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Should I break up from a "good enough" relationship?

I’m 22yo and have been in my first serious relationship for the past 1,5 years. Before that relationship, I have never been in a relationship or slept with a woman. Somehow, I succeeded at keeping a good frame despite the lack of experience though and despite her past experience that’s far greater than me.


Now I don’t know if it’s just me or any driven and highly ambitious person would feel the same, but despite she’s very good looking, faithful, caring, confident, behaved correctly, been submissive and has been a good candidate for a long term relationship, I feel like she isn’t enough (could be some toxic thought pattern but not sure). This is mainly because she lacks something I value deeply which is depth of thoughts and high intellect. I admit that From the start of the relationship, I wasn’t totally into her but I kept going anyway for the security and availability of sex (Probably that’s what made me more powerful in the relationship).

In addition to the fact that she’s not intellectually stimulating, I feel that I didn’t choose to get in the first place but was lead to a serious relationship instead because of my inexperience. Right now, I feel like I want to explore my options, be adventurous and have more experiences but I’m not sure if it’s wise to end a relationship that’s doing well and has no problems to pursue potential better opportunities.

Until lately, I didn’t think much of the topic because I have been so busy with climbing the dominance hierarchy and relentlessly improving myself on all aspects. So Is it a wise strategic decision to break out with her despite that it might be a very good potential long term mate? Is it ok to sacrifice the long term for a potential short term of adventure and option exploration? If so, how to overcome the fear of losing her and not finding anyone better then lose the frame?

It is worth noting that while I have average looks, my value is rapidly increasing (and will keep increasing) in the relative sexual marketplace I’m in. You can say even that I can become an outlier soon (I’m from a poor 3rd world country, made myself a 7 figures income from scratch at age 22, intellectually superior to most men here, have a perfect body, high conscientiousness, high assertiveness and somewhat confident). Up until lately, I have been blind to my SMV and my potential SMV but apparently she’s been aware of it and trying to mate guard me. At some points I was thinking of cheating as I have some other prospects to assess my SMV but ended up not doing it because it’s unethical.

Do you think that monogamy and being with a good enough partner is a good strategy for me?



It always breaks my heart to advise someone that he might be better off ending a relationship that seems "good enough" because someone will get hurt.

But in this case, I feel you got your answer already:

she lacks something I value deeply which is depth of thoughts and high intellect.

That's the first and most important cue.

The second one:

Right now, I feel like I want to explore my options, be adventurous and have more experiences

That's the other thing.
If you're having that itch that needs to be scratched, it's better to scratch it now than keep it there and let it bother you for years to come.

For your question:

If so, how to overcome the fear of losing her and not finding anyone better then lose the frame?

By not being afraid of being alone.
Let go of this idea you need to "maintain frame", what does that mean? That you need to fake your whole time together? It doesn't sound like a recipe for successful interpersonal relationships. Worst of all, it comes from a position of not feeling good enough.

Instead, be OK with being alone, but open to a great relationship when you will meet a great fit.

Intellectually Stimulating is Not Easy

Albeit in your case I'd still advise a breakup, it's not because she's not the "perfect match".

As much as for high-quality women it can be hard to find a perfect candidate, so it can be challenging for high-quality men to find a perfect gal.

Especially if you want someone who is your equal in drive and depth of thought.
It's simple math: if you're on outlier, then it means that you need to find another outlier. And, by definition, that doesn't come around very often.
Furthermore, women are, on average, less driven than men. And that includes intellectual curiosity, which is a subset of personal drive -it's the thirst of making sense of the world so that one can better influence it-.

This is not to discourage you, but to provide some realistic expectations.
I believe that the idea of "only stopping for the perfect one" is counterproductive. Albeit out of 6 billion people it's probably possible, it always struck me as the inexperienced -or naive- man and woman's pipe dream: the mate who is the perfect sexual companion, the perfect friend, and the perfect mother/father figure when things get rough.

It's almost unfair to place all those expectations on a mate.

