Saturday, October 29, 2005

How Much Is Too Much? (a disturbing post)

Samantha has gone home for a week, then off to Portland for a week to reconnoiter; she's bringing her little sister that she hopes will move up there also. We parted under somewhat tenuous circumstances where we are trying to decide what we can or can't deal with in our future life together. It's been very stressful since at the same time I'm looking for jobs in Portland and potentially leaving my whole life behind to be with her.

And so I came across this post on Singular Man -- Negotiating Love. He's got some good points. I've had a really hard time trying to isolate what is sheer preference and what is bedrock who I am. The basic problem: I have certain expectations about a relationship that she may or may not be able to accept, i.e. that she be exclusive to me in all respects. She had said that at the time that she would never deliberately do anything to hurt me, which I took to mean that she would not sleep with other people. It now appears that I read into it what I wanted it to be, but what she meant was more along the lines of her not sleeping with other people until such time as I am okay with it. I don't see that happening, ever, but the point she raised was that "this is the way I am" and that it wouldn't mean she wouldn't always come home to me, love me, etc. She claims that this is fidelity, that the parameters of our relationship could be negotiated in such a way that I'd be okay.

While I'd like to think I'm fairly open-minded, I am rather traditional in many respects and I also happen to know that when it comes to sex I am rather insecure about myself as a lover. That, combined with the age difference, gives me an image of the future that is very disturbing for me -- 60 year old DCG being left home with the kids while 40 year old Samantha goes off to get her jollies. Or 50 year old DCG being divorced by 30 year old Samantha, losing his children and half his income while Samantha goes off with some guy she met.

Samantha's point is that she wants to sleep with other people as she wishes, from time to time -- perhaps 4 or so a year. She's already much more "experienced" than I am, probably another big reason I'm so insecure. She claims that what really counts is who she loves, who she wants to spend her life with, who she comes home to. She says that person is me. She says that I need to separate love and sex; I don't think so. Clearly she does.

I've tried to point out that if this sex is so important to her then that's not something I can readily accept (it it were truly unimportant, she would be able to let it go). She didn't have a good answer, at least that I remember.

I am truly in love with her. I'm not sure she's really ever experienced that before; and while I've certainly been in love before, I've found myself willing to make sacrifices for her I'd never even contemplated before. I believe that she does truly love me, but that this is very new for her.

So, how much is too much? I deeply want to just stay here with her and have some time to find out; I've already set the ball moving to find a new job and move to Portland. I feel rushed and out of sorts and confused. She's convinced that once we are together in Portland that everything will be fine. Moving to Portland with her still feels like the right thing to do, like some sort of destiny; but I can't help but feel that perhaps I am pushing (and being pushed) too hard, too fast. Are we masking or minimizing our problems by this move? What if I get to Portland and discover that we are truly unsuited for each other, that we've been fooling ourselves?


Blogger Miss Browneyedgirlie said...

Well, I can't say don't move for love, because I did it once. It didn't work, I moved back home, was brokenhearted for awhile, but picked up the pieces and started over.

So, I say, if you really want to do it - go for it, take the risk. The worst that could happen is that the two of you don't work out and you can come home. Home will always be there for you.

The one thing I do want to comment on, because it just sticks out for me, is that it seems that Samantha 'goes home' an awful lot. Didn't she just come back from there? Why must she go home so much? Doesn't give the two of you an awful lot of 'togetherness.'

What happens if you move to Portland? Will she still go home as much? Then you'll be alone in an unfamiliar city.

That's not fair.

Before leaping, I'd make sure you're okay with not landing on solid ground.

6:50 PM  
Blogger DontCareGuy said...

She goes home about once a month. It seems a lot to me, too; but this is actually the first time she's ever lived away from home so I somewhat understand it. From what I recall of our conversation she's not likely to go home so much once we move.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Unsane said...

Mike and I both have a similar age difference and it works out fine. However, the sleeping around thing doesn't..wouldn't work.

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have to put a lot of energy into negotiating, esp. repeatedly, it may not be love. In my experience, when I finally met the right person deciding how we would do things as a couple has been fairly easy. Also, negotiation is a two-way street. One party can't be making all the sacrifices.

3:34 AM  
Blogger anny said...

i tend to be brutally blunt so i'm really restraining myself here, but if i had to change my idea of a good life for someone ... well, that's just it, i'd never compromise what i want out of life because what i want is just as important as what someone else wants. those who want u to give in will refer to it as "compromise" -but u can't compromise yourself. that's called "surrender."

12:06 PM  
Blogger DontCareGuy said...

Anny, I hear you. I want to distinguish between what is truly essential for me vs. what is just what I'm used to. I'm 42, I've never been married, I've spent a lot of time alone; I'm used to having my own way in everything, absolutely everything. Obviously in any kind of serious relationship I'm not going to have my way all the time, and it's an adjustment.

Perhaps I've not communicated well just how much I love Samantha, or how much she means to me; how well we get along in the ordinary day-to-day; how much I want to be with her and have her at my side.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

but dcg, here's the thing...of course relationships are about compromise and considering moving to portland is a wonderful compromise on your part and it seems to make some sense. But how is she compromising for the relationship? By only saying that she'll sleep with 4 guys a year other than you? I don't know. It just seems a little immature on her part. I wish you the best though.

5:32 AM  
Blogger confused said...

I hate to say it but its alittle one way on her behalf. I think she should take into account your feelings, and how much you are giving and changing for her. If she thought about it long enough she would realize that she found a good man. And after finding that there should be no reason to sleep with others... Good luck to you

11:04 AM  
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