My close girlfriend has been in a two-year relationship and is ready to insist her guy "move in and get married."
But he keeps feeding her excuses as to why he can't yet move forward.
Mostly, he attacks her character. But he doesn't want to leave her and she doesn't want to let him go.
I've watched her spiral into a deep sadness. Her self-esteem’s incredibly low, her stress levels are through the roof.
It’s difficult to watch my friend suffer, but I feel I can't advise her to leave him. That’s a decision she needs to make on her own.
Is there anything I should do?
Stay with friendship, not judgement.
But if she asks for your thoughts, turn it around and ask for hers, e.g. what are the reasons she thinks things will change if they do marry?
If she complains about his “excuses,” ask, what’s positive about their relationship.
Get her thinking things through more clearly, herself.
People hang onto go-nowhere relationships because of fear of starting over, or of being alone.
They convince themselves that things will get better, if they live together, marry, have a baby…
Telling her otherwise will only increase her insecurity.
But encouraging her to face for herself the reality of his stalling-blaming strategy – a form of control - may help her see that their future together is unlikely to be much different.
My son, 28, still lives at home. He finished high school, has a full-time job, and is a good-looking guy.
However, he hasn't found someone special to share his life with, and I'm getting worried about him.
Last summer, he signed a contract with a dating site and has paid $3500 for their services with only one referral since that time (the contract states that 15 referrals would be given to him).
The company blames the fact that he’s a smoker for making it difficult to find someone for him.
I find this hard to believe since there are a lot of girls out there who are trying to quit just like him.
Could this website be a scam artist corporation?
Do you think we could ever get his money back, or some sort of refund? What sites do you recommend?
I won’t use the name or comment on the site you mentioned, but you can start your query with a call to the Better Business Bureau, or other consumer protection agency in your locale.
I also do not recommend any specific dating sites – partly to avoid their pestering me for promotion.
But more important, the dating site business deals with a very large number of people who are paying for differing dreams – a chance at romance, a lasting relationship, access to quick flings and hot sex, etc.
I do advise this: Your son has to learn for himself the best way to write his profile, whether to mention trying to stop smoking or be upfront about continuing the habit.
If the contract does promise him something the corporation isn’t delivering, he should request a refund and pursue it through consumer channels.
Then you, his mother, should stop worrying about him, and focus instead on encouraging him to expand his social contacts on his own.
He can start with the local community centre’s sports or arts events, set up a free meetup.com account, or join a group, to find activities that interest him (some organizers of a particular group may charge a contribution, dues or Event fees).
FEEDBACK Regarding the girl who’s angry with her brother and mother for allowing her ex-best friend to visit him at home (August 12):
Reader – “A home is a sacrosanct place. While the family can interact with anyone outside of the house, the home should be a "safe" place for the members of that immediate family.
“The mother should’ve honoured the daughter's wishes. The brother could easily hang out elsewhere with the girl who’s his friend too.
“The parent and brother are showing the 16-year-old girl that her boundaries are unimportant.
“It's a form of “gaslighting.” It's more than disrespectful. It's actually destructive.”
Ellie: “Gaslighting” is the newly revived term taken from a 1944 film to signify manipulating someone to feel his or her own decisions/thoughts are wrong.
My response was to have a family discussion about everyone’s responsibility to be respectful of the others. I agree that the brother could’ve seen the girl elsewhere.
Tip of the day:
Encourage a friend to look realistically at why their relationship is going nowhere.