Should She Settle Before It’s Too Late?

Name: FallinAA
Comment: Hi, I am an Asian woman who has lived in the city for many years.  I met my boyfriend a year and half ago.  For the first three months or so we were just hanging out as friends.  I wasn’t physically attracted to him since he was overweight, even though he has had strong feelings for me from the very beginning.  Anyway, my feelings for him eventually grew since we have a lot of things in common, e.g. we both love traveling, hiking, biking, movies, food etc.  We also had quite some fights due to the differences in our background (he’s European).  Nevertheless we started dating exclusively and I moved into his apartment six months ago.  Things seemed to be working – he lost quite a lot of weight, we had a great vacation in Europe and met each other’s friends and family…Then he broke his knee and had a major surgery right before SANDY.  I took good care of him (“she has been an angel” is what he told his friends and family).  However, we haven’t had much sex since he had the accident.  At the beginning it was because he couldn’t move much.  But then as time goes by, some how I don’t feel the desire to do so.  And we continued to have arguments.  I am a very driven person who has her life together, while he’s laid back and some times I feel he doesn’t try hard enough to get something he wants.  And to make things worse, he started to gain weigh due to less exercise and lack of control on his diet (who drinks three bottles of beer a day while he’s still a bit overweight?).   Because things are not going well, he started to contemplate about moving back to Europe where he thinks he can have a better life.  I told him from day one that I can try to live in Europe with him for a couple years (it’s not difficult for me to get a job at my company’s headquarter in Zurich).  But I probably don’t want to live there for the rest of my life, since the US especially NYC is better for Asians like me (multi-cultural environment).  Anyway, I feel now our relationship has come to a cross-road.  I want to get married some day and maybe have a child, but I don’t want to settle with someone who is not right.  On the other hand if I broke up with him, what’s the chance of finding the right one as I am getting older?  We all know NYC is tough for finding the true love…
Age: 37
City: Manhattan
State: NY


Anyway, my feelings for him eventually grew since we have a lot of things in common, e.g. we both love traveling, hiking, biking, movies, food etc.

I can buy that you developed feelings for him over time. What I don’t is believe that you could develop an attraction for him over time. What I think is that you were 35 or 36, knew you were getting up there, and tried to force yourself to feel something for this guy because you wanted to settle down. Since he had deep feelings for you, he probably didn’t care whether or not you were attracted to him. He took advantage of your sudden flexibility. It’s no surprise that your interest is waning. It wasn’t terribly high in the first place.

But then as time goes by, some how I don’t feel the desire to do so.

Some how you don’t feel the desire? Really? More like, “I finally had an excuse not to have sex with him.” I know you will find that harsh, but if you’re honest with yourself you’ll admit that sex wasn’t really that much a priority for you from the beginning. You wouldn’t have become romantically involved with him if it was. As I’ve said before, people who like sex have it. I’m guessing that having sex with this guy in particular wasn’t really doing it for you anyway.

I think if you poll many women and told them that they could be totally honest, they’d admit that they’d be satisfied with a relationship that didn’t require sex.

Your question in a nutshell is this:

I want to get married and have a baby. Should I continue to settle for this guy that I’m not terribly attracted to?

My answer depends on what it is that you truly want. If all you want is a child, then adopt or go to a sperm bank. If you want to get married so you can build a life with someone and raise a family….then stay with him. But if you want that as well as a relationship that fulfills you emotionally and sexually, then you need to end things with this guy now. Like right now. Will it be easy for you? Well, it will be slightly easier because you’re an Asian woman in NYC. But you’ll still be 37.

I know some people want me to tell you to break up with this man and go find your bliss and that you can do better. Reality? You might not. So you need to decide, pronto, what it is that is most important. You also need to accept, depending on what you want most, that it might never look like what you thought it was going to look like. It never does.


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26 Responses to “Should She Settle Before It’s Too Late?”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    Wow. That is depressing. It just doesn’t sound like the relationship offers any joy – at all. You’re right, it never looks like what you thought it would. But doesn’t she deserve joy? And doesn’t he? He sounds miserable too, hoping life will be better in Europe…

    Reading that makes me feel so grateful for my life.

