General Question

acebamboo77's avatar

How do I get my boyfriend to do something he doesn't feel comfortable doing?

Asked by acebamboo77 (717points) September 21st, 2008

I bought concert tickets for my boy friend and I, to see his favorite band. I was going to surprise him. I was a little concerned though, because he doesn’t like being in crowds, but I thought it was his favourite band and it meant I was coming home, that he’d want to go regardless.
Unfortunately, when I told him, his response was “that’s awesomem you will have to take lots of pictures.” Not what I wanted to hear. So I made it clear that I was disappointed. He then explained that it was in fact because of the idea of the crowd… but said he would think about it, and that he felt terrible that I tried to do something nice for him, and he sort of ruined it.
So, WITHOUT guilting him into coming, how do I get him to come with me in a positive manner?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

29 Answers

PupnTaco's avatar

Counseling. (again)

If he’s willing to go talk to someone about his anxiety, he can move past this limitation.

If not, you’ll have to accept this as a part of who he is – or move on if it’s a dealbreaker.

But you can’t force him.

Nimis's avatar

I don’t think you should push the point if he is obviously uncomfortable with the idea.
If you want to help him through his phobia, I’d baby step it with him.
Don’t think a concert would be considered a baby step though.

acebamboo77's avatar

He won’t talk to anyone… it’s certainly not a deal breaker though. I would never force him into it, or anything for that matter. I understand where he is coming from though.
I want to help him. I didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal, because its a very small venue, and we could stand at the back of the venue by the bar, which I explained.

RandomMrdan's avatar

aren’t there usually seated areas in a concert, as well as floor tickets? get a seated spot where it isn’t too crowded? Seeing a band live is just amazing…I wouldn’t miss it for anything if I had the chance to see my favorite, he’ll be so happy he went. See if you can talk him into a seated area.

acebamboo77's avatar

Well, the concert is in a small venue, and its general admission, but ive gone to a tone of shows there… not only is there plenty of room to stand back and enjoy from a distance, there are bleachers and couches provided as well.

asmonet's avatar

If he’s agoraphobic you do not want to push him into it, it could lead to a panic attack, or him resenting the night and you for making him go. best case, he feels good you got something out of it, but it still seems selfish to me (sorry :-/).

Then again, I don’t know your boy, and maybe he’ll end up having a fun time. I suggest just telling him you’d like to go and will respect his decision and wholeheartedly support it. If he chooses not to go, I would bow out of it yourself.

acebamboo77's avatar

I don’t think his fear is so much agoraphobia as it is claustrophobia…
I’ve told him I’ll understand if he won’t go, and that I don’t want him to feel obligated, I just thought it would be nice, and a good chance to enjoy something we both love together, since we don’t see each other that often, since i live 6 hours away.

RandomMrdan's avatar

6 hours….yikes.

asmonet's avatar

Oh, that does clarify some questions I had. I truly am sorry for the position you’re in. I hope he decides to go and has a fantastic time. :) long distance is hard, but love is love.

Nimis's avatar

You know what you could do?

Plan an alternative date in the same area.
Maybe a nice cozy lunch spot?

Tell him it’s like a Plan-Your-Own-Adventure
that he doesn’t need to decide on until he’s there.

That day, take a walk with him by the venue.
Let him decide if he’s up to it or not.
Reassure him there’s no pressure either way.
And support (and have fun!) with whatever he decides to do!

asmonet's avatar

Damn it, Nimis! I was about to edit my post to include thoughts on an alternative date. You sadden me.

I am sad.

