City Boy, Country Girl

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I dated a guy for about a year, so I guess you can say he was my first love. About a month before we broke up things droped drastically downhill. We were arguing all the time because we would never get to see each other. We live only about an hour away but I was still in school and my parents were pretty strict on where I could go.

I wound up breaking up with him but we said we were going to get back together. Well he quit calling me and every time I called he was never home.

Well about 2 weeks passed and I called and he just so happened to answer the phone. He told me that "He couldn't talk, because his girlfriend was at his house and they are moving in together." I was shattered! 9 months passed and we never talked or saw each other during this time.

Well, out of the blue he called me one night. He said he missed me so much and loves me. My feelings for him are still just as strong as they ever were. We have been back together for about a month. I get to see him all the time so that is no longer an issue. But recently he got a job working as a bouncer at a completely nude female strip club on Fridays and Saturdays.

I am so afraid I am going to lose him again. I don't want to give him an ultimatium because I don't want to tell him what to do or control him and he needs the money (second job). I am afraid it is going to start going downhill again. I talked to him about how I was feeling and he said "I love you, if I didn't I would not be with you" and not to worry he would not cheat on me.

Everyone is telling me I have a "STUPID" sign on my forehead for going with him again, so that pressure doesn't help. He is a City boy and I am a Country girl and I know the way we were raised is completely diffrent but we have a lot in common and I love him so much. But I can't help but wonder did I do the right thing to date him again or am I setting myself up for another heartbreak?? Please help! Advice
OK, first, about the past. Lots of people have long distance relationships without any problem. So instead of breaking up, you should have just had a long distance relationship. To say "We'll break up and get together later" never works - because if you are now dating other people, you are focussed on them and not the old relationship. So it sounds like he did just that - was rid of you, found a new girl on the rebound and did the traditional rebound rush-into-things and then the traditional rebound what-have-I-done breakup.

So then he's free again and you're free and things might actually work this time. To be fair I don't think you're stupid for dating him again. I think the situation was not a reasonable one before. You guys broke up - he was free to find a new girlfriend. If anything HE was stupid for doing the rebound thing but heck, millions of people do that every year so he was acting normally stupid. And he learned from his mistake.

Part of being in a relationship is trusting someone. He never cheated on you while he was with you. If he treats you and your relationship with honor and respect, that is what is important. Yes, he's working at a porn place. But really a lot of guys who go to places like that learn to *devalue* women, not to want to date them. They look at women as hunks of meat there for their pleasure, not as feeling individuals that should be respected. The women in there are often hooked into drugs or alcohol by the other girls or by the ownership as a way of controlling them. So in general it's not a place to envy, it's a place that has very seedy undersides. It's easy to take a MTV view and say "Oh it's just women showing off and men admiring them". But in reality things are far different in 99% of the cases.

In any case, let him make his extra money while he needs it - but also work on your budget so he does NOT need it. Start doing budget planning so that in a few months, if things work out, you move in together and share expenses. Working 2 jobs isn't good for anyone in general and it's not good for a relationship in particular. So accept it as a temporarily evil but work more long term on having just one income from each of you.

-- from Jenn
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