relationship troubleshooting with Renzie Baluyut.
A friend of mine messaged me on Yahoo the other day, and asked me for my opinion about what she should do with her current boyfriend.
Now this is a good friend of mine from way back, so we had the customary chit-chat and catching up before she got down to the actual problem- which took up the better part of the rest of our conversation.
So here’s how it goes: My friend works in China. She’s from the Philippines too, but her man is Indian. They get together along just fine, but for some reason she feels like he isn’t expressive enough for her- whether vocally or physically. So that’s her first main concern.
He does however, discuss their future as a couple. And all his friends and family know about her.
Here’s her second concern: her man works four hours away from where she lives. And while they’ve been together for some time now, he doesn’t come over to her place. Instead, he insists she come over to his part of China to hang out.
So anyway, since she always tries to get him to be more affectionate, or keeps on asking him to come over to her place instead, she’s beginning to think she’s demanding, needy and clingy. And this drives her crazy because she knows she’s not an overly demanding, needy or clingy girlfriend, based on her past relationships.
So what is she supposed to do about her whole situation? What do I think about the whole thing?
Here’s What I Think…
First of all, I think given the circumstances, she shouldn’t feel less of herself (i.e. feel needy, demanding or clingy). It only seems that way because of their difference in terms of being affectionate.
I believe that being in a happy relationship requires a significant degree of affection. We all need to feel safe and secure, and accepted, and loved.
Gestures of affection can be anything that helps fulfill these needs: pet-names and terms of endearment, doing things together as a couple, small gifts and surprises, hugging and kissing, etc.
I was asking my friend that maybe her dude has some redeeming set of actions- maybe he shows his love in some other way or form.
Apparently not, and this whole affection issue is sure a big deal for her. So I asked her: is it a dealbreaker? Which seemed to have set her off on an entirely different set of questions.
I am a believer in the fact that when you enter into a relationship, you have to know exactly what you want from it. A relationship, goes without saying, is a partnership, an association with another person that brings you both mutual benefit. Win-win for both, and all that.
If you both get what you want as individuals, then you’re both happy, and that’s all that matters in the end.
If for some reason you find yourself unhappy about some aspect of your relationship (in this case, the lack of affection), then you don’t have the win-win dynamic, and obviously something’s wrong.
So I told her that, you really have just two options:
- If it’s a dealbreaker (the fact that the man isn’t affectionate), then end the relationship and move on.
- Otherwise, fix the problem.
It seemed that she was inclined to work on the issue, so we explored that option further.
- First step, I told her, is to be able to communicate her needs and expectations with him. And ask him if this is something they can, realistically, work on together.
- Second, he has to get with the program. He knows that this area (being affectionate) is something he has to work on, and therefore is open to meeting her halfway.
- Third, they have to get into the exercise of finding solutions to this affection issue as a couple, and be consistent about it.
Which sat well with her for now. It gives them a chance to see how they resolve issues as a couple, and th
We’ll see how it all works out for her in the following weeks.
What do you think? Do you think things may have been handled differently? Or any thoughts you might want to add on the matter?
Renzie on Relationships
Renzie on Relationships is an entirely new section on this blog. You’re all welcome to give your own two cents’ worth and join the conversation, or ask me to post your situation up here for other readers to weigh in on it as well.
Relationship management is a very important aspect of a stress-free lifestyle, which ultimately, is what this whole blog is all about.