View Full Version : A phone talk is not enough: Spending time with my boyfriend

03-21-2012, 10:01 PM
Hey everyone!

So in ten days I will celebrate my first year anniversary with my boyfriend. He is my first boyfriend ever and I'm, well, his first everything. Needless to say, we love each other. He has helped me gain so much emotional stability this past year: knowing that there is someone who wants to know about you without being paid (eg my therapist). He really suffered when I was feeling down due to my ED the first couple of months, but then he learned to ignore it.

He works full-time (he's an financial analyst) and he's preparing for a finance exam in June, so he's busy all the time. He took the first one on November and has been preparing for this second one ever since. I've tried to be understanding and give him much needed space. He wants to be with his family and friends, and study whenever he's free, as well as seeing me.

But it's just been too much lately. I feel he hasn't been there when I've needed him to be there to hold me. Like, physically, hold me. I've chosen to be with him partly because we live in the same city and it's not a long distance relationship. I really need physical time with someone else (I'm not only referring to sex here), but he can't give me that. We talk on the phone and e-mail each other whenever it's possible, but it's not enough for me. And I feel guilty because of this.

I've needed him more nowadays, especially because of the changes I'm going through: I switched majors (I went from Sociology to Humanities), I just started a new job (which he hasn't asked about at all), I've been receiving iron shots because my anaemia is moderate now, I'm gonna start hormone therapy because of that too, and I'm following a gluten-free diet, which is very difficult (it's likely that I have celiac disease).

Instead of trying to be there for me, he tells me he needs even more "support", that he wants me to tell him to study. Basically, he feels he's losing time to study when he spends time with me. Also, after this exam there is a third one he's going to take. He's gonna move somewhere far with his family sometime soon. And I just feel like I'm a burden for him (as I've felt with my close family, something that is obviously troublesome for me).

I just don't know what to do. Should I break up with him? He's not giving me what I need. I don't know if I'm giving him enough. I've been patient for so long. But... *sigh* I really don't know.

03-23-2012, 10:00 AM
hey Victoria,

I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time with all this at the moment, it sounds like although you and your boyfriend love each other, you are perhaps both having your own struggles in life at the moment.

It can be very hard to be with someone who is studying, and I only know that because I have been the one studying, and with the stress and pressures I felt being in a relatioship as well, I know that it puts a pressure on the other person as well.

It is very hard working full time and wanting to see friends and family and give time to your relationship, and also have personal time for hobbies and then studying as well. I think I was ill for so long that I forgot what that was like. Now I am working full time and studying and trying to do the things I want to as well... And being in a relationship was too much... but also... it was with the wrong person...

Have you actually talked to him about how you are feeling? It sounds like he's clear about what he wants from you, although I dont think it is your place to "tell" him to study, those are his own responsibilities and commitments.

Its a tricky one as it sounds like there is an element of co-dependancy going on in the dynamics of your relationship... It's great to be there for each other to support and understad one another, but there needs to be communication and definite time put aside to enjoy each others company and to do something fun, or to relax together. Not just to support and comfort one another.

Do you think you will stay with him when he moves so far away? It will be a difficult and personal decision if you decide to break up with him. You say you are not getting what you need from him, what do you need? And does he know?

with love

Solenn xxx

03-26-2012, 09:23 AM
Hey solenn, thank you for your reply. You really took your time to read through my whole post, and I'm incredibly thankful for that! :happy

I do think there is some sort of co-dependancy with us, although it was more before, when he was helping me recover a lot more. He was trying to "fix" me, but now we both know I'm more capable of standing up on my own. There are times when I need him more, of course, especially when it comes to my relationship with my mum.

We ended up talking and I think we've sorted things out a bit better. He's going to a new workplace where they give him a more flexible schedule, so yay! And at my job, I'm also allowed to handle my own hours, so needless to say, I think things are gonna change for the better. We've spent more time after I wrote my post, something I'm happy about.

Most of the time, I think about building my life with him, so it was extremely weird for me to start this thread. I do imagine being with him every night and organising a place for us. I don't know if it's too soon to think like that? Especially when I'm not capable of paying for my own things, yet.

03-26-2012, 09:34 AM
In any relationship, there are going to be times when one partner might not be able to deliver everything the other partner might want. If he's preparing for a major exam, something that his career is riding on, then that would make sense. Conversely there might be times in your relationship when you are unable to be fully present for him. When my husband was finishing his masters thesis, we had to put certain things on hold, including trying to conceive.

In addition, it's not a fair relationship if you're always the one expecting him to support you. If he needs support, he's within his rights to ask for it. Healthy, long-term relationships aren't a pass/fail thing where you break up because one person is deficient in meeting the other person's needs. This is why, even in a loving relationship, it's important to have other sources of support.

I'm confused about him moving far away with his family? Do you mean that he's moving away with his parents, or does he have kids, etc.? Does he need to move for job purposes? Would you move with him?

