Relationship Forum: Young Love?

The Relationship Forum is a regular element for us on this site. I take a real relationship situation from a column I have elsewhere. I edit the details so individuals and places are unidentifiable, and I recap them here with the answers I gave. I know that highlighting these real situations faced by women around the world helps others with similar relationship problems they're experiencing in their own lives. So many women have allowed their relationships to shape who they are instead of the other way around. This is especially true for younger girls like *Monica (not real name) below. 

This month our focus is slightly different, because we tackle a relationship of a younger girl instead of a woman. *Monica's relationship will remind us all how important it is for girls to feel loved and needed at home, because some boys find it difficult to work out the complex workings in the mind of a girl - especially one who wants a secure and committed relationship from him. You can access last month's relationship forum article here.  
And the earlier ones here.

Relationship forum: young love?
is it young love, or companionship?

*Monica's story of young love
We started our relationship when were both just kids and have grown up together. He’s involved in every part of my life. Every ‘first’ I did was with him, including first exam, first school skip, first party - everything. We even have the same friends.

He has a lot of good qualities and that’s what I love so much about him. However, lately he’s turned all his attention into video games, even to the point of neglecting school and exams. During term time, he’s been neglecting me, saying he needed to be alone. So I learned to be patient and understanding.  Then summer came and he still didn’t make any effort to meet up or even speak to me. On the rare nights when he actually ‘talks’ to me on the phone, all he does is moan or make weird noises to put me off from asking him anything.

She had enough of unrequited love
I lost all hope when he blew me off on a date that he promised we’d go on – he overslept and didn’t seem to care when I got angry about it. I couldn’t stand it anymore and suggested a break up. He asked why, and when I said I just wanted more love and attention, all he said was, ‘Oh, Okay then. Bye’.
I just don’t understand. I should get over him, but he’s been such a big part of my life. It’s scary how reliant on him I am. What can I do?
Whenever I try to talk about it he doesn’t reply. If I go to his house to speak to him, he’d just close his eyes and pretend to sleep.

My relationship advice
Dear Monica, Sometimes, a relationship between a male and a female is mistaken by both parties as a romantic one when it’s simply a relationship of friendship.
It sounds like this was the case with your friendship with the young man you’ve known for 4 years. He seems to treat you more like a friend than a girlfriend. The way you described, is exactly how most males treat their male friends. There is an understanding that there’s never any pressure - if you don’t feel like doing something -you don’t. This doesn’t mean that the friendship is ending (and guys get that).

Not all relationships are built to last
Please remember that not all relationships are made to last. Some have to run their course then end naturally. Sometimes they fizzle out, and many times it’s up to the people in those relationships to end them when all the joy that could have come out of them have dried up.
This guy hasn’t fallen out of love with you. It sounds like he was never in love with you in the way you wanted him to be. He may still love you, but if you keep pushing for a relationship that’s clearly not there, he could get irritated and walk out of your life.

A relationship of friendship may be possible
I think that you should accept (no matter how hard it may be to do so), that the romantic relationship you want with this guy is no longer there. If you can stand to be his friend and keep him in your life, do so. If not, walk away.
It’s perfectly okay and natural to grow out of friends, boyfriends, and relationships. Look forward to the excitement of moving on with your young life which should be full of adventure, not bogged down with a long-time relationship.


Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.
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