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Old 04-24-2010, 09:10 PM   #1
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How do you know?

How do you know when you're with the one you're supposed to be with forever? People tell me you will "just know," but I have dated women for years and still didn't know. I am starting to wonder if I will ever know.

I broke off a 4 year relationship last summer bc we were both unhappy. She was constantly complaining and in bad moods and I had muddled through it for years before I finally told her I wanted us to move on. A few months later I met a girl that I fell for hard.

Problem was she ended up being crazy. I strongly feel like she was borderline personality disorder. Her behavior was so off the wall sometimes. Her moods were unpredictable. That's another post though. I don't know why I fell for her. She was like a drug to me. Very bad for me, but I was addicted to her. After about 3 or 4 months I couldn't take it anymore and I broke it off with her.

Come Christmas time I was getting very lonely. I missed both of my exes, but I didn't know what to do. Coincidently a few weeks before Christmas I ran into my ex g/f (one that I had dated for 4 years). She was so happy to see me and I was her...but I felt really guilty about dating the crazy girl during our hiatus. I don't know why...maybe it was bc I knew she hadn't dated anyone while we were apart? I struggled with whether I should have told her I seriously dated someone while we were apart. I ultimately decided it wasn't her business since we were broken up, but I still felt guilty inside about it.

Anyway, that's another subject...long story short she wanted to jump right back into seeing me and although I tried to explain we should take things slow, it didn't really work that way.

She really had changed a lot, for the better. She seemed so much happier and doesn't complain much anymore. Doesn't care if I want to go mountain biking with the guys, or if I want to go rock climbing. She used to get ****** about those things and I felt like I was going to make her mad if I ever wanted to do anything without her.

I'm so glad she had made all these changes, but I can't help but think that it will eventually go back to the way it was. I am so skeptical and I just can't seem to let go of the memories and thoughts I have about our past.

In addition to this...I still don't know if she's "the one." I've told her that I don't know if I want to get married (to anyone) and I don't want to waste her time. I have been totally up front with her, bc I don't think it would be fair to lead her on.

She has been so good since we got back together, but I just don't feel that burning desire inside like I did with the crazy girl. I mean, I love the girl I dated for 4 years, but I just don't know if I am IN love with her. It's so weird...I feel more like her friend, than her lover.

I feel so bad now b/c I don't want to hurt her. But I feel like I am hurting her more by being with her, b/c she isn't going to meet the right man for her (if I'm not him) as long as she's with me. She is head over heels for me and I just don't know what to do. I can't force myself to feel something that I don't feel. If I could flip a switch that made me have that desire for her, I would.

So for those of you that have been in a successful LTR or marriage...how did you know? When did you know? Did it ever get "old?" Like I mean...did you lose the passion and desire? Does every relationship eventually become just a really good friendship?

Last edited by Tubular; 04-24-2010 at 09:22 PM.

 
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:52 PM   #2
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Re: How do you know?

Hmmmmmm.......honestly speaking, I dont think you ever really know what it is you think you know. It's one thing to date, but it's entirely another to get married and have children. I never really "knew" that my husband was "THE ONE" until long after we married actually. It's kinda funny but you should know that I got married when I was only 19. That's way to young to know anything! I had cold feet in the beginning and wanted out, but by then I was pregnant so I stayed. He was good to me and kind. What at first I thought was love was only infatuation and it faded after the honeymoon! lol. Poor guy. But like I said, we stayed and stuck it out and over a period of time, I learned to really appreciate him. One day I woke up and was just comfortable, and realized I had dreams of growing old and being with him for ever. That's when I knew that I had made a good decision and that he was the one. But when your with somebody for a long time, problems do arise. Later he had some internet addiction problems that I've mentioned on here many times before. But we got over it and moved forward. Of course there were times when there was no passion or desire! It's hard to be desireable when you have 3 small children, you have diaper changes, midnight feedings, the dog needs to be let out, a huge house to keep clean, baseball practice, soccer practice, and OMG......the baby just puked on me! lol. Yeah, on those days, you can forget about passion and desire, your just trying to survive! But at the end of it all...........the problems, and the kids, and everything that we went through......I can honestly say it was worth it and that I couldnt imagine having done it with anybody else. And yes......you are going to end up in a very good friendship.....but it isnt a bad thing. I would give anything in the world to have my best friend back. Good luck to you!
Melissa

 
Old 04-25-2010, 12:51 AM   #3
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Re: How do you know?