03-26-2012, 09:56 AM
Hey bellydancer! Thank you for replying as well.

He's moving away with his parents to a place that is further away from the city centre. In Peru, we live with our parents during our twenties, it is different from North America and European countries. Lima is a gigantic city as it is the capital, so it's gonna take me more than an hour to see him. Now it takes me around thirty minutes. His current house is tiny and his room is a meter away from his parents' (I could write a thesis on his Oedipus complex. Just joking), but his new house will have two stories. It's hard, because when we "visit" each other, there is no privacy, so I don't feel I spend as much alone time with him as I'd wish. The great thing is that he's getting a car soon (THANK GOODNESS).

And I do think I'm supportive of him. The thing that bugged me was that he was asking for even more space now. He already took a financial exam on November and it went fine, and we couldn't see each other much. So now that it's his second exam, I feel he is asking for way more time alone and I just couldn't spend less time, 'cos we already spend too little time together, which is hard when I'm going through a rough period...

03-26-2012, 10:33 AM
It might be that the second exam is more intense, or covers material that is more challenging for him. Either way, this is what he needs right now.

In the grand scheme of things, an hour's distance should not be a huge deal. If he were moving to a different country, that might be different. If you want to be with the guy and you want this to be a long-term relationship, then that's a minor consideration.

Consider this: You feel that you're not spending enough time with him, but if you break up with him, how much time will you be seeing him then?

What other sources of support do you have or can you find while he's going through a busy time as well?

03-26-2012, 06:24 PM
:hugon victoria :hugoff It's so interesting that your post is the flip side of mine, in some ways. Wonder if we can learn from one another's perspectives?

In my situation, I know I need more space because I'm busy but also because that is how I am. I like to be alone, a lot. That is hard for my boyfriend to take, and lately it has been driving us apart. I can't function without a great amount of alone time, and he seems to need a relationship that involves lots of togetherness. Of course, we have other compatibility issues, and it doesn't sound like you and your partner are facing other issues as well-just that he is busy.

I'll tell you that on this side of the fence, my boyfriend pushing for more and more when I'm already stressed out and busy does NOT help motivate my desire to see him more, and in fact may be a reason we end up breaking up in the end. I'm not trying to scare you or say that is the case with your relationship-just giving you my perspective. What would help so much is if he were to take the initiative to build up his life outside of me and our relationship. I do NOT want to feel like I'm all he has, or that his happiness is entirely dependent on me. That is too much pressure for one person, I think. From what you write, I do wonder if your boyfriend feels he is largely responsible for your happiness (and in turn, any of your unhappiness), and that is a big responsibility for anyone. If he's someone who values feelings of freedom and independence, that may make him feel like he needs to get away even more.

Please do remember this is me and my feelings, and this doesn't necessarily project onto him at all.

:love althea

03-27-2012, 09:13 AM
Hey gals! Again, thank you very much for replying, you rock :happy

fishalthea, thank you for sharing your own story. I don't know if it applies to my boyfriend. He likes spending time with people and, on the contrary, I'd rather be at home with my computer and forget about the rest of the world. I hope you work out things with him at some point, though! For how long have you been together?

I actually told my boyfriend I wanted to break up yesterday night. It escalated from an argument: he said I always think about myself, complain all the time about uni and work but never do anything to change, and that I just seek problems for the sake of it. He also said I was not supportive whenever I told him I wanted to see him and it just made him mad, 'cos I know he has to study (me too, actually, but my ED relapse is preventing me from doing so). I said I couldn't give him that and I was tired of having to justify my moods, so it'd be better to end the relationship.

He freaked. At first he seemed to take it alright, saying that he would still be there for me and that he wanted to remain friends. I said it'd be better if we didn't talk for a while. Two minutes later, he called me crying and saying me he loved me and that I had to take him back, that he didn't care if I complained or whatever. I was hesitant of his behaviour, but agreed, and we're still together now.

Have I mentioned this was all over the PHONE? *sigh* It's really a bummer that I can't see him a lot.

03-27-2012, 10:24 AM
That is quite a lot of heavy stuff to transpire over the phone.

My bf and I have been together about a year and a half, maybe a bit more.

How are you feeling about taking him back after your very short phone break up? I know I've hinted at ending things with my bf before and he is always very quick to retract anything and everything at that point. So am I, though, if it comes to that. This relationship stuff is all so complicated. It just wears me out.

03-29-2012, 08:20 AM
Yeah, exactly! He took almost everything back. It was so awkward, 'cos he didn't really want to break up. He kept telling me he'd still see me, but I said it was better if he didn't. Then he said he'd still call to see how I was feeling, and then I just said it would be better for us to not talk for a while.

I feel alright. I think we need to fight from time to time, because things are all sugary coated most of the time. We really love each other and I think we can make it work for the next two years or so. After that, we know we're each going to different places, but you never know!

So yeah, I'm fine for now :D