I've been dating an awesome guy for about a year and a half now. Things are usually ok between us, but there are times when he frustrates me a lot. One of those things, is how pigheaded he can be. Sometimes I let out something I know and he insists on arguing with me about the validity of my words. While that can get bothersome sometimes, I always find a reason to still love him. There are several reasons I have for wanting to stay with him and there are several others for me not wanting to. For one thing, I like guys that can cook. He was never taught by his mother and does not know how to fry an egg. While I know that it is not his fault, it can get very frustrating for me sometimes because I like to prepare elaborate meals for him or try out new recipes and my own ethnic foods (Mexican). He claims he wants to learn how to cook but he never makes the effort to. And whenever I want to cook something for him, I always get frustrated that he never has anything I can use in his pantry. No rice, no flour, no eggs, nothing other than junk food, Gatorade and instant noodles. Whenever I do manage to pull off a nice dish, he never seems too enthusiastic about it. Not enthusiastic about a meal I just spent 2 hours preparing because I want to please him and because I myself want to have a decent meal. It really gets me down when I remember how limited his palette really is. He doesn't like anything remotely spicy (my favorite kind), too foreign for him(pretty much everything non-American), tomatoes, ketchup, or cheese(of any kind). He HATES toppings on just about anything. It's really hard for me to watch him get full and throw out the rest of his food instead of putting it on a ziplock and eating it later. To be truthful, it makes me feel like I am cooking for a child. I realize also that my views are probaly biased because of how I was raised. My mother would not let me out of my seat until I had eaten everything in my plate and most of those times, I said I was done not because I was not hungry anymore but because I didn't like onions, or green beans or whatever. She made sure I acquired a taste to a vast variety of foods because she said she wanted me to develop an adult palette.
Anyway... That is just the food part. There are other things about my current boyfriend that frustrate me a lot. Another great example is how much we differ in our political, social and religious beliefs. We usually cannot have a conversation about any of those topics without it becoming an argument. I consider myself a libertarian who approves of abortion, gay marriage, legal prostitution and doesn't consider that God should have more say in who I am than me. He seems to be quite the opposite of that. He is a very conservative fellow with a Bible on his iPod and a Christian Firefox theme.
The next hurdle we have to go through is music. We share no common tastes in that area whatsoever. What he likes, I hate, and vice versa.
He is a very sweet guy who has done A LOT for me and loves me very deeply, but sometimes I wonder if we were really meant for each other.
He has not wronged me in any way but on the contrary, he has helped whenever I am in need.
However, I feel that we cannot make a real connection because of how our differences outnumber our similarities. Every time I hint that I might want to break up, he gets really sad and I realize that I care for him as well and breaking up would hurt both of us a lot. After things cool down frustration always finds a way to come back because I again start to feel that we cannot communicate because we cannot make a connection.
Posts: 3385 | Registered: Apr 2004
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With all that you have said I think you are best qualified to decide what you ought to do. As a decent intelligent young woman I am confident you can decide if this young man has enough of the attributes you value to stay with him, or whether you feel there is another man out their better adjusted for you, and whether that possibility is worth attempting.
It sounds like you are looking to this community to confirm that two significantly different people can make a life together in the long run. If this is correct I'd like to say that that is certainly true.
I've been married to my wife for nearly two and a half years and both of us are very different people. We both want the same thing, and that to me is the most important attribute in a marriage. Having said that, a commonality of goals is not enough to make a healthy relationship. Certainly if both partners want the same thing, they will do many things including changing parts of themselves for their significant other. But whether you are willing to accept somebody for who they are is something you will decide. You must decide how important all those things you said above are to you. I'm sure you already know this. When I dated my then future wife there were many things about her that I found difficult to accept. I am sure she felt the same way about me. There are still things that we work out on a day to day basis. One of the major reasons I was able to accept these differences was that I found Tiffany to be remarkably adjustable. I know that sounds negative but I mean it in a positive way. I recognized that while we differed on many things, many of those things were a function of her having not been positively exposed to them. After two years quite a few of the things I did not like about her have become virtues that she has discovered for herself that she enjoys. You are in the best position to decide if your man can change at all, or if you are going to have to do the bending. It may not be fair to either of you, but it also may be something both of you ultimately decide you can handle. I personally do not believe very much in the idea that a person cannot change, I think that is merely a comforting idea that gives us excuse to not attempt to try it.
