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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1675
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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I need help telling my boyfriend of 8 mos that Im not ready

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I need help telling my boyfriend of 8 mos that I'm not ready to live together. I love him dearly and we have a great relationship. I dont feel ready, I dont think he is either. He says things like "I need you. I dont want to live without you. You make me so happy." As much as I love him, I dont NEED him, and I'm perfectly happy on my own. He is recently divorced from an 8yr marriage (he is 27), and has a 4 year old daughter. She is very hard for me to deal with and I have never intended or wanted to have children of my own. He and I met about 3 months after they separated. So he's had virtually no alone time as an adult. I'm afraid he just misses the comfort of the family routine. I'll be starting college soon, and as a relatively late bloomer in that area (I'm 25) I feel it is imperative that I focus and really dedicate to being in school full time successfully. Which I feel could result in a 'perfect storm' for our relationship if I compromise more than I'm comfortable with.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 4 years ago.
Hi. You sound like you know what you need and what you want and that is very important to remember now that you are being asked to compromise your life goals by moving in with him. Don't, I think you know that and how do you tell him, Honestly, clear, simply and with love. Tell him the timing isn't right for YOU and if he loves you he will respect your feelings. Don't argue over it, your answer is no, not now and tell him the truth. You don't see yourself living like that right now. Tell him you aren't ruling it out in the future but right now you have plans and goals you need to focus on. If a relationship is to grow and get better there has to be a lot of communication and respect for each others needs, whether you like them or not.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
How do I address his "need" for me in the future? As things get busier for me I'm afraid that, because of his attachment, he will see the distance in both of us keeping our own space as something worse than it is. We've discussed counseling before (for other things) but I dont want to tell him that I feel like he has issues to work on when I'm sure that we both do. The cost of such visits is an issue as well.
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 4 years ago.
Hi, I have to tell you that from you I am hearing a young women who just doesn't want this type of commitment right now. You aren't ready but you are feeling responsible for addressing his "need". You can't help it that he needs you. Everyone is allowed to say what they feel and what they need from another person, whether that other person can accept and respect that is their decision. You can't be responsible for him needing you and you have to be honest with him and tell him. Could be a painful discussion but unless you are willing to give up your plans and your goals (love him or not) this isn't going to work. You have to be strong in spite of it all. If he loves you ( and I am not sure you aren't rebound and he thinks he can't live without you) he'll respect whatever it is you had planned for you. Sure you are in love but that will only take you so far and if you do what he wants you will resent him forever. I think you know that.
Have one discussion about it, no, it's not time for me (don't mention him, stick to your needs) I do not want it (you don't need to explain why) . You have your dreams and the timing for this isn't right. Plain and simple. I know you love him but you are also smart and you know he needs work before he can get into a very serious live in relationship and if he knew how you felt about his daughter he would agree. You know what you can handle, you know your direction and you know you do not want the lifestyle he is suggesting..
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Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1675
Experience: Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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