He lives in a very, very rural area and has highly limited internet access, so we can’t use skype or zoom. He has a basic phone without texting. Our options are facebook messenger and phone calls, but he literally never calls me. He also will just leave to go do something without saying a word about it, so when he goes offline I never know if it’s for five minutes or five hours. I asked him over a month ago to call me some time and he called me once. I haven’t heard his voice in over a month. I understand he’s busy catching up on hobbies and applying for better jobs, and I’m glad he’s keeping busy, but is it selfish of me to want him to call me while he works on his car or does his painting, or at least tell me before he disappears? I don’t think it’s personal; he talks about missing me and about seeing me as soon as this is over. I get the feeling he just doesn’t like talking on the phone and doesn’t see it as any different from messenger, but I feel like I have a bot instead of a boyfriend. I try not to be demanding, but I just want to hear his voice, or for him to at least tell me before he logs out for five hours. Am I still demanding too much? — Demanding Too Much?
The person you need to ask this of is your boyfriend. I suspect most people would agree that what you’re asking for is pretty basic-level efforts to keep up a long-distance relationship and that if someone who is currently unemployed and has endless amounts of time at home can’t even manage a freaking phone call a few times a week because he’s too busy on his hobbies, then he probably should not be in a relationship. But you really need to discuss with your boyfriend whether this is true.
You said you asked your boyfriend over a month ago to call you some time; is that the extent of the discussion you’ve had about this? Have you expressed to him how important it is that he call you more than just “some time,” and actually call you regularly? Have you told him that in lieu of the visits you were having and now cannot have, that you need daily interaction with him in the form of whatever technology is available to him, including phone calls from him two to three times a week? Have you told him that he needs to let you know when he’s getting off messenger if it’s going to be for more than a few minutes so you aren’t left waiting around for him to come back? If not, you need to tell him all of this.
State your needs explicitly and then ask whether he thinks he can meet them. If the answer is “yes,” then see if his actions actually back that up. If his answer is anything other than yes, then you have to decide if there’s any room for compromise or whether his not making an effort to meet your, in my opinion, very reasonable needs and expectations, is a deal-breaker. And if it is, MOA. At this point, getting over him should be pretty easy since life without him is already the norm.
Interesting that in this strangely-worded note, you share zero details about what I assume must be your own personal situation. Also interesting you would argue that cheating, “in almost any context, involves depriving someone of something they would normally expect or be entitled to.” Uh, no. That’s not what cheating is at all. First of all, if the “something” that is being deprived is sex — and I assume it is since you reference sex immediately in the next sentence – no one is entitled to that: not a spouse; not a significant other; not a date; not a John – no one. And, no, “depriving” someone of having sex with you isn’t cheating, no matter how hard you try to spin it.
If you want to link cheating and deprivation in some context, try this: You are cheating your significant other when you deprive them of love and respect, and to screw someone else because you think you’re entitled to sex and aren’t getting it from them is disrespectful if you haven’t gotten your partner’s blessing to do so. If your partner is in a position of not being able to have “effective sex,” whatever the hell that means, and is likely to be in such a position for the foreseeable future, then yes, discuss how your needs could be met in a way that you are both comfortable with. And if this just has to include someone else outside your relationship, at least wait until it’s safe to touch someone with whom you aren’t sharing a home or quarantine space. You aren’t entitled to exposing your partner to potentially deadly germs because you needed help getting off.