To click or not to click

My boyfriend and I have been dating for over a year. Lately, I have been feeling like we don’t click, and our conversations seem meaningless. I realize that you can’t force a connection with someone, but I am wondering if there is anything we can do together to form a deeper connection.

We have had two major fights within the last two months. We both love each other very much, but we are not going in the same direction. I want to get married and have kids within the next three years. I know, from what he has told me, that he is nowhere near ready. Despite these disturbing facts, I know that he is an extremely good and exceptional person. Should I stay with him, provided our conversations become more meaningful, or should I move on to someone I click with who wants what I want?

Not all conversations between lovers are profound. It’s normal to talk about the mundane or superficial, and it’s good to learn to relax into simple communication. But if you lack intellectual stimulation in your relationship on a regular basis, you must first ask yourself what you are contributing to the dialogue and why you may be holding back. For instance, are you (or your man) afraid of talking about things that would reveal differing values and opinions? Do you fear disagreement? Are your shared interests sparse at best?

Perhaps the recent fights occurred because you each carry tension from knowing that your personal vision of the immediate future is radically divergent. Remember, just because you love someone doesn’t mean that he is your perfect life partner. It is entirely possible to love someone who is not right for you. Take care not to project so much love at your man that you leave crumbs for yourself. If your dream truly is to marry and have children, do it. But don’t pretend that if he loves you he will change and adopt your dream. Respect that he has his own dreams and birth the courage needed to pursue yours, even if it requires a breakup.

I have been dating a woman who is the best connection I have ever had, plus she’s smart, fun and pretty. I have had some bad relationships in the past, and, three years later, I still feel burned. She doesn’t get this.

She wants me to make our relationship a priority, but I’m not ready for that. She gets mad because I give her one day or same-day notice for a date. She points out that I do make plans with friends. I don’t know why I do this. I guess she doesn’t look like my ideal woman physically, and I’m just not sure I even want to be in a relationship. I know that she is wonderful, but I just can’t get myself excited even though I think I might lose her soon.

Honey, your malaise will end when you let go of the past. You’re so invested in what you think women have done to you before that there is very little of you available to be in a relationship now. Your girlfriend notices the vacancy, and she clearly has enough self-respect to see herself as someone worthy of being appreciated. The question is: Do you have enough self-respect to give and receive love?

Attachment to the past lowers self-esteem. If you keep feeding off what is dead, eventually you become a ghost. Life returns when you adopt a fresh perspective. So, can you see that your difficult past relationships were preparation for the potentially wonderful relationship you can have with your girlfriend? My advice is to give yourself another chance at love.

Meditation of the Week

“Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.” This excerpt from a poem by Jesuit priest Pedro Arrupe is on my mind. What or who have you failed to love? What needs to change within you to allow a more delicious relationship with all that is?