Is my new relationship a priority?
September 26, 2012 | 11:00 am
(Updated: February 22, 2013 | 3:46 pm)
I met a guy online and we hit it off. The sex is OK, but what makes this relationship different and special to me is how much we have in common and enjoy each other’s company. I have some concerns about him not following through with promises and forgetting conversations, but he has also told me that he is going to the gym and found out later he decided to go out with a friend for dinner instead. I have been careful to not put pressure on him that would make him think that I expect us to be an official or exclusive couple, but his lack of follow-through frustrates me and I’m thinking our relationship is not a priority for him. The very last thing I want to do is become a bitter, stalking, suspicious friend, but it seems like I’m headed that way. What do you think?
Turning into a psycho stalker hiding in the bushes like a private investigator would be a bad way to start a relationship. If you are feeling like that, it is definitely time to step back and regroup. Those kinds of behaviors don’t benefit anyone and it will eventually blow up. If you want him to live up to the expectations he has put out for you, that’s more understandable. There are times when we become disappointed or angry at someone who doesn’t follow through with promises.
When someone complains about a person pissing her or him off, my first question is always, “Have you talked to the person about it?” It’s amazing how many people will grumble about how they feel repeatedly hurt or irritated but hadn’t given someone the chance to explain or correct it. It’s hard for people to identify a problem they don’t exists.
Don’t confuse setting boundaries for being an overbearing stalker.
There is nothing wrong with expecting someone to remember plans and hold him accountable when he doesn’t follow through. There are times when people don’t realize their actions have negative impacts on others. The possibility may exist that his memory really is that shotty, he has a poor event scheduling system, or his secretary is on vacation. Regardless, we are all adults and responsible for being where we are supposed to be and follow through our word.
It sounds like you are thinking there is potential for this relationship to move forward in a deeper way. When people become invested in something, the fear of losing it becomes more of a concern and frustrations can intensify when expectations aren’t met. There can be times where two individuals may have different perceptions of what the interpersonal relationship actually means. In these kinds of situations, one may think that the interaction is a lot of momentary fun and want to do a victory lap around the bedroom. The other may be laying there in afterglow thinking about what the relationship may look like five years down the road on a trip together to Berlin.
You may want to ask him if he is feeling any long-term relationship potential between the two of you. You may get an answer that you don’t want to hear, but it is better to have a firm understanding of how each of you is seeing your relationship and potentially setting some new ground rules for how you schedule time together.
I encourage anyone to bring up relationship concerns before resentment builds up. Having positive open communication where both people feel that they are being heard is at the cornerstone of any healthy relationship regardless if you are getting naked or not. Don’t sweep this under the carpet and hope that it will get better.