Disappointed in my bf

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
Hel
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Disappointed in my bf

Unread post by Hel »

So I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 10 months now. I really like him. I want to be with him for as long as possible. Sometimes I have trouble accepting that he loves me and won’t hurt me like my ex did. I’m a little scared to admit how much I like my current boyfriend, because I’m afraid of being completely vulnerable.

Usually my boyfriend is the best person - he makes jokes to make me feel better, he compliments me, and he really values our quality time together. He makes me really happy.

But these last few months have been the most stressful thing I’ve gone through - not because of him though. (Gender/sexuality confusion, family issues, covid, trying to get good grades, planning for the summer vacation, and also thinking about my ex boyfriend and how he treated me.)

I told my current boyfriend I really need him right now. I want so much of his time and attention because I’ve been really depressed and I need his support and love. I’ve asked him to say he loves me and text me to ask if I’m okay more often. I’ve asked him to initiate things; ask me out, tell me sweet things he likes about me, hold me and tell me he loves me. Sure, he’s done the telling me he loves me part... but yesterday I really needed him to stay with me and make sure I’m okay but he seemed to care more about the school curfew than me. He stopped holding me and was just laughing with another friend about some video game they play and it made me feel like I don’t matter, like I’m not a priority to him. I asked him to stay but he wanted to leave and I feel so angry and upset but I don’t want have to to end our relationship over this. I just want him to put in more effort - he didn’t even text to ask if I was doing better. :cry:

He wants to meet to talk about his own feelings and needs and I think that’s so selfish right now. I asked simple things from him and he hasn’t even done those. He knows I’m going through a lot - too much. He knows I’ve cut myself and that my grades are lower because of my being overwhelmed about all the little things that have been consuming my mind. I don’t want to talk about him. I want him to be here for me when I ask him to. I shouldn’t even have to ask. I deserve his time when I feel upset.

What do I do??? I really love him and he makes me so happy but I need sooooo much more from him. I want him to put in effort.
Sofi
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Re: Disappointed in my bf

Unread post by Sofi »

Hi Hel,
This is a tricky one, because we need to have a balance between making sure our needs are met by our partner but also leaving space for their needs. You're right that your boyfriend has to put in effort, you are in a relationship and care about each other, so if you express your needs he needs to put in effort to meet them. That being said, sometimes it's not possible to meet someone's every need when it means putting our own aside. So if he needs to talk about his own feelings and needs, it's not selfish to ask to do so just because you're going through a hard time. You're in a partnership and that means giving as much as we receive, and caring about his needs too, even when you're struggling that doesn't mean he can't be too. Does that make sense?
I recommend you hear him out and let him express how he's feeling and what his needs are. Talk about it - can you meet those needs, what efforts will you be making towards it, etc. Give him that space. Then, you can again tell him how you're feeling, how you don't feel like you're a priority and you need more support. Because you do deserve to receive the kind of love you want. Just keep in mind, we can't give someone ALL our attention and love, especially if we're not giving it to ourselves, so maybe in order to be there for you more often he needs to also receive some of that too. He's not being a bad boyfriend just because he wants to talk about his own needs too, but he might need that in order to better support you in these times.
Sofi
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Re: Disappointed in my bf

Unread post by Sofi »

I also want to ask, do you have other ways you can de-stress or feel more at ease when you're upset? I don't want you to rely on him as your only way to feel better, because it's always best to have ways of self care (not that we should go through things alone, it's of course good to also have people close to us to support us and let us vent and give us some reassurance). For example, you could find a podcast or YouTube channel or TV show that helps you relax and reminds you that you're not alone in going through issues of gender/sexuality, of covid stress, trauma from past relationships, etc. There's also online communities (including this one!<3) that can help you feel supported and validated. This way you're not relying on solely someone else when you're struggling, in case they're not in the right headspace to support you, make sense?
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Re: Disappointed in my bf

Unread post by Carly »

Hi Hel! I'm sorry you're having such a hard time right now. I remember a while ago you mentioned that your boyfriend was dealing with some issues at home and he seemed to be taking it out on you and mutual friends. I think you mentioned you talked to him about this behavior - has he been doing okay? Sometimes it can be hard for people who are struggling to express support and care for others if they are trying to do the same for themselves. I agree with Sofi - it may feel like another thing on top of everything else you're struggling with, but it sounds like a good idea for you to connect about what you both need. Are there other people in your life you get support from besides your boyfriend?

I also wanted to check in about you cutting yourself. Is this something you've done before, or is this something you've tried recently?
Hel
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Re: Disappointed in my bf

Unread post by Hel »

Thanks everyone for responding. It’s been a crazy week. I have had some ups and downs.

