The reader had a breakup with his longtime partner and was extremely devastated about it, as it was very unexpected.
Her reason was that their relationship had gotten so routine that there was no more romantic love.
He wonders if he was too focused on pursuing FI and maybe he should have spent more time with her to keep the spark in their relationship.
This is a very interesting question.
This situation happened to us previously. My wife (girlfriend at that time), complained about the exact same thing.
I don't remember when, but it was within the first 2 years of our relationship. Things had settled down and we didn't go out much. We stayed at home a lot and played mahjong with my parents and my sis and her boyfriend. We still went out, but not as much as when we were first dating.
And she wasn't happy with this and we had a discussion about it.
My position was this. I explained to her.
There is no such thing as a forever hot and spicy romance. It's not like the shows. Life IS boring. Things WILL settle down.
Things will become a routine and we have to accept that. Life's like that. We can go out sometimes and enjoy ourselves, but by and large, life will settle down into a routine.
And lucky for me, she accepted that positioning. Now... this could have failed. She could potentially have not accepted my reasoning and we might not be together now.
So it really depends on the girl and whether she believes this kind of reasoning. Maybe she could find someone else who could give her a forever firey romance. I don't know if such a thing exists, maybe it does. I don't know.
Currently, I don't feel the same love for my wife as when we first got together.
It's not the same kind of boy girl relationship kind of thing.
I would say my feelings (our feelings?) has matured into a different kind of love. One of trust and comfort, instead of the exciting boy girl relationship of our twenties.
Losing my wife...
It's not something which I haven't thought about. Actually, I think about this regularly. I think what would happen if I lose my wife.
Now, it's not that I'm hoping that I lose my wife.
But this is life. Anything can happen. She might leave me? She might go out for work and not come back. Anything can happen, you never know.
I've had young friends who have passed away, just 1-2 years off my age, and they passed away a few years back, so they were like... 31 and 35.
I always remind myself of their deaths. It keeps me grounded.
So I tell myself to live life well. And to live life with my wife well.
Of course, death is a different matter. Cos I can't really blame myself.
And there's a good chance that the reader might blame himself, or look at himself and think, "What if... If only I...".
However, at this current point, there is no "what if".
This has happened.
There is not much that can be done about it.
Thinking about "what if" serves no purpose.
From this perspective, there is little difference from the loss of a loved one. This has happened. There is nothing much that can be done about it.
You cannot turn back time.
When we live our lives, we are the main character. Of course right?
And in any storybook, movie, film, most of the time, the story ends well for the main character.
There's always a deus ex machina, that we hope will save our a$$es. Cos that's what happens in movies and shows.
(Deus ex machina is sudden random things happening based on pure luck to help the main character get out of an impossible situation.)
I learnt this doesn't happen in real life quite early.
I lost a lot of money twice trading derivatives. That's it. There's no second chances. There's no sudden stroke of good luck where the market reverses and I make back everything.
And very quickly, I realized that life doesn't always play out well like in the shows, where nothing can go wrong.
You have to make the best out of each situation and learn and move on quickly.
For a while, I woke up feeling, why did I make those investments, if only I...
But... that doesn't do anything. Staying in that moment doesn't achieve anything.
It's over. The money is lost. I cannot turn back time.
Now, of course, it's easy for me to say, move on, or what's next? Cos it didn't happen to me.
I understand that it will take time, but that is all there is to it. Cos time has passed, there's not turning back time.
The question is rather, what's next?
There are other steps. Is it still possible to win her back? Will she understand?
Is she someone who gets used to a new normal? For example, even if the reader went out with her more often, would she in turn get used to that. And again say that their life has fallen into a routine and the outcome could have been the same as well.
Does she expect the same flutterings of the heart like a new romance? I highly doubt this is possible for long relationships.
Maybe her expectations need to be changed?
If I suddenly lost my wife, due to whatever reasons. There would be a sudden emptiness. There's a lot of things I do cos my wife is around. I don't travel, I don't cook unless she's eating, I don't go out, cos I'm happy staying at home.
Will I move on? Of course I'll move on. It's a matter of time. Will I find someone else? I don't know. We'll see if it ever happens.
It will take time.
It's like the show "Inside Out" by Pixar. There's a time to feel joy and a time to feel sad. And I think it's ok to feel sad.
Give sadness, the time it needs. But don't indulge it.
An important thing I learnt in my journey is "acceptance".
To control what I can control to the best of my ability. And let go of the things that I can't control.
I am not helpless, but I am also not all powerful.
At this point, what's there left to do?
Try to win her back?
Move on with life? Find someone else? Learn from the experience and adapt?
Note, I didn't say learn from your mistakes. Cos I don't think it's necessarily a mistake.
Could be wrong time wrong girl? Could be different expectations?
Could be didn't have the conversation early in your relationship?
Of course it could well be the reader didn't spend enough time with her. But, even if he was focused on FI, he could still spend time with her even though he may not spend much money on her. But since she wasn't happy with the routine romance, I personally believe, it isn't about the time spent with her.
Could this have been prevented? Maybe, maybe not.
Sometimes you meet the right girl at the wrong time, or the wrong girl at the right time, etc etc. Maybe she needs to have more experience with relationships to find out that most, if not all, relationships end up in some form of routine.
We could talk about the possibilities forever.
But... there's only one thing now...
This has happened. There is nothing much that can be done about it.
You cannot turn back time.
Personally, if this happened to me, I'd fill my life with other activities. Cos I think staying at home and thinking about it isn't constructive.
I'll likely go exercise more, set a goal, like run a marathon, or go out and meet and hang with friends.
Take up a language class, it's a goal, plus I may get to meet other people.
The only way is to move on. It will also take time to move on.
And you have to forgive yourself, if you blame yourself for the situation.
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