Lady Advice Thread XXXI: A woman needs love
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12-05-2012, 10:45 AM
Buck Aki Berg
By Lucifer's Beard!!
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
I know that this is more of a place for advice in getting things off the ground with a girl, so my problem is a bit of a departure from the usual fare here.
I’ve been with my girlfriend for over three years now, and we’ve lived together for two of them. If you’ve ever doubted that opposites attract, you should come over for dinner sometime. We have precious little in common, largely because of cultural differences. She’s very francophone and knows little about popular culture beyond Quebec’s borders. It’s to the point that we watch South Park and she will miss the most blatantly obvious cultural references and won’t have a clue why I’m laughing so hard. On the other hand I, like most English Canadians, know little about French Canadian culture beyond Celine Dion and Patrick Roy. I’ve picked up a lot of French in the last three years and can hold my own in conversation, but I can’t follow (or participate in) a conversation with a group of her friends/family, or follow a television show in French from beginning to end.
The common ground we’ve found is largely centered around language (she’s fluent in French, English, and Spanish, functional in Italian; I’m fluent in English, decent in French, and can get by in German. We both enjoy the process/challenge of learning a new language, and often have long conversations about how different languages compare to one another), food (we aren’t Gordon Ramsay and Rachael Ray, but it’s a rare night that we’re eating Chunky Soup for dinner), and travel (our first date was essentially comparing the month I spent in the Balkans to the month she spent hiking in the Pyrenees. Since then we’ve spent Christmas in Germany, camped among northern California’s redwoods and sequoias, frozen our arses off at winter carnivals, and driven all over the northeast for concerts).
She’s jealous. I have a couple of female friends, and she firmly believes that a guy and a girl can’t be friends. I point out that I have other female friends that she’s okay with, she says that it’s different because they’re in relationships, so it’s not the same. I then point out that one of the girls in question is in a relationship, and she says that it’s different because it’s a long-distance relationship – he’s in Halifax, she’s here in Ottawa – so it’s not the same (this girl has since broken it off with the guy, but it doesn’t change the fact that we’ve been friends for the better part of four years).
She’s told me outright that she doesn’t see these girls as romantic rivals (and I’ve told her that I don’t see these girls as potential mates, even if I was single – if I did, it’d be mighty stupid of me to be around them), so it’s not an issue of her thinking that I’m going to run around on her. When I push for specifics on what makes this a problem (does she think the time I spend with these friends comes at the expense of the time I spend with her? Does she think that I share things with these friends that I don’t share with her?), I just get static – she regurgitates the same line about how a guy and a girl “can’t be friends”, and the answers to any follow-up questions boil down to “because”.
Despite what she says about this not being a question of me potentially cheating on her, I know that she’s been cheated on in the past, and it devastated her, so I know her past experiences are factoring into the equation.
This situation has greatly impacted our relationship – sex life has become strained, any discussions/arguments about this end up with her telling me how she thinks that I would be happier with someone else – not only someone who’s okay with my choice of friends, but also someone who has English-speaking family/friends and likes the same stuff I do (basically, someone who’s not so much of an opposite to me). It's the only time that she talks about her worries about our compatibility like that - any other time, she'll often start sentences with "When we buy a house...."
She plans on purchasing a house in September. I’ve told her that if I live in a house with her, it will be in a house that we own jointly. I make enough money that I can match her down payment, and pay 50% of a mortgage and associated bills. I will not be a tenant in her home, and I will not purchase a house with her with such a serious issue unresolved (this had come up before we moved in together, but I thought it was something we had moved past).
So now what?
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