Tag Archives: distance

Elephant in the Room: I Can Only Be With My Boyfriend If He Proposes

Gay-MarriageDear Cora,

I have been with my boyfriend for nearly 5 years.  I am 23 and he’s is 30. I am from a religious family so my mum and dad won’t allow me to live with him without being married. He lives quite a few miles away from me and works a lot so I only see him once a week and being away from him is breaking my heart. After  five years I want him with me every day and not just to see him 1 day a week for a few hours. I feel as though all I have done for 5 years is miss him. Do you think he will ever propose? He has been married before and maybe that is putting him off.  I don’t know where I stand, please help. 

Sincerely, 

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Oh, babe. We have a lot going on here and I think we need to break it down step by step to see what we can come up with.

The first thing that pops out at me is that you’re 23, stop talking about marriageYou especially shouldn’t be talking about it when you approach it as a method to see your boyfriend more often. That’s not what it’s about. Marriage is a serious commitment – it is promising to spend the rest of your life with someone. That means when things aren’t fun, when they aren’t paying attention to you, for better and for worse. Real marriage is about accepting that making a life together is hard work, and that you’re willing to commit to sticking it out together. It’s not a quick fix for missing someone. It’s a life-long, very serious, situation. If your boyfriend has already been married and it ended then he probably knows this better than anyone and his hesitation may be because he knows you two aren’t ready for that level of commitment.

Speaking of your boyfriend, let’s talk about him for a moment. Actually, no. Let’s talk about you, and your feelings for him. I agree that a few hours a week isn’t enough to maintain a serious relationship – especially after five years. How well do you two really know each other? How do you build something solid and lasting on mere glimpses of time? That is a conversation you need to have with him instead of asking when is he going to propose or if he wants to get married. You need to ask what do we need to do to make this really work? Your words and emotions are serious but the level of the relationship seems casual and I think it would behoove you to make sure that you are both on the same page before you continue on writing the rest of the novel.

Now here’s the tough part, but I think if you are able to take advantage of this last piece of advice you’ll find that the rest of it gets easier. It seems the deepest root of your troubles comes from the rules of your parents. While I think you may be too young to be thinking about marriage (at least in your current situation) you are old enough to be making your own decisions. I have no doubts that your parents want the best for you as only they know how – however, they can’t live your life for you. You are old enough to be making your own decisions about how you want to live your life. The hard part of that is finding a way to make your parents accept that, or having the strength to move on by yourself even if they don’t. What I think you need Anonymous is to start thinking about moving out on your own instead of with your boyfriend. You need to learn to stand on your own two feet – that’s what your 20s are for! To figure out who you really are as a person by making your own decisions and your own mistakes. With your own place you not only get the chance to figure out for yourself what you believe but it should allow you more time to see your boyfriend. You two can get to know each other on a serious level, figure out how you work as a couple that has to function with the rest of the world and whether it really does work.

Don’t sell yourself short of this opportunity to grow into your own skin by moving from your parents to your boyfriend. You need time to grow, lovely. Unburden yourself from those shackles. It’s a tough world out there and you have to dig deep to find the strength to choose and hold on to your own happiness. I’m afraid if you keep sitting around waiting for your parents or your boyfriend to hand it to you that you’re going to miss out on the wonderful things you deserve.

Best wishes,

Cora

Day 17: Focus on How Far You

January 26-30, 2009
Week 4 : Keeping Going, as Long as It Takes

Focus on How Far You’ve Come

Take a tip from high-performance athletes. Look at how far you’ve come, not how much you have left to do. Scientists call this the horizon effect. It creates encouragement —“I’ve done twice as much as a week ago!” and builds determination — “I’ve made it this far; I might as well keep going.” Focus on the 10 pounds you did lose; the closet you managed to clean; the $1,000 debt you’ve wiped out; the evening you carved out for yourself. Don’t forget to ask yourself how you’ve accomplished the task so far, so you can mine your success for ideas on how to keep going.

Most of us treat ourselves harshly when we stumble — “You blew it again, you jerk, can’t you ever get it right?” So the very least we can do is to recognize and value when we do it right: “Hey, you managed to keep your cool for the whole week, as you vowed to!”

Congratulations! Self-appreciation is powerful stuff. It reinforces the behavior we want to bring into being. It tells the brain, do more of this. So the next time around, you’re more likely to make that same good choice. Being grateful for how we’ve done reminds us that we indeed have succeeded at something we set out to do. When we fail to acknowledge our efforts, it’s easy for them to become invisible to us.

Recognizing and acknowledging our success also gives us the encouragement to try again tomorrow. Because we are aware of what we’ve done right, we have more confidence that we can do it again. So when we appreciate the success we have today, it actually makes it easier to succeed the next day. Especially when it’s something that involves a lot of effort over time, it’s important to keep appreciating how far you’ve come. That will give you the energy to keep on.

To Try: Right this second, stop and appreciate how well you’ve done so far. Even if you’ve only done it one time, appreciate yourself for that and think about what made the one-time success possible.

Ready to get started? Post your intent and find community support and content to help you achieve it!

Adapted from This Year I Will…: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True

 

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