In short: you should expect some trade-off, instead.
One person shouldn't be supposed to fill all your needs. That's why it's also important to have friends who can provide you with all the other things you appreciate.
Driven friends to talk about business, more cerebral friends to talk about the world, and more sport-oriented friends if you want to watch the match with someone.

P.S.: well done on that 7 figures income man, is it in the local currency or in dollars

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thanks for the reply Lucio.

What breaks my heart even more is while she didn’t improve that much during the first 6-12 months, she lately started to make efforts into improving herself for me and even making serious life decisions which puts me in a really tough position.

The most important doubt I have about the subject is the following: What if I am chasing a mirage? What if I’m not supposed to be looking for perfection in a romantic relationship but for some other qualities that make this mate good for a long term collaboration. What if I am broken and not her? Is it something engrained deep in my psyche about not being enough which I’m projecting on others? Or is it a real concern? Should I treat relationships like business where I’m setting goals and striving for excellence?

I think that ending a mediocre or toxic relationship is far easier than ending an average one. Because most often you are going against the status quo, social norms and against what most people label as a good and happy relationship.

Any tips for ending a relationship gracefully?

Something else I’m curious about. Are open relationships/polyamory toxic relationships in general? I didn’t find much about those in the blog.

P.S.: well done on that 7 figures income man, is it in the local currency or in dollars

It is 7 figures in local currency which is around 1/3 of USD value. But cost of living is a lot cheaper here, plus, it’s a location independent business that gets me paid in USD. Since what I did in the personal improvement and business side is fairly uncommon locally especially at young age, do you think that it would be a good move (from a social power perspective) to start a Youtube channel in local language?

Some quick replies:

Should I treat relationships like business where I’m setting goals and striving for excellence?

I personally would strongly advise you against this.

Albeit there is always an element of exchange in relationships, once that exchange has been negotiated, you enter a new phase. Gottman's research clearly shows that couples who "keep tabs" form some of the most unhappy relationships.
And that approach is even worse towards potential children.

In the healthiest relationships, that new phase seeks to add value to each other for the pleasure of supporting one's partner.

Instead, you can use your relationship to empower the other aspects of your lives.
Tim Grover, trainer of some of the most driven athletes, says that many highly driven men leverage relationships as a respite from hard work -and form their dark side-.
And when you're going through a rough patch, solid relationships provide you with a safe environment to recharge your batteries, lick your wounds, and get ready for the struggle again.

I think that ending a mediocre or toxic relationship is far easier than ending an average one.

And from how you write, your relationship doesn't sound mediocre, and not even average.
It seems like it's comfortably above average.
That girl sounds like a good wife-material.
If you decide to end it, you will probably miss her and always think of her fondly.

Also read this article, it's written from a woman's perspective, but it largely applies to men as well:

It's based on a wonderful book by a relationship therapist and researcher called "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay".

 Are open relationships/polyamory toxic relationships in general?

No, they're not (necessarily) toxic.
But they're not easy, either.
Conflict is almost always endemic among the spouses as they have strong conflicting interests. The best polyamory relationships are when you date or marry sisters or cousins, because they have better aligned genetic interests.

But if one must go for multiple partners, I'd recommend separate relationships with each. Not that they must believe they're the only ones, that would be a weak lie, but a set up where each one has her own place.

Any tips for ending a relationship gracefully?

Most resources recommend to do it quickly, and resolutely.
And never look back.

There are good reasons to support that choice, but it's not my style.
It always sounded very robot-like to me.

I think it's kinder to announce your decision and resolutely cut off the relationship -and the sex-.
But you can keep answering a few texts, or talking a bit.
The idea is to smoothen the transition and go from 100 to 0 a bit more softly. Cold turkey can be traumatic.

Smoothing the transition will also increase the likelihood you can stay in good terms, which is always a good thing.

Taking A Break

Another option is to take a break.

