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 Post subject: Re: Relationships... making them work long-term
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:10 am 
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Semen Strong
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Location: Cliffbar NJ
Great advice all around. I'm going to add that to keep a relationship working longterm it helps to be willing to look at yourself and your contribution to things you don't like. Its easy to point your fingers at eachother when things get tough, but to solve it you need to be open to breaking the positional gridlock and being vulnerable and honest. Oh and you also have to be willing to let things go.

I love my partner, but our relationship isn't easy. We both come from crappy family dynamics and if left unexamined, we run those dynamics on each other, but if we stop and have a clearing conversation we can get back to the love.

I also really liked the idea in Tuesdays with Morrie that you weigh the relationship and chose the option that works best for your relationship so you don't feel resentful if you compromise what you want for your partner.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships... making them work long-term
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:37 am 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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Location: The Bene
I'll add my voice to the chorus saying that if you have to intellectually choose, then maybe "neither" is the right answer. But I'm not sure I'm the best person to ask, as my partner and I have only been together a little more than two years, and in my mid-forties, this is the longest long-term relationship I've ever had. I have spent most of my adult life (happily) single, because I've never been in a situation that felt right until now, and I'd rather be on my own than force a situation to work just for the sake of being in a relationship.

What works about this relationship and makes it different than past situations for me? It's kind of hard to put my finger on, but even before we met, when we were just writing to each other (we met online and live close to 100 miles from each other), I had a feeling that there was something special there. We share a lot of values although our outlook on life can be very different (he tends to be more pessimistic, I'm a bit sunnier, although we're both cynical in our own ways). We're both very introverted and understand each others' needs as introverts. And we're both allergic to drama, so while we have our conflicts, we try to resolve them in the most drama-free way possible. I think most importantly, I feel like he's my best friend. I don't think I could settle for less in a relationship.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships... making them work long-term
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:30 am 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:19 pm
Posts: 9
Location: BC
I agree with what has already been posted. One thing for me - and I had HUGE commitment issues - is that I could actually see myself living with him for ever and with all that that entails - the good, the bad, and the messy. I could never do that before.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships... making them work long-term
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:50 pm 
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Who's Ted Leo?
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Location: Modesto, CA
My boyfriend and I have been together for more than 6 years. We fight and in the past it has gotten nasty. We always makeup and over the last few years we have learned on how to work things through. Even though we argue at times I could not imagine my life without him. He is my rock, he is in my corner, he gets me like no one else could.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships... making them work long-term
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:14 pm 
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Aired her grievances, lost the feat of strength
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Location: Brighton, England.
My partner and I have been together for just over 8 years and married for 3. We were 21 & 23 when we met.

I think that the most important things to us are similar core values, life plans, and constant communication. We have really similar opinions politically/ethically and we have a lot in common in the day to day stuff we like doing (punk shows, movies, snuggling up at home > partying!, travel), we discussed big deal-break things a few years into the relationship (I've always known that I never want kids & for me it was really really important to make sure he was in agreement with that & not going into it thinking "Oh she'll change her mind") and we never ever go to sleep on an argument.

We've both changed quite a bit during our relationship & we're a lot better at conflict resolution than we used to be, I can't even remember the last time we had an argument that wasn't resolved within about an hour.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships... making them work long-term
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:09 pm
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Location: London, UK
I've been with my boyfriend for close to 2 years, and that's still surprising because I thought that I would never, ever be in a long-term relationship with anybody, it was just never something I thought I wanted/needed. I think the reason it works so well for us is due to a lot of the stuff that's already been mentioned - we were friends for a while before we got together (and we still consider each other friends as much as partners), we have shared values and similar long-term goals (ie no marriage, no kids), and I really do feel like he supports me totally and brings out the best in me. I mean, I've had to do a lot of growing up - being in this relationship has made me way less melodramatic and passive-aggressive, as much as I sometimes want to shout and be in a bad mood and take it out on everyone around me, I refuse to do that to my boyfriend.

I think open and honest communication is so, so important in making a relationship work long-term. Over the past two years we've both had to stop and reassess how we were communicating - my bf's upbringing and personality meant that he was a real "stiff upper lip" kind of guy and wouldn't talk about feeling stressed out/upset, or he'd be too nice and invite me along to things when really he just wanted to be alone, and this led to misunderstandings and arguments, because I'm kind of the opposite - I need to know that the people I'm closest to are going to be completely honest with me, even if it's about something negative. I've also had to stop pretending that things about our relationship etc weren't bugging me when they really were, and making them into really big deals when they weren't. I've had to learn a lot about trusting another person, opening myself up, which hasn't been easy (and sometimes still isn't).

