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first serious relationship. please help, long
I have been in a close relationship with Mike for almost a whole year.

I met him on myspace, and agreed to meet up with him mainly on the grounds of physical attraction; when I first viewed his profile, I was turned off the emo/scene style, which seems to me overly negative and pretentious. I didn't like his taste in music. But I started talking to him and found we had a few things in common, mainly our overall world views. We were both looking for a loving relationship rather than just sex (like a lot of the gay population seemingly). We both loved nature and the beach. He also said he loved a lot of other things I mentioned in our first conversation, but I've later found out that he doesn't really.

I often worry that we don't have a lot in common. After we get past the basic pleasantries and small talk, we sometimes struggle to have a conversation. I talk a lot, telling him a lot about the things that I'm interested in, make jokes and try to be generally engaging and enthusiastic. I answer his questions with full detail. He doesn't seem too enthusiastic or responsive. He doesn't give very much detail when I ask him questions. Maybe I don't ask him enough questions? I'm not very good at conversation making in general, but I feel most comfortable and confident talking to Mike. But when I'm talking to him he sometimes says random things that make me think that he doesn't really understand the point or that are totally unrealistic. This Sometimes embarrasses me. Some of the things he says are so simple or naïve. Or just plain random/out of place/inappropriate. I don't think he is very intelligent.

I enjoy our conversations none-the-less, and maybe I'm really exaggerating a perceived problem writing it now. But it does upset me sometimes that our conversations aren't as interesting as they could be. His lack of enthusiasm and humour annoys me sometimes. He is very serious. Even more serious than me, and I'm serious! He is very moody and takes offence easy, but so do I. He might do or say something that annoys me, and I get in a little bit of a bad mood. He picks up on it and it puts him in a bit of a bad mood, and this starts a downward spiral, each of us asking each other if there is something wrong, but each of us denying it. I try my hardest to bounce back and stay positive, but its difficult when he's so negative and looking at me with those sad puppy dog eyes.

I cant stand the sad puppy dog eyes. Unfortunately I think I have the tendency to have them too, so maybe I'm just being a massive hypocrite. I feel bad about criticising him at all, because I feel like I have a lot of the same problems, maybe to a lesser extent? But being around him doesn't really help me to develop myself. We are both so introvert. When I am around extroverted friends I feel so much better about myself. They bring out the extrovert in me. When he talks about some of his friends, I think Mike feels this to some extent too, perhaps without realising it. I'm sorry Mike, I'm no Matt. Mike, I'm sorry, you're no Jason. But it is so unfair of me to look to a partner to 'develop' me or to completely satisfy my social needs.

When other people refer to us as a couple, they say 'Aww, how cute. How sweet. All sunshine and rainbows.' This I find patronising, and yet at the same time, I get the joke. Mike is so sweet. He has a heart of gold, strong morals, and is always looking to be as thoughtful and nice as he possibly can. He is almost too nice. Too innocent. Too idealistic. I almost wish he would be a bit of a douche. Insult me a little sometimes, by being brutally honest or even just as a joke. I wish he would be cooler, bolder, have a stronger 'personality'. I wish he would experiment with drugs recreationally with me. But no, drugs are 'bad'. I should totally respect his decision not to try. I wish he would be more decisive, more masculine, more loud. I get a bit sick of being lovey dovey gooey all the time. Would I wish all these things if I were truly in love with him?

He doesn't seem to be that into sex. It sort of seems like a routine thing or to keep me happy. He hardly ever initiates it, and is always in some sort of passive role. And he also just has many fixed ideas about it, such as the specific position in which he can only achieve orgasm. He is also stuck in the routine of masturbating every morning, which annoys me slightly that he doesn't save it for when we can be together. Whenever he gets an erection, he doesn't think, 'wow, I'm horny, lets have sex!' it seems to be more along the lines of 'oh no! Look what you did! It's always popping up, why do I have to be so horny all the time? Ill just ignore it.' I really wish he could be more into sex. More into the pleasure of it and experimenting in different positions so it doesn't become dull.

