Relationship Advice: Bridge or Break


I really appreciate your perspective. Your point about leaping ahead in intimate situations is one that is especially valuable given that it has made it difficult to be objective as you have said. I guess my main concern is that I have not given things enough time to meaningfully discern my path forward (the difficulty in emotional and physical chastity caused by passionate kissing has not in any way made it easier). We did have a conversation about being objective that also laid down the boundary of not passionately kissing. While I value loyalty, it also is very concerning to me that she has put all her eggs in one basket because it makes my decision harder to make given that if I make the decision to break up, I know how much it is going to hurt her. She will say things like “I wish we could spend every day, all day talking together” or try to make plans far in advance when I personally am not convinced that these things are meant for my future yet. We have known each other for 3 months and it seems like things are most definitely moving too fast.

It sounds as if you’ve made your decision. Are you able to move out (if you’re still staying with her family)? Move out as soon as you can. Tell her you’ve decided to break up, and let her family comfort her. And no kissing!!!

I’m going to make this super easy. Put all the other stuff aside. Anytime you are in a relationship that you think is moving to fast or you want to end and you feel you can’t because of the other person’s hard time at the moment you are in an unhealthy situation and it is an early sign of a manipulation that can be devastating. Your biggest red flag here is not any of the other discernible issues but rather you feel that you cannot make a necessary or willful move on your own because of her “hard time”

Hard time or not, the it is obvious that you are not matched.

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Yeah, so it’s not you, it’s her. She’s got something going on inside— insecurity, self esteem, abandonment issues, or maybe it’s that intelligence gap surfacing in a way that is based on her not having any hobbies or intellectual pursuits other than you.

Whatever it is, you’ve been dating three months and she wants to spend all her time with you and wants to make all these plans.

Definitely something going on with her that is not really about you, and if it’s making you uncomfortable then you need to stop dating.

I guess right now you’re really not dating because of isolation, but she is going to continue to think it will progress and go back the way it was when you are at the same school again. Unless you make it clear that you’re not interested in continuing to dare or have a girlfriend/boyfriend relationship.


Run away! Quickly! Don’t look back!

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I didn’t say anything about “unequally yoked”. And neither did the OP.

Education level and intelligence are not the same thing.

Education and intellectual capacity can both certainly impact the level on which spouses communicate and find or don’t find common ground and mutual respect.

The OP indicated an intellectual disparity that he wasn’t comfortable with and asked if that would be a legitimate deal breaker. The answer to that is yes, it could be.

Where is my snort of derision emoji?

I would agree with you if she were 25 years old, but she’s 50–it’s really hard for a 50 year-old man or woman to make big changes to their personality.

Nearly 22 year old gal here to offer some extra perspective:

Honestly, I don’t think it’s common for people to learn enough about each other in a few months to discern if they want or don’t want to be with the other person, especially if they’ve been physically intimate and not communicating. (Sparing some glaring problems and flags. Maybe these are the flags for you, but I’m just trying to be positive. Why did you like her in the first place? Do you know why she liked you in the first place?)

On being clingy, it’s VERY easy for emotional people to do this. Especially when they meet a good person. So, it isn’t healthy behavior, but if you’re her first serious boyfriend, or if you’ve been the nicest one she’s had, that could be playing a part. In which case, she needs to gain/build confidence in herself and in trust, both that she’ll be fine if it doesn’t work out or learn to.stand on her own even if it does work out. Direct her to a spiritual director maybe?
(Regardless, just based on what’s been said, I’m assuming she’s struggling with self esteem problems. It’s SOOO common.)
Dating is exactly the time to expect people to change; it’s when you’re married that you’ve chosen that person as they are/where they are.
If she prays formally and doesn’t know how to pray otherwise maybe she hasn’t developed her faith? In which case you could teach her a lot. I’d say a bigger problem would be lack of openness to learn and grow in the faith.

Two main points:

  1. As my priest says, “don’t make huge decisions during super emotional/chaotic times.” I don’t know how much this applies, but keep that in mind for more than just this situation.
    1.5 Definitely talk to a priest. Maybe he can talk to both of you separately and then together? Depends on how serious you are to see if it can work or not.
  2. Definitely talk to her about how you think things are going too fast, that you’re worried about how she reacts to things and her clinginess. My ex had concerns that he only mentioned briefly so I didn’t realize anything was a major problem until he broke it off. Give her the chance to work on herself. Maybe she will grow. Maybe slowing things down physically and just facetiming or talking on the phone or texting could help establish a line of communication that would give you more info discern one way or another.

There’s a text limit! :sob: my post will be in two parts, sorry for such a long response.

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  1. (bonus tip, not seemingly relevant but just sharing the knowledge, haha). Don’t make promises you can’t keep and don’t jump right into rry to fix her problems. The former, because it can make self esteem issues and trust issues MUCH worse, so if you’re tempted to promise her something, make sure it’s small (“I promise I’ll call you for a bit tomorrow”) and not (“next month we can do something together.”) As for the fixing problem tip, in my Theology of the Body class last semester, we discussed men versus women and touched upon the fact that women talk about their problems even when they don’t want the person their talking to to fix said problem. Sometimes people need to vent. But if it causes you stress, let her know. Something like, “Men want to fix problems, so when you talk about a problem, I want to fix it so can you talk to a trustworthy friend that’s a girl if you’re just venting? But if it’s something I can fix or actively help with, let me know.”)

I think her reaction to the conversations I’m proposing would tell you more if it’ll work or not. If you’ve done most of what I suggested already (or something similar), then you’ll know better than anyone on this thread what you should do next.
P.S.: I’m no expert. Just someone who loves psychology and interpersonal relationships and bringing harmony. Lol!

God Bless!
Things will work out for both of you regardless.

See HazelSongs point #3 - and take it very seriously! This is so true. So often when I’m venting to my husband about something that happened with friends or at work, he will reply, “I don’t know what you want me to do about it!” I then remind him that I just want him to listen for a minute or two while I get it off my chest - no action needed other than listening.

Often women vent and want others to just be there to listen. Men listen in order to fix problems and find solutions. It’s important for her to be clear that she is just venting - and listen knowing that she doesn’t necessarily expect something from you! Especially if she’s been going through emotionally trying times, there might be a lot of things she just wants to talk about to get them off her chest so to speak.

Listening just to listen and knowing that you aren’t necessarily needed to solve every problem is a skill that will serve you well in all future relationships!

Wishing you the best of luck with discernment!!

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