I’ve been with my boyfriend since I was a sophomore in high school. We spent about 5 months apart near the beginning of our relationship, but ever since then have been together. When college began we had to do the long distance thing and since that time we have grown apart.
I love my man to death, but sometimes when he comes home to visit and the honeymoon phase is gone, we settle in and really have nothing left to say to each other. I really feel as though we need to re-get to know one another again or something. We bicker about everything all the time and I really feel like I don’t have any space in this relationship to “do me”. When we argue I realize that both of us have good points but we both refuse to compromise.
I’ve only been with this one man my whole life and sometimes I wonder about what life would be like with only me on my own. On the other hand, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. He’s never cheated on me and we love each other very much. He also makes time to spend with me and I really appreciate it too. We know how to take care of one another, but there are still some issues that I don’t yet know how to solve.
Another thing is I feel like he still sees me as this little innocent semi-virgin that I was in high school and not as a woman that I have grown into. He gets extremely jealous at the thought of me doing anything even slightly promiscuous. I’m extremely faithful, but still need to be able to express myself sexually when I want/need to.
What can I do to make our relationship better? How can I help his insecurities? And how can I make him share “the pants” with me and make us both equal entities?
A: 22 is far too young for the “honeymoon phase” to be over. As much as the two of you love each other, you are showing signs that you both need more experience with the other sex before you are ready to settle into a lifetime relationship. This isn’t a bit surprising. You found each other when you were teenagers. You have each grown and changed quite a bit since then. If you were to meet each other for the first time now, you might not find each other quite so interesting.
You sound to me like two very good people who are still good friends but who are mistaking familiarity and habit for true love. You have virtually no other relationships to compare this one to so you really don’t know whether it is what is best for you. It could also be that you keep returning to this relationship because dating again seems like just too much effort and maybe even too scary.
I suggest you take a big step back. Give each other the go-ahead to see people at your own colleges and to not miss the total college experience. Keep media communication between you at a minimum so you’ll give new relationships a real chance. Give it a year and see how it feels. Either you will rediscover that you made a very lucky and special match at an early age or you’ll see this relationship as having been a wonderful start for getting to know what being a partner in life is about.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Oct 2010
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Girl Has Doubts That Need Fixing. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/10/24/girl-with-doubts-that-need-fixing/