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Should I stick around?

 
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whitrhymes View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 29 2014 at 11:14am
Sorry this is really really long.

I've been in my current relationship for 1 year and 5 months...
The pros:

He's really smart and kind. He's loyal and encouraging and always there when I need him. He's handsome, we are very attracted to eachother, we have great sex, and I feel like he has real potential to be successful. We have different cultures and religions, but essentially the same values. He's handy and good with stereotypical man things, car trouble, household repairs, etc... He's just an all around good guy.

Here's what we are up against:

I met my boyfriend at my old job. I was in a supervisory role and he was an agent at the call center. I knew he did not make as much money as I did but the difference, because of the language skills he has, wasn't much at all. He was really really into me and after a couple of dates, I fell for him quickly. He told me he loved me after like a month of us dating. Things continued to go really really well for a while, then it got a little rocky around the 5 month mark, stemming from me feeling unappreciated and that the things I do/sacrifices I make for our relationship aren't being reciprocated. We've been really good off and on since then. Currently, we've been solid for about 3 months.

He's still in school, and going part time, so he has a looooong way to go before he graduates. He's older than me by a few months. I graduated 3 years ago and I got a new job last year that essentially doubled my salary, so I am on a good path financially and looking to do some things with that money, but at his pace, he will not be prepared to do those things with me for a long time. Ex. vacations, I love to travel but I always end up having to go with friends because I know he can't afford it. The only way we would be able to go on a real trip together would be if he saved for months and months and I know it would put him in a financial bind in the long run, or if I were footing the bill, and I refuse.  I think he gets a little jealous when I go, but I can't do anything about that.  Traveling is my passion and I can't put my life on hold while he tries to catch up to where I am in life. I always find myself dating guys for their potential for some reason...

When we met, he had an apartment where he lived by himself, and I had my own place, though I was at his place like 6 nights a week. About 8 months into the relationship, he bought a house with his sister and brother-in-law and they all moved in together. When he initially told me about his plans, I didn't think much about how I would fit into this equation, his sister's family(her husband and their 3 kids) is the only family he has in this country, they are the first generation here, stability, etc, etc...  So now he lives with them and doesn't come to my place nearly as much as I used to come to his but he does make an effort. He's still in school and works full time so that factors into it, whereas my evenings were completely free. The biggest thing to me is that the house was such a big/ long-term commitment and when I ask him how long he plans to live there I can never get a straight answer. I can tell he is very comfortable there, the house is brand new and nice, his sister or niece cook dinner every night, there's plenty of space and he really loves his family. I feel like he wasn't thinking about us long term when he made that decision. He didn't even discuss it with me really.

He's not as considerate as I would like him to be.  When I come over his house, his family speaks almost exclusively in the one language I don't understand. They all speak French, English and Wolof. I speak French and English, but they only speak Wolof unless they are directly addressing.  They'll ask me to stay for dinner or something and then speak in a language I dont understand so then I end up sitting there in silence. His family is very nice and I am sure they aren't doing this on purpose, but come on. Seriously??  I've said something to him about it before, but it hasn't changed and I end up feeling isolated. 

His mom is not in the country, so I have never met her, but from what I gather she refuses to accept that her baby has a girlfriend.  She won't discuss it with him, says she doesn't want to hear it or talk about it. That's kind of hurtful to me because I think "How important can I be in your life if you can't discuss our relationship with your mom?" And how close could we be to anything serious if she won't even acknowledge that you date?

Additionally, I have always been very giving with him, or my time and just thinking about him in general with little things and gifts, and I cannot say the same for him.  Whereas he's always ecstatic with the things I give him(because they are exactly what he wants) the things I get from him are mediocre, or not really my taste.

He's not as much fun as I would like my future husband to be.   We have fun together, but it is PG fun... Because of his religion, he doesn't drink. He said he did when we first started dating but I had never seen him drink. One day I brought a bottle over his place and made him a drink(not super strong but not for a novice either), and he got sick before he finished the glass. He told me he hadn't ate before he started drinking(rookie mistake imo) and soon after that decided that he wasn't going to be drinking anymore at all. My last relationship was in college with a guy that drank and smoked weed at least 4 days a week, and I didn't like that about him, so I was ok with this guy's decision not to drink at first. I still am ok with it, it just makes some situations a little awkward. Hanging out with my friends or going to bars and clubs is not something that is usually done sober, so a lot of the time when I am hanging with my friends, I don't invite him because I feel like it will be awkward with the cultural differences and him being Sober Sally. Also we don't really have silly fun, I mean we joke together but it is never to the level I would want it to be.

