Over these next days and weeks a good portion of my posts will be influenced by my past relationship. Unfortunately it did not work out, and thus my goal now is to analyze where it went wrong, and especially pay attention to my mistakes so that I do not repeat them in the future.
The first problem that arose in my last relationship may seem like not a big deal to some of you reading. Bear with me. I too thought that this was not a big deal when I first thought about it, but I now I understand how it was.
The terms Girlfriend and Boyfriend can mean vastly different things to different people, and especially to Girls and Boys. To me, Girlfriend used to mean exclusivity, e.g. that you were not seeing anyone else. This definition did not necessarily imply seriousness to me. For example you could have a casual girlfriend or a serious girlfriend. To my girlfriend, as I had called her such, this was very different. To her the term Girlfriend necessarily implied seriousness and was thus almost a sort of miniature engagement: a commitment to a longer and more serious relationship that would continue into the future for some foreseeable amount of time.
As you can tell, these definitions that my ex and I held were very different. Problems were bound to arise just from this fact. Now we did not know that problems were going to occur because we both thought that each other likely had the same things in mind when we thought the terms Boyfriend and Girlfriend. Unfortunately, that was not the case and things then began to change.
My ex began to look far into the future and started having reservations about my current life state; my job, where I live, my hobbies, etc. This then came out one day when she dropped all of her concerns on me and it hit me straight out of left field. I thought that things were great, turns out they weren’t. I was very surprised and I did not know how to take it because I thought that we were dating and that we would figure out if we wanted to stay with each other as time passed and as we grew as people ourselves. I had a very open idea as to what the future may have held for us; I was not thinking of any long term plans. I also add that nor was I discounting any long term plans either. I was simply just letting the relationship ride.
It turns out that I should have never called her my girlfriend if this was what I wanted. The more I have talked to other girls in these past days, many of them share my ex’s view that the term Girlfriend does carry significant weight. One of my good male friends suggests that it may be beneficial to ask women in the future if we are Exclusive before taking the step of Girlfriend, as that is what he often does.
I am leaning towards this way of thinking now, more and more every day to be completely honest, but I also still feel comfortable with the idea that you can have a girlfriend of boyfriend but still have the relationship be casual. I think relationships become serious over time. Making them serious can cause strange things to happen and then have them turn sour, when maybe if left alone to run their course they may have been really great. However, I mostly agree with my ex’s view now. The terms boyfriend and girlfriend do carry weight, and most importantly regardless of what I thought before or if I disagreed with my ex’s view, it seems that the majority of women think this way, and since I date women I had better shape up and act accordingly. My advice is to use the terms girlfriend and boyfriend more sparingly, and for relationships that are more serious. I have found that using them when a relationship is in its casual stages can be very destructive and I wish I had not.
Now regardless of whichever definition you hold, whether that is mine, my ex’s, or your own, it is very important to make sure that whoever you are having a relationship with is on the same page with you and your views. If the two of you are not, problems are bound to occur. It is much better to have things out in the open and be clear about them. Now I realize this is much easier said than done, as in my case I didn’t even think about this problem until after it had happened, and further I understand that communicating properly and effectively can be very difficult as I failed to do this adequately as well. That will be another blog post which I will write very soon.
I wish everyone good luck in their relationships and make sure that you are all on the same page so that you can avoid problems of confusion. At first it may seem harmless or minimal, but anything that changes a person’s attitude or way of thinking about another person in a relationship has far reaching consequences as it can mean the difference from one day feeling like the person you are with is proud of you and crazy about you, and then the next day you feel like they are embarrassed to be around you and that they don’t believe in you. And when things like this are happening in a relationship, do not be like me and fail to communicate. Get it out there are try to work through it. And even if that does not work, that is infinitely better than letting the problems continue and have the relationship die later.
Problems do not magically go away. If you do not actively work to solve them they will fester and just get worse. The feelings that are truly being held will not remain hidden, they will come out some way or another, consciously or subconsciously and they will damage the relationship. I will write another post on this subject very soon. You truly cannot bottle up feelings. And if you try, it only works for so long until that bottle bursts. So don’t do this, just communicate.
Now it can be hard to do this, and I understand as again I have failed to sack up and communicate when I needed to, but that does not change the validity of what I am saying.
Make sure that you are on the same page, and if you think that you are not, communicate and make it so. And if you cannot, then maybe it is best to go separate ways so that the both of you can find someone else who is on the same pages each of you already are.
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