I Have a Great Relationship But Something’s Missing. Should I Hold Out For Something Better?

How do you know if a girl is the one? As a guy, do you get swept off your feet like a girl does or is it more logical?

I’ve been dating a girl for three years. When we first met it was long distance and I fell for her pretty deeply. But then after 6 months of her living in the same city (about a year later), I started to have doubts.

She’s probably the best person I’ve ever met. She is the most genuine kind person and we are very compatible in whatever we do together. But at the same time, she’s probably a 7.5 and I’m constantly pulled to “trade up” for a hotter girl. I dated lots of hotter girls before dating her but because they were long distance an attraction wasn’t the biggest issue.

I think it’s because I never feel like I’m excited with her. We get along, but I’d rather be out on the weekends with my friends than with her because she and I just do/talk about the same things we always do. I think we’d make a great long-term couple, but I feel like there may be something missing.

But, I can’t decide if I feel like there’s something missing because I’m irrationally pulled by hotter girls I know I can get (who may not be as kind-hearted and good for me), or if I’m actually settling. I don’t know if I should logically choose the good match or hold out for a relationship where I feel like nothing is missing.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks,
Matt

Matt,

Your question doesn’t reveal your age, but I’m going to guess 26 because you referred to your girlfriend as “a girl” instead of a woman.

At 26 you may or may not have had a lot of dating or sexual experience. At 26, you may or may not have had any career success. At 26, your brain has finally finished maturing. Which is to say that you have experienced as much as one can experience in five years post-college – and that’s not very much. Which is why I’m far more sympathetic to your question than when I get the exact same thing from a 57-year-old woman, who, presumably should know a little something about how love works.

So, “as a guy, do you get swept off your feet like a girl?” Sure, you CAN get swept off your feet. It just means that you’re not thinking very clearly. You’re treating those first-year “in love” feelings as if they were indicators of a future, and they’re not. I got swept off my feet in both 2003 and 2004. One girlfriend dumped me in 6 months. The other dumped me in 3 months. Long story short: I do believe you can tell when someone is WRONG for you, but it’s a lot harder to tell when someone is RIGHT for you. That’s what you’re going through right now. This is actually healthy.

That’s right: healthy. Now that the chemical haze of lust has worn off (as it always does), you can finally see your partner for all that she is. And what do you see, Matt? “She’s probably the best person I’ve ever met. She is the most genuine kind person and we are very compatible in whatever we do together.”

You can tell when someone is WRONG for you, but it’s a lot harder to tell when someone is RIGHT for you.

Yeah, that sounds a lot like the way happily married men describe their wives. The problem is that something is “missing.” In your words:

“I can’t decide if I feel like there’s something missing because I’m irrationally pulled by hotter girls I know I can get (who may not be as kind-hearted and good for me), or if I’m actually settling. I don’t know if I should logically choose the good match or hold out for a relationship where I feel like nothing is missing.”

Put it this way, from a guy who asked himself the same embarrassing questions 7 years ago:

You will ALWAYS be irrationally pulled by hotter girls who are not as kind-hearted and good for you. You will age. Your wife will age. Those girls will never age. You can appreciate their beauty from afar the way you’d appreciate a rainbow. Just know that you can’t build a life with someone if you’re constantly trying to trade up. If you want the Hugh Hefner life, that’s your business. Feel free to cycle through new hotties every six months until you die. But if you’re looking to build something significant and permanent, you’re exactly where you need to be.

Are you missing out on dozens of exciting new women that you could theoretically “get”?

Absolutely.

Life is about tradeoffs. By staying in this relationship, you’re sublimating your libido and ego to build a life with someone. It’s what most married men do.

Will pursuit of those women make you happier than staying with your amazing girlfriend?

I highly doubt it.

Life is about tradeoffs. By staying in this relationship, you’re sublimating your libido and ego to build a life with someone. It’s what most married men do. By junking your relationship, you can pull another woman who may be more attractive – and may even be just as nice – but in three years, you know what? You’re not going to be excited by her either. The same way you’re not excited about your “new car” after it’s been in your driveway for three years. That’s just the way it goes.

