Striking a balance can be difficult. If you know how to talk to your partner about how you feel, what you think is happening with the relationship, and it doesn’t turn into a fight, you’re going to be home free. I’m sure it was their fault, not mine! Maybe I was just bad at it. It was an issue in both cases, and they’re very different people.
… to be able to talk about the “state of the union.”
God, what a great idea! If you are in a married or a serious relationship where this is going to be it for the foreseeable future, you should do this. Every six months, each of you should make a state of the relationship address, don’t you think? The other person listens, then you can respond, like Marco Rubio responding to Obama’s address. “I think you should, I think I should.” I think it would be really good, but I don’t know whether it’s possible. I think too much stuff doesn’t get said.
I think it’s difficult to feel comfortable with the outcome, to be afraid of what their reaction is going to be. That can be an issue.
I dated this girl I really cared about. She had some roommates and one of them was a guy and they were really close, so anytime we had relationship problems, she would talk to him. Any time he had relationship problems, he would talk to her. So they’re getting all the feedback with the wrong people, and six months after her and I broke, they started dating. They’ve been together for a while and she even moved out to California to live with him.
Are they going to get married? Are they married?
I don’t know. We started dating in 2009, broke up in 2010. They’ve been together for almost three years. Geez – that kind of sucks. I hate that kind of competition where the guy she’s dating now has been dating her longer than you, or you’ve been broken up longer than you were dating.
How about your brother marrying a girl that you’ve dated?
Did that happen to you?
Older brother – they’ve been married fifty years. He was just two and a half years older.
How do you feel about that?
Actually, great. A funny things about that was that my brother said, “She’s just the right girl for you.” I was very free-spirited at that point. In my day, in the 1950’s, early ’60’s, in high school, people did something called “going steady.” You get a little bracelet with the person’s name on it. I thought it was stupid! If you saw anybody else, it was like being unfaithful in a marriage — it was really frowned upon. I was very free-spirited, so she was perpetually upset with me. My brother, at some point, said, “It’s not going to work.” I said, “Yeah, you’re right. I’m just going to have to admit this.” We just kind of let it go, and a couple of years later, there they are. I felt like, “Works for him, doesn’t work for me – I’m okay with that!”
Personally, I have a hard time accepting things like that.
Losing a girl to a close friend is whole different thing. You get over it, but oh, man!
It sounds like your break-up was pretty mutual with that girl.
She was upset and said, “I’m going to break-up with you.” This was happening on a biweekly basis, and I would make the effort of being really nice.This time I said, “Okay.” That was that.
Any final words of advice?
No, I’m not a good advice-giver. Boy, I’d get burned doing that.
What can you do to be happy in a relationship or stay happy or stay positive?
I talked about communication, because that’s really important. Other than that, I think you can really celebrate your differences. I think it’s a big mistake to think that you have to enjoy everything together. You have to have your areas — your music, for example — that may not be of any interest of hers, and that should be a matter of celebration. That is really a good thing.
I think being friends with the person you’re in love with in a romantic sense is really important. Not the opposite of what I just said, and kind of the corollary: I think it’s important that you have some stuff that you really, really enjoy doing together.