She’s 26 years old and has been with her partner for five years. But she’s never allowed herself to fall in love with him.
To make matters worse Mandy*, from Pretoria, kept their relationship a secret from her family as she fears her mother might not accept him.
Now she finds herself torn between staying in the loveless relationship she’s been committed to for so long and telling her mother about her boyfriend.
This is her story.
“I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for about five years now. He is really great but I’m having trouble fully falling in love with him. Before I started dating him, I had never been in a relationship so I didn’t expect this one to last this long, let alone become this serious.
I’ve kept our relationship a secret from my family and although I’d like to tell them about us, on my mom’s first encounter with him she was quick to dismiss him and the idea of us being together. She told me we aren’t a good match, a judgement I believe was made on his physical appearance.
I’d really like to her about my relationship – it’s been three years since she met him, but I’m scared she’ll have trouble accepting her only daughter's first boyfriend isn’t “good enough”.
The worst part is she constantly asks me about him, which makes me feel guilty for not telling her the truth and she also makes really hurtful snide comments like, “I’m glad you didn’t go for him, he honestly wasn't your type.”
To be honest, I don’t entirely disagree with my mother – I’ve always
felt he wasn’t my type but somehow managed to convince myself that overtime I’d
get over it.
Childish as this may seem, I’m shy to introduce him to people because after her harsh judgment, I worry what they will think of him or us being together. These are just some of the reasons I’ve decided to keep our relationship under wraps.
Why am I still with him, you may ask? He makes me happy and I’m afraid of breaking his heart because he’s been so good to me.
But I also feel burdened by the fact my mom doesn’t know the truth about us and how heartbroken he’ll be if I do tell him the truth.
All of this is confusing and time honestly isn’t on my side, but I feel stuck between telling my mom about us or telling him the truth and just walking away.”
*Not her real name
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