this is my first posting on this form and actually my first posting in a romance/relationship forum.
I'm writing because I realized i'm involved in a relationship with a rather bland future. I'm an information junkie - computer programmer, scifi fan, listening to audiobooks whenever I drive, always trying to read, see or do something that makes a difference. My girlfriend likes gourmet food, reading romance novels, dancing, music, musicals, movies, clubbing, drinking and traveling. I also like to travel but I consider dancing an utter waste of time, and if I could take a pill instead of lunch, i'd be the happiest. We also like watching movies, but different genres, and music is for me a pleasant background noise on which I do something too mentally intensive to allow me to listen to information in spoken form.
And that's not all of it. I'm an achiever, she admits she hasn't achieved much in the last seven years. I read mind-boggling science fiction (greg egan), she reads gossip news and sandra brown. I love to learn, explore and discover, she goes by the old ways. She smokes, I don't. She's superstitious, i'm not. The things we find "cool" or interesting are seldom the same. I wish the day had 40 hours, she wastes hours each day reading gossip news or playing solitaire at work, then complains not having time to read an interesting magazine or study for a test or course.
How did our relationship start? Almost a year ago (i was 24, she 29), I came to work in the us and met her at work (we work together and she'd never work elsewhere - she's my boss's niece). It seemed then that we were both in need of affection, we had the opportunity to be together, we had sex, we liked it, did it whenever we had the chance, and so it happened in spite of all the differences. I actually remember her wondering that we were so different. Anyway, sex is the strongest thing we seem to have in common, but I doubt it's enough to keep a relationship alive. For example i'd like to try swinging but she's quite opposed to the very idea. Recently, she clearly avoided having sex (lately we did it about once or twice a month) and refused my invitations, at the same time telling me that she loves me, and sometimes telling me that she wants me, but feels uncomfortable making love elsewhere than in an appartment I should move in (i rent a room now). Today, after refusing another occasion of having sex, she told me something that puzzled me: basically, she knows that I am frustrated from the lack of sex and she refrains from having sex with me, using this as a "secret weapon" (!?).
But... She's so uninteresting to me. I'm not a genius or anything, but as hard as I try, I don't get it when every day she surfs on gossip news sites from her native country (not even us news; she has little idea of the public events that are going on around us and I don't recall her proposing that we go somewhere to an event, like a premiere, an air show or a meteor shower) instead of at least reading local news, if not reading about her problems. She's starting to get overweight, she's poorly paid because she doesn't want to start studying for the gmat, she's anorgasmic (i gave her printed articles about that topic but she ignored them). The majority of the topics she brings up in discussions are related to people, mostly relatives from her home country. Maybe once or twice in our relationship I heard her saying "i read/heard somewhere that...". Although I installed a dictionary on her computer, she doesn't double-click its icon to look up words she doesn't know (at best, she asks me if I originate the word, otherwise ignores it). I installed encarta on her computer but she never launched it or mentioned it. We have opposite myers-briggs types (intj vs. Esfp).
She doesn't really like to explore. Although she claims to like traveling and wants to tour the world, the places (restaurants, plazas, amusement parks etc.) she knows are places where someone else took her in the past or where she *had to* go. She's afraid of all sorts of things, and generally stressed about the minute details of everyday life.
I never felt that she was a "match", let alone "the one".
I recurrently think that she was the biggest mistake of my life.
Generally, I feel bad that I won't be able to make her happy unless I make myself unhappy. Or that we'll live a dull life, just peacefully getting along with each other without sparks. There's a saying that behind any great man is a great woman. I want to become a great man but I don't feel she could be my 'engine'. The feeling of being trapped in a dead-end relationship is becoming stronger and stronger. I don't want to break the relationship because I don't want to hurt her (she was hurt quite badly in the past) and she claims she's the happiest with me. Otherwise, she is a kind person and we almost never had an argument. Her kindness, my not wanting to hurt her, sex, and the fact that i'm practically alone in america, are the reasons i'm afraid of dumping her.
As an added issue, she wants us to move together. I feel like i'm entering a trap.
What should I do? Try to enjoy the very few things we seem to have in common, get married and have a child to forget about or differences? I have the feeling that i'll regret the day I made such a decision and find myself in my 40s looking for an *interesting* partner.
Some of you may suggest talking to her, but I can't say all these things to her without making her feel very bad about herself.
I don't think its fair or the way to be happy to just "settle" with each other. You should be in love! What is the point of having a relationship then, if you end up getting married like you said your going to wind up in your 40's looking for another partner, and cheating on her, your already wanting to be with other people by the suggestion you wanted to try "swinging" your relationship is completly based off of dependency, not love, and you both are just going to end up getting even more hurt later, if you don't figure something out now, if your trapped and unhappy just dating, why would you want to bind yourself into a marriage? Then if you get to the point in life you really want to split, now its not just feelings hurt, you have the legal issues also, I just feel you both should deserve better, there is a point where something is good enough to settle for, because you dont want to try looking for something better, and have the chance of loosing something so great and not finding better, but your just unhappy, and how are you going to treat her the way she should be treated if there is no love, just dependency. Maybe you should come out in the convo on asking her how "she feels" maybe she is having issues too, and you both can talk them over and let out some of your feelings. Best of luck, and be gentle with her : )