Likely, literally no one but my mother noticed this, BUT I skipped two weeks of newsletters for a few reasons:
I’m going to be changing the format of Here’s the Thing. I’ll still answer three questions a week, but three different times so I can write more. (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. No one cares!)
My sister was getting married and there was a lot to do.
The letter E on my keyboard was broken. It was a true hell for me.
Anyway, I’m back!!!! Email me YOUR questions at email@example.com
A BIG SWEETIE:
What's your opinion on pursuing a relationship that you know will fail? For example, one person wants kids and the other person doesn't but both are in love.
All right, you know—you KNOW— I’m going to have to hedge this with some “it depends” bullshit, but I’ll try to give you my most direct answer first, which is: time spent with a person you love is not a failure, no matter how brief. And as for it having to end? Everything ends! Mortality is a real bummer! Flings and fifty year marriages both have endings that hurt like a motherfucker. Friends with benefits can be just as hard to say goodbye to as someone you lived with for 4 years. And they all have to end.
Just because a relationship or marriage ends in a way that isn’t the tragic-beautiful death of one or both parties does not make that relationship a failure. Ten years of marriage to someone is a success. Ten weeks of making out with a hot person is a success. A triumph, even.
Now, that said, pursuing people who are not available or who have fundamentality opposing live goals and values as you is dumb and bad. And if your goal is something with a timeline of sorts—kids are unfortunately one of the hardest things for this reason (and because you can’t compromise and have half a kid)— know that spending your time and energy with someone who is not on the same path as you is likely going to keep you from meeting someone who wants kids just as desperately as you do. Or hates the idea of being a parent just like you.
You have to weigh what you’re going to lose (potential time with a person who wants what you want) with what you already have (a hot sexy person you want to kiss). And it is balls-ass-hard to pick the unknown over the known. The big risk is that you artificially prolong a relationship with a person you can never Be With Forever—or marry or have kids or whatever—at the expense of your own years of life.
Here’s where “it depends” comes in. It depends on if you’re the type of person who can be disciplined enough to walk away when you really need to. Are you self-aware enough to know when things need to end? Are you honest with yourself enough to admit that you’ve outgrown the relationship? Are you ok with breaking up with people you still love?
I don’t know if things are really less painful if you end them early or try to stop them before they begin; I think there is plenty of pain in longing and “what if?” But I also think that it’s perfectly wonderful to know exactly who you are and what you want and to carve the life you want out of your time here on earth, avoiding entanglements with people who might keep you from your goals.
One last thing: DON’T GET BACK TOGETHER ONCE YOU DO BREAK UP. It’s so very tempting because, well, nothing is wrong with this person as a person. Just this pesky irreconcilable difference which seems like nothing in the face of being horny and in love with someone who is horny and in love with you.