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January 29, 2013

Ultimatums: Know what you want first

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:39 am

UltimatumsLooking for more on December 7, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I have been dating the same man for 1 and 1/2 years now and he is totally content with the way the relationship is right now. I am ready for some sort of commitment and he likes his time alone. He says he loves me, but I am not getting the attention I need from him. We see each other only when he’s not busy. I am very frustrated with this relationship. I am 37 and he is 47.

— Lisa

Dear Lisa,

What sort of commitment? Like, engagement? Exclusivity? The reasonable expectation that you mean more to him than plan B? All of the above are fine, but you need to be more specific with him than you’ve been with me. Not that he’s, like, a Dumb Man who needs things spelled out for him. But how can you define your relationship without defining your terms? To wit: what kind of attention do you need? How often would you like to see him? How much time alone does he want (this is something you should both have, by the way)? There are no right answers to these questions. Which is exactly the point: concepts like “content,” “commitment,” “attention” “time” are often in the eye, heart, watch, etc. of the beholder. So: do spell it out. And if he’s not content to try and meet you halfway, well yeah, that spells O-U-T.

Love,
Breakup Girl

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