When I told him I could not come, that answer did not sit well with him. He wants me to attend the wedding because he said it’s a milestone for him. I told him that I am happy for him, but I can’t come because I’m not secure in our relationship. I’m just his girlfriend in a non-committal relationship, so what right do I have to attend his daughter’s wedding? (I am having some insecurities). I also told him that since we are not in a committed relationship, I don’t want his relatives and in-laws to meet me only to find out that my boyfriend and I don’t end up together. Also, I am worried that, if I attend, I will feel the insecurities that this boyfriend of mine does not love me enough to ask me to marry him even after four years together. His daughter and her fiancé are just in their third year together and now they are getting married in four months.
I really don’t have the self-confidence to attend this wedding because I am not secure in my status as his girlfriend. Please advise. — Four Years and Still Waiting
First of all, you don’t need to be in a committed relationship with someone to go as that person’s date to a wedding. If you want to have a serious, grownup discussion with your boyfriend about your future together, you need to stop acting like a child. You need to stop with the passive-aggressive behavior (i.e. “I won’t go to your daughter’s wedding because we’ve been together for four years and you haven’t talked marriage with me yet”), put on your big girl panties, and tell your boyfriend that you’ll be happy to go to his daughter’s wedding with him because you care about him, you want to celebrate this milestone in his life, and you’d love the opportunity to get to know his family better. Then tell him that, since you are continuing to invest time and energy in your relationship with him as well as in nurturing your relationships with the important people in his life, you feel it’s fair to discuss where things are headed between you. Tell him what it is you want. Discuss whether or not you’re ready to move or if you expect him to move to you. Tell him what you need in order to continue with this relationship.
The best way to get your needs met is to explicitly express what your needs are. The worst way to get your needs met is to try to turn a situation that is about one thing (in this case, you going to your boyfriend’s daughter’s wedding) into the thing you seem to have trouble talking about (in this case, where your relationship is going). One has nothing to do with the other. I get that you’re insecure and you want answers, but you have to ask the right questions to get answers. You aren’t even asking any questions, let alone the wrong ones. If you want clear communication, you have to be clear in your intention. Using someone’s wedding as a way to discuss the thing you are too insecure to bring up is childish. You are a 41-year-old woman dating a widower who is old enough to see his daughter get married. Act like the adult you are, and you’ll find much more satisfaction in your relationships.
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