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My Love-Hate Relationship With The Future

Sometimes, the whole relationship thing seems relatively impossible, and really kind of depressing.

I see other people all around me, every day, who somehow make it work. There are people in the world that accomplish this idea of having a committed relationship with one person that is not only a good match and free of horribly destructive tendencies like lying, stealing, cheating, screwing around, beating people up, needing to control others, and engaging in addictions to anything out there that a person can find himself addicted to—but then on top of that, actually wants to build a future with another person and has goals headed in the same direction, and doesn’t have any huge life obstacles preventing this potential future from happening. Typically, I do not know these people—although there are a few in my circle of friends—and I have historically not ended up in relationships with these people, but I do somehow know they’re out there.

I am, admittedly, not the most commitment-oriented person on the planet, and I have my share of huge issues to deal with, which is likely why I attract the same. I’ve been dating The Guy I Am Currently Dating for two and a half years now, and during that time, I’ve discovered he’s still one of those truly good guys, the kind that is free of deal-breaking habits, is willing to put up with my shit and like me anyway, treats me well, and helps to make me a better person. It’s hard to find those guys, particularly when you’re me, and you’re attracted to drama, chaos, and things that don’t make you a better person.

The trouble is, whenever I think about the future, I feel a little depressed and lost. It’s not just that after two and a half years, we’re not living together, not engaged, not married, and have no immediate plans to move the relationship forward past the hanging out three days a week phase. That is kind of unusual, based on my previous life experience, but let’s admit it, my previous life experience hasn’t exactly worked out for me. I’ve made living together and getting engaged important steps in the relationship, which then lead to a desire for freedom, independence, and the realisation I’ve committed myself to the wrong person—or perhaps that I’m just the wrong person for that kind of commitment.

However, I’ve also ended/caused the end of relationships because it occurred to me that after two years, a guy who hasn’t proposed or asked me to move in with him probably isn’t the right person for me. In my mind, that’s enough time to determine whether or not you’ve found the right person—and if you haven’t, it’s a good idea to move on. Maybe it’s not so much that I need that kind of commitment in my life *right now*, it’s just that I need to know that the person I’m investing my time, energy, and feelings in actually likes me enough to want that kind of commitment with me. I need to know that the other person sees a future with me, and plans for that future could actually be a possibility….you know, in the future.

The Guy I Am Currently Dating tells me I am the right person for him, and he sees a future with me, but what I see is a whole lot of obstacles and uncertainties that would make that kind of future an impossibility, even if he wanted that…and I’m not sure he does. In my experience, guys who have gotten past a certain age and have avoided making serious commitments in the relationship department have done so for a reason—and the reason is often that, no matter how much they like someone or how perfect that someone is, they’re happy being permanent bachelors. And, commitment-phobic as I am, I somehow know that’s not right for me.

I’m afraid of continually making this same mistake, of investing years of my life into someone who doesn’t want what I want—either because they’re in a hurry to get married and have kids *right now*, or because they’ve made it to a different stage of life, where dating and maintaining separate lives is ideal. When I think about the future, I feel sad, because I’m tired of having to say goodbye to people, not because I don’t love them, but because our futures don’t fit together, or the obstacles are too great. But, when that’s the case, the only alternative is to not say goodbye…and accept that the other person may never want what you want.

I’m not sure which is the more painful, so most of the time, I relegate “the future” into that “thing I don’t think about” category. But one day, I’m going to have to, and it’s going to put me back in the position of making really hard choices. :( ((

I am not sure how people *ever* get together, much less make it work out for the long term. But, with a 50% divorce rate in this country, I’m not sure anyone else does, either.

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