So if you need to sow your wild oats, I wouldn’t be judgmental in the least. I’m just letting you know that if/when you decide to get married, it’s going to look EXACTLY like the relationship you have today. The only question is whether you’re going to marry your current “7.5” girlfriend or the next “10” who, after 3 years, also turns into a 7.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Christine

    Well, I’m in a similar relationship right now as Matt yet I don’t feel like anything is “missing”.  I suppose it’s all in how you look at it!  I’m personally grateful to be in a relationship with a really kind, patient and generous guy I feel comfortable with.

    There will always be someone younger and hotter, no matter who you pick!  Even in Hollywood, actresses and models age, and there are always younger, hotter starlets coming up as the next big thing.  If you’re constantly looking to trade up, you’ll never be able to really settle down with one person, because someone hotter will always come along.  Not to mention, as you age and lose your looks yourself, you won’t always necessarily be able to attract hotter people.  Most men don’t have Hugh Hefner’s financial clout to get young hotties into old age (call me cynical but no, I don’t believe any of those 20-somethings “loved” anything but his wallet!)

    Even if he can get hotter women, they’re not always what they’re cracked up to be, as he acknowledges (by saying they might not be as kind-hearted and good for him).  I actually don’t think he can do “better” than what he has right now.

  2. 2
    Mo

    Great answer Evan!  Really well put!

  3. 3
    JaO

    Great insight, Evan.

    Just one thing to add regarding the excitement part: it feels kind of natural that the excitement wears off, exactly like it goes away after you own a car for a little while (even if its your dream car). BUT, noone said that things that worked intuitively, without much effort in the beginning, can’t be improved later with conscious effort. Meaning, get out of your confortable, predictable way of doing things, try something different, a new hobby, a new activity, new places, new habits. If you find something that keeps your interest, invite your girlfriend to join you. You dont have to buy a new car to feel excitement again. Just drive the one that you have to different, never seen places. You will be suprised.

  4. 4
    Fran

    I like it. Honest question and honest answer 🙂

    Evan, I found it interesting that you mentioned age. Out of interest would have the reply been different if Matt has been on his 40s?

    1. 4.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      No. In fact, I’m baffled by the question. You think I’d tell a man in his 40’s to be MORE picky and dump his devoted girlfriend for someone hotter? Uh uh. I’d give this exact same advice to anyone of any age or either gender.

      1. 4.1.1
        Fran

        Yes I agree! I guess I wouldn’t have been surprised if you had given this advice to someone a bit older. Maybe like Popee I would have thought 26 is still to young.

        Great advice anyway. I like to see men’s questions anwered in your blog 🙂

        1. Fran

          *too young

        2. Not Jerry

          Fran,

          I agree with you.  Men, ya know, there’s a lot of us.  Heh.

  5. 5
    popee

    Age is a huge factor on this IMO. If he is in his 20s, I’d say don’t settle just yet. Don’t make the mistake of committing to someone you are not 100% sure you want to be with them. If you are as shallow as someone who rates women by numbers and you want to score as high as possible, do your gf a favor, and let her go. You should pursue these women now because THIS is the time to do it. You are young, not married, no kids.

    1. 5.1
      A.D.

      I agree. I was that kind of gf too. The guy thought I was not “hot” enough and that he was missing on something. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a nice “just letting you go” break up, but who cares now. Has he gotten someone hotter? Likely. Is he satisfied? Maybe. It’s been only 3 years though. Nobody knows how he would feel about it in 10 years when he’s in his mid-thirties.

      What’s important for me is that I’m happy now with someone who appreciates me and madly in love with me even though I’m not Kate Upton.

      So yeah, let her go, Matt, she deserves better.

  6. 6
    anonymous

    The part that worries me is that he doesn’t enjoy spending time with her very much. If it’s like this now, how is he going to feel about (spending time with) her some decades down the road?

    1. 6.1
      mgm531

      I had the same thought.  It sounds like they have sort of fallen into the same routine of doing the same things all the time, but not really having many shared interests.  I thought it was telling that he was much more interested in spending time with his friends than with her.  That indicates to me that they really don’t have much in common with each other.  Not exactly a great recipe for a long term relationship.  Maybe that is the ‘something missing’ aspect that he is referring to.

  7. 7
    Not Jerry

    Congratulations, Matt.

    You’re officially “shallow”.

    I have a friend that I talk about relationships with.  Now, this guy, I call him my “shallow friend”.

    He met a woman, whom he really likes.
    For the first 6 months he would tell me how great she is, and how much he likes her, but how “she’s not pretty enough, she’s not what I really want”.

