- Beyond Blue Forums
- Caring for myself and others
- Relationship and family issues
- Unsure if being in relationship is right for me
- Subscribe to RSS Feed
- Mark Topic as New
- Mark Topic as Read
- Pin this Topic for Current User
- Printer Friendly Page
Unsure if being in relationship is right for me
I've been in a relationship with my partner for approx. 1 and a half years. For the most part, it has been a healthy and caring relationship, and as we work out our differences it seems to improve as we understand each other more and more. I'm in my second year of uni at the moment, so I feel like (despite quarantine at the moment) I'm at a time in my life where I hadn't imagined myself to be 'tied down' in a relationship. My partner and I get along very well, I consider him one of my best friends and someone who understands me very well. I also feel like he feels more strongly for me than I do for him.
More recently, I've been struggling with the idea that I would like to have time in my young adult life to be single and meet lots of new people without feeling like I (somewhat selfishly) -need- to consider anyone else. We went through a rough patch when he asked me if I'd still want to be in the relationship if he went travelling for an indefinite amount of time in the next year. I truthfully told him I wasn't sure, and after more questioning I said that I would like to be single at some point in my life again. I acknowledged that I thought my mentality may be a bit 'young' and inconsiderate - not wanting to put in the effort -now- to maintain a very long term relationship. After much more discussion though, we agreed we wanted to stay together and not focus so much on what a 'relationship' should look like, defining it ourselves. Since, I feel the relationship has relaxed a lot, which I find relieving.
However, I'm now starting to feel anxious for the same reasons. I feel like my partner expects we'll last a very long time - move in together etc. and that we are very well matched. He says that if we broke up, since he's had other long term relationships, he 'knows' it would be very difficult to find someone like me again. This is my first serious relationship, and when I listen to myself, I know that although I think it could work, I don't want this to be my only relationship. I'm not even sure being in a relationship down the line would be the best option for me anyway.
I guess I'm struggling to understand what is behind what I'm thinking and feeling. I don't feel like I can trust that what I'm telling myself is the truth, and I don't know how I can approach this situation. I'm not sure if what I'm feeling is just a result of something else - am I stressed/down?
Does anyone have similar experiences? Or suggestions?
Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums and well done on having the courage to reach out! 🙂
Firstly let me say, I don't think you have a young or inconsiderate mindset- it seems like you are exploring what you want in life, which is so important! (not enough people do this)! Although you might one day want the type of caring relationship you have now, it is important to consider what you want in life right now. Do you want to be single because it seems like your friends are having fun being single and you feel you will regret it when you are older, or do you actually want to be in the relationship right now? How would your answer change if you knew you would meet a guy in 5 years that you would have a similarly caring and successful relationship?
Exploring these questions while you are still young will most likely lead to less 'regret' when you are older.
People are different- some would prefer to be in a relationship for most of their twenties, skipping from relationship to relationship until one sticks. Others prefer to be single and experience that lifestyle, not settling down until they are a bit older. I don't think that anyone can tell you what you want, or would prefer. Perhaps you won't know until you try both.
I'm curious as to what you think of this! I hope it has been of some help.
First of all thanks for sharing your story and you are quite brave enough to tell me your true feelings, not everyone is able to do so. Well done on that!!
So relationships. Being in a relationship with someone does not necessarily mean a physical relationship! There are millions of more relationships than physical ones. Relationships can be for work relationships, 'catch up for coffee' relationships, 'bookish' relationships, 'Friend relationships', then there are life partner relationships - husband and wife, etc. As you can see there are so many relationships, why is there such confusion? Because maybe we feel that if we have so many relationships - we will get judged because majority of the time relationship is often referred to as physical in the society's mind. Basically in a nutshell we can have as many relationships as we want!!
Now as you mentioned you have an excellent relationship with your partner but you are unsure for a long term commitment despite your partner has had experience before. According to me, you are young and want to explore the world which is not a problem but what is wrong in winning a lottery at such a young early age? As you have already mentioned - both of you have an excellent understanding of each other, isn't that one of the elements that keep the long-term marriage alive?
