No Longer Sure She Wants Him
Q: I've been with my boyfriend for a little over a year. He's 23, finishing college, and a good man. He calls every night, and only wants to make me happy. Problem is, he's happier with the relationship than I am, and I have a feeling he wants to propose soon. But now I'm starting to see things that make me uncertain about whether I want to commit to him. He's Christian and doesn't know I'm not. He does some immature things, like obsess over video games and burp all the time. Work seems to be at the top of his priority list. The most we see each other is once a week if we're lucky. I was overweight in high school, but I've recently lost the weight and gotten fit . . . and a lot of male attention. My boyfriend likes the new look, but not all the attention I get. It makes me curious about whether I could do better now, but I do care about my boyfriend and don't want to hurt him. I would absolutely never cheat, because I know that hurts so much worse. I just don't know what makes him so sure that I'm "the one." What can I do to try and make things better? Or should I leave him and meet new people? -- Violet, 20
Dr. Susan: How could you be that close to someone for a year and yet he doesn't know your religious views? What I'm hearing is that the two of you are in very different stages of your life. The stuff about video games and burping is not particularly relevant, as you'll see when you eventually do settle down with a man. They all have annoying habits, as, I'm sure, do all of us women (though surely ours aren't nearly that childish!). You learn to deal with them. What matters so much more is that you seem to be staying with him only so you don't hurt him. Not a good reason! You don't need to obsess over how he knows you're "the one." You only need to decide if he's the one to meet your needs for the rest of your life. If the fact that he loves the newly slim you isn't enough for you and you long to try out your new attractiveness on other guys, then you're not ready to commit to him. Be honest and tell him you're having second thoughts and need some time and space to spread your wings and figure things out. You're way too young to make a serious decision like this while you're this uncertain.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
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.