Shayne on You: Sleepin' single in a double bed

Dear Maggie,

For several almost a year now, my boyfriend and I have been growing closer and closer. We agree weíre in love, and we agree weíre in it for the long haul. We currently spend at least a couple of nights a week together, sometimes at his place and sometimes at mine. But Iím ready for more. Heís not.

I find myself feeling lonely and miserable on nights when Iím by myself. And then on the nights when weíre together, Iím brooding about wishing they were more often than not. And wondering when things will get to that point. But I donít say anything. I donít want to push him into anything heís not ready for, I really donít. But what if Iím ready and heís not? What happens then?

We used to never stay overnight. Then we did once in a while. Then nearly all the time, and now itís every time we see each other. We used to see each other once or twice a week and now weíre up to three times, and sometimes more. So it is progressing, but with painful slowness! I mean, Iím not getting any younger!



My best friends say I should tell him how Iím feeling, and we should air it out and discuss it. But I worry itíll scare him away. What should I do?

Signed,

Sick of Sleeping Alone

Dear . . . you. (I didnít want to call you ďsickĒ!)

The issue here isnít about whether to talk it out or not. Talking it out is a synonym for ďIím going to tell him heís not making me happy with what he gives, so heíll feel he either has to give more than heís ready to give, or feel like heís failing me in some way. But Iíll feel better.Ē

So letís not do that just yet. Letís decide whatís happening. You say youíve been together for a year. At first you never stayed over, then you did sometimes, then you did most of the time, now you do all the time. Do we see a pattern here? A nice, steady, predictable pattern? Youíre wanting more and sure as night follows day, youíre going to get more. Your pattern is going to keep right on going just the way it has been. UNLESS you stop it.

How can you stop it? By focusing on the nights when youíre alone and how much you hate it, instead of focusing on the nights when youíre together and how much you love it.

So hereís what you do. When heís there with you, relish it. Make mental notes of how good it feels to have him in bed beside you, and let yourself just delight in it. Remind yourself often how far you two have come.

Now, on nights when heís not there, you need to focus on anything BUT the fact that heís not there. You can think about how good itís going to feel when heís there more often. Or you can spend the evening journaling about how much you enjoyed the last time you were with him. You can rent movies, or go to movies, or indulge in any of dozens of possible hobbies, or take a class, or go to the gym. Wear yourself out so youíll sleep soundly. Wake up feeling good about the relationship you have, and it will get better and better. Wake up resenting that itís not what you want it to be just yet, and youíll get more of what you donít want it to be. Itís that simple.

You can really mess this up if you let yourself. But it sounds like that would be a real shame. Itís in your hands, though. Itís all about where you choose to focus.

Good luck!

Maggie

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