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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Should I stay or go?

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Author Topic: Should I stay or go?
Member # 107847

Icon 11 posted      Profile for mkaykrista     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've been dating my boyfriend for almost four and a half years and lately I've been feeling that it's time to move on.

My boyfriend just completed his schooling and is now home for good. The college he went to was four hours away, so we've always had a long distance relationship. Right now he is doing an internship to complete his master's degree and works over eight hours a day at a firm that is an hour away from his home. He also is taking a class that goes along with the internship and has to write a paper every week for eight weeks. I am okay and understanding of this, as it is necessary to him getting his degree.

What I'm not okay with is how he never acts like he wants to spend time with me anymore. I'll ask him what he wants to do and he says 'I don't know' or asks what I want to do. I always try and dress/smell nice for dates or even just going to each others houses, and sometimes he doesn't even put deodorant on or brush his teeth. Our dates consist of going out to eat or watching a movie at his house. I've suggested going to the beach, the aquarium, walking around the city; but he retorts that he doesn't like the beach (despite taking various family trips to tropical places) and he's afraid of the city because of crowds (despite us going to New York last year and never a mention of that fear).

Adding onto this is the fact that for four years, I waited for him to come home from school. I only saw him every few weeks on the weekends, and we never went or did anything fun. Just dinner and sitting on the couch. Now that he's home for good, it's the same thing and it's driving me crazy! It doesn't help that I have a part-time job, so most days I don't work until around the time he gets home. I feel like since he came home, things haven't changed. He said he would make up to me all the times he was away and wasn't there for me, but that hasn't happened. I would always send him cute text messages or bring home little cookies from work for him (I work at a bakery), but he would never do cutesy things for me. Oh and this year for my birthday, I felt like he was working me up for my gift, like he had gotten me a piece of jewelry or something cute. I ended up getting two DVD's and a trip to a local casino, to which I had no fun at because he didn't want to go in any of the shops and didn't show much interest while we were there.

Despite all of this, he really is a nice person. He has morals, is kind and respectful. Saying all that stuff doesn't make it seem that way, but it's true. I'm just not sure if he is right for me anymore. He was someone who used to tell me he wanted to marry me, and while that's still true in his head, I don't think it's the same in mine.

Also, not too sure if this matters or attributes to anything, but we used to have a great sex life. Even if we didn't have sex often, it was really great. Now we rarely have any alone time and when we do, I'm not as into it as I used to be and he seems unfocused. And he doesn't finish anymore when we do have sex, he always tells me to enjoy myself and doesn't let me focus on him. It's always been like that actually..

So after writing this long book, I need some advice. Should I stay or go? Thanks (:

[ 07-03-2013, 08:07 PM: Message edited by: mkaykrista ]

Posts: 4 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 55254

Icon 1 posted      Profile for moon_goddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, funny you should title your post that way, as there is a scarleteen article with the same name. I don't know if you have checked it out yet, but it really helped me with my very recent breakup.

I think the relationship seems like a bad fit for now. What it sounds like to me is that there was a lot of stuff that you put up with in your relationship that you accepted as temporary, because of him needing to get his degree and being far away. Now that those circumstances have changed, you're expecting the behavior (e.g. him not being into doing anything exciting) to change, and frankly, it hasn't.

The way I would think of approaching this is first of all thinking about what you like in the relationship and what you need out of a relationship. (Be as specific as you can.) For instance, maybe you need to feel more connected to him than you do, and that looks like talking on the phone briefly every day and seeing each other a couple times a week. Or maybe it's not talking as much, but wanting more quality time with him where he's not distracted/worried about other stuff.

Then, with your 'list' of needs in mind, you can approach him and talk about what isn't working with the relationship in its current form for you, and how you're not getting what you need from it (you could even bring up the sex thing here if you really wanted to, but it sounds like there's plenty of other things to focus on without it), and together try to brainstorm solutions. This is a good opportunity for him to reflect and think about what his priorities are and that some of his choices about education (which are fine choices) are affecting his ability to really be there and have your relationship work out. If you end up finding a solution that will work for both of you, great. If not, then you have your answer.

I hope this helps. [Smile]

Posts: 48 | From: Northern Hemisphere | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
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(Who doesn't love The Clash? [Smile] )

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I absolutely think the article moon goddess linked above is a good place to start.

I think it can be hard to make that decision to end a relationship when the other person still has great qualities. If someone's being a jerk all the time, that can make it easier to break up than if they're sweet and respectful.

But liking someone doesn't mean they're going to be someone you're compatible with, relationship-wise, or that you'll continue to be compatible as people and circumstances change. It does sound like you've been clear with your boyfriend about some things you'd like to do with him, or ways you'd like things to change for you to be happier in the relationship, but that they haven't been happening. It could be helpful to have a specific discussion with him in which you bring some of these things up again, but if things don't change at all going forward, or he isn't interested in the same sorts of things you're hoping for, then that might be a pretty big sign that you may not be as compatible moving forward.

With longer relationships, I feel like there can be a lot of inertia with regards to breaking up because I think "but that one thing used to be so good!" or "I've spent so long with them, am I just throwing that all away?" But it's never been helpful for me to stay in a relationship based on how it used to be vs. how it was at present.

Posts: 1352 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 55254

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Molias, I completely concur with everything you've said. You must have read my mind because you stated what I've been thinking for the past few months regarding my significant other. All of those realizations came to a head last week when I decided that I'd had enough. Enough of trying to be compatible and it not working out. Enough of repeating myself repeatedly stating my needs and how they weren't getting met and the response being shrugs and "well, this is just the way it's going to be".

To not totally derail the post away from mkaykrista (though I'm still processing everything and writing it all down here is really cathartic), I did find discussion with my ex to be pretty helpful, even if the problems in the relationship weren't resolved, so I would definitely recommend talking about it and letting him know what's going on in your head and what you think needs to be addressed. Then, you can openly see if there are just miscommunications or badly aligned priorities that people are willing to change, or that what you both want/need and your priorities conflict.

Posts: 48 | From: Northern Hemisphere | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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