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I feel like I'm dating a little boy instead of a man?

Tagged as: Dating, Family, Friends, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 March 2015) 10 Answers - (Newest, 30 March 2015)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

So I've been dating my boyfriend for three years now and for the most part everything is great. However, he is 24 without a car(he longboards) and has not found his career path yet.

Last year he was planning on going into the military but he could not lose the weight and this year he's been trying to become a firefighter, which I'm happy about but he hasn't found out if he passed the exam yet. If he does not pass the test I believe he doesn't know what he is going to do.

Another problem is his friends whom I feel like he would rather spend time with sometimes than me and his childish hobbies such as playing card games! He has invested a lot of time and money into this card game hobby which I think is childish and he could be investing his time in much better things. I don't see anything wrong with a hobby but if I was 24 I would have more mature goals for myself.

The last issue in our relationship is his family. In the 3 years that we have been dating, I've only spent time with them twice other than that I feel like they really don't give a crap about me, they're not trying to know me and they constantly ignore me when they see me and my boyfriend does not care. His father even brought up his ex in my presence which I thought was very disrespectful.

When I confront him on their behavior his excuse is my family and his family are different. Most of the time when he does spend time with his family, he doesn't invite me or include me in family functions, I mean I would understand if we just started dating but we have been together for 3 years!

I don't know what to do anymore I mean I love him but at this point I feel like a deserve a little better..i don't know.

View related questions: his ex, military, money

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

i'm surprised you have put up with this whole time with him

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (30 March 2015):

So_Very_Confused agony auntI do not think my gaming is childish. Card games are included in my gaming. Most of my games cost @50 dollars a game... NOT a childish hobby at all. Check out world boardgaming championships. Gaming is a very big deal.

As for the rest. I agree I think you have outgrown him. This happens a lot in relationships.

If after 3 years he still keeps you from his family, that means he does not hold you close in his inner circle and eventually you will part. Either you will get fed up or he will meet someone else.

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A female reader, maverick494 United States +, writes (30 March 2015):

When I finished HS at 16 and entered Uni for the first time, I felt way more mature than everybody else because I was already on the fast track to making something of my life. Looking back I can only laugh at that, because boy, I was wrong. People died, my family lost their house, I couldn't find a job after completing my degree, I had student debts, etc. I worked a lot, I got a second degree, but at 27 people still won't hire me for anything semi steady, so I'm getting by on freelance jobs and being a guinea pig for clinical research while trying to figure out what my next step is going to be.

So basically, I'm older than he is and I'm in the same place. Never thought I'd end up there, but not everyone gets to use the fast lane. Some people, like me, get tripped up and have to take a detour. Or two.

Now, if there's literally nothing motivating him and if he's just drifting through the years making half hearted attempts, then yeah, I'd get annoyed about that too. But at the same time, he's 24, I'm guessing you're 22, so you're both still very young. Might as well have some fun while you're at it, because you can spend the rest of your adulthood being mature.

As for his family, talk to him. Let him know it bothers you. Communication is key in any relationship. They might be that disinterested in him as well, so his non reaction could just be him being used to it and not expecting anything better.

At the same time, you're not obligated to stay with him. You seem to be looking for someone who is on the same wavelength as you and right now, he isn't. Just don't judge people too quick if they haven't gotten their lives set up yet. There are a lot of reasons it could be that way.

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A male reader, Sageoldguy1465 United States +, writes (30 March 2015):

Sageoldguy1465 agony auntIf you were my Sister and wrote this... and asked me: "Waddaya think about this guy?"....

I'd ask you, "Wouldn't you rather spend your time with a guy who has finished puberty, and whose family can actually tolerate you?"???? I think your descriptions of this guy and his family are curiously co-similar.....

Good luck (you'll need it)....

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

He sounds like a combination of things. His problems sound very normal for his age. But he does not sound very serious about trying to tackle them either. I suggest you talk to him and say what you have said to us.

