First boyfriend


#1

So a young catholic man recently asked me to be his girlfriend, and we agreed to make it a courtship. I’m wondering if I agreed to it to soon. We haven’t known each other very long, but I know courtship is about getting to know each other more. He is my first boyfriend. Sense our relationship became official, I feel like he has been pressing me for more attention. We determined our physical boundaries, which is mainly hands off with the exception of short side hugs and high fives. I let him know that I am very introverted. I do enjoy his company, but I also need my space. I’m very busy with school work and a new job, and I’m trying my best contribute to this relationship, but it’s getting overwhelming because I don’t know if I’m meeting his expectations, and I think we have very different ideas of how this relationship is supposed to work.
He has a very complicated family history and suffered depression before our relationship, so I’m worried about upsetting him if I deny him the attention he wants. As I’ve been telling my mom about him, she told me that he sounds very needy. He has been asking a lot of deep and personal questions, which I guess I would have to tell him sooner or later, but he has been asking them all at once, and I’ve been giving him honest and thoughtful responses that he was pleased with, but I feel like he is taking this all way too fast and I don’t know how to respond. I try not to make this relationship just about us, but all the other relationships that are affected by it such as my family and friends. I try not to be alone with him, but that tends to be how we meet up. I’m very new to courting, and I guess I just want some advice on what actions I should take. Thank you


#2

Your disposition sounds very good, and you appear to be in no danger of falling into sin. That said however, you would probably do well to get to know this man more. You should also ask yourself if you even want to be in a relationship. Your post sounds to me like you may not want to be in courtship at this time and may be only doing so because he asked. I don’t know, but its just something I perceived and I’m not sure it is true.
As for his neediness, it is hard to speak on it since I don’t know him. I myself, am a young man who is single, but I imagine if I had a girl I was courting, I would probably ask her many questions about herself. I would do this out of interest in knowing her, and also informing myself on whether or not she could be my wife in the future. If I felt she could not for whatever reason, I would end the courtship kindly. I am not saying this is what he is doing, but if it were myself, that would be my reasons.
As for you, you sound like a girl with a good head on her shoulders. That is why I think you should take a page out of my book and learn about this man you are in courtship with. Determine if he is the sort of man you want to continue a courtship with if you even want one at all at this time.
And of course, the big question - is he as serious about the Faith as you are? Our the boundaries you set up, BOTH yours and his boundaries? Do you think he would cross those boundaries if you were suddenly willing?
I have a friend in a relationship with a girl who is Catholic in name only so to speak, and he is struggling mightily with sin with her. He set up his boundaries, and when he is weak, she does not uphold the boundaries with him because they are only his boundaries, and he is a weak man. Now, you sound a bit stronger in your state than he is at this time, but still, it is worth asking yourself since you are in courtship with this man.
I know thinking of things like marriage and that seems like a vast leap into the future, but I am a firm believer that there is no point courting someone who you know could not be your spouse because they don’t share the most important thing with you, and that is Christ.

As for suggestions, I can only say that you should ask yourself what YOU want at this time. Do not labor over whether you are giving him enough attention for his sake, but ask yourself do you desire to give him attention? And of course, be honest with the man, and discuss these matters with him. If you are concerned he is being smothering, say this to him and of course you would be cordial about it.

I will pray for you.


#3

You sound like a girl who has a good sense of personal boundaries which is always wise. However there seems to be an almost clinical air about this courtship. In a normal boy-girl relationship, one normally wants to be together as often as possible and the personal questions are seen as a natural need to discern the correctness of choice before things get too serious.
You seem to be finding it onerous which is not a good sign and red flags can be spotted unfurling in your offhand response. There has to be a spark! I know it sounds corny and adolescent but it is true. I went out for a while with a perfect catholic girl that was smart, well educated, spiritual and ticked all the boxes, but alas no spark. We are still the best of friends forty years later, both married to our loved ones and still pleased we gave it a go.
All the best, but your first is rarely your last.


#4

You sound as though you are a little too nice and maybe a little too shy for your own good.

Did you really want a long term relationship with this man, or did you maybe just not like to hurt his feelings - or maybe because you are a little reserved you thought you ought to give it a go because he had made the offer?

Either way I think you have jumped in way too deep, way too quickly - you admit you don’t know him very well but suddenly you are in a “courtship” which you sound really rather cool about.

You seem to have a great deal else going on in your life so I’d let him down gently and just say you aren’t ready for the sort of involvement he wants…stay friends, if he is willing, and let the relationship develop slowly…but don’t be “exclusive” about someone you scarcely know and about whom you don’t, on paper at least, sound that smitten with.

To be honest I agree with your mum - he does sound needy, and depression is a serious long term health issue - but you are not responsible for ‘rescuing’ him.

Make friends, have fun and when the time is right and you bump into someone you really want to be with, you’ll just know he is the man for you…


#5

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