    I have talked to him for years about the women he meets.  He tells me how hot they are. And mostly it comes down to how shallow they all are, and how they would each trade him for someone better whenever they met anyone.  And some did indeed dump him and trade up.  Very attractive people, his standard for women.  People who have a lot of options.

    The funny thing is, though his current gf does have some problems, a few serious health problems, stuff like that, she is a thoroughly nice person, and she really loves him.  Would do *anything* for him.  He admits the sex is great!  I’ve met her, she is indeed very nice.

    So he complains weakly to me about her problems, but of all the women he has told me about that he has met over the years at no time was he ever, ever as complimentary toward any of the others.

    I told him “sounds like she’s the one”. He responds “she’s not what I really want”.

    And then he goes on and on about how great she is.

    I gave him a real hard time about this, she is so great, he is very complimentary talking about her, but “she’s not what I really want”.  After I got on his case we didn’t talk for a while. He got mad at me. But he’s still with her.  Heh.

    Ridiculous.

    If you find a great person, or even a good person, and things are going well, just keep in mind that you could do worse.  You probably *have* done worse in the past.

    Don’t screw up a good thing. It can be hard to find. Some have been looking for that for a long time.

    1. 7.1
      Sunflower

      I don’t know if classifying him as shallow is very fair.  If he is truly 26, what he’s experiencing is pretty much the norm in questioning where he’s at in his life and how he truly feels about his gf.  That doesn’t make his shallow, just wanting to make the right choice.  Sounds like a pretty typical guy to me.

      1. 7.1.1
        Noemi

        Really? Someone who compares hotter women to his girlfriend is pretty darn shallow. He acknowledges that his girlfriend has wonderful qualities, but is at war with the notion that he could “trade up” for hotter girls. If that isn’t shallow, sunflower, then what is? 

        1. Sunflower

          It’s not shallow, it’s reality.  Who hasn’t at one time or another been in a relationship where you found someone hotter than your mate and questioned whether you could do better.   It’s a human thought and I would bet the majority of people have experienced it, even you.

        2. Karmic Equation

          I’m with Noemi.

          It’s one thing to acknowledge that there are hotter men than my guy. Literally hundreds of men who are hotter, even though I haven’t met most of them. Just check out IMDb 🙂

          But it’s another to think, “Hmmm. Maybe I should dump him because I can get a hotter guy.”

          The first IS human nature. To notice and acknowledge hotter human beings.

          It’s definitely shallow to consider dumping the one you have for someone who is better looking.

          Dumping a hot guy who treats you poorly for a hotter guy who may or may not treat you just as poorly might be ok.

          But then again you might want to consider dating guys who treat you well over guys who are merely good to look at.

        3. Karmic Equation

          I meant “generic you”, not you specifically, Sunflower.

      2. 7.1.2
        Noemi

        “It’s not shallow, it’s reality.  Who hasn’t at one time or another been in a relationship where you found someone hotter than your mate and questioned whether you could do better.   It’s a human thought and I would bet the majority of people have experienced it, even you.”
        It may be reality, but it’s still shallow. I won’t villify someone who is shallow, but shallow is shallow. Just calling it like it is. I’ve never seen someone hotter than my mate and questioned if I could do better. So, no. I’ve been cheated on by a boyfriend and questioned whether I could do better. Now that, yes.
         

        1. Sunflower

          Let’s keep it in perspective.  I never said “cheating,” or meant acting on those thoughts.  They are merely thoughts and as human beings we all have impure thoughts.  Whether we act on them or not determines our character.

      3. 7.1.3
        popee

        @sunflower

        That is the equivalent of a woman saying “my BF is great, the sweetest man I have ever met, I like spending time with him but truth be told I’d rather hang out with my girlfriends…he doesn’t make a lot of money and I get asked out all the time by guys who are really successful and attractive and have a lot more to offer than he does…should I break up with him and pursue my other options?”

        The question is legitimate, neither is REALLY into the person they are with (that is the bottom line here) and if they have actual options and not perceived options, then it’s a matter of not settling because they really aren’t all that into the person they are with. Both judge people by superficial qualities. The woman would be tagged a “gold digger” by men and the man a sexist player by women.

         

      4. 7.1.4
        Not Jerry

        He’s mid 50s, never married, no kids, with all that normally entails.
        She is a couple years older. Thoroughly nice.