Last night my mom asked me if we had talked about marriage( I never know what ppl mean when they ask this). We've talked about how we would raise our kids in regards to religion, and the age we would potentially like to get married, and whether we could see ourselves married to each other. But that's been the extent of it. She started saying how life is short and if a man hasn't made his intentions to marry you clear after two years or so, it's probably best to move on. Which I would agree is enough time to know.

I'm conflicted as to whether or not I should ride this relationship out for it's potential or move on with my life. I don't feel hindered by our relationship, but I also don't feel like I am gaining much from it on my end.


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whitrhymes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whitrhymes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 29 2014 at 11:19am
Though I love him, I feel like I would be settling a bit rather than being with man I felt completely happy and sure about. And we don't currently have an major relationship issues I suppose, but just because nothing is really wrong, doesn't mean it's right for me either... But I don't want to be that girl that breaks a good guy's heart... I feel like he really is a catch, just not MY catch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote khivey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 29 2014 at 11:44am
It sounds like to me he is living with his family and he didn't contribute to buying the house. He lives rent free there and probably just pays for food and does household chores. His culture the women take care of the men..his religion probably prevents him from shacking up or semi-shacking up and now that he lives with his family they will notice he is gone and spending nights with you, which is probably a no no. 

You are hearing about his mother second hand. He isn't going to make you known until he decides he will marry you.

 He doesn't drink, but you do? He may not want a woman who drinks..but if he doesn't sweat you about it then don't sweat him about not drinking either. Just keep it away from him out of respect. 

Girl, don't feel bad about traveling and living your life. You have your stuff in order..and no, you shouldn't wait on him. You'll be waiting forever and resentful in the end. It is nice to see the potential in others, but at this point you two are in different places, which makes it difficult. He is still pulling things together. You could accept that and stick around, but not in an attached type of way. Do you and don't focus so much on him and the relationship. Whatever happens happens. 

Have you ever thought about learning their language? It is important to learn a language of someone you plan to spend your life with...because you don't want to feel left out in those situations. 

Obviously, he isn't ready for marriage now and that doesn't mean he won't be later..but I would just fall back and just live your life because he is living his the way he can.


Edited by khivey - Jan 29 2014 at 11:46am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whitrhymes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 29 2014 at 12:00pm
Thanks khivey.

He helped them buy the house(he had the credit score they needed) and splits with the mortgage(as his rent for living there) and is sending money back home to his mom, but I don't think he contributes to food or utilities.  He's not shiftless but is definitely babied by his sister and niece.   I don't want to shack up with him. But he does come and stay the night, I asked if his family had an issue with it and that's why he didn't come more often, he said they didn't care about that he just forgets to bring his clothes with him to work and doesn't want to go home then back track to my place. Stern Smile

He knows I drink and doesn't mind, he'll buy me drinks when we go out and stuff, I just wish I could include him in more social aspects of my life without it being awkward, but I definitely don't ask him to drink or anything like that, I respect his decision but I wish he had been more up front with me in the beginning. I feel like he told me otherwise to try and seem like we had similar social scenes.

In regards to learning their language, I've asked him several times, and he has taught me a few words, but it is not really a written language, there are no books or courses that could teach it, there are a few phrases online you can learn but that's about it.

But yeah I think I am going to have to fall back because I am starting to feel resentment already.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Marcelo22 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 29 2014 at 2:27pm
Is that u in your avi? 

Anyways, I agree with Khivey. U should fall back for a minute and see his reaction to u being more distant. Unless he addresses some of your concerns that I think are legit than I dont' know if yall should continue long term. I don't think u need to learn anymore languages, all yall speak English and French. That's enough and if they don't got the sense to speak in one of those languages when u around then they tripping and that's disrespectful. I wouldn't go to dinner over their crib anymore. 

The thing is homie gotta grow up a little and put his family to the side for a second if yall serious. I understand other cultures are more family-oriented than the US but he has to compromise if he really feeling you. My last girlfriend was Brazilian and they are very family oriented. But she made sure to tend to my needs. I spent time with her family and she made sure I was cool, always made sure I was comfortable. He needs to be the same way with u when u tell him u aren't happy with something.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whitrhymes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 29 2014 at 3:33pm
Yes, that's me in my avi.

