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What is Important to Have in Common?


jamessox

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Dear Community,

 

I am looking for advice about a relationship that I am in. I am a religious guy dating a religious girl and we are both in our early 20's. We are dating for marriage, really focusing on the emotional and mental connection between the two of us as well as seeing if our shared life goals (religiously, financially, family-wise, etc.) are compatible with one another. It is important for you to know that the two of us refrain from sexual activity (not just sexual intercourse), as well, because that comes up a lot in relationship advice today.

 

We have a ton in common between us in terms of family: in fact, I never imagined that I would meet someone with so many specific and significant things in common between the two of us. In a sense, our families are almost mirror images, and I like that a lot, because this leads us to be very similar and agreeing on specific issues and mentalities. However, I do have concerns regarding two possible differences between the two of us: one is that we come from families in very different financial status (as well as mentality regarding money) and the other is that emotionally, I want more attention than she is currently giving me.

 

Regarding the financial matters, she comes from a well-off family, and because she is the youngest, she has generally gotten the things that she wanted over the years. My family, which is not well-off, although we are comfortable, spends money conservatively, and my being the youngest actually did not mean that I got more things. I have learned to be uncomfortable asking my parents to purchase me things, especially as I know the weight that it puts on them, but from what I understand, she did not grow up with this mentality. She buys things all the time with her parents' money and I mostly support myself and limit my spending to what I can afford. I am concerned that I will not be able to provide for her in the way that she is accustomed to and that she may even come to her parents for money, which I would be uncomfortable with because I do not like handouts or feeling like I cannot provide. I have not specifically brought this up with her because we are still relatively early in our relationship and this is a very sensitive topic. It's possible that I have it all wrong and will upset her by merely bringing this up (although this has not happened before).

 

My second concern may be more similar to the fact that we are both the youngest in our families. We both want attention. I love giving her attention and making her feel wanted - I generally make the first moves, I tell her that I miss her when we are not together, I pull her close to me or hold her hand when we are together, and I tell her how much she means to me. She, however, is much more reserved. I believe that part of this is because she is reserved in general but I worry that previous relationships (especially with a guy she came close to becoming engaged to) have caused her to be very cautious with her feelings. Regardless of the reason(s) why, I feel like I want her more than she wants me and I also don't feel as loved as I would like to. I want her to want me as much as I want her.

 

I would like for her to initiate physically more with me and I give her the chance to a lot. When I sit next to her, I don't immediately put my arm around her or hold her hand because I want her to to initiate with me. When she doesn't, I will make that move, and later, if we were to become separated again for a few seconds, she might reach for my hand again, but only after I initiated it initially. I would like her to tell me how much I mean to her more but it's also possible that we aren't there yet. It's not good to compare to previous relationships but in terms of time duration, we haven't been dating for longer than even the shorter of her previous two relationships. It's possible that she might just not feel that strongly for me yet and that she eventually will. However, my concern is that she might just not be as affectionate of a person as I am or as I would like her to be, and for that reason, I am looking advice about if that should be a significant concern for me or not.

 

We have so much in common between the two of us and it would be a shame for these two things to drive us apart.

 

Thanks for reading. Any advice will be much appreciated.

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Oh, boy. The number one thing that breaks up married couples is money, and if you're a saver and she's a spender, that's going to create a big problem down the road. That might be a deal breaker right there. She'll spend the money that you make.

 

As for holding her hand, don't play mind games. Hold her hand if you want to hold her hand. I think you're analyzing the situation too much. You're letting your fears get in your way. And that could get in the way of your relationship.

 

Of course, the elephant in the room is the question of whether she actually loves you. I think the two of you need to really talk to each other and find out if she loves you or just likes you and is going through the motions. Ask her if she sees herself married to you. It would put your plans of marriage on hold if she doesn't feel the same way.

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Hi jamessox,

 

I highly recommend you read "Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married" by Gary Chapman. It gives the reader a lot of clarity on what you asked.

 

 

As for liking her to initiate physically more with you, talking to her about it is your best bet. Ask her what she is comfortable with and voice your desires as well.

 

As for her spending habits, since you cannot change someone's behaviour you might need to find a way around it if possible. E.g., a monthly personal allowance. In successful married couples I've met, generally the "saver" is in charge of the household finances and the other person willingly adapts. Financial incompatibility isn't easy.

 

All the best!

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