Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dating and Mating with Alan Irgang: Time to Break-Up?

Ask Alan about love, romance, and relationships (and anything) else here! *All private information is kept confidential

Dear Alan,

When my boyfriend and I go out clubbing, he's always looking for someone to "whistle at" and is now introducing me as his friend. Should I stay vested in this relationship now realizing that I'm not "his type"? I sound entirely self loathing but I'm not. I just don't know when someone is Mr Right- I appreciate what I've learned from him but is now a time to call it quits or simply is this something a gay male should expect?


Dear Rob,

This is a critical point in your relationship as you are evaluating whether or not he is the right one for you. You are noticing that something isn’t feeling good to you and asking yourself the important question of whether or not you should stay with him. It’s great that you are listening to your inner voice that is trying to alert you that something about this relationship may not be in your best interest.

This isn’t really a question about gay relationships. I hear this from people in all kinds of relationships. Knowing whether your mate is the right one for you is best looked at in two ways. The first is the extent to which your mate fits with what you are most attracted to in terms of physical attributes, common interests, shared values, personality traits, etc. Secondly, and perhaps more important for the long haul, is the question, How do I feel in relationship with this person? Do I feel honored, respected, admired, listened to, validated, etc.? Think about what feels good to you, how you want to feel, and whether or not this relationship meets those needs.

Leaving a relationship can be a difficult and painful process but you can’t say “Yes” to the right relationship until you are able to say "No” to the wrong one. Listen to your heart and it will guide you.

Alan Irgang, LCSW is a psychotherapist and “dating coach” in private practice in Chicago. He is also on the faculty of the Loyola University School of Social Work where he teaches graduate level courses in Human Sexuality. Alan has been in private practice since 1998 and has been facilitating groups for singles about dating and relationships for seven years. Check out his website www.alanirgang.com for more information about his practice and his upcoming seminars for singles. Questions may be submitted to Alan at lifelube@gmail.com; all private information will be kept confidential.

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