Why get into a relationship if you don't intend to go long-term?

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There's something I've been thinking about for a few hours now, and I wanted to express and get some perspective on my thoughts on relationships.

I'm 24 years old. I've been dating since I was seventeen. I've always only looked for marriage-material girls and, later, women. I don't like casual dating, preferring a stable relationship with hopes of a solid future.
I'm far from a stalker or one of those lunatics who names their children three weeks into the relationship. I'm yet to so much as live with a girlfriend.

But I don't get relationships (I hesitate to use that term here) that are just 'playing around' or 'casual dating'. If both people are happy in their relationship, whatever stage it's at or what they do together, there's nothing wrong with that, from casual fucking to marriage, and I appreciate getting to know one another to see where it goes, but after a few years in a relationship, why do people still say no to proposals or won't propose, or think 'I don't think I'd want to marry him/her' - I know it takes time and care to make that decision but if you're going to say no, and if one person wants something and the other doesn't, why bother with the relationship?

This is pretty much a drooling rant, and I'm not bitchy about something happening to me. I'm very happy relationship-wise.

Well for one marriage is incredibly over-rated. A lot of people I know have no intention of marrying even though they've found the "perfect" partner. Why? Because it costs a fortune, it adds unnecessary stress on the relationship, and it doesn't really have any benefit (now, I could be wrong, but that's how we see it). Hell, my cousin got married after being with her boyfriend for about 7 years, they had 2 kids already, and they found they couldn't deal with the stress. So they divorced, yet they still live together, just like before.

Also, some fooling around can be a good way to teach you what you actually look for in a partner, because as far as I can tell, there will always be some peer pressure to go for a certain type, while you might end up liking something completely different. Just my two cents.

Having been in a few relationships in my time, I don't believe that anyone gets into a "relationship" with the sole intent of making it just a short term fling.

During the initial stages of the relationship, the partners are learning things about each other and finding out if they are compatible. There are occasions when one partner finds a characteristic about the other they find incompatible with a successful relationship. At the point, is it wiser to continue with the relationship, knowing that it will fail, or is it wiser to break it off at that point?

Some people find these flaws sooner, some find it later. The important thing to note is that someone I don't believe that a person would get into a relationship, invest themselves emotionally only to throw it away later at will for no good reason. It just doesn't work out sometimes.

For sex. It feels good, in case you havnt heard.

I'm pretty much the same way, I have flings with girls I don't want to marry, for actual girlfriends I want a future spouse.

KarmaTheAlligator:
and it doesn't really have any benefit (now, I could be wrong, but that's how we see it).

Well it depends where you are from, but there is usually a whole lot of tax and legal benefits. As for stress and costs of the marriage, that's what you make yourself. Some people have no ceremony, just go and get registered. My father when he remarried just had about 12 people at a tiny church one afternoon.

Why go into a relationship intending to get married to that person? You might turn out absolutely hating them in a couple of months, or things just might not work out for some reason or another, such as geographical distance/commitments to work.

A relationship can still be fun even if it's relatively short-lived. And at the end of the day a relationship is meant to do just that - be fun and give you some companionship. As long as you're not purposely looking for very short-term things and masking your intentions, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Because like you said, it requires time and care, and probably because if they don't get married, and something goes wrong, they can get out of there a lot quicker than if they were married. Oh, and it's also very expensive.

I guess these people go into casual relationships because they trust the partner to want a casual relationship too without proposals, just like any kind of trust when going into a relationship. Of course there's a chance of the partner eventually wanting marriage, but most people would rather be in a casual relationship that eventually ended than in no relationship at all.

Hard to explain..Last year I met an amazing girl in june who was leaving for Roehampton university in september, even though there was allways that Elephant in the room that she was leaving and we both knew it, I still realy fell for her dispite telling myself not too.

Meh, feelings.

Women are lovely, and all are unique. One should sleep with as many different ladies as one is able to.

KarmaTheAlligator:
Why? Because it costs a fortune

And in the US the tax breaks pay for it in two or three years. It can also mean easier loans with lower interest rates, for some reason banks tend to be more likely to give a loan to a married couple than a non-married one. It also simplifies banking since you can have both names on the same bank account, autodeposit paychecks into it, etc etc.

Financially speaking it's a good idea to get married, 'specially if you plan on living with that person for the rest of your years anyway. I know I will be.

