Relationship Q&A

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People all over the world email us smart questions daily. Here we post our favorites along with our actual responses  – those that we think will be useful to everyone. If you too have a question, please email it to us at office at loveawake dot com.

Q: How soon is too soon to introduce your new man to your family? – Olivia

Hi Olivia,

Awesome question! Definitely something a lot of daters ask themselves. And unfortunately there is no clear cut answer – it really depends on the culture of your family.

For example, in my family, bringing home a guy was a BIG deal, so I only did it twice – with my college boyfriend who I was so sure at the time was the one (LOL!) and with my now husband. My family was pretty clear with me that they personally didn’t want to emotionally invest in someone who may or may not be around. But that was my family. Yours may be different.

Your family may be the type of family who lives by the motto, “The more the merrier!” and in that case thye are used to meeting new people all the time without getting attached. If that is your family, then no biggie to bring him over whenever.

You also need to consider how your BF feels. Is it a big deal to him to meet your family? What does that experience mean to him? Is he ready for it?

So in short, there is no simple answer – there is no “right” amount of dating time before meeting the family. You need to consider your specific family and your specific guy. What I can tell you is that if you go with your gut, you will always win… plus waiting never hurt anybody J

Q: My BF and I have been together for 6 months. We has never said “I love you.” Does that mean he doesn’t? – Klover

Hi Klover,

First, let me tell you – I have been where you are. My first real boyfriend (in college) didn’t tell me he loverd me for 8 months, even though I declared my love for him after 4 months. I will never forget that day when I told him. It was SUCH a big deal for me and his response was, “How nice!” I remember thinking to myself, not for me. I was so humiliated.

BUT, I stuck it out. I knew he was special and I knew that my love for him was real. It was conditional based on him loving me. And that felt really good. I got used to thinking the thoughts of love in my head but not expressing them since I didn’t want to make it uncomfortable for either one of us. Instead, I just went on showing him how I felt. The relationship was good. There was no reason to end it just because his heart hadn’t moved as fast as mine.

Then, one day we were driving and he just blurts it out. I almost crashed. His words that day – 4 months after mine, meant SO much more than if he had delivered them in tune with mine just because he thought he should. The wait was BEYOND worth it. I knew he was sincere.

So, to answer your question, just because your man hasn’t reciprocated the words, if he is reciprocating the feelings of love to a point where you are satisfied, don’t give up. You never know when it is coming but when it doesn, I can assure it will be sweet beyond sweet!

Q: I feel like I am always the one to initiate plans with the new guy I am dating. Is that ok? – Kayla

Hi Kayla,

I know what you mean. I’ve definitely been where you are before – feeling like you are putting forth all of the effort which inevitably leaves you wondering, “is he really that into me?” But I need more to your story to really help. The data that is missing is, is he ready and willing to do stuff when you ask, or is he hesitant? This is a big difference to pay attention to.

If the situation is such that you are always asking and he is sometimes into hanging out but not most of the time – PAY ATTENTION! Simply, he’s not so into you. You are not a priority.

BUT…

If most of the time you suggest plans he is game, then you are in good shape! You see some guys (and some women too) are just not that aggressive when it comes to making plans. They are more laidback. And with a girl like you always doing it for them, they don’t have to be. I’m not saying you should stop and see what happens because then you would just be playing a game. What I’m saying is that you need to pay attention to the outcome, not how you get there. If you are getting what you want – a lot of great time with him, then who really cares who initiates?!

I’ve been dating fro about 6 months is great. I love our relationship except for the fact that he is really cheap. He has money, he just doesn’t spend much on me. Is this a good reason to breakup? – Zoe

Hi Zoe,

A few things are going on here for you to consider…

1)  It sounds to me like this guy does spend a lot on you which is what makes you feel like you are in a great relationship. He may not be buying you fancy things or taking you to 5 star restaurants but he is, I’m guessing, spending a lot of time and emotional energy on you, which in my opinion is greater than gold.

2)  You asked if him being cheap is call for a breakup. Only you can decide that. Plenty fo couples have stayed together for a lifetime, stone cold broke. Money won’t make or break a relationship in and of itself. BUT, the question is how important is financial generosity to you? You need to spend some time thinking about that. Everyone calculates receipt of love in different ways – some through compliments, others through affection and still yet others through gifts. NONE of these is more right or wrong than the next – it is just about knowing yourself and what fuels you in a relationship.

Hope this helps!!!

Q: I think my BF spends too much time with his loser friends. What can I do? – Gwyn

Hi Gwyn,

I’m not sure what you mean by “too much time.” And quite frankly it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you are feeling unattended to, clearly. Every woman has a different need state when it comes to attention from her man. And every woman also has a different way she experiences satisfaction in the attention department. What you need to figure out is what does it take, very specifically for you to feel important? Do you require a certain number of nights per week of being together? Is it important that your time is exclusively alone time? Do you need daily phone calls, txt check ins, etc?

Once you clarify what you need, then you can express to him where he is falling shortly. Be sure not to attack. Instead be sure to speak to him calmly and let him know this is a need of yours and underneath it (unless you are just super insecure) is a desire to be with him – what a compliment!