Nimis's avatar

Methinks you may owe me another Coke.

asmonet's avatar

I’m gonna go bankrupt.

acebamboo77's avatar

Well, this is how the plot thickens…
I am taking a train to the city the venue is in, which is a 4 hour train ride, and in order for him to meet me it’s about a 2 hour drive…
The concert is just before the Canadian thanksgiving holiday weekend so I planned on coming home early for the concert, and then going back home with him for the weekend…
So, if he won’t go to the concert, I don’t think I will come home early, because I was going to miss 2 days of classes in order to go early.

asmonet's avatar

If I could hug you and fix it I would, looks like you’re in a pickle. Good luck. I’m out of ideas, I like Nimis’ the best though.

acebamboo77's avatar

Thanks Asmonet. I am going to try Nimis’ suggestion when the topic comes up next.

asmonet's avatar

Good luck, girly. :)

augustlan's avatar

I hate crowds, and avoid them if I can help it. Sometimes, I can’t and here’s what I do: Take a Xanax. Plan for breaks. Have an exit plan. Talk to him about preventative medicine, and tell him if he needs to step out for fresh air he can. If he needs to leave altogether, you’ll leave with him. Don’t be surprised though, if he says he just can’t do it.

acebamboo77's avatar

Like I said, I am 100% supportive if he is not comfortable going, I’m just being a little selfish. However, I do believe that he would really enjoy himself if he gave it a chance.
Medication is very unlikely, he doesn’t like the idea of taking pills, not for him.

susanc's avatar

Lacer honey, 100 per cent supportive? simply not true. You’re working fluther as a resource for tactics. Back up; talk with him more about the claustrophobia thing, go to the concert without him if you like this band; relax. He’s been straightforward with you about his limitations, you owe it to him to be just as honest with him, and respect his reality. Baby steps are the a great idea. Getting him ready for THIS CONCERT is not a baby step. It’s a requirement he can’t fulfill. Your nice, nice gesture – keep it for later when he can use it. No need to be hasty. Be a little easy on yourself.

loser's avatar

You really can’t force him to go and if you did, he probably wouldn’t enjoy the experience and just resent you for it anyway. How about selling the tickets and buying him dinner with the money?

maccmann's avatar

You don’t “get him to do” anything. That’s just selfish. Apparently you knew before you planned this thing that he didn’t like crowds. So, why the power play? This could be considered controlling behavior on your part. Not good. If you knew that he as not comfortable in crowds, then planned this, it looks like you’re forcing him to do something he’s not comfortable with.

Forget what you think about his fears, anxieties or whatever. It’s not about you, it’s about him. You can’t force him into complying with how you want him to be, which is what this looks like. And veiling it under the cover of “doing something nice for him” doesn’t change things or make it any better. It just makes it look like you’re forcing him to do something he doesn’t want to.

He’s going to have to work on this thing on his own and in his own time. If you try to force it, he’ll just back further away from you and then you’ll not be with him at all.

From your followup responses above, it also looks like you are trying to fix him. What’s up with that? I know that you may just be trying to help, but once again, that’s not the correct path to take. Be supportive and just be patient. Don’t try to make him into someone you would rather have. If you can’t like (or love) him for who he is now, maybe you should take a big step back and re-evaluate.

deaddolly's avatar

some venues have vip sections, where it’s less crowded. Check into those.

If telling him you can stand in the back away from the maddening crowd doesn’t work, I’d let it go. If he can do it; he will. I’m sure he feels bad enough about it.

sundayBastard's avatar

He has a phobia none the less. It’s all psychological. He needs to face this fear one day and you should be reason enough for him to face it. You are hurting him more than helping if you do not make him go. Remember love can conquer all fears, anything for that matter.

He should be willing to even face death for you!

But…. Hypnosis works and he can get it done for about 50–75 bucks.

acebamboo77's avatar

I’m not going to force him to go, I can’t do that.
I will be there by his side no matter what, but he will have to initiate the growth process oby himself.

sundayBastard's avatar

Hypnosis really works!

augustlan's avatar

Keep us updated, please.

acebamboo77's avatar

I don’t hypnosis, but my bf doesn’t trust people in a conscious state, let alone in hypnosis. I love him, but man is he ever paranoid!

wilbert's avatar

sometimes, without thinking, we offer help to others. and Like you said, it was to be a surprise. sometimes planning a surprise just end up a surprise to us. Don’e be angry, this person had no warning. I think you are more angry that it did not work out as you would have liked. Don’t worry there is plenty of time to make up for it. I have to laught, as my ex bought me flowers and tried to surprise me at the door. I recognized his hands through peeep hole. Hee hee. Ah, its is the thought that counts

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther