Does he love me?

I’m 14 years old and I’m in my first relationship with a 24 year old, very respectful and loving guy. At first, he was irritating me and annoying me, but now, that a year passed I am fascinated about him. I love him with all my heart, and I show him. I tell him he is my everything and I would do nothing without him. But now, although he still loves me very much, he is taking me a little bit for granted, doing things I hate (eg mentioning his ex-girlfriend very often). He doesn’t bother as he knows I will never leave him. What can I do to make him know he must not take advantage of my love? How can I make him love me the way I do? How can we enjoy more of each other’s friends (we ‘hate’ each other’s friends because of our age difference). How can I trust him more and stop being more jealous of him than he is of me? Am I doing the right thing being in a relationship at such a young age? Would I regret it?

Thank you : )

Jasmin

 

Dear Jasmin,

It seems you are feeling insecure and feeling possessive over your boyfriend – I would too if he disregarded my feelings and kept doing things that hurt me or make me uncomfortable, like repeatedly bringing up his ex-girlfriend’s name. As you say, he is probably taking you for granted and doesn’t realise how it is effecting you or he simply doesn’t care. Either way, your priority here is in respecting yourself first. No matter what his intentions are, you cannot be making excuses for other people, the fact is that you are not happy with his behaviour, which is disrespectful, and you want it to change.

I am assuming that you already told him how you feel… and got nowhere with it. The problem with being taken for granted is that once this pattern is established it is very hard to change it. If you want to be respected you have to respect yourself first, and if that means walking away from your relationship, then it will be worth it. A healthy relationship is one that allows your personality to grow and gain self-confidence. You cannot allow your self-worth to be compromised by being taken for granted.

You said that he used to annoy and irritate you during the first year together – have you considered that maybe it was your instincts warning you off this man?

A man of his age is capable of manipulating and dominating your emotions to suit him. Even if you are street-wise, you are still young and vulnerable psychologically. That is one of the reasons why it is illegal for an adult (like your boyfriend) to be in a relationship with a minor (persons under 16 years of age). As an adult, your boyfriend should know better than to get involved with a minor, unless you have your parents’ consent. Even if you do, and even if it was not illegal, you are experiencing emotions which are not making you happy – and that is not what a loving relationship should be about.

Being in a relationship at such a young age has its consequences. It is your first relationship, you haven’t ‘sampled’ what else is out there which you will probably wonder about as you grow older. You have nothing to compare with so that makes it hard to make correct decisions as to what behaviour to accept and when to draw the line. Being capable of ending a relationship is as important as working on one. Knowing which to choose might not be easy at any age, but at your age you are still developing your personality and learning to create healthy boundaries for yourself – being with someone that much older than you when you’re a 14 year old can compromise your psychological development.

It might be a good idea to talk to your school counsellor or PSE teacher regarding this matter so that they can offer you continuous support as you grow and learn more about yourself.

The Love Guru