-- Question for John --
I am a 16 year old female with a guy who is 20. We love each other deeply but the problem is I am not allowed to go out until 1 am and my boyfriend is beginning to say things like “Well if you can’t stay out until 1am then I am going to find a girl who can!” I don’t know what to do or what to say. Am I doing the wrong thing by staying with him?
-- Answer from John --
I believe you love him deeply. However…. You are being manipulated. How does it feel? Is this the thing that you want to set up for yourself in your love life? Is being manipulated going to be the kind of woman you turn into? Do you want to just hang a sign around your neck that reads: “Manipulate me, use me, I’m a fool for love?”
Is this even love? Hmmmmmm…. I don’t know… it doesn’t sound like it exactly to me. At least on his part. There is something missing there. Deep respect is missing. And something is there that doesn’t go with true love. Manipulation is there.
Here’s the thing. If you love each other deeply, then he loves you deeply. I do know you love him deeply. But what about the reverse. Does he really love you deeply? How would you really know. Because he tells you and you believe him? Because you want to believe him?
There’s talk. Like “I love you.” And then there’s walking the talk. That means actions that match the words. Are his actions matching his words?
Does someone who loves you deeply say that if you cannot arrange your life to stay out to 1am, then they will find another girl? I don’t think so. Not if love was deep and real love.
For instance, I believe you love him. Would you tell him that if he couldn’t stay out until 1am you would leave him for some guy who could? I don’t think so. Because your love for him is deep, and real, and it matters more than, say, your need to stay out to that time in the morning.
But his priority is stay out until 1am. A lower priority may be love — or saying the words of love — whatever he means by saying that. But he is making quite clear to you that his priority #1 is to have a girl to be out with until 1am. He would like you to be that girl. And he is actively using your love for him against you — to try to manipulate you into staying out until 1am with him.
He’s trying to get something from you and hoping you will confuse that with love. And hoping he can play your love. Real love would not be putting this kind of thing on you. That I know for sure. This is something far different than real love.
It is an opportunity for you to stand up for yourself. And question whether a relationship is working for you — no matter how much attraction and love you might feel for the guy — if he is manipulating you and asking you to be untrue to yourself.