Oh, and should I mention that visitation rights and similar stuff is based around marriage as well? If you're not married you have to go through the courts in order to make decisions for an incapacitated partner after, say, a nasty car crash. If you are married there's no red tape in the way.

it adds unnecessary stress on the relationship

If it adds unnecessary stress to the relationship chances are the two people aren't meant for each other. Marriage shouldn't change a damn thing stresswise.

and it doesn't really have any benefit

See above tax breaks.

Hell, my cousin got married after being with her boyfriend for about 7 years, they had 2 kids already, and they found they couldn't deal with the stress. So they divorced, yet they still live together, just like before.

I'd say they aren't meant for each other if getting married made it stressful to be together.

Also, some fooling around can be a good way to teach you what you actually look for in a partner, because as far as I can tell, there will always be some peer pressure to go for a certain type, while you might end up liking something completely different. Just my two cents.

I find it odd that people have so much trouble telling peer pressure to fuck off. I never had any trouble with it at all.

It is odd i am absolutely nothing like you, and yet I agree entirely. As a disclaimer i do not see you method ad wrong it is mealy a diffident preference.

I am fine with the whole idea of (and i detest this term) "friends with benefits" In fact i do not see why this is so gutting edge and even taboo to some people, to me it is just reasonable. If two people even with no intention of being "in a relationship" decide to have sex because they are mutually attracted to one another why is that odd in the slightest? I simply do not understand it I have had quite a few of such friendships and everyone but me found it strange or highly progressive.

I am now married in what I do see as a fairly progressive relationship as it is not exclusively monogamous. It is still predominantly so but if me and my partner both want to sleep with a third party and they agree and the subject come up it is fairly likely to happen, it is quite rare in that it has only happened twice in five years but i can at least grasp how people find it odd.

All of the above is to make his simple point. Most people in a casual relationship are in it for sex, but if this is the case why is it even a relationship for that is simply something that in my mind can only get in the way. After all you did this for sex who is to say you will not have another "relationship" for sex and damage the any person under the assumption you had the indention of exclusivity.

Probably to enjoy the relationship while it lasts. Why look at it as something that is supposed to end in marriage instead of something that can be enjoyable in and of itself?

I'm in a long term relationship myself (together for 4.5 years so far, got engaged 2 years ago but I've been lacking job security, so yeah....) and honestly, people who treat relationships like quick fun to be discarded quickly really do bother me.

Why? Because sex. Sex is great, I'm not saying it isn't. But the problem is that CHILDREN happen because of sex. I know many youths whose entire lives have been terrible simply due to unfit parents who slept together a bit, broke up, and have been fighting ever since.

Before you sleep with someone, you need to stop and ask yourself, "Is this someone I can see myself sharing this responsibility with?" But nope, people tend to not do that, which leads to problems. And the sad part is, there's a lot of couples who CAN'T have kids, and would love to give a child a good home, and then you have bad parents ruining their children's lives?

Sex is, admittedly, important to any strong, long-lasting romantic relationship. It's a wonderful release of tension and stress that you only share together. But when people hook up simply for aa quick lay and then break it off, that's not right.

atol:

Ranylyn:
But when people hook up simply for aa quick lay and then break it off, that's not right.

Because...

... did you seriously just ignore the rest of my post just to quote that?

Read it. You shouldn't need to ask "because."

Not every relationship ends up being long-term.

That may or may not be the intention, but sometimes shit happens.

I think it can be summed up like this. Different people have different expectations and desires.

Meh.

When you get into a relationship you have no idea if it is going to work in the long run. Usually, you do not know each other that well, there are still roadblocks in your way, issues to overcome. Life might throw you a curveball like a parent getting ill or your partner being hospitalised.

You just don't know how things are going to go.

Entering every relationship with the aim of settling down and getting married is just dumb. Entering every relationship, from the age of 17 onwards, with the hope that this will be the "One" is just... Dangerous.

Hell, I am 20 and I am still changing, Still going through a lot. 2 years ago I was engaged and by the 9 divines (hah) I am so very, very glad that fell through.

People "Casually" date because all dating starts of as "Casual". Normally you do not meet someone, fall in love, start dating and live happily ever after. Since you don't know if someone is going to be compatible, throwing your all into every relationship can just leave you very, very hurt. Most people do not want to open themselves up that much.

So why get into a relationship if you dont intend to go "Long Term"? Because you want to be happy, you want to live in the moment, you think that you are whoever have some form of future together, be it 2 months, 6 months, a year, 5 years or perhaps even a lifetime. You need to date so you can learn.

You gotta remember that. Dating is a learning experience. Life is a learning experience. Very few people are ready to settle down at 17.

