Video/Question From Viewer
Firstly, thank you for all the work you do. You guys are great, your advice is mature and balanced. And this is why I am coming for you to get advice on a certain issue.
I am 21 years old and the person I am in love with is 22.
Here is a bit of the background. We went to the same primary school so we have known about each other since we were about 6 years old. When I was 11, I moved to England and been living there for the past 10 years, he stayed in Uganda.
We got back in touch almost a year ago and recently we have shared so many of our experiences, had a lot of discussions and the past week we have been talking for hours every day. Now he tells me he has feelings for me. Truth be told, I have fallen for him too, he seems to have the right personality, makes me laugh and is very understanding. It has got to the point where he wants to pursue a relationship with me.
Now here is my issue, he is too far. I didn’t grow up with my father and so the ‘absence’ of my boyfriend would mean I am not learning from my past. There is too much uncertainty with long distance relationships.
He has tried to convince me to ‘give it a chance’ and truth be told, if he was in England with me, I would have said yes a long time ago. I have been through too much in my young life for the same thing to come up in my adult life. By ‘same thing’ I mean the absence of a male figure, in this context, it would be my boyfriend. Speaking on the phone for me is not enough, it’s not like he has travelled somewhere and he is coming back that’s different, the reality of it is that we are miles and miles away.
He mentioned he would try and visit. I cannot have that much uncertainty around me. For me I want to protect myself from as much hurt as possible in my adult life; our past is there to teach us a lesson. It is definitely better for him as well because who is to say he will not meet a beautiful, loving, compatible Ugandan woman whilst I am busy studying/working back in the UK. After all, it isn’t guaranteed that I may not meet another man who will sweep me off my feet too. The negatives in this context outweigh the positives. I would not want to take him away from the country he has grown to love. Home is Home after all. He says he can adapt to any situation, he may like it in England for a bit, but after sometime he would get fed up of it because you have been brought up in a different culture. Also, career opportunity wise, there is a better chance of him doing exactly what you want to do when he is in Uganda than if he moves elsewhere, UK, in this context. I neither see myself working nor living in Uganda for the rest of my life. And so perhaps love just isn’t enough?
And this is going to sound very unfair and selfish, but I do not know what he could ‘become’, he is not financially well off at the moment though he claims he is ambitious, which I trust as he is still at university. But what if he never makes it? I don’t want to marry a poor guy. It’s very shallow I know, but again I am trying to protect myself from things that have happened to me in the past. I am working very hard, I go to a great university, I have searched for opportunities and I am heading for a great career, but I would hate to be the one who supports him…
Maybe it all happened too quickly too soon. I think he has fallen for the ‘idea’ of me, rather than the reality of who I am. Who is to say it’s not lust? Who is to say it’s not a simple crush? I have a lot of issues that I am still dealing with in my life. I am still strengthening my relationship with God, I am still working on my education, career, I am still working on myself physically, emotionally and mentally and still dealing with my past. I am not ready to bring someone into my life right now. Then I got so frightened when he mentioned the whole marriage thing, I mean; I am completely not ready at all. Choosing a marriage partner is a tricky business. It’s crucial to know someone properly for at least 1-2 years before you even admit anything. So he did freak me out a little when you mentioned the whole proposal thing. I really like him, I don’t know whether it’s love or not coz I have never been in love, but I think about him all the time, I get all excited when I receive messages from him, his voice is like music to my ears, he makes me laugh, I just love talking to him so much, I’ve opened up with him, he is the first guy with whom I have felt 100% comfortable. I feel special when I speak to him. I am also going to see him in 10 weeks as I’m making a family visit back to Uganda in the summer.
He still young, I am still young, and we do not know about these things well enough to jump into them. I know we have joked, we have laughed, yes and I enjoy that, but the reality of it just doesn’t seem realistic. Maybe it is the chase that gets him and I both excited, but once you reach it, then what? I told him he deserves someone who is going to be there with him.
All my thoughts are always mixed up, taking me time to make up my mind about life’s issues. I would rather not into the whole thing now than going into it now then have to break his heart later on because I hadn’t dealt with myself before I let someone else in. It is also not guaranteed on your side that you would always want me. Life is very unpredictable, people change, circumstances change, situations change. We are still very young, still a lot of growing up to do for ourselves so we do not know what we want fully. I think he deserves someone better; I don’t think I can give him what he need.
So to sum up, for me the issues are: long distance, him not making it financially in life, me not having dealt with my issues well enough and generally being afraid of what this means. I would love to hear your thoughts and any advice you can offer on this.
Thank you very much Ma’ats!
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