I remember the first time I talked about my partner (I will refer to him as “H”) soon after we met. I was in graduate school, talking to my friend about my first few dates with him. I remember having a lot of doubts — our compatibility, shared beliefs, and common interests. While we got along nicely, I questioned if we were truly in sync — a true match where we have chemistry.
Some of my initial doubts about being with H are doubts I still have today…
Three years into the relationship, we broke up because I didn’t think that he and I were right for each other. We were broken up for one month. In that month, I hadn’t taken the time to make up my mind. What did I want? What type of person did I see myself with? Meanwhile, H was fighting to get me back. I caved in, even though I wasn’t 100% sure about my decision to come back to the relationship. It was a true gray area that I’ve never resolved.
And three years later, when I was proposed to, I questioned it before ultimately saying “yes.” When what I thought about saying was “I guess.”
He is an excellent catch, so why do I not feel confident in my decision to be with him?
So here I am now. We are compatible in many ways — we work together well to accomplish tasks and our shared hobbies are enjoyed together. We care for a pet together. He is my rock — the partner who provides stability for me. He makes me feel safe and protected. We work well together. We are organizers, hard workers, and delegate tasks to each other. We can clean an apartment with ultimate efficiency and a sense of humor.
What I find difficult is that my soulmate is not quite there. Many of our conversations are the same: happening over and over again.
I find myself wanting… more. More stimulation, intellectually as well as emotionally. Deeper conversations. A greater connection. The kind of connection that feels like you’ve known someone for years. The kind that makes your heart hurt just thinking about that person. The kind of connection where both people “just get it” — and get each other. No words needed. No explanation. No feelings of not being understood. This is missing.
I know I am capable of giving him insight, sharing wisdom, deep thoughts… but H doesn’t appear to need it for himself. And I know H cares, it’s just that maybe he doesn’t always verbalize what’s on his mind. But even when he does, it’s as if I’m looking for a certain answer and he is not capable of providing that. We’re more like friends, rather than two people who want to grow together (both as a partnership, but also help each other individually).
Is this something that happens when you get married? Does every couple experience this with their relationship satisfaction? Do your relationship needs and values always match? What do you do when you have unmet needs?
…Leave your answer in the comments!
If you’re dealing with similar challenges in your relationship, here area few books that may help you in your process:
- Should I Stay or Should I Go?: A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can–and Should–be Saved
- Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship
- The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity
- Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life