Hello, thanks for your response.
You say that to build trust we should not lie to each other but how would I know if what she tells me is the truth or a lie if I have no means to verify? If she has a history of not being truthful and cheating why should I ever believe her?
And what do I do if she is obsessed with having a private life, separate from our relationship? Isn't this also a red flag? You say she has a right to a personal life but what does that mean with respect to relationships with other men, whether they are friends, ex-boyfriends or guys that she meets? Should I be comfortable with her going on dates with other guys? How about going to coffee with an ex-boyfriend or going to a bar with a girlfriend where she may meet other guys? Is this something normal and acceptable if our relationship is suppose to be "exclusive"?
Thanks again for your response.
What I want in a relationship is really quite simple: I want it to be exclusive, where she doesn't see other men. But at the same time I want her to have a social life and go out with friends and not be thinking that I'm watching over her like a parent or putting her in a cage. The problem is, I don't really know what she's doing or who she's with when she goes out and even if she tells me there's always that lingering mistrust. So I guess it's not really about what I want in a relationship, it all boils down to trust, right? And if that's the case then how do I repair the violations of trust in the past and specifically how do we establish a foundation of trust now and into the future, if that's even possible? This would be the most valuable advice that you could give; then I could go to her and present a plan and if she doesn't agree then maybe we should re-consider the relationship.
You keep mentioning that what I want and expect in a relationship is what's important but I think it's irrelevant because it's virtually impossible to determine if what I want is what I get. Am I suppose to have her followed around whenever I'm not with her to verify I'm getting what I want? No, trust is all I have and without that my wants and expectations are meaningless. So it really boils down to what kind of verification she is willing to put up with and not think I'm some kind of maniac parent figure who wants to put her in a cage, which is what she thinks whenever I ask questions like "what are you doin tonight" and "where are you going" and "who are you going with." And to be honest, I do feel kind of like a parent when I ask those questions. So then what do I do if she's very resistant to doing things that would help me trust her, like answering my calls when she's out with friends? By the way, she had over-controlling parents when she was growing up which is one reason why she's so resistant to any type of verification or tracking.
Well we do see each other 3-4 times a week but I don't know how often she's out with others because she doesn't always tell me and we don't live together, but she does tell me sometimes, usually when I ask and usually when she knows I won't get upset. If I ask her questions there's no guarantee that she will tell the truth, and that's where the trust thing come in, so it really becomes a circular argument--I want an exclusive relationship which requires trust so trust is ultimately what I want. But YES, your last answer makes total sense to me, I could have written it myself. Your words were always in the back of my mind but I get so tangled up with emotion I wasn't sure if it made sense so I needed my thoughts confirmed, and since you're a pro at this it gives it even more credibility. Maybe I will share this thread with her--it may get ugly though. But she really is a very sweet person and I care about her deeply, which is of course why I have stuck it out.