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in need of advice
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March 13, 2002, 05:49:51 AM
­hi, i am eleanor. i have a boyfriend whom i have been together with for about 4 months. we both study in the same school and he is one year my senior. due to the hectic schedule of our school and plus our agreement that the first priority should be indeed our studies, we never date like other couples but to talk online if we do meet by coincidence. however, we do show occasional signs of affection like giving gifts on special days like valentine. we also never call each other even he has my cell phone and house numbers. as for me, i only have his cell phone number because he told me to call him by his cell phone if necessary. i do not have his house number. this is one of the areas i am most concerned about. is this because he is afraid i'd call and his parents would discover his relationship? in fact, none of our parents know of our relationship except our friends and teachers. another thing is, although we both get along very well and share secrets with each other, he still keeps part of himself away from me. i still feel he doesn't open himself up to me much. i really want to be his best friend and stay by his side when he needs me. how can i acheive that? and also, recently, i told him that a guy tried to befriend and get close to me on the bus once and he said that he wouldn't mind me "having another guy". he said that he didn't mind me making male friends and he said that i can mention in my personal profile that i am "attached but available". what does his reaction mean? is he simply can't be bothered or does he have absolute trust in me or ? you see, we both had a misunderstanding once about me falling for another guy and i told him that i wouldn't be called eleanor if i were to cheat on him. or could he be joking as this is very typical of him to hide his feelings? i really don't know. i m in my first relationship and i want to be a wonderful girlfriend to him just as he is to me even on the surface, he may not look like one because he is the reserved kind of guy. he jokes, tell me stories of his class and his family, brings my spirits up when i m down in a funny way of joking how to solve my problems and woes which often teaches me that there is always a brighter side of things and a more practical way of solving life's problems. is our relationship healthy? how can i further improve on it? because we don't date, we don't have any physical intimacies so is the development of our relationship normal? please advise me.

El

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March 13, 2002, 12:59:00 PM
#1
­ El:

I really hurt when I read your letter on my forum. Here you are so eager and wanting to have this wonderful experience with your first relationship and you are having it with a guy who has set such unbelievable limits on you, himself and any chance of a relationship. So far the only thing you told me that is normal about anything between this guy and you is that he makes you laugh and tells you about his family, meaning he shares superficially with you. Other than that El there is nothing normal about what you call a relationship I call a “plain in name only.” There are thousands of students who make great grades and still carry on relationships and even are married with children. All of the restrictions that he put and you agreed to on how your encounter with him will proceed are ways for him to keep distant so that he does not have to give of himself emotionally. I do not know what his problems are but he has problems and is terribly afraid of intimacy of any kind with either you or all women. I would venture to say all women because he really could not even know you if you spent every waking moment together for only 4 months but to have no contact hardly and very little time together he can’t know all of you El. There is something no quite right here and you need to talk to any close friends you have or people respond on here to you about how a relationship goes. How can you have a relationship with someone that you are not even in physical contact with, nor spend much time together and no romance or intimacy?????
You can’t have a relationship and nothing can grow. How can anything grow you have nothing. I think you very much need to be questioning this whole illusion and call this guy and ask him to meet you somewhere you can talk and ask him what the story is. He needs to decide whether he is going to invest and have a relationship or tell you the truth that there is no relationship that he is being friendly and sharing only what he chooses to share to please his limited needs. It takes two to have a relationship. When you meet someone who really likes you he will want to be with you always and yes you will have to set some limits so you can study but there is plenty of other time. He will want to call you and you call him. You will go out whenever you can and there will be some form of physical intimacy. He will share his being with you and want to know all about you and be there for you in all situations. He will cry with you and laugh with you as you with him. You will be best friends and lovers as it should be. Not this cold stern standoffish set of strict rules that have sterilized what is being called a relationship but I can’t find one anywhere here except acquaintances.
I know you care for this guy or you wouldn’t have taken what you have for 4 months but you need to find out the truth El. Because whether he says it or not it is still happening and that is no relationship is growing here, you need to "hear” why? So don’t let the fear of hearing things you don’t want to hear keep you from asking because it is happening anyway.
Ask him to meet you in a quiet place you can sit and talk without distraction. There he can open up as much as he is capable and just speak your heart and tell him you have needs and you need to know what is going on with him and in him. Explain what is missing because El these are perfectly normal desires to have with someone you care about. You also need him to define exactly what he would say your relationship was if he doesn’t mind you dating with that “attached but available.” Sorry that makes no sense it is a complete contradiction.
I am not sure he knows what his feelings are because I can say he is afraid of them and may not even be able to tap into them. But he definitely has intimacy issues and does not want anyone to get close to him or vise versa. That is why you need to know if there is even any chance of a relationship.
I am sorry that your first relationship is going this way but every situation has lessons that will help us get to a better place if we let them.
Please write and let me know what happens and what you decide to do. I do care that you work this out so that you get that first relationship either with him or someone else. But El it has to be confronted and dealt with now.
Let me know I am here if you need support or help,
MaryAnne

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