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September 30, 2007

(Guest blogger: Rent Party)

I disapprove of my relationship with the man I am seeing, but I have not stopped it. I am attempting to manage it and I think rationally I should stop it, but I have not.

I disapprove because the relationship is uneven, ambivalent and unequal, and yet each person believes the other holds the power.

The correct relationship between those involved, oddly enough, would be as siblings.

He is more attracted to me than I to him, but I am more interested in him than he in me.

I am more interested in having friends and lovers than he, but he is more interested in my presence than I in his.

He is more contented than I, but I am more vibrant than he.

He is very kind and well intentioned, or at least apparently/officially so, and he is very good at fixing houses, but he is insufficient.

His ability at fixing houses is a principal reason I have not yet ended things, and I am not proud of this. My looks are the principal reason he continues, and he says so; I am also not proud of this.

The theoretical, or “French” answer would be to acquire a second person, but I was never interested in having two. And I am interested enough in him that I would be jealous if he acquired a second person.

He has interesting and valuable things to say. As a sibling he would be an interesting addition to life. But I discern that ultimately the power dynamics of this relationship are detrimental to life and work. These are the central issues and they should be remembered.

I will be interested to see how this non-drama unfolds.

  1. Rent Party permalink
    September 30, 2007 7:58 pm

    I am going to stop it.

  2. Kitty Glendower permalink
    September 30, 2007 8:21 pm

    I tried to sort through it but there are many contradictions. Perhaps if we were to view it in beneficial terms and what is being sacrificed versus what is gained. I do not know, this is difficult.

  3. Rent Party permalink
    September 30, 2007 10:34 pm

    Yes, many contradictions. But I’ve stopped it. Or so I have announced. I have to stick with it, as I have stopped it before. Bottom line is: I want more in a relationship than I get in this one, and trying to remain contented is a huge energy drain … and stops me from doing things I both want to do and should do.

    And, I will not have the self esteem necessary to find a better relationship – *including a better relationship with myself, which is the fundamental thing* – as long as I am in this one. So it is an obstacle.

    And I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings … which, as someone pointed out today, really means at bottom that I have trouble putting my best interests first.

    So: what is sacrificed is time – autonomy – relationships with mutuality – self-determination – trnaquillity (among other things, but that is already enough). What is gained: some decent sex, sometimes; some interesting conversations, sometimes; interesting information, always; quite good companionship, many times; lots of help with things like houses and gardens … but none of it is worth the feeling of being tied to someone who themself is not really there.

  4. Don permalink
    October 1, 2007 7:12 pm

    Yes, that does appear to be a rather difficult situation. But at the same time, it also seems to be something that can be worked out. I think you make perfect sense in allowing everything to unfold.

  5. Rent Party permalink
    October 1, 2007 8:51 pm

    Hi Don! 🙂 What works out is, stop now and save the friendship, to the extent that it is one (and oddly, it feels like one).

    I got out of this guy what is really going on: he says he thinks this has no future, but he likes it for the present, yet he is also looking around for the next thing, and this is why his vibe is so odd. Armed with this info, it’s time to go – that is to say, I’m gone !!!

    I think that whole strategy and m.o. are utterly odd. But ah well – I’m gone.

  6. Femigog permalink
    October 2, 2007 7:13 pm

    “stop now and save the friendship”

    I agree. Dont let it deteriorate because neither person wants to appear to be the heavy. A good friendship can be salvaged then that should be the focus. Plus these things can slowly murder the self-esteem and murder is a crime…

  7. Verging Writer permalink
    October 2, 2007 7:43 pm

    Wow – fascinating relationship analysis. And aren’t so many relationships – the good & the bad – the sum of their contradictions? But, even contradictions need balance. Best of luck to you. Tough stuff to go through.

  8. Rent Party permalink
    October 2, 2007 9:32 pm

    Wow – is it actually fascinating? – I’m glad because it seems so immature and mundane. The friend I had lunch with also said it was fascinating, which also amazed me.

    She disagreed with the salvage the friendship point of view – she believes I have been taken advantage of and that in the friend role I am likely to be taken advantage of again. I am not convinced of this but she did convince me of one thing, that I like this man more than I admit and that this is what to be careful about.

  9. Don permalink
    October 3, 2007 7:20 pm

    I wish I could have learned the words you speak. I swear to God that I had learned to save the firendship while it was still there.

    Wise post. Keep it up.

  10. Rent Party permalink
    October 4, 2007 5:43 pm

    It’s sort of interesting – I really do like this person but I was not getting from the relationship what I would have wanted from one, or from this one … and yet he was courting like mad, while also saying he was not sure how serious he wanted to get, and I was going along mainly because I really do enjoy his company as a friend, and it was all just so … uneven. Now having gotten out of it a few days ago I realize how much better I feel … it was not in my best interests to be trying to negotiate that relationship, fit into it, etc., and I wasn’t admitting how difficult it was.

    So I learned: that’s a problem I have in life more generally. I got this huge clarity and feel so much more whole.

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