Should I stay or should I go now

After years of being single - sometimes happily, sometimes less so - and years of therapy. I chose to be in a loving monogamous relationship with a wonderful human that I had been in an on / off affair with during my single years. That was 7months ago.

It has not been smooth sailing. It has been hard to adjust to being in a romantic relationship and grapple with what that means, where our boundaries lie, how do we communicate, how do we fit within each others lives? Oh and throw a global pandemic at it too for shits and giggles ya know. We both want this very much, that I am 100% sure of, but I am not sure they expected quite how much work this would be.

Open communication from me and voicing of frustrations is often met with tunnel vision, a perception that I am always being negative and nit picking. Or rather than looking at what is being said, they will hyper focus on how it is being said. They very seldom voice their complaints or issues within the relationship except in retaliation to me voicing frustrations.

This is all having a big impact on sex - I am struggling to feel the depth of intimacy I am looking for from a committed relationship. They measure good sex on how many orgasms.

I am older, my life is more defined and it is easier for a significant other to slip in to the life I have created without needing to do much and I am feeling resentful and wanting to pull back. I’ve created space for them within this world I have created, but I am looking for them to step into it with some self determination. There is also a lack of reciprocity here - which I feel unfair about even raising.

I’m also trying to juggle a new high pressure job - and just life, GAH, and basic bitch adulting :persevere: and am not finding they can meet me where I am at.

Does anyone on here have any advice about balancing staying the course in an open loving way that allows growth for both parties vs. knowing when it’s not working or even becoming hurtful? Also, have no idea if this is even the right platform to be posting on re relationship advice.

Well, first off hooooo they gotta get past that. It’s SO not true! I mean, sometimes I just have one really intense orgasm but it’s an awesome one, and that’s still super great sex. Hell, sometimes I don’t have an orgasm but I still have a really great time. That is such a toxic idea conditioned by what we see in porn and a cultural thing, but it truly isn’t fact.

So, we def. talk about relationships in the forum! Not specialists about it by any means, but fellow humans that can offer up our own experiences and see things from an outside perspective for sure.

I think unfortunately a lot of people don’t realize how much work a relationship is. And if you already know who you are and what you want (which it sounds like you are and do), then you know the hard boundaries and needs that you need your partner to meet. The best advice I got from a therapist before was that in relationships, you need to check-in with yourself somewhat often, at least a few times a year, and really ask is this relationship more positive vs. negative? There will always be negatives, but am I getting more positive out of it and feeling cared for? Also am I losing myself in the relationship or am I still my own person and feel secure in that?

It’s tough questions to asks, but it’s yielded a lot of answers for me. It’s made me set boundaries and say “hey, if you want to be with me where I’m at, you have to do X thing to meet me here.” It’s also helped me step back and not get lost in a relationship, which when things are not going smoothly is easy to do.

I’d say if that person refuses to listen to your needs or meet you somewhere in the middle, if they continually refuse to respect boundaries or needs you’ve vocalized to them, then maybe that is moving into a hurtful relationship. If they listen and try to work on the things you need from them, I think that shows a person that is worth investing a bit more time in at least if you want to make it work and have a connection. At the end of the day, if a person is trying to understand what I need and meet me somewhere in the middle, or at least we can be honest about the pain points we’re going through and work on it, then that’s a person I can invest more time and energy in. If they refuse? Nah, life is too short.

Hope that makes sense. Co-existing with another human is tough, and with the stress of the past year or so it is even tougher. Sending love your way, never an easy thing to deal with.


I’m very sorry that you feel a bit unsure about this relationship you’ve just established with the person. Maybe I might not provide the best advice so you can totally take it lightly, but I’m currently 25 and I’m dating a guy who is 31 and I feel that although in some ways we are mature in how we are able to discuss problems we are having with each other and listening to each other’s needs, sometimes I have moments where I feel he is a bit more matured than I am in the sense of he’s more experienced than I have been, especially in relationships.

Something that he has taught me is to keep an open mind (not bring in past troubles from other experiences into this one we are try to build.) I think having clear communication, being clear about how you are feeling, why you are feeling it, what you both can do to improve those feelings from coming back has been helpful to avoid all the bad confrontations that could happen without it. For example, I’m the one that tends to get upset the most because I get very set on my past experiences and what if things go wrong in this one. So at some point I have felt insecure but not because he was doing something to make me question it, I just allowed myself to feel insecure over a minuscule thing. So things went sour when I wasn’t clear about why I was feeling what I felt. Instead he felt like he did something wrong when he honestly didn’t do anything. The following day I had to explain to him why I felt insecure, where it all stems from, and what we could do to avoid situations like this next time. The idea that I could clearly explain my feelings word for word without making him out to feel like the bad guy helped. Vice versa with me, sometimes I get really upset with myself if I realize I said something that upset him and so I really beat myself up over it. But also I’m learning that I need to take complete ownership of what I do wrong and improve on it.

I’m unsure if any of that seemed to be helpful at all, but clear communication as you stated is super important! And having each other understand each other saves a lot of problems. Sometimes it’s tough to get the other person to understand but it gets to a point where you just say “hey, I’m feeling this so although you don’t understand, that’s fine but you need to please respect me in the fact that I am feeling this way.”

And I agree with Lisa, if you reach a point where you reflect on the relationship, and you see a lot of negatives and they outweigh the positives, it’s probably best to realize the situation at hand and move from there whether it’s a “we need to sit down and work on this together” or a “I need a break.”