  8. 8
    Not Jerry

    Not that you shouldn’t try to find the best person for *you*.  But I get alarmed when I find people trading up who have plenty good to say about their present relationship.

    1. 8.1
      A.D.

      AND using numbers to rate his long-time gf as like he was a pick-up artist looking to hook up with someone at the bar.

    2. 8.2
      Christina

      I agree with you Not Jerry. Usually people like your friend doesn’t know what he wants. He is just shooting in the dark, thinking that somehow one day he is going to feel completely and utterly satisfied.

      Not going to happen.

      I think we attract the energy we give out so if he has a trade-up mentality, it is no surprise he got traded up along the way. He also sounds hypocritical. Listing their traits and then complaining all in one full swop. If he is unhappy, leave. If he is happy, stay. What’s the point of complaining or celebrating? You are probably better off without him as a friend. He is most likely complaining and celebrating you behind your back, like these women.

       

  9. 9
    popee

    My first bf and I remained friends. He was really good looking, a bit of a flirt (i.e. liked female attention) and a scientist. A few years after we broke up (I was in my early 20s) he got together with the woman he eventually married. Before they married he confided in me that he was attracted to many super hot women he could pull but he had that relationship. I told him break up if you really want this because if you don’t live out these fantasies they will haunt you, or, maybe try to have some more excitement in your sex life (which he’d complained about.  He told me they worked out the sex issues, stayed with her they married, had 2 kids and are now getting a divorce.  I can’t help but wonder if he married a little too young.

    I honestly think some men HAVE to live this out and to get this out of their system before they settle down and carry that resentment with them. It’s not wrong. It’s best to do this while you’re young than marry young, resent your spouse, have kids then get a divorce and go back to the dating market thinking you are going to live the glory days you left behind – you won’t.  Marriage and commitment should not be taken lightly. People should truly only commit if they are 100% sure it’s the right person.

  10. 10
    mandy

    If a man is,young, fairly good l9oking, hanging out in clubs/bars…hasn’t figured out his bliss in life, his way of contributing in the workforce and he’s not too accomplished,  he’ll often resort yo boredom in women. Men naturally crave variety.  We all know that.

     

    A man who matures and figures out what he wants out of lide, will crave stability eith a single woman. The woman who is his type. He won’t crave so much the shiny new object as he now values intimacy with one person.

  11. 11
    mandy

    Sorry for typos! I wrote this on the fly on my phone at work

  12. 12
    CaliforniaGirl

    That’s kinda sad that Matt rates his girlfriend by numbers, it’s probably the new era thing because I can’t recall such ratings when I was in my twenties.

    Matt, you should let her go, you won’t be satisfied and she can find someone who will think she is perfect for him. I was the picky one too, had good boyfriends in my twenties but they were never enough. Married a good guy but always felt I settled too early and I could do better (married at 26). Divorced, because couldn’t stand him anymore, preferred to spend time with my friends other than him. If you are young, just don’t do it. Go after hot girls and when you feel you are ready, decide what you want to do.

    1. 12.1
      JJ

      How long were you married before divorce?? Do you have kids?

      1. 12.1.1
        CaliforniaGirl

        I was married for almost 10 years and we did not have children. There was no passion or intimacy, we were a very good business partners  but I was craving more.

    2. 12.2
      Josie

      Sadly the ratings game seems to be common in these times, where men are constantly exposed to photos of hot women online.  When they date in real life they do realize that women are humans and not flawless, however, the constant exposure to media feeds a perception of what I call “the hotter chick is around the corner” syndrome.   This is pervasive in older men, not just 20 somethings , fueled by media and the perception of abundance that online dating creates.

      This man should cut his girlfriend loose and hopefully she will realize she can do better .

       

      1. 12.2.1
        AllHeart81

        Josie – I completely agree with you. Everytime I see someone rate someone, even if it’s to say they are 10, All I can think is  that you’re just reducing someone to a set of qualities that you perceive will best satisfy you. It’s completely ego driven, lacks any kind of humanity or real insight into love.
        Between Matt and his girlfriend, I would say that his girlfriend is the bigger catch and she deserves to be with a man that thinks she’s great. Not one that’s whining and pouting because he doesn’t think she is hot enough.

