I’ve been dating a guy for two months. He doesn't want to make our relationship public, even though most people already know about it.
I respect his rights, but I think it’s been long enough and that we should come out as a couple. He says he’s afraid of gossip and what other people will think of us. I said that I don't care; that gossip’s something we shouldn't worry about if we truly care for each other.
I just want the right, and the ability, to say that I have him as a boyfriend and that I'm proud of it.
He also doesn't want us to show any PDA at school (not even holding hands in the hallways). He doesn't mind PDA (holding hands, kissing, cuddling...) in public places.
Also, I’ve said that I don't want a sexual relationship, but it feels that he’s slightly pushing for it. I don't know how to get it across that I'm not comfortable with sexual mannerisms, but I really need him to understand my feelings about it.
He’s moving in the summer and wants to work on a long-distance relationship. I don't know how they work out, but from what I've heard, not very well. I care about him deeply and it took us two years to finally admit to liking each other. I just don't want to blow it with him.
Is he ashamed to call me his girlfriend? Am I just a "plaything" to him?
Don’t start doubting your own self-image. You’re no “plaything.” The reality is you’re both in a school community that does gossip, it’s still an early relationship, and he’s not comfortable with going public. That’s fair enough, but he’s TOO comfy with getting sexual before he’ll go public.
Do NOT agree to intimacy while you’re being kept under wraps as his girlfriend. When he moves - soon - you don’t want to be left upset with yourself for having caved, and then trying desperately to keep a long-distance relationship going.
When the two people in long-distance situation are young, it’s natural/common that one or both will be drawn to trying new experiences… and that includes dating others. This is even likelier if your relationship is still not public.
Keep things cool enough before he moves away, so that he’s the one who has to decide if he truly wants to keep this going, and be “out there” with your family and friends.
My wife’s not the girl I fell in love with. She’s so absorbed in our kids (two girls ages three and 18 months) that she’s forgotten me. I work long hours, but the minute I walk in the door a child’s shoved in my arms with a dirty diaper… or bawling... or there’s toys, laundry, and snack foods everywhere. If I ask for a half-hour down time, she screams about her tough day. I can’t take having tension and demands at work, then getting the same at home.
It’s a common clash of two different worlds - hers is actually as difficult as yours. Consider this: If a business partner walked into your office in the midst of chaos, you’d want him/her to pitch in and help right away. That’s what’s happening at home.
If you can afford it, suggest hiring a local teenager (inexpensive) to play/babysit with the children after school until after you’re home, changed, ready to plunge in. Then help with dinner and bedtime, so you can both have down time… together.
FEEDBACK Here’s a very clear explanation of how parents can leave money to only one daughter, who’d then manage their less responsible daughter’s finances (May 18):
Reader – “A “trust” is the vehicle specifically designed for such a situation.
“It’s easily set up in a will so the parents can specify exactly how much money should be allocated to this sister, exactly how it should be distributed, and who should control it as the trustee.
“There can be directions as to what’ll happen to the money if the second sister dies before all the capital’s distributed.
“Example: The will could specify how the money’s to be invested, that the ill sister should have the interest or dividends paid monthly or annually.
“It would tie the hands of the vulnerable sister and prevent her from squandering her inheritance. It will also help to deflect criticism and hard feeling directed towards the responsible sister.”
Tip of the day:
When only one person wants the relationship kept secret, it’s already at risk.