Are there any Relationship Rules to help me not make stupid mistakes in the early phase?
When any glitch happens, I end up panicking, blaming myself, and running away, convinced that the girl’s going to break up soon, anyway.
- Repeat Runner
My Three R’s for facing a “glitch:” Restrain, Re-Evaluate, Relax.
Your first reaction should be awareness, not panic. Something happened, think it through. Do NOT lash out or accuse. Let some time pass to see what happens… e.g. did she repeat that statement or behaviour, was she under stress, were you?
If there’s no further signal, stop worrying. Follow these “rules” until you’re both comfortable and open with each other.
However, if the original glitch occurs three times, investigate - three strikes can mean OUT.
I met a guy online, we dated for two years, then got engaged. We lived together, his family and I loved each other.
Three months before our wedding, he broke up because, “it just wasn’t working anymore.”
I went to therapy for a year because of this and other family issues.
I can’t stop thinking about him and wanting to be together again.
My friends yell at me that after two years I should be over this, but I’m not.
- Lost for Love
Avoid friends who “yell” at you about anything. Get outside your cocoon of people who re-hash your sad past, and push yourself into new situations, friendships, activities, courses, travel, etc. You’ve grieved; now work at healing yourself.
While this was a major loss, it obviously triggered other old hurts and disappointments, making it into a larger blow to overcome.
Getting on with a functioning adult life open to future happiness means getting past those hurdles - with purpose, determination, and pride. Draw on your own self-respect.
You cannot allow wounds to stay open, when there are so many possibilities ahead for healthy relationships. Start every day with the intent of looking forward, and stay with therapy for as long as it helps you do this.
MY boyfriend of seven months always seems sad and depressed so I go out of my way to make him smile, but fail countless times.
When we started dating, he was away at school and not very good at communicating with me. I tried to phrase things so he could answer better, even that didn’t work.
Now, he’s back in the city and all we do is fight and argue. He doesn’t seem to want to be together anymore and doesn’t show any affection.
It always feels like I have to do things for him, but when it comes my needing something, he’s distant, complains about helping and starts another fight that ends up with mean words and him ignoring me for days.
Should I try to work on this or move on, hoping he’ll see what he’ll miss?
- Wit’s End
You’re already in this alone - you’ve been playing the puppeteer, trying to manage both your parts in a relationship that’s going nowhere. It’s time to stop.
You haven’t really accepted and gotten to know each other as equal individuals. YOU have been trying to improve him in various ways; HE has been trying to avoid you or force you into conflict.
It’s a set-up for constant frustration and isolation for you both, so straighten your spine and move on. Even if he “misses” you, it’s not a union you should re-consider, as it’s based on the shifting sands of moodiness versus control.
My future mother-in law wants to decide everything regarding our wedding, and also thinks I’m taking her son away from her. She can be very sneaky; she talks against me to my fiance and completely ignores me.
Every time I speak to her about how I feel, she agrees to anything I say, but does otherwise.
My fiance and I now always get into arguments over this issue. Help!
- Wedding Woes in Ontario
This isn’t about the wedding, it’s about the marriage and managing in-law relationships.
Your fiancé must become your ally. He has to stay out of the squabbles and tell his mother you’re his chosen life partner, he’s not listening to her bad-mouthing you.
You need to understand that this is a big change for her too.
Make your wedding plans with your fiancé, but take his mother’s requests into account where possible (especially if she’s contributing).
Tip of the day:
Three early-dating Relationship Rules to handle glitches without overreacting: Restrain, Re-Evaluate, Relax.