November 25, 2013 at 7:44 am #45796SoffyParticipant
Hey everyone. I am in desperate need of insight, inspiration and perspective. I have a lot to say, so please bear with me. I’ll cut to the chase: my boyfriend and I have been together for a year now. He’s a few years older than me, and works in a competitive industry. I am a senior in college. Obviously we’re in different places financially and career-wise, but we are both looking for “the one” that we will settle down with. The problem is, I want HIM to be the one… but he seems to see my disposition (i.e. being a university student earning waitress wages) as something that prevents our relationship from growing any further. He has admitted that he has limited the emotional growth of our relationship because I am still a “work in progress.”
When I say that he has “limited the emotional growth of our relationship,” I mean that we don’t exchange “I love you’s,” we don’t talk about our future beyond making plans for next weekend, and he has yet to introduce me to his family (granted they live on the opposite side of the country, but still). These are obviously all huge issues; I never thought I’d spend a year of my life dating a man that I can’t say “I love you” to. I say “I love you” to my dogs, for goodness sake! It has gotten to the point where I cry during romantic movies, because I so desperately crave a love story, and he just rolls his eyes and says I’m being “crazy” again.
To put it into perspective, he is my first serious relationship. On a private note, he took my virginity and is only the fifth man I’ve kissed. So the fact that he seems emotionally callous to me is amplified by the fact that he’s the first man I’ve really been with. I’ve explained this to him, and he told me that he just isn’t ready to say the words yet… then he added: “I can tell you I love you if you want, but I’d be lying.” Even though it’s not logical, when he refuses to say “I love you,” I feel like I’m being rejected as a person. It hurts, because I’ve come to adore and love him.
My frustration goes beyond my preoccupation with the “L word.” Everything in our relationship is a struggle. The tiny, cute details that are supposed to be fun and exciting — like posting pictures on social media together, or planning weekend trips, or hanging out with mutual friends — become these taxing, nit-picky arguments. Even something as petty as changing out relationship status to “in a relationship” on Facebook was a battle that lasted for two months before he caved in and changed it.
Then there is one issue that reigns over all the others. His ex-girlfriend. She was his only serious relationship; the only girl he has ever been in love with. They maintain a close friendship; one that I am very uncomfortable with. She lives in another Florida and we live in Nevada, so he doesn’t see her. But he has admitted that there is still a chance they’ll end up together, and he has admitted that he isn’t ready to “let her go” yet. He has stopped talking to her for now, because I’m so uncomfortable with her being around, but he refuses to delete her on Facebook (even though she often leaves flirty messages, and her family frequently posts saying things like “we miss you” or offering to travel to the opposite side of the country to visit him from Florida).
If you have read all of that, you’re probably shaking your head and wondering, “What could possibly redeem this situation, or make you want to stay?” Well, as we all know, it’s complicated. There are good moments. There is calm before the storm, and there is potential for growth. We had so many good times in the first few months of dating, and now I feel like I’m constantly chasing those old memories, trying to rectify the shambles of our current relationship. I don’t really know what I came to ask you all. Partially it was to vent, and maybe hear of stories or personal experiences. Part of it was for advice, because I don’t understand what’s going through his head… but maybe one of you will? I don’t know. I just know that I’m seeking wisdom and clarity, and I’d love to hear your opinions. Thanks for reading!November 25, 2013 at 9:24 am #45797Dawn WenigerParticipant
Oh baby girl….you just wrote what I am exactly going thru as well. Thankfully, I am at the tail end of my situation and I discovered what the real deal is 3 months into the relationship. When I tell you my situation is exactly the same, word for word, I am not kidding. Thankfully, my guy was honest and told me he will never commit to anything serious. He is too damaged from a previous relationship. I could not understand why he refused to share his feelings with me or do all the things that “couples” do. I internalized it as something was wrong with me and felt like I had a REJECTED stamp across my forehead. I am still in tremendous pain but have completely accepted that this has nothing to do with me, ALL HIS ISSUES. Sweetheart, your situation is the same. WALK AWAY FOR YOUR HAPPINESS! You deserve the very best and you are not getting it. Good luck xoxoNovember 25, 2013 at 11:48 am #45800BrooklynskyyParticipant
