Question:

I'm curious to hear your two cents on this situation I'm stuck in right now. So here's the story:Since my girlfriend and her daughter live over two hours away, she's looking to move closer since it's very hard for us to see each other. We only do that about once a month, twice if we're lucky.

Last month she was here visiting me. We were looking through the local newspaper when we came across an apartment close by. She called the guy, asked about the place and he offered to give her a look at it. The next day, she and I went to take a look. It was a nice place, good sized, the rent was reasonable and just what she liked. She told him she liked it and he said, "OK, call me next week and we'll discuss the moving." A week later, she called him, but there was no answer. After repeatedly calling she finally got a hold of him. He explained that he rented it to some other lady because she gave him a $500 down payment. He said he didn't really remember her anyway, which doesn't make any sense because it was onlya week before!

The rest of the month goes by and she doesn't look. So in the beginning of this month, she posted an ad on the internet, going on about how she's looking for a two bedroom apartment for her and her 18 month old daughter. A few days go by and a guy replies. This is exactly what he said: "I have a possible apartment to rent to you. If you are looking for something all inclusive, I can do it for $800. I have some work that needs to be done to make it ready. Just thought I would put it out there. I have some drywall to do and flooring." She e-mailed him back, telling him she's not sure she could afford that since she receives a limited amount of money per-month. He offered, "How about if I dropped that down $100 so that way, between you and the other renter, it covers my mortgage and utilities. But I will not be able to separate the apartments right away." And he mentions he'll be leaving some of his stuff at the house, and that he's fixing up the loft, by putting lighting in it, electricity, flooring and putting a spiral staircase leading up to it. He says she can move in next month or the month following, but he won't be done yet.

So it's not an apartment, it's a house. Then he explains the other renter, which is his mom, and says she'll be sharing the house with her. He didn't even come right out and say it was his mom, he said "The lady you'll be sharing it with is an older woman who keeps mostly to herself." Then in a later message he said, "She's actually my mom."

He told her that the two bedrooms she gets are very big etc. Okay, fine. My girlfriend said she's fine with sharing it with her. He said, "The reason the house is for rent is because I just got out of a long-term relationship and want to move into a smaller house. It is more of a family house." So fine.

They arrange a meeting to see the place and I went with her to look at the house. While we're there, he says he'll be staying there too until he finds a place to live. Okay! I'm completely thrown off by this! My girlfriend will be staying with a guy she doesn't even know! I do not like that at all. And she is fine with it.

A few nights later, they are contacting back and forth via e-mail. He says he's turning the loft into an office for himself and that he'll also be turning her master bedroom into two rooms. One for her and one for her daughter and the other one will be his. That leads him to the next thing, he says he'll be living there also! Okay, I don't like that at all. This guy is very sketchy to me and I do not know him at all. He's a stranger to me.

He said he didn't post an ad in the paper, so when he saw her ad he replied. If he claims it's for rent, why didn't he post it in the paper and have people come to him about it? Doesn't make sense. I don't tell someone my car is for sale but not advertise it. That makes me believe he wasn't even planning on renting it out andhe knew he'd be staying there the whole time.It makes me believe he saw her ad and got ideas. He lured her in. It also makes me believe that when he read her "two bedroom apartment" ad he thought, "Hey, I can turn the master bedroom into two rooms for this girl to stay here with me." And in the beginning when he said he'd be fixing up the loft with electricity, lighting and flooring, he knew then that it'd be a future office for himself. He knew he wasn't moving out. If he didn't, why would he spend so much time fixing up the loft if she wasn't going to use it?

This guy is bad, bad, bad news. She doesn't seem to understand that, she doesn't see what the problem is. She says "I know you're uncomfortable with him living there with me, but I don't really see what the problem is." She's trying to tell me not to worry, and that she knows what she's doing. No, she doesn't know what she's doing and how can I not worry when this guy is clearly sketchy and she doesn't see that?


Answer:

God designed men and women to be suitable companions (Genesis 2:18). They fit together to make a whole greater than the individual parts and it is accomplished in part because men and women are not the same. Women are better at multi-tasking and reading the emotions of a situation. Men are better at focusing on a single task and seeing it to completion. They are better able to analyze a situation logically, weighing the facts involved. Ask a man why he came to a certain conclusion and he will generally list out a series of facts and logical deductions which lead him to his point. Ask a woman why she came to a certain conclusion and often she can't point any one specific fact, but she had this feeling about it. Neither way is wrong. Both have some failings and some benefits.

You are running into difficulty because you haven't yet married and become one. You haven't learned to combine your views.

In the first attempt at renting, the man was reluctant to rent to your girlfriend, but he didn't want to completely dismiss her if he couldn't find a better renter. So, he asked her to call back next week without sealing the deal with a lease. He found someone else, but he doesn't want to admit that he was using your girlfriend as a backup, so he lied and said he couldn't remember her coming. It was probably for the best, such people are hard to deal with because you never know when they are lying.