There are people out there who are ready to try and go the long haul with someone. Just dont expect them to start popping up as early as you apparently did.

Sansha:
There's something I've been thinking about for a few hours now, and I wanted to express and get some perspective on my thoughts on relationships.

I'm 24 years old. I've been dating since I was seventeen. I've always only looked for marriage-material girls and, later, women. I don't like casual dating, preferring a stable relationship with hopes of a solid future.

I'm far from a stalker or one of those lunatics who names their children three weeks into the relationship. I'm yet to so much as live with a girlfriend.

But I don't get relationships (I hesitate to use that term here) that are just 'playing around' or 'casual dating'. I appreciate getting to know one another to see where it goes, but after a few years in a relationship, why do people still say no to proposals or won't propose, or think 'I don't think I'd want to marry him/her' - I know it takes time and care to make that decision but if you're going to say no, and if one person wants something and the other doesn't, why bother with the relationship?

This is pretty much a drooling rant, and I'm not bitchy about something happening to me. I'm very happy relationship-wise.

Yeesh. Okay. Hmm. Where to begin.

First, here's where I'm coming from. I'm 36. 37 in a month. Like you, I've been dating since I was 17. I've had short relationships and long relationships. A couple of three year relationships that ended, and my current relationship is 7 years and running. We are not married. We have no immediate plans to get married.

I've dated commitment phobes, and I've dated marriage minded women. I've dated conservatives and free spirits. I've had a woman tell me I was the love of her life on the first date, and another woman tell me she was planning on sleeping with an old flame and she didn't want it to hurt our relationship. I'm certainly not the most experienced dude on the planet...far from it. But I've had some experience, and what lessons I've learned have been well earned, occasionally at high cost.

1. If you go around thinking every woman/man you date needs to be "the one" you will put enormous, crippling pressure on a new relationship. Few things are more fragile than a new relationship. Hell, few things are more fragile than a long relationship. Romantic entanglements are not made of steel and stone. They are living things. They're gossamer. They're budding plants. They're the air that exists in the space between two people. You can crush them in the blink of an eye if you're stupid about them. They require a deft touch, and if there is anything less deft than "I AM SEARCHING FOR THE ONE" I've not come across it.

2. The whole notion of "the one" is complete and utter crap anyway. There is no such thing. Anyone can be "the one" at any time. There is no fate or karma or cosmic connection that knits you to another human being. It's a Hollywood convention, a literary device. It does not exist in the real world. Believing in it on any level is counterproductive to actual, healthy relationships.

3. You are not built for monogamy. That is not to say you cannot be monogamous, or that your upbringing and general personality hasn't lead you to prefer monogamy, but you are a human being, and human beings are biologically wired to be poly-amorous. Monogamy is not your natural state. At one time or another, you will strain against it. So will the women you date. It's inevitable.

4. All relationships end, in death or parting. Unless you are highly religious and like to imagine it stretching on for time eternal, you need to be aware of this. They are transitory by nature. That does not make them any less precious, or any less beautiful, or any less meaningful. All the relationships you've had that have ended meant something. They built who you are. They made up a part of your life. The fact that they ended didn't make them worthless or a waste of that time. I treasure all the relationships I've had. Even the ones where I got cheated on, or hurt badly, or where I behaved like a dick.

5. Just because you love someone today does not ensure you will love them tomorrow. You are constantly changing, ESPECIALLY when you are young. They are constantly changing. Sometimes fortune smiles upon you and you find yourselves growing closer together. And sometimes, through no fault of anyone involved, you grow apart. And what once was a happy union is now mired in bitter discord. You cannot prevent this happening. You cannot find anyone who is guarantee or proof against change.

6. None of this means you can't date someone with a hope for a future together, but the most important thing to take from all this is to enjoy the person for what they are today, not for what they might be to you 3, 5, 10 years down the road. Are they making you happy today? Yes? Then they are the right person for you. And if it ends, it ends. There is beauty in the deep rooted, long lived oak, but there is no less beauty in the brief spark of light that illuminates the dark, either. ALL that matters is that you loved someone, and got loved. Be it for a week or a year or 50 years or until you both are in the mud. Just let your relationships be what they are. That wild, impetuous girl who is terrified of commitment might grow into you. That stable, sensible girl who wants a family and a future may have a crisis and bolt, or simply wake up one morning and decide that she doesn't love you any more. The only guarantee in life is that there are no guarantees, so enjoy what you have while you have it.

