Dear Mr Aaron,
How do you know when it’s time to move on? I’ve been in a relationship with my girlfriend for the past 5 years and while I’m sure we love each other – I’m bored. I met this girl A recently and she seems very exciting. Plus I think she likes me too. Should I just stick to my current girlfriend or try to see if anything works out with A?
Dear Mr stuck,
The grass is always greener on the other side isn’t it? I remember reading a humorous article once about how hot single women seem to pop up everywhere when you’re attached and unavailable. Seem familiar?
Back to your situation. 5 years is a long time. And to last 5 years, I’m sure you already know that a relationship is not all about fun and games, excitement and fireworks. It takes a lot of commitment, compromise and dedication. However, feeling totally bored is also a bad sign – perhaps you’ve grown in different ways and are really not very compatible anymore. So you’re going to have to ask yourself honestly: are you feeling this way because of the thrill of the new girl A, or is your relationship really headed nowhere?
Have an honest talk with your girlfriend and discuss if there really is a future for both of you. Perhaps she feels the same way but didn’t know how to bring it up either. It’s an uncomfortable topic but it’s better to deal with it in the open than to pretend all is fine and dandy and end up cheating on each other. If you’re really still both committed to making the relationship work, there’s still hope to rekindling the romance.
And to answer your first question: you know it’s time to move on when your partner doesn’t care enough anymore to try and make things work.
How important is compatibility in a relationship?
It depends. Very important if you’re talking about a serious long-term relationship. Less important if you’re talking about a short-term one.
What I deem compatibility to mean – how agreeable the partners’ lifestyles, beliefs and core values are to each other. While they are linked (e.g. some studies suggest that we are more attracted to people similar to ourselves), compatibility and attraction can sometimes be poles apart. For example, a highly respected family-man politician can be very attracted to stripper.
The reason why compatibility is so important in long-term relationships is because the less compatible a couple are – the higher the chances for conflicts and issues that threaten the relationship to occur. Simple example of religious incompatibility: Aaron comes from a very traditional and strict Christian family that demands a Christian wife for him. Emma comes from a very traditional and strict Buddhist family that demands a Buddhist husband for her. Would it be possible for Aaron & Emma to fall in love and get married? Yes. Would this relationship be filled with many heart-wrenching challenges and difficulties? Very likely.
Got a relationship question? Ask Aaron at email@example.com!