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Dear Wendy

Should I break up with my boyfriend?

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by avatar Carol Evans 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #725573 Reply

    Hi everyone,
    I’ve been seeing someone for the last 6 months now and It’s been going pretty great except one thing – we don’t really go out on dates. We meet at least 3 times a week at his place or my place and do a lot of fun stuff but we hardly ever go out. (Maybe once or twice in 6 months), he’s also cancelled on dates 2 times. Every time I ask, he says yes but then it’s never followed up. He has a long working schedule and he has also been unwell over the last 2 months so I completely understand and to be honest, I’m fine with chilling at his place\my place every week but this problem stems from my past. My ex (who i dated for 4 long years) would just NEVER like going on dates. He’d rather get drunk on the weekends with a whole bunch of friends. So when my current boyfriend doesn’t do it as much, it bothers me a little. I’m 23 and I want to be pampered and I want to pamper him. Either way, I spoke to him about it day before yesterday and he completely understood and told me that he is going to try his best to make time for dates.
    Here’s my main problem: Its my birthday this coming weekend and 5 of us booked a road trip for Sunday- Monday and Tuesday. My boyfriend took an official leave from work and everything is paid for etc. He called me last evening and told me that the director of his company is flying in from New York on Sunday and because he is the manager of his building, it wouldn’t look good if he isn’t there for the first two days of his arrival. I understand this and I know that work is important and sometimes, it needs to be prioritized over other things but this is my birthday and its important to me. He has his leave and he knows that if he wants to, he can get out of it. The MD of the company is not going anywhere for the next week and he can meet his 2 days later. Now I’m just sitting here thinking if this is even worth it. Its eating on all my past related insecurities and I feel like if this happens now, its going to happen again and again. I’m also moving out of the country in 8 months so this is probably my first and last birthday with him. I don’t know what to do. Advice?

    #725574 Reply

    Coming from a guy —

    I don’t doubt his work schedule is super busy, and it sounds like he is pretty career orientated (which is fine providing you are happy with it).

    He definitely isn’t making enough time for you , he was sick for two weeks but I guess he still went to work almost everyday… so he wasn’t really that sick. And for two months? That’s long time to be sick unless you have a very serious health problem.

    It is quite likely there are two major things stopping him from going out with you , firstly he is career orientated and secondly he isn’t prioritising you at all.

    Your relationship is convenient for him , but he isn’t showing you off.

    Have you met his workmates? His family? His close friends?

    You need to work out what the situation is between you two, is he serious? And if he is how do you know he is?

    If he is serious he needs to start bringing you out more and involving you in his life. Staying at his house or him staying at your house on weekends is not being very involved in each other’s lives. You might be attached , but attachment and involvement are different things … and attachment is easily severed.

    Get him to say is priorities clearly. Good luck.

    #725581 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy

    You need to move on. All these months and you’ve only been out twice? He has time to chill with you at home, so he has time to take you out on a proper date. But that takes effort and some money and some planning. He’s not interested in doing those things. He just wants to chill at home and have sex. This isn’t boyfriend material. Move on.

    #725593 Reply

    I don’t call this latest stunt of his being “work orientated.” I call it, “being a doormat.” If people have prearrangements, tickets, or other specific plans, their managers can and should work around it. When companies are trained to think that nothing going on in a person’s private life matters more than whatever gets cooked up at work, they will continue to act that way, and it won’t cause them to treat employees with respect. He had approved leave – he’s being a weenie.

    As to his regular schedule, do I understand that this boyfriend still goes out with his friends on the weekend to get drunk, though not as much as your ex boyfriend? Not good.

    Sounds to me as though everything comes before you. Though hanging out together 3 times a week seems like a fair amount of time, you are a convenience and not a girlfriend. Sorry to say he’s been trained to take you for granted just the way he’s training his bosses to take him for granted. You need to lose this guy. Don’t worry about being the cool girlfriend and the non-demanding girlfriend. Evidently he doesn’t have the time for you, so that’s a good sign to break up. Don’t be angry, just be gone.

    #725599 Reply

    “I don’t call this latest stunt of his being “work orientated.” I call it, “being a doormat.” If people have prearrangements, tickets, or other specific plans, their managers can and should work around it.”

