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Parallax - Advice

August 11, 2003

She's clinging

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I'm eighteen years old. For the past two years I've dated Jason, who's now twenty. Six months after we started dating, we broke up. Jason said he was too young to be in love and was scared because he realized that he was in love with me. His mom thought we were too serious and he's a mama's boy so what do you expect? So, he listened to his head and his mother, instead of his heart. Six months later, we got back together. We went out for another year and then he broke up with me again. We're still trying to work out our problems but now he feels he needs to explore and experience life. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's a stupid reason to break off a relationship. He says he isn't confused about his feelings for me. He says he loves me but doesn't know if he wants a committed relationship. I know that he loves me—if other girls had anything to do with it, I'd know by now. Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Eighteen,

Maybe. But your fellow is twenty years old and, in the scheme of relationships, he is a mere babe in the woods. Whether he loves you or not, he needs his own space to decide who he is and what he wants in life.

At eighteen, you should be doing the same. You may or may not decide you are perfect for each other but you both need some time to decide what you really want to accomplish in life before you enter a serious relationship.

It will work itself out—these things always do. Go out and have some fun and stop stressing.

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His view:

Dear Eighteen,

Take some of your boyfriend's advice and go do some exploration yourself. You are so caught up in your own analysis and understanding of what is and what isn't going through your man's head that you have failed to take a peek inside your own.

Stop worrying about listening to head or heart or mother. Stop being bitter about the fact that you can't seem to hold on to him despite how much he loves you and isn't cheating on you. Stop acting like you are anything other than young and inexperienced and unable to put anything in perspective.

Maybe it would be easier if you found him with another girl. Maybe then you wouldn't be able to rationalize everything and you'd find it easier to let him go. But that's not the point.

The point is you're driving yourself crazy over a guy who's just trying to do some very reasonable things. Do yourself a favor and let him do them.

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