Dear Barb – Compromise Shouldn’t Be One-Sided

Dear Barb:

I have been dating my boyfriend for almost a year. We get along great for the most part. Most of the problems that we do have revolve around him wanting to do things with his male friends. He watches a lot of sports, which I don’t mind too much, but I don’t like all the time he spends golfing and playing pool, etc. We have arguments and one of us walks out.

I have always been the one to do the reconciling. After I convince him we can work things out he agrees to reconcile, although nothing ever changes. I want a person I can build a life with and I feel like he is building relationships with his buddies rather than me. My problem is that I really love him and want the relationship to work out so I keep hoping things will improve after we reconcile, but it never does. Help! I need some advice!

Donna

Hi, Donna. People don’t change. They can change some of their behaviours, but only if they are motivated to. Since you have always been the one doing the reconciling, I think you are sending the message that You’re accepting his behaviour in spite of what your words are telling him.

Perhaps after these disagreements or breakups, you need to let things go and see if your boyfriend makes a move to reconcile. If he does he will probably come up with a compromise. Remember the old saying, ?If you love someone set them free. If they come back it is true love; if they don’t, it never was love.?

If he doesn’t do anything to reconcile, as hard as it is you are going to have to accept the fact that this is who he is and what he likes to do and decide if you want to continue the relationship.

It sounds to me like this is not the kind of relationship you want. Some men prefer to fulfill their companionship needs with other men rather than with women. For these types of men, women fulfill different roles in their lives, one of caretaker and intimate partner for the most part. I think you want a relationship where you and your partner fulfill all areas of each others? lives. Although you should keep in mind that everyone needs to spend some time doing things with other people besides their partner, I guess the important factor here is how to balance this time in order to keep both parties happy.

I hope I was helpful. Good luck, Donna.

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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