Between volunteer groups, organized sports, and networking events, I pretty much never see him, yet we live only a few miles apart. I can understand if his activities are work or grad school-related; I want him to be successful and I support him in those. But with everything else, it makes me question what kind of priority I am for him. I am plenty busy myself — I have a good job, friends, and like to stay active, but it irks me that he NEVER attempts to make plans with me — never a call to ask me to dinner, or a movie. It’s usually me asking him to do something, or inviting him to dinner at my place. And even then, he has to decline half of the time because he’s got something else going on.
I should also add that about a year ago we broke up for several months. He broke up with me telling me he felt bad that he didn’t have enough time for me in our relationship. We got back together last August when he told me he couldn’t live without me, that he wanted to spend his life with me and have children and everything else I wanted. I’m afraid that I am being too hard on him since we’ve gotten back together, that I’m being too defensive. Or am I in a relationship where I will never be a priority for my partner? I love him, I know he’s great, but I don’t want to spend my life with someone who doesn’t want to make time for me. Am I being too needy? — Needy or Not?
As some wise Dear Wendy commenter once said, having needs and being “needy” are two different things. Perhaps a better way for you to look at your situation is not so much what your specific needs are (that aren’t being met), but what the needs of your relationship are. Clearly, things didn’t work out the first time you were together because your boyfriend was too busy for a relationship. So, that would mean that in trying again, your boyfriend would need to make a bigger investment of time for your relationship to succeed. But he’s not, is he? How is Part II any different from Part I, when your relationship eventually ended? How has your boyfriend proven to you that he values the relationship — that he values you?
Currently, you have to practically beg for a nugget of his time and attention and you’re actually thinking of marrying this guy and having kids with him? Do you really want to spend your life feeling like you don’t matter? What if he treats his relationship with your children the same way he treats his relationship with you?! If you can’t stand feeling “needy” about your own needs, then at least think about the needs of your future kids. Don’t they deserve a father who will make them and their family a priority? Well, darlin’, if the man you’re with hasn’t made you a priority, why on earth do you think he’d suddenly have time for your kids?
You broke up once and you gave your boyfriend a second chance. Rather than take advantage of that chance and show you how much he’s learned and grown since your breakup, he has squandered the opportunity you’ve given him and totally taken you and your relationship for granted. He manipulated you into taking him back because he likes the security your presence in his life gives him. But while he’s willing to work at everything else he wants, he’s shown zero effort in keeping you. Where is your incentive to stick around? Why are you still with this guy? If he truly wanted a future with you, he’d be putting in real work to make your present worthwhile. He’s not, and it’s time for your to MOA, sister.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter.