Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Avoiding and Overthinking in Relationships
My first long term relationship probably should have been over in a few months. Six months in, I was quite clear that we were a poor match, and even made some weak attempts to end it. However, I didn't want to be alone, and I also wanted to "give it a chance." Of course, I was also avoiding all the ways in which our lives were really different. How our life goals were on quite different pages. Our interests often didn't match up. How we frequently ran out of things to talk about. Even though things never really got any better, we stayed together over three years.
With another long term girlfriend, instead of breaking up with me fully, she asked for a month apart so she could "think about things." That seemed reasonable enough to me, and I wanted to give it one last shot myself, even though the previous several months had been fairly miserable. Then that month stretched into two, three, four, five months, with all of my attempts to meet her to have a conversation rebuffed. Finally, I just gave up, and moved on. I found out later that she had moved on long before I did, but for whatever reason, decided to keep answering my requests to meet with "I'm not ready to see you yet," instead of just telling me she was seeing someone else.
I often write about how in a rush folks seem to be these days when it comes to dating. However, the opposite can also be true. Over-thinking. Avoiding facing deep pockets of incompatibility because you're attracted to someone, don't want to hurt their feelings, or are simply afraid to be alone.
I'm all for thoughtfulness and spending the time needed to suss out what you really want and how you want to move forward. However, there comes a time when that place becomes like a cave you go to hide in. A protective zone from all the possible consequences you can imagine. Consequences from leaving someone. Consequences from staying with someone. And eventually, the consequences that come from waiting too long to make a decision.
How about you? Are you someone who over-thinks your relationships? Do you sit on the fence for weeks and months on end, wondering about the many what ifs? Have you dated people like this?