But the choice is still up to you. Follow your heart and gut. Please tell me more, I am really curious about this. I would be more than happy to help you out.
Talk to you soon.
Thank you so much for your replies. They were both very interesting to read, and I feel they had some different approaches.
I suppose in my mind, before 'falling' naturaly into this relationship, I had the mentality that it wouldn't last, or that it would have a particular lifespan. It has turned out to be much stronger than I had imagined, which is somewhat unsettling to me as in some way it scares me that it may limit a certain sense of freedom that I really want in my life when it comes to making big decisions.
In a way, I would like to have the opportunity to decide I want to, say, live in a different country by myself without having to consider how an existing relationship would fit into that - or having to consider the wants of someone else outside of my family (whom I consoder to have 'unconditional' relationships with).
I moved around a lot throughout my childhood, so I rarely had the opportunity to develop lasting close relationships with anyone outside of my family - relationships where I felt I could 'be myself' and not 'play a role'.
This romantic relationship is one of the first I've had where I feel I can be myself, and whilst I think it will be important for me to invest time and energy into what it takes to maintain relationships like that, every now and then I find myself not wanting to do so right now.
To me, when I feel this way, it seems like I am craving a sense of freedom where I don't have to consider anyone else apart from myself - and where I can make decisions and think through what I would want to do with my life within the frame of being 'single' I suppose I assiociate being 'single' with being 'free' in some way.
This is why I struggle to trust myself to make a decision about the matter, as I am not certain if this is what is actually happening, or if I am just in a state of being (feeling down, maybe) where I just don't feel I have the energy to interact on such a deep level with anyone else, focussing solely on myself.
From what you've read, what do you think? Do you think, perhaps, I could be labelling what I am feeling too quickly? Or maybe I could be accurate?
What are some things I could do to help myself approach this from an informed and clarified angle?
Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it.
Good morning Chilloice,
So far what you have said is spot on!! Well done, this is a very honest and open recount of what you have been feeling.
From reading your post, I think you want to be in both worlds, one being free and the other one with a list of demands and responsibilities. How? Just like you mentioned with your parents, you are free (you can be yourself but still there are demands and responsibilities of you that you need to do to maintain a healthy open relationship with your parents) - but you don't consider it as a burden.
I think when you go into other relationships apart from your close ones, there is fear. Tell me who are the most important people in your life and how do you feel around them. Then tell me how do you feel around your romantic partner in comparison to the close relationships?
I also think you getting into relationships will somehow diminish your freedom - please correct me if I am wrong? Maybe the burden of demands and responsibilities somehow frightens you?
So we can definitely work on this!! You really want to be yourself. Connect with yourself, I guess?
Please tell me more.
Big welcome to the forum. After reading your story, I was compelled to support where I can. Age really has nothing to do with what you want in life because we all get older, it's imply just a number. If you really love this person, you shouldn't be thinking about meeting "new people," instead you would be making your relationship work as best you can and planning to be with them for the rest of your life, unless you admire the single, young, party hard and being rebellious culture. Then go for Gold. You just need to be really honest with yourself. Ask yourself some questions like, what motivates you to want to be "free," why do you want to leave your partner if everything is working out well or do you feel like someone else will be better for you in the long run (taking time out of the equation). Your partner will not cause you to be trapped, your partner will not make things difficult for you to achieve success, you can do that with him, instead, really think hard about what you want, think deep about what makes you happy, and don't become trapped in the reality that you need to confine to the stereotype of society. You're an adult and you are making adult decisions. What will your life be like when you're in your 80's? Will you have completed uni, have been successful in a career and married with children to this lovely person who has you in their life, as an example? Look beyond 'the now' and ask yourself what you want to achieve in life and will it be with your partner you love now?
Food for thought.
Be strong, be brave. 🙂