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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Attention-Hogging Girlfriend Wants More
Letter #: 394080
Category: Dating/Relationship

Original Letter

Hi, My name is Shawna! I've currently been with my boyfriend for almost 3 weeks. But it feels way longer! We've been going great until I've learned that now we will only see one another twice a week! I am a very loving, affectionate and attention hogging girlfriend! So it is going to be super hard for me. I am really determined to make this work but. I have not the slightest clue on how to do this! Please help!

Elder Response

The beginning of relationships can be very exciting! And three weeks into a relationship is still the very beginning. I don't know how old you are, Shawna, so my advice would be somewhat different if you are an adult or if you are a teenager.

In either situation, I can assure you that almost no one likes to be smothered with attention/affection at the beginning of a relationship. It can feel overwhelming and even suffocating. So if you are determined to "make this work out" (although after three weeks, it honestly can be hard to even know what "this" will be), I would advise you to give both of you breathing room.

It sounds as if your boyfriend is already asking for this, limiting your getting together to twice/week. That sounds very smart to me at this point. It gives each of you perspective, time to live the rest of your life (school/work/friends/family/hobbies/etc) and the chance to look forward to seeing each other. And have you talked about why the twice/week? Does he have a job or other responsibilities that require his time? Regardless of his reasons, you'll want to respect his wishes, just as you'd want him to respect yours.

If you think he is "a keeper", I would go along at this point with the parameters he is asking for in the relationship - a chance to let it develop slowly and meaningfully. You always want to be sure you are "your own person," not letting anyone else control you nor seeing only one person to the exclusion of all other friends, family and other interests. You want to be a complete person, with activities outside of any relationship. This gives you balance, perspective, and makes you more interesting to be with.

Shawna, I encourage you to take a deep breath. If this is going to be a long-lasting relationship, there's no reason to rush it (or to scare someone away by being needy). Take your clues from your boyfriend in terms of finding the balance of what he's ready for and what you're willing to give. And if he's not ready to be steady, consider finding other friends to do things with.

Also spend time with your girlfriends and others. You'll want him to want to be with you as much as you want to be with him.

Good luck, Shawna, and remember that the most important relationship to shower with love and attention is the one that you have with yourself.

Best Regards,

Cairnie


    

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