Any mature person knows that to keep a relationship humming, it takes some work. Even if you get along fabulously, usually there are a few hiccups that need negotiating. My ex and I started going to a counselor a few years into our relationship as I wanted a safe place we could work out any hiccups. I equated it to a high-performing car needing more care to keep it running at its best.
A gal pal recently ended a 6-month live-in relationship because her beau didn’t want to work on making the relationship better. He was fine with it as it was and didn’t see any need to improve anything.
When she explained that great relationships are continually evolving and improving, he said he understood from the beginning that she was a girl and liked to have “relationship talks.” He was fine with having them if she wanted. But he didn’t like to have them very often and was certainly not going to initiate them.
She was saddened by his not sharing her continuous improvement philosophy. And she felt he was condescending to say her need for these talks was a girl thing.
Realizing continuing to improve her relationship was critical for her, she decided to leave. We traveled together right after she extricated herself from him, but they still communicated some. He acted like she’d be back as soon as she came to her senses. She knew she’d not go back.
My experience is many men don’t like to talk about their relationships, as the woman usually asks for them to do something different and they don’t want to. I’ve dated men who initiated conversations about improving the relationship and others who didn’t. I am drawn more to the former as I like to be working to make things better in all areas of my life.
How important is continuing to improve the relationship to you? Is it critical? Or is your philosophy, “If it’s good, don’t mess with it”?
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