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So I am a 20 year old female and I started dating my first boyfriend when I was 16, my freshman year of high school. We dated for almost 4 years. I broke up with him in my second semester senior year of high school, which was when the pandemic began and we were shut down. We had little to no contact for 4 months, then I reached out to him and at first he didn’t want to get back with me, but then after 3 months of talking we are back together. Am I stupid for getting back with my first boyfriend? I love and care for him so much and we have such a long history together. But, after I broke up with him my friends had so many negative things to say about him, but many of my friends were only around him a couple times. I didn’t like to mix boyfriend and friend situations because they both deserved separate time in my opinion. I’m a freshman in college now and I want to be a PA, which will take 6 years. He is pursuing mechanical engineering, and he will be done in 2 ish years or so. He’s a sophomore in college. My parents don’t want me to get married until after I graduate, which makes sense. My boyfriend says he wants to marry me. I know if we continue it will be no easy feat. College and a long term relationship requires work and I understand this. Anyone have any advice for me? My parents are concerned that I haven’t had any other dating experience, but do I really need to if I’m happy with where I am in life? School is going well, I have scholarships, a job, etc. There are times that I have doubts. I tend to overthink this a lot. Him and I have had issues before but I think we are doing a lot better. I think I need to work on thinking before I speak and he needs to mature more. He “cheated” on me by sending nude pictures to a “random” girl. That was the major reason I broke up with him but I have since forgiven him and he genuinely doesn’t want to lose my trust again. He was genuinely sorry, but hid it from me. After that situation, he remained with me and if he really wanted to pursue other girls he would have just broken up with me right? Also, him and I engage in pre marital physical intimacy and this goes against my religion, but I couldn’t imagine giving myself to another person but him. Maybe I just need to limit it? He feels that it is wrong as well. We are both Catholic, but he sometimes struggles with the faith and not wanting to go to church. He tends to leave homework for Sunday lol. My mom had told me to go with the flow. She has suggested that I talk about future plans with him, and if he isn’t on the same page about the future then this should provide some answers for me. I don’t necessarily believe in once a cheater always a cheater. Am I an idiot for getting back with him? He’s my sunshine though and all my doubts are chased away when we spend time together. I tried dating someone in between the breakup and now and it didn’t work out. I just have too much love for my guy to see myself with anyone else. Am I too young? My parents married at 21, but they dated several people... I would appreciate all the advice I can get!

Sincerely,

a girl in need

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I would give yourself a break from trying to fit all of this into a box at this time.  I don't think there is an impending wedding date, but more of a talk about committing to the rest of your life with this guy. 

I am in agreement with your mother, but at the same time I am not going to tell you to end things. I think the path you are both on will take it's course and you will find these challenges will test your relationship and it will work it the way it is supposed to.  

Young people mature exponentially between the time they are teenagers and coming into adulthood.  It's rare that these young relationships end up on the same page.  You are not the same person today that you were at 16.  You'll be even that much more different after finishing PA schooling.  If the two of you are still on the same path after all of this will be almost miraculous.  

Your comment about your friends not liking him, yet you prefer to compartmentalize your friends separately from your boyfriend is interesting and maybe telling.   Personally, when I am dating someone, at some point I will bring them around my friends for a couple reasons.  The first being the most obvious, because this a larger part of my life and my support system.   I am more myself around my closest friends.  Secondly, you will likely see them differently and view them threw the eyes of your closest friends who care for you.  They are able to be more objective.   I can't help but wonder if you keep them separate because there is something you don't want to see.  I've dated men and after bringing them around my friends I have decided they weren't a good fit after all.

All in all, don't promise anything today.  Time is on your side.   You are still very young and it's too big of commitment to risk making the wrong decision.

Edited by reinventmyself
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Posted (edited)

I get what ur saying. There are numerous people around me that are still maintaining their high school relationships so that gives me hope, but like you said it’s not easy. There is a Pre-PA girl in my class who is barely 20 and she’s marrying her high school boyfriend. She’s very intelligent though and she has a spot reserved in the PA school because of her academic ability... maybe I’m just stressing out too much about this... 

Edited by JJZ12
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1 hour ago, JJZ12 said:

I get what ur saying. There are numerous people around me that are still maintaining their high school relationships so that gives me hope, but like you said it’s not easy. There is a Pre-PA girl in my class who is barely 20 and she’s marrying her high school boyfriend. She’s very intelligent though and she has a spot reserved in the PA school because of her academic ability... maybe I’m just stressing out too much about this... 

Seeing you are neither marrying him or breaking up with him at this point or any time soon, why stress about it?  Nothing you do at this very moment is going to change the outcome, so table this for now..

Time has taught me if I don't know the answer to something, it will come to me eventually.  Have some faith and remember, noone gets a crystal ball to predict the future.  Live in the moment a little more.

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I would not marry him. He's broken your trust once and although he's remorseful now, you may be married with a baby on your hip before you find out he's sexting someone else again. Your parents are being cautious and also trying not to push you away by being too harsh. 

You're making a mistake getting too attached to him all over again. No, you do not need other dating experience. I do think you should focus on your studies and mix and mingle and give yourself a chance to grow. You're stunting yourself getting attached too early. 

