I’ve been dating a guy for going on five months. He owns his own business (inherited from the family) and works about 80+ hours a week. It works out because I am living in a town about two hours away until May, and am only able to come home every other weekend. We talk on the phone every day, have met each other’s families and friends, tell each other we care about one other, talk about personal and painful issues, are monogamous, etc. However, when I attempted to have the ‘relationship’ conversation with him, he came back with the typical guy response of “Why do we need a label?”
He has said that he doesn’t think that it’s fair to me to be to be boyfriend/girlfriend until work slows down (i.e. him hiring more people, getting home at a decent hour, having more time). He also says that he can’t give me an exact time as to when this will happen and that he doesn’t want me to be with anyone else, but if I happen to meet someone then he will understand. I get that his company is a priority, but what I don’t understand is how what we have is not already a relationship. I think of him as my boyfriend, and am not interested in anyone else. Sometimes I wonder if this is a way for him to have a physical and emotional relationship without any actual commitment. So you think this is a way for him to not have an obligation to me, or is what he says the truth? If we already do everything that couples do and act like a couple, why is saying we are a couple such a big deal? — Wants a Label
Exactly. Why is saying you’re a couple a big deal if you already “talk on the phone every day, have met each other’s families and friends, tell each other you care about one other, talk about personal and painful issues, are monogamous, etc.”? What is the label of “girlfriend” going to give you that you don’t already have? A sense of security? Well, given your boyfriend’s work schedule as well as the fact that you currently live two hours apart and will for at least the next five months, security isn’t something you’re going to have for a while anyway, regardless of whatever title you have.
This man has been honest about what he can give you right now and that includes just about everything but a commitment. Apparently, he’ll even give you monogamy. But he won’t give you a commitment and he can’t tell you when or if that will change. Rather than force or coerce him into something he’s basically said he doesn’t want right now and rather than try to figure out if he’s being honest about his reason for not wanting it — and frankly, working 80+ hours a week and living two hours apart sounds like enough of a reason to avoid commitment for the time being — decide for yourself if you can accept the terms of this agreement. If you can’t, then MOA. If you can, then relax, quit worrying about labels and enjoy the company of this person you say you like so much.
*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.