Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - DEAR COLEEN -

Dear Coleen

I’ve been go­ing out with my girl­friend for eight years, but I’ve never met her best friend. The one time she came round, I was bun­dled into the kitchen.

Also, she won’t com­mit or let me move in and keeps putting off the con­ver­sa­tion about mar­riage. She won’t put my name on any birth­day or Christ­mas cards and I only see her fam­ily once a year on Box­ing Day.

I’ve tried talk­ing to her, but she al­ways just brushes it off.

I don’t know what the prob­lem is. What do I do?

Coleen says

Start putting your­self and your needs first. I’d get it if you’d been see­ing each other for eight weeks but, to be bru­tally hon­est, if she’s be­hav­ing like this eight years down the line, then I sus­pect you’re to­tally wast­ing your time.

She’s treat­ing you like a se­cret or a bit on the side – she’s not tak­ing the re­la­tion­ship as se­ri­ously as you are. And clearly your ex­pec­ta­tions are very dif­fer­ent and you need to have a frank dis­cus­sion about that. It’s not good enough to keep fob­bing you off. I un­der­stand that mar­riage might not be for her (although you still de­serve a con­ver­sa­tion about it), but not in­tro­duc­ing you to peo­ple close to her is an in­sult.

She’s send­ing out a very clear mes­sage that she doesn’t want you to be fully part of her life and you de­serve bet­ter than that.

Don’t waste an­other eight years go­ing along hop­ing that she’ll sud­denly change her at­ti­tude.

Maybe if you do say it’s not enough for you and you want out, it might wake her up to what she’s got to lose.

But you can’t carry on the way things are. This isn’t a re­la­tion­ship in my eyes, and

I’m not sur­prised if you feel very used.

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