Is She Over-Reacting?
Q: I've been dating a guy who's a few years younger than I am for almost nine months. He asked me to marry him last month. I know that he loves me but sometimes he does things that make me question that. Right now, he's on vacation with his family, and he's called me several times each day since he left. We have a cell phone plan together so it doesn't cost him anything to call. Yesterday he called me from a pay phone because he wasn't getting reception on his cell phone, and he left a message saying that he would try to call again later but this was "coming out of his pocket." If he missed me as much as he's constantly saying he does, it wouldn't matter that he now has to pay to call me. Am I over-reacting? -- Silvia, 30
Dr. Susan: That's an easy one, Silvia. Yes, you're over-reacting. People who are used to cell phones and cheap or free plans probably feel weird having to put actual money into a pay phone slot. I'm sure it doesn't mean he loves you any less that he left a message noting that his calls are now pay calls. Now, if this is only one of many tip-offs that this fellow is stingy or overly money-conscious, then start paying attention. Meanwhile, you might want to reconsider what you think of as "love," and why such tiny things that don't match your expectations set off your insecurities. Of course, since you're about to marry the guy, you ought to feel free to ask him what he meant by that phrase. Often, men mean exactly what they say, with no hidden message at all.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.