Smothered by love

Woman's hands in handcuffsBY MICHAEL RADKOWSKY
Washington Blade

Dear Michael,

My girlfriend Rachel recently proposed to me. Although I answered “yes,” I’m really not sure if I should marry her. She’s very sweet, is always considerate, gets along great with my friends and family and makes me laugh. But I constantly feel like she wants more from me than I want to give her. I don’t just mean sex and affection, although that’s part of it. She always wants to be together, she always wants me to confide in her and she always wants to share everything with me. As a result, I sometimes feel smothered. I want to tell her to back off but I don’t want to hurt her.

Rachel always says that she wants us to be best friends, lovers and soul mates. I love her but also need my own space, my own identity and time with other people. Is there something wrong with me for wanting this? And is it possible to have a great relationship without being glued to my partner?

Michael replies:

One big question: Do you think your discomfort is just about Rachel’s behavior or is this also about your own uneasiness with closeness in a relationship? Consider whether you’ve had this feeling in previous relationships and how close the other person can get before you to want to back off. If this is a familiar experience, you may have some work to do on yourself.

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