Friday, July 27, 2012

Ask Katrina... "Is That Really Love?"

Okay, so this is a new part of my blog called "Ask Katrina." Ask Katrina has been inspired by specific questions brought up by my close friends, ones that probably wont be covered by "Journal Of Our Generation" (which will be back up in the next post, so stay tuned ;)). These may be important to the inquirer, or even my other readers that are able to relate. I want this to expand beyond my personal friends, but to you guys, my international friends, out there. Ask anything and I'll answer to the best of my ability, unbiased and without judgement. You will be made anonymous under a given name, like I usually do, so you won't be recognized by anyone; we can keep it between us :). All you have to do is leave a comment under ANY post with your question. It goes into my inbox where I can read it without posting it to the blog, so only I can see it, no worries.

Now, I'm no Dr. Phil and I'm not the most experienced person, but I take time to evaluate things by looking at the pros and cons of every situation, so whether I've been in the same position or not, I can help you to make a decision that's good either way. That's how it is with my first question:

"Hey Katrina. So here's my problem; My boyfriend and I recently got into an argument because of boundaries. He invited me to a late night movie along with some other friends, but not only would I have to sneak out, but my parents don't want me going out with him when they aren't around. I chose to stay home and since then, about a week now, he's been avoiding me and ignoring my texts and phone calls. Chris* (my boyfriend) is upset because he thinks that if we are in a relationship that we should be sacrificing boundaries for each other, but is that really love? Please help, me Katrina....
Sincerely,
Julia*"

Okay, so I thought long and hard about this one because I didn't really know what to say. I mean, as you guys know, I have never been in a relationship and probably wont be for a few more years, so I'm typically not an advice giver when it comes to this topic, but you know what? Maybe I do have a few things to say...

Okay, Julia. So I hear what your saying and I completely agree with you as to having boundaries for yourself and not wanting to disappoint your parents. My parents always tell me, "You slip you slide," meaning that once I break their trust that it will be a loooonnnnngggg process trying to get it back. It's almost like working hard to rake up 47 acres of land covered in 7 inches of leaves into a neat pile and then having a great gust of wind just scatter it out everywhere. Therefore, I applaud you for making the decision to stay home instead of going and taking that risk. I'm going to be honest; It isn't love, and I'll explain why.

 Dictionary.com refers to love as being a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. That being said, it obviously doesn't spell out love word for word since it applies to different people in different ways, but it sure does help. I personally think that if you honestly care about someone then you accept them for who they are; I mean, you won't agree on everything, but you know what? You respect their boundaries. For instance, my friends and I love each other dearly. I'm sure having a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship is different, but I'm sure not too much. Anyhow, yeah, my friends and I don't always get along. Maybe they made an offensive comment, or vice versa. Maybe they did something that I didn't agree with. Maybe they insist on pushing me to do something that I'm not comfortable doing, so in the end, we could end up not communicating for a few days. But let me tell you something; if I really want to continue the friendship because the person is important to me, as important as I claim they are, then I will suck it up and accept that what happened can be squashed. Now, I'm not saying that if the act was truly, unforgivably offensive to you to just ignore it, but what I am saying is that Chris needs to understand that sneaking out isn't what you want to do and in the end to just move on with it.

Beyond even that, I don't think that he should be ignoring you. People who care about each other try to work things out, and the best way to do that is through communication; it really is. I don't want to be biased, however, so maybe I should put myself in Chris' eyes. Maybe he was disappointed that he wasn't able to spend time with you that night, to go and see a movie with you, and so he's just blowing off steam. Sure, maybe. He might even feel uncomfortable with your parents everywhere you guys go and might be trying to get quality time, just the two of you. I don't know because, at the end of the day, none of those things could make me so upset that I treat someone so special to me like he has treated you, but I'm not Chris, you know? So I really don't know where he's coming from, but my point is that maybe both you and I are missing the real problem that Chris is having with the situation. Maybe you need to give it some time until he comes around and lets you know  how he feels and move from there.

Now, if Chris' problem is really that you wouldn't go against your parents' requests, then you need to have a discussion with him. There's nothing wrong with telling him no; telling him that you refuse to go against what you believe in, whether he likes it or not. If it were me, I would give him an ultimatum. Tell Chris, "You know what? If you don't like it, then maybe you need to move on." I can understand that the chance of him saying, "Fine. We're done" could be heart breaking, but think about it; who do you love more? Your parents that have always loved you, despite anything that you've done; they give you whatever you need/want and they will ALWAYS care for you or the boyfriend that loves you now, but you're not certain will love you later, the one that makes you feel guilty for making a decision that is good enough for you but not for him? I mean, is it really worth the risk of losing their trust to maintain you guys' relationship? Think about it.

So, you know what? I believe in the saying "If you don't stand for something, you'll stand for anything." It really is true, I mean, today it's sneaking out to go to a movie. What's next? Asking you to go to a party that you know is going to have illegal drug usage and liquor? You never know, so it's always better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, what Chris says about sacrificing boundaries that you have put up (ultimately to protect yourself from due harm) is complete rubbish; that is NOT what love really is, Julia.

I hope that I was able to help you with your dilemma and I wish you all the luck with Chris. As I said earlier, maybe both of us are way off and he's really upset about something else, so don't go flying up to him, accusing him of anything without knowing what's really going on; and even then, it's always best to approach situations in a calm manner and with an open mind.

Well, that's been Ask Katrina. Thanks for reading! Remember, you can ask me your OWN questions and I just might choose to answer it on the blog...

Love Always <3,
Katrina Lowell

*The names in this post have been changed from the original ones given to me in the question upon the inquirer's request.
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