I'm sure if you asked him how our relationship was going, he would say it's going great. He seems like a very contented sort of guy. He has told me that I'm the hottest guy he has ever met. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for him. I think I do love him and I certainly never want to hurt him. We are two very very similar people, I'm very lucky to have met him. There have been so many great magical memories that we have shared. But right since the beginning, and especially because this is my first relationship, I have questioned it. It seems very weird and wrong to break up with him now, all of a sudden, without any arguments or anything. And I don't really want to break up with him because I would probably regret it. I really enjoy his company. I've come to rely upon him so much, too much I think, and I just don't want to be alone. But at the same time, I don't think we will last together forever, and I really really want to throw myself out into the world and explore other possibilities. Especially since I'm still so young and I was a virgin when I entered the relationship with him. I know that relationships have a lot to do with compromise. I know that I will never find anyone perfect. This is the biggest gamble of my life.

Sometimes I have these thoughts. Like I've just stumbled into this relationship and settled and it's all I've ever known. Sometimes I wonder what the hell I'm still doing with him. Sometimes all I can think about is how generous and loving he is. He has given so much to me and tried so hard for me. And I really really appreciate him, but maybe it would be best for him to find someone that appreciates him more. I think that the longer I spend with him the harder it will be. But I think that I would be saying goodbye to a really really amazing person if I say goodbye now. I don't know what to do. I hate this indecisiveness. And I'm not a terribly social person. It would probably take me a long time to find someone else. I don't have the highest self-esteem. Sometimes I think, and it's a horrible way to put it, that he's 'the best I can get.' I don't want to be alone, but I want what's best for me to be happy in the long run.

Wow, they fact that I've just written so much shows how mentally retarded and over analysing I am. If anyone has the patience to read, I really respect them.

Hey there Indecisive,

wow, it sounds like you just lived a mirror-image of my relationship in the early days, some of these thoughts had me nodding in recognition! and I just want you to know that mismatches can work out. I'm gonna be flattering and say that you sound like an intelligent person who has his own ideas about the world and life in a philosophical sense; it's hard to explain these to people who just like take life as it comes.

My boyfriend was from a very working class background, had a bad upbringing for the most part financially and educationally speaking; I asked him once and he told me he'd never read a book for pleasure in his life. I'm not a snob or an academic but that was one thing that really made me realise how different we were. A lot of people consider intellectual thought and culture a waste of time. No big deal, I thought.

*laughs* and yes, I've had the "I don't give a shit." responses to things too, although mine normally accumulates in him saying "ahhh..." in response, which bugs the hell out of me. He'd rather tell me a bad joke about chickens that's borderline retarded then talk about something that was bothering him, I know how frustrating it can be. People have a lot of different ways of dealing with things, and based on your description it sounds like there may be times when he just doesn't want to offend you or challenge you (because he doesn't want to hurt someone he loves) so being indifferent is a good and safe option. I'm guessing this is where the puppy dog eyes get used!

There are some contradicitons here too - at first you mentioned how you are quite opposite in terms of your interests, then later you go on to say that you are very similar people when it comes to world views. There's an old saying 'familiarity breeds contempt' which seems rather apt here, albeit negatively. To me you're approaching the Chris Rock boyfriend freakout stage. Let me explain-

you're sitting on your sofa/couch with your partner, watching some lame friday night TV. A few months have passed since the start of your relationship. Suddenly your partner turns to you and says "hold on baby, just let me slip this off" and roars like a hellbeast, pulling off an entire body mask to reveal a grotesque slavering 8 foot tall monster next to you.

"wow, you look really... different" o.O

The point? all this is just a metaphor...at a certain stage in a relationship you strip down the layers of a person until you realise who they really are. You have just reached that stage and you're reading into every aspect of your lovable and beautiful slavering monster. Sure he's covered in drool and unpleasentness, but he did agree to watch your favourite film with you.

