Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I Really Want to Know What You Think.......

My boyfriend and I have had some rather intense discussions as of late, and I think I have learned a lot about him, and about myself.

(you knew there had to be a "but" after that last sentence, didn't you?)

We disagree on a couple of points. That's cool, we don't have to agree on everything.
But there is one item, which he says I am THE FIRST WOMAN in his whole life to ever bring up, that I think it is a given and he says is not.

So here's where you, my dear readers, come into the picture. I want to know what you think. I am particularly interested in the male point of view, although I am also interested in the women, since I would like to know if I am alone in this philosophy or if other women think like I do.

I am the first to admit that I am not a success in mature, healthy relationships. I married my first husband at age 22, and we did not have a mature relationship. I took him for granted, he cheated on me, and we were so busy having kids that we didn't relate very well to each other at all. I married my second husband on the rebound, and we had nothing in common. I have dated a handful of men since the first divorce, and Baron is the first long-term relationship since my 2nd husband. So MAYBE I don't know what I'm talking about. Or maybe I do.

Here's the issue: I think for a relationship to be a good one, a healthy one, it has to continue to grow and change. It takes work. You have to put yourself into it, and you have to be able to adapt and bend and compromise and stretch. You need to know where you're going, or at least where you want to go. And it shouldn't be a "have to". It should be a "want to". Baron says that no woman he has ever loved has ever said the relationship had to keep changing, that it's okay to just "be" and love and cherish the time together, with no future goal or purpose in mind.

What do you think? Please, let me know, and invite your blogging friends to stop by and leave an opinion. I want a really large sample of opinions here.

Thanks, all.


Tense Teacher said...

I don't think a relationship HAS TO change, but I think it's going to, whether you want it to or not because life never gives us the same day twice. The key is to recognize and embrace those changes TOGETHER; if one half of the couple grows and changes, while the other remains stagnant, the relationship is likely doomed.

ann/raysretreat said...

I agree with the above comment... change is inevitable. We change whether we mean to or not... circumstances change and as we grow with our experiences and life we become different people. Each one of us can look back 10 years ago and see changes in who we are... what we think... even a year ago brings change in ourselves and so inevitably those relationships change.
Men I think have a harder time adapting to change of any kind.

Jay said...

I think men spend a lot less time thinking about the future of a relationship. I think women like to talk about where the relationship is going and what it will look like and feel like in the future. For men the relationship pretty much just "is". It just exists and it goes wherever it goes on it's own.

But then again, I'm a 38 year old single guy who has never been married. So, what the hell do I know.

Hale McKay said...

We grow, we age, and we change. There are changes in every facet of our lives. We have to change and adapt with those changes.

That applies also to our relationships. Our needs change.

As long as this guy feels your relationship, him and you, don't have to change - I'm afraid this won't work out between you. Sorry to be harsh - but he must change in time even as you change.

captain corky said...

I think for a relationship to be a good one, a healthy one, it has to continue to grow and change.

I think that Love has to grow in order for a relationship to be a good one. As love grows things change inevitably. I don't think change can be forced, it just happens when people are ready.

EC said...

You are absolutely correct - relationships change whether you want them to or not, the key is to go with it and learn from the changes. Meaning if your spouse changes dramatically you have to either look to adapt or change along with him. That is why there are so many divorces, people somehow think that their loved ones are going to be the same at 40 as they are at 25... and we all know that is never going to happen. You have to work at a relationship constantly to make it great.

RWA said...

I guess I'm not really saying anything others haven't said, but I'll throw my two cents' worth in.

I don't think the relationship has to change, but the individuals should be willing to adjust and accept change.

The Princess said...

Things that don't grow and mature become stale.

We are constantly learning and when we stop learning we stop growing.

FindingHeart said...

Lord I'm hoping to keep this under 300 words.

Eveything on God's earth changes. Everything. To what degree? Is it managed well? Those are the questions. But there is no question that you must expect change.

