She Chased Me, I Gave In, Now What
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
This is going to include a number of complications, so please do your best to keep up! I've been in a relationship with this girl for over a month now. We met in college and it all began on her end. She had eyes for me right from the very start and she went to fairly great lengths to get me to notice her. I picked up on her subtle flirtatious hints eventually, but still had no interest in her. At the time, a couple of other girls were attempting to gain my interest (you know, first quarter of college, new people, etc.) and so I looked at her as no different from them. I found it flattering and sweet, but I had convinced myself that I didn't want a relationship so soon in college.
Well, soon enough, her drive to attract me started to escalate. She started to make a point to spend time with me whenever possible, until one night when we were out with a bunch of friends, she put the moves on me, and I didn't resist. It felt good, but it stood in contrast to my whole concept of being the "free", single college freshman. As a result, I took the poor girl on a roller coaster ride, as I attempted desperately to figure out what I truly wanted for myself--the whole time she remained completely devoted to wanting me. I eventually tried to convince her (really, I was trying to convince myself) that I didn't see a relationship blossoming between us and that it was in our best interest to just be friends so that she wouldn't end up getting hurt. I drilled this into her head for a few days, and so it was only natural for her to develop the mindset to move on.
That's when things exploded. Halloween weekend came up and it was the big party weekend when everyone is supposed to have the best time ever. My friend was coming to visit and that night, she became attracted to him and flirted with him a bit. He returned the sentiment to an extent before both pulled away. Still, her response to me that entire evening, cold and distant, was the complete opposite of everything that I had seen out of her before (she had thought our dalliances were surreal, she was ecstatic that something may be coming together, but I had pushed her away physically and emotionally). I didn't like the change one bit and the whole evening was a Halloween nightmare for me--I realized that I had been lying to my heart all along and that this girl was something special.
Well, within just a few days, we had worked things out. She was sorry for having flirted with my friend and she came around and things started back up with us again. Soon enough, she gave me some not-so-subtle hints that she wanted me to ask her to declare our relationship as official (she called herself an old-fashioned girl). Bear in mind that this is actually the first truly serious relationship for either of us. I did some dating in high school, but nothing to compare to what I have with this girl. She had been hurt and rejected a number of times, and at first with me, it seemed to her that a broken record was playing.
Anyway, our relationship started to advance rather quickly. We knew that we didn't have much time together before the long winter break came up and so we were spending as much time together as possible. It wasn't long before I looked into her eyes and told her that I loved her. She was stunned; she started crying (she prides herself on being very romantic) and, when she came back down to earth, she said it back. Things were amazing.
But maybe it was an example of too much too fast. This was a learning process for both of us, having never been involved like this before, and so we both came upon issues to work on. I was expecting too much out of her, hoping that she would return my overwhelming affection every second or something was wrong. This, of course, took its toll on her a bit; me creating a problem even when there wasn't one. She's never said it outright (she's said it more or less though), but she feels smothered at times by my compliments. I realize that I may overdo it sometimes, but this rush of emotions is very strong and I like to tell her how I feel.
On the other hand, I think now that we've passed the flirting and the attention-grabbing that she seemd to enjoy so thoroughly and put so much work into, and now that we've delved into an actual relationship, and some (inevitable) conflicts have occurred, that she's finding it hard at times to play the role of girlfriend. She acknowledged this and said that she's going to make that change and we both agreed to work on things, and we know that from the terrific highs that we've had that, the more we learn, a really wonderful relationship can come out of this.
The worry I have now is as follows. We agreed to do these things just as the quarter was coming to a close and we were leaving to go home for six weeks (!), from before Thanksgiving to after New Year's. This was going to be a long time apart. We've seen each other once in that period of time and that was less than a week after we had left school. Now, it was just several days after that that I left to visit my brother in France and so I was gone for almost two weeks overseas. We kept in contact and everything was fine and it was evident that both of us missed one another and so we planned to get together a few days after I got back. Well, as luck would have it, she got really sick with a bad virus (she had been fighting illness the whole time I was gone and she hadn't gotten any better), and so she was stuck at home. Schedule conflicts abounded and the result is this: we won't see each other until after New Year's when we go back to school. And so, we will have spent more time apart altogether (over a month) then we did as a formal couple prior to the end of the quarter. Being apart has benefited me in that I learned how to not expect a million and one little things out of her and smothering her has not been an option. I call her every two or three days and talk to her online when I can and it's all good. But I worry about being apart affecting her in the opposite way. She was just learning how to be a girlfriend, how to move past the casual flirting and all of the games, and see what it's like to be in a real relationship. But now she's grown used to not being around me and not having to play her part in that regard. Instead, she's been in her comfort zone at home with the family that she adores and I just hope that when she comes back to school that she doesn't have trouble re-adjusting to being my girl. I know she's excited about getting back and she misses me and everything, but this life with her family is all she's ever known prior to now and she's had ample time to be reaquainted with it and I just worry that it will negatively affect her mindset towards me. I know what I have to do to play my part and the things that I have to change, but if she regresses, it's going to make my task a hundred times more difficult because I may feel like I'm struggling for her attention and affection even more than before because half her heart is at home. I just fear that, as much as she likes to say that she's a great romantic who lives for love, that actually being in love is new and frightening and that she'd rather just continue with fantasies and flirtations and not work on a relationship, especially now that she's been living in that old environment in which those kinds of things occurred. I'd appreciate any insight you have into this matter. I apologize for the great length and detail, but I just wanted to provide a full overview to aid the depth of your response. Thank you.
Why do you keep talking about "playing parts" - that she has to act unnaturally to "play her girlfriend part" and that you do the same to be a boyfriend?? Just what kind of relationship do you have?
Being real partners should NEVER be about playing parts. It should always be about being yourself - being completely, honestly, your true self. If you guys are playing parts, it's no wonder you're worrying about maintaining it. There's no way you can.
-- from Lisa
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com