  2. AnnieNonymous Says:

    A red flag here is that she wants him to change and become more ambitious. Some people (men and women) are perfectly happy with the way their lives already are. Not everyone measures life success by how his or her career is progressing. “Ambition” is something that women are taught to want in partners without really knowing what it means. Does the guy have any goals at all, like wanting to read a new novel every week, visit a new country, or work on becoming a better person? If so, then he is ambitious, just not when it comes to work. This woman sounds a bit uptight – three beers over the course of one day isn’t a lot at all, let alone for a bigger guy. She’s looking for any excuse to pick him apart and convince herself that she’d be justified in dumping him.

  3. Dark Sarcasm Says:

    “I am a very driven person who has her life together while he’s very laid back and sometimes I feel he doesnt try hard enough to get something he wants.”

    He managed to charm your pants off, didn’t he?

  4. LostSailor Says:

    he started to gain weigh due to less exercise and lack of control on his diet (who drinks three bottles of beer a day while he’s still a bit overweight?)

    Uh, a normal man who like beer. It’s not the bottles of beer. It’s not the beer, it the food. And if he didn’t have control over his diet, who did? You? It’s not the beer.

    I told him from day one that I can try to live in Europe with him for a couple years … [but] the US especially NYC is better for Asians like me (multicultural environment).

    Uh, how do you know that a European city like Zurich isn’t multicultural or “good” for Asians if you’ve never lived there? You don’t. In many ways, living in Europe (at least until the Euro collapses entirely) can be better than NYC.

    I want to get married some day and maybe have a child … what’s the chance of finding the right one as I am getting older?

    Some day? Some day?? Sorry OP, but “some day” is today. You’re 37. Tick-tock…

    But, that said, I do agree with Moxie that you should end things with this man, but I agree for a different reason. You should leave him for his sake. From your description, he sounds like a good guy who appreciates you, maybe even loves you. You don’t deserve him, and should let him go back to Europe where he might fine happiness. With all your doubts, it’s unlikely he’ll end up happy with you since you’re so critical of the details of him…

    • fuzzilla Says:

      >You should leave him for his sake. From your description, he sounds like a good guy who appreciates you, maybe even loves you. You don’t deserve him, and should let him go back to Europe where he might fine happiness.<

      Seriously. "NYC is more multicultural and better for Asians" is a reason to break up with someone? Someone you entertain settling down with (if only for shits and giggles)? What the fuck.

      • The D-man Says:

        I wouldn’t dismiss this out of hand. I know a few people who’ve moved to Swiztzerland and don’t plan on being there forever because, in their words, “if you’re not Swiss, you’ll always be an outsider.”

        Ditto Seattle. An Asian friend of mine moved there with her Asian husband to be near his family. Despite her outgoing nature, she tells me she hasn’t made a single close friend in five years of living there. Previously she lived in Boston and is originally from China. She had no trouble making friends in Boston.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          Just saying, if you loved someone to the point of wanting to marry/settle down you’d do what it takes to be with them. Not that you couldn’t love someone and still have preferences on where to live, but it wouldn’t be a higher priority to you than they were.

          • The D-man Says:

            Right, but that cuts both ways. Why is it her responsibility to follow him rather than the other way around? Especially considering that they met in NYC?

            • fuzzilla Says:

              Sure. My point is, she just does not seem to love or prioritize this guy at all. Her letter is rife with examples and I just happened to latch onto that one. She’s disgusted that he drank three beers over a 24 hour period when he was stuck at home convalescing? Christ.

        • Eliza Says:

          I have friend who moved here to NYC from Georgia–and she is so friendly – easy to talk to – and she hasn’t made 1 friend either…aside from me, and the reason we got acquainted was because we used to work together. But she goes out in NY all the time, and it’s been like 6 years now–and not 1 single woman friend to speak of. And the same in terms of boyfriend.
          And she is very down to earth and social, and goes out. Even if she has to go out alone to mingle. NYC is not as friendly as some people make it out to be. It can be such a lonely, impersonal place.

          • CoolDude Says:

            Is she not good-looking?

          • LostSailor Says:

            What’s her number?

