Category: Dating

Q&A: My Boyfriend Can't Make Decisions

Q: I seriously question the leadership abilities of my boyfriend. He is never able to make a decision. Should I commit to someone like this?

A: I think you’re very wise to be asking the question. That’s what dating is all about in my opinion—deciding whether or not this is the kind of person I should be marrying. What you’re identifying is a definite weakness in a realtionship. The person that has trouble making decisions is going to be hard to live with. And if you make decisions, and it turns out to be what they consider to be the wrong decision, then it’s your fault. You see, often the person who doesn’t want to make decisions doesn’t want to take responsibility, and that’s why they prefer not to make the decision.

I think this could be a deal breaker and that you need to think about it. I suggest reading my book, Things I Wish We’d Known Before We Got Married because I think it’ll help you make the decision to marry or not to marry.

Q&A: Speaking Acts Of Service

Q: How do I speak Acts of Service to my boyfriend who lives at a distance?

A: Well my question would be: How do you express Acts of Service to your boyfriend when you are together. Obviously, it depends on the individual couple. But if you are living in the same town, for example, do you cook meals for him, iron his shirts, or do his laundry? Those are the kinds of things that would give you a clue as to what you might do when you’re at a distance. For example, if you helped him wash the car on Saturdays, and that was the way you spoke love by acts of service, then to say to him when he is at a distance, “You know if I were with you today, I’d be washing the car with you,” or “I’m sitting here thinking about washing the car with you and how much fun that was and how much I loved that.” So what you do is verbalize to them what you would do if you were with them and how much you enjoyed it when you were together.

Q&A: Being Ignored

Q: When we’re around other people, I feel ignored by my boyfriend. How can I communicate this?

A: Just tell him straight forward. Most of us as men are rather dense so don’t beat around the bush. You can say something like: “You know, when I’m with you in public and you start talking to other people and ignore me, I feel like you really don’t care about me.” If you tell him how you feel then he can either get defensive. If he does then that’s a sign that the’s not mature enough to listen to legitimate complaints. But if he says to you, “honey, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that’s the way I was effecting you but you are the most important person in my life and whatever I need to do to communicate that to you, I’m certainly willing to do it.”

Whenever we feel like our spouse doesn’t love us in the presence of other people, it is threatening and it needs to be shared and shared openly.

 

Q&A: Marriage Checklist?

Q: “Is there a checklist or time frame that’s realistic for knowing when to get married?”

A: Many people, I think, marry far too soon. They don’t know each other well enough and haven’t explored the foundations for building a marriage—for example, learning how to handle anger in a realtionship. Not necessarily in your relationship because if you’re in love, you probably don’t feel much anger toward each other. But how does the other person handle anger toward their mother or father or someone at work? That’s a huge thing. You don’t want to get married until you find out if they can handle those kinds of emotions.

So yes, I think there are things that you have to explore before you get married. And when you see those things coming together, you see those traits in the person, it gives you a great deal of more confidence that they have the ability to build a healthy marriage.

Q&A: My boyfriend is a very negative person. How can I help him?

A: To be very honest with you, it’s not easy to turn that around. If you’re in a dating relationship and you don’t see significant growth in this area, I would ask you to think seriously about not marrying that person. To live with a negative person your whole life can be extremely draining. Get him to someone who can help him understand himself and why he sees the negative side of life rather than the positive side of life. Otherwise, you’re going to see the glass as half full, he’s going to see it as half empty and for your whole life time he is going to drain your energy while you’re going to try to help him see the brighter side of life.

Q&A: Does God still reveal to us whom we should marry?

Q: I am single, but desire to get married one day. Does God still reveal to us whom we should marry?

A: I do think God guides us but I don’t think God specifically points out the person we should marry. Certainly, we should pray for God’s guidance in the process but typically God uses the mind. That’s why I think it’s so important when you’re dating and contemplating the question “Would this be the person God would have for me?” that you really take time to get to know that person. That’s the purpose of dating—when you do that, God can guide your thoughts and you can then make a wise decision. The greatest danger is operating simply on your emotions—”We’re in love and nothing else matters.” That mindset is a recipe for disaster.

Q&A: What do I do if there are things about my boyfriend that annoy me?

Q: I love my boyfriend very much but there are things that really annoy me about him. I hear marriage only compounds the problem. Do I need to change?

A: Yes and so does he. You cannot have a good marriage unless you deal with the things that annoy you. It’s perfectly natural that there’s going to be things that really annoy you. Bring them up and discuss them. Don’t fear that bringing them up will run him away—if he runs, let him run. If he’s not willing to change now, he will not change after you get married.

Yes, you have to change because there are also some things you do that annoy him. These are the kinds of things you need to change before you get married. I wrote a book some time ago called Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married. I think you’ll find it helpful.

Q&A: Is it okay to never have the euphoric stage of being "in love"?

Q: Gary, I tend to be more rational than emotional. Is it OK to move forward in my relationship with my boyfriend if I have never had the euphoric stage of being “in love”?

A: You ought to examine all the rest of the relationship. Make sure it’s not a “working contract” mentality you have with this person. There ought to be some things that attract you about them, some things you feel really positive about. You also ought to look at the red flags that are waiving that might be troublesome points in the relationship. The reason I say it’s not absolutely necessary to have the “in love” experience is because it’s temporary anyway. You’re going to come down off the high sooner or later. Looking at all the other aspects of the relationship is probably far more important than simply being in love.

Q&A: Is it okay to never have the euphoric stage of being “in love”?

Q: Gary, I tend to be more rational than emotional. Is it OK to move forward in my relationship with my boyfriend if I have never had the euphoric stage of being “in love”?

A: You ought to examine all the rest of the relationship. Make sure it’s not a “working contract” mentality you have with this person. There ought to be some things that attract you about them, some things you feel really positive about. You also ought to look at the red flags that are waiving that might be troublesome points in the relationship. The reason I say it’s not absolutely necessary to have the “in love” experience is because it’s temporary anyway. You’re going to come down off the high sooner or later. Looking at all the other aspects of the relationship is probably far more important than simply being in love.

Q&A: I‘m having a very hard time recovering from a break-up. How do I move on?

It will take time. Time will bring healing. Don’t sit around hoping that he’ll come back and everything will work out. Recognize that some dating relationships will end in breaking up. And normally one takes the initiative to break up and the other suffers. It’s a part of a human relationship. So I’m very empathetic with your pain and I’m telling you it will not go away over night. But with the passing of time and your devoting yourself to doing something worthwhile with your life, you’ll come through it on the other side and you’ll look back on it as a memory.

Categories