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Hi, I would like to seek advice about a recurrent issue I have with my boyfriend of 5 years. I have also read Families for Life's article on 10 Things You Deserve in Your Relationship, and am not sure how to apply it in this case.
My boyfriend sees nothing wrong with meeting other single female friends alone (1 to 1) without inviting me along for activities that I am usually not interested in, even if it is a common friend. I am very uncomfortable about this and knowing this, he would still go ahead with such activities and either inform me at the last minute (when I am unable to join even if I am willing to) or only if I ask him explicitly (what is his plan for Sunday morning and who is going). It does not seem to me that he is respecting my feelings, but at the same time, he feels that I am restricting his freedom and holding him back from his social life and doing the activities that he enjoys.Is it wrong to place such restrictions on the other party in a committed relationship?
In my previous relationships, I had assumed/hoped that both parties would exercise self-discretion, but he says that every relationship is different, and does not want to compromise. Should I even be trying to change him in this regard, or am I acting like a crazy jealous girlfriend?
Reply: "Is there any reason why you are uncomfortable with him meeting single female friends on his own? Has he done anything for you to suspect that he might be up to no good? Or could it be that you might have had some scars from your previous relationships?
I understand why your boyfriend thinks that it is ok for him to go out on 1 to 1 meetups with other single female friends. At the same time, is he comfortable with you going out on 1 to 1 meetups with other single male friends?
A relationship is built on mutual trust and respect. For a relationship to work, there needs to be give and take, acceptance and adjustments.
There is no right or wrong answer. Another person in your situation might completely understand and is ok with her boyfriend going out with other single ladies 1 to 1. However, you are you, and the fact is you are not comfortable.
There needs to be compromise from both parties. You can join these meetups now and then so that you too can get to know his friends better, or these meetups are during lunch times and not dinners, so that you might feel more comfortable. These are just some ideas, and I am sure if both of you come together, you would be able to come up with more solutions.
Ultimately, if your boyfriend loves you enough, and he wants you to be happy, he would meet you somewhere in the middle. Similarly, you need to be understanding and accommodating enough meet him halfway too.
All the best and happy dating!
CEO of esync
The first online-to-offline dating service of its kind, esync allows singles to view their most compatible matches based on 16 areas of compatibilities. Upon a mutual match and interest, esync dating consultants will arrange an offline date and handle the coordination for the clients."
Is he serious?
I’ve gotten to know this guy and we communicate well. Because of our busy schedules, we didn’t get to meet until fairly recently. Our date went well, but we haven’t had a follow-up date since. We’ve been texting steadily, and he says he’ll meet me if his schedule allows. He’s a workaholic; he had just set up his business and has goals he wants to achieve by the end of the year. He says that he’d like me to support him in his endeavours so that he can share the fruits of his labour with me. Should I believe him?
Reply: "A guy who is truly interested in you would make the effort to meet up despite his busy schedule. At the very least, he would try to get to know you better.
You would need to assess if his actions support his words. A healthy relationship involves compromise, so it’s unfair for you to wait for him without any commitment on his part. As such, I encourage you to treat him as just a friend instead. It would be wise to widen your social circle and find a guy who is interested and willing to spend quality time with you."
Should I send her flowers?
I have known this girl since my university days but only recently I felt that she may be the girl I have been looking for. . Recently I got to know that she has broken off with her boyfriend a few months back and is single now. I decided to try and see if I had the chance to develop our friendship. She had been busy with work and studies, so it was not easy to meet up with her. I am thinking whether I should send her flowers on Valentine’s Day to show that I am serious in wanting to know her more. Should I send the flowers or wait till later on? I'm afraid that she may be shocked and it may spoil our friendship.
Reply: "Typically, when someone goes through a breakup, it would take them a while to work out their feelings before they are ready for another relationship. Hence, it would be wise to give her sufficient time to heal before making your move. Otherwise, even if she reciprocates your feelings, she might not be able to commit herself fully to you and her emotional baggage would also complicate the relationship.
In the meantime, you might need to adjust your expectations and just treat her as a friend. You can still get to know her better by messaging or calling her.
When you feel more confident about the situation, you could perhaps initiate more one-on-one time with her and show her more interest. If she gets your drift and feels the same way, she would likely respond and create opportunities to spend time alone with you."
Can I go out with you as friends?