            Seriously, though, New York can be an impersonal place, but I’ve found it to be pretty friendly and I have over many years here developed a wide social circle. If she’s been here 6 years and hasn’t made a single friend, there’s something else going on. Have you introduced her to any of your other friends or included her in parties/activities of your social circle? Have you gone out with her to see how she interacts with people?

    • HammersAndNails Says:

      Agreed. If this were the guy writing in I would tell him to run like the wind because this woman is clearly going to suck all the the life and joy out of him. Do him a favor and let him find someone that might treat him decently because this relationship doesn’t have a chance of bringing him lasting happiness.

      Will you be happy if you get a kiddo and he puts some effort into making sure the bills for all the things you think you deserve are paid? Maybe. You’ll be disgusted by his weakness, but a kid and a lifestyle might be enough for you. You sound joyless, mercenary, and uptight.

    • xyzed Says:

      He should grow a pair of balls and give her the boot! When are women going to understand that you cannot change your partner. You met him when he was overweight so except him for who he is. Stop trying to break him down and confine to your standards like a dog. He sounds like a decent guy who is comfortable in hs own skin. Please do yourself a favor and end the realationship to avoid being part of todays growing statistic of being a single parent

  5. Veteran lurker Says:

    Wow. Unless the OP’s note was edited, the only time she mentions “love” anywhere is when she states that “NYC is tough for finding true love” at the very end. How is her settling fair to her boyfriend?
    Not even a “I love him, but for….”

  6. Treifalicious Says:

    I was once told by an acquaintance (like maybe 6 months ago) that it’s perfectly legitimate to find a nice guy who really wants marriage and family but that you’re not so attracted to, marry him, pop out the babies then file for divorce in approximately 5 years. I kid you not. I wouldn’t be surprised if many women are settling like this woman contemplates doing and take the plunge with this friend’s advice in mind of filing for divorce once the kids are at “cruising altitude”. Then he will pay child support and visit regularly and you will be free to raise your kids and maybe find someone else more suitable.

    I uncomfortably told her that I prefer to have more integrity in my relationships.

    At the end of the day, it comes down to how badly you want a baby vs how much you value “true love”.

  7. CoolDude Says:

    ” I met my boyfriend a year and half ago. For the first three months or so we were just hanging out as friends. I wasn’t physically attracted to him since he was overweight, even though he has had strong feelings for me from the very beginning.”

    I cannot, for the life of me, understand how women do this. I’m actually really impressed and give kudos to you gals. I could never, ever develop feelings for someone I initially had no physical attraction to. Also, there is no such thing as “hanging out as friends” when you’re in your 30’s with the opposite sex. Unless it’s a casual acquaintance of some sort, it’s just not possible.

  8. FallinAA Says:

    Thanks to all for your advice and comments, especially Moxie (your advice is great). We had some talks these days and decided to give it one more shot and try harder. Actually we are going to DC this weekend to see cherry blossoms and have some fun. And when I go to Switzerland for business in June, he will join me to visit his folks and then we will go to France for vacation. For those of you who think my boyfriend fell for the wrong woman and is living a miserable life, he said he has never had a girlfriend who he feels so compatible with and who he can talk to about everything. And I did eventually find him attractive otherwise we wouldn’t have had sex at least four to five times a week before his accident. Also I am not completely ruling out the possibility of living in Switzerland. My condition is we can try living there for a couple years, if it didn’t work, I would want to come back; if it did, of course we could stay. Three bottles of beer a day is not too much, but if coupled with pizza or other high-calorie stuff, I don’t think it helps much with weigh loss, especially when you can’t exercise much. He does want to lose weight himself (he was very good looking at normal shape) and he managed to lose 40 lbs or so last year. Anyway, I think our arguments brought out the worst in us. We forgot about all the good things we have and focused too much on the negative feelings. And because we are both very stubborn, we were not willing to take a step back, think it through and make necessary compromise. That probably needs to change going forward.

    • LostSailor Says:

      FallinAA, just to clarify, I certainly didn’t say he was living a miserable life. Your letter clearly indicated that he thought highly of you, but the letter was also full of complaints about him. He may or may not have fallen for the wrong woman, only time will tell. It’s good that you’re talking and not arguing. Too many couples use arguing as a primary form of communication; my parents did, which I why I generally refuse to argue about relationship problems.

