Let’s say you have been dating someone exclusively for several months. The guy (or gal) you are dating has some wonderful qualities. You enjoy being with him (or her) and may even like his family and friends. However, something’s not just right. You can’t really put your finger on it. You would like to give yourself completely to the relationship and yet, something is telling you to that you should be looking outside the relationship and perhaps, to date other people. You may be in an almost relationship. That is one that is “almost, not quite”.
These are the hardest to let go of – because there is some good in it. You may be telling yourself, “things can change”, or “it just takes more time”.
Let me tell you- in most cases, it won’t get better. Those things that bother you will become more pronounced. It’s always difficult to leave the known for the unknown. What may be standing in your way to committing fully to this relationship?
1. You like being with the person, but something key is missing.
Here you admire many qualities of the person and she has all the characteristics that she possesses. Yet, something is missing. For some, it’s something called chemistry. You may not be that attracted to the person. Or there is a level of intimacy that you just can’t get to. In a sense, you may be selling yourself short. Or you may be telling
yourself, “The more I get to know her, the more I may be attracted to the person”. Yet, for many it never happens.
2. One of your core values is not being honored!
Your values are the part of you that has to be in sync or you will not be very happy. Your values can only be suppressed for so long! For example, you value open and honest relationships. You discover that your boyfriend has lied to you on several occasions. He says that he is protecting your feelings. You want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Since this constant lying is driving you crazy and dishonesty not something you can live with, you will ultimately break up.
3. There is some aspect of the person you cannot tolerate on a longterm basis.
When your girlfriend is on her best behavior you are totally in love with her. However, she is very moody and you never know which person will show up – the loving, happy person or the miserable, nasty person. You try to be supportive of her, and yet, you have to constantly be on your guard to protect yourself from Ms. Nasty. This relationship becomes too hard for you to maintain and enjoy, so you decide to move on.
4. The relationship is not moving towards the level of commitment as you would have hoped for.
You have been dating your boyfriend for over 2 years now and are 38 years old. You have been acting like a couple in every way. You even live together. You would like to get married like your friends and there is nothing really standing in his way. It seems as though your boyfriend is happy with the status quo. You finally come to the conclusion that things will probably not change unless you make a drastic move. You wished that he would ask you to marry you on his own. So you are put in the position of giving him an ultimatum. Now you will see if he is willing to live without you or not.
5. You don’t feel special or a priority in your partner’s life.
Your girlfriend is a socially active woman who has a very demanding job. To keep the relationship, you must accept being last on her list of priorities. There are no guarantees that you will see her on the weekend as well. She likes having a boyfriend when she needs an escort but only when it is convenient to her. You really desire a
relationship where a steady girlfriend wants to spend her free time with you and will make you a priority at least some of time. Eventually you will leave this relationship for one that the woman can be more emotionally committed to you.
6. Your life goals are very different
You are very taken with one another where there is chemistry, similar values and interests. However, you are very different places in your life. You desire to have a family and your boyfriend has his family already and does not want any more children. You have to decide what is more important to you- having a child or the relationship. It’s
a tough decision. Only you can decide what you can live with for the long term.
7. Your key Expression of Love is not being satisfied.
You are a very affectionate and open person. You like to hold hands, put your arm around your girlfriend, kiss in public and all that lovey dovey stuff. Your girlfriend is fairly private and uncomfortable with public displays of affection. You feel that you cannot express yourself freely by holding back. She is uncomfortable with a quick kiss hello when you meet in any public place. She feels it’s disrespectful to others, even though they are strangers. You really don’t care about strangers! Eventually you get very frustrated with the limitations and will seek someone who is closer to you on the
These are some of the key areas where couples can be misaligned in their needs and wants in a relationship. When we find someone we are attracted to and we like, we date them with the hope that it will grow into a more intimate, committed relationship. During our time together we discover areas that we differ. We all have to decide how wide those differences are. When the two people want and expect different things and those differences cannot be ironed out in order to find a livable compromise that works for
both parties -- that is what I called an Almost relationship. In my experience, after too long has passed, the couple will inevitably break up and seek to find a new relationship that is a better overall fit.
This article was originally published at
. Reprinted with permission from the author.