I may lose my girlfriend (possible fiance). Please help me!

 hmpinii asks: 

I’d like to preface this by saying, yes I am aware that getting married young can be foolish.

I have been dating my significant other now for 3 1/2 years. We’ve never had a major fight, we have many of the same friends and we’re always happy when we’re together. Very soon we’ll be going to the same college for the same period of time (different majors). During this coming summer we’ll be living(a few days of the week) and working together but spending some weekends alone (alone time is good, no?). We’ve talked about marriage and have come to this arrangement: we date for another year, try living together, and get blessings from our parents and families. If all goes well then we go ahead and have a modest wedding, woo. But here is the catch… at some point during college before we get married she wants to take a break from us being together (not really break up but not together) for about three months. Basically we talk to each other minimally, no kissing, no pda, no sex, no sleeping together etc. She also wants to have the occasional causal coffee date with another guy (nothing serious, no sex, etc.) because I am her first boyfriend and she is my first girlfriend. but put simply … this kills me. Just the thought of her with some other guy makes me physically ill… Now, I’m kind of very clingy guy, I’ll be the first to admit it, but I don’t think that it’s too much to say that I don’t want my so of at that point nearly five years and potential fiance to go on dates with other guys and basically pretend I don’t exist for three months… On top of this, I trust her completely and I know she will keep her word but I do not trust our soon to be campus, It is not the safest place in the world and she is a cute small girl…

I love her very much and it would make me the happiest man in the world to spend my life with her. But having this break happen would ruin me… I wouldn’t be able to function because I would just be worrying about something happening to her or her deciding she wants to leave me…

Am I crazy? Way too clingy? Please help me, I really don’t have any idea what to do.

Demetrius says:

Thanks for the warning in your preface, but I think you’re a bit off base about what part of your situation is “foolish“. There’s nothing inherently wrong with marriage at any specific age or for any reason, but I do think that people should enter into relationships with their whole mind committed to the relationship. What you described about your current relationship is leading me to believe that really isn’t the case. Do I care that you’re young and thinking of marriage? No, absolutely not, it’s not like marriage at a young age is a guaranteed failure. What I do care about is when someone says that they have an arrangement in their relationship that “kills them” as you put it. That my friend is the warning that you should have prefaced me about, not your age.

Here’s what I think about this situation:

You need to discuss your issues with your girlfriend and it’s very likely that you need to break up

Here’s why:

Your relationship sounds completely devoid of passion. You sound like you’ve got the same level of excitement about your relationship as you would a prostate exam. I’ve heard of plenty of relationships where a marriage agreement is figured out ahead of time, but they’re usually more focused on the convenience or cost of marriage, where your situation sounds like a couple who is getting married as an inevitability.  That alone would give me pause, but your level of comfort, or lack thereof, with your partner taking a break is the bigger issue.

I want to be clear when I say that I’m all for non-traditional approaches to relationships. Taking breaks, having an open relationship, platonic dating while in a relationship, polyamory, swinging, and so on are completely fine in my book. If these non-traditional approaches work for you and your partner, go for it! Based on what you say, I don’t think that’s the case. If a close friend of mine said that they felt sick to their stomach about any part of their relationship as crucial as this, I’d advise them to end their relationship. If you ask for help, that makes us friends, and as your friend I want you to know that you should not ever compromise to the point where you are this uncomfortable. You clearly have issues with the idea of taking a break and if this is something that she needs, maybe you aren’t the right fit for her. It might be that you aren’t the right fit for her RIGHT NOW but it also might be that you’re not the right fit for her, PERIOD. There isn’t anything wrong with not wanting to take a break, just like there isn’t anything wrong with your girlfriend wanting to take a break, but that doesn’t mean that you both have to be with each other.

It sounds to me as though your girlfriend wants to get some more experiences under her belt, so to speak, before she marries you. Wanting to get more experiences by dating other people is fine, no judgment, but if it’s not okay for you and repulses you, it sounds like it might be time to move on. I’m not saying that you need to end things right now, or anytime soon, but you do need to address the issue with your girlfriend. Personally, I’d end things and keep the door open for reconnecting in the future but at the very least you need to tell her how you feel, figure out her opinion on the matter (maybe a break is something she wants, but would rather not lose you), and decide whether or not you can be with someone who wants to engage in an activity that sickens you. It’s not clingy to say that you don’t want the person you want to be with monogamously to not date other people.

When you do address it with her, be sure to do it in a way that doesn’t assign blame. She was honest when she told you what she wanted, and even if you disagree you have to respect her honesty.

Good Luck Out There.

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