You're also discovering what you look for in another partner through this person. Picking up on things you find desirable and less-so. Whilst it may also be a facet of your desires, trust me, someone being macho, bullish and indifferent is really something you only want for a fraction of the time.

You aready have the gold, and now you want to epxerience the shit; most people end up experiencing this the other way round - a series of rough and hurtful casual relationships until they find someone like you already have. Trouble is this doesn't stop you worrying.

The problem I see is that you need a 'context' to show you that you actually have a pretty awesome boyfriend. You should (joking..) hook up with some guys from Craig's list or Grindr who will screw you around and not call you back, leave you feeling cold and alone, that kinda thing. Trust me, these guys are out there, and they won't want to know your feelings about the world or philosophy.

The last thing is patronising but it's supposed to make you confident - you are young ... the most valuable commodity in the whole world, that anyone can bestow. You have something nobody else can take from you, and something everyone desires, time.

This is your first relationship; everybody has one, and sadly 95% of us end up leaving one with a heavy heart, I don't envy you mate *hugs*

Personally I don't want to tell you to move on, because deep down beside his flaws he sounds like a decent guy. The question is, is he TOO decent for you with your current desires and wants? Despite all the pain, people do recover from these things, and it's all part of growing as a person and learning to get what you want from life. My parents sired me from two seperate relationships, I'm the son of heartbreakers. Life moves in mysterious ways.

Talk to him about it, how you're not happy and why... it's not gonna be easy but it lets him understand why you act the way you do, and any decisions you might make. Trust me, from being broken up with myself, it's alot easier when you understand why rather than just dealing with a lot of mystery. Good luck mate, chin up x

That is a great answer, Sil Xyxthumbs

I agree that talking is really the only way you are going to be able to root through all this to your satisfaction ... until you decide he is still holding something back.

Truth is, we are all different. It sounds to me like your decision is to work out whether the negative value of the differences outweighs the fear of change. Naturally that kind of analysis is harder to work through if this is a first love.

Best wishes and good luck to you both.

Quote:Mike is so sweet. He has a heart of gold, strong morals, and is always looking to be as thoughtful and nice as he possibly can. He is almost too nice. Too innocent. Too idealistic.

Count your blessings, if you can find these qualities in a young man now days you have a man worth holding on too.

Just about every one of those list of 'bad things' points to a caring young lad (no, not you, Mike) who is submissive and loving and shows you his love in his own way.

If you two are not going rounds in a ring, throwing dishes, or screaming obscenities at one another then you have a pretty darn good relationship and should be rejoicing.

After almost 20 years with the same man, I have many of the same thoughts that you outlined near the end of your post. Been having them for oh about 20 years.

The sad truth is you are so terribly, terribly 'normal' that if normal was a terminal illness you would be long dead and buried. Your thoughts are normal and happen to even the best of relationships.

If you can include in your list verbal abuse, physical violence, hatred and an inability to even look at him, then you have 'just cause' to leave.

But honestly, you treat your subject (Mike) with a gentleness that is love.

You are unfortunately ending a period of passionate love, if you haven't already ended that period. Love is not dead, it is transmuting.

We humans are not designed to exist in a constant state of high passion, if we were nothing would have been accomplished in all of human history.

You have entered that period when love is deep and abiding. Love does not mean you like each other 24/7 Love means that although you can't stand his puppy-dog-eyes - you still think of them as puppy-dog-eyes instead of something nasty and mean.

Love means he will do things to upset you. Upset means YOU CARE - and caring is what love is about. Its when you become indifferent to stuff he does that the love is dead.

Stick with this relationship, trust me if you break up 10-20-30 years down the road you will look back and grieve and have deep regret, because then you will fully understand that love is really all about and you will understand that you had it with mike.

just hold on there... being open and talking is always the key in every relationship. talk it out with him and see how he'll respond.

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