I went on a date with a lady twice to catch a movie once and to Universal Studios the other time, where we spent the whole day together. Everything seemed to go well. After the last date, I texted her to ask her out again the following week and tried to increase the frequency of our meet ups to get know each other better. I felt that 2 dates were not good enough for me to find out more about her . Frankly, as a life partner she seems alright to me but it takes a long time to know a person completely. When I tried to ask her out last week on Friday she said she was meeting her friends. I suggested another day and got the same answer so I backed off and waited till this week to ask her out again for a movie. She replied that we could watch it as friends. I waited for her to propose a date but there was no reply.
Do you think that she feels pressurised that I want to see her often? Is there any way to salvage the situation or should I just move on and continue my search since there is not much communication between us?. I don't know what to do to make her feel comfortable again with me.
Reply: "Typically, if a girl is interested in knowing you better, she will make the effort to meet up with you even though she might be busy. Based on her lukewarm response to your invitations, it seems like she simply treats you as a friend.
At this point, the best thing you can do is to give her time and avoid contacting her. Doing anything else might cause her to feel annoyed and ruin your remaining chances with her.
If she is interested in pursuing this friendship and is curious why she has not heard from you, she will likely initiate contact. However, if after some time you still don’t hear from her, it could mean that she still sees you as a friend and it is something you’ll need to accept. In the meantime, continue to widen your social circle and keep a lookout for other girls whom you can get to know better."
How do I know if she is interested in me?
I recently met a lady online and we started off quite well. She is a self professed workaholic in the midst of a career transition. Our first meet up after 1 week of messaging was alright but I find it difficult to gauge if she is indeed interested in me as she told me she will inform me of our second appointment after her exams. Are there any signs which are indicative of her interest in me, if any?
Reply: "It is hard to tell her level of interest in you at this early stage of the relationship. However, it would be a positive sign if she contacts you after her exams.
Generally, when a woman likes a man, she gets chatty around him. She will often be the one asking the man lots of questions and showing intense interest in what he says. She will also be responsive towards his advances. When a woman’s heart starts leaning towards a man, it is virtually impossible not to give signals that she likes him.
I would encourage you to be patient and allow the relationship time to grow. I believe in due course, you will get a better sense of her feelings for you ."
I got to know this guy about 2 years ago and we chatted via Whatsapp a lot last year. We became close and I started liking him. But he liked my best friend so I decided to leave it as it is. I started developing those feelings again at the end of the year and even though I know he did not feel the same way, I admitted to him that I liked him but I only wanted to be friends with him. He felt that since my decision was made, we shall just leave things as they are.
I do not know how to proceed from here as deep down, I want to have a relationship with him but because I have a very strong fear of rejection, I told him that it is better to remain as friends. I need to move on. I am very confused right now.
Reply: "In this situation, you might be tempted to express your interest again but you risk creating more awkwardness in the friendship. Hence, I would suggest that you remain open and friendly with him and see where it might lead you. Typically, if a guy is genuinely interested in a girl, he will not be easily deterred and will likely act on it. However, if after some time, he still does not make a move, it probably means he is not reciprocating your feelings.
If that is the case, I suggest you move on instead of hanging on to the hope for something more. This could mean temporarily keeping a distance from him to allow yourself time to heal. The time- out can also help you consider clearly what you want in a relationship."
Should I keep holding on?
A year ago, I was introduced by my aunt to her via Facebook. We only started contacting each other half a year later. I live in Singapore and she in KL. I had a crush on her the first time we met. I went over to KL to meet her a few times and celebrated her birthday with her. I asked her to be my girlfriend but she told me we could be friends first. There was another guy who was interested in her but she had not yet accepted him . I asked her to give us a chance to understand each other better. She said ok. That was in end of October.
During the whole of November, I had no chance to meet her due work though I called her every day. She was very busy that month too.
On the last day of November, she told me that she had made a decision and asked me not to waste my time any longer. However, she told me I was the one who understands her more.
She has now accepted the other guy . I am not sure if I want to keep on.
Reply: "I believe you have done your best to show your sincerity by intentionally meeting up with her and calling her everyday even though you were busy. She has the right to choose who she thinks is more suitable and since she has chosen the other guy and has asked you not to waste your time, you should heed her advice.
The journey of finding the right person has its highs and lows. It is understandable that unrequitted love is painful and frustrating but it is best that you accept her decision and move on. If you continue holding on to your feelings for her, you might only end up feeling more disappointed and confused.
I would encourage you to focus on other activities to distract yourself from thinking about her. For example, find a new hobby or join an interest group. And hopefully with time, you can make space emotionally for others and resume your journey to find Miss Right."