That being said, you can't marry expecting certain changes to be made afterward. "Once we're married, he'll..." I've learned to enjoy new foods as I got older. Did I learn to like them because I wanted to, because I wanted to for someone else, or because I realized that the new choice was healthier for me.

Our likes and dislikes change with time. Our appearance changes. (For some people, sexual preferences change. Grrr.) Most of those changes would never threaten a strong marriage. But can you plan for them? Does a guy sit there and tell you how he plans to change in the future? Probably not. I plan on traveling A LOT after the kids are out of the house. That would be a big change that I can plan for. My writing gets published and I become a known author and have to start traveling to sell the book. That is not in my plans and would dramatically effect my life with a partner; unplanned.

So, yes, whether you want to or not, every relationship goes through changes. The comittment between the two partners determines the outcome.

HoosierGirl5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoosierGirl5 said...

Let me just clarify one thing: this post is not about getting engaged or married, this post is about whether a relationship needs to grow and change or it can just "be" as it is. I am not trying to force Baron into doing anything or committing to anything. I am never going to try to make anyone love me again. I did that once and it was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I just wanted to know if anyone out there thinks like I do, male or female. If I'm off-base, I need to hear it.

J. said...

Well ... you're BOTH right. He just doesn't see it as you do.
While a relationship does need to just "be" (as he says), while it's doing all that "be-ing" it's growing and changing and adapting.
Nothing can stay stagnant forever. 'Tis not natural y'know.

mjd said...

Hmmm, being married 40 years, I ought to be an expert. However, I did not feel even a little mature until my 46th birthday.

I think that j. has a good point you both are right. A good relationship does take some loving and cherishing. On the other hand, a successful relationship does take work that includes compromising and stretching. Maybe the trick is in doing these things in concert with your partner. However, I am guessing that most relationships can do without overscrutinizing or without an abundance of too much analyzing.

I just saw your little floating butterfly...cool.

MIA said...

Hi it's me... Ok here are my thoughts. I believe in a natural evolution of a relationship. That is what I am experiencing now and it is wonderful. From our first date until now we have had many changes. We have discussions. For instance a change is you are dating in the early early stages then evolve to exclusive etc. These are changes that are a constant. I think some personalities need to know if there is a future because they are vesting so much in the relationship and just want a check so to speak to make sure each individual is in the same place r thinking about the same goals. My other belief is FOUR SEASONS. If after four seasons (1 year) neither of you are sure about the future, I think it may be time to move on. I think if you spend enough time with someone in a year you know what you need to. You may not know every single little thing but you know the things that you can and can't live with. That brings me to this, it's about acceptance always will be. What you can and can not accept. If you just can't except a certain aspect(s) about the person, we know it will not change nor should we try to. I hope this helps girlie. I'll email you some more thoughts later. xoxo

DT said...

People change so relationships do. It's important to look to the future and set goals for yourself, but you have to talk about them with your partner if you hope to share your future with them. If you don't know where your partner hopes/plans to be in x amount of time, you won't know if your plans mesh.

But that doesn't in any way mean that you ALWAYS look to the future and don't spend time just enjoying the present.

My husband and I do a regular "state of the union" sort of talk, just to make sure that we're still headed the same way. There have been some surprises in the last 10 years, but because we have those regular talks, they haven't become anything we couldn't handle.

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Letting a relationship just be, to open on its own like a flower is theonly way to have one, in my opinion.

The alternative is to force your lives to go down certain paths and demand from Life that it keeps changing with goals you think you need to have met.

That will always, always, always strain any relationship because it is those goals that will become the focus and be a source of frustration for you both if they're not met, or worse, if they appear to become null because it doesn't seem to be going that way for you.

Having goals for yourself is nice, and a general goal (having a house by the time you're 30, etc) is good too. But basing a relationship off the premise that everything about the two of you and your dynamic together is going to change to meet certain goals is not only hard work, but it's also fighting against the natural fabric of life and you will probably lose in the end.

Let the flower open on its own. Don't force it to be something you want it to be.


eatmisery said...

Change and growth are inevitable.

HoosierGirl5 said...

Thanks everyone.

This topic is closed.