I wish it were simple but we give up easily*

long-distance-relationshipJan and I will have been together six years next month. Six whole years! I was practically still a kid when we got together. In those six years we’ve gone from being “in a relationship” to “in a long distance relationship” and then back to where we started. While every other relationship I was aware of has either moved on or ended we seem to have come to a complete standstill. Of course there have been changes in both of our lives, but they seem to have only happened to us as individuals, at different times as if we were two entirely separate entities who just happen to know one another (well, obviously we are two separate entities but you’d think there would be some mutual stuff in a relationship as well, right?)

So while all my friends are moving in together, buying houses, getting engaged, exchanging vows and having babies the two of us have moved out of our student residence and got our first flats separately, attended engagement parties and weddings as “boyfriend and girlfriend” (in what seems to me is the same sense of boyfriend and girlfriend that is uttered by 15 year olds) and bought dozens of gifts for other people’s children.

It’s not like I even want to get married and have babies at this stage in my life. I don’t even particularly want to get engaged yet. But it would be nice to feel like some day it might be my turn. What I would like is for us to get a flat together. I mean, I adore my flat, it’s the first place I’ve ever lived that was truly mine and it really is a nice place but only being able to have my boyfriend with my for some of the time… well, it gets a little lonely sometimes. I want to be able to wake up beside him every day (not just when he happens to be staying at mine). I want to know I’ll see him in the evening without having to ask. I want a bed that’s not mine, but ours. Is that really too much to ask?

Would he want to live with me if I cleaned up more often? (Photo: nanquimvirtual)

Sometimes I’ll find myself trying to work out reasons why he might not want to live with me, despite the fact that he tells me he dosn’t even know why. But it’s as if I need to have a cause so I can start trying to fix it. A while ago I got the idea into my head that once I had a proper job he would want to stay with me. Except then I found a proper job, moved into a flat (by myself), lost my proper job again and found a new one… and I’m still living alone. Now I occasionally think that maybe once I’ve got through my probation period things might start to happen. Then there was the time that I decided I needed to give him a reason to come home to me every night, so I started making sure tea was ready when he came home and he always had something clean to wear. He tells me he likes cooking with me though, so I guess that one’s backfired. A recurring theme (and something that I guess is always is that back of my mind) is thinking that he doesn’t want to live with me because he’s seen the state that my flat gets into, so every few months I’ll make a vow to myself to keep on top of the housework. Unfortunately, as I keep telling you (I am the proverbial stuck record!) my housewifely skills leave much to be desired. So I’ll clean and tidy the entire flat once and manage to wash the dishes immediately after we eat for maybe three days in a row, but then I get bored and the thought of the dishes waiting for me in the kitchen just makes me want to cry, and so I stop and once again Jan has to come home to a messy kitchen once again.

In my more logical moments I realise that whether he wants to live with me or not doesn’t depend on my job or my cooking or how tidy I am, but my logical moments are few and far between. Before long the crazy catches up with me again and I start obsessively cleaning the kitchen and dreaming up new and interesting dishes to win over my man’s heart (because we all know the way to that is through the stomach). And so it goes on, over and over again.

Sigh I know nobody said relationships were easy, but I wish someone had warned me it would be this hard…

*Title blatantly stolen from the song The Other Side of the World by KT Tunstall

7 thoughts on “I wish it were simple but we give up easily*

  1. I wish the English language had something more than “boyfriend/girlfriend.” It is completely inadequate.

    I think I understand where you’re coming from – I can see the possibility for this same thing to happen in my relationship. I think it’d be worth talking to Jan about how you feel. Communication is key. 🙂

  2. Yes, you need to be able to talk about this with Jan. He needs to know that you need more at this stage of your relationship. And if he can’t cope with this, YOU need to know so that you can decide what (if anything) to do about it.

    That being said, PG and I have been together for years now (six? seven? who’s counting?) and we have always lived separately and I’m quite content with that. But lately, he has been mentioning us living together quite a bit, and I tense up immediately. It seems that I don’t want to even talk about that right now! (But then, PG’s been married before, so have I and I have a daughter who still lives with me, so of course, this isn’t a fair comparison at all.)

  3. That is frustrating! I remember it felt like forever waiting for my man to propose and was wondering why he wouldn’t. Little did I know, however, that he was plotting how to do it behind my back! LOL

    I’m sure Jay will come around soon!:)

  4. Oh sweetie….I have just caught up with your posts. I wonder if he is maybe one of those men who don’t actually WANT too much commitment? This is complicated. But six years is a long time not to be sure what the other person is thinking. Have you asked him? I know that sounds silly, but it could be simply that he is waiting for you to ask HIM to move on in the relationship. What is clear, is that you are no longer happy with just drifting on without a plan. Even if the ‘plan’ is that you decide to drift on. Talk to him.
    Or don’t listen to me. I am hardly an expert in relationships!
    Hugs tho.xxx

  5. Franzi – it ranges from he doesn’t know what he wants to he’s not ready.

    Amanda – yes, we definitely need more words than boyfriend/girlfriend.

    pinklea – we do talk, and for a while things seemed to be improving but it’s all gone a bit pear-shaped again.
    If I was in your situation I’d probably be a bit hesitant as well. But as a 26 year old who wants kids some day it feels like the longer nothing changes the more likely I’ll end up being along forever. Silly thoughts, yes?

    hannah – no chance that that’s what’s going on here though 😉

    justme – Well, for 2 years we were in a long distance relationship so things have at least improved since then. You’re right though, it is a long time not to know what you want. I don’t think he is entirely against commitment though – at least he apparantly does want the whole marriage and kids thing at some point…

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