I have just entered into a new relationship after about four years of being single. He is a lovely human being, who is attentive, honest and kind. However, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I don’t want to be in a relationship at all. I am not one for casual sex and find that I am just not that attracted to many people unless I have a solid connection there. I want to have a sex life, but have not been able to find a comfortable middle ground for a sex life outside of a relationship (I tend to have fairly singular focus). There seems to be this wild self that rebels against being that intertwined with someone else. I want to be able to navigate a healthy relationship where I feel free to live an open life. I would really appreciate your words of wisdom, because I really do love my current boyfriend, but haven’t been able to shake this desire for a hyper individual lifestyle.
Um, okay. You pretty much stated the correct answer all by yourself. “I want to be able to navigate a healthy relationship where I feel free to live an open life.” Yeah, cool. Go do that. Nothing is stopping you.
This is your relationship. You can set whatever terms you like. Nobody is forcing you to be “intertwined” in an overly dependent relationship. If you want a relationship style that is more independent, then be open and honest about your needs, set your boundaries, and then enforce them. If your boyfriend prefers a different relationship style than you do, that’s fine. Nothing is wrong with either of you. You’re simply not compatible, and it’s okay to break up with him. That’s how this works.
You also seem to be suffering from the misapprehension that an independent relationship style is the same thing as a casual relationship. Not at all. You can experience intense physical and emotional intimacy and your relationship status can be quite serious while you still maintain a distinctly independent style.
You don’t need wisdom. You need permission, so let me give it to you: Feel free to live an “open life,” whatever that means to you. Live that way whether you’re in a relationship or not. If you don’t feel free to live an open life while in a relationship, then you’re doing it wrong.