If you've dated a woman for a couple of years and she's still not ready to 'commit', but you still love her and love being with her, WHO CARES. Why is the intangible question of a commitment more valuable than the tangible reality of her? Why do you assume it will make you happier?

My boss got married a couple of years ago. Finally had that commitment he'd wanted after years of searching. A year into the marriage, things were tense between them and he was growing increasingly sad and worn down. Then, he found out she'd been cheating on him with his best friend. His world imploded.

Now, he's casually dating a girl who is equally shy of a relationship. He's never been happier. They have no plans for marriage, or even to move in together. They're just enjoying one another's company.

And I am just FUCKING RAMBLING now and wandering all over the place, so let me try TLDR this.

1. All relationships are transitory.
2. All relationships will end.
3. There is no "one person" that is right for you forever. Only people who are right for you right now.
4. Enjoy it while you have it. It can be gone or changed in an instant.
5. The quality of a relationship never has and never will be measured by its length, or the depth of its commitment, only in how happy it's made you.

Did any of that make sense? Or am I just talking rubbish? It's early. I'm tired. I had crazy dreams all night.

Well there ARE couples who are legal bared from marrying, other than that, they may just not see any reason to if they're already living together happily.

TestECull:
*Snip*

It's not just other people's expectations but their own. People are lead to believe marriage requires that they behave a certain way, even if it really only means they now have another piece of jewelry. There is the cultural obligation to start a family and to behave responsibly. It also changes their outlook on the relationship: before you were together because you wanted to be, now you're together because you have to.

Plus the actual wedding ceremony can be stressful as fuck. Lots Girls are still raised to believe that marriage is the life long goal and it that is should be their happiest day of her life. You do know why there is a line at the suicide both come X-mass time? You have to worry about seating arrangements, music, putting-up with in laws, the dresses, the cost. And if you're not completely thrilled about everything ALL the time, then either something is terribly wrong with you or it's a sign that the marriage is doomed. DOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMED!

Sansha:
I'm far from a stalker or one of those lunatics who names their children three weeks into the relationship.

OI what's wrong with that? I've already got some names picked out for my kids: Lister and Tom Hanks, Dame Judy and Zoe Dee. And I'm not even IN a relationship!

It basically warms them into the concept of relationships and, yeah, a lot of people just get into casual relationships for the sex.

Or, for a simplified explanation: it feels good. Relationships feel good. Sex feels good. Feelings (sexual, romantic, or both), whether you like it or not, are strong. Humans are temporary creatures with short-attention spans. Once they get bored with something, they stop doing it. They move on to something else. And then, once they get bored with that, they move on. If they're still bored after all those times, they may eventually learn from it and swerve off it for life, until some years down the line when they realize they like it again. Then they die.

HUMANS/LIFE/RELATIONSHIPS...ARE...WEIIIIIIIRD!

DVS BSTrD:
Well there ARE couples who are legal bared from marrying, other than that, they may just not see any reason to if they're already living together happily.

TestECull:
*Snip*

It's not just other people's expectations but their own. People are lead to believe marriage requires that they behave a certain way, even if it really only means they now have another piece of jewelry. There is the cultural obligation to start a family and to behave responsibly. It also changes their outlook on the relationship: before you were together because you wanted to be, now you're together because you have to.

Plus the actual wedding ceremony can be stressful as fuck. Lots Girls are still raised to believe that marriage is the life long goal and it that is should be their happiest day of her life. You do know why there is a line at the suicide both come X-mass time? You have to worry about seating arrangements, music, putting-up with in laws, the dresses, the cost. And if you're not completely thrilled about everything ALL the time, then either something is terribly wrong with you or it's a sign that the marriage is doomed. DOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMED

If thats how things end up they shouldnt be married. Marriage should change absolutely nothing as far as stress goes, nor should it change their plans. theres no law saying you have to start a family, and in most cases it would bankrupt the newlyweds....i say anyone who cant tell society to fuck off is too spineless to marry.

As for the ceremony...its all pomp and circumstance anywho. The actual marriage happens at the county clerk's office the next day. So take the ceremony and run with it. My gf and i have basically agreed that we will walk down the aisle while james hetfield sings an irish drinking song, and we will be leaving skid marks and v8 noises in the church parking lot when its done. She wont be wearing a big, flowery gown, the crowd will be small, and there will most likely be beer on tap. Its definitely not a stereotypical ceremony, but it will be a good one....

...its hard to have a bad one when you headbang to metallica then do a burnout. :3

cause being in a relationship is technically cheaper than coke and hookers or the old rub and tug.