    Blah blah blah. Lucky for you to work in an industry or company that is respectful of people’s personal time and respects their time off. Many people do not. I do not. It’s worse for people early in their careers. He may have a limited chance to make a good impression on the director, who expects a lot of face time.

    “When companies are trained to think that nothing going on in a person’s private life matters more than whatever gets cooked up at work, they will continue to act that way, and it won’t cause them to treat employees with respect.”

    He doesn’t have the luxury of changing the professional culture at his job, regardless of whether 21st century capitalism upsets you.

    It’s perfectly reasonable for her to decide that she doesn’t want to date someone whose professional commitments require this of him, but it’s the way it is for many people, especially junior people who don’t have specialized skills and can only differentiate themselves by showing extra commitment.

    #725601 Reply
    Boo Berry Waffles

    You sure you guys are in a relationship? This all sounds a lot like side chick shenanigans. The lack of public visibility, the last minute cancellations, the flimsy work/I’m sick excuses. This sounds like he has another woman who is his number one and he’s trying to engineer you around that existing relationship.

    Regardless, you’re not getting what you want out of this relationship. You’re 23, get out there and experience things. Learn what you want in life and, more importantly, what you don’t want. If pampering is your thing, be upfront with the people you are interested in that you associate materialistic effort with affection. A lot of people might not want that, even if you offer to pamper them in turn. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there is something wrong with being in an unequal relationship that clearly isn’t giving you satisfaction.

    #725605 Reply

    Yes for all of the reasons stated by everyone.

    #725608 Reply

    It sounds like he’s aiming for a more “friends with benefits” sort of situation. I don’t think it’s going to be fruitful for you to try to get him to have the sort of relationship you want, where you go on dates and stuff. Mostly because it sounds like he just doesn’t want that, either in general or with you. Some people also get flaky when they want to create distance and keep the other person from getting too attached or from progressing the relationship.

    Either way, you want different things. Move on. This is a good time in your life to learn that you don’t need to just put up with what someone else wants all the time. You can also make choices about what you want and not just prioritize them, while sacrificing your needs.

    #725623 Reply

    Eh, Ron, the first professional job I had, my boss deliberately pushed everyone to find out what their limits were. He backed off once he found mine and it wasn’t until then that I realized I was being tested. And my husband had a boss who insisted on meeting with all of her subordinates at a specific time, demanding that they cancel already-planned and paid for and scheduled trips for this crucial meeting – because she wanted to announce to them that she’d been laid off, which could have been communicated without such ridiculous demands. (He did not comply, FWIW). So, I do recommend considering pushback. Thanks for the lesson in 21st century capitalism; it doesn’t upset me, but it’s a balancing act and a choice. Sometimes young people err on the side of being too doormatty, and their extra commitment won’t mean a thing. Depends on the specific company and whether or not he’s actually getting acknowledgement.

    #725629 Reply

    My response came across as snarkier and harsher than I intended, for which I apologize. I am glad that you and your husband have had success negotiating better boundaries with your bosses. But there are a lot of companies and industries where this just isn’t a feasible option especially for junior people.

    Regardless of whether it’s a character flaw or an immutable fact of his professional life, I agree that this relationship doesn’t sound like it works for her.

    #725635 Reply

    You don’t have a relationship with this guy. At best, you are casually dating.

    Also – some industries do require that you drop everything to work, but also, some people are workaholics and do it to themselves. They like working (a lot) and like feeling like they are indispensable. So they’ll cancel personal plans for work without thought, without being a doormat.

    Is this guy one of those people? Maybe. But he clearly can’t/won’t give her the time she wants, so he’s not the guy for her. It doesn’t really matter if his work is walking all over him or he is freely choosing to lean in.

    #725647 Reply
    Ruby Thursday

    I agree with @Fyodor that some young people in certain industries don’t have the ability to set boundaries without losing their job. I had two friends (both at political advertising firms) visit from DC last week for a wedding and they both had to spend hours working despite being on vacation. Same goes for my friends working for private law firms. Many employers now require their employees to drop everything in order to be successful in their careers. Many of these people receive excellent monetary compensation, but they’d also lose their jobs if they ever tried to push back. My friends still have a choice; I a a lawyer, but I chose the nonprofit life over a more lucrative career. But once they make their choice, they also knowingly sacrifice their personal lives for a career. I don’t think it’s right, but it is certainly a fact of life for many young people in a variety of industries.

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