“I met John in India while studying in a Hindi language program. He did all sorts of exciting things. He was from San Francisco and worked for all these super lefty politicians. In his twenties, he pretended to be a teenager so he could go back to high school and write an article about it. He did philanthropic work in African rain forests. Life with him was like a long vacation. Every day was an adventure. He’d literally wake up every morning and say: ‘Today’s an adventure.’ We dated for nine years. But he didn’t want to get married. He didn’t want to have kids. And even though he wanted to save humanity on a macro scale, he just wasn’t that warm. I never felt like I could come home in a way. So eventually I ended it. I met my current husband online. He was ‘all in’ from the very beginning. He doesn’t live in a rainforest, but he feels like home. If my sister sends me a picture of my niece wearing huge sunglasses, he doesn’t roll his eyes. He laughs even harder than I do.” Source
Last evening I was speaking to my high school pals and we got talking relationships. In particular, one of the ladies was talking about a friend at University that dated this guy for three/four years and then then she called things off because he just wasn’t ambitious enough for her liking. Fast forward to three years later and his bit jobs have gotten him loads of recognition and he is now doing that much better than when they were together.
What I know?
Sometimes you can be with a great guy, but he is not good for you but could definitely be great for someone else. And that’s OK. The guy in the HONY story sounded great, but he was not good for her and she has much better now.
Also, someone can be great for you but the timing is off and you break up only to pick up the pieces years later and get on and your relationship advances.
You can always see if your partner has potential – I believe that certain traits that are indicators of success or stability (emotional and mental, included) can be determined in the course of dating.
In a bad situation, no external person can tell us what to do. We may get advice but at the end, the decision to stay or not must come from the individual.
Slight contradiction to four above, I still tell people if something is off. My personal motto is better a broken engagement than a broken marriage. So I ask and I prod and heartily welcome it from my friends.
What I know for a fact is that relationships are not linear and they do not develop in this way at all.
They take time.
They are nuanced.
They vary from pair to pair and time to time.
And that is even in a committed relationship, people change as do the couple’s needs and it is important to be frank about these and keep re-committing or choosing to stay put.