Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend has hang-ups about being touched in public. If we’re walking side-by-side or weaving through crowds, he does not want to hold hands or touch in any way. He likes to be totally “unencumbered.” Part of it seems to be his DNA and part a hang-up about any touch being a form of PDA.
I am not clingy, but holding hands to stay close while weaving through a crowd or crossing the street seems reasonable to me.
I’ve given up on ever taking a romantic walk with him but I’m still upset about the no-touching-while-moving thing. We’re still trying to work it out, but I’m trying to sort out whether this should be a deal-breaker. The relationship is otherwise progressing OK.
Any thoughts on how I should think through this? Part of me feels like we’re so through. Another part of me feels like we can work through this, and all couples have incompatibilities.
When fate hands you “OK,” you grab on and don’t let go! I think I saw a cat meme on that.
There are a lot of specifics to talk about here, but I’m going general: Please don’t talk yourself into anyone, for any reason.
Yes, all couples have stuff. Yes, his not holding your hand is a micro-reason to break up. Yes, it’s a good idea to think before acting.
But the one time you got out of your head here, the one time you got into your heart/gut/other non-overthinking parts of your anatomy, the message was this: “We’re so through.”
You’re so through.
Dear Carolyn: When our grandson’s girlfriend was pregnant, her mom threw them both a baby shower. We told our grandson we would buy him a crib, dresser and chest. We let them both pick them out and spent about $1,200.00.
We told our grandson that if they broke up, the furniture must stay with him. They had a long history of breaking up and getting back together.
Six months after our great-granddaughter was born they broke up for the final time. She took the furniture with her. She said baby showers are for the babies and since the baby lives with her, the furniture stays with her.
He gets her three or four days a week while her mother works. His daughter sleeps in a portable crib. Should she have kept the furniture or let my grandson have it?
Does my opinion matter? She has the crib. You’re not going to extract it from her home, and I won’t help you do it.
If it’ll settle your mind, though, here’s my opinion anyway (as if forbearance stood a chance): The strings you attached to the gift were inappropriate and inoperative from the start. Once they became owners of the furniture, your grandson and his girlfriend were free not only to decide who kept it, but also to sell it, burn it, render it into a pop-art statement on modern child-rearing. (Yet your great-grandchild uses it. Yay!)
This tough and expensive lesson can be a useful one, too, if it moves you to revisit your intentions and expectations here: You can help this (un)couple and/or their child all you want, but you can’t control them. Can you remain generous on those terms?
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