    3. 12.3
      Vanessa

      Excellent advice! Thank you for posting it! I rushed into getting married at age 21. After 7 years, I got a divorce…for the same reasons you mentioned and others. I’m 29, a single mom of a 2-year old. I can’t say that I’m happy now because the loneliness is awful and I’m struggling financially, but I wasn’t happy before either so I guess the difference is that there is no resentment now and I’m free to meet new people.

      1. 12.3.1
        CaliforniaGirl

        To cope with loneliness I started Airbnb in my spare bedroom – now I am rarely lonely and sometimes I even want some quite time. Also, I’ve met some great people from all over the world, all my guests invited me to go to dinner or drinks with them and some even made dinner for us while I was at work. It also helps financially and I can afford a nice apartment in a great neighborhood.

  13. 13
    Karmic Equation

    If Matt is indeed in his 20s, I agree with popee, he is too young to commit, particularly if he feels that something is missing.

    He should only commit if he KNOWS that whatever he’s missing cannot possibly be better than the “whole” of his gf, as in “the sum of the whole is greater than it’s parts”.

    There will always be hotter women as long as baby girls are being born.

    There may be nicer women.

    There may be smarter women.

    There may even be many women who could love him more than his current woman.

    The question is, are they all the same woman? lol

    When he finds the combination of all the above in ONE woman, he has to do the a reality check and ask himself if he could REALLY find a woman that is a BETTER combination than the one he’s got.

    If the answer is yes, then he should go look for her.

    Otherwise, stay, and love and appreciate the gal he’s got.

  14. 14
    JB

    I know the OP used the terms “hotter” and “trading up” but in all honesty and I’m only going to speak for myself here. Men that enjoy variety in their personal lives like women that sometimes are just different to what they have. Could be hotter but might be less attractive and more fun. Might be a little heavier and more curvy or a little thinner. All I’m saying is it’s not always just hotter/younger it might be older, different chemistry, and more interesting. I enjoy many types of women and don’t really have a “type”. I’m always monogamous when that’s been discussed but I’m also honest and say I won’t be getting married again in my 50’s. So be it……….

  15. 15
    Ines

    In my 20’s I married the guy of my dreams, at 13 I knew he would be my husband in my 20’s , at that age with so little baggage I think you should be excited about a partner!

  16. 16
    Olivia

    Matt is thinking that the grass is greener but he will find out eventually that it is not so.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been given the reason, “You’re nice but…” or “something’s missing” during a breakup…only for the guy to come crawling back months later.  

  17. 17
    Stacy

    This guy is not ready to settle down period.Anytime you keep looking for hotter and hotter, you are simply not ready for a lifelong commitment with one woman.If he stays with the current girlfriend, he would either end up cheating or always wonder ‘what if’.
    If he is pretty young, this is to be expected and he needs to sow his wild oats until he is internally satisfied. When you are ready to settle down,you need to believe that your choice is one of the best possibilities that were out there for you.Anything else and it’s a recipe for disaster.

    1. 17.1
      Lucy

      I know what you mean. Sometimes you have to feel that you’ve been through an exploration phase and have a solid idea of what kind of relationship is achievable for you. Then this lets you appreciate what you really need as opposed to what you think you want in a relationship. I don’t think that’s unromantic either.

      When I was with my ex four years ago and I kept thinking there was something better out there, I pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind. I don’t think I had them even on a conscious level. Then I did a terrible thing and cheated on the guy (which by the way, I completely do not condone nor justify in any sense). It was a crap thing to do which made me realise that I’d rather be selfish and alone than push that on other people. If I had acknowledged these thoughts and analysed why I was having them like a mature adult would do, that would not have happened. It’s good the OP has asked this question in the first place because it shows he is self-aware. I think being self-aware makes him less likely to cheat on someone.

      1. 17.1.1
        Stacy

        Lucy,

        I can certainly relate.  I have been there where he was so nice and I tried to love him. I really did. But, no amount of internal convincing could make me look past the fact that he ultimately was not what I wanted, I had to let him go. The heart wants what it wants.

        1. Lucy

          Aw that’s sad to hear. 🙁 You did the right thing though. It’s much better to walk away then to cause hurt to the guy. In my case, he had a good heart but he was absent from the relationship and didn’t communicate with me for a time. I think I felt lonely but I was vindictive and wanted to hurt him (not a nice thing to do but I am being honest with you).