I'd let him go respectfully and wish him well in his studies. You can't see it now the the world is so much larger and bigger than this romance. Give yourself room to grow.

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4 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

I can't help but wonder if you keep them separate because there is something you don't want to see.

Same.

First of all, different parts of your life have to be able to overlap. They just do. Things get messy.

Secondly, friends can be a great barometer for your romantic relationships--even when they don't give you direct feedback.

Just asking yourself, Is this someone that I'm comfortable bringing around my friends? can be so informative.

Another very useful gauge is watching how your significant other interacts with your friends. Does he make you want to do a face palm? Do you find yourself always ready to intercede when he's in the mix?

I dated a guy like that once. My friends never said anything to me about him until years later, when I got together with my current boyfriend. Then they told me, "Oh by the way, we hated that one guy you brought around. But we love this guy!"

So, definitely bring him around your friends. They are a wealth of information whether they actually say something or not.

 

 

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Do whatever you want. I don't think any advice in the world is going to deter you from continuing your relationship with him. let the chips fall where they may. If it doesn't work out, you have a lifetime to start over ahead of you.

Edited by smackie9
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11 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

I dated a guy like that once. My friends never said anything to me about him until years later, when I got together with my current boyfriend. Then they told me, "Oh by the way, we hated that one guy you brought around.

 

 

 

The same was said about my husband of 18 years.   Still makes my head spin that they disliked him so much.  But at the same time I understand the bind they were in about saying anything to me, 2 kids later.

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So he was 20 when he sent the nude photos of himself? Sorry, but that's not about maturing. It's about having ethics that suck, and yeah, a person's ethics might improve, or they might not. Frankly, for major things like this I take Maya Angelou's advice very seriously. "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."

Your parents knew him a good long time, and obviously they aren't championing him as being forever in your life. Your friends don't have a good opinion of him. When the majority of people in your life are against you staying with him, you might want to listen.

You're used to him. I know breaking up with my bf of 2 years right after high school was one of the hardest things I had to do, but it was the right thing for me to do because he possessed dealbreakers.

You will be having so many wonderful experiences in college, and meeting the largest pool of single people in your age group you will ever encounter in your life. Believe me, you will kick yourself when all of these cute guys on campus will be asking you out and you have to turn them down due to a high risk LDR. The nude photos you found out about might not even be the only thing he's done, but in my opinion, that's enough in itself.

For now, I'd embrace the freedom of being single and getting to know yourself solo. Don't be one of those people who always need a partner. I had issues while younger like that and I wish I'd learned to be happy without a man for long stretches. It would've saved me from a lot of bad decisions.

Good luck in pursuing your education and career.

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Actually, my parents do see him as a potential spouse. And I have given myself some growth. I am a very shy person, and with my job (I am a patient transporter in the ER) I have been able to open myself up more and this kind of thing is WAY out of my comfort zone. I am happy with where I am in life, and maybe I just need to go with the flow like some of you suggested. 

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I will chime in and share that I had my first boyfriend at 15 and it ended at 18.   Looking back I don't believe we have the maturity to be responsible in a romantic relationship at such a young age.  We are likely to form unhealthy attachments to each other and when this is all we know, we tend to hang on longer than necessary.  You said this yourself.  That this was all you know.   

To sum up my relationship.  It was a parent/child relationship.  Myself being the child.  Like all children, they eventually grow up.  I didn't want to be parented any longer and recognized it as unhealthy.  He wanted to continue to be my parent.

The unknown shouldn't be scary, it should be exciting.  Especially at your age.

Here's an analogy:

A young deer goes to cross a busy highway.   All this deer knows is the forest on the north side of the highway.  It has never crossed over to the south side.   It begins to cross over the highway.  The deer gets 75% of the way to the other side.  A truck is approaching.  Which way do you think the deer goes?  The last 25% percent, the shortest distance to safety?   NO.  Watch animals if you get this opportunity.   The animal will always return to the side it came from.  Even at it's own peril.  Why?  Because it's familiar.

I heard this years ago.  I still watch for animals crossing the road and it reminds of my own challenging life lessons.

Edited by reinventmyself
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He  cheated and your friends don't like him.   Not good.

I think it is very odd that you did not include him in get togethers with friends.  

I think you should wait until you finish school before making any decisions. You have a lifetime ahead of you.   

Edited by Hollyj
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Just me personally, I would not continue the relationship with him. I'm by far judgemental but if you're saying he is meant to follow his religion and he was also in a serious relationship with you, that is very wrong he sent nude photos to some random girl. It's very tasteless and I think yes, it can be classified as cheating. My personal opinion of guys sending nude photos to girls online is not that positive. I mean, if that girl wanted nude photos, fair enough. I've just had random guys sending their penis photos to me out of the blue online and I found it violating and disrespectful because I hadn't actually asked for them.

I think the initial decision you made to break up with your boyfriend was probably right. Why do you think he wants to marry you? Is it mainly because he feels guilty that you're doing sexual things outside of marriage? I think if you're going to marry someone, you need to be sure it's the right decision and it's the right person. Most of all you should be sure you can trust him. It's a huge commitment. Actually, people who cheated will often cheat again. So, "once a cheater, always a cheater" is actually right.

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