In one of your posts you said, “If men have one complaint about women, it’s that every detail of a relationship needs to be dissected and analyzed to death.” Well, in my relationship, that’s my boyfriend, NOT me. Every time there’s an issue he needs to go back to it and pick it apart. Every time I say, “hey this thing you do is annoying”, he won’t want to have a general conversation about it, he’ll want me to dig deep into the archives and pull out a ton of examples. It is always what I consider a menial issue. He’s a sweet guy. He’s very attentive, very kind, giving, and a good listener, but this argument style makes him so unmasculine to me and seriously puts my attraction in question. He has expressed to me that he wants us to get married but I don’t know if this is something I can get through. Do you think the good outweighs the bad here? Or is this a reason to walk…
ANY reason is a reason to walk.
Really. It is. Whatever you turn into a dealbreaker can become a dealbreaker.
I think what you’re asking is whether this is a valid dealbreaker or not.
Such decisions are highly personal.
In general, I separate valid dealbreakers from invalid ones with a simple formula:
How important is it in the grand scheme of things? Can I live with the status quo for the rest of my life?
Let’s consider a few examples where reasonable people can disagree.
How important is this?
A friend of mine is married to a woman who never performs oral sex. To him, this is something that is negotiable. To me, it was not. I’m having sex with one person for the rest of my life; the least I can do is enjoy it.
Another friend of mine insists on marrying someone Jewish. To him, this is important. To me, it’s not. My wife can believe whatever she wants as long as she doesn’t impose her religion on me. I don’t need likeminded. I need agreeable. Again, a personal decision.
You don’t owe this guy a lifetime commitment just because he’s kind and giving. You should feel buoyed in his presence, not drained.
I just had lunch with a guy who insists on dating women under 30 because he wants children. I get it. But pointed out to him that my wife had kids at 41 and 42 and my sister just had her second child at 40. Since I was more flexible with my deal breakers, I had a lot more women to choose from.
We can go on with this forever.
Do you want a man over six feet tall? Sure. Do you NEED a man over six feet tall? Probably not.
Tall is attractive, but tall men are not nicer, more flexible, more sensitive, or better communicators. They are just better able to change lightbulbs.
Can I live with the status quo for the rest of my life?
It’s a similarly personal choice, but I think the answer is a little clearer.
My wife is perpetually late. I don’t love it, but I choose to deal with it. I’d rather be with my late wife than single and looking for someone JUST like my wife who is not late.
I am very argumentative. My wife doesn’t love it, but she chooses to deal with it. She’d rather be married to me than on Match.com, trying to find a similarly bright and ambitious guy who is less opinionated.
That’s how marriages work.
Let’s assume this guy will be this way for the rest of his life. If you can deal with that, stay. If you can’t, leave. There is no third option.
The issue with your boyfriend, Hana, seems to run a little bit deeper. This isn’t about the clothes he wears, the music he listens to, or the way he leaves his dishes in the sink.
This is about everything.
Your boyfriend is anxious and insecure. This affects your respect for him, your attraction to him, and the way you interact as a couple. In short, anxious and insecure people – however nice they might be – tend to be a real energy drain. They’re hypersensitive to everything and while they’re technically entitled to dissect every word you say and constantly talk “about us,” you’re equally entitled to find a partner who doesn’t carry himself this way.
In other words, you don’t owe this guy a lifetime commitment just because he’s kind and giving. You should feel buoyed in his presence, not drained.
I know that anxious and insecure people will disagree, just as mentally ill people disagreed with me when I wrote that healthy people with choices will usually choose other healthy people.
Listen, I don’t know you from Adam. I don’t know if you’re constantly tearing him down with various “you’re annoying” comments, which would make you equally hard to live with. Maybe you’re the nitpicker and he’s merely defending himself. Maybe if he wrote me this email, I’d tell him to dump you and your constant negativity. That’s the limits of giving advice to anonymous strangers.
But I stand on my initial premise:
Let’s assume this guy will be this way for the rest of his life.
If you can deal with that, stay.
If you can’t deal with that, leave.
There is no third option.