I'm not married, never even been close to being married, so maybe you don't want to hear from me, but just to throw my two cents in....

I agree, that I don' tthink anyone really "knows." And marriage means something different for everyone. Some people want the passion and love and marry for that reason, but that usually doesn't last. Other people marry for security and marry someone they aren't passionately IN love with, but someone who is a good friend and who will be a good partner, a good parent to the children, a good provider, etc.

My question to you would be, what do you want, I mean waht do you really really want? You say you don't even know if you ever want to be married to anyone, ever. So I guess you don't have dreams of family and life in the suburbs and having someone to come home to every night. You say you miss the crazy girlfriend, you loved her passionately, but then you call her crazy. That seems kind of contradictory to me. How much can you really love someone you have such little respect for that you call her crazy? You say she made your lfie miserable, so what exactly is it about her that you miss? I personally would never really miss anyone who made me crazy.

You've been straight with her and you've told her that you don't even know if you want to ever be married, so you don't have to worry right now about wasting her time. It's her decision to stay with you knowing you may never want to marry her. But for her sake as well as your own, I think you need to do some soul searching and really figure out what you really want out of life, understanding that almost no one gets to have everything, deep abiding true love, intense passion, and the security of a good friendship with your partner. Most people have to choose.

 
Old 04-25-2010, 02:20 AM   #4
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Re: How do you know?

Good points from all.

I've been going to a therapist for a few weeks to talk about these issues I have. He is saying that you shouldn't marry someone just bc you get along with them, or just bc you like them well enough, or bc you think she would be a good mother. He is telling me they have to be all that PLUS you have to feel like they are the only one for you and you think she's the greatest thing since sliced bread. He acknowledges that the passion will die down with time, but that's when the other traits you appreciate will kick in.

Problem with the most recent girl is, I'm not sure if I ever had that passion with her. We were arguing about stuff within about 2 weeks of dating. I'm not sure exactly how we lasted for 4 years! We get along much better now, but she also started taking medication while we were separated, and I think it has mellowed her out. I can't remember what it is, but it's basically an anti-depressant. That's another thing I worry about. I don't know if I want to be with someone that requires medication to get along with me. What if it stops working? What if she decides she doesn't want to take it anymore? Then what happens?

As far as the other girl goes...the one I referred to as crazy. Well she had her moments. We had passion like I've never experienced before. BUT it was almost like she was bi-polar? I mean one day she would be super happy and loving, and then an hour later she wouldn't speak to me (for half the day!) bc she thought I looked at another girl. And I don't mean looked at lustfully, I just mean glanced at!

Or she would tell me I needed to gain some fat b/c my body made her feel self conscience. This wasn't just like a cute request...it was like a point of argument...she would bring it up often and get upset if I didn't eat SIGNIFICANTLY more than her at dinner. Didn't make sense to me b/c she was like 100lbs with no fat and the sexiest tummy I've ever seen.

I felt like I was on eggshells all the time. She'd get mad if I didn't text her at least every couple hours when we were apart. She'd get upset if one of my coworkers was a female and halfway attractive. One day she came by my office to bring me some doughnuts and she got mad and abruptly left when one of my female coworkers spoke to me.

Anyway...like I said, that's another post (and I made a few posts about it when I was going through all that with her).

So I am not sure what to do. I feel like if I was supposed to be married to the girl I dated for 4 years, I would know she's the only girl for me. But I don't know that and I can't risk the entire rest of our lives without being sure.

Also, as I mentioned, I'm not sure if I ever want to get married, but I think part of that is bc I've never been in a really healthy and happy relationship. I kind of wonder if I met that right person, the idea of marriage would suddenly become more attractive.

 
Old 04-25-2010, 07:31 AM   #5
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Re: How do you know?

I say to simply follow your true feelings. To some, marriage is the only way for a couple to be together. Then, their are many who say, "been there, done that", and will not go down that path again.

To be perfectly honest, being married really doesn't offer any more of a commitment to those who no longer want to be there.

As it is said, It's easy being an angel if no one ruffles your feathers!!

Wishing you the best and simply take it slow and commit with your heart, and not in formality.

 
Old 04-25-2010, 10:02 AM   #6
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Re: How do you know?

