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Love Walter: Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman

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Dear Walter,

 

I’ll just dive right in…

 

I have been dating my boyfriend for about a year now, and things are getting complicated. He tells me I never listen to him, and he needs someone who is emotionally supportive.

 

I try to be there for him as best as I can. We live together. I go to school and he works. His hours are from 1:30-9 at night and he hates it. He hates every job he’s had actually. I don’t know if I want to be with someone who can’t hold a job. I have student loans and he thinks he can help himself to my money because he’s not making enough to support us. When we first got together he said he wanted to take care of me and now that it comes down to it, I have been the one holding us above water.

 

I just turned 21, and he doesn’t want me going out. He questions me a lot, and I have never given a reason for that. I miss who he used to be towards me. Now I feel like he’s my dad. His emotions are explosive and ruining our relationship.

 

He wants me to be there but when he lectures me on his version of “the truth” I shut down completely.

 

When I do this he says he feels he doesn’t even have a girlfriend.

 

Not to mention, my whole family lives two hours away and his family is twenty minutes away.

 

I feel like we don’t get along…but if loving him is wrong I don’t wanna be right.

 

He feels like the one, I want him to be. I want things to work, and he does too.

 

I’m just at a standstill.

 

-Forever 21


 

Dear Forever 21,

 

I used to hate being alone. Until clenching my ass cheeks on the toilet seat was the only modicum of peace I looked forward to each day. Isn’t that crazy? I spent my days at work and my nights with him.

 

My man was smothering me. He showed up on my bus rides, at my job, and after work. He was doing too much. He needed to find some business of his own. Hijacking my mornings and evenings, every day of the week was not working for me. I needed to breathe like a fine wine that was just popped open. I wanted to break free. But why couldn’t he see that? Why was he so desperately clinging to me? What’s the reason for this codependency?

 

I know I’m complaining, but it doesn’t make it less frustrating. He controlled where we went after work, what we did on my off days, what we watched on tv, even what my hair looked like. And I know he does this because he loves me, and wants the best for me but honey, come on.

 

He needed to learn how to show love in a less intrusive way. My world could not be consumed by him.

 

I was ready to break dishes like Rihanna when he started counting my money. My money is my money, not our money, and I decide where I spend it.

 

I didn’t belong to him. This was not working. I loved him but he needed to find another hobby. It felt awkward to not talk to him when we were out because I have my writing goals in the morning. I have to reach my word count each morning. So he tags along like a stroller.

 

I was tired of these negative thoughts. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. But something had to give. This daily routine needed to be rescheduled. There had to be a way for us to coexist with two individuals in a relationship versus being two people merging as one — reductive. When you’re surrounded by people every day you need your space.

 

And that may be exactly what you need. A single girl in an emotionally and financially draining relationship needs an exit strategy. You don’t belong to him, and he doesn’t own your resources. So you need to start lying about your money, and secretly putting some away so when that rainy day turns into a torrential downpour — you can run like Jennifer Lawerence in the Hunger Games.

 

I know you love him and that’s cool too. But it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s tough when you’re living with someone. What was once hot in the beginning is now annoying in the end. It’s because you spend all your time together. It’s hard to fully know someone when you’re just starting to learn your self. When you’re playing house and living the dream, you sacrifice a bit of yourself. It’s almost a detriment to your soul. But are the benefits of temporary happiness worth the evisceration?

 

If he’s the one it’s worth it.

 

Your man is following some tired cliche:  since he’s the man, so he’s the boss. Chile, you can’t run the show, when you don’t write the checks. He knows this, that’s why he lied to get with you in the first place.

 

And since your family is two hours away, you’ve made him your everything. It’s important for you to exist outside of your relationship. It’s important to have an identity of one’s own outside of a relationship. In order to thrive, and grow as an individual.

 

I needed to become the person I’ve always talked about being and so do you.

 

Love,

 

Walter


Make sure to also checkout previous Love Walter columns here

Got a question? Email your letters at [email protected] His advice column will appear on Wednesday.

Walter Reed

Walter Reed is writer and advice columnist on love, lust, and life. Romance is his day job. Read more at LoveWalter.com. Follow him on Twitter @ LoveWalterHQ

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