There wasn’t a doubt for me that Josh* wasn’t perfect—I accepted all his flaws for what they were and he accepted mine. For over two years we felt that we really could work. It wasn’t hard for me to accept him. His family was great, his little brother even admitted to thinking I was ‘cool.’ He was affectionate and understanding, he didn’t have a temper, and after all this time, he still loved me.
We had decided that he was going to come visit for part of Thanksgiving break, but one day he picked me up from work and started nonchalantly into a conversation centered on not visiting me. I was dumbfounded—it was only a few days before break and my family was excited to see him. He reasoned that he wanted to be home.
I understood at first, and then thought about the times when I gave up my family for him. We’d spent two years together. Although we were in college, I just thought we were ready for this.
He admitted to feeling like he wasn’t ready to share parts of holidays with me, and that bothered me a lot. I never felt more disconnected from him than at that moment.
We ended up having a huge fight about it and snide remarks about both our families came out. I was so hurt by his sudden dislike of my home and my family that I began yelling back, and it was the first time that I really felt I didn’t know him at all. Our ideals were so similar for the longest time—we really wanted the same things, and then everything changed.
The next few days, I removed myself from him and talked with my family and friends. They all were just as shocked that we not only had the fight, but that he wasn’t ready for the big moments I was ready for. They all were mystified that he didn’t want to move forward with our relationship.
I began to doubt myself—was I too hard on him? After all, he is in college and it’s not like we’re married or anything. He doesn’t have to commit to anything he doesn’t want to. I guess I was being too sensitive.
Then I doubted him. I kept thinking, are you kidding me? Two years! The lines were so blurred and my timeline was so far from his that I just felt lost. I didn’t know where we were at anymore. I didn’t know how he felt and I really didn’t know how I felt.
We talked about it, and though nothing was really done about his decision to not see me over break, we decided we would just take it one day at a time. As hard as that is for me, I knew that if we didn’t, and if we kept looking too far into the future, we would crash and burn.
I learned a valuable lesson that every couple have or will experience. Communication is everything, and staying on the same level isn’t always going to be easy, but remembering that relationships are supposed to be fun while they last is a huge point. When it is no longer fun and positive, there should be a subtle indication to simply end it. Sometimes different levels can be too extreme, and in other cases they can be worked out. It’s all up to you to talk through it and follow your intuition.
*name has been changed
Photo by Sabine Clermont