      Your letter also only complained that he had three beers a day and mentioned nothing about pizza or anything else, just beer. And it’s not the beer or the pizza, per se, it’s the total calorie intake that impacts weight loss or gain (though I wouldn’t recommend pizza). I lost 45 pounds pretty much through diet alone, mainly low carb, but I still included the occasional beer and once I found I could maintain the loss, beer is back on the menu (compensated by changes in other dietary selections).

      My main take-away from your letter was a rather negative attitude toward your guy. Hopefully that’s not the case, but that’s how it came across.

      Good luck.

  9. joe-f Says:

    I don’t think there is one right person for you in NYC. It depends on what you are willing to accept. Look, would you rather have a fit ambitious guy who cheats on you? Of course, you would rather have the fit ambitious guy who loves you as much as this guy but you already spent a lot of time looking and he might not be there. I am not saying you should leave him but you got to decide what are must haves and what are things you are willing to give up.

    From what you said, I think you are going to give up a lot to make this work. After the initial honeymoon, he is no longer working out and he cares less about pleasing you. I am going to venture a guess and say you are much more successful than him. I think it is only going to get worse and you are going to like him less and less as long as you keep your standards. Whether you want to make sacrifices to make this work depends on you.

    • FallinAA Says:

      Thanks, joe-f. Your comments are spot on. I appreciate it. I am attractive (look 10 years younger than my age), fun, active, have a MBA from a top business school (hence my some times “aggressive and uptight” behavior), a good career (I do make more money than him)…but after all the years I haven’t found that perfect match. And I probably never will. By the way, I didn’t mean I am not happy because he’s not successful in his career. I just don’t think complaining about his job all the time yet making little effort to change the situation and find something he likes to do is the right attitude (we once went out with a girl he dated long time ago. She asked, ” You are still with the same company? You talked about switching jobs 10 years ago!). Anyway, my boyfriend and I do have similar interests and life style. And he has a lot of qualities I like, so I decided to try my best to work things out with him.

  10. Mark Says:

    I can appreciate that the writer of the letter is conflicted. Make that very conflicted.

    There was also an investment in time, effort, resources and emotion. So I can appreciate that this may not be an easy decision to fish or cut bait.

    Having said that, I would agree with the general response given by Moxie. The crux of the question being asking yourself what it is that you really want. By that I mean really, really want and are looking for given your situation.

    If you honestly believe that you can do that then the choice you make should be all that clearer to you.

    Hope you make the right one. For both involved.

    Best of luck.

  11. Curious Guy Says:

    If you can learn how to accept him for the way he is, keep him and have children with him. If you cannot accept him for the way he is and will always feel like there is something wrong with him then dump him.

  12. Christopher Says:

    Moxie…..I think that your comment about many women relishing
    the idea of a relationship that didn’t require sex is spot on. I think
    that for many that would be the ideal situation.

    A lof of women don’t like sex and could do without it :some feel
    obliged to engage in sex within a relationship because they
    feel that it is expected. Also, its viewed as a necessary evil
    required to maintain a relationship.

    Ultimately what many want is the security of a partnership/
    friendship with any sexual component whatsoever.

    • Sweet Says:

      I just want to add, that I don’t think it’s “women” who don’t want sex necessarily, but “low sex drive people” in general. Right now, I have 3-4 girlfriends who are constantly complaining that their husbands have low sex drives and they can’t get enough sex from them. And these women have maintained their attractiveness for the most part. They are practically begging their husbands for sex. Meanwhile, I do have about 3 girlfriends who could care less about sex and see it as drudgery. The litte known secret is that not all men are sex hounds. Some men have very high sex drives and want it all the time…and some are very low libido and could take it or leave it. I am a women who has dated a few of each kind.

  13. Kurt Says:

    She would actually be doing him a favor by dumping him now. She doesn’t seem to be very attracted to him and if she were to marry him, she would likely quickly tire of him, stop having sex with him, and turn into a total bitch.

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