I recently learned that one of these friends had said he didn’t want to come in this weekend unless our dog and I got a hotel room—and my boyfriend had responded with, “I wish I could.” This really hurt my feelings. I feel betrayed. I let these people into my home and then they speak this way about me. And furthermore, I’m so hurt by my boyfriend. Shouldn’t he support me no matter what? Isn’t this a betrayal of my trust? How can I talk to him about this? — Not Staying in a Hotel
Yeah, that was a super jerky response from your boyfriend when his friend said he wanted you and the dog to get a hotel room for the weekend. And if he’s already letting his friends crash at your place two weekends of every month, where they make a mess, get rowdy, and give him a hard time for his commitment to you, it has to make you wonder why. WHY is he letting them do this and why is he not putting his foot down and setting some boundaries with them? My guess is that he may not be quite ready to be so committed to you after all. He isn’t behaving like someone who is happy to be sharing and making a home with a significant other and respecting what that means. He’s behaving like someone who still wants to keep a foot in the door of bachelor life. He can’t have it both ways.
I have to wonder: Did he feel pressured into moving in with you (or letting you move in with him)? Was it mostly your idea that he passively went along with? Did you discuss all these topics before you moved in together? What is your long-term plan? Do you even have one?
Take this issue with the friends — and your boyfriend’s response to them — as an opportunity to check the state of your union. Do you both want the same things? Is he truly committed to your relationship long-term and is he happy living together? If so, he needs to set some damn boundaries with his friends. Their every-other-week presence in your home is affecting your relationship in a negative way and it needs to stop. THEY should stay in a hotel when they come visit. Or he could go visit them sometimes. Decide how often you are ok with their coming to visit – maybe every two to three months? And when they do come for a night, you don’t need to go stay in a hotel, but you might take that opportunity to go out with your friends or visit a long-distance loved one yourself.
If you discover when you talk with your boyfriend about your relationship that you two are on vastly different pages in regards to what you want, move on already. Life’s too short to be living with a guy who prioritizes his dumb buddies over you all the time.
I love him, but I don’t allow myself to completely love him, because he isn’t ready to settle down. And I mean settle down as in his staying here at his house — not for our moving in together or anything; I’m definitely not ready to get married. He’s going to Florida for a month to get his master diver’s certificate or something. And he said that I make him feel like a bad man because I tell him so. Well, I just have a fear of getting hurt. He says he doesn’t want to break up. But I feel that since we’ve had this conversation, he’s pulling away from me. Even though he asked me go to Thanksgiving dinner with his family, I’m confused and I don’t know if I should just break it off and see what happens. We are both divorced and we both really loved our ex-spouses — mine was very abusive and I got away from him after 14 years of our being together and his left him. He still has trust issues.
Can you help me? I’m not sure what to do. — No Marriage Expectation
Look, if you’re upset that your boyfriend travels and doesn’t stay home, despite his being retired and without kids, you two are mismatched. If his going away for a month is too much for you — to the point that you are telling him he’s a bad man for taking this trip, you’re mismatched. He is someone who travels a lot – who likes to travel and wants to travel. You are someone who clearly wants a partner who stays home all the time. You said as much. You call that “settling down,” and you are annoyed that your boyfriend isn’t ready. You are not even allowing yourself to “completely love him” because he isn’t ready to stay home all the time. You two are not a match. You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole, so quit trying.
Your boyfriend has been trying to tell you as much. He’s been trying to tell you that you have an expectation for a partner that he cannot meet – that he isn’t interested in meeting. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for you or that he doesn’t want a future with you. But he knows that what you want is not what he wants to give. He does not want to stay home all the time. He wants to travel. He wants to be on the go. That doesn’t make him a bad man! But it makes him a bad match for you. If you can’t adjust what you’re looking for — and I’m not necessarily saying you should — you need to move on.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.