          As I am the same age as OP, I can completely relate to his questioning. I think he has to think of the here and now and not what might happen in the future. I suppose you have to feel like you are getting something from your partner that you can’t get elsewhere. That doesn’t mean they have to fit impossibly high standards. It could just be the fact you’ve been committed to each other for a long time and forged your own memories together that makes your relationship special and new people not tempting. It can be a wonderful feeling to feel there is someone out there who knows you better than anyone else.

    2. 17.2
      Vanessa

      I agree with Stacy. But my fear is that I’ll let “true love pass me by.” I’m in a similar situation as the author, except that I don’t care about looks as much as he does. The problem is that my boyfriend, who’s 34, is broke. He’s a musician and plays in a touring band. That’s his ONLY income. They’re not famous so they make very little. The other day, he mentioned that he didn’t have a car when he was younger… I asked, “how old?” He said, “25.” A 25-year old who doesn’t have a car? One time he mentioned that when he was in his twenties, one of his ex broke up with him because her family didn’t think that he had a “strong work ethic.” He’s been employed with the band for over two years, but he still drives a car that has about 200,000 and no A.C. He dropped out from college and never paid his student loan so the IRS takes it from his income tax, which means his credit is also ruined. So, he has no money and no credit.

      1. 17.2.1
        Stacy

        Vanessa, I am 37 years old and one thing I learned from my divorce is this,

        A man who is constantly satisfied being in financial ruin or in a constant financial deficit will eventually lead you there. I have learned that love is not enough. Over time, you will grow to resent him. Financial concerns is one of the top reasons for divorce. You will lose respect for him over time and he will end up draining you.  Run! You will hurt and it is hard but you will get over it.  Red flags everywhere over your post.

        1. Vanessa

          Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and for replying. Yeah, I thought about running too, but he reassured me that he does have a strong work ethic and he’s gonna prove it to me so that’s where I’m at now… We’ve only been dating for 5 weeks so it’s very hard to make a decision at this point. He’s able to support himself and even pay child support for his child. Other than that, he’s broke. He seems okay with living with the “bare minimum” if that makes sense. Even though he said that is not the case.

      2. 17.2.2
        Karmic Equation

        I agree with Stacy.

        Basically, it comes down to this.

        If a man cannot provide for himself or take care of his basic and job-related needs (e.g., car to get to work), he will not be a good partner.

        Love is NOT enough. You deserve MORE than just love. You deserve to be able to depend on your man who can take care of himself. You do NOT want to become his mother. There is no faster way to kill love and romance in a relationship than a woman who ends up mothering her man. Both people end up resenting that relationship dynamic.

        1. Vanessa

          Thank you so much for your input! It’s very much appreciated. The thing is, he IS able to support himself and even pay child support. But he seems okay if he lives paycheck to paycheck. He doesn’t seem ambitious enough to work extra jobs on the side. We’ve only been dating for 5 weeks so it’s a waiting game at this point since I’m not 100% sure if he is changing (becoming more of a hard worker) or not. Everything else about him is amazing though so it’s gonna be a really hard decision. And you are absolutely right about being a guy’s mother. Been there, done that. One of the many reasons why my marriage failed! My ex wanted to be treated like a baby all the time. Whew! Never again!!!

      3. 17.2.3
        Ames

        Vanessa,

        I Dated a man I met online for 18 months. I knew he was in non profit and had anxiety issues. The truth was that he had had a bad relationship with money his entire adult life. His car also had 200k and would die in traffic. He had a masters and a non profit job that paid 30k without a raise for 5 years. Meanwhile, his 80k in student loans went unpaid until the gvmt threatened to garnish wages. He wouldn’t open mail because money was tight, wouldn’t read late notices and his utilities would be cut off. Then he had to pay reconnection fees and security deposits to have power again. He was loving, loyal, made me feel special but eventually began standing me up any time we were to meet outside the house–he was hiding agoraphobia. You can’t fix this guy. Either he’s willing to grow up or as I learned, he will choose a break up over changing for better.

