Should I follow my parents beliefs or my boyfriends beliefs?
Well, the problem I have is sort of complicated in itself, and it is kind of difficult to put into words to another person. see me and “Barry” have been seriously together for 4 or 5 months now. we met at work, and after much flirting and signals, we went out on a couple of dates, and then discovered all of the things we had in common, and became very interested in each other, and decided after some hesitation at first, to go out. we always knew that it would turn into a serious relationship shortly after our first dates so we were cautious and were slow, also because I had gotten out of a year and a half long relationship 4 months before going out with Barry was an option. He is 22, and I am 18. we quickly developed an intense relationship, and our phone conversations would last 5 or 6 hours , until dawn, and even then we really didn’t want to get off the phone! we enjoyed each other’s company so much that it didn’t take no more than a month before we said the sacred three words to each other. communication has never been a problem. we can talk about anything at all, and sometimes I fear that maybe I’ve shared too much, like my inner most desires and fears, hopes and dreams, I always knew that once someone knew all that stuff about you, they had some serious ammunition against you. but Barry and I felt totally and completely comfortable telling each other extremely personal things, we were comfortable with each other, there was no deceit or fakeness in his heart, I know that. he became the only thing I talked about, thought about, etc. we thought we were meant for each other, like soul mates or fate, we had a very spiritual and emotional relationship, talking about everything to religion, to physics, to philosophy, you name it.
I still believe in my heart that we were meant for each other but he really doesn’t. things kind of changed 3 months into it, and we started thinking more realistically, and we started having lots of doubts. I felt like I shouldn’t have opened myself up to him like that, and my parents would get in the way more than I thought. is it wrong to totally defy your parents so that you can be happy? my parents are Christians, and Barry and I are agnostics, but they push church down my throat, etc. and this makes Barry angry that I let them control my life to a certain extent. I am moving out in march ’99 and hopefully Barry will still want to move in with me. but he thinks that he is “waiting on the line” for me, and he feels that he’s fallen in love with the person that I desire to be, by moving out, finishing school, having my own independence, etc. we’ve only been together for 4 or five months but this problem just seems so unfixable, is it? I feel like we’re meant to be together though, and I don’t want to end this with Barry, he is my life. he seems like I am too young at times, he told me once that it feels like he’s trying to have a serious relationship with a kid, what should I do? I love him and would do anything to make him happy, but I feel that I am risking losing him because he feels like I am not going to do all the things I said I would do. he asks me to spend the night with him like at a hotel so we can be alone, and I want to, I do, but my parents have instilled such a morbid moral that it’s wrong, da da da, and I just want to spend every moment being happy with him. what should I do? Signed Carrie, age 18
Dear Carrie: Thank you for your email. Believe it or not there will be plenty of time for you to be happy and lead your life independently. Don’t rush the process. Take your time and enjoy being with your parents at this time and following their example and Christian beliefs. Until you are out on your own it is right that you follow your parents and their guidance not the guidance of your boyfriend. Here are some things I would like for you to consider.
1. It is wonderful to have someone that you feel you can be totally yourself and have a lot in common with. Time does change things however and it sounds like your boyfriend is trying to push you away from your parents and towards his beliefs and his principles. This concerns me and should concern you.
2. You boyfriend it seems is trying to rule you with guilt. Saying that it seems like he is with a kid. Don’t buy into this kind of pressure. Stay at home as long as you can and when you are ready you can move out on your own and create your own life with your own morals, principles and values.
3. Your boyfriend needs to give you the space and respect that allows you to move at your own pace. Not his pace. If it is meant for you two to be together then it will work out in the right time. Don’t force this relationship to happen sooner than you or your parents are ready. When you get too intimate too quickly that can be the start of a breakdown in the relationship. It really doesn’t help to be too intimate too soon. Intimacy takes time, growth, patience and understanding. It should not be rushed.
Carrie, I know you love this man and it hurts you to not be able to be with him the way he would like. Understand that anytime you feel pressured it is a warning sign for you to slow down and take notice. Step back and really analyze the situation. You have your whole life ahead of you and I promise you that you likes and dislikes will change over time and you will want more that what you want at this time in your life. I wish you all the best.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.