Have you ever seen the movie He’s Just Not That Into You? I don’t say that to be mean or rude, but that is the first thing that came to mind after reading your story. Oh darlin’ please read and re-read the writing on the wall. He is NOT the one for you. I get it-you are hanging on thinking that the light bulb will finally go off in his head and suddenly your “happy ever after” will commence, but it just ain’t so baby…smh. Do YOU sweetie. You deserve that guy that will be all that you have ever desired and more. The ball is in your court and it appears that it always has been. Love yourself more than you love him…move on. Much peace & many blessings!November 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm #45802JadeParticipant
Yes to what Dawn said, you need to walk away from this relationship. He can’t fulfil your needs, he has outrightly told you that you are second fiddle to his ex and that he would choose her over you! Sister, you deserve better than that! And besides, any man that uses “crazy” as a shorthand for emotional (because there’s NOTHING WRONG with being emotional, we’re all human beings with feelings and desires) needs to be dumped asap. 😛
To offer a kind of counterpoint, I’ve been with my BF for almost three years and for the first year neither of us said I love you, then I said it and he didn’t say the L word back for another full year. I was fine with that because even though he never said the words, I still felt “cared for”. He’s also still friends with his exes and still texts/chats with them but I don’t make a big deal out of it because I know if it was the other way around, I’d be super annoyed if he freaked about me talking to my exes. He still hasn’t changed his FB status to “in a relationship” but I have, again not a big deal because he has his reasons (he’s a more private person than me).November 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm #45804SandyParticipant
It’s funny how we ask others for answers to questions we already know the answer to. It’s because we don’t like the truth and we hope that maybe someone else will tell us differently. We can either live in denial and stay in these horrible relationships or we can move on and find someone who values us. First we must love ourselves, we can’t expect a man to make us happy and fill a void only we can fill. If you’re not happy alone you will never be happy with anyone else. Work on yourself and put yourself first and everything will fall into place. Good luck and stay strong.November 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm #45805Needy HelperParticipant
There is a book called ‘Too Good to Leave To Bad to Say’ by Mira Kirhsenbaum, and I believe that can be a great help for you in this situation.
LeeNovember 26, 2013 at 2:47 am #45823JaquesParticipant
Soffy, if someone who is intimate with you hasnt told you he loves you in all that time, then hes not likely to i feel……its hard to move away from someone youve invested time and emotion in – and you say he “took” your virginity – from what you say, you gave it, that may sound harsh but from what you are writing i doubt he took something that wasnt given – in your case through love. We move on – and on and are very fortunate if we dont get hurt throughout life – i guess its the way we learn about ourselves and others. Down the line, your feelings will have changed. Thats the way it is, what seems so vital to us now usually isnt at some point in the future. All the best to you.November 26, 2013 at 9:57 am #45829MtnwrtrParticipant
You are so young and such a sweet soul. Honey, women have a very hard time knowing their value, and you my sweet girl are at the beginning of your value journey. I recently saw the man who I gave my virginity to for the first time in nearly 40 years. He was still holding a grudge that I broke up with him. I see who he is now and realized I outgrew him within 2 years of our relationship. He wasn’t the one for me and I knew it when I broke it off. I then married a man who was emotionally distant and was miserable until he left me. He has since told me that it was the worst mistake he’s ever made, but it was by far the best for me! In the meantime, I married a man who loves me. REALLY loves me. I had to grow into believing I deserved this kind of love – the one I ached for in the beginning, but deep down did not think I deserved. If anyone had told me that I felt I didn’t deserve better – I would have laughed in their face, but as I grew more comfortable with myself and my accomplishments and disappointments, I realized it was the truth.
Honey – you deserve love! And love doesn’t care how old you are, what you make for a living, what you look like or how much education you have. Love is love and it’s kind and it’s worth being alone for awhile until it comes your way.
