A Protective Family

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Male
I'm used to being in long-term relationships. My previous two lasted for about 2 years each. The one I'm in now has only been going on for about a month. I've sorta forgotten a lot of things about starting relationships. The girl I'm with now is wonderful, and I'm not going to bore you with a list of good qualities that I'm sure you've heard before.

There are two problems, though, that I'm not sure how to handle. First is that I think I'm kinda being used. I live almost an hour away from her, but I still see her almost every day after we're done with work and school. Anymore it seems like I'm expected to be the transportation to wherever she needs to go. I don't get thank you's for that, for the trips I make, for the dates I pay for, anything. It seems like she's taking me for granted already. I try to talk to her about it, but the subject keeps getting changed. Is there something I can do that will communicate this problem without being plain mean?

Second problem...I'm used to being in a relationship without that 'spark' after a period of time, but a couple days ago, it seems like this spark just died on me. That was just a couple weeks into the relationship, and clear out of the blue. I asked her if she was noticing some tension between us, and she said she was, so I think I'm not the only one suddenly spark-less.

Most of our time together has been spent running errands or working on our homework. We both still live with our parents until we're out of college, and since I'm driving, most of the time we're at her house. To make a long story short, her mom won't even let us go outside unsupervised, though I can take her out places excluding my place.

Do you think it's all that stress, and my unresolved problem that's causing a sudden distance between us? My thought is to tell her that I can't be her transportation any more, and that we should do our homework before we see each other. That way we can go out more, and actually do something fun together. I really like her, and I don't want to give up on this so soon, but I don't think it's normal to have problems like this after less than a month. That and since she's 18 and I'm 19, I think her mom could give us a bit of breathing room, but that's something I guess we just have to deal with for now. Thanks in advance for your help.

RomanceClass.com Advice
It sounds like this girl grew up in a very protective family and it could be very well that she was brought up to expect the guy to do everything for her. So I don't know that I could fault her TOO much, with her mom still refusing to let you guys alone in the house, for having some quirks. Of course she should be growing up at age 18!!! But it can be hard while living with Mommy and Daddy to tell them to stop treating you like a baby.

So yes, you have to start teaching her about being an adult in the real world. Sit down and talk with her - I have pages on that on the site - and explain that you feel uncomfortable doing all the work. That a normal relationship involves both people putting in an equal effort. She is a fully functional adult, she should be driving to meet you.

You're quite right that life isn't about chores and homework. It is about a balance between work and play. Your balance is off. So you need to work to find a new balance. Ask her what she would enjoy doing, and bring up things you would enjoy doing. And then start doing those things! A good relationship doesn't just happen. It requires active work on both parts and a sustained effort. Talk with her about that effort and then start actually doing it. You might be surprised how quickly the spark returns with some attention!

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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