For the same reason we play video games that won't last forever--it's fun. I wouldn't go as far as some here and say it's just for sex (seems kind of shallow to me) but having a close relationship with someone is a great way to feel loved and to relax. It's like a drug that makes you happy :P

TestECull:

DVS BSTrD:
Well there ARE couples who are legal bared from marrying, other than that, they may just not see any reason to if they're already living together happily.

TestECull:
*Snip*

It's not just other people's expectations but their own. People are lead to believe marriage requires that they behave a certain way, even if it really only means they now have another piece of jewelry. There is the cultural obligation to start a family and to behave responsibly. It also changes their outlook on the relationship: before you were together because you wanted to be, now you're together because you have to.

Plus the actual wedding ceremony can be stressful as fuck. Lots Girls are still raised to believe that marriage is the life long goal and it that is should be their happiest day of her life. You do know why there is a line at the suicide both come X-mass time? You have to worry about seating arrangements, music, putting-up with in laws, the dresses, the cost. And if you're not completely thrilled about everything ALL the time, then either something is terribly wrong with you or it's a sign that the marriage is doomed. DOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMED

If thats how things end up they shouldnt be married. Marriage should change absolutely nothing as far as stress goes, nor should it change their plans. theres no law saying you have to start a family, and in most cases it would bankrupt the newlyweds....i say anyone who cant tell society to fuck off is too spineless to marry.

As for the ceremony...its all pomp and circumstance anywho. The actual marriage happens at the county clerk's office the next day. So take the ceremony and run with it. My gf and i have basically agreed that we will walk down the aisle while james hetfield singx an irish drinking song, and we will be leaving skid marks and v8 noises in the church parking lot when its done.

I agree that it shouldn't, but it does. Don't underestimate how much people are a product of their surroundings, whether by embracing or rejecting them. Not everyone turns out as lucky as you have.

Some people just enjoy the short term and the relationship at the now moment. I'm like you Sansha in that I do enjoy more long term relationships, I simply can't imagine voluntarily not caring about the future and just enjoying the now. Doesn't mean our view is right nor does it mean others views are wrong. Just different preferences.

I wish you good luck in finding someone's who's view matches yours!

WolfThomas:

KarmaTheAlligator:
and it doesn't really have any benefit (now, I could be wrong, but that's how we see it).

Well it depends where you are from, but there is usually a whole lot of tax and legal benefits. As for stress and costs of the marriage, that's what you make yourself. Some people have no ceremony, just go and get registered. My father when he remarried just had about 12 people at a tiny church one afternoon.

See, that's the thing. Where I am, there doesn't seem to be any benefits at all. There probably are, but in that case they're so small they might as well not exist.

TestECull:

KarmaTheAlligator:
Why? Because it costs a fortune

And in the US the tax breaks pay for it in two or three years. It can also mean easier loans with lower interest rates, for some reason banks tend to be more likely to give a loan to a married couple than a non-married one. It also simplifies banking since you can have both names on the same bank account, autodeposit paychecks into it, etc etc.

Financially speaking it's a good idea to get married, 'specially if you plan on living with that person for the rest of your years anyway. I know I will be.

Oh, and should I mention that visitation rights and similar stuff is based around marriage as well? If you're not married you have to go through the courts in order to make decisions for an incapacitated partner after, say, a nasty car crash. If you are married there's no red tape in the way.

Because everyone lives in the US, right?

Sansha:
There's something I've been thinking about for a few hours now, and I wanted to express and get some perspective on my thoughts on relationships.

I'm 24 years old. I've been dating since I was seventeen. I've always only looked for marriage-material girls and, later, women. I don't like casual dating, preferring a stable relationship with hopes of a solid future.
I'm far from a stalker or one of those lunatics who names their children three weeks into the relationship. I'm yet to so much as live with a girlfriend.

But I don't get relationships (I hesitate to use that term here) that are just 'playing around' or 'casual dating'. I appreciate getting to know one another to see where it goes, but after a few years in a relationship, why do people still say no to proposals or won't propose, or think 'I don't think I'd want to marry him/her' - I know it takes time and care to make that decision but if you're going to say no, and if one person wants something and the other doesn't, why bother with the relationship?

This is pretty much a drooling rant, and I'm not bitchy about something happening to me. I'm very happy relationship-wise.

In terms of your views on relationships, I am the same. I don't enjoy casual dating and if I choose to be in a relationship with someone, it is because I am interested in something long term and towards marriage. That is simply because we are people who know what we want in a relationship, nothing more and nothing less.