I got to know this lady from a networking event and messaged her a few times. She usually replies after a few days. I tried my luck and asked her out for a Christmas dinner and she accepted the invitation instantly.
I bought her a Christmas present - sweets to soothe her cough and macaroons. . We had a great time at the restaurant and talked about a lot of things and I asked her why her reply is usually delayed. She told me that during the networking event, two of her friends were interested to know me. Hence, she waited until they stopped talking to me before replying my messages.
After the dinner, we went to catch a movie and I walked with her to the MRT station. She messaged me to thank me for the great night out and complimented me. I thanked her for the great night out too and checked if she had reached home safely.
But after that night, things started to change. She went back to being cold and it got worse after I messaged her. I am attracted to her and feel comfortable with her. I am not interested in her friends. I messaged her a few times to find out if she was alright. However, she did not reply me. .
Did I do anything wrong? I feel hurt losing a friend or even a soul-mate to be. Now, I dare not call or message her as I am afraid I will make the situation worse. What should I do?
Reply: "Unless it was done in a forceful or insensitive manner, I do not think you have gone overboard in expressing your interest. Especially if you felt there was real chemistry between the both of you on the date and there could be an opportunity for something more.
However, telling her how you feel was not without risk. You have done your best to show your sincerity and at this point, you just have to accept her response. It is now up to her to decide what she wants to do.
Her apparent silence now might be due to various factors. She could be uncertain about how she feels or she could be being careful not to hurt her friends who might still be interested in you. I would encourage you to give her time to sort out her feelings. If she is really interested in you, she will likely contact you again. However, if you do not hear from her after some time, it is likely that she has decided to discontinue the friendship.
At the end of the day, you need not be afraid that you might be losing “The One” because it is not true that there is only one person out there for you. And if you missed it, you would have missed your chance at finding true love in life. In reality, finding love is about finding the right person who shares common values, life goals and interests as you. Hence, even if this girl does not reciprocate your feelings, do not be discouraged because if you keep looking, there will be other potential like-minded individuals."
What Should I Do?
My boyfriend and I have dated for 2 years. Recently, we had a discussion about our plans for the future. I realised that he only wants to get married 5 years later while I plan to get married within the next 2 to3 years. He is unwilling to compromise on this matter. If I were to wait for him and marry 5 years later, the earliest that I would be able to have a child is about 34 years old. I will be quite old already. If he refuses to compromise on his timeline, what should I do?
Reply: "Discussing about the future and marriage is a very important step in a relationship. It reveals where both of you are in relation to a common direction in life. Instead of getting anxious, you could first find out his reasons for not wanting to compromise his plans. It could be due to very genuine reasons, such as his career aspirations, lack of finances or readiness to start a family.
You could address his concerns and suggest possible solutions which will allow him to see things from a different perspective. On your part, let him know that having children and starting a family earlier are important to you. Also, if you were to put it on hold, is he prepared to invest in medical help if complications arise? Even if he is willing to, are you comfortable with the idea? Will you resent him afterwards?
It is important to bring up issues that are important to both of you so that you can make informed decisions about the future, rather than having unspoken expectations of each other. Give one another time to reflect and consider if you are willing to make changes to your own plans for the sake of the other person. After all, a successful relationship is based on having common life goals and the willingness to make compromises for each other.
If you discover that both of you are headed in different directions and cannot come to an agreement, even after much discussion, you might need to consider parting. Painful as it is, you will spare yourself from feeling resentful towards each other and experiencing unnecessary clashes down the road."
To get in touch?
I met a guy in a boutique while on vacation – he works there. Our wide-ranging conversation flowed so easily, as if we’d known each other for a while. I’ve since returned, but I can’t get him out of my mind. I have his business card but there’s no email included. What should I do?
Reply: "If you want to take a chance, you could call the boutique to find out his email. While you might have felt a great chemistry between the both of you, there is no sure way of knowing if he feels the same. He could just be doing an excellent job as a staff. Hence, I suggest you manage your expectations and approach him in a casual, friendly manner and see where it might lead you.
On your part, you could thank him for his excellent service and for making your shopping experience so enjoyable. You could even say that you enjoyed talking to him and look forward to seeing him again on your next visit. By personalizing the email, you are subtly letting him know that you are interested in developing a friendship.
Just be prepared that he might maintain a professional front and give a standard “thank you for your feedback” reply. If that is the case, you would be better off setting your sight elsewhere."