I’ve been wondering awhile about a dating faux pas. My boyfriend had taken me on the best Valentine’s Day date.
However, during our later make-out session, he said his ex's name instead of mine.
It felt very crappy but he was apologetic. Also, our names are similar sounding.
How do I address that situation? I understand he was with her for seven years, but it ended two years ago.
Was this slip-up a big deal? He's a nice guy. Is it worse that he said it while making out, not just over dinner? Does it even matter?
It’s happened to many, both as the mis-speaker and as the mis-named.
It certainly doesn’t mean that he misses her. It’s a mental hiccup, nothing more.
It’s even more likely to happen when in the throes of romantic enjoyment because the brain isn’t consciously computing at that time.
Whether it was on Valentine’s Day or any other, I’m betting in this case it meant nothing for you to keep wondering about.
HOWEVER, when a lover blurts out the name of someone you’ve never heard of, while love-making or not, that’s when you need to wonder.
Especially if there’s been any distance in your relationship or reasons for suspicion that he/she’s spending more time away from you.
I've been dating a wonderful guy for a year. He says and shows that he loves me, but he can never be fully intimate with me.
In fact, our sex life abruptly ended about the time we became an official couple.
I thought his sexual inexperience was making him nervous and I’ve been patient, waiting until he feels ready to discuss it.
He's hinted that this has happened to him with other girls that he dated. He’s adamant that he wants to continue our relationship.
However, his mother, who lives abroad and visits every year, recently visited and now that I’ve seen how they interact, I have a different perspective on our problem.
All three of us were on vacation together and I was the one who felt like the third wheel.
Also, he always kept our bedroom door open in the hotel suite, where his mother was staying in another room.
Now, I'm positive that he’s an enmeshed man but I don't know how to tell him. He sees nothing wrong with his and his mother's behavior.
How do I deliver the message that their relationship is what’s been causing his problems with women, including me, without him seeing me as the bad messenger?
No Third Wheel
Whether you label him “enmeshed” or a “Mama’s Boy,” doesn’t mean that he’d accept your opinion. He’s more likely to react negatively and feel you’re way off base or insulting.
You’ve detected something in their relationship that may well be a factor in his intimacy blockage.
If you care enough for him to hang in with him, recommend that he get professional therapy regarding that sexual problem, for the sake of your relationship.
That would get him in the counselling door. It’s when you can suggest that his closeness with his mother may also be affecting him in some way, and to suggest he discuss this in therapy.
He may balk, but it’ll be out there for him to raise.
Be aware that he may always be more attached to his mother than feels comfortable for you. However, if he gets past the sexual barrier, you’ll know better whether it still matters to you staying together.
FEEDBACK Regarding the student dating a young man with clinical depression. (Feb 24):
Reader – “I've learned to handle depression and anxiety by relying on medication, therapy when I'm overwhelmed, lifestyle changes, and also waiting out my darker moods.
“My best decision was investing in a good therapist (recommended by my family doctor). I also did research, tried various mental exercises to relieve symptoms, and compared notes with others who’d undergone therapy.
“The young man "pushes everyone away because he’s convinced he’s a problem to the people he gets close to." Depression can distort one's thinking. He needs to see how he can give back to others and build connections.
“Attending therapy could help him feel like less of a problem to others, though it can be a hard process at times.
“Asking several friends for occasional encouragement is fine. Making one friend entirely responsible for one's mental health is unfair.”
Tip of the day:
Saying an ex’s name by mistake is only a mental hiccup… unless there’s signs of distancing.