Since I receive a lot of emails from readers seeking relationship advice about really relatable issues, I’ve decided to start answering a select few in as thoughtful but brutally honest (and hopefully helpful!) a manner as possible.
Dear sweet Seesaw,
It seems there are two related issues underpinning your current heartache. First, relationship uncertainty. Plus, general frustration with your partners unpredictability.
Let me start by sharinga bit about myown situation. I’m lucky to be dating theMan Of My Dreams. Annoying, but
true. I’m with the guyI lusted for from minute one. We’ve been together officially for aboutfive years now (or eight, depending on how you count). We live together, we know each other intimately, and we talk about growing old together regularly. Hes even asked me to marry him a few times, butIm honestly in no rush to tie the knot because weddings really arent my thing. The point is, we are madly in love in an obnoxious, unconventional storybook kind of way.
The other day, I found myself preoccupied for at least an hour by thoughts of my devoted, loving, attentive boyfriend
cheating on me. I tortured myself with imagined scenes involving some faceless leggy blonde wrapped around my partners body. I agonized over how I would feel in the moment, were my boyfriend to confess to all thehypothetical crimesI’d conjured. Then I pondered exactly how I’d respond to my mind’s vision of his admission.
It was an otherwise ordinary, peaceful afternoon, but something triggered those thoughts in me. Something urged me to consider that my wonderful, caring boyfriend might one day stray. That he might head out with his buddies and meet some young beautiful gazelle of a woman and have sex with her instead of me.
Why? Because the truth is, lovedoesnt immunize people against
temptation. And no matter how strong your bond is, you will never feel100 percent certainabout things.
When you enter into a relationship, you make yourself vulnerable to another human being whose behavior and daily experience of the world are mostly outside your control. The possibility that they will hurt you lingers. So the doubtsyoure entertaining will probably never go away. If anything, they might very well get stronger. Because the more you love someone, the more power they have torip youapartemotionally. Fragility isn’t
romantic but it realistic. It’s also what makes love so wild, passionate, and beautifulbut also maddening. The good news is, any relationship worth maintainingthrough commitment, hard work, and pure willinvolves awesome stretches of unadulterated joy in between all the torment, self inflicted or not.
I mentioned that you can’tcontrol this person youre dating. But guess what? You get to control you, at least to a certain extent. If you focus on being the best version of your authentic self and the best girlfriend you can be, you won’t havemanyregrets. That’s all you can offer anyone, really, and it should be enough. If its not, youre definitely dating the wrongguy.
Hopefully, your significant other appreciates your value as a human being and treats you as well as you
deserve. In this day and age, Id arguethat texting your girlfriend back within a reasonable timeframe is part of the Respect Your Mateequation. For what its worth, Im a busy grown-ass woman with a grown womans job, and I reply to my loved oneswithin an hour or sobecause I make time to address my priorities.
Id suggest giving this dude some leeway on the texting front for a given amount of time, and if he doesnt change his behavior within that period, move on. During this unofficial trial, I wouldnt voice your concerns or make an issue of your partners glacial response time. Why? Because youshouldnt have to explain to a grown-ass man that not replying to a message from the woman hes sleeping with is downrightunacceptable.
If the man youre with doesnt want to behave like a grown-ass man should, then good riddance. You still get to be the best you, and seek out someone new who actually deserves you.
Love, hugs & unicorns,