IA. I think I've compromised the most in this relationship. And when I'm around his family it can definitely be uncomfortable, whereas my fam. goes out of their way to be hospitable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tbaby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 30 2014 at 1:59am
Originally posted by whitrhymes whitrhymes wrote:

Though I love him, I feel like I would be settling a bit rather than being with man I felt completely happy and sure about. And we don't currently have an major relationship issues I suppose, but just because nothing is really wrong, doesn't mean it's right for me either... But I don't want to be that girl that breaks a good guy's heart... I feel like he really is a catch, just not MY catch.


You really answered your own dilemna in the second post.  You and him are mismatched,with you being more financially secure and careerwise much farther ahead.  He will grow to either allow you to be a "suga mama" or end up resenting your success and/or his failures.  Find someone who's more financially your same level or greater. 

The alcohol thing I really don't see that as a deal breaker either.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Midna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 30 2014 at 2:11am
It's a lovely relationship with cons big enough for you to consider whether you should stay or go. If you have to ask that question.. you probably should go.

Let the door be open for someone you're sure about.

Leave when you're ready, not in a rush unless things grow to a point where you have to leave immediately. Distance yourself and see how he takes it. When he feels he's losing you, you'll know your actual place in all of this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Printer_Ink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 30 2014 at 2:16pm

He is from Senegal, The Gambia .. Ghana nést pas?

Désolé cher, mais ce n'est te raison, ne se comporte pas avec les hommes des pays du tiers-monde. Il ne peut pas travailler ... à la fin.

Je suis tellement désolé. :(

Yes, he is a good man that treats you well etc, but the bottom line is ... and ALWAYS will be... the culture.

How many adult American men will buy a house with a sibling and her husband and live in there like seemingly forever? None. He will bring some nice Sengegalese girl from his home country over there. She will not be not very educated, but she can cook and clean and take care of him. She will certainly NOT be making good money and living in her own place AND HAVING SEX with men. Girl! Oh heck no! He will bring her over there to be married and they will ALLL live up in that place TOGETHER. Duh!

Maybe other kinfolk will move in also .. so then there will THREE families all living in that in that little bitty house together.

This arrangement would be MORE than extraordinary in the western world but where he is from ... FAMILY IS EVERYTHING ... so this would be quite nice indeed for them.

Sorry to say, he enjoyed your company and et son exprience américain grande mais quand il s'agit de mariage ... il sait ce qui se passe. This cannot work out.

This is why they switch to Wolof when they want to 'talk' and they are probably talking about WHY the heck he has not told you to go away yet. THAT IS WHY they make you feel uncomfortable! This is intentional. He IS a good guy ... just not YOUR good guy.

I have many AA gfs over here in Europe involved with men from the continient and one by one they fall off ... cultural differences are too broad. I try to warn them too and sometimes they spend X months in Camaroon, Nigeria etc visitin .. yes, and in the end it goes baddly.

I have dated men from all over the world .. every color and what I learned years ago is that relationshiops with men from developing countries like in Africa, Asia, India just cannot work out - and for many, many reasons ... but the MAIN THING is the culture.

Too different.

Believe me - when his family looks at you and sees how you conduct yourself .. they will look right over at that man with a 'get rid of her, you had your fun, she's not one of us' look. They have probably already lined up a girl for him FROM THE 'RIGHT' kind of FAMILY back in his home country as we speak.

I know will not believe me ... but I am just telling you now before you waste your child bearing years waiting on this guy. Sure there are exceptions - every guy from West Africa is not like this but just judging on what you are telling me ... I think he falls into the norm.

I say, move on ... meet a nice western man .. doesn't matter what color he is ... but he must be western.

(Je suis né en France mais a grandi à La-Unis - afin pardonne mon mauvais français!)

Edited by Printer_Ink - Jan 30 2014 at 2:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Printer_Ink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 30 2014 at 5:10pm
Something just hit me... are you certain this guy is NOT married? The African guys I have known in the past .. mainly friends but even after quite some time .. announced they had wife number 1 and wife number 2 ..back home.

I don't know what country your guy is from of course, or the marriage rights for that country. This is often quite different than in The States so they will OMIT this fact from your discussions because they know this is not the practice you are used to...

Just ask one day out of the blue perferrably when his family can hear you. Then check his eyes/expression and check everyone else in the room.

You'll know the truth soon enough.

Edited by Printer_Ink - Jan 30 2014 at 5:12pm
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