Rationality in a Relationship

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Dinesaur
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18 Apr 2016, 1:21 pm

I am just writing this because I want to see if anyone else has a similar experience. In both of the long term relationships I have had, I have alienated my partners by not buying into the romance side of things so much; I mean, I very much love(d) my partners, however they have been hurt when I don't positively respond to talks of "forever" or soulmates and that kind of thing. I always felt I was doing the right thing by being open and honest about my feelings in a relationship but over the years it seems I've caused more pain than what I've avoided.

Does anyone else have this issue in their relationship when they've been too honest about love and its foibles to a partner? Partners have seen me as commitment-phobic where I just see myself as being realistic about a relationship and want to take it one day at a time because no one knows where things are going to go.



0_equals_true
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18 Apr 2016, 6:05 pm

Sounds sensible, taking things as they come.

I think people are obsessed with the idea of getting married and walking into the sunset, happily ever after, perfection, etc.

I think I'm capable of being romantic I think, however I would prefer low dependency relationships or mutually independent.

Not your conventional relationship.

I don't see any alternative to being honest.



seaweed
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18 Apr 2016, 6:12 pm

I can relate! like with my partner he sometimes says things like,"I want to be with you forever" and I'm like, "hmmmmm...."

not because I don't love him or think that it's *not possible that we could stay together for our entire lives, I'm just not "fairy-tale ending" romantic like that and I can't say now what I'll want for forever. I don't consider myself to have an aversion to commitment (we have been with each other for over three years now) so much as an aversion to planning my life in advance, and additionally, the responsibilty of putting someone else's life into that plan.



Dinesaur
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19 Apr 2016, 3:39 am

seaweed wrote:
I can relate! like with my partner he sometimes says things like,"I want to be with you forever" and I'm like, "hmmmmm...."

not because I don't love him or think that it's *not possible that we could stay together for our entire lives, I'm just not "fairy-tale ending" romantic like that and I can't say now what I'll want for forever. I don't consider myself to have an aversion to commitment (we have been with each other for over three years now) so much as an aversion to planning my life in advance, and additionally, the responsibilty of putting someone else's life into that plan.


That's exactly it! I've tried to explain before that I feel like I'm lying if I say we'll be together forever and could never understand how others could feel that way. It's taking time but I've tried to be more tolerant of other people's attitudes towards love and relationships.



rdos
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19 Apr 2016, 6:30 am

Not really.

I don't say to my partner "it might not last forever", because that would mean I really don't care if it ends and that I would not put down enough effort in it. Thus, my goal is that it should last forever, and I don't need to adjust that by statistics for NTs.



Dinesaur
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19 Apr 2016, 6:41 am

rdos wrote:
Not really.

I don't say to my partner "it might not last forever", because that would mean I really don't care if it ends and that I would not put down enough effort in it. Thus, my goal is that it should last forever, and I don't need to adjust that by statistics for NTs.


I don't see it as meaning I don't care at all, I definitely care about my partner but it just feels wrong to say it will last forever when you can't foresee whatever could happen in the future. Of course at the time I'd want it to last forever, but I won't say it will. I don't know, it's hard to explain, but it's certainly not through a lack of caring.



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19 Apr 2016, 7:23 am

Because of my anxiety, I constantly stress and worry the relationship will not last, and it usually does not, but it's not because I'm overly-rational or logical.

I feel the last time my over-worrying scared my new girlfriend off a bit and she felt she wasn't ready for a relationship.

Bummer. :(

Otherwise, I too agree it's realistic and could never see my relationships 'lasting forever'.

That's such an irrational thought, but then again, love is 'supposed' to be an irrational feeling.



Dinesaur
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19 Apr 2016, 7:32 am

Outrider wrote:
Because of my anxiety, I constantly stress and worry the relationship will not last, and it usually does not, but it's not because I'm overly-rational or logical.

I feel the last time my over-worrying scared my new girlfriend off a bit and she felt she wasn't ready for a relationship.

Bummer. :(

Otherwise, I too agree it's realistic and could never see my relationships 'lasting forever'.

That's such an irrational thought, but then again, love is 'supposed' to be an irrational feeling.


Sorry to hear relationships haven't worked out in the past; it can take a few attempts while you work out how it's done!

I completely agree with you in love being an irrational feeling and I think that's the crux of what I struggle with internally. I'm an incredibly rational person, for better or for worse, and having that hyper self-awareness of being irrational panics me and I can emotionally lash out, which I guess is irrational in itself! Gives me such a headache!



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19 Apr 2016, 8:42 am

Ah yes the irony of our rational thinking in fact being the cause of irrational thoughts.

For instance, belieivng because the relationship can never 'last for ever', means you irrationally start to believe it cannot last in the long-term watsoever and can end any day now, an unfortuante self-fulfilling prophecy trap to fall into.

I've been there many times before. ;)



rdos
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19 Apr 2016, 10:27 am

Dinesaur wrote:
rdos wrote:
Not really.

I don't say to my partner "it might not last forever", because that would mean I really don't care if it ends and that I would not put down enough effort in it. Thus, my goal is that it should last forever, and I don't need to adjust that by statistics for NTs.


I don't see it as meaning I don't care at all, I definitely care about my partner but it just feels wrong to say it will last forever when you can't foresee whatever could happen in the future. Of course at the time I'd want it to last forever, but I won't say it will. I don't know, it's hard to explain, but it's certainly not through a lack of caring.


Yes, but you can decide to not say it, or say that your aim is that it will last forever. I mean, I too know that many relationships end, but I don't need to think about that. I can decide to ignore it.



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19 Apr 2016, 10:36 am

I get it completely its telling the lie you can't predict the future, not that it's wrong to plan things in the future though. Like saying in a few years go on holiday to xxx place so you can save etc.

I suppose it's more a reassurance thing knowing your not going to be dumped any minute from their point of view especially if you don't show much feeling. Could be scary not knowing if you are going to leave them any minute.


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rdos
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19 Apr 2016, 10:38 am

Outrider wrote:
For instance, belieivng because the relationship can never 'last for ever', means you irrationally start to believe it cannot last in the long-term watsoever and can end any day now, an unfortuante self-fulfilling prophecy trap to fall into.


Exactly. You worded it far better than I did.



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19 Apr 2016, 12:43 pm

NTs don't tend to very specific when they use language. You are correct in saying that it is impossible to tell whether anyone will definately stay in a relationship for the rest of their life.

However, I think what people mean when they talk about forever is that they are happy and enjoying themselves now and they don't want that feeling to stop. The opposite of somthing coming to a stop is something that goes on forever. So what they are really saying is that they don't want the happy feelings they have when they are around you to stop.

When you don't agree with this forever idea it makes them think that you are not as happy as they are now. They think that if you were as happy and in love as they are then surely you too would want this to go on forever.


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rdos
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19 Apr 2016, 12:51 pm

I don't think it is limited to NTs. The tactic to not say something instead of telling white lies is useful for many things, including this, but I don't think this is an NT only issue. As neurodiverse, I don't want to be in a relationship where my partner may leave me at any time, so I don't want them talking about it not lasting. I'd get nervous about such talk.



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19 Apr 2016, 12:55 pm

I'm talking about the specifics of the language here. I don't think that anyone is lying when they say that they want to be with someone forever. I think that they genuinely hope that it will last. i think that they are genuine in planning for and talking about forever. My grandparents were together for over 60 years. Their marriage ended when my Grandad died.

When one agrees to talk about forever, I don't think that's a lie. I think that it is a reference to hope rather than cold dry facts. The hope is true.


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