If the above advice was not very helpful give me one more shot. You said that your significant other is pretty finicky and never has food at his home that you can fix into a meal. Why not turn that obstacle into an opportunity. Have you considered figuring out something he would enjoy eating that you also like, go to the super market together and buy groceries? Maybe buy groceries for multiple meals, and have him help you make it whenever it's something that more busy work than subtle work.
My wife is not much of a cook, and neither am I, but when we got married we decided eating out all the time was getting kinda old. We agreed on a meal, went to the supermarket and made it together and enjoyed eating it. It's one of our favorite dates to this day.
You don't owe it to the feelings of this guy to stay. A relationship is a two way street, your comfort matters. Am I'm wrong in assuming you've already voiced many of these concerns to him and discussed them with little in terms of change taking place? If so, you have to sit down in a quiet environment and thing about your relationship. Weigh it all out in your mind and as Teshi says, read your post and give yourself advice as if you were reading another persons' plea for help.
You can do it, if you need any more advice don't be afraid to get specific, but just remember relationships need to empower you, not be something you get used to.
Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005
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Well, you did succeed in reminding me to be grateful for the love my husband and I share for food in general and my cooking in particular.
This summer we were on a trip with extended family and one of my sisters in law said how much she hates to cook, and I was completely baffled. She said she hates having to choose the meals (which I can relate to now and then but it's an everyday thing for her). She feels like the actual preparation is a waste of time, and she resents that it is all gone so quickly. I can't imagine a marriage or a family life like that, and yet she has one. On the other hand, she can't imagine going to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. (me, not so much)
One thing I thought was a big deal when I was younger was that my husband didn't really like movies. He seldom liked to watch the same movie twice and would watch crap if it was novel rather than something good - even though he had no ability to remember what happened in a movie. I used to think this was a huge flaw, and movies were really important to me. But I got over it, and I decided it was okay to skip a movie he rented, or rent one to watch on my own.
I'd be a bit leery of the religious differences too. If you had children and they grew up worshipping with him, would you feel okay about that?
Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003
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quote:Every time I hint that I might want to break up, he gets really sad and I realize that I care for him as well and breaking up would hurt both of us a lot.
Just going from my gut -- you probably don't want to make a habit of this bold part.
Your wording is kind of curious here, so I may be reading you wrong. But if there's an issue serious enough that it might end the relationship, you should be as forthright as possible. It's not something you want to subtly hint at.
That goes right hand-in-hand with that communication issue you mention later on. Yes, it's important to have things to talk about, but I imagine that it's just as important to be able to talk. Does he know how much these things concern you?
With regard to the rest of your post, I can't add to what pooka and BlackBlade said.
Something that occured to me later thinking about it is that maybe he says he wants to learn cooking because it's important to you. It's still a problem, just a slightly different one.
Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003
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If you're asking on internet message boards whether or not you need to break up with a guy, you need to break up with the guy.
Why? Because you care about the relationship so little that you're asking a bunch of random people to decide for you.
The stuff you're telling us seems kind of trivial, but either it's really important to you, or there are other things bothering you and you are just telling us the fluff. Either way, this is not the relationship for you.
You need to figure out why. If it's really him, then you need to move on. If some or all of it is you, then you need to figure out for yourself why these things make such a difference to you, and why you want to let other people make your relationship decisions for you.
Posts: 3950 | Registered: Mar 2006
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A lot of it seems trivial, but kudos to you for somehow keeping a relationship going when one side approves of legal prostitution - and the other side "has a Bible on his iPod."
To possibly jump to a conclusion, you're judging him on all the food stuff because you think it's an indication of his character beyond palette - that he has a limited world view, and you desperately want him to grow out of it.
But from what you've given us, the stuff in the middle, the political and religious differences, there isn't a strong enough fabric to support them in the long run, and it sounds like you're lumping the food stuff and the conservative beliefs in one big pile of things-you-can't-shake. Imagine how difficult raising children would be (if you're at all thinking about that yet.)
Posts: 368 | Registered: Aug 2007
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I know of some people with widely divergent religious and political views who manage to make a relationship work long-term...but only a few.
For many people, this really becomes a sticking point. It's hard to spend a life together, share a home together and potentially raise children together when you don't agree on the major things that are important to you.
Also, any frustrations you feel at this stage will only be magnified if the relationship goes to the next level - marriage or moving in together.
So, while I don't feel I'm able to give advice on what to do with the relationship, I would urge you to consider the things I've said - and ask yourself if you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who frustrates you on the domestic scene and doesn't share the ideals and values that are important to you.
Posts: 14428 | Registered: Aug 2001
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