- Dr. Love in the Media
Woman Who Wants a Sanity Check
November 29, 1999 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
I have been in a relationship with a great guy for two and a half years and have recently moved out of my parents into a new apartment by myself at age 24. My boyfriend is 2 years younger than me and doesn't have enough money to move out at the moment, which is understandable to me.
I did have strong feelings about moving out of my parents house and since my boyfriend and I haven't really talked seriously about moving out together anytime soon, I decided to move out myself as I could do so financially.
Now that I am all moved, we still see each other as frequently as we did before (just about everyday), but I feel as though his feelings for me have changed. Before the move, I know that he was conscious of not spending so much time over my new place that my parents think he would be 'mooching' off of me (which is not a concern to me, but I feel is a understandable feeling to have for him).
Although we still see each other the same, I feel that he is being more distant than before. Yet when I really sit down and compare how his behavior now is different than before, it actually doesn't seem any different. Could I be ultra-sensivtive to little things because of my new change of environment or would this move without him hurt him somehow?
I know I am still adjusting to my new apartment away from home (my first move away from my parents, being an only child). Because I still am adjusting, could I just be blowing little things he does out of proportion due to my new change in environment?
For example, throughout our relationship, we really haven't talked about marriage before (unlike our friends who talk about it frequently with their mates). This hasn't really bothered me before as I am more of a 'if it's meant to be, it will happen' kind of thinker.
Ever since the move, I am starting to think of negative reasons why he has never brought it up to me, while all our friends are talking about plans 3 years down the road. Just for a sanity check, could I have a second opinion of my situation? Thanks!
When it comes to how your boyfriend feels about you, only your boyfriend can give you a 'reality check.'
As for a sanity check. I don't think your sanity is in question here. I see you have all kinds of doubts: that he is pulling away; that he doesn't love you enough since he hasn't mentioned marriage, etc. . You said twice that you suspect that your fears are tied up with leaving home.
In other words, the separation from your family has put you off balance, and you are feeling vulnerable and insecure. Even if it's true that your current circumstances are causing you to be more sensitive, you are, nevertheless, feeling insecure.
So, why can't you check in with your guy. Tell him about your fears and ask him where he's coming from. Why do you hesitate? Do you sense that he would feel pressured by your questions?
If you are afraid to ask him, then you have your answer. He is sending you vibes that give you reason for concern. No, you are not off the wall. If you sense that there is a risk in asking him outright how he feels about you, then something he is saying or doing is giving you reason to feel concerned.
So, why not start with your feelings. Honor them, and put them out. You could ask, 'Why do I feel concerned that if I ask you for reassurances about your commitment to me that I will push you away?' Or some variant of the previous sentence like, 'Why do I feel worried that if I ask you how you are feeling about me lately that I will drive you away?'
When you ask the question, and watch his response, you will be able to clarify how much of your fear is coming from being newly on your own, and how much is coming from his own intimacy or commitment phobias. When you get more information, you will have a better idea on what area you need to work on--yourself, or him and the relationship.
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