I’ve been dating Mike for a few months. We get along famously and are growing closer all the time.
Mike seems to have a disturbingly disproportionate number of female friends. He doesn’t hide them from me, but it nevertheless raises a red flag for me.
I don’t want to be that jealous girlfriend, but I guess I am. I would prefer to be the only woman in his life. I don’t feel comfortable asking him to give up all his female friends yet. I’m afraid he will see a side of me that he won’t like.
How should I approach this?
Too Many Women
Dear Too Many Women
Jealousy is a powerful emotion and can make you miserable. It’s perceiving a normal circumstance as a potentially damaging one. It can ruin a relationship that would otherwise be fine.
The bigger picture is one of trust, respect and love, the three basic must-haves for a successful union to flourish. Examine your relationship with Mike. Think long and hard about each of these traits. Do they exist? Other than having many female friends who existed before you walked into his life, has Mike given you any reason to mistrust him?
If the answer to that is no, then you have to turn the mirror to yourself. Why are you jealous when there is no reason to be? Jealousy can stem from a past experience – for example, if someone has cheated on you. Or it could be because you feel inadequate or insecure. If that’s the case, you need to be mindful of your feelings and find a way to control them.
You say Mike and you are growing closer. You also mentioned that he doesn’t hide his friendships from you. Work with that. Rather than putting restrictions on his friendships, maybe get to know some of these women a little better. He would probably be open to your meeting people who are important in his life. Try to be open minded about his life prior to your becoming part of it. If you force him to give up people who are important to him, he may end up resenting you.
Two lives coming together to form one bond takes work. It is not always easy or automatic, but if you keep the lines of communication open at all times, the rest will work itself out.
After a few years of dating, I met Sonia. We have much in common, and both of us are divorced with kids. We share the same family values, are very involved with our children and enjoy having fun both alone and with our kids. However, I’m afraid of the financial commitment that may be expected of me down the road. I work very hard and am still raising my own family. I have extra financial obligations because of the divorce, and the thought of having to support children who are not my own is far from appealing.
I don’t know if it’s appropriate to approach the subject and get it out of the way. Sonia has made no financial demands on me, but I know it’s just around the corner.
What’s Mine is Mine
Dear What’s Mine is Mine
It’s nice that you’ve made a connection with someone who makes you happy, but I’m not clear on why you feel the financial burden of Sonia’s children will fall on your shoulders. Sonia has raised her children without your help till now. She must have some kind of income and chances are she receives child support from her ex as well.
Right now you are simply in the “getting to know you” phase of your relationship. Putting up road blocks is not a great way to start. First, see if there is something developing between you.
As you are both parents, you must be able to respect each other’s choices when it comes to the children. You will both do what’s best for the kids first.
Chances of finding a soul mate with no history are slim. You have to grow and learn about each other and decide what you can and can’t accept. Relax and enjoy each other’s company for now. If you’re meant to be together, you’ll work out those financial details in time.
Ella’s advice is not a replacement for medical, legal or any other advice. For serious problems, consult a professional.