I disagree with Honeypie about most 20s are out living on their own finding what they want in life. Most 20s I know are frustrated about their crappy low-level job and wishing they were doing all that. Many are living with parents despite being fully educated and working a lot.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

You have no idea how lucky you are to have that man cherish the love you to have.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

With the first details you mentioned my take was that he is just a late bloomer. But when you mentioned his family, that changes everything. This is probably not something he will outgrow. Seems like a pattern of behavior ingrained and reinforced by his family dynamics.

Some families are effed up like that. And they are close knit to a point that is unhealthy and detrimental toward the success and personal growth of their offspring. They keep their family close to home by showing disinterest toward their friends and significant others. By enabling their children to do nothing, play cards all day, instead of light a fire in their ass to go out and make something of themselves. So the result is they raise "adults" with no ambition, no drive, with little to no success in their romantic relationships, or out in the real world. And so the "adult" can't function with much success outside of his dysfunctional home life. And the result is that the parents always keep their kids close to home, to always rely on them.

Why would parents want this outcome for their children? I don't know. It could be a lot of reasons. But I have seen this dynamic in other families too. Some parents are selfish and have mental problems and see their kids as mere extensions of themselves. And not as independent individuals.

I believe your boyfriend is far beyond repair.

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A male reader, Xearo Trinidad and Tobago +, writes (30 March 2015):

Sounds like a normal guy for his age. Well maybe he is older than a lot of guys who usually acts like him but he is who he is. He's far ready for settling down and it's all the same. While I can understand your view about wanting more, you aren't going to get it yet. Having said that, try to take a step back and enjoy life a little bit as well. He has some ways to go for him to find himself and stressing about it really accomplishes nothing. His card game is his hobby I don't see why you would think it is childish. There are a lot of grown folks who play card games and for serious money as well or just for fun. Three years is not a long time when most of it has revolved around school. It will take longer as you both turn into different people.

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A female reader, Gladtohelp United Kingdom +, writes (30 March 2015):

Gladtohelp agony auntI was in a similar position. Firstly I think it's important that you know your worth. I'm not saying break up with him because that wouldn't be practical but clearly you know what you deserve and it's important that your boyfriend sees that too otherwise you will continue to be unhappy. Remember your happiness is more important. I'm not saying you shouldn't care about your boyfriend but I'm saying put yourself first. For a long time I put my ex boyfriend first and forgot my needs. At this point, a serious conversation between you and your boyfriend needs to take place. Tell him what you said here. Remember to be gentle and clear with what you say to him because getting frustrated may just cause him to not really take in what you say. Be honest with your boyfriend and if he truly cares about you and loves you the way you love him then he will try to make a few amendments in his behavior. However, I think it's important to know that you cannot change someobody. Men mature quite late than us women. Take that into account and understand that he won't change over night.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 March 2015):

Honeypie agony auntWell a skateboarding (yeah, I know long boarding might sound less.. kid-like, but he is BASICALLY skateboarding around)at 24.

He has no career - which I guess is not totally strange, not everyone KNOW what they want to be "when they grow up" - but most 20's something are out living on their own, finding what they want in life. THAT goes for a career too.

The military is WAY stricter in who they accept today then they were 5 years ago. The US military is cutting down on it's size, which means LESS people get to join each year and the requirements are harder.

If he can't EVEN lose the weight for joining the military, how can he be successful as a firefighter? NOT being fit as a firefighter is not smart. It's a pretty tough physical job.

As for his family, well you CAN NOT put that on him. HE is not responsible for how they act around you or treat you. Nor do they HAVE to care about you. THAT is their choice, their LOSS. The fact that they do NOT include you I would take as, they don't know/like you and aren't bothered to try. You BF seems OK with that attitude....

As for his card game hobby... well, what he spends HIS money on is his business, specially if you don't live together. Whether you find it childish or not.

My guess is, you have outgrown him. Maybe it's time for a more "grown up" model?

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