Everyone has a relationship story. Some are sugary sweet with fairytale endings better than Cinderella’s. Some are sad and bitter and will have you crying into a tub of ice cream and cussing out someone’s son at 2 am.
But what if your fairytale ending is not enough? What if you want out, after Prince Charming has slipped your foot into the glass slipper? What do you do then?
This week I talk to a woman who despite having everything she could want out of her relationship is desperately looking for a way out.
How long have you been together?
It will be exactly 7 years in August. We started dating in my first year in Uni, he was in his third.
How did you meet?
Lol, there is no exciting story here. We had mutual friends and we were in the same faculty so we bumped into each other every other day. One day we were both hanging out with a group of friends and everyone just started to leave for one reason or the other. It’s not like they planned it to set us up or anything. So, everyone left and it was just the two of us left. We kept on gisting for hours, exchanged numbers and in a couple of months we were dating.
7 years straight?
Yup. No breaks or breakups, no serious fights. We’ve been very steady through out.
He would never. I know him like the back of my hand. He’s just not that type of person and I’ve never had cause to worry. He’s an ‘Omo Jesu’ so things like that scandalize him.
Never. I’ve never as much as sent a risky text to another guy. If there is any policy I like to live by, it’s to never go looking for trouble when I don’t have any. So I’ll never even put myself in that type of position in the first place.
7 years, how has that been?
Good. Smooth. We don’t fight. I have gra gra but he’s one of those people who knows how to resolve conflicts quickly and quietly. So when he does something to annoy me, before my vex even starts to build he has already quelled it. And when I do something to annoy him, he calmly explains why he’s annoyed in such a way that I feel stupid for even doing the thing in the first place.
We are good together. After 7 years you tend to do things in sync. So our schedules are always aligned. We are very involved in each other’s families. I’m practically best friends with his sister. He has his own apartment and I live with my parents, but I’m there so often we practically live together. We are that couple that everyone around us likes to call couple goals and harras about getting married.
After dating for 7 years it’s bound to come up. We talked about it last year and agreed that we wanted to wait and further our careers a bit. Because there’s just something about marriages that lets you relax and before you know it a baby had popped up.
Why do you want out?
I can’t put a finger on it. I’m not unhappy but I’m not happy. I don’t look forward to calls or texts or seeing him. It has started to feel like a duty to do these things.
At first, I thought I was just experiencing a very serious case of see finish. Then he had to travel for about three months for work. That’s the longest we’ve gone without seeing each other in years. And I realized I didn’t miss him. There was no point where I found myself counting down the days, eager for him to come back. We were saying all the ‘I love yous’ and ‘I miss yous’ but the truth was I didn’t miss him. I do love him, but it doesn’t feel like the way romantic love is supposed to feel. He is my first boyfriend and it’s not like any other man is bursting my head. I’ve just felt like something very key is missing from our relationship. And I’ve felt that way for a couple of months now. I just can’t shake it.
Talked to him about it?
I haven’t. I couldn’t. What do I want to say to him? That I’m not sure I love him after 7 years? These days a lot of our conversations stir towards our futures and the plans we have. He’ll be talking about his 5-year career plans and he’ll be using words like we and us. ‘When we move into this apartment this is what we’ll do’. ‘I can’t just make x decision I have to think about us’. It’s not like talking to him is going to solve anything. He doesn’t feel the same way I do. He’s still as loving and doting as the first year we started dating.
Are you going to leave?
I don’t know. No, it makes no sense. I think, whatever this is, might be a phase and I’ll get over it. There are just so many people involved in the relationship now. Our parents have met. In fact, I’m pretty sure our mothers have decided on wedding colours.
Sometimes I think to myself, what’s wrong with you? Don’t you want your happily ever after? Because this is supposed to be it right? Dating then marrying the love of your life. Not everyone wants a happily ever after, but I do and this doesn’t feel like it. I’m not going to leave right now. Might not be this month or this year. But if I can’t shake this feeling I will. To be honest it will be what’s best for both of us. It’s feelings like this that turn into resentment when you are now married with kids and can’t just leave.