Together because of love, or because it’s habitual and easy?

Vivek Surendran

We have been in this relationship for years now. I know her inside out – her passions, likes and dislikes, her favourite colour, when to shut up, when not to shut up, how to cheer her up, how not to piss her off, her need for reassurance, her stand on various topics, her goals and means she’d embrace to fulfil them, everything.

She loves me as much, or even more, but she doesn’t seem to know too much about ME. Of course, she knows how to handle me and my mood swings, when to shut up and when not to, but she doesn’t really seem to care about other things I thought she’d be interested in – the people I’m friends with, my travel plans, my ambitions in life, my career decisions – she sure listens to me when I talk about these, but she doesn’t really have a strong opinion about any of these. I’m starting to feel like I have too much space.

sad husband

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We know each other’s insecurities and annoying habits – and the topics that make each of us uncomfortable. So  how do we deal with these? By avoiding them! We don’t seem to fight lately because incovenient topics are never brought up, objections are never raised… all in the name of space. We have grown as individuals, becoming more open and more empathetic and more kind, but with individual maturity, the maturity of our relationship seems to be stalling. Both of us have been running away from the realities of our relationship – the lack of time, lack of sexual satisfaction, lack of meaningful conversations about a life we’d want to build for  ‘us’.

I feel that if we break up tomorrow, I won’t be that hurt because I know we would still be in touch as friends, everything would still be the same except the sex.

She feels it’s fine to continue with the relationship because there isn’t a good enough reason for a breakup – everything is going fine superficially – we meet almost every day, talk, discuss work, discuss certain people, dine out, have a sex life…

What’s missing then? Love?

We still love each other – or so we tell ourselves and each other. The very thought of being away from her for a few months makes me sad, the thought of not sharing a piece of news with her makes me restless, the thought of not meeting her makes me crave her. But does that mean I’m in love? I have come to a stage where I’m fine with her flirting with someone else, she’s fine with me doing it – but that’s perfectly normal, isn’t it? Isn’t that how new-age couples are supposed to be… give each other enough space – again! But sadly, I don’t get that uncomfortable feeling I once used to when I thought of my love having fun with someone else, even her falling in love with someone else! And so, I might as well fall in love with someone else while continuing with this relationship… I would still love her. Would that be considered being unfaithful or am I just getting comfortable with the idea of polyamory?

man thinking

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Or is something in limbo here? Is it love or the relationship? How can I pull ‘us’ out of this?

Do I even want to?

Our relationship is at a stage where I can tell her how I feel, not over sickening social media apps, but during a proper one-on-one, either snuggling in bed or over dinner. It might be difficult for me to explain. To make her realise that I’m not questioning our love or ungrateful for the kind of space she’s given me. Tell her I’m happy in the relationship, but feel taken for granted. Ask her for help. Reassure her that it’s not my love for her that is in limbo, but the relationship. Tell her I adore her and respect her but there is something missing. Ask her whether she feels the same. Suggest taking a break to ensure that we’re not just together out of convenience. Figure out whether it’s life that’s been moving too quickly or our relationship. And do all of this only once I’ve figured out exactly what it is that’s in limbo.

The only question is – do I even want to?

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