A situation: advice needed


#1

I have been dating my girlfriend since November. We met on ave maria singles and live about 2 hours apart. I have driven to Md to visit her many times but she has not yet came to Pa to see me. Every time I go to visit her we spend a considerable amount of time together and with her large family. We have been planning for her to come to visit me tomorrow, the 13th, to celebrate valentines day. For several weeks I have been planning to cook dinner, take her to Hershey's Chocolate World (which is nearby) and then rent a movie. I am very strapped for cash and can't afford much more. Thursday evening she told me that she would rather come up here and meet me somewhere else and spend the day together because it wouldn't be prudent to come to my apartment. This smelled fishy from the beginning but I told her that I just want her to feel comfortable and we will have fun no matter what. Last night she told me that her mother said it wouldn't be prudent for her to come to my apartment. My response was that her mother obviously doesn't trust me despite the fact that I've spent hundreds of dollars to drive there and spent hours with her family. She said that she and her mom just don't want anything to happen. This really doesn't make any sense though. If we are going to succumb to sexual temptation, that is MUCH more likely to happen as the relationship progresses and we grow closer. She said she didn't think of it that way.

Here's the thing, her mother is a very nice woman. She has been kind enough to feed me every time I have been at their home and has been nothing but nice to me. The thing is- she is very overbearing and bossy with her family. My girlfriend is a very mature 22 year old woman but she is very emotionally dependent on her family. She was home schooled and has never moved away from home, she commuted to college. This whole situation has me pretty upset. One big reason is that I simply don't have the money to spend an entire day out on the town. I can just see a future with this woman revolving around the wishes of her family (read as mother) and I know that just won't work. I guess I just needed to vent because this is really bothering me. I'm having my doubts about the relationship because of it. I appreciate any advice, even if you think I'm being a controlling jerk. Thanks.


#2

Shorten the date. Do the Hershey's thing, bring along a basket lunch and eat in a public place (if you can find a warm one!) and then she can go home.

Or invite another couple and do a double date. See if the other guy would kick in on the dinner & movie.

Or cancel the date.

What I wouldn't do is continue to have this be a one way dating relationship with you going to her every time.

You will have to gauge if this behavior continues. If her mother continues to dominate the relationship, break it off and tell your friend you would be open to a relationship after she establishes proper boundaries with her family.


#3

Isn't she a little bit old to still be living with her parents and kowtowing to her mother's demands? If she wants to go on a date she needs to put on her big girl panties and deal with her mother. If she can't deal with her parents as an adult, then I would dump her.


#4

It does sound like she has a weird dependence on her mother for her age. I think it's one thing for her to tell you that she herself is uncomfortable with spending time alone with you, but for her to bring her mother into it is a little odd. Once you get past a certain age, "my mom doesn't want me to" just becomes weird.

I do think, though, that if she is uncomfortable with what you have planned, whatever the reason, you should make the effort to work around it. Are there relatively cheap things to do around you? Bowling, or going out to a movie? Go out for some hot chocolate and sit and talk? You might end up spending a little more but ultimately if you really care about her, her comfort is important.

People can spend time alone together and stay chaste. Oftentimes there is really no other option, when you're an adult and living on your own. You can't go out all the time, and if you continue to date her it's going to come up again.

The bigger issue of her mother is quite concerning. It's one thing for her to suggest to her daughter that she should be careful, or to tell her that she doesn't think it's a good idea for her to go to your apartment. But it sounds like your girlfriend either is afraid to make decisions for herself, or at least, if she agrees with her mother, she should tell you that she is uncomfortable and leave it at that. Honestly, it doesn't really seem like her mother is the problem, it sounds more like your girlfriend's dependence on her is the problem.


#5

If you value your purity and the reputation and purity of your girlfriend, do not take her to your apartment unescorted. You're just experiencing traditional prudence in interactions of unmarried persons. No surprise if it's strange to you - the world does not value purity (and in fact prefers that you fall).

If you feel put off by what appears to be a lack of trust, get over your pride. Putting yourself in a situation that can easily lead to sin is foolish. Even if you don't fall, you put yourselves in a compromising situation that gives the appearance of sin. There are lots of things you can do that don't require you're being alone with her at your apartment.

