Maybe Next Time

You’ve been best friends for as long as you can remember, and you’re rarely seen apart.  There are a few other girls you two like to hang out with on a regular basis, and you all have fun together.  You can be yourself with them.

One day, the guy you’ve wanted to ask you out finally does, so you two go out.  Then, you start dating.  You’re inseparable.  You decide he’s the one you want to sit with during lunch, and your friends totally understand.  Then, that girls’ night you all had planned for months comes, and you send them a text that says, “Sorry.  I’m not going to be able to make it.  Maybe next time.”

Moments later, your Facebook status reads “Hanging out with my bf.  He’s the best,” or something similar.

Your best friend calls the next day to tell you she missed you and feels like she hasn’t seen you in a while.  She asks if you can hang out.  You already planned on spending time with the boyfriend, so you tell her, “Maybe tomorrow.”

Does any of this sound familiar?  I know I did this very thing, and I honestly haven’t met too many girls who haven’t done this at one time or another.

For some reason, girls tend to ditch the friends that have been there for them through thick and thin just to spend more time with the boy they’ve spent every second either together, on the phone with, or texting.  What is it that makes him priority over the long-time friends?

If you’ve done this, stop and ask yourself why.  Do you feel like if you don’t spend every second with him, he will dump you?  If that’s the case, then he definitely doesn’t care about you and is looking for something else.  Does he tell you he doesn’t want you to spend time with your friends?  If so, he’s already becoming controlling in the relationship, and you should run away as fast as you can and never look back.

Do you just love him so much that you can’t stand to be away from him because when you’re away you’re doing nothing but thinking about him?  It’s wonderful that you have found someone who you like so much, but it’s necessary to maintain those friendships with your friends and mentors.  Sure, you might think of him while you’re with them, but you need to allow yourself to have fun with your friends just like you did before (without talking constantly about him and wishing you were with him).  They miss you.

I’ve learned over the years that when a dating relationship takes the place of established friendships, it has become an unhealthy relationship.  You may not agree with me, but I’m telling you from experience (both mine and the hundreds of girls I’ve worked with over the years) that what I’m saying is true.

I could type for hours on what is unhealthy about this situation, and maybe one day I will write about it in parts, but today I just want you to look closely to see if this has happened to you.  Are you in the midst of an unhealthy dating relationship?  Maybe you don’t even realize it.

How do you know if it’s turned into an unhealthy relationship?

  • Do you regularly blow off your friends for him?
  • If you spend time with your friends, is your boyfriend always there too?
  • Do you back out of things at the last minute (sometimes without even letting your friends know you aren’t coming)?
  • Look at your status updates on Facebook.  How many are about him, and how many are about something else?  If it’s difficult to find an update about something else (or something he wasn’t involved in with you), then you might already be in that unhealthy zone.
  • Are you constantly texting him when you are with friends?
  • Have you stopped being involved in your favorite activities?
  • Have your grades changed?
  • Have you compromised yourself in any way?
  • Have you made rationalizations to make something sound like it’s not as bad as it is?
  • Have you stopped spending time with family?
  • Does he treat you like a princess?  If not, you’re not in a healthy relationship.

Of course, these are just a few examples of what an unhealthy relationship looks like.  Being in an unhealthy relationship doesn’t always mean the boyfriend is to blame.  He could be the sweetest and most considerate person you’ve ever met.

My husband was an absolute gentleman in every possible way when we were dating.  I never wanted to be away from him because I was so in love with him.  He didn’t make me compromise anything, and he never asked me not to spend time with my friends.  It just happened that I stopped spending time with them, and he wasn’t to blame for it.  I don’t want you to think that an unhealthy relationship means he’s not a good guy.  Yes, that is the case on many occasions, but it’s not true all the time.

An unhealthy relationship basically means your priorities have shifted in order to place your boyfriend at the top moving everything else important to you down to a non-important level.  Take a look at where you are today and ask yourself the questions above.  If you answer yes to any one of these, then your relationship is probably becoming an unhealthy one.  If you answer yes to 2 or more of the questions, then your relationship is probably not a healthy one.

Make some adjustments to bring it to the healthy level.  Instead of telling your friends “Maybe tomorrow,” try saying that to your boyfriend.  He needs to spend some time with the guys, too.   If you’re unable to make those adjustments for whatever reason, then you may want to re-evaluate your dating status to avoid hurt that is almost inevitable.

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5 thoughts on “Maybe Next Time

  1. I wish all teenagers would read this…. I wish you had been writing these when KaLeigh was a teen…..I hope you are able to get through to teens out there that need to hear this…..love ya

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  2. I had that happen to me once… my best friend was convinced my boyfriend was not a nice guy, and I was certain she was wrong, so she and I fought constantly while I was with him. Then I found out she was right when one day he came up and blatantly insulted my religious beliefs. I told him adios and ever since then, I trust my best friend’s judgment on guys. I don’t date anyone she doesn’t approve of.

    I’m concerned that my current relationship is becoming unhealthy to my boyfriend though. He spends very little time with his family, not because of me, I encourage him to hang out with them, but his parents don’t approve of me, and he doesn’t like being around fighting and his mom telling him how I’m a mean, manipulative person even though she’s never met me in her life. He also spends very little time around his other friends or even out of his house except for web chatting with me… even when we aren’t web chatting, he stays at home and plays video games and stuff… I’ve tried to break it off with him for a while to try to give him time to get used to the idea that he needs to spend time with other people too, but he pleads with me not to leave him… his father left when he was only 7 and he’s had abandonment issues since, plus I believe he has Asperger’s Syndrome… I’m unsure of how to handle the situation; my research has told me that it is normal for a person with Asperger’s to be completely satisfied with only one main relationship, but that doesn’t mean I should encourage it. Do you have any suggestions?

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    1. It sounds like this isn’t a good relationship. First, if either parent disapproves, it’s difficult to have a healthy relationship. If you’ve tried to break it off with him, and he talks you into staying, then it’s not a good situation. Neither of you should ever have to talk the other into continuing the relationship. Of course, this is all just opinion, but I think this is not a healthy relationship. Understand that you are more deserving of someone who doesn’t have to talk you into staying in a relationship. It sounds like both of you need some time to grow individually (away from one another). Regardless of whether he wants to spend time only with you or not, there are other red flags you mentioned.

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      1. Well his parents disapprove primarily because 1) they’ve never met me and believe I’m a fraud, and 2) I’m one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and they feel I’m dragging him into some dangerous cult religion. I want to stay with him, in fact I want to marry him someday, but I don’t want him to have to sacrifice a relationship with his family just to be with me. He doesn’t believe he’ll have to, and he’s convinced that she’ll change her mind once she meets me, but from the horrible things his mother has said to me, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to be the case…

        I’ve also discovered recently that when I say I think we should take a break, he thinks I mean I don’t want to be with him anymore, ever again. He’s willing to give me the time, but I’m the first person he’s opened himself up to since his dad left and I think he’s got a lot of residual trauma from that and because of that he’s afraid of losing me permanently.

        I think this relationship has the potential to be healthy, but it’s not gonna happen until he gets out from under his parents’ influence, to where he’s taking care of himself. All I know is I’ve never felt like this about anyone before and our personalities mesh so well that I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else. He’s the first guy I’ve ever met who accepts me for who I am and doesn’t think I need to change anything about myself to be the girl he wants. I don’t want to lose that, and I can tolerate potentially having a mother-in-law who doesn’t think I’m good enough for her son, but I’m concerned about the effect it will have on him to maybe lose a relationship with his mother…

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