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Her relationship is a waiting game

By Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior (that's BONN-yer!) is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor, and writer. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology focusing on individual and group psychotherapy for young adults and specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression.

Q: I’ve found a guy who treats me decently that I’m attracted to, but he’s taking things SUPER slow. We only see each other once a week. After three months, I haven’t met his friends, and he balks at meeting mine. We’ve been intimate, but I’ve only been to his apartment once. He says that after being burned in a past relationship he needs space and wants to do things carefully. But part of me thinks this will never go anywhere.

You’ve already asked him about it and presumably expressed your dissatisfaction. Whether his stated explanation is accurate, you’re still up against the reality of it: This is all he is capable of giving for now, and it’s his right to set those limits. But it’s your right to decide that it doesn’t work for you.

So ask for more specifics and weigh your options. What does opening up more entail to him, and when does he see it happening? How else is he working on his “burned” history? Can he find ways to let you more into his life that reduce your suspicions but don’t heighten his risk? There should be plenty of space between taking it slow and treating you like a secret mistress.

Q: We were college sweethearts who reconnected more than 20 years later and got married almost a year ago. Unfortunately, I miss my independence, and living with him isn’t what I envisioned. I see sides of him that bore me, anger me and frustrate me. I long for who I used to be and how I used to live. I think constantly that we rushed into this, and I fantasize about taking it back. How long do you give it a shot before throwing in the towel?

After having lived decades of your adult life on your own, it’s not surprising that a sudden independence-ectomy might have some ripple effects. Some of your feelings might have more to do with adjusting to a roommate rather than adjusting to a husband – but that, of course, doesn’t mean they aren’t concerns to take seriously.

Are you destined to be happier alone, or is this growing pains? Are you truly incompatible, or are you just in the “How can you hang your pants on top of the bedroom door” phase? It’s up to you to explore this in a space bigger than a few inches of newsprint. Seek individual counseling to learn what you truly want.

Andrea Bonior is a clinical psychologist and the author of “The Friendship Fix.”
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