When we first started dating, he was the most perfect boyfriend I could have ever possibly imagined. He planned surprise dates all the time, cooked me breakfast in bed, brought me fresh flowers every other week, left me sweet notes around my apartment and the list goes on. I would consider our relationship to be pretty serious as we have discussed marriage and kids on multiple occasions and have some plans together two years in advance.
For about the past four months, however, he constantly puts his family, friends, and hobbies before me. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe a relationship is more important than anything else. I understand that family is important (and he is MUCH more close with his family than I am to mine), but I am very afraid that he will not be able to uproot himself and move away with me once I start residency and then later start a family with me. He constantly cancels our plans to spend more time with his family and friends and always has an excuse to not come back and spend the night with me, staying at his mom’s house instead. (He is definitely NOT cheating on me though; I can barely get him to have sex with me, so chances of his having sex with another female is highly unlikely).
I’m not asking for his full, undivided attention 24/7; as I mentioned before, I have a very demanding schedule of my own, but I just want to feel like I’m his priority. Isn’t that what marriage is? Putting your spouse as a priority? Or perhaps I am expecting to much out of my relationship.
I try very hard to accept the fact that he is neglecting my needs (sexually, emotionally), and I wonder if I am asking for too much and perhaps I have to accept and be happy with what I have. I have tried to lay things out as clearly as possible for him and tell him that I need X, Y, and Z to be happy or I need to leave the relationship for the sake of my own sanity, and he told he that my needs are basically impossible to meet. Is my relationship doomed or am I just over reacting? — A Concerned “Part-Time” Girlfriend
If you basically never spend time together, don’t have sex, don’t feel like a priority in each other’s lives, and don’t feel that your needs are being met, then, no, I would not consider it “over-reacting” to worry about the state of your relationship. The state of your relationship is NOT good. It’s not good at all. Does that mean your relationship is “doomed”? Maybe. If you’ve expressed your needs and your boyfriend has said that they’re impossible to meet, then I’d say your relationship is, in fact, doomed. Because where do you go from there? You either accept that your needs won’t be met and decide to be fine with that (which sounds pretty awful), or you discuss WHY your boyfriend thinks your needs are impossible to meet and if there’s a way to make to make them a little more possible to meet. (It should go without saying, but I don’t think it does, that you also need to find out what your boyfriend’s needs are and decide whether you can or are willing to meet them).
Frankly, if I were your boyfriend and were paying your rent in full and feeling like I only got your leftovers (leftover time, leftover energy) after you were done studying, I’d certainly start getting resentful, too. If you never made ME feel like a priority, choosing to study all the time rather than spend quality time with me, accompanying me to friends’ cookouts and soccer games and stuff like that, I’d have a hard time motivating myself to meet your needs, too.
Honestly, this sounds like a case of bad timing (at the very least). In the long run, you may be a good match for each other (if you have shared interests and values, enjoyable companionship, shared future goals), but in the short-term it doesn’t sound like you are able or willing to meet one another’s needs. You can’t continue building a future together if you aren’t able to maintain a present. And, right now, with you in school, studying or working around-the-clock, and your boyfriend maintaining a life of his own that you aren’t a part of, you do not have a relationship together. Rather than continue down this path toward resentment, I’d get out now and potentially salvage any shot you may (or may not) have of a future together way down the line, when your schedule eases up and you are able to actually invest in a relationship. Of course, a move for your residency will likely affect your shot at a future together if your boyfriend doesn’t follow you. But asking your boyfriend to leave his full life to follow someone who has no room for him in hers will kill any potential for a future together even faster. I say get out now, take out loans to pay your rent, wish each other well, and promise to look each other up in a few years when your life circumstances have changed a bit.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].