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Should I stay if I'm having fun but know it's going nowhere?
#1
I'm curious what people think about staying in a relationship when you're having fun but know it isn't going anywhere.

Here's the scenario:

With the exception of my love life, I'm at a spot where my life couldn't feel more perfect. I have a few good friends and an adoring cat. My parents love and support me. I have a good job of minor importance in local government where the workload isn't overwhelming and my coworkers clearly appreciate me. Relative to the low cost of living in my community, I do well financially. My health is good, and I have a spirituality that works for me. I live in my dream home which I like so much in large part because I'm the first owner and played a substantial role in designing it. I have many hobbies and interests, and am an educated individual.

But then there's my love life.

Three years ago I divorced my ex-husband after a very difficult 12 year relationship. From my perspective, he was an emotionally and physically distant person who struggles to connect to people. For my part, I responded very badly to the situation, often acting out in childish ways that continue to embarrass me. Repeatedly in the relationship I suggested splitting up. Each time he would cry profusely, and one time so did I. In a sick way I'd get out of the crying the sense of being wanted that I craved, and so I'd stay. Finally he asked me for a divorce, and I gave it to him gladly. The last two years of the relationship were essentially a sham anyhow, and even before we decided to divorce, I moved on my own to my new home in a rural area three hours away from the urban area where we lived. For the whole of our 12 years together I felt like I was only halfway in a relationship with someone, and when we broke up I was eager to find someone with whom I could finally really connect.

Not long after the divorce I ended up with a guy whose life a red hot mess, but we had incredible chemistry, and against my better judgment I pursued a relationship with him. After about 10 months together, and around the time when things really started getting intensely passionate, he decided it would be clever to begin to use methamphetamine. He denied any drug use, but the symptoms were textbook, and I knew he had a problem with meth in his past. For two weeks I tried to believe him that he wasn't on drugs, but at one point he began tweaking out, screaming, and having hallucinations in bed right next to me, so I had little choice after that but to kick him out of my life entirely. Oddly enough, that was the most painful thing I ever did, and caused me significant guilt. For the three months that followed, I went through a grieving process like nothing I ever experienced in life.

Eventually I decided to start dating again, but owing to the fact that I live in a rural area without a lot of educated or openly gay men, meeting someone locally was a struggle. I became convinced that Mr. Right simply does not live in or around my community.

About five months ago I met a guy on a dating app who lives in the metropolitan area where I lived with my ex-husband. He's really wonderful in a lot ways. Sweet personality, highly accomplished academically, keeps me satisfied in bed, no history of substance abuse, and fun to be around. But there are some red flags. In particular, he's from another country where a man's primary purpose in life is to marry a woman and have children. Still unmarried in his thirties, he's under constant pressure from his family to take a bride. He's terrified to come out to anyone in his family, but he has made clear that marrying a woman will not make him happy. His parents have been direct that they don't care how miserable marrying will make him, he is expected to marry, and they wish he would hurry up and do it so that relatives will stop pressuring them to get him married. He assures me he will never cave in, but his family's disapproval of him is causing him a fear of commitment. He originally represented to me that he was looking for an LTR leading to marriage and adopting children. Now he expresses fear at the prospect of marriage or even living with another man.

There are other concerns. When we hang out, every third statement out of his mouth is an insult directed at himself, and quite frankly it gets boring and painful to listen to. Also, we have different standards for cleanliness, and although that's fine so long as we live apart, I'm not sure I could stand living together. Because of his immigration status (he's in the US on a visa, but wants to pursue his green card . . . luckily he's been clear that he wants to get his green card on his own, and isn't looking to obtain one by marrying someone), it's also unclear where he will end up in a few years, but he certainly would never find a job in his field where I live, and I don't think my community is the kind of place he could be happy living, anyhow. Lastly, getting up to his home for regular weekend visits is not easy, and because of health concerns it's even harder for him to drive down to visit me. I have every confidence that I have my own fair share of red flags, including a very strong personality with a tendency to be overly cynical and to engage in socio-political, philosophical diatribes. Obviously my relationship history is a red flag, as may be my eagerness to settle down into a serious LTR despite my lack of success in that arena.

Right now I just don't see how this relationship can end up working out long-term. At the same time, I'm not sure I see much point in splitting up. I have nothing else going on, I enjoy his company, and I am sure that I would be unsuccessful in any attempt to find someone closer to home. Also, I did recently discuss the possibility that we won't work out long-term, but the thought upset him so much that he got sick and went home early from work the next day. I would really like to avoid going there again, especially so soon after the last conversation. Yet it also feels very weird staying in a go-nowhere relationship, even though I can't quite articulate why.

Any thoughts?
#2
CaliDanny78 Wrote:...Right now I just don't see how this relationship can end up working out long-term. At the same time, I'm not sure I see much point in splitting up. I have nothing else going on, I enjoy his company, and I am sure that I would be unsuccessful in any attempt to find someone closer to home. Also, I did recently discuss the possibility that we won't work out long-term, but the thought upset him so much that he got sick and went home early from work the next day. I would really like to avoid going there again, especially so soon after the last conversation. Yet it also feels very weird staying in a go-nowhere relationship, even though I can't quite articulate why.

Any thoughts?
IDK, sounds like you're not being honest with this guy. You're not seeing any long-term potential. Ok, nothing wrong with an FWB if you're both on the same page about it... but doesn't sound like he IS on the same page. I'd want to get that cleared up just out of courtesy to him if nothing else.

The real problem, though, seems to go much deeper. I'm not even sure what I'm sensing, TBH. IDK, I just feel like you're not really happy... despite having a lot of good things in your life. So.. what's that about? Why does your happiness depend on another person being in you life? Or do I have that wrong?
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