Relationship Advice

Hey y’all

Well I hope you know I trust you dopers with everything…now that I’ve entered my first real relationship (I’m 27 years old) I’d like some advice. I feel like a jerk asking but I’m trying hard to make the best decisions for my life, and I find talking about it on here always helps me. So yes If I seem like a jerk in this post let me know, but all I want is honest advice so I and my girlfriend can be happy however our relationship turns out.

Here’s the long winded story. I met this girl while working this summer. She came on to me and it was eventually revealed she had a boyfriend. She hemmed and hawed and was unsure for about 1 1/2 months. During this time we were seeing each other…we would kiss or cuddle with each other, but I imposed strict limitations (she wasn’t allowed to meet my family or my friends until she broke up with her boyfriend)

Eventually she did. It was a long time in the coming, even before she met me so I don’t feel awful about how we have begun. She barely spoke to her old boyfriend before and life was pretty mundane for her.

Now we have known each other for 4 months. We are official and things have until recently have been going very well. It has been a long distance relationship for us, we live about 2 1/2 hours away from each other. But we have texted and talked almost every night.

Lately, as now our relationship is “normal” (As in we are officially together) more questions have come into my mind as to whether this will be a very long term relationship.

Let me go through the positives:

  1. She is a bright girl. We both like to read and she likes music like me. She practices every day and enjoys kids (I’m a teacher) Lots of common interests

  2. She is kind and warm hearted: She bought flowers for my parents. What a sweetheart

  3. She is pretty (yes shallow but it does make somethings nicer :wink: )

  4. She isn’t a crazy party animal / socialite but she is sociable.

  5. She likes exercise (though she can only do so much due to health problems)

Here are somethings I worry might be a problem one day.

  1. Her job. She is a library technician, which according to my knowledge, is a fairly straight ahead job. I would like to see her have a career in her chosen field. She’s essentially doing secretary work, and I think with her brains she could be doing something more. She is 22 but is opposed to going back for more schooling. I worry about money. I think it is important, and I make quite a bit more than her. I don’t know how to deal with it.

  2. Her philosophy of life is relaxation…which I think is pretty cool, but again I think sometimes it prevents her from being ambitious and trying to achieve exciting things.

  3. I worry she dotes on me a bit too much. Sometimes she says she just lies around thinking of me…this only seems to happen on the weekends though. She has a fairly busy week and has lots of good friends.

  4. She is so laid back I wonder sometimes if we will have enough to talk about as time goes on. I’m not sure we speak the same intellectual language (I want to talk abut the news, social issues, books, etc. It doesn’t seem we get that far usually)

  5. I don’t know how well she will gel with my current friends, she has quite a different background. And on that note we haven’t hung out much in public situations due to the long distance thing. I don’t know how well we interact in public situations.

Ok…now as I read this I think some of the above reasons are silly, but I think for me the relaxation, ambition, and intellectual conversation are the biggest concerns.

So have at me dopers, I think I might be going crazy, but really I want to make the best decision for both me and my girlfriend. I find I have no time to sort my thoughts and figure things out! Life is so freaking busy! What are your thoughts?

I have known a number of couples where the laziness/lack of ambition of one partner eventually frustrated the other partner enough to end the relationship. It depends on how much of the load you are going to want to have to carry. Do you want to be motivating both yourself and her? You may end up being put in the parent position and resent it.

More worrisome is not speaking the same intellectual language. That will get old very quickly. You can’t sustain a relationship for the longterm without that connection.

Or, I could be wrong. But I’m not.
-Adrian Monk

I think if you are already annoyed with her lack of ambition that’s not going to change. She sounds like she is happy doing what she is doing and being where she is, mentally. If you try to make her go for something more she’s going to resent it, and you’re going to see her as a lazy slob (or just a sad waste of talent) if she doesn’t.

This is a basic personality trait and I know of no one who had little ambition and was happy about it whom has changed this in themselves. I suppose some day she could wake and realise that she actully wants to go back to college but that’s highly unlikely without some drastic life-changing event.

Also…you seriously don’t like the fact that she dotes on you? I suppose it might seem a bit clingy, but she’s (probably) feeling quite excited about her love for you, since it’s all shiny and new. I hope you haven’t said you don’t want her thinking about you like this, because I think it’ll hurt her feelings quite a bit.

Sorry dude. I don’t think this is going to work out for you. Only four months in and already you want to change her and already you’re annoyed with her personality. Kind of sucks because you instigated the last hurrah of her old relationship and now you’re probably not the right one for her either.

There is no perfect match made in heaven. All relationships have it pros and cons. The thing is can you accept it and try not to change who she is? I am not talking about bad habits, but who she is. Who we are are not going to be changed by logic; probably situations, but this is a choice up to the person to make. I’ll urge you to weigh whether those are deal-breakers, and not waste an opportunity.

