Dear Bitter Single Guy: I love my boyfriend of a couple months, but he has broken up with me once because of his issues (he struggles with perfectionism, anxiety, depression), but now says he made a mistake and is working hard on his issues (although he has been working on them for a long time).
We truly care for each other, have fun together, and are attracted to each other, and in terms of physical intimacy, we don’t have intercourse, but foreplay (I haven’t been ready for intercourse). But I’m afraid he will never be able to ease up on himself and become less anxious and raise his self-esteem. I want to see how things go and grow together (or see if this happens…I have some of my own self-esteem issues I’m working on), but I have this feeling that I should date others to see what’s out there (I’m 29 but inexperienced with dating and relationships) because I may reducing my chances of finding a right fit for me by being exclusive with my boyfriend.
But I truly care for him, just I know that he needs to make some changes to be able to be a good fit for me and possibly a good father in the future for my children. I feel since I started dating late, I don’t have a lot of time to find the right person for me to have a nice relationship with and eventually start a family. Any thoughts?! Thank you so much. ~Afraid of the Long Haul~
Dear ALH: The Bitter Single Guy thinks that you’re asking what to do about your doubts about your boyfriend. You’ve broken up due to his issues (isn’t that always the way?), but appear to be getting back together (or are already back together).
In the meantime, it appears that you fear that your relative inexperience dating means that you’re missing out on an even better boyfriend (and possible co-producer of babies). ALH, this is a common relationship problem.
Imagine with the BSG that you’re at a restaurant…maybe just for lunch; nothing fancy. At this restaurant, there are many wonderful sandwiches and salads on the menu. There is a turkey club with bacon, a chicken salad, there’s even a BBQ sandwich that appeals to your slightly naughty side. Any of these will ease your hunger, but even while you take a bite into that smoky BBQ, the BSG is pretty sure that you’ll wonder if the turkey club would have been better.
The BSG’s point here is that there are ALWAYS other choices for relationships and there is not likely to be a sign that your current relationship is dramatically better than all the other choices; especially at first.
The BSG recommends, since you’re just a couple of months in, hanging in there to see where this relationship goes. It’s totally normal to be thinking about the babies you’ll be having, but the BSG recommends curbing your baby-focused behavior slightly while you determine whether this relationship will turn out.
It’s also possible that you’ll date your current boyfriend for awhile, then someone else for awhile, then someone else for awhile (lather, rinse, repeat) until you find someone you want to make babies with.