I mostly agree with you assessment of the second situation. I'm not certain if it was completely pre-planned, but notice that he is getting your girlfriend to pay a hefty part of his mortgage payment while step-by-step accepting less and less for her money. She started with an apartment; went to sharing a house with an older woman; to sharing a house with an older woman and an office; to sharing a house with a woman, her son, and his office. She also went from two large rooms, to a large bedroom that would be subdivided, to a bedroom that would be subdivided at a later time (after she moves in).

I'm sure you are seeing that the man has hopes for extra perks with her living in his home. That is because you are a man thinking like a man. Your girlfriend doesn't want to see it. I don't know if it indicates she is enjoying the attention and doesn't want to consider that there are other motivations. Or, she may be like many other woman who just don't understand how men think because they don't feel the sexual attraction with a stranger and assume that it, therefore, cannot exist.

Rather than tackling this from the angle where she is going to hit you over the head with "Don't you trust me?" I want you to be as cool and calm as you can get. Tell her that you don't want her to move into this house. Tell her that the man has been constantly reducing what he has promised for her monthly rent. Since she will be moving in before alterations are done, he has given every indication that the work won't be completed after she moves in either. She should be purchasing what is and not what has been promised someday. In other words, is $800 a month a fair price for a single room (no kitchen) in a house shared by two other people.

You can't make her not take that room, but if she does, it will tell you a great deal about her and show you what married life would be like with her. If she can't follow your lead now, don't expect it to change if you get married. I hate to say this, but if she does move in, I would seriously give thought to ending the relationship and finding another woman to date.

This is another reason why I tell young men to follow God's teachings and don't have sex before marriage. If a woman you are dating turns out to be bad news, it is hard enough to force yourself to break up when you see it isn't working out. If you add the bonds of sex into the mix, it becomes near impossible to break up and you continue in a bad relationship. Worse it can be damaging to your spiritual and emotional well-being when you are forced to break up.

I hope the worse doesn't take place and that it works out between you two.

Thanks. I appreciate your two cents into this situation.

A lot of people have said the one thing you said, and that is to seriously consider ending the relationship if she moves in. I know I can't control her, but can you explain why I should consider it, if she does? I'm not doubting you. I'm just curious to find out why exactly because no one has why. Though to be honest, the thought of breaking up with her lingers into my mind if she does move in.

Another thing, what do you mean by "Or, she may be like many other woman who just don't understand how men think because they don't feel the sexual attraction with a stranger and assume that it, therefore, cannot exist"

I have never heard that before, so this is something new. I feel kind of bad for thinking this way, but this guy is 29 years old, my girlfriend is 19 and it worries me thinking that he might think it'd be easy to steal a 16 year old's girlfriend somehow. LikeI said,I don't know him atall, neither does sheand I don't understand how she'sOK with living with him in the same house. She tells me not toworry and that she knows what she's doing and that if she doesn't like his behavior she'll move out, butI can't not worry.It's not worth risking. I hate to think aboutthis, but like, he could rape her in her sleep or something like that. You obviously cannot turn back time, so moving out if he did something like that would not erase the memories.

Many people, not just women, only believe something is real if they have experienced it themselves. Therefore, if someone has a different reaction to a situation that they have, they assume the person is not being fully truthful and has some other motivation. Two people go to a movie at different times. One tells the other, "Oh, I saw that movie! It was hilarious!" The other person responses, "Your kidding. I thought it was boring." Because the second person had a different reaction, the first impulse is that the other person was making a joke.

Understanding this basic fact about people, we then move on to note that what turns on a man and a woman are not necessarily the same thing. Using a broad paint brush, men are turned on visually. I was talking to a young man the other evening and he was telling me about his girlfriend. I asked him what she was like. "She's hot!" I kept trying to poke at what her personality was like or what did she see in him, but all he could tell me about her was that "She's hot!" It's a typical guy reaction.

Women are quite a bit different. It is the relationship that they find attractive. The way someone responds in a conversation and the body language they use to show their inner thoughts. I've seen two women discuss a movie and they will twitter about how the leading man looked at the leading woman, or "Did you hear what he said to her?" Meanwhile the men who went to the same movie are scratching their heads saying, "What is it with this man. I mean, he's not bad looking, but he certainly isn't handsome or even athletic."

What I'm saying is that for some women, if you told them a man was trying was trying to come on to them, they will look puzzled and think you are trying to pull a fast one on them. Since they don't feel a sexual attraction, they assume the other person isn't sexually attracted to them either. To prove my point, take a look at one young lady's question: "Is seeing or touching private areas a sin?" Most guys would conclude she was joking with me because they would see the answer as obvious, but the point is that she couldn't see it because she wasn't feeling it inside.

I suspect and hope this is what is happening to your girlfriend, but I can't say with any certainty because I don't know her. Let's assume for a moment this is true and she moves in any way. What does this tell me about her personality?

  • She is head strong. In a marriage everything will have to go her way or it won't happen.
  • She is not sympathetic. That is, she has a hard time seeing things from another person's point of view.
  • She is unable to manage money. It is clear she is being taken, but she does it anyway.
  • She doesn't use her head but is flighty, following her emotions alone.

Now if you were going to pick a woman to be at your side for the rest of your life, are these good qualities?

But I also fear that there might be something else going on. If you listen to news commentators for any length of time, you will soon find that many talk about events, but they are more interested in the motivations. They will often urge you to follow the money; in other words, see who profits from a particular course of action because it often explains the motivation of the individual -- more than the actions alone can tell you.

I hope this doesn't hurt too much, but step back and isolate your emotions in this situation a bit. Consider with me why a 19 year old girl with a child is interested in a 16 year old boy. There are many possibilities, but one that stands out in my mind is that she is coming out of one or more failed relationships (hence the child). Her view of herself has taken a severe hit, but the fact that she has an athletic boy as her boyfriend is "proof" that she still has what it takes to attract men. It raises her self-worth in her own eyes. While three years difference is insignificant when you're in you 20's or 30's, at this period of time the difference is significant. It tells me that she likes to be in control of the relationship. She generally does things her way and if there is a difference of opinion, she will point out that she is the older person and knows what she is doing.

I know why you are attracted to her, besides her looks. Your ego is stroked because an older woman wants you. You see yourself as the knight in shining armor come to rescue both her and her child. The fact that you are only 16 and can't support them yet isn't significant because you'll be able to make money later. But meanwhile you can protect them and make both of them feel good.

But there is one thing we still have to follow: the money trail. Why would a woman rent a room when everyone is telling her she is being taken? The one dominant thought that comes to mind is that she is looking for security. I fear that she might be finding it flattering that an older man with a home and a job sees her as attractive. If one thing leads to another, well, she has a place to raise her child.

So what if my fears regarding the motivations are true. What does this tell me about her?

  • She will leave one man for another if she feels the new man is more financially stable.
  • She is willing to two-time to move from one relationship to another.
  • She is starting to lose interest in you.

Again, these are not good qualities in a wife. But even if I'm off and it is something else, the fact that she moves into this home tells you that she isn't a keeper. A good woman won't put herself into harm's way except by accident and this won't be an accident. And I haven't even addressed the potential danger to the child. Nor have I considered why her maternal instincts aren't going on red-alert. But you should because you should be wondering if she will be a fit mother for your children.

I understand.

In her last relationship, the guy walked all over her. He controlled her to the point that if he said "Jump," she'd ask "how high?" And sometimes I fear that with me she is looking to be the dominant one due to the pain and hurt she suffered in her last relationship.

There are qualities I like about her; however, I don't like the bad things about her. What you said didn't hurt at all. I'll consider that myself. My mom wonders why a 19 year old single mother has interested in a 16 year old. My mom believes, that she is very immatureandthat since my girlfriend probably looks at me as young and impressionable, she believes she can manipulate me easily and trap me by getting me to get her pregnant so that way I won't leave. Though it doesn't make sense to me why she'd do that. I don't think she's losing interest in me, but what would be some hints that give this off?

Oh, and I have brilliant news. The house she was going to be moving into with another man: Well, I used to live across the street so I know who his neighbors are. I called them up tonight, told them that I'm concerned about him because he's sketchy and he's manipulating my girlfriend into moving in.

You know what the lady told me?

She said he's a lunatic! That she can't wait until he moves out. She says he has the most erratic, outrageous behavior of anyone she knows. She says that she'll often hear him screaming at the top of his lungs at his mother, calling her every name in the book, and he gets mad at her to the point that he'll throw his mother's furniture outside and he slams his head off the tree in such anger! And, she says she doesn't know this for sure, but she suspects he's into drugs because there are teenage kids constantly going to his house. She doesn't understand why a 30 year old man would be having high school kids over, unless it was for drugs.

I told my girlfriend all of this, the whole conversation, and she's not going through with this! I feel so relieved, but at the same time, I really want to consider some things. The fact that I had to go through all of this for her to see it wasn't a good idea doesn't make me feel very good. Had I not gone out of my way to contact my old neighbors, she would have been totally caught off guard by this guy's attitude, terrified and in the same house as him and I might not have been there at that moment to protect her. Just typing all that out about what she told me about this guy is giving my spine cold chills.

As I stated before, since I have very little to go upon, I'm guessing as to some of the possible motivations behind your girlfriend's actions. What I wanted you to do is start looking beyond what she is doing and start asking yourself why she is doing it.

