Saturday, January 27, 2007

Relationship question for you...

I have a friend who is in a romantic relationship -- but has a pretty basic question about it...

Here's the scenario -- She's in her 30s and has never been married. She's highly educated, lots of fun and financially stable. She's in a relationship with someone who is nice, but kind of bland. This person would be perfectly willing to do whatever my friend wanted -- but, the relationship lacks sizzle. Marriage hasn't been discussed yet, probably because such a discussion would have to be initiated by my friend. Her honey would never bring it up, because they simply aren't that sort of person -- they are way to passive. My friend says that her prefered future is to be married and have a family.

My friend is in a quandry --- to stay with the non-sizzle person or not?

The non-sizzler has certain personality traits that make my friend a bit nuts -- but, she knew about these traits when she entered the relationship and thinks it is unfair to ask non-sizzler to change...and, would it ever be fair to ask someone to change their personality to interacti with you? She thinks it wouldn't and I agree.

The thing is that my friend also knows that the non-sizzler wouldn't do anything worthy of being broken up with either... thus, no good reasons on the horizon. My friend also knows that breaking up with non-sizzler would be very painful....

What do you think? Any words of wisdom for my pal?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sizzle is like buzz which in turn is not unlike coffee.

Need of a cup to wake up, you are actually not getting enough sleep. Problem is you, not the coffee or the buzz or sizzle.

Moral of the story: your friend should quit the whining and stay comfy and put. Work on the fun with your current 'sizzle less' partner. That should bring you happiness.

Dr Rubby

Anastasia said...

i totally agree with the former commenter. That's very well said, actually.

Anonymous said...

I would say get out now, to never settle. But then I'm a hopeless romantic who married his first love, so maybe I have unrealistic standards.

Having said that, I would be afraid that in 10 years she will divorce him because she does meet someone who sizzles, and that would far more unfair and painful than breaking up now.

Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

How funny, I clicked to comment and saw that my husband had pretty much said what I was going to say. You say "in a relationship" but haven't said "in love." I think a marriage is hard and a lot of work but totally worth it - but only if you really want to be with the person (and it's mutual). Avoiding a breakup because it would be painful is not a good reason to stay in a relationship.

Breena Ronan said...

Your friend needs to look at what sizzle means. Is there really anything wrong with this sizzle less guy? What's wrong with a successful woman having a man who is a great stable support person?

Does she love him? 'Cause romantic attraction does tend to wither. Like Dr Brazen Hussy said, you need a strong base of love, so that when there is trouble you stick with your partner.

Also, the idea of asking someone to change for you...I think that's a little off, if they stay together long term they will both have to compromise in order to get their needs met. Is the sizzle less guy in a stuck place? Or is he willing to grow and change and learn from being in a long term partnership?

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

I'm the first to cheer for stable, comfy people, but...
what bugged me most about the description of the non-sizzle guy is that he "would be perfectly willing to do whatever my friend wanted." That sounds like an ideal pet, not an ideal partner. I'd prefer somebody with his own ideas and preferences, even if I don't always agree with them, to somebody who always answers the "What shall we do this weekend?" question with "Oh, whatever you'd like, dear." Maybe I'm making too much of that phrase, but I'd get awfully tired of having to take the initiative about everything (including the idea of marriage itself).

Lucy said...

I think I might agree with different commenters, depending on what your friend means by sizzle.
I've been in situation where the other person was willing to do whatever I wanted and didn't do anything wrong, but it was definitely the right thing to not continue a relationship with him, despite the extreme pain and guilt, because I just feel about him the way one should feel about someone you're in a relationship with.
Starting a relationship is not a permanent commitment, anyway. Your friend is allowed to change her mind about whether she can tolerate the personality traits she doesn't like, without asking the other person to change anything.
I got the impression from your post that your friend is only staying with the person out of inertia, which is why I think they should break up. If she doesn't really want to marry this person now, it seems unlikely to me that she'll get any happier about the idea in future.
If, on the other hand, sizzle really does just mean some little, extra thing that she thinks is missing, but she really does love this person, maybe she could think about what exactly she's dissatisfied with and work (with her partner) on finding that in her current relationship.

(And now that I've written that, it's totally cracking me up that I'm giving relationship advice, given that my only experience in that area is the disaster I mentioned in the first part of my comment, so take it with a hefty pinch of salt :) )

timna said...

I had a friend in hs whose dad told him that relationships needed friendship, respect and lust. I've always liked that -- it seemed to validate the lust part! (and we were certainly young enough to giggle about it quite a bit).

I would go crazy without sizzle and would probably, ultimately, be pretty awful to anyone who would change (significantly) for me.

Chaser said...

I am not a great believer in love at first sight, or in sizzle I fear--I think those are the stuff of romance novels designed to keep women fixated on a certain variety of male attention. I think most of us are too ugly and too wounded for that kind of romantic love to work. I'm all tobasco; Homey is all ginger ale. I have had lots of sizzle with men and women who weren't going to be around in the end. For me, love is not sex; it is somebody who has your back when you face cancer, shitty diapers, bills upon bills, mental illness, and the rest of what this mostly rotten world puts out.

But you also need to have somebody to laugh with. And if your friend is not laughing, then there is a problem.

Teri said...

I can see validity on both sides of this argument - but ultimately, so long as your friend is sure the trouble is in the relationship, not some sort of underlying depression or something, if your friend needs sizzle, she'd move on eventually, anyway. Based on your description, the non-sizzler sounds like a bit of a doormat, and mighty get angry at your friend's inability to read minds, eventually.

Bitty said...

Seems to me the answer is in the post you wrote just before this. You wrote:

"I look at every car that goes down the street to see if it is my honey, home for the weekend."

I have a feeling your friend doesn't feel this way. She's doing her long-term partner no favors if she doesn't, but still sticks around.