How to Know if You`re Really in Love/am I wasting my time?

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Question
Please help. I've been going out with my boyfriend for the past 3 months and he seems like he likes me, we go out once or twice a week together and everything seems good. I told him I loved him after we were together for a month and a half and he still hasn't said it back. We have talked about it but he said he doesn't know if he loves me yet. Is he just stringing me along? I don't want to end up hurt when he decides he's had enough and is bored with me. I feel like I'm taking the relationship more seriously than he is. He is 17 years old and I am 18 years old.

Answer
Hi, Friend,

Sometimes--as much as we hate to do it--we "string people along" by accident. You're bot perfect, so he's taking it day by day. He's not perfect, so he doesn't know how to say that without hurting you.

We may love someone we cannot have. Someone nice comes along to distract us and makes us think we should explore a relationship with new person. Or, he may not love someone else, but just not have that magic feeling about you, yet.

Finally, there actually people who--as in South Korea--keep "a fish tank", or a group of people they date until they find the right one.

Personally, I think people should just be honest.

With your boyfriend, realize "it is what it is". If he is not that into you, really, what's the point.

Don't be upset with him. Understand him. If you cannot help being upset, then either something is wrong and/or, you are expecting to much from this relationship.

Have a nice talk with him and listen a lot.

Is he stringing you along? That's what you are wondering. Ask him.

Peace,

Carl

How to Know if You`re Really in Love

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Mando (Carl Atteniese Jr.)

Expertise

I've read, thought, written, and taught about love for over eleven years. I've had thoughtful love-oriented relationships only--for about twenty-eight years. I struggle endlessly to be a supremely thoughtful, compassionate, fair, and empirical thinker. This is crucial. I believe in the feeling and process of love. This is also crucial. As an artist, a poet, and an essayist--as a teacher of ESL in other cultures--I have had ample opportunity for the analysis of love... personally and inter-culturally, and this has made my introspection and analysis of relationships--with original ideas and those of my favorite psychotherapists--very fruitful. I will tell you three things, which will help you now--before you even write to me: To have true love in yourself and with another, you must: 1. Be Free. 2. Be Adult. 3. Be Honest. 4. Be Disciplined. 5. Find numbers 3~5 easy, because you are overcome with love. 6. Be willing to do virtually anything reasonable (and many things unreasonable from the point of view of others).7. Never settle (in other words, be with someone you do not love), thinking that you will grow into love. 8. Never take a match made by another; your heart and mind must choose your love--period. 9. Never allow yourself to be put into temptation--ever (this is also natural--if you are in love). 10. Be able to listen like you never listened before--to yourself and to your beloved. 11. Love humanity--both the conditions & qualities, and all people.

Experience

I've been fortunate to have helped many people around the world and I love to do it. I will be happy to help you, too--no matter whom you are. If I am busy or unable to help you right away, consider these books to help you help yourself--until I can respond: "Being Happy", by Andrew Mathews; any books by Dr. Wayne Dyer; "The Art of Loving", by Dr. Erich Fromm; "Love", by Leo Buscaglia, "True Love", and "Anger", both by Thich Nhat Hanh. Also Read "The Beloved" and "The Prophet", both by Khalil Gibran. Read "The Road Less Traveled" and "People of The Lie", both by Dr. M. Scott Peck.... Learn more about me at http://carlatteniese.org

Organizations
Amnesty International Partner of Conscience (http://amnesty.org), Union of Concerned Scientists (http://ucsusa.org) and Avaaz.org (htp://avaaz.org)

Publications
Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20110601000943), New York Newsday, The Planetary Review, The Long Island Catholic, Wake Up And Laugh (http://wakeupandlaugh.wordpress.com), The Ocean And The Stars (http://bitnacarlo.blogspot.com/), Cradle of The Universe (http://cradleoftheuniverse.wordpress.com/)

Education/Credentials
Certificates in recognizing violence in the home and child abuse, in preventing violence in school. Raised with an emphasis on loving all people and to be politically active. Studied Zen at Hwa Gye Sa Temple, Han Maum Zen & Culture Center, and The Buddhist English Library of Seoul, in South Korea. Taught seventeen years in the US and South Korea. Teacher Training in the U.S. at Berlitz and the Center for English Studies, NYC, and at Inlingua, Princeton. Studied Drawing, Photography, and Painting at the School of Visual Arts, NYC, and basic Psychology at Nassau Community College, Long Island. Fifteen years of experience teaching English as a Second language--many of those years abroad--has helped as well, as people from other cultures help us see ourselves and other human beings in a different light.

Awards and Honors
My reward is knowing I have helped people.

Past/Present Clients
I have taught and counseled people of all ages, experience-levels, professions and religions, and consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity and thankful to those who have shared with me. Every such interaction is a learning experience, and an opportunity for growth and improvement.

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