Nail in the coffin

MnMale32 wrote:

Have you ever had one of those “nail in the coffin” moments?  By that, I mean a moment in which you realize that without a doubt, you don’t want to be with someone?

I had one last night.  I have been dating Tasha for years and we’ve been inseparable but over time, I have started to pull away.  I give and give emotionally and she rarely reciprocates.  I do little, romantic things for her and I get nothing in return.  I try to show her that I think of her and she doesn’t do any of that for me.  I am not trying to be selfish here, but it’d be nice to have her return the favor once in awhile.  Even just a sweet comment from her would be nice.  She’s even selfish during sex and will often stop once she’s “had her fun”, even if I am still wanting to continue.

Anyway, I was with her last night at dinner and I told her she looked beautiful.  She said, “Thanks, I like this dress too.”  She began talking about her work issues and I complimented her intelligence and ability to handle stress.  She said, “WELL, yeah, I didn’t think I was the problem in all of that.”

That was it.  She is too self absorbed for me to tolerate any longer.  To me, a relationship is a two way street and she obviously doesn’t understand that.  It’s a huge letdown to know that I’ve spent the last 8 months of my life investing so much and it only recently hit me that I am not getting anything in return.

I guess my question to you is, why didn’t I notice it sooner, and how do I keep this from happening in the future?

MnMale32

MnMale32,

I can understand how this would be frustrating.  I have been in similar situations (both the “giving and not getting” and the “nail in the coffin” situations) and it’s not a fun realization.

Sometimes, when a relationship is just starting, people have their walls up.  They may act better than they normally would, they may be more polite or shy, and they may even hold back feelings if they’ve been hurt before.  This usually fades over the first few months as that person begins to feel more comfortable.  Eight months in is much too long to have the walls up, in my opinion.  In this situation, I’d say she is either taking advantage of you, she isn’t into you and doesn’t know how to end things, or both.  You didn’t notice early on because things were still exciting and new.  You may have had your own walls up at first and when you dropped yours and noticed hers were still up, it began to affect you.

You’re right in feeling that a relationship is a give and take and both people need to perform the giving and the taking.  It’s essentially a team bond that is formed and a team doesn’t work with one person.

How to keep this from happening in the future can vary by the situation but here are a few pointers:

1)  Always be clear with your expectations and know where you stand in a relationship.    You should lay it out up front and ask your partner where he/she wants to go with things.

2)  Keep the lines of communication open at all times.  Be respectful and feel comfortable expressing your emotions and concerns.  Be receptive to the other person’s concerns and feelings as well.

3)  Keep it honest.  If you’re not feeling things are working, make it known.  If you want more or less time with the person, let them know..and be prepared to hear it in return.

4)  Be understanding.  Feelings develop slowly for different people.  You won’t always be on the same page, but when all is said and done, you should be able to see where the relationship is going.

5)  Move slowly.  Just because you’re dating doesn’t mean you NEED to move in together or you NEED to get engaged right off of the bat.  Just take things as they come, consider each other’s feelings, and take the steps that come after you’ve both decided it’s the right move.  Don’t pressure anyone into anything.

It sounds like you may be better off without this woman.  Have a talk with her and try and decipher her stance on things.  If she wants out, then it’s time you find the right person to be with.  If she just has her walls up, it may be time to have a conversation to find out how to make her more comfortable.

Sean

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