How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Steven Olsen Your Own Question

Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1764
Experience:  More than 20 years of expertise in counseling, relationship resolution and family therapy.
45885103
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Steven Olsen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Asking the same question as earlier to confirm previous answers

Resolved Question:

Asking the same question as earlier to confirm previous answers from other experts.

Verification: Though I really respect the opinions i have received I want one more perspective please:

My Boyfriend of 4 months informed me the other day he was taking a close female friend for drinks. While I have no issue with male/female friendships outside of our relationship, concern immediately popped up as to why he wanted to go for drinks alone with her and why I wasn't invited. Am I being jealous? Am I being irrational to think it should be a lunch thing not drinks, etc in the evening. I want to understand this myself because I do not want to cause contention between us but it opens the door for more to develop as far as I am concerned. Even though I have had issues with trusting previous partners because they gave me reason not to, this is a completely different relationship with a different person so I do trust him completely, but I think its more the situation that I was uncomfortable with. Lunches are a lot less risky in my opinion but I am trying to see this from his side too. I admit my reaction was a jealous one largely due to his being so upset with me for being uncomfortable with the idea. How should I approach him so it is healthy and productive? What steps should we take together to be certain we are creating a healthy balance? I really do not want either of us to feel like we have to "answer" to the other because we are both choosing to be with the other. We always communicate and both he and I make certain the other one feels loved and appreciated. This is really our only issue and I want it resolved sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX on the surface.

Please Help
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 2 years ago.

Perhaps a male perspective would help.

 

Relationships like yours, one that is steady and committed, typically have very clear rules and expectations about acceptable behaviors. Like two hands tightly clasped together, two people who are bonded with each other should not allow anything between them. To allow other relationships to take precedence over your own is not acceptable in a committed relationship.

 

Let's look at this one issue at a time.

 

First of all you were concerned about his behavior. This feeling should immediately grasp the attention of your boyfriend. Just by you saying you are uncomfortable should not have resulted in anger on his part, but with concern and introspection on his part. (Why did I ask her out for a drink? Was I thinking of my current girlfriend's feeling when I did so?) And, if he knows you well, why would he feel that drinks with another woman were an option? There is trust and openness, and then there are poor choices.

 

Most successful couples that I know and work with establish very clear boundaries about what is appropriate and what is not. Drinks, alone with a member of the opposite sex...that typically is not acceptable and even if innocent disregards XXXXX XXXXX and possibly sends the wrong message to this other woman.

 

I see nothing wrong with standing your ground on this. This is not about trust. It is about what is acceptable in a real relationship. If he is the type of man who puts you first, (and he sounds like he has been) he should be concerned about you enough to stop this behavior immediately and to set boundaries that he will not cross.

 

One such lapse in judgment is certainly excusable with a promise that it will not occur again. But this is not just jealousy on your part in my opinion. It is a need to be clear with expectations and to set clear boundaries on both of your actions with others. How does this occur? Simply, things need to be spelled out and expectations frankly discussed. There is no absolutely best way to do so, and the stage of your relationship, called committed reciprocity, requires that you both lay all on the table. Yes, conversations like this can be difficult. But as long as they are planned. (over dinner is good) and timed (no more than 20 minutes each) and they are done in compassion and concern, they work out well.

 

I think this will work out. It is a pretty common issue for males who need to see that not all that is "innocent" is acceptable. Steven

 

 

Steven Olsen, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1764
Experience: More than 20 years of expertise in counseling, relationship resolution and family therapy.
Steven Olsen and 4 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/deedeeham/2011-1-24_51523_408.64x64.JPG Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy

    Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1235
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1215
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2012-3-9_31019_Jen.64x64.jpg Coach Jen K.'s Avatar

    Coach Jen K.

    LMSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    726
    Providing the utmost care and support.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    549
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    349
    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/suzmsw/2011-9-2_184634_Thisone.64x64.JPG Suzanne's Avatar

    Suzanne

    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    338
    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
 
 
 

Related Relationship Questions