I think #1, #2 and #4 are good things, personally. #5 can be a problem.

Dude, you’re not her Daddy, you’re her BF.

You’re not going to change who she is.

Also, it’s lonely at the top. So get the fuck off your high horse. I offer these words as a friend not a foe.

I’d run. I didn’t need to read much past “she was cuddling with you while still having a boyfriend.”

Her job:
Not any of your business, not worth a fuss right now. She’s 22. While most 22-year-olds could be doing something better, few are in a career mindset, and if they are, they’re still setting up foundations to make advancement. You’re 5 years older at 27, and therefore have a 5-year headstart. You’re likely better positioned in your field and the age difference is probably the biggest reason why.

Her temperament:
Not an issue unless she’s not meeting her responsibilities. If she’s punctual, considerate, and responsible, then she can be as relaxed as she wants on her off time.

Her doting:
I tell my BF I’m sitting around thinking of him. What I’m not saying is I also have the laundry going and have plans later in the day. It’s mundane crap I don’t mention because it’s mundane. Again, I don’t see a problem unless she’s not meeting her responsibilities.

Her "laid back"edness:
Being laid-back has nothing to do with intellect. It’s possible you’re evaluating her intelligence based on criteria that aren’t her strengths. Is she logical and practical? Can she analyze information and come to rational decisions? Does she question assumptions, and does she recognize bullshit? There’s more to intelligence than being aware of current media or events or having formed opinions on issues.

Again, this may be where your age difference comes into play-- I’ve read the news daily since I was 16, but I didn’t form opinions about religion, abortion, illegal immigration, etc., or follow books and movies until my mid-20s.

Her background and your friends:
You can’t make any assumptions about whether people will get along based on their backgrounds. Maybe your GF and your friends have things in common you’re not aware of. Besides, what’s the alternative? Intentionally keeping your friends and your GF apart may make them both think you’re not very into the relationship.

There’s no sense in worrying about it. Introduce her to your friends. Hang out in public. Hope for the best, and see how it goes. Only worry about it if problems arise.

How many times have you actually spent time together as a normal couple? I.e., after she broke up with her previous BF?

Go watch the “Friends” episode where Ross makes lists about Rachel and Julie. That should tell you all you need to know. :slight_smile:

I really appreciate all advice…having a relationship is new to me. I only want to do the best thing.

I think in my mind the best thing to do is to give it time and see what happens. I’ll answer some more questions about her. We’ve been out about 4 times as a normal couple but have hung out often by ourselves. We want to go out more, but alas since I only see her on the weekends, it’s tough not to want to just spend time alone with her. Long distance is challenging.

I want to rephrase what I said before, I am wrong. She is completely intelligent. She is very rational and logical, but I guess we don’t see eye to eye on career goals…then again when I was 22 I wanted nothing more than to work an easy job and breath for a bit after school, she might change her mind after awhile.

I’m not really annoyed with her personality, I’ve changed myself so much in the last 2 years that I am unsure what is a realistic expectation for me from someone else. I have a tendency to expect to much out of life sometimes, and I don’t want to make a dumb decision like i have in the past. She likes her job, and likes to read. She’s not too into movies but I think maybe I can get her into the right ones (And by right I just mean movies that aren’t commercial trash) She is musical. I think unlike me she is more grounded, where I often have my head in the clouds. Perhaps it’s a good thing. :slight_smile:

But you know what, she really is awesome and amazing, I get reminded of it when I am around her. I think we just need to hang out more and these concerns may fade.

Also Shakes, thanks for throwing some cold water on me :slight_smile:

Next weekend we are going to one of my friends birthday party, and I am going to go watch her sing the next day. This should be a good weekend for us to learn some more about each other.

I hate to be the voice of an old man but you’re 27, go and have fun. So what if she dumps you or you dump her. Then it’s a lesson learned and you move on to the next one.

Seriously, you’re far too young to be all concerned about things, especially with a “long distance” type deal.

Just go an have fun. As long as she doesn’t take all your money, you’ll be fine no matter what.

You can’t let the possiblity of something going wrong make you so wound up you are failing to enjoy the relationship.

Relationships should bring you joy, if it’s not then move on. If your relationship IS bringing you joy and you’re finding excuses to make it fail, then stop it.

Look at it this way 50 years from now you’ll be dead and ain’t no one gonna even remember you were ever alive. Don’t let the possibility of a bad experience, ruin the chance for a good one.

So even if you get a broken heart, as the song goes, “Broken hearts make good souvenirs.” Only worry about an issue IF it comes up. And handle it WHEN it comes up, not before. Now stop worrying and go out and enjoy the holidays with your lady friend :slight_smile: