Hindered
April 30, 2014

Dear Theo,

I met a guy while working on his house and his "girlfriend" was living with him at the time. Since working on his house we have been dating since she was already in the process of moving out. It's been 5 months and not everything is out yet and she still has the key. I haven't been over his house yet and he says he just wants her completely gone before I go because she can try and start problems.

Do I continue to date him and wait? Or do I leave him alone until her things are all gone. She only has a few things left there and they don't talk and he is done with her. He is 27, and I am 24 if that matters. Please help. I am so unsure.

I know they are done but I am ready to move forward with him and this is just hindering it.  

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Dear Hindered,

It's so exciting to be in the first bloom of a new relationship, all making out until your faces hurt. The making-out phase is terrific, but it doesn't last forever, and it sounds like you are ready for what's next. I don't blame you for being frustrated that things are not moving to the next level.

But I hate to tell you: it's not just the ex-girlfriend and her stuff that is hindering your new relationship from moving forward. It's your guy's unwillingness to confront her, and to assert his own boundaries.

You are outside the house. She (or at least things representing her) is inside the house. He says he is done with her, but he is a grownup:  if he was really done with her, don't you think he would have taken action?

Your gut is telling you what you already know to be true: there's not room for you yet. There may be circumstances to the old relationship that your guy hasn't told you about, or he may just lack the courage to be really clear with the women in his life. Break it off with him, and when and if he is really ready, when there is real space in his life and heart and home for you: you'll find out.

But for now: cherish yourself enough to hold out for the whole enchilada. You deserve to be with someone who is really free and ready and open to love. As long as you're with someone halfhearted, you've no place to put your whole heart.

Bless you, and may you be a blessing,

Theo

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"Dear Theo" is written anonymously by four UCC ministers of different ages and backgrounds. We welcome questions spanning all kinds of topics: from sexuality and relationships to church culture and conflict to mental health, family drama, ethical and moral dilemmas...and everything in between.

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