It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss insensitive comments, parents’ role in a relationship, and how to handle a boyfriend who turns into a baby when he’s mad.
Being hurt over an insensitive comment isn’t “overreacting.” If you broke up with him without asking what he meant by that comment, you might be overreacting, so before doing something like that, find out why he said what he said. His answer may surprise you … or it may be a big red flag that this isn’t the kind of man you want to continue dating, let alone ever have a family with.
I’ve met most of his family and get along with them. They know that we are really close, and he’s even told an aunt and uncle that he feels differently about me than past girlfriends. We love each other and tell each other on an almost daily basis. Given how far everything has progressed I felt like things were starting to perk up and maybe there was hope for a future together, but despite everything, every once in a while he’ll refer to the future and I’m sure that reference doesn’t have me in the scenario. What do I do?? — Wants in His Future
Unless your boyfriend has flat-out said you two do not have a future together no matter what, there’s no way to really know that “for sure.” Regardless of what you think you know, you need to tell him that after eight months, you’re sure enough about your feelings for him that if there’s absolutely zero chance he sees a future with you, you’d rather spare yourself an even bigger broken heart and get out now before you invest more time and love into something that has a definite end date.
Talk to him about it when you two AREN’T arguing and let him know that while you respect his right and justification to be angry, the way he expresses that anger isn’t healthy. Then, the next time he starts acting like a baby who isn’t getting his way, look him in the eye and say, “This is exactly what I was talking about and I will not engage in this childish behavior.” Then go somewhere else — home, to a friend’s house, to the movies, anywhere — and tell him he can contact you when he’s ready to discuss things like a rational and mature adult.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.