I have been single for a while now. Coming on two years in fact. And apart from missing emotional and physical intimacy, I am quite content. I made a decision to wait for someone that is worth it, rather than jump into a relationship with the first girl that gives me some attention. This is not to say I am completely old fashioned, I have had some casual encounters along the way (that does not mean I slept with them all as an FYI) and met some amazing women. Just women that are not necessarily for me.
Although I am a hopeless romantic, I believe that romance could be at the root of all the expectations that people put on each other in relationships. I have long decided that I want to share my life with someone, not merge it. I believe there are many important factors in a relationship, but there are some that cause more trouble than any of the others do combined (excluding extreme examples of course). These are communication and independence.
All too often, couples find themselves in that space in between. Things have not fallen apart, but things are not great either. This for me, is the worst area to be in. You feel stuck. You still have that urge to keep on fighting and make things work, but the effort seems to be coming from your side alone. The romance is gone and you feel like your partner is disinterested and apathetic to your emotions and needs. Ironically, both parties usually feel like this at the same time. Communication can curb this, but it is easier said than done. Very often there is a fear that your partner is going to take it the wrong way, get upset or get defensive. Swallow your pride and be honest people. If you are not happy say something, if your partner isn’t happy, listen. It is not brain surgery.
Personally, independence is a bigger issue for me. I hate feeling trapped, and this can come if you have merged your life with a partner seamlessly. There is nothing that makes me cringe more than asking a friend out for drinks, or to a party and they respond with “Sounds good, I’ll check with the girlfriend.” Grow some balls bro, if you do not have plans in that allotted time and you want to go, simply say yes and fill in your partner with the details later, and even invite them if appropriate. Or if you don’t feel like going (many people use their significant others as an excuse to be excused), say so. This is your life. You do not need to ask people for permission to live. It is ridiculous. Sure, if you have something planned already, or you have kids to consider, it is understandable to clear it first, but if you are “just checking” if it is “ok” then I do not tip my hat to you.
My point is this. People need to stop with this bullshit power struggle in relationships. I have seen so many people fall into unhappiness because they are trying not to piss someone off, or they are trying to think for the other party. For me, it is best to be clear about things I want and don’t want. It is best to take control of my own life and share it with someone special, rather than letting it be dictated. Maybe my perspective will change, people often say things like: “wait until you meet the right girl”, but if she wants me to ask for permission to see my friends or play some mind game in order to discover her feelings, I would rather be without. I get me, and I answer to me. That is enough management for one lifetime.