Dear Dr. Love: I have been dating this woman since November and so far things have been going better than any of my past relationships. I’ve never been happier.Right now, though, I’m confused. I took her back to my hometown for my grandparent’s 50th anniversary bash this past weekend, and I’m afraid it was a bad move. The ride was 3 hours, and winter in my home state is not the most exciting time of year. There was little to do besides the party. On the ride up, we talked, but not a lot (often I had to initiate the conversation).The party WAS a lot of fun ( for me at least), but that ‘s about all that went well. After the weekend was over, we barely spoke on the ride back. She said she had a good time, but I’m afraid it was her being nice. She kissed me goodbye when I dropped her off, and told me to call. So I don’t know if I’m being just paranoid, or if things are a little rocky.I want to add that we started having sex a couple weeks ago, and it was the first time in my life that I had sex with a woman I really cared about. She’s been a great support to me in adjusting to my new life down here, and I think I’m falling for her.Should I have waited on introducing her to the family?Should I slow things down in some way–maybe tell her she should spend a weekend to herself?I want this to work, and want to say the right thing without giving her the impression that I’m unhappy with our relationship.I need advice on what to do.
Dear ‘Guy Whose Girlfriend Has Backed Off Since He Took Her to Meet His Family’:Right now you are berating yourself with ‘shoulda, coulda, wouldas. ‘I am not going to say, you shouldn’t have taken her home to the family. Why not?There are no rules about when in the right time. Maybe it was too soon for her, but a person isn’t expected to carry around a crystal ball. We continually say and do things that upset our loved ones. And, it’s up to our loved ones to clue us in when we do.The bottom line is something happened that upset her during that weekend and you need to find out what went wrong for her. You suggested backing off yourself or giving her a weekend alone. I would not recommend any of these options. Why?They involve your going into action instead of talking. And, action begets more action. In other words, if you back off, you will invite more of a back off on her part. Not what you want. The other problem with going into action is that you can’t be sure whether you are properly interpreting your girlfriend.So, if you act on what you think she feels, and you are wrong, you can blow your entire show. So, talk, don’t act. Tell her, ‘I sense a cold wind blowing in my direction since our weekend at my folks. Did I, or anyone in my family, say or do something to offend you?Then, you wait for her answer. If she says nothing is wrong, then you can point out the changes that you have observed in her behavior since the weekend away. If she still declines to speak, you can say, ‘I have the impression that you are protecting my feelings. But, keeping silent is not protecting me at all. It puts our relationship in danger and I don’t want to risk losing your and our relationship.’If she still refuses to speak, then there is nothing that can be done except to wait for her to come around and talk. I hope that she opens up and spills the beans soon. I’m kinda curious myself as to what is bugging her.All the best.