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Oh, gracious. Another "bad, bad boy, dump him, you-go-girl, you deserve better" thread.

Here's the deal:

First, the fact that you're asking if he's "the one" indicates that you are seeking an idealized fantasy of what you believe love ought to be.

Surprise! Love is rarely what we THINK it SHOULD be. Love is WHAT IT IS.

I've met so many people who have this idealistic notion in their head about "soulmates" and "love at first sight" and Hollywood-esque romantic fantasies... Love CAN be those things, if BOTH people believe in the very same notions! You can add a romantic soundtrack to your life pretty easily if you have the music all written out in your head. But if the two of you have different scores (he has a jazzy soundtrack and you have lots of violins), it is going to be more difficult to come up with an ending that will make the audience cry!

This gal makes great claims to independence -- yet she clearly isn't willing to BE independent of this guy, is she? If she was as independent as she says, she could step away for a while and focus on life without him.

Seems to me that she ENJOYS nurturing this guy -- leaving him little notes and doing little things to make him happy. VERY OFTEN in a relationship one partner takes on this role of nurturer. Men, in fact, appreciate this and often seek it out.

(Understand that any statements such as the above are generalized -- there are ALWAYS exception to any rule!)

We don't have the right to whine and complain about a relationship when we've entered into it or have learned during our time together that the other person is a bit different from us. If we CHOOSE to remain in that relationship, we also make the choice to COMPROMISE certain things at certain times.

I am NOT suggesting that this gal stay with someone if she feels he treats her poorly. But it is QUITE clear that she does NOT believe this. She just wants a bit MORE from him.

So she needs to TELL him this. She cannot DEMAND it -- it would not make her feel good to get a dozen roses from him if she knew that he purchased them because she TOLD him that she wanted him to do it! And at the same time, if she just sits back and waits for him to go buy her flowers and he never does it... she's going to spiral down into a cycle of misery that will never end.

What's horrible to me is that once again, everyone wants to bash the GUY for being insensitive. You know, not everyone is a romantic at heart. And CLEARLY, men and women are very different on many levels. This guy is not abusing her, he's not cruel, he's not anything "wrong" -- except that PERHAPS he is not the right guy for HER!

Rather than see the man for WHO HE IS and LOVE HIM FOR WHO HE IS, the gal is focusing on her idealized dream of WHO SHE BELIEVES HE SHOULD BE.

This is a sure-fire way to end up in a failed marriage. Can a few of you who have been down that road raise your hands? MY hand is up -- now YOU folks have some guts and do the same -- I know you are out there!

What this gal needs to do, in my opinion, is to focus on HERSELF right now. All the time and effort and attention she is giving to this guy -- she needs to switch over some of that to HERSELF.

By learning more about what SHE wants out of life and by switching gears toward her OWN happiness, she will ultimately discover what kind of man she REALLY needs.

SHE is NOT selfish for wanting something more. HE is NOT selfish for accepting all she gives him so freely and without restraint!

Putting ALL our energy into one other person is the WORST way to build a solid relationship.

When we desire to be the best person we can be, when we truly LOVE ourselves and have a goal and purpose in our lives -- it is THEN that we can give to our partner in a selfless way that demands nothing in return.

The thing is -- when we give of ourselves this way, we ALWAYS get something in return. The key is to first learn to experience the JOY of giving, loving and caring. THAT is the first reward, just the simple happiness that comes from being a GOOD person to our mate, to ourselves, to those around us.

After that, OTHER benefits come in time.

There ARE some things that we should EXPECT from a relationship -- these vary from person to person. We need to determine for ourselves exactly WHAT is MOST important to us. We need to be able to COMPROMISE some of the things that are of lesser importance. And we also need to NEVER ignore that which we need most.

If this gal absolutely MUST have certain reciprocities from her potential mate, then she needs to figure out if this guy is EVER capable of giving that to her.

Simply blaming the man and labeling him as selfish and uncaring isn't very realistic. From the original post, we can see he has MANY wonderful qualities about him that many women would appreciate. Just because perhaps THIS gal needs more doesn't mean the guy is a selfish oaf!

And it is OK if this gal needs more. But knocking another human being because he might be DIFFERENT isn't the way to teach this lesson!

The sad fact of life is that sometimes our differences tear us asunder.

The good news is that sometimes our differences can unite us, too. We can often learn to become better people by learning from those we love! We can play off each other's strengths and weaknesses and we sometimes find that ultimately we adopt little bits of the the other person into our own character and personality.

A nurturer NEEDS someone to nurture. But if a nurturer isn't happy in that role any longer, then that nurturing person needs to perhaps reconsider her role in life. Maybe she is a "part-time nurturer" and needs more recognition for her good deeds. This is nothing to be ashamed of -- it's just important that in order to do our best in ANY relationship, we need to know WHO WE ARE so that we can give and take with our partner to the best possible mutual benefit!

There's no "bad" person here. These two sound like really great people to me.

Even though they have had a long time spent together, this doesn't necessarily mean that they have delved deep enough into their own needs and discussed the situation.

NOW would be the time to do that, don't you think?

Good luck -- and please do NOT start thinking you have been wasting your life with a selfish, rotten guy. If you approach it like that, you're going to make a big mess of things, having these notions at the forefront of your thoughts as you two get down to brass tacks and talk.

Dismiss the negativity when seeking a resolution, but do not IGNORE it completely. Just don't enter into a life-changing decision by focusing on ONLY the negative issues. You MUST also consider that which is GOOD about what you have.

Perfection is hard to find in a partner. You should at least get MOST of the things you need -- but you can NEVER demand them. They must be given freely.

Hope this helps.

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