While I know women who latch onto boys for the purpose of having children, they usually want the child far more than the relationship. Having a child with a young man has less potential obligations. I sincerely hope that you are not having sex with her. It isn't good for your soul or your emotional and spiritual well being. Obviously it is a sin, but it also creates bonds which are bound to be broken and that won't do you any good. In addition, if a child results you will be tied down with obligations even if you never marry her.

I doubt she is after you for marriage, but I can't say it would be absolutely ruled out. The reason is that you have little to bring to the union except your body. It isn't that you will be able to support her and her daughter for quite a few years. Besides, you can't marry for another two years minimum. She obviously at this time wants a boyfriend who cannot marry her. While I know you have a good head on your shoulder, you verified that she likes to run the relationship, so it isn't that she wants a husband to follow. I suspect that she feels more secure in this relationship because she thinks she is in control and, as I said before, she is trying to avoid responsibility. In that way I believe your mother is right, she isn't mature in her thinking.

The reason I speculated that she might be losing interest is because she was willing to move in a home where another man lived. She was willing to do this despite your reasonable objections. There must be a reason behind this, and looking for an older man to take care of her is one possibility. Financially he had something to offer that you won't have for quite a while. She was willing to risk your displeasure and the strong possibility of you breaking off the relationship. It might be that she thinks she has you totally under her thumb and can do as she pleases, but I wonder if her interest is fading as well. Typically relationship in your age bracket only average about 18 months in length. Even if you did marry later, especially if you have been having sex, the likelihood is that you two will break up before five years pass. See: "Cohabitation is bad for men, worse for women, and horrible for children."

I truly wonder with her, sometimes. She claims the reason she was so into the idea of moving into this house was because she had nowhere else to go and desperate to move as soon as possible.

But it does make me wonder. And for the longest time I have felt she's losing interest in me for a bunch of reason. One, well, when we first started going out, she'd call me all the time and she'd hate not to be talking to me for more than a couple of hours. Now, we could go almost 24 hours without talking and she won't go out of her way to talk to me, and if she does, it'll be a phone call just to say goodnight to me as she's going to sleep.

Another thing, when we're talking online, she doesn't talk very much. She won't say anything unless I do, and if she does say something, it'll be "be right back." It is very frustrating sometimes. It almost feels like she won't give me the time of day.

And is it true that girls never really lose the love they had for the father of their child?

When you first enter a relationship with someone the early days are filled with excitement. There is a lot of energy and you feel as if your head is in the clouds. The problem is that many people think that heady feeling is love. A more accurate word is "infatuation" and the problem is that it doesn't last. Typically it lasts about 18 months. It serves an important part in bringing couples together, but it is not enduring.

I'm not at all surprised that the nature of your relationship is changing. It would be the natural progression. Either it will fade or it will strengthen into another form which will have staying power. I Corinthians 13:4-8 describes the characteristics of love that has staying power. Read through the points carefully and ask yourself if this describes your relationship. An explanation of the points can be found in "Love Is ..."

It sounds as if early on, when she was hurting from her past break-up, she was needing a lot of reassurance that you were really interested in her. Now that she has her confidence back, she isn't as needy. It is possible that it has swung the other direction. You are suspecting that she is looking for a new relationship and you are needing reassurance, but aren't getting the feedback you need.

The lack of conversation is bothersome. Most girls love to talk. A lack of it indicates a lack of interest. Now it could be that you are dominating the conversations so much that she doesn't get a word in edgewise -- I've seen that happen. It could be that you keep the topics of conversation away from things she is interested in. One way to find out is to ask her open-ended questions about herself which cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." Give her plenty of time to compose an answer. Don't tell her what she ought to think. You might be surprised as to what you learn. If you still aren't getting much back, then, yes, she has lost interest.

Your last question is close, but too narrowly expressed. Men and women form bonds, whether they realize it or not, when they have sex. "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (I Corinthians 6:15-18). The first person you have sex with will cause you to form a powerful bond with that person. If that relationship breaks, it will cause terrible rip in your soul and you will feel as if the world is coming to an end. Eventually you get over it. But the next person you have sex with will also cause a bonding, but not as strong because you have been hurt and you naturally hold a bit of yourself back. That breakup hurts as well, but not as badly because you have had experience in this. Eventually you end up with people who are so calloused that they have trouble bonding to another because they never give themselves to another.

That is why Paul was warning Christians to stay away from casual sex. A prostitute has no feelings for those she has had sex with -- there have been too many. So the relationship ends and damage is done to this bonding and all other forms of bonding, such as to the Lord.

So, the first person you or she has sex with will always hold a spot in the heart. Generally I find people still clinging to a vague hope that perhaps the original partner will want them back even though it has been years later. All of this is why I warn people to save sex for marriage. Bed hopping damages your ability to form and maintain lasting relationships.