If I’m grateful for anything, it’s that my daughter knows her worth, and while grandparents are nagging on her to find someone and there must be someone out there she can date – she has decided that there are many she can date, but now she’s looking for her partner. That person who will have her back, know her inside and out, love and accept everything that makes her who she is.
It is easy to make excuses – you deserve someone who knows excuses are a waste of time.
Hang in there sweet girl – this guy isn’t the one and the more time you spend trying to get him to accept you, the more time you’re not with the one who will accept you unconditionally.November 26, 2013 at 11:08 am #45830DanielleParticipant
There is one thing I am learning from current sort of relationship, and that is to not take it personal. He seems like he has a lot of emotional problems, and really, none of those seem to be at cause of you. The difference between my sort of relationship and your actual relationship, is that my sort of boyfriend is incredibly caring, loving and all in all worth the confusion I endure with him. (you’ll find my posts on here touching on that confusion, haha)
I realize that you’re looking at things objectively and understanding that any relationship can be complicated, but in my opinion, this shouldn’t be that hard.
Potential for growth is a good thing. Again, with any relationship, there can be potential for growth. But do you feel happy right here, right now? Or are you looking at this as a business deal? Your relationship with this man is not a company that you’re starting from ground up and one day you will reap the benefits of the hard work you put into it. Sure, one day maybe it’ll be easier. Maybe because you’re not working a waitress job or because he has gotten over his ex or he found the guts to tell you he loves you. But what if one day doesn’t come? Not to sound like a bumper sticker, but you really only have “right now” as a guarantee.
So look at it that way: are you happy today? it doesn’t sound like it. Your title of the post is “my relationship is killing me” That doesn’t sound fun, or any kind of growing to me. It sounds you’re (unintentionally) allowing him to limit your own growth. Perhaps take some time and re-read what you wrote. Your answers seem to be within your own question. Life is too short to spend with someone who seemingly looks at you as a second choice. While his honesty about there being a possibility he will get back with his ex eventually may seem comforting “oh at least he’s honest”–it’s not at all fair to you. (Not to compare situations again, but the guy I am seeing is hesitant about relationships because of his ex, but has made it clear that although he’s not 100% over her, he has no desire to be with her. And his hesitation is due to how she hurt him AND a few unresolved feelings floating around, and it not being fair. But he is clear he’s working on it. Which is completely different than your boyfriend essentially telling you the only reason they aren’t together is due to distance)
You seem emotionally well rounded and like you know what you want. And it doesn’t seem to be the situation you’re currently in. I’m sure you’ll find someone who’s happy with you right now, and wants to to grow with you rather than someone who is waiting for the person you will become.
Good luck.November 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm #45847JulieParticipant
It sounds like you are aware that the situation is not ideal and also not what you want. It’s unfortunate that your boyfriend does not treat you the way that you want to be treated, but there is nothing you can do to force him to. If you know what you want and it sounds like you do, I’d encourage you to seek support to deal with the fears that you have (good on ya posting to this forum) that prevent you from demanding you are treated how you want to be treated. It’s okay to be alone and take a step back. You have your whole life ahead of you and you deserve to be happy and to be fulfilled by your relationships. Good luck to you.November 27, 2013 at 10:23 am #45887Lyla McLeanParticipant
If something feels like it is killing you there is only one solution. Walk away and maybe spend some time getting to know who you are. I have wasted so much time in my long life trying to make things right or make a bad situation better. I stayed with a husband who turned out to be a sociopath because I thought I would be a bad person for breaking my commitment to our marriage. In the end result, after I was with another man who put me down while speaking words of love just as my former husband had, I walked away again and am working on valuing myself enough that I will never again accept poor treatment. Getting sexual with a man instead of getting to be intimate with him seems to alter a woman’s perspective on a relationship. I will never again give myself sexually to a man before I’m sure that I will be loved and safe in the relationship.
Wishing you the very best that life has to offer.