I don't know, aside from that, we never shout at each other, we try to make up after arguments as soon as possible (like, within the hour), and never part or go to bed angry with each other.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships... making them work long-term
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:38 pm 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:44 pm
Posts: 1415
Location: Boston, MA
This has been so interesting to read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences, I really appreciate it!

As far as seeing them both goes... I'll probably keep it up for a bit longer, but I don't want that to be my longterm plan! They don't know about each other (they knew that I was dating someone else way back, but then things became more serious with each and it's never come up again, I think they think that I ended the other one). One lives in my town (I was seeing him first), one in a different country (yet, we've seen each other monthly and talk most days). I'm either staying where I am, or moving to be closer to the other one. Moving is no big deal, I quit my job and will be job searching either way (prospects are good in both places) and will probably at least change apartments if I stay here.

And I fully realize that it might not work out with either of them. I'm more "in love" with one of them, but I see better future outlook with the other one. I've got a lot more to think about thanks to y'all! Oh, and starting on 11/27 I will be in a different city than both of them for at least a week so I can spend some time sorting through things and seeing who I miss more then!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships... making them work long-term
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:09 am 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:44 pm
Posts: 1415
Location: Boston, MA
I want to document this... as much for myself as for y'all...

Man A... I'm still SO in love with him. Like crazily so for me after this amount of time. Plus, now that I've quit my dead-end-ish job in this town, so many cool and amazing opportunities are opening up. So I wouldn't be "stuck" like I thought I might be (I might still be poor, but I'll be having fun).

Man B... I'm seeing in Portland for a week and a half or so later this month, but I feel things are winding down with him. Turns out, after our week long visit in December, we maybe aren't super compatible. We fought. Then we made up. But still, I lost my temper and I very rarely do that. I'm giving it one more try for a week+ visit to see how we are, but I'm not feeling it as much. I hate that because long-term plans we are so much more on the same page than I am with Man A, but on the other hand I'm pretty flexible with my long-term plans so that isn't a deciding factor.

Anyway, I'm super in love with Man A. I'll be seeing Man B soon, just so I know for sure for me that it is or isn't meant to be; because I love him, it's just hard to say that I'm in love with him. I feel like this is all blah, blah, blah, but it helps me to write it out so I'm leaving it for me to read, in case I need a reminder of my thoughts later.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships... making them work long-term
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:09 am 
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WRETCHED
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:54 pm
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Location: Maryland/DC area
Didn't you get a job in a different state? Or are you trying to stay and get a job locally?

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships... making them work long-term
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:54 am 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:44 pm
Posts: 1415
Location: Boston, MA
I didn't get a job and I'm not planning to for quite a while. I'm going to travel lots for a while. Although, some exciting start up company things have come up recently in Boston so I could be involved with those if I want.

I'm fairly sure that I can find work wherever I decide to live so that isn't really playing into my decision.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships... making them work long-term
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:00 am 
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WRETCHED
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:54 pm
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Location: Maryland/DC area
Ahh ok, I'm easily confused :) good luck with whatever you decide relationship wise. It is never easy.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships... making them work long-term
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:33 am 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:42 pm
Posts: 164
I married my husband in 1979. We've survived 33 years of marriage, 4 children, and are expecting our 7th grandchild. We face the problems life throws at us together. We are always on each others team. Yes, we fight. Yes we disagree, but when push comes to shove, we band together and get through it.

I taught my children this: (and you may have seen it before, I did not invent this, I use it because it's correct) you need 4 things to make a relationship really work.

1) Mutual trust
2) Mutual respect
3) Common goals
4) Common values

and this applies to all relationships, not just romantic ones. If you have all four, the relationship will survive anything. But your weak spot, whichever one (or more) it is, will sink your ship. Can you survive in a relationship without all four? Yes. My husband and I have very different values. But, we use our trust and respect to make up for it. The problem is, neither of us can accomplish our goals because our values constantly conflict. We are at odds over who's values to follow, therefore, we get nowhere towards our goals.

If you have found someone in your life that you trust and respect, who values what you do, and is going in your direction (same goals) I say, hop on-board! That's your person. Go with it.

Hope this helps.

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