Some people do not want to be attached or "tied down" to anyone, so they decide to play the field and generally have a good time. Some like to play games to make a relationship fun, spontaneous, and too detached to be compared to anything serious. Other are seeking for something specific (a physical relationship, a one-time fling, someone to spoon/cuddle with, someone to display a short-term affection to, etc.) and usually go after it.

I personally don't like to play games while in a relationship because I'm not a child/teenager and I am looking for some commitment when in a relationship. If after a few dates I become aware that me and the woman I'm seeing are on different pages, I just break it off and move on to someone who I feel is interested in something exclusive.

KarmaTheAlligator:

Because everyone lives in the US, right?

Did he say everyone lives in the US? You don't need to answer that, because he didn't. If you could take things into context, you could see that he was talking about specific examples involving people getting married in the US.

For fuck's sakes, he even started that post off with "And in the US"

OT: Because dating is fun. And people like fun. Generally.

JoesshittyOs:

KarmaTheAlligator:

Because everyone lives in the US, right?

Did he say everyone lives in the US? You don't need to answer that, because he didn't. If you could take things into context, you could see that he was talking about specific examples involving people getting married in the US.

For fuck's sakes, he even started that post off with "And in the US"

Fair enough, but you can't refute what I said just because it doesn't happen the same way in your country. He also seem to imply that I should somehow know what happens in the US.

In fact, my point still stands because what he said is completely irrelevant to anyone not living in the US.

BloatedGuppy:

And I am just FUCKING RAMBLING now and wandering all over the place, so let me try TLDR this.

1. All relationships are transitory.
2. All relationships will end.
3. There is no "one person" that is right for you forever. Only people who are right for you right now.
4. Enjoy it while you have it. It can be gone or changed in an instant.
5. The quality of a relationship never has and never will be measured by its length, or the depth of its commitment, only in how happy it's made you.

Did any of that make sense? Or am I just talking rubbish? It's early. I'm tired. I had crazy dreams all night.

You my friend wins today's "Wise man award". Most of what you said is very true, and I agree to the fullest.

This is why I don't care if I ever get married, as long as I am happy right?

And why is the end result more important than how you get the result?

PS: Good video on Monogamy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH_rIT0juiM&list=UUZYTClx2T1of7BRZ86-8fow&index=3&feature=plcp

PPS:
There is only one "the one" and his name is Jet Li (badum dish)

Different folks, different strokes.

People do things differently than you. No relationships are the same. I think the whole "friends with benefits" scenario works for people who do not have the time or resources to commit to a serious relationship. Have I had casual fun with a friend? Yes. Have I found happiness in a serious relationship? Yes.

It just depends on the people involved.

Sansha:
There's something I've been thinking about for a few hours now, and I wanted to express and get some perspective on my thoughts on relationships.

I'm 24 years old. I've been dating since I was seventeen. I've always only looked for marriage-material girls and, later, women. I don't like casual dating, preferring a stable relationship with hopes of a solid future.
I'm far from a stalker or one of those lunatics who names their children three weeks into the relationship. I'm yet to so much as live with a girlfriend.

But I don't get relationships (I hesitate to use that term here) that are just 'playing around' or 'casual dating'. I appreciate getting to know one another to see where it goes, but after a few years in a relationship, why do people still say no to proposals or won't propose, or think 'I don't think I'd want to marry him/her' - I know it takes time and care to make that decision but if you're going to say no, and if one person wants something and the other doesn't, why bother with the relationship?

This is pretty much a drooling rant, and I'm not bitchy about something happening to me. I'm very happy relationship-wise.

Well, I think there's something of an aura of fear surrounding marriage. Like somehow, the legal documents and the ring take any and all affection out of the relationship, making it something that you carry on just because you're married now and it'd be a hassle to break up.

In my case though, I'm open to the idea of marriage...but honestly, I'm not sure whether two people are meant to be together that long, and it wouldn't be right now, anyway. At the moment, I'm almost ashamed to say my priorities have changed-I no longer primarily look for relationship material, I just look to get laid, as I'm 21 and haven't done it yet. I know, I should be saving it for someone special, but I ain't naive. That person might never come, and she might not like me back. And if she did, I wouldn't want to embarass her by being a god knows how old virgin, I wouldn't want to disapoint her by being sh** in bed, and I wouldn't want to lose the chance because of low confidence. Hell, maybe I won't feel any better about myself after having sex, maybe it really isn't a big deal, but at least then I can feel like it doesn't matter.

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