      4. 17.2.4
        CaliforniaGirl

        6 months ago I ended a two year relationship with a guy I loved very much but I started to resent him over his inability to support himself.  We couldn’t do any activity without me paying for it, all our vacations and little trips –  I paid for, any food place nicer than Subway – I had to pay for both of us and he always ordered more expensive food or had more drinks than me. I ended up stopping to go out with my friends and him because it meant I had to pay and sometimes it was more than I’d feel comfortable with. I stopped feeling like a woman and would feel bad every time we went out. He also would ask for clothes or gadgets and would get upset if I said no, literally like a child. He never bought me anything nice in two years, even for my birthday. I still miss him but my money situation improved so much after we broke up – I just realized how much money I spent on him and not on me and I will never ever date anyone who doesn’t have a stable income or has a debt. I am 38 and I don’t have time for this BS anymore, I worked hard to get where I am now and I want a partner who has same goals and values.

        1. Christina

          Vanessa,

          I agree with everyone above. Just want to add that you mentioned you are a single mom and finances are tight. If you are doing very well and can cover his debts and all then it is fine. Or he is loaded and can help out here and there with your share, it is fine too. But in this instance, no one can chip in to help each other. What are the chances he can’t pull it together when he is on his own and suddenly do a 360? If it bothered him, he would have done something by now yes? It’s been a while since college.

          If you can’t let go of him yet,  consider going out and meeting more people. Unsure if you are dating exclusively, if you are, you can always revert back to dating others as well. Take it as a test for him and yourself. If he wants to genuinely pull his weight, he will anyway, it will not change. He will prove it to you.  If you feel more financially secure with someone of better financial standing, better you know now then later.

          Good luck.

  18. 18
    Kitty

    When you don’t live with someone and don’t see that individual on his/her worst days that person will always be more enticing.

  19. 19
    Tom10

    I find that some of the comments here, labeling the op shallow have been simplistic in their response and analysis of the op’s question, as he is touching on an intrinsic issue that many men struggle with in dating.
     
    It seems to me that the op. Matt, is a maximiser, always striving to get the best, the hottest, the smartest etc. and I’d guess he struggles with the desire for novelty and variety too, which are fundamentally at odds with what is required for long-term relationships. This has nothing to do with his current girlfriend and everything to do with him. He’s struggling to resolve his conflicting short-term and long-term mating instincts: so many men I know struggle with the exact same issue.
     
    Matt will have to do a lot of work and soul-searching to see if he’s even cut out for long-term relationships as I sense that he might actually be happier to go from short-term relationship to short-term relationship. And I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with that choice: some men just aren’t cut out for the long haul.
     
    My advice to Matt: if he’s under 35 then he should move on and keep dating. If he’s over 35 then make his peace with his feelings, realize it’s something many of us have to deal with, and then just plan a future with his current girlfriend.

    1. 19.1
      Christine

      I wonder if maximizers are ever able to be happy in long term relationships?  There will always be someone hotter, smarter, younger, etc.  How do maximizers ever feel completely satisfied, when there will always be “better” options out there, so they’ll never have the “best”? It must be a challenge to sublimate the need for the “best” choice and learn to be happy with a “good” one.  If Matt isn’t cut out for long term relationships, that’s his prerogative, but then I just hope he’s honest with his girlfriend about it.

       

       

  20. 20
    Lucy

    I’m glad to read a post aimed at my age group. I am 25. I can totally empathise with his question. I have felt like that too. Making a decision about that commitment is scary because of the fear of missing out on someone better after you’ve already committed to one person. For me, I suppose I feel that everything in life is a compromise to some extent. I’m more accepting of it the older I get and the more I learn.

    What appeals to me now is eventually marrying a guy who’s right for me in a lot of ways and who makes me happy. I would hate to get stuck in a loop of constantly chasing something better and feeling miserable about it. I also think being in a relationship gives you a false idea of what your options would be outside the relationship. Dating a variety of people and being single is fun for a while but it gets boring. I’m not rushing to settle down but I don’t feel excited about dating anymore, having been single for a few years.

    That being said, I think the feeling of there being ‘something missing’ from a relationship can be very real. If it’s just a reaction to uncertainty about the future, then I think it’s best to appreciate and enjoy what you’ve got. After all, it can’t stay exciting forever. However, I also think if you are genuinely getting a wandering eye and creating fantasies in your head about real people, then something is definitely amiss in your relationship.

    Heh maybe this is why my relationships haven’t worked out so far? I’ve not dated anyone out of my league as I’ve had relationships with guys who pursued me. But they get bored of me after a year or two. I’m going to try not to let this affect my confidence too much.

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