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Dear Breakup Girl,
I have a boyfriend who is 7 years younger than me, and quite a bit more
inexperienced in the ways of long-term commitment/love stuff (I was married ten
years, have been divorced for 3, he has never had a relationship that lasted as
long as a year <he always got dumped>). We've been friends for a year and
a half, dating for 6 months. He's just as sweet as he can be when we're
together, but when we're not, it's like I don't exist. No calls, no notes,
nothing. I don't get it. OK, I've called him 'cuz I couldn't wait. Hell, I'd
like to talk to him every day (a little 5-minute hi how are you love you call)
but he seemed so odd and distant on the phone (usually at work alone in his
office) that I quit doing that. We spend almost the whole weekend every weekend
together, but I always sweat it during the week. Will he call? Should I call?
Am I bugging him? What's the deal?
Also, we've told each other "I love you," but he rarely says it
unless I say it first, and always with this weird look on his face. I hate it.
I wish he wouldn't even say it at all if he's going to do that. I guess I'm
touchy about it because I told him I was IN love with him after three months,
but he said he wasn't IN love with me. "You know I really care about you
right?" he said.
Well, yeah, we used to say "I love you" as friends, but THIS IS
DIFFERENT! "IN" LOVE IS DIFFERENT! Friends say, give it time, he'll
come around (or he won't, I guess). Meantime I just get crazier and crazier for
him and want to hear "I'm in love with you" but am afraid to ask.
After all, three more months have passed, and he acts like he's nuts about me
when we're together. Although, you know, he often speaks in generalities when
we're together, and that bugs the hell out of me. When we were both single he
whined and whined about not having a girlfriend, no one to have sex with, etc.
etc. Now he says things like, "Mmmmm, it feels so good to be held"
not "It feels good to be with YOU" or he likes it when other men pay
attention to me "my sexy woman" because I'm going home with him at
the end of the night. It all makes me feel like he's just happy to be dating
SOMEONE, not especially like he's happy it's me. I'm over here all love-struck
and hoping there's some future (I am NOT thinking marriage anytime in the next
few years, but I would like to feel like I have someone to share my life with)
and he's just happy he's got someone cute to hang out with, show off, and have
sex with. A friend calls and asks, "Are you free Saturday night?" and
I say, "Let me call John and see if he had anything planned and I'll call
you back." Someone asks him the same question, and he'll go ahead and make
plans and not tell me until Saturday during the day and then I get all
disappointed and upset, and he gets upset because, "I don't want to feel
like I HAVE to check in."
WHAT THE HELL??? I mean, if we're spending every weekend together, wouldn't
you think it'd be COMMON COURTESY to call and say, "I'd like to hang with
so-and-so Sat. night, could we hook up on Sunday instead?"
HELP! Is it too early to tell here? Or am I dissecting his words/actions too
much? Do I need to give him "space" at the expense of my own
feelings? Or should I try to treat this as a "this is great while it
lasts" type of thing and not let him too far into my life so I'm not
devastated when it ends?
-- Want a Real Love
Maybe he's less "experienced," but the real
time zone issue here is not age. It's that after six months -- if you are
pretty much "going steady" -- the "Should I call?" thing
should be a thing of the past. People have different tastes and styles as far
as daily chit chat goes -- some think the quick Check In is better than
nothing; others don't want to bother unless they have time to Really Talk. And
heck, some people just hate the phone. But it bugs me that you still worry
about bugging him. Especially because from what you say, you have reason to
worry. As you describe it, his investment in this relationship is indeed taking
a different shape from yours. And the more elusive he gets, the more nuts you
So why don't you try to create some sort of structure
together, and then see how your feelings fit? I'm talking, mainly, about this
weekends-together thing. Either make this a definite plan, or don't. If you do,
then yes, he needs to call ahead to make a change. If you don't (which, it
seems, is the way things are now), then NO NO NO, you DON'T need to check with
him before making plans with someone else! The way to not be devastated IF this
ends, WRL, is to not treat your friends like they're a Plan B to a set-in-hope
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