If you really want to show that you understand and care, invite her to bring a sibling or parent with her. If she must come alone and needs to stay over night, find a female friend she can stay with. Find things to do out in public that don't require money. Have a party at your apartment so you're not alone. There are lots of ways to deal with it. Just keep her best interests at the top of your priority list and you'll figure something out.

That's what love is - intending the very best for the other person. That includes valuing her reputation and being very forthright about it.

And you should thank God for her mother. With such a mother, the girl has a great chance of being more pure, innocent, and godly than most women you'll meet. That is priceless, and you should treat both the girl and her mother as such. Now, it may be that the girl is not the right one for you. That's what dating is - figuring out if this is the person you want to dedicate your life to loving. But the mere fact of the mother reminding you two that being alone in your apartment is imprudent is not conclusive. If you want to date my daughter, whatever her age, you'll get input from me if you propose taking her alone to your apartment.

God be with you.


#6

I doubt kib has a pride issue. :rolleyes:

Yes, there may be temptation if his girlfriend were to come over to his apartment but it really sounds more like she is depending on her mother a little more than she should. I find it a little weird to hear a 22-year-old say "well my mom said..." when making decisions.

Why can't a compromise be taken with this situation? Start the date at the apartment and spend a short time there-- then go out for the rest of the date.

Honestly, I have to roll my eyes whenever people freak out about a couple being alone together. What do people really expect is going to happen when a couple hardly spends time alone together, and then comes their wedding night?

Either way, restraint needs to be practiced. Nothing is stopping anyone from making out like crazy at the part (seen couples do that), making out at a movie theater, etc. Just because one is in public doesn't mean PDA doesn't happen!


#7

I don’t think 22 is that old, and I think it’s refreshing that she discusses things w/ her mom. Whether or not it’s true dependency, who can say when we only know one side of the story?

If the OP feels uncomfortable, he should tell her and see what happens. If he feels she is too dependent on her family and it’s unhealthy, he should break it off.


#8

No adivce. I just suggest haleyshalo.wordpress.com/ because this Christian single woman discusses many similar things in her blog.


#9

[quote="spunjalebi, post:6, topic:228965"]

Honestly, I have to roll my eyes whenever people freak out about a couple being alone together. What do people really expect is going to happen when a couple hardly spends time alone together, and then comes their wedding night?

[/quote]

not really sure what you're getting at...

[quote="spunjalebi, post:6, topic:228965"]
Either way, restraint needs to be practiced. Nothing is stopping anyone from making out like crazy at the part (seen couples do that), making out at a movie theater, etc. Just because one is in public doesn't mean PDA doesn't happen!

[/quote]

but being public makes it less likely, especially for people who value chastity, wouldn't you agree? If it's the case that it's less likely in public, then it would make sense to recommend public meetings.


#10

To OP, As someone who is very similar to your GF's age, I can only give you my :twocents:
I don't see anything weird or strange about the fact that she doesn't want to stay in your apartment. It has nothing to do with you because if you say you're a gentleman and trustful, this I don't doubt. Its the fact that SHE doesn't feel comfortable staying in the same apartment with a man that she's dating. I mean, she still lives with her Mother so you can understand why, I hope.
Give her space and time when it comes to this because she may not be at the same comfort level as you and she may feel she would be compromising her morals by staying with you. I have always lived alone and I would feel very uncomfortable staying in my BF's house for many reasons. :shrug:


#11

22 years of age doesn't seem all that old to me for a girl, notwithstanding it was "getting on" when I was a young man. Nowadays what's the average age for marriage among middle class people? I'm fairly confident it's higher than 22.

My son met and dated a few young women from that very site, and they did tend (though not all) to be a bit on the previously-sheltered side, and a bit reticent to go outside their comfort zones. Some had very sparse experience in dating at all, and had difficulty being balanced about it. Some fell in love with him instantly and he had trouble shaking loose. Some would get to a point in the relationship and panic because, seemingly, they just didn't know what to do (or not do) next. I'm not entirely sure how much this girl is motivated by her mother's wishes and how much her avoidance of going to your apartment is motivated by a concern on her part that perhaps she doesn't trust HERSELF all that much. "Mom" might simply be her excuse.

