Hi Annie

Iâ??ve been with this guy since 2008 and in 2010 we broke up, because he found messages on my old phone from my ex and we were literally just friends.

But in any case, ever since then weâ??ve been back and forth getting back together and then separating. Itâ??s been an ongoing experience.

In this last year I have seen a change in him in that he wants to settle down and build something, which is what I have always wanted.

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The thing for me, is that as much as I love him, I’m beginning to doubt if I want to spend the rest of my life with him.

He doesn’t give me outward displays of love and affection

Am I willing to know that I will never get those soft kisses and just have him grab me out of nowhere and hold me in the mall, or walk and hold my hand, or tell me he loves me out of the blue, or hold my hand in the movies?

All the normal things a guy would do, I would never get that from him, because those are things he isnâ??t used to, which is fine, but itâ??s things that I want and that I yearn for.

Iâ??m a very affectionate person: I donâ??t keep the affection for closed doors only. I want the kind of love where he can really look at his friends and say “Thatâ??s the girl I want to spend the rest of my life with”.

And aside from the affection part there are a lot of other things too, like heâ??s very introverted and Iâ??m an extrovert.

I love going out and meeting new people and I guess compromising for him and settling down I can do, but what I hate is that everything must always be his way and if thereâ??s one thing about me, it is that Iâ??m very strong willed and have a big personality so being alpha is a big thing, because we both want things our way.

He can barely tell me face to face he loves me, but I know he does by the things he does.

Am I being insane in wanting so much more than he can give me?

I always dreamed of one day going and working overseas with my hubby and family and one day we spoke about that. He told me because of his line of work, if he had to do that, then wherever in the world we lived, he would have to work out of town, because his job would not be found in the cities and I would have to see him weekends and he doesnâ??t want to live like that.

Which I completely understand, but then do I want to compromise that?

So many questions

Iâ??ve decided that, by the time I complete my studies in June 2015, if he hasnâ??t popped the question, then soon as Iâ??m told I have gained my accreditation for my course Iâ??m going to apply overseas for a job.

Am I wrong in doing so? I mean I donâ??t want to tell him this plan because it will look like Iâ??m giving him a deadline for when he must propose, when I really want him to do it of his own free will (if he even wants to).

The scary part is that I know he does want to: I just donâ??t know if Iâ??m ready to say yes.

Is it worth letting go of your dreams to make someone else happy?

How do you decipher if you still want to be with someone you love and if that love is worth letting go of your own dreams to make that person happy?

Or how do you know if you should stay and live that life and wonder if youâ??re going to be fully happy, or if you should leave and see if you can be happier on your own and start a new journey?

A lot of people tell me back and forth is no good, especially three years later, but it makes you wonder. Do we keep coming back because of the love that we have or is it because we are comfortable with each other and it’s familiar.

I just need some direction on where to let this flow, because I can see myself distancing myself from him in the future if I carry on with this struggle in my head.

Dear Extrovert

Thank you for your letter. After being with Mr Introvert on and off for five years you are wondering if this is your happily-ever-after-man.

It seems to me that you would like to settle down with a man who really loves you.

It would seem that this is the direction that Mr Introvert is moving in, but you have reservations. You yearn for romance and demonstrations of affection. Mr Introvert is not providing these.

Does that mean that he doesnâ??t love you? You say that you know that he loves you by the things that he does.

Gary Chapman wrote a book called Five Love Languages. In this book he outlines five basic ways that we express and receive love in ways that we, and our loved ones, best understand.

Giving and receiving of love is divided into five basic areas: gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch.

For some woman a bunch of flowers (gifts) really makes her feel loved, while another woman would find the cup of coffee that her partner makes her, far more meaningful.

From your letter it would appear that your love languages would be words of affirmation and physical touch. I am guessing that Mr Introvert expresses his love by acts of service.

We tend to express our love in the way that we would like to receive it

Unfortunately everyone is different. Mr Introvert takes your car to be washed and now he is confident that you know he loves you. Pumps your tyres and changes your oil, and he thinks he is set!

Imagine how baffled and covered in grease he looks when you accuse him of never showing you that he loves you?

Tell him, in many words like a Shakespeare sonnet or a country song, how much you love him, while holding his hand firmly and you may wonder why he just grunts, albeit pleasantly, before shaking off your hand to reach for the remote.

While he appreciates what you have said, serving him his favourite meal or darning his socks (ok seriously, who darns socks? What does that even mean?) or replacing his worn-out socks for new ones like-a-modern-sane-woman would do, probably really makes him feel loved if his primary love language is acts of service.

It is normally easy enough to work out what action is best interpreted as being loved, by the ways that we choose to express our love for others.

It is not about meeting Mr Right, who happens to express his love in ways that you can best hear it. Rather it is about being with a man who knows you and loves you and cares enough to take the time to express love in ways that you can best hear it.

While it would seem prudent that a lot of men undergo a personality lobotomy, this is not crucial to sustaining a happy relationship.

Complete opposites can cohabit happily together

Without changing who they are, they can actively choose to express their love for their partner in the unique ways that their partners best receive love.

In a relationship you can stand on opposite sides and fight for yourself to win or you can stand next to each other and fight together for the relationship to win.

What dreams do you let go of, to be happy?

If you have always dreamed of going overseas with your partner and children and this is not in his plan, can you adjust your dream? Is it possible that you spend a year overseas by yourself, after you have graduated?

Perhaps that would mean postponing marrying Mr Introvert for another year, if that is still what you wanted to do.

When being with the man you love is the biggest dream of all, it is easy to trade in some smaller dreams in order to make that happen.

As you consider your dreams I trust that you will find fulfilment and happiness.
You are beautiful!

Love and blessings
Annie