Oh, now I remember. Yes, I remember you talking about that ex who would get upset if you didn't eat more and looked at another woman and such. Yes, she was a bit left of center. But the fact that you still miss her so much, the fact that the feelings you have for her are confusing, just tells me you are not ready for marriage. I don't know if it's because you just aren't ready, or if it's because this current girl you're with now just isn't the one, but really, I don't think you should stress about it. Unless you seriously want to be married and have a family, and it doesn't sound like you do, then don't worry about it. Like I said, just be honest with her, tell her you don't think you ever want to be married, and whether to stay with a man who will never marry her is her decision to make.

Personally, I feel marriage is a dying institution, anyway. 75% of the married couples out there have no business being married. Finding someone you are in love with, who loves you the same way, who is your best friend and who you get along really well with and who is on the same page with you regarding religion, politics, children and child rearing, world views, etc, and who makes you feel you are done searching forever, only a very small percentage of people ever actually find that. It just doesn't happen for everyone. Most people marry, like I said, because they want to hurry up and have kids, or because they want a warm body next to them, someone to pay the bills, someone to take care of the house and kids while they pursue a career, or something. Marriage is very seldom about love and compatibility and friendship all in one. In the future, I think most people will do it the way Branjelina did. Just draw up contracts and not bother with marriage.

 
Old 04-25-2010, 11:12 AM   #7
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Re: How do you know?

I've said this before to others...I don't believe you "love" the "crazy girl"...you just got kind of addicted to the roller coaster ride. It's the same feeling you get just before going on the steep, scary fast roller coaster or jump off the super high dive. A rush of adrenaline, a bit of fear and never knowing what you are going to get from her (a kiss and hug or a screaming fit). THAT is what some people think is love, when it's really just that rush. You figure, she brings out such strong feelings in me that it must be love! And all that adrenaline makes the sex even better! But...imagine an entire lifetime of that. It would get really old, really fast. You don't want to try to build a life with someone so unstable that you never know what kind of treatment she's going to give you. So, I think you have to get off of the habit of comparing those feelings to what you feel for your current GF, because that's not a real, mature love.

As far as how you "know", I don't think ANYONE is ever 100%, completely and totally sure that the person they marry is the one they will feel that way about forever and ever. BUT, the two people make a conscious decision to BOTH work toward the good of the marriage and never do anything to damage it. And if they do, they sincerely try to repair whatever damage has been done, because they value the marriage and their partner and want nothing but the best for it and for them. If you can't look into the future and see yourself with the current GF, say 15 years from now, then your doubts are strong enough to let her go.
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Last edited by Redneon82; 04-25-2010 at 11:13 AM.

 
Old 04-25-2010, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: How do you know?

I think I also have a "grass is greener" problem. I seem to always be meeting new women through my work, or always have women trying to fix me up with their friends. It's difficult to not question what it would be like to go out with these other women. I enjoy the companionship of my ex, but the passion isn't there, and then I've got all these questions rolling around in my head about the other women that I cross paths with.

I think I probably would want to be married some day. I'm just not sure when.

 
Old 04-25-2010, 12:34 PM   #9
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Re: How do you know?

If you're young, then there's nothing at all wrong with dating around, as long as you are upfront and honest about it. If you feel you are not ready to commit to your current GF, then by all means please do her a huge favor and tell her. Yes, she may be brokenhearted, but imagine if she gave you another 4 years and then you realized she isn't what you want in a lifelong partner. My ex-BIL did that...the poor girl was strung along for 5 years, during which he promised her he'd marry her when he had a better job, when he finished school, when there's a full moon...and never followed through. Now the poor girl is nearly 40 and has to start over trying to find someone in a hurry before she can't have kids anymore. He should have told her he just was not seeing himself marrying her instead of stringing her along with the thought that he "might" eventually be ready to marry.

Go ahead and date around because I think that would be good for you. Maybe put the "relationship" thing on the back burner for now and just enjoy yourself. No reason to hurry at all. But please be honest with the girl you're currently dating.
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:16 PM   #10
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Re: How do you know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneon82 View Post
If you're young, then there's nothing at all wrong with dating around, as long as you are upfront and honest about it. If you feel you are not ready to commit to your current GF, then by all means please do her a huge favor and tell her. Yes, she may be brokenhearted, but imagine if she gave you another 4 years and then you realized she isn't what you want in a lifelong partner. My ex-BIL did that...the poor girl was strung along for 5 years, during which he promised her he'd marry her when he had a better job, when he finished school, when there's a full moon...and never followed through. Now the poor girl is nearly 40 and has to start over trying to find someone in a hurry before she can't have kids anymore. He should have told her he just was not seeing himself marrying her instead of stringing her along with the thought that he "might" eventually be ready to marry.