I felt really euphoric the other day when my boyfriend and I hung out and had oral sex. And then I felt upset again yesterday and I don’t know why. But he was there to comfort me which shows how much he cares.

But today he was really angry and upset and I think it’s because of all his personal issues. He’s trying not to burden me and to be the strong one, but he’s ending up pushing me away. I don’t know, I’m just going to give him space until he decides he’s ready to open up to me. I think he’s really stressed about his own issues and also mine and he’s trying to do so many things and meet a bunch of people’s needs so it’s all kind of coming out in a negative way.

I’m just going to focus on school, read and write some books, play music, and spend a lot of time with my friends right now. I’ve been seeing my therapist again, and we’ve talked about coping strategies and I haven’t hurt myself since then. (I went through a rough patch during quarantine and again a month ago where I did self harm but now that I’m talking to my therapist and being more open with my friends I feel less overwhelmed. I’m doing much better now but thanks for asking.)

I don’t know why relationships have to be so confusing. :cry: Yup so I guess I’ll just focus on self care and let my boyfriend pull his sh*t together... Thanks for all the good thoughts on this.
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Re: Disappointed in my bf

Unread post by Urna »

Hi, sorry to jump in, but I think it's wonderful that you've got an action plan in mind, and that it's such a healthy one! I think you'll feel much better now that you've decided that you're just going to give your boyfriend space and let him figure his stuff out, and that in the meantime, you'll get back to the other great parts of your life, like books and school and friends. I'm also glad to hear that you haven't been feeling as overwhelmed lately. Relationships can unfortunately be confusing sometimes, especially when communication is tough, like it is for you and your boyfriend at this time. Self-care ftw, for sure!
<3333
Hel
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Re: Disappointed in my bf

Unread post by Hel »

Well... so he and I broke up. It was a mutual decision. He's going through a lot of issues and isn't in an emotional place to have a romantic relationship. I felt like he couldn't meet the needs of a romantic relationship either. So now we're friends (I'm happy about that - he and I want what's best for each other and I think this was the right decision).

It hurts though. The way this relationship ended was probably good, especially compared to the way my ex treated me. But I still feel so confused and alone. I don't want to be single lol. I still love him. He loves me too, but in a very different way now. It hurts.

I don't know how much space he needs (or how much I need) right now. I think things will be okay and in a few days it will start to feel more normal but right now I feel like sh*t and like I can't do this. I didn't picture things ending like this and I don't think he did either, to be honest. I felt like maybe it was just the wrong time to have a relationship with him, and also he needs to find himself and do some serious soul-searching.

I'm so upset and crying and I don't know what to do. It all feels like a dream and I wish it didn't happen. :cry:
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Re: Disappointed in my bf

Unread post by Emily N »

Hi Hel,

I’m so sorry to hear that you’re in pain, going through a break up can be so difficult! But I also hear so many positives from you, that you both feel like this is the right decision, and it allows you both space to do some “soul-searching” while still being friends.

But I hear you when you say you’re lonely too! You said you don’t want to be single - I came across this article, “How To Actually Date Yourself”, that I felt was pretty empowering. It shares some pretty cool ideas about how to focus on and take care of your relationship with yourself. Another article I can share with you is “Getting Through a Breakup Without Actually Breaking”, which encourages allowing yourself time to be with your feelings and reactions, no matter what they are, and also processing out of the break up.

Emily
Hel
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Re: Disappointed in my bf

Unread post by Hel »

Thanks for the helpful advice and articles! I had a few days to have space from him and think about what I want.

It's actually been really good - I realized I'm not really attracted to him in a romantic way anymore. He's made so much effort to be friends with me - not just friends, but he's said he wants to be best friends. I want that too. We've still retained most parts of our relationship except from kissing and sex, and obviously we've given each other more space and not spent a lot of time 'just the two of us'. But it feels really healthy and honestly, I wish we had broken up sooner, because I think we both needed to take a step back and just be friends.

He and I really have something special, and though it hurt at first, I'm really glad we're just friends. He's made more effort in these past few days to be friends with me and normalize everything, than he ever did in our relationship. I'm so happy to see him happy :) And I am happy too. Maybe I haven't moved on 100%, but I'd say I'm close. Of course there will be times when it's hard, but I'm just so happy we're still in each other's lives and closer than ever (except in the physical sense).

<3
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Re: Disappointed in my bf

Unread post by Siân »

Hi Hel,

This sounds really positive! I would say not to pressure yourself to feel 100% okay, or like you have to completely move on immediately. It sounds like transitioning from romance to friendship is the right thing for you both, but it's okay to acknowledge the losses in there too if you're feeling them.

What are you doing for yourself that is not about him now?
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