9ja issues: I don’t know if he truly loves me

I’m 24, and my boyfriend is 30. We’ve been together for almost two years. In this time, I’ve had to beg him to meet his friends and parents. I introduced him to my family and friends, and invite him frequently to family affairs and friend get-togethers. He doesn’t always reciprocate.

I threw him a surprise party for his 30th birthday and I had to ask him for the guest list because I had never met his friends. I found out after the fact that they didn’t know I existed, because he never mentioned me to them. They even tried to set him up with another girl, which he declined, but never said he was dating anyone else. He doesn’t post pictures of us on social media, but I do, and tag him in those photos. Up until recently he didn’t have a profile picture of him and me on his social media; now he finally does. He tells me countless times he loves me and wants to marry me, and his parents love me and want me to marry him. But I don’t know if the way he behaves is a “red flag” or not. I really love him and want to be with him, but find that he’s not as open and forthcoming as I am. Should I stay with him or should I leave him?

7 thoughts on “9ja issues: I don’t know if he truly loves me

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  4. Hmmmm his parnts set him up wit anoda girl nd u found out not dat he told u do u fink he really loves u d way u do or dont u fink he isnt proud of d relationship if u love him dat much i fink u shud b patient nd get to no him more buh if u fink it isnt worth it anymore y dont u let him buzz off

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  6. You say that you “really love him and want to be with him,” and you seem happy that he says he loves you and wants to marry you, so it seems like you probably shouldn’t leave him just yet. These sound like issues you can work through.

    But these are some real issues. I bet this boils down to one of the last things you say: “he’s not as open and forthcoming as I am.” He sounds like he’s a more private guy — and the anecdotes you mention suggest that it’s consistently taken him longer to open up than you. That’s a difference, but it’s not necessarily a bad or suspicious thing. And it’s certainly the sort of difference that you can bridge with compromise.

    For instance, you say that you had to beg to meet his parents. I’m sure you would have preferred to meet them earlier, but it sounds like you’re all a part of each other’s lives now, since you say, “they love me and want me to marry him.”

    You say he doesn’t post pictures of you two on social media, but now he does have a profile picture of you two. If he’s not posting hundreds of photos of everything except you, I really wouldn’t worry about it, much less make a leap and leave him over instances like this.

    The only thing that worries me is the fact that he hadn’t introduced you to his friend group. I don’t know how long you’d been dating, but if he had been keeping your relationship a secret and separate from the rest of his life for a long while (six months, say), then, yes, I would agree that is a “red flag.” But, again, it sounds like they all know about you now, don’t they? It’s healthy to see your friends without your partner sometimes. So long as he hasn’t been living a double life for the past two years.

    I have two pieces of advice for you. First, remember that it’s easy to get caught up in what our relationships look like to the outside world, even though appearances matter a whole lot less than reality. Keep in mind that it’s much more important that he treats you well than whether or not he broadcasts it. If he needs more time to himself, or prefers to take things more slowly, make sure both of you are compromising. When you’re feeling frustrated by his lack of communication and openness, talk to him and explain how his private tendencies can make you feel. Second, remember that, sometimes, when we’re nervous about deep issues like The Future and Marriage and Where We Are Headed, we tend to focus that anxiety on little things like Facebook photos or Instagram likes, when they’re not the real issue. So don’t just talk about the little things. Don’t be afraid to look at the big stuff, and talk about your expectations for each other and your relationship.

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