Breaks almost always end up being break-ups.
But it can make the break-up easier for both, and give you some time and space to reflect and to think about what you want, while setting you free to date some more.

How Big Is Your Itch? My Own Experience

I was in a similar predicament.
A worse one, actually, as we also vibed intellectually.
Years later, a new business, and a hundred or so of adventures, I still miss her and still think of her fondly -especially hard-tting when the REM's song "the one I love" plays, with the lyrics "this one goes out to the one I love / this one goes out to the one I've left behind"-.
If I will have one serious relationship, I know I want someone very similar to her.

But I couldn't have kept that relationship with my itch for more. Most guys would have stayed and cheatead. But that wasn't me. The most honest thing you can do when you're itching, both to her and to yourself, is to move on.

How long you'll need to stay single also depends on where you fall along the scale of player-type / relationship-type. You seem to be close to the relationship side. Which means that with a few years of single life, you might then be ready and happy to get back on the relationship side of things. And with a clearer idea of what you like.

If you remain friends with her, it's also not impossible that you might reconnect later on.

These are always difficult decisions.
Let's see if anyone has anything to add.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

She sounds like a keeper

First of all, grats on getting so far man. You're in a strong position, both SMV-wise and life-wise. And it sounds like you've moving forward. Naturally, you want the best mate possible, everyone does, and that's completely normal. It sounds like she recognizes this and wants to improve herself to keep you, which is a really good sign and a high quality way of handling a SMV imbalance.

While I would encourage anyone to keep improving and keep their options open (for security if nothing else), I'd also warn against cutting off this relationship right now. She sounds like a high quality person herself, with the potential for growth. I'll be frank here - many people abandon good relationships looking for something better, and do not find what they're looking for, but get stuck looking for perfection. Sometimes it works; many times, it does not. While a man's isn't as affected by age as a woman, the perils of exhaustion, lost opportunity and time and energy spent securing another mate are still factors to be considered.

Whatever choice you make, I agree with Lucio; don't burn your bridges! And think before you leap. I'd say give it a few months. Let her grow. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

I am sure that I will miss her and think of her fondly forever in a breakup scenario. It’s my first relationship and it’s been a very pleasant experience. But I’m always striving for growth. And the relationship is being an obstacle for growing some aspects of my life (say dating skills and social skills) while also being a helpful thing in improving some others.

I also believe that I’m not necessarily looking for better but maybe just looking for different. I want to make sense of what’s possible at this age and stage of life and I think it’s totally legitimate.

What makes the situation worse, is that I recently connected with someone who looks perfect on most levels but the relationship stopped me from exploring that person and connecting with her on a deeper level. This lead me to think that I can find someone who is at least closer to my ideals.

I also admit that due to the modest success I’ve experienced so far along with all the external validation, I started feeling somehow entitled, which can really be misleading.

I know what will happen if I give her another 3 months... She will keep improving and she will keep making things harder for me... Although, I’m sure that somethings won’t change. I don’t think we will ever connect intellectually, neither we will have a shared sense of mission. I am aspiring to become world class in one discipline or another one day, to having a perfect health, to making this world a better place, and to living extraordinarily. She doesn’t see big value in those things.


Kellvo has reacted to this post.

I'm glad to hear you had a great first experience. And I understand now. I see where the incompatibility is. She sounds like a stay at home girl, and you want to change the world. And if I'm getting you right, you not only want a high-quality mate, but someone who reinforces your goals and inspires you to greater heights. No, she wouldn't work out in the long run. You'd, consciously or subconsciously, resent her for holding you back, and that would poison the relationship - and your mission - anyways.

I'd say sever it swiftly and decisively, but as tactfully as you can. And be honest about your reasons. She sounds like the type to cling, and would need to know it's over. It's gonna hurt anyway, and a swift cut will hurt less than a long, gradual crumbling of the relationship.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck man. Either road has its perils, and there is no easy or painless way here. But you know which path to go down. Make the cut, accept what comes up, and move forward.

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Lucio Buffalmano