for right now. Relationships aren't easy at all and anything worth having is certainly a challenge. But, when you're young and in a serious relationship for several years and arguing about everything under the sun, it just may not be your time. One thing I've learned is people need time to grow into themselves before they are able to be of any real worth to anyone else. Sometimes you have to live life a little bit, gain some perspective, go through some things and come back and say, "I'm ready." Think about it. You can and this couple can try to talk about it, but chances are, they'll argue about it.
I don't think a couple can learn everything together. Yeah, once you're together, you can grow as a couple, but there should be some learning and personal growth before trying to attach yourself to someone else. Things become that much more difficult at that point. If you don't know who you are and what your standards are and what your boundaries are, how can you successfully define them with another person?