Saturday, April 1, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceStruggling accepting the fate of our 4 year relationship over compatibility issues

Struggling accepting the fate of our 4 year relationship over compatibility issues

Hi. I’ve received a lot of feedback from my friends/family that I did the right thing.. But I honestly just want to get input from unbiased people here. I sincerely appreciate anyone who takes the time to read my ramblings.

My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years. We didn’t start talking “seriously” about our relationship until after around the 3rd year mark. I’ve had toxic relationships in the past and never saw myself reaching that stage, so it was an uncomfortable topic for me. And for him, it was his first LTR. But we both knew that we loved each other very much and it was something that we needed to discuss.

My needs in a partner are very straightforward (I think). I mainly look for core characteristics/values and believe that a lot of things can be learned over time. My ideal partner is loyal, supportive but also challenges me, makes me laugh, is kind, has a good relationship with family, and can connect with me on emotional/intellectual levels.

What I learned from my boyfriend is that he needs someone that takes initiative to plan things and be adventurous, have the same hobbies as him, is well traveled, and also be able to hold stimulating/intellectual conversations with him.

During our serious talk, he told me that while he loves everything about me, I don’t have a lot of these traits and it makes him doubt our future together. It also bothered him that we didn’t have enough talks about what we want in life/our future. My heart sank. I knew that we had issues to work out (such as communication) but I didn’t know he felt this way about me. I told him that he cant expect his partner to fulfill his every need, but I would try my best to do these things with him because A) I truly loved him and B) these are things that I want to become better at for myself.

Over the next year, I put my heart and soul into working on our relationship and myself. I sat and watched football with him every sunday, even bought tickets to a game (which was incredibly fun), actively planned things to do during the weekend, participated regularly with him in bouldering (his favorite hobby), so on and so forth.
I watched YouTube videos/documentaries with him about certain topics he has interest in, so that I could engage in conversations with him about it. You might be thinking “it seems like you’re changing a lot about yourself to meet his needs”. But truthfully, I enjoyed everything we did together and I liked this version of myself. I never really invested in these types of things, as my life revolved around work, gym, arts/crafts, and socializing here and there with friends.

We had also just come back from a Europe trip where I actively planned a lot activities, researched a lot of places to eat, etc. I also made an effort to bring up topics that relate to our future together (e.g talked about family dynamics, and light hearted topics such as “what 5 values would you teach your children?”).

On top of this, I always remained the best girlfriend I could be. Being there to listen to him vent and offering emotional support, maintaining great relationships with his family/friends, cooking for us, cleaning the house, and just making sure he’s happy.

I thought that things were going well and that I had done everything right…

Fast forward to yesterday, we had another talk and he had basically told me he feels a lot of doubt about us. But this time, he told me that he needs someone more “assertive”, someone more outgoing and bubbly. He told me that we had moments of silence during our Europe trip that made him feel uneasy. He told me that our conversations weren’t “intellectual” enough. He told me that I shouldn’t have brought up “serious” conversations in Europe because we were supposed to just have fun and see how we get along while traveling.

I just felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. I gave it my 100% and more. I told him that this wasn’t working out and walked away.

I’ve never felt so helpless before.. There’s just no winning. I can’t be the picture perfect person he has in his head. And at the same time, I feel like a failure. I wish I could be the person that he wants. I wanted a family with him, I wanted a future with him. My heart has been shattered into pieces.

He’s completely entitled to how he feels and what he wants in a partner. But sometimes I do think that the expectations are unrealistic. Moments of silence aren’t good? To me, that just means that I’m comfortable enough to sit down with you and enjoy your company. To just listen to the noise of the world and be okay with not having to say anything.

He cried and told me that he loves me, cares about me, my future, but he’s just not “sure”

I told him that after 4 years of being together, I need someone who is sure. Someone who appreciates the effort and compromises I make, and someone who can accept me for who I am.

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  1. It is clear that you are a great person, and much more willing to make your relationship work than he does. I don’t see your relationship working. I am sorry. And I don’t think you did anything wrong. He did, by not believing in your relationship for years and not telling you.

  2. This guy has issues. You’ve bent over backwards to do what you could to make him happy. I’ll be honest, I don’t like the guy you describe. He sounds like he is lost in some fantasy world . Life and people are not perfect. You sound like a wonderful woman and he should be thankful you have the feelings you do for him. If he is not totally committed to you after 4 years it’s time to fly the coop. He is wishy-washy.

  3. Hey OP, you sound awesome, this isn’t you, it’s him. “If you want it to work, you’ll see a path. If you don’t want it to work, you’ll see obstacles.” This guy sees obstacles because he does not want to commit to you. This has nothing to do with you- you could be absolutely perfect, and a man who is scared to choose you will still be the same mamby-pamby critic looking for reasons not to commit.

    Good for you for giving it your best shot, it means you can move on to something better and have no regrets.

  4. It sounds like he has a specific person he’s comparing you to. Does he have a friend, past partner, or in the worst case affair partner that have these qualities? It sounds like you’re a really good gf for the right guy but this wasn’t the guy for you. He needs to work on his issues before he can get into a relationship again.

