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Keeping Things Light?

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Old 21st September 2005, 11:51 AM   #1
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Keeping Things Light?

I'm in a rather quirky situation right now. I'm going out with my first boyfriend, a boy who I've known for three years and have always been close to, and who has been "something more" for almost three months. We know each other well enough to understand each other on a remarkable level, and are comfortable talking, and have seen each other's best and worst.

He's really a wonderful boyfriend: gentlemanly, appreciative, good-looking, athletic, warm and affectionate, hard-working, has a strong character, a good sense of humor, and likes to have fun. Of course, being a senior in high school (I'm a college freshman) he is also sometimes immature, insecure, and used to being the "baby of the family" which are traits that I find very off-putting, but overlook because of all of the good things he offers.

I date him because he is wonderful to be around, a great kisser, I can feel completely comfortable around him and tell him anything, he's someone I care about and who cares for me, and he is always there for me (not that I am a particularly emotionally needy person). But on the rare occasions I need someone to talk to, he's very supportive. More often, though, it's he who is more rushed or stressed (English isn't his first language, so it takes him a long time to do his homework, and his family is also demanding about what he needs to do around the house).

Anyway, I am getting away from the point -- I was just trying to provide a little background. Besides those flukes of his personality (many of which will, I hope, fade with age and maturity and success, like mine did -- a year ago, I was much the same) he and I get along quite well and care deeply for each other. The thing that bothers me is that he talks about the future a lot, and the possibility that someday we might get married. For me, those are just fun and silly talks, but he brings it up pretty frequently, saying things like, "Do you think we might get married someday?" and I usually just laugh it off and say, "I don't know." And then, taking my cue, he will say something like, "I doubt it." That went on for a while, and then we had a similar conversation that ended with me telling him, "As you are right now, no, I would not marry you," and only then did he say, "No, me neither." But he hinted that he'd like me to tell him some traits that I dislike in him so he can improve them.

Something just seems strange about this. I think he might be too deep into the relationship, considering stuff like marriage. I intend to date many more men before I find the one who I will marry, and consider our relationship an oppertunity to spend time together, have fun, and share mutual experiences, not as a permanent thing. I think there is a difference between loving someone and being "in love." For him to be taking things so seriously kind of makes me uneasy, for I have no huge, blind, all-consuming loyalty toward him. Don't take me wrongly -- I would never cheat on him, and if I found someone else I would end it with him before doing anything -- but I have always been a pragmatist, and it seems foolish to glue yourself to someone who you know you will not marry, though there is nothing wrong with dating someone like that until you naturally grow apart. It's just that if I found someone who made the sparks fly and was more mature, secure, etc. or who I just wanted to get to know in that way, I would tell my boyfriend that we should date other people, not think, "Well, I really like that other guy, but I have a boyfriend therefore I can't even consider the possibility of being with someone else." That's why it's called dating, not engagement. I have made no lifelong commitment to him.

The idea of my being with someone else, though, seems to upset my boyfriend. He has only started acting stressed or moody within the last few weeks -- when I go off to college for the week (I see him on weekends). Sometimes I'll just casually mention some guy who said something funny or some conversation we had, but I'm never trying to imply that I am going to drop him for the other guy, I am just talking about my day, and those people are purely friends. And last weekend when I saw him, I was pretty tired from the week at school and may have been less energetic than usual, and he was convinced that I was thinking about someone else, which I wasn't.

It's strange -- I felt a lot closer to him before he started getting possessive on me. Now it seems as if, by trying to keep me with him, I want to get away more. Sort of like a reverse psychology, I guess. When a guy is confident that you will stay with him, it gives you reason to think he's worth staying with. When they are always afraid that you will find someone "better" (his words) then it makes you wonder if you don't indeed deserve it or should be looking for it.

That sums it up, I guess. Of course, this is my first boyfriend, as I've mentioned, so I truly don't have much experience about what to expect. Am I thinking in the wrong way? Should I not be considering the possibility of dating other people while going out with someone? Also, is there a way to convey to him that we should just enjoy spending time together in the present, and not worry so much about the future?

Phew. Kudos if you read all that.
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Old 21st September 2005, 11:59 AM   #2
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Nothing wrong with dating... but it seems to me that you are dating now exclusively with this Guy right?

I would suggest dating casually... where both people are free to date others.

It seems this relationship has become much more than you were looking for or really want.

Although I'm sure your BF will be upset at the idea of the 2 of you dating casually with out any committments or promises to one another.. IMO he is going to be a lot more upset when you do meet someone you have an interest in getting to know more romantically speaking.

Your both very young, and at this time I believe you are approaching things in a realistic manner for what is right for you.

Good Luck
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Old 21st September 2005, 12:06 PM   #3
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I agree with your analysis of his problems and wish that this post could be distributed to all young men in this overly-emotional world.

I think you can do a couple of things, depending on your desires.

1) Change the nature of your current relationship -- casual dating, non-exclusive, what have you. Based on what you describe about him, this is likely to result in a break up since he will NOT accept you getting frisky with someone else.

2) Break up -- See (1).

3) Explain to him that you are having a great time, and all of the stuff above about being young and having fun, and see where the world takes you, and that when he gets too heavy it makes you not have a fun time.

4) Live with what insecurity he has for so long as you can take it -- you're not going to marry him anyway.
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Old 21st September 2005, 3:46 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for laying the options out clearly, Cecelius -- that's exactly what I was looking for. We've already tried the first option, actually, but I am still so new to the dating thing that dating multiple people feels kind of wierd, especially since the two of us are so close. I would feel somehow dishonest to the other person, if there was one, and to my boyfriend -- like I was being duplicitous.

I think I like option three the best. Next time he starts getting serious like that I'll just try to lighten the mood as you suggested, by saying that we're young and need to have fun, and not to worry so much about the future. You put it well when you said that it does take the fun out of things, bringing up all of those worries and concerns of commitment, especially since it's not realistic at all to be considering the option of marriage right now.

I think he just senses that, though I care deeply for him and do love him, in my way, he will not be the One I end up with, and somehow wishes that he could be. Maybe he's subconsciously trying to distance himself from me, or prepare himself for the eventual break-up (which could be months or even a couple years, mind you) and by so doing is actually speeding up the process.

Or maybe I am just over-analyzing, as I tend to do.
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