You have to realize that women are at least as sexually excitable as men are; perhaps more so. But they are the ones who are expected to "put on the brakes" in a more traditional kind of relationship. That puts a big burden on them. If you met on AMS, the very last thing she wants is for you to have the slightest suspicion that she's "easy" because, frankly, most of the guys on there are pretty traditional guys. We have seen guys here on CAF who are worried sick that their girlfriends might not be virgins, even guys who are driving themselves nuts wondering whether their WIVES were when they married! That's pretty excessive in my book, but it's out there.

I have been married for years now, and when my wife and I were dating, we had zero money. Perhaps the dates we remember most fondly now are the ones where we assembled some kind of cheap food (whatever we had on hand or could afford, and it wasn't much) and went down to the levee and ate it while we watched the river and just talked. (It was in St. Louis) Seemed like most of the time it was cucumber slices and a bagel; a real step up from a bag of cold home-popped popcorn. When we both graduated (we were in school at the time) I had to drive eight hours one way to see her, and did that for eight months. After graduation, she lived with her parents right up to the day we married, and she had just turned 22 when we did.

Oh, my son is getting married next month to a wonderful girl. Didn't meet her on one of those sites, but her background isn't all that dissimilar to some of those girls on AMS. For a long time, he drove four hours one way to see her, and didn't hesitate to do it. Weekend after weekend he did it. She lived in an apartment with her sister, and there was certainly no staying there. She didn't earn much, so it was all on his dime. Eventually, she moved closer, and that helped. She does go to his apartment for movie or jointly-prepared dinner dates and such, (Now. For a long time she didn't.) but never stays late even though her mother is a thousand miles away and more.

None of that troubles my son, nor does it trouble me. If the girl you're seeing is the right girl, she's the right girl, no matter what you have to do to see her. If she isn't, you'll know soon enough. If she is, you'll know soon enough as well. All the rest of this is just "circumstantial ground clutter".


#12

First of all your girlfriend sounds like a gem and 22 yrs old is not too old to be getting advice from your mother. Women tend to be close to their moms if they have a good relationship and that is healthy and to be expected if it does not cross boundaries after marriage. Get used to this when dating nice Catholic girls from close knit families! The mother is giving her good advice at this early stage in your relationship. Since you have only known your girlfriend for 3 months and you live 2 hours away, she may not feel that she knows you well enough yet to visit you and stay at your apartment and that is totally OK. Don't take that as a rejection/personally. Internet dating can be risky and requires more time to build trust. In some of your other posts you mentioned that you had almost married another girl who did not share your faith. You need to ask yourself if there is anything in a past relationship that would make your girlfriend hesitate to be alone with you. If your past relationship was not chaste and she knows that then you need to take it very slowly and never pressure her to be alone with you. Be patient and respectful to her wishes and the wishes of her parents. If you are a gentleman and care more about HER comfort then your own, she will see that goodness in you and begin to trust you. Prove that you are a man of honor. Do yourself a favor and take some time to get to know each other. It does not matter so much how much you spend on the date but on your sincerity.
Best Wishes and I hope it works out for the two of you.


#13

OK, kib I don't see anything wrong with her not wanting to spend time at yourapartment - what I do see an issue with is her not atrtibuting those feelings to her own decision making process and instead blaming her mother. Her mother is not in the relationship she is. She does seem a bit dependent. I think from what I remember that you enjoy dating older women maybe some of that is playing in to this as well?


#14

Thanks for all of the responses. There is a lot to respond to but I will address as much as I can remember in this post.

Double date is out of the question, I know very few people in this area. Those I do know I don't know very well. Also, I would rather cancel the date than have one of her parents or siblings come along. I guess I'm being prideful but I will be 25 in two months and I refuse to have a chaperon.

I don't think that she is using her mother as an excuse. We have been planning this date for nearly a month and she was excited to come visit me at my home. It wasn't until Thursday when she asked her mother if she could come that the issue came up. Her mother has been giving unsolicited advice about our relationship since the beginning. I think that it's great that she and her mother are close and talk about these things. The thing is, this feels like meddling to me.

JerryS- I am pretty certain that you and I are both glad that I'm not dating your daughter. There is nothing about two adults spending an afternoon inside that gives an appearance of sin.