  5. Here is another unbiased opinion from a stranger; you did the right thing! You should be really proud of yourself and take this as a learning experience. First you tried to accommodate to what you thought he needed and wanted. You showed empathy and flexibility. When that didn’t work, you recognized that you cannot change or erase yourself because of someones fluid wishes, and sat a firm boundary that allows you to feel happy and confident about yourself in the long run. That shows integrity and emotional insight. You didn’t wait until you lost yourself or let yourself be stepped on – I think you should seriously reflect over the fact that most people do not have the self insight or a sense of self worth to end things before they turn toxic or unhealthy, like you did. Be proud of yourself and your maturity and self love to put yourself first! It is time 🙂

    Also, IMO, when someone constantly finds faults in their partner and measure them up against standards they think they can find in just one person, that is usually a sign that he just was not as in love with you as he thought he was. He might have had love for you, but when you truly find your person, that superficial “list” of what you think you want in someone completely goes out the window. Whoever that is will be hopelessly infatuated with every piece that makes you the person that you are, never needing you to change for him. You did both of you a favor and ended it after years of experience from all you went through, but early enough to not waste your time so that both of you can find the true love of your lives. You did good! Wish you all the best!

  6. Wow, I wonder what did he do to make you happy. I bet not even a fraction of what you did. He’s the one losing here, you’re lucky to get rid of him!

    This is the hard truth: he doesn’t love you. He was looking for a personal assistant / sex robot / maid / mom to cater to his every wish. This is not how a loving spouse talks. This is how someone looking for a merchandise is listing their requirements for the product.

  7. It seems like the more he complains, the more you bend over backwards for him. So why would he ever stop complaining? If there is an awkward pause, that is on both of you – he could have thought of something to say. And if I am with a person 24/7, pauses are welcome, not awkward.

    If you enjoy the role you are playing in the relationship, continue on. He will never be sure about you, even if he marries you, and will always be moody and flighty, you will have to bust your chops keeping him entertained.

  8. The person right for you is the one who loves you in your natural state, warts and all.

    Although you did enjoy the new experiences, you’ll exhaust yourself putting a mask on day in and out. It’s very normal to have differing hobbies, nothing wrong with a bit of alone time to enjoy them separately. He’s so lucky to have someone who was so willing to partake in his interests. Can I ask, did he ever once take time to try out arts and crafts, your hobby, with you??

    He is clearly shocked that you walked away instead of agreeing to more change in your second serious chat. His expectations are sky high and it sounds as though he’s trying to mould you into the woman he wants but believes that’s fine because you allowed it the first time. But you were strong and good for you.

    Its your choice what you do going forward with this guy, but you sound like a lovely person and a joy to be around with interesting hobbies and a caring personality. You don’t NEED to change, so do you think it’s worth doing that just to please one single human being out of the billions on earth…? Do you think he would do the same for you?

    It’s your decision, but if you’re willing to change so much, why can’t he be willing to love you as you are? A small ask for a relationship…

  9. While I don’t think you should have tried so hard and his initial concerns came across as someone who wanted to be worshipped or catered to rather than a partner… I’m really proud of you internet stranger for standing your ground. He should know at 4 years and he’s making excuses

    What are your ages? His behavior screams age gap.

  10. Sounds to me like you did everything you could and he’s looking for a perfect person (doesn’t exist) rather than looking for the things he loves about you

  11. My brother is like this guy.He was always the one who dumped a girl (and also was quite shitty for them), always for petty reasons. They were never good enough. Every single time. Now for the first time ever a girl left him and he’s deeply depressed. After all these years he understood what he was doing and that he lost the love of his life (he’s 36, so many years wasted on looking for the “perfect one” that just isn’t there).I bet when you’ll leave he’ll realize the same.

    You’re awesome! And you care so much, this is just beautiful. He’s just not a good person. You’re too good for him. Find someone who will give you the same and won’t be just a taker.Also this post triggered some of my anxietes because I work so hard on my friendships and stuff, getting into hobbies, organize things, the same as you. But when there’s a moment of silence I’m getting really really stressed that I’m doing something wrong. People need to reassure me that’s alright and they see these quiet moments the same as you. My blood is boiling by how your bf complained about this! That’s not normal, he expects to be entertained ALL THE TIME. Are you his entertainer or partner?

    Besides, i just don’t get this mindset. I love people that aren’t perfect. I love learning their way of life and slowly appreciating this. This helps he grow.

  12. IMO I don’t think he is looking for a Perfect person … I just think he wants a person he wants for himself. If he is a planner , and needs intellectual conversation . I get the feeling that he maybe always in his head . I am that type of person always questioning is this good is this right ? And if he never had a LTR he is just questioning things. It’s not bad of him to do that and it’s not bad of you to want what you want . It’s just a learning curve that both of you can learn from. That’s why he says he loves and cares for you. Because he genuinely never been in this situation before.

  13. Honestly, I feel like I’m in a similar situation with my boyfriend, except roles reversed. He rarely wants to leave the house but has been trying effortlessly to do more things with me so that we can actually spend time together that doesn’t involve videogames. He says he wants to change for the better (and stepping away from electronics and enjoying the outside world is what he believes to be better for him), but I cant ignore the fact that he finds anything and everything to complain about when we go out.

    I’m way more introverted and socially awkward than he is, but at the same time I want to challenge myself as often as possible while making unforgettable memories while I’m still young (low 20s F). I’m getting to the point where – despite him being the best boyfriend I’ve ever had to date (super loving, caring, and emotionally/intellectually involved) – I’m growing exhausted of the constant feeling of disappointment when he’s clearly pushing himself to do things he has no joy in doing. I even give him the liberty to choose what activities he wants to do and what countries he would want to visit etc. since my goal is the journey not the destination, and yet it still feels like we cannot meet each other halfway.

    TLDR: My boyfriend has been such a great partner, but my desire to experience the world and create a successful career for myself is beginning to outweigh the love I have for him. These are extremely upsetting thoughts… but I won’t be able to ignore them much longer.

    I’m sorry this happened OP. It’s unfortunately become the reality for me that love really isn’t always enough… You, me, and our (ex)partners need a person that shares the same goals and makes life easier…not more difficult.

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