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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SL Letter of the Day: Next Leveling

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 10:29 AM

I have a long and very boring question for you but I'm a huge fan, I think you are brilliant & wise & I agree with all of your advice :) So although I could go to anyone with this one, I really value your opinion & trust that you will give it to me straight!!!

I am a 37-year-old woman in love with a 28-year-old man. We are madly in love, he proves to me daily his love & it continues to grow & grow :) Problem is... he lives with his parents! He has an extremely controlling father & does everything in life based on how his father will feel about things. He never shows any emotion towards me in front of his father in fear that his dad will think he is "pussy whipped." Anyways, that part I can totally deal with!

My thing is that I am ready for him to move in with me, to take things to the next level, to start a future!!! We have been together almost a year but it took him about 4/5 months before he would even sleep over! He sleeps over on weekends now but that's it! He says he is not ready to move in with me, that it would be a drastic change for him. I do have kids so I can understand his feelings but on the other hand he says it will break his father's heart! I live walking distance from his patents house! We have lunch with his parents every Sunday!!! He would see his dad on a very regular basis! I think his dad is bring extremely selfish & guilts him into living at home. I forgot to mention he is a only child.

Anyways Dan, this is becoming a huge issue for me. I love him but feel that if he is not ready to move on soon I may have to move on myself. Am I being totally selfish & unreasonable? Or is he being immature & brainwashed by his controlling father? Unsure if I am to blame here. Would this be a deal breaker for you or should I just calm down & continue to be patient?

Thanks for any input you may have :)

Sent From The Savage Love App For iPhone

My response after the jump :)

·················

I'm gonna give it to you straight: emoticons are not punctuation marks. A smiley-face emoticon should never be used in place of a period. Period. And an adult does not use an emoticon at the end of a sentence that cries out for three—possibly even four—exclamation points. Please make a note of it ;)

As for your boyfriend...

I really don't see this as an either/or proposition/problem. It's entirely possible for a man to have a controlling father and a "selfish & unreasonable" girlfriend. Indeed, immature people with controlling parents sometimes seek out controlling romantic partners, SFTSLAFi, because their upbringings cause them to mistake controlling behavior for love.

It's also possible that your boyfriend simply doesn't want to move in with you—at least not now—and made something up about fearing his father's reaction after you refused to take "not ready yet" for an answer. And why wouldn't he be ready yet? Here are three reasons off the top of my head: you guys haven't been "together" for a year (you're rounding this relationship up, he may be rounding it down); you have children in your home (so he's not just committing to you, SFTSLAFi, but to parenting); and your immature, sheltered, and presumably inexperienced boyfriend may not ready to make the kind of commitment you're asking him to (you sowed your wild oats, SFTSLAFi, has he had a chance to sow his?).

If what you want is him, SFTSLAFi, you'll have to give him some time. Continue to date, continue to spend weekends together, and revisit the moving-in and next-leveling issues at a later date. If what you want a commitment right now, you'll have to find someone else.

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