I’m a huge fan of this column, and this time, I have a relationship issue I would like some help with.
I have never really been in a long-term relationship. One year ago, I got into a relationship with this guy. Over time I have been there for him, and I thought I was in love with him. However, I have a few issues with him. First, although he calls me sweet names, he has never asked me to date him or be his girlfriend. I worry about whether I can trust him. Second, we spend a lot of time together doing a lot of things. But he never mentions anything about the friends he goes out with or even invites me to meet any of his friends. Why does he keep this from me? Whenever I raise these questions with him, all I get is excuses.
When I decided to break up with him, he did not want me to leave him, claiming that he loved me and I could never belong to another man. I’m only 24, and most times, I feel like I am becoming the man in my desire to get clarity from him. It is hard to feel like a woman in such circumstances. I’m tired and need a break from all this but don’t know how to handle it. Do you think he truly loves me? I need help.
Thank you for being a keen follower of this column. The things you have raised are issues commonly reported among first-time daters. When one person uses every excuse not to commit, the stress and anxiety arising from indecision and carried by the other partner are great.
Going into a relationship with some commitment not to hurry but take calculated steps helps. That is why you must be probing yourself with your questions. Being in the habit of asking oneself and your partner questions could be the essential thing dating and married people should do.
A year into a relationship is long enough to request or even demand answers to specific questions. Such questions may result from questionable actions by your partner that could help put clarity to the issues. Your dilemma is that your man is unresponsive to your raising issues. This is not good. If not tamed or resolved, it could compromise the relationship.
It is important that you know whether what you have is just a casual relationship or something more to it. I suggest you get firm and refuse to be compromised before you get in too deep and later be hurt by his actions. I advise that you reaffirm what you want to see. Don’t be passive just because you might be misperceived.
Some who never corrected such a path have ended you with a disrupted life of regrets after wasting many years in a non-committal relationship. By this, I don’t mean that you pester the guy until he feels like you are forcing yourself on him.
I consider it suspicious if one has a woman in her life whom he does not want to appear with before his friends. Getting to know your partner’s social and business networks are part of the scheme of knowing them better in different environments.
Keeping one’s social life a secret could mean disaster. For you, I agree that you should have gotten to know the buddies he hangs out with without necessarily accompanying them within a year. When it comes to knowing his home, a year may be too short of seeking something like that. However, getting to hear about his family, including parents and siblings, is essential, particularly if you are spending a lot of time together, as you have mentioned.
It is unfair for him to threaten you that you can 1never belong to another man. True be said, you are still you, and many could fall in love with you. You should not entertain and try to avoid arguments that could deteriorate into silent wars. Some people operate in such a way that they keep quiet or get into heated debates to avoid Focusing on the real issue at hand.
I want to suggest that you evaluate your man honestly based on what you desire to see in the man you want for a life partner. Ask yourselves whether “This is the kind of person you can grow old together with?” If not, what would each one of you see as the core or fundamental issues that make you incompatible? If you are convinced he is not ready and yet you are, then move on and choose to do it right from the start.
Finally, amid your evaluation, be sure not to start compromising your intimate moments to the extent that your current actions totally compromise your dreams. Be sure to spend your first year getting to know each other. Discuss all issues that make you who you are and give both of you a clearer picture of either person’s current life journey. Include a discussion on likes and dislikes, where either of you is headed career wise, life expectations and other important general issues.
Ensure that clear values and expectations guide your relational adventure. This could last between six months to a few years for some people. For those who discover they would like to explore deeper, this is shared and done under their set clear guidelines. I hope this helps evaluate where you are and get guidance on where you want to go.
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