Feel free to comb through 800 blog posts and 41,000 comments over six years. I have never said this – or even suggested it. Never.
Yet somehow, many readers seem to struggle with the concept of a nuanced world, instead of a black and white one where a man is either your instant soulmate or a complete turnoff.
Which brings us back to TJ, our original poster:
You’ve got a guy who seems like a great guy and is doing everything right on paper. You think my advice is telling you to keep him when you don’t want to keep him.
You need to have a personal chemistry with your partner. You need to fundamentally enjoy being together. You need to feel like you can relax around him and be your best self.
If you’re merely tolerating him, rather than enjoying him, you’re wasting both his time and your time. Dump him and move on.
Similarly, if there’s no physical chemistry – meaning, anything less than a 5 or a 6 in that department – cut him loose.
You shouldn’t need to get drunk to kiss him. You shouldn’t force yourself into believing that he’s cute because he’s nice. You need to have some spark to start – and that spark usually grows over time after you come to love the guy.
So those are two reasons – lack of a basic personal and physical chemistry – that you should break up with a perfectly nice person.
Yet there’s one big reason to keep a guy you’re not obsessed with:
If you’re merely tolerating him, rather than enjoying him, you’re wasting both his time and your time.
Your expectations of chemistry are way off.
In other words, you can have an amazing marriage to a man even if you don’t obsess about him, miss him mournfully while he’s gone for a few hours, or be positive he’s your soulmate.
That stuff means nothing. It wears off. It’s distracting.
Relevant story: I was with my wife for nearly 2 years when we got married. If she sadly left me at the altar, I’d be devastated, but I would have recovered. After all, I saw her 3 times a week. We didn’t live together. I’d survived happily for 36 years without her; I would have been able to put things back together in due time.
4 years and 2 kids later, my love for my wife is so much deeper and meaningful. Frankly, I have trouble surviving a few days without her. I’d be 100% lost if she were to leave. THIS is love. That passion most couples feel for the first 18 months? It’s closer to obsession, hope and fantasy. Reality is when the passion fades and you start building a life together.
So what are you to do, TJ? Since you seem pretty ambivalent about him and you’re pretty young, it seems to me you have your answer.
It’s far better to be single than to be in a dissatisfying relationship.
Still, that goes for someone at any age.
My 62-year-old mom married a man who was kind and generous to the core, but she wasn’t attracted to him, didn’t respect him, and didn’t laugh with him. She married him just because he was a good person. The marriage lasted less than two years. As much as I stress comfort, some marriages should never happen at all.
I hope this clarifies – for all of you – what you should and should not experience with a romantic partner: a basic level of personal and physical chemistry, a realistic view on that person’s strengths and weaknesses, and a belief that although you’ve been more wildly attracted to other people before, you’ve never had a better relationship in your entire life. That’s why you lock it in.
That’s what I did.
I only hope you can experience this feeling as well; but it starts with finding someone whose company you really enjoy, not someone whose company you merely tolerate.
Why He Disappeared is the smart, strong, successful woman's guide to understanding men. If you want to learn how men think, and rediscover how to have meaningful relationships - all from a man's point of view - click here to learn Why He Disappeared.
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