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The Parthenon

ASK ALEX ABOUT: RELATIONSHIPS

Alex Runyon, Photo Editor

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Alex Runyon

“HELP ME. I’m seeing/sleeping with a guy that seems great but also doesn’t really include me in his day-to-day life. He’s older (32 and a working professional) and I don’t know how to ask for more than the current situation.”

Oh, boy, have I been in your shoes before! This is a common issue, trust me. The days of sock hops and ‘going steady’ are long gone; I can’t remember the last time I heard of someone asking their partner “Will you be my girlfriend?” And there’s nothing wrong with that! Putting so much pressure on a relationship-defining conversation can cause undue stress. If you like this guy and you want to be more present in his life, let him know. No need to sit him down and demand to know your position or create a detailed schedule of your time spent together. If the relationship is casual, your conversation about this can be, too. Tell him over dinner you’d like to see more of him during the day; invite him out to see a movie with your friends; ask him to join you at a local music event; go to the Huntington Museum of Art together (it’s free on Tuesdays!). If he’s a 32 year old working professional, he should be able to handle making and keeping dates with someone he’s already spending time with. If he can’t do that, you may need to look elsewhere. He is no more in charge of your relationship and time together than you are!

“Okay so there’s this guy who I know likes me and has for a while and keeps kind of making moves at me? Like passive aggressively flirting with me. Problem is I am not interested and also am in a happy and long-term relationship, so how can I let this other guy know that I want to be left alone? It’s really old and has been for a long time.”

To put this simply: you are not in charge of this guy’s feelings. You are in charge of your feelings, and it seems like you’re feeling violated and annoyed. Do not allow his passive aggressive flirtation, disrespect for you, and disregard for your relationship to continue! You don’t have to let him down easy, you don’t have to try not to hurt his feelings and you don’t have to be nice to him. If a man is making you uncomfortable or is making continued unwelcome advances, stand up for yourself. Be as transparent as possible. If you want to explain that you’re in a happy relationship, that’s fine, but you don’t owe him any explanation. If you haven’t already, tell this guy “no,” plain and simple. If he can’t take “no” for an answer, cut him out of your life!

“I’m afraid to commit to another person in fear of being heartbroken again. It’s so easy for me to just cut things off before they get started. Of course I don’t think I’ve found the right one. I do, on the other hand, live a busy life and having a girl might complicate things right now. Where would you suggest I go from here?”

You’re right: it doesn’t seem like you’re ready to commit to a relationship right now, and doing so will add another layer of complication things. That said, cutting off potential relationships is defeatist. Avoiding relationships just because you’re afraid to get hurt is not a sustainable strategy for human interaction. A bit of bad news: heartbreak is inevitable. This life is full of people and circumstances that will tear you up inside and leave you that way for a long time. The good news: when you let love into your heart, all those hard things become easier to deal with. Easier said than done, I know. My advice to you is to continue going about your busy life with an open mind, and an open heart.

This column is the opinion of one person and is not a substitution for professional help. Free counseling services are available to all Marshall students on the first floor of Prichard Hall.

To submit questions anonymously, visit alexrunyon.sarahah.com. For comments or concerns, e-mail [email protected]

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