Seeking Relationship Advice

  • hartfan

    Posts: 1037

    Sep 20, 2011 6:20 PM GMT
    Hi fellow RJers,

    Been having some thoughts about this guy that I'm kinda seeing, and been debating if/how I should seek some much needed advice. Instead of boring y'all with a rambling account (seriously, it's exceedingly complicated involving three continents, two holidays and a TV show, among other things), I hope you can answer a question for me instead that may help.

    When you start seeing a guy, when/how do you know that it could turn into a real long term relationship, or conversely when/how do you know you need put the brakes on it going further? Thanks in advance for the quality replies.
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    Sep 20, 2011 7:20 PM GMT
    For me, at a certain point instead of just seeing "what happens" you finally get comfortable. That means you look backwards and examine everything, concluding it has been going really well. Then you look forward as far as compatibility, career goals, life goals, and how you feel about kids. If I see a future together with kids, like he is affectionate with me and he treats my dog well enough to convince me he has some fathering qualities, then I am pretty invested in turning it into long term land rather than the previous attitude of just seeing what happens.

    That of course would be the ideal way for it to go down and it has not, since life never goes according to plan. At least learning from my mistakes: the correct time to apply the brakes is when things quit adding up in the mental ledger. When the attitude changes seemingly overnight; or when the quality of the time you spend together diminishes; and when you get the feeling like maybe you can do better, but it would involve work to make new dating profiles on websites, then that is the time to just end it, turn your back, and walk away before spending more time and energy trying to keep the sinking ship afloat, then when it finally capsizes, you spend even more time and energy playing it through in your mind about what went so wrong and why you stuck around so long, rather than just washing your hands of the situation and leaving guilt-free.

    Hope that helps. I am single - might not be the exact perspective you were truly looking for.
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    Sep 20, 2011 8:28 PM GMT
    Because people date for a number or reasons, I'll say that you continue to date if you have a good time with each other and have the same goals in dating. People don't always date in order to find "the one." Some date to have fun with someone else. Some date out of loneliness or boredom.

    If you're looking for a long-term relationship, then keep dating the guy if you enjoy dating this guy, you look forward to seeing him again after your date is over, you're both able to put down your guard and get more real with each other, and you're both interested in long-term relationships. A no on any of these counts mean that you're not a good fit for each other and one of you is probably selling himself short.
  • hartfan

    Posts: 1037

    Sep 21, 2011 2:35 PM GMT
    spaghettimonster saidthe correct time to apply the brakes is when things quit adding up in the mental ledger. When the attitude changes seemingly overnight; or when the quality of the time you spend together diminishes; and when you get the feeling like maybe you can do better, but it would involve work to make new dating profiles on websites, then that is the time to just end it, turn your back, and walk away...


    So would you be of the opinion that if I'm starting to question where the relationship is going, it might be time to walk? What if there are some external circumstances beyond either of our control that may be preventing advancing of that relationship, but is hard to see past right now?

    Thanks for your help guys.
  • cageym

    Posts: 99

    Sep 21, 2011 2:59 PM GMT
    I can't speak to your specific circumstances -- only you can assess that -- but sometimes when it seems things are in a confused state, rather than meaning that the relationship is doomed, it may mean you need to make a bigger investment. 25 years ago I remember telling an acquaintance that I thought the guy I was seeing would soon be out of my life. I cited all the circumstances that seemed to be conspiring against us and basically said that there was nothing I could do about it. The listener responded with, "why not?" Wow, bolt out of the blue. It really forced me to look at things differently and become more active in determining my fate, rather than passively bouncing along.

    My partner and I celebrate our 25th anniversary next month.
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    Sep 21, 2011 3:35 PM GMT
    Hartfan said, "When you start seeing a guy, when/how do you know that it could turn into a real long term relationship, or conversely when/how do you know you need put the brakes on it going further?"

    I think it depends entirely on how you feel about each other, and how you communicate that to each other, in words and deeds.



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 21, 2011 7:03 PM GMT
    hartfan said

    When you start seeing a guy, when/how do you know that it could turn into a real long term relationship, or conversely when/how do you know you need put the brakes on it going further? Thanks in advance for the quality replies.


    I don't date guys very long unless there's really a spark of magic happening. If on the first date I don't crave his presence when he gets up from the table, I know inside that I'm not feeling it already.

    But as to a serious, serious relationship... the way I knew was sort of specific to me, so i don't know if it is specific to everyone. With my last boyfriend, one day we were laying in bed and he said something so sweet to me, so genuine, that it cut straight through everything and hit me in the heart. Right then I could begin imagining growing old with him, and that's when I knew.

    - L
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    Sep 21, 2011 7:35 PM GMT
    you can't... life's like that!!! filled with suprises... hopefully all good ones too... good luck!!
  • tallchris

    Posts: 121

    Sep 21, 2011 7:45 PM GMT
    In my experience, you know well enough in 3-4 months. It's very rough and ready, but it has applied many times for me, and almost never has not. Having talked to friends over the years, I have found it seems to be true for others too. I hope that helps you, but of course only you can know how you feel.
  • tallchris

    Posts: 121

    Sep 21, 2011 7:51 PM GMT
    I have just re-read your original post more carefully. One of my very few exceptions to the 3-4 onths thing was a long-distance relationship where we only saw each other for spells every couple of months. That stretched it out to about 6 months, but in retrospect it should not have lasted that long. Absence makes the heart grow fonder (and the ardour harder).
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    Sep 21, 2011 8:26 PM GMT
    In my last relationship, there were many signs along the way, which I ignored until they were impossible to ignore. The final thing was when I said I wanted to move to New York and he wanted to buy his parents' farm. He expected me to live on the farm with him but would never, not even for a second, consider moving to New York. I told him it would end up like "The Shining" if I lived on the farm.

    Moving to NY created a lot of personal and professional opportunities that I wouldn't have had in the Midwest.

    I met someone very special after moving, and we've been together for almost four years now. We've both had some difficult times in our lives and we know we can count on each other for support. When things were at their worst, I couldn't imagine facing them with anyone else. I know that I could live without him if I had to, but I never want to.