Go ahead and date around because I think that would be good for you. Maybe put the "relationship" thing on the back burner for now and just enjoy yourself. No reason to hurry at all. But please be honest with the girl you're currently dating.
I'm not in my teens, but I'm still young...I think anyway. I just turned 30.

I have been very honest with her. I've told her that I don't know if I want to get married and I don't know if I even want to be in a serious relationship, but that I do enjoy our time together (we live about 2 hours apart and only get to spend time together on weekends).

She told me that she was willing to do whatever it took to keep me. She said even if that meant only seeing me once a month! I don't think that would be fair to her at all so I mentioned to her that maybe she needs to start going out on some dates with other guys. I said that she was free to still see me if she wanted, but I didn't think it was fair for her to limit herself to just me, when there may be another man out there that would give her more of his time and make her more of a priority.

Anyway, it seems it's quite difficult to go backwards in a relationship...to go from serious to more casual. It didn't take long before she was upset at the situation and was questioning if it was worth it anymore. She cries and asks me why she isn't good enough..."what's wrong with me? Why don't you love me?" I try to explain that I do love her, but that I feel like we're more friends...that the spark isn't there anymore. This is so hard. I don't really have any answers and she just keeps asking me question after question - and understandably so. The problem is, I'm confused myself...I have no idea what the answers to these questions are.

 
Old 04-25-2010, 02:14 PM   #11
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Re: How do you know?

I think that your missing something here. I think your just not happy with her. She isn't the right one for you, which makes you not the right one for her. When you do find the right one, you wont be afraid of it. That's how you will know.

 
Old 04-25-2010, 02:24 PM   #12
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Re: How do you know?

As long as you continue to see her, even "casually", you give her false hope that you will change your mind and marry her. It doesn't matter what you SAY, it's what you DO that convinces her you will eventually marry her. And when you say you "love" her...well, that's as good as saying you do want to be with her forever, even if that's not what you mean. It's very obvious...every minute you spend with her, every time you say you love her, is more hope for her to hold on to.

If you truly do care for her as a friend, you're going to have to do the right thing, no matter how "hard" it is, or how badly it makes you feel. Leave her alone. Explain to her that you think she's a terrific person (do not say you "love" her!) and you think it would be best for you two to not spend any more time together because you care enough about her to not want to give her false hope.

Otherwise, you can continue on as you are, keep giving her false hope, keep her hanging on, keep being "confused" (and confusing her too with your mixed messages)...eventually, you could even cave in and marry her...just to keep from hurting her. I don't think you want that.

And for the record, I don't get the impression you're an unfeeling cad or game player...but you do have to do the right thing, even if it's "hard".
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Old 04-25-2010, 03:09 PM   #13
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Re: How do you know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
She told me that she was willing to do whatever it took to keep me. She said even if that meant only seeing me once a month! I don't think that would be fair to her at all so I mentioned to her that maybe she needs to start going out on some dates with other guys. I said that she was free to still see me if she wanted, but I didn't think it was fair for her to limit herself to just me, when there may be another man out there that would give her more of his time and make her more of a priority.
Ok, this changes things a bit. I have to amend my advice to you. I didn't know she was so into you and that her hopes of it working out with you were blinding her to the truth. It seems she is deluding herself here and not really listening to you.

I agree, when a relationship gets this far out of balance, as sad and hard as it may be, it's time to cut bait. Set her free so she can heal and move on and find someone who will love her as much as she loves them. the longer you drag it out, the more hurt she will be when you eventually and inevitabely end it.

30 does sound a bit, well, old to still be so undecided about the future and whether you want kids, a family or that kind of thing, but men do have it easier. Men have more time. They can start families at 50. Women can't.

 
Old 04-26-2010, 01:15 AM   #14
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Re: How do you know?

I don't know if there is "one" for everyone, but if it is her, I guess the answer would be when you no longer have to ask this question.

 
Old 04-26-2010, 09:18 AM   #15
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Re: How do you know?

Dude, what are you really looking for here?
If we all said that you wrong and that you should go and get a ring for her and propose, would you do it?? I don't think you would.
If we said she is not the one for you, would you feel better about yourself to break up with her?

 
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