Relationship Advice From A Romantic Guy
My Boyfriend Is A Flirt
Jennifer Asks What She Should Do About Her Boyfriend's Flirting
My boyfriend is a flirt with other women and isn't publicly very affectionate with me. I am not unattractive, but his actions leave me feeling as if he is embarrassed to be seen with me. When we are in a restaurant together, it is the waitress that gets his undivided attention. His father cheated on his mother for the entire length of their marriage and his mother put up with it. I don't know how to explain that his flirting is destroying my self esteem. It is making me feel like a freak for saying anything about it, as if I'm the one in the wrong, but I come home from every outing together feeling like a dope for watching my boyfriend flirt right in front of me. What should I do about my flirting boyfriend?
A young boy first learns how a man should treat women by watching how their father treats their mother. Sadly, it appears your boyfriend's father may not have been a particularly good model for his son. Your boyfriend may well be following the example set by his father, that is, being more attentive to other women, rather than the woman in his life. Since you mentioned his father in your letter, I suspect this is not news to you.
Your boyfriend may honestly see absolutely nothing wrong with flirting with a waitress, since he may have seen his father do the same thing a hundred times. You may think he is flirting and he may think that he is only being friendly. The real question is, would he be just as friendly to a male waiter? If he is just as friendly to a male waiter, I would say that he is just a very friendly and social guy.
It terms of not expressing his affection for you publicly, this could just be how his parents were when he was growing up. On the other hand, he could also not be expressing his affection publicly because it is his way of keeping his options open. If he is not holding your hand or kissing you, it is pretty easy to later play your relationship off as "just friends" to another woman.
Regardless of why your boyfriend acts the way that he does around you, you clearly are not happy with the current situation. So, what do you do? Well first of all, I think you need to think long and hard about what you are looking for in life.
In the short term, it sounds like you want a boyfriend that makes you feel he is happy and proud to be with you. One way he can demonstrate that to you, is by being focused on you during your dates and being openly affectionate with you in public. From my perspective, that doesn't sound like a lot to ask for in life. So the question is, can your current boyfriend be that guy for you? If you don't know, you might decide to ask him. Here is how I would do it:
1. Pick a time and a place to talk to your boyfriend. It should be a place where it is quiet and you will have some privacy.
2. When you are talking with your boyfriend, stay calm and talk softly. You are not looking for a fight. You are looking to calmly and quietly share what is on your heart.
3. Tell your boyfriend what you want out of a romantic relationship and ask him if he can do that for you.
Here is a sample of what you might say:
Kevin, I want to talk to you about something that has been on my mind. I have been spending a lot of time thinking about what I want out of life. One of the things I have decided I want is to be and feel wonderfully loved. Love is very important to me and I want to feel loved and adored. I want to feel loved and adored by you.
Unfortunately, when we are out on a date, I don't feel like I am the focus of your attention. I have often felt like the waitress gets more of your attention than I do. That may not be right, but that is the way I feel. I also feel like you are not very openly affectionate with me in public. That makes me feel like you are not that excited to be with me or, worst yet, embarrassed to be with me.
I want to be and feel wonderfully loved. I want us to take romantic walks in the park holding hands. I want us to kiss, hug and cuddle while we wait in line for a movie. I want us to snuggle close outside on cold days. I want us to hold hands across the table at the restaurant. I want us to share a deliciously sweet dessert after dinner. I understand that may not have been how your parents were when you were growing up. I understand that may not be how you are wired right now, but that is what I want. I want to be and feel wonderfully loved. I want to be and feel wonderfully loved by you. It doesnít cost any money, but it is what I want more than anything in the world. Can you do that for me?
4. Once you have said that, be quiet. You have asked him a question, so let him talk. Whatever he says, stays calm and talk softly. If the conversation wanders off, you might want to return to your question.
Handling the conversation as I noted above accomplishes several things:
1. You come across as a confident woman who knows what she wants in life.
2. You let him know that you want certain things out of your relationship.
3. You leave the decision with him as to whether he can fulfill the desires of your heart.
Your boyfriend will then have a few options:
1. He says "Yes".
That is the simple answer and a happy answer for both of you. When he does one of the things you asked of him, let him know how much you appreciate it. That will encourage him to do it again. Is he going to backslide? Absolutely. When he does, try to give him a gentle and loving reminder of how much you appreciate his affection.
2. He says "No".
It may not feel like it at the time, but telling you "No" is a gift. He is telling you, flat out, that you are not going to get what you want with him. You are with the wrong guy. If he tells you "No", it tells you that you don't need to waste any more time with him. It frees you up to start looking for that man that will want you to truly feel loved and adored.
3. He says "Maybe".
What I mean by "Maybe" is that the two of you negotiate some middle ground. You might want to walk in the park once a week, but you both agree to go once a month. You want to hold hands in the restaurant. He says ďFineĒ. He wants to spend an occasional Friday night playing poker with his friends. You say ďFineĒ. If in the end, you feel like his heart is yours, "Maybe" is a great answer.
In the long run, I think you win in any scenario. Good luck!