Being with your boyfriend can  – and should be  –  a really great feeling.  It is easy, however, to get involved – or stay involved  – for the wrong reasons and it can be so difficult to know whether your concerns about your relationship are reasonable – especially when everyone you care about may be telling you he’s perfect.  There can be social pressure and family pressure to have a boyfriend, and very, very understandably you can fear being alone.  However, the wrong boyfriend can lead to more misery than you can imagine – and most importantly it can cause you to question yourself –   Of course, we all should be open to learning more about ourselves and improving ourselves – but not ever in a way that makes us feel bad about who we are  – but in a way that helps us to add to ourselves – not diminish ourselves.  There are a few things you can ask yourself about your relationship to lessen the risk of that happening.

  • This advice is for women of all ages –  from teenagers to senior citizens.
  • It is for those who have been at times, unhappy in their relationship with their boyfriend and are wondering whether to break up with him.
  • It is for those who cannot quite put their finger on it, but think that something is not quite right about their boyfriend or about their relationship but feel they need to keep this to themselves; you are wondering if these feelings are normal or whether it means you should break up with him.
  • Emotionally dependent or perhaps financially or in other ways dependent on their boyfriend and who may be clinging to their boyfriend as they do not want to be alone.

Ask Yourself the Following:

  • How did you get involved?  Did it happen suddenly?  Did he want a commitment suddenly?
  • Who makes the decisions – do you do things he wants to do – even if it seems like fun?
  • Does the relationship seem too good to be true? – Do you ask yourself  what am I doing with this guy – I am so lucky he likes me – ?
  • Do you care equally about each others goals and problems? or does he somewhat dismiss – or get irritated – by your concerns?
  • Does he tell you how YOU feel, what YOU think?  – so that he sort of thinks for you?
  • Does he ever become angry with you?
  • Does he want your cell phone number early on in the relationship and call you regularly?
  • Does he ever say he did not do something that clearly, he did do?
  • Of course, if he has ever threatened you verbally or hit you or in any way forced you to do something you were uncomfortable doing or that was in any way against your will – you should get professional advice as to how to leave safely as he may resist your breaking up with him.  If there is a unit at the local police station dedicated to helping women with these concerns about their boyfriends, go to them right away – and use your judgment – as to whether they are going to be able to help you.  I have found some of these units are superb and others either do not exist or are poorly staffed.

If none of these things seem to be happening to you, while of course you should always use your own judgment, then you are probably in a relationship that is respectful of you and your concerns about breaking up are more related to life choices such as whether you are “growing apart”  – that can only be resolved with a lot of loving conversations and a bit of soul searching.

There are many books on this subject as well as non-profit agencies and school-related programs designed to help women stay safe.  (See Type Three conflicts for specific information.)  My book proposals:

  • “The Alloplastic Defense . . . “
  • “He’s Not Who You Think He Is  . . . “

are for sale under the “Book” section of the menu. They offer specific examples of troubled relationships that women are desperately trying to improve and checklists for avoiding a bad relationship before it starts.  They offer some insight into why we get into these relationships.

*This advice is not really the same for men as they are so tangled up with cultural expectations.  However, there are warning signs for men, too, – when they may be embarking on a relationship with a girlfriend who can become real trouble.  I may ask one of my male colleagues to write an article on this for this site if there is interest.