Demetra2- you're right. My last relationship was not chaste and I have spoken to my girlfriend about that. Everything I have seen indicates that it's a non-issue with her. I don't know what else I can do to show her I'm committed to chastity though. We don't kiss or really show any sort of affection aside from occasionally holding hands and a hug at the beginning/ end of our dates.

I will say that I really do care about her comfort more than my own. I have been bending over backward for this relationship. It would honestly be nice to do something easy/ relaxing for me. Maybe I'm being selfish.

Joan, you're probably right. I am attracted to older women, though I don't often have luck with that demographic. I guess independence is something I find attractive.

I am going to talk to her tomorrow and air out my concerns. We'll see what happens after that.


#15

[quote="JerryS, post:5, topic:228965"]

And you should thank God for her mother. With such a mother, the girl has a great chance of being more pure, innocent, and godly than most women you'll meet. That is priceless, and you should treat both the girl and her mother as such. Now, it may be that the girl is not the right one for you. That's what dating is - figuring out if this is the person you want to dedicate your life to loving. But the mere fact of the mother reminding you two that being alone in your apartment is imprudent is not conclusive. If you want to date my daughter, whatever her age, you'll get input from me if you propose taking her alone to your apartment.

God be with you.

[/quote]

Well said! I couldn't agree more!!! The reason why there are too many wild girls with loose values is that their mothers were too busy to look after them, to teach them proper values and mostly to teach them about the catholic faith.


#16

Joan, you're probably right. I am attracted to older women, though I don't often have luck with that demographic. I guess independence is something I find attractive.

I think you should hold out for something in your demographic as if you don't you will be setting yourself up for dissappointment.


#17

Hi Kib,

What stood out to me is your resentment of spending hundreds of dollars to go visit her. My first question is 'Did you stay in hotels? or was this all gas money?'

I can understand money concerns (I have enough of my own;)). However, in a traditional Catholic family, you can be SURE the mother expects the boyfriend to do all the driving and paying for gas and even if the girl is totally independant fo her mom, the influence is there. Just one of the disadvantages of being a man

Now whether or not the mother is medling.... I have no idea. You are in the situation and know best. But..... I can tell you at 41, if my mom was to say 'Don't go to such and such a place with that man' I would be sure to listen. Then again, at 41 I have learnt not to be so naive so I would probably listen more now then when I was 22. The main reason I would listen to my mom is she is the only practicing Catholic I know. If your girlfriend has tons of close friends that share her faith and can be of support to her, it would be a lot easier for her to discredit her mom's advice. However, if mommy is the only Catholic around, lots of Catholic girls will listen.

Not sure what else to say besides I am sorry you are going through this and I hope you will be able to get at the root of what is really bothering you

CM

PS, I agree 25 is WAY too old for a chaperon


#18

IMO, if someone at that age can't use their own judgment and follow what Catholic teaching says about chastity, it doesn't matter if they meet in public or at his apartment. If you can't abide by chastity out of your own free will, and instead still need your mother to tell you what to do, not sure what else to say.

Then again-- I was never close to my mother, nor will I ever be. At age 22 I was already living in a way that most of my peers weren't ready to.


#19

[quote="ChiRho, post:9, topic:228965"]
not really sure what you're getting at...

[/quote]

What I'm saying is that the whole "don't spend time alone together" is a knee jerk reaction. I don't think it's healthy for couples to not spend time alone together before marriage. Spending time alone together, or in public, still requires the exercise of physical and emotional reticence.


#20

I completely agree. I don’t even think I’d be getting engaged if I hadn’t been able to spend time alone with my boyfriend. Where do you have important discussions? How do you relax and truly get to know each other without noise and other people always being around? Though it is important to avoid tempting situations if you really cannot handle them, adults should be able to be in control enough to do so. I can’t really imagine having never spent any time alone together and then getting married- I would be terrified.

Kib, I had one of the strictest mothers out there (or so I thought), but at 22 I never would have had to ask her permission to go on a date. And the guy I was dating was nowhere near as upstanding a guy as you sound. You said that “she asked her mother if she could come” and I find that a bit strange. It’s one thing to ask you mother’s advice, it’s another to ask permission as an adult.


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