Also, don’t forget to acknowledge his need for guy time. Men need time in their “treehouses” so to speak. Trust me – when they don’t have it, they are a mess.

Hope this helps!

Q: My best guy friend of a bout 6 years and I kissed for the first time last week. Now we are talking about dating. What do you think? – Skyler

Hi Skyler,
Thanks for writing. I think you are soooo smart to think about this choice before you make it, one way or another. So let’s get to it!

Dating a friend can be awesome! After all, you already know that he has some of the qualities that are important to you – honesty, integrity, fun, etc. You get to skip the awkward getting to know you stuff, the anxiety over whether he is for real, and so on.
BUT… you need to consider the consequences. Once you go lover, you never go back to friend. So, I recommend you picturing your life without him altogether. It is easy to fall in love with potential wedding bells, but what if it was to be a disaster? How would your life be forever changed without him in it? Only you can weigh that risk.

It is also critical when embarking on a more than friends status with a friend to have super duper open communication about the relationship. NO GAMES! You both deserve better. You need to be upfront and honest about what you expect. When we know someone really well, sometimes we make assumptions, but knowing a man as a friend, is different than knowing him as a boyfriend.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to gut instinct, common sense and maturity. If all three are weighing in your/his favor, I say go for it! Life is short!

My new boyfriend insists on staying friends with his ex-GF. They were together along time and her family is like family to him. It is driving me crazy. Am I being unreasonable? – – Cheyenna

Hi Cheyenna,
You are in a very common situation and it happens with girls and their exes too… all the time. My take on this is that if it doesn’t feel right TO you, then it isn’t right FOR you. And no, circumstances don’t change that. Let me explain…

My guess is that your BF has come up with even more reasons aside from the close family connection, for why he keeps his ex in his life. They may all sound totally reasonable and I get why you are questioning your own level of tolerance. BUT, at the end of the day, if you feel uncomfortable, your relationship doesn’t stand a chance. The heart of a healthy relationship lies in security and I’m sensing this situation does not contribute to that foundation, but rather retracts from it. The way you are feeling now will only grow into a monstrous problem in your relationship. Some of the things you can expect to see are jealousy, animoity, feelings of being disrespected, lack of trust and so on. Ewww!
So what can you do about it?! Simple. As with any relationship hiccup, you need to address it head on and you need to come from the place of YOU. This isn’t about the ex and it isn’t about your BF and the ex. This is a 100% about you and your comfort level so speak from that place. Let him know that this is NOT ok with you. That while you understand his position it doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t work for you… and that you are not willing to be in a relationship that doesn’t feel comfortable. It will then be up to him to decide what he wants to do – either way you will feel more secure, with or without him.

You deserve to have a relationship in which you feel 10000000% comfortable – a place where you feel unquestionably safe… but it is up to you to make sure that happens, be it with this man, or another.

I live in St. Louis but can’t seem to meet a good guy. I’ve tried everything – online dating, meetups, blind dates and even speed dating! Do you think I should try expanding my online search to other cities… maybe New York? I’ve also thought it would be fun to live there anyway. – Pia

Hi Pia, First off, GO YOU for being open to trying dating in its many forms. “Success” in dating definitely has something to do with effort and it appears that your effort meter is sky high! Awesome. That said, I am not a big fan of “moving for love” so to speak. It certainly can work and I personally know people who have met online long distance and lived happily ever after, but you should know it is a tough route to take. It is expensive, financially and emotionally. It is quite difficult to develop a relationship on screen, not to mention sustain it. I would recommend, before you go that route, hoping that will be your magical pill, that you consider how a big city like St. Louis is failing you. Sure you are exposing yourself to the dating scene, but what are you presenting? Are you healed from past relationships? What are you dating motives? SO many questions I could ask but I guess the main one is, how are YOU contributing to your lack of “success”? I’d highly encourage you to do some serious soul searching into that question to ensure that nothing on your side of the street needs cleaning up. If you don’t come to dating whole and resolved, it doesn’t matter where in the world you date, it won’t work. In fact, geographic distance may only make it worse.Good luck!

Q: I think my BF spends too much time with his loser friends. What can I do? – Gwyn

Hi Gwyn,

I’m not sure what you mean by “too much time.” And quite frankly it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you are feeling unattended to, clearly. Every woman has a different need state when it comes to attention from her man. And every woman also has a different way she experiences satisfaction in the attention department. What you need to figure out is what does it take, very specifically for you to feel important? Do you require a certain number of nights per week of being together? Is it important that your time is exclusively alone time? Do you need daily phone calls, txt check ins, etc?

Once you clarify what you need, then you can express to him where he is falling shortly. Be sure not to attack. Instead be sure to speak to him calmly and let him know this is a need of yours and underneath it (unless you are just super insecure) is a desire to be with him – what a compliment!

Also, don’t forget to acknowledge his need for guy time. Men need time in their “treehouses” so to speak. Trust me – when they don’t have it, they are a mess.

Hope this helps!