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Ask Kira: Am I missing out by being in a long term relationship?

Because relationships aren’t always easy.

Australian pop sensation Kira Puru is one of our favourite homegrown musicians. Known for her charismatic on-stage presence and no-holds-barred approach to life, she’s the type of person you just know is bursting with excellent life advice. With that in mind, we thought who better to be FJ’s modern-day agony aunt than Kira herself? So without further ado, welcome to the final instalment of Ask Kira, where she answers FJ reader’s difficult/messy/embarrassing life questions.

I feel like I’ve outgrown an old friend, so what do I say when she keeps asking to hang out?

Hi Kira, I feel like a terrible person for saying this, but, honestly, I think I’ve decided I really don’t like a friend of mine. I’m not exactly sure what’s changed, we’ve been friends since we were teenagers, but as we grow older I’m just not sure we’ve got heaps in common anymore. We went to different universities, made different friends, and increasingly when we get to talking about politics, or anything serious (i.e. not just small talk) I find myself not really being myself, or nodding my head because I’m not sure if I want the frustration of a civil, ‘let’s agree to disagree’. She’s still lovely to me, though I’m becoming aware of the fact that had we not known each other in school, we might not still be friends. But she often gets in touch with me to hang out, and I’m not sure what to do?

You’re not a terrible person. Growth is inevitable and unfortunately, we grow at different rates and in different directions to those around us. Personally, I don’t feel it’s necessary to have the same exact values as someone else to enjoy a rewarding friendship with them, so this for me would come down to how much you enjoy her company otherwise. It’s not your friend’s fault for having her own opinions and voicing them to you, but if you do want to continue spending time together, then you have to learn to assert your opinion or be comfortable with being silent. If the divide is as vast as you feel it is, your friend might feel the same. Why not ask her if she feels you’ve grown apart? What does she get from your friendship and why does she enjoy having you around? Maybe ask yourself those same things. If you’re the non-confrontational type, you could always do what most would do in this situation and just let the friendship naturally fade without saying anything at all, but sometimes the harder, more difficult conversations can yield really wonderful results.

Am I missing out by being in a long-term relationship?

Hi Kira, I’m in a long-term relationship with my partner from high school. I’m now nearing my mid-20s and from external sources – like movies and my friends – I can’t help but feel like I’ve missed out on the rampant sexual adventures our twenties are supposedly for. I love my partner and don’t feel like there’s anything missing from our relationship, but there’s always that question of ‘what if?’. Should I be using these years to explore? How do I stop the FOMO?

I don’t see any reason for you to end a good relationship with someone you love on the grounds that you might be missing out on something else. What’s stopping you from having rampant sexual adventures WITH your partner? You might like this resource, weshouldtryit.com. You and your partner answer a series of questions privately about sexual activities you like or would like to try, and when you’ve both completed the quiz, you’ll see a list of fantasies that you and your partner are both into. The questions range from fairly vanilla – massage, raunchy pics – to ball gags and BDSM stuff. This could be a great way to open a discussion about being more sexually adventurous without feeling too exposed. The question of ‘what if?’ could haunt you forever. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever really felt that true sense of comfort that comes with knowing you’ve definitely made the right decision. I’m reminded of my favourite Deepak Chopra quote: “The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.” I’d look at increasing the quality of your current situation before worrying about what you might be missing out on.

Why do I get so angry over unwashed dishes?

Oh Kira, with the risk that I may sound like the world’s most annoying housemate, I need to get something off my chest. I am spurred into such a rage when I witness my partner making a mess in the kitchen or bathroom. I view my home as a sanctuary, and it’s been difficult having someone else infiltrate my space. Am I the asshole here?!

I can assure you that you are not an asshole or the world’s most annoying housemate. The stories I could tell you would have you feeling very good about yourself. It sounds like you need to sit down with your partner and figure out a middle ground where your preferences meet. Table your expectations for the communal spaces, figure out which values are shared, which are core for you individually, and where you’re both willing to compromise. I guarantee there are things you do that annoy your partner so perhaps you can find a way to regain a clean kitchen by offering a win back for them somewhere else. Alternatively, perhaps you can just stay out of the kitchen while your partner cooks if they agree to reset it once they’re done. My personal pet peeve in shared living is where one person assumes their preferences are a universal standard. Everyone in your house deserves to be happy, no matter how whack or petty their preferences are.

Kira’s new single ‘Idiot’ is out now and you can listen to it here. You can catch her performing as a special guest for Thelma Plum this November and December, tickets available here. Read the first instalment of Ask Kira here, the second instalment here and the third instalment here.

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