My boyfriend and I have been together for a bout a year now, despite all the ups and downs we've faced. I am 21 and he is 23 and we are absolutely in love. Sometimes, though, I wonder just how in love with me he actually is. When we first got together, I was unemployed and we had all of this free-time to spend together, which was so nice! Shortly after, I got a full-time job and he was already working a full-time job. When that happened, we realized that we weren't going to be able to see each other as much, which was fine, considering he lives 45 minutes away from me. We worked out a schedule that was working pretty well for us, until recently.
The longer our relationship went on, the busier our lives got. He picked up a second, PRN job working for an ambulance company, which takes up most of his night free-time that he used to spend with me. Now, our relationship feels more like it only exists when it's convenient for him. Every, single thing that he is involved in comes before me. Always. We go on the occasional date every now and then, but literally everything in our relationship revolves around him and this ambulance job. He is on call Monday thru Friday 6pm to midnight, as well as, on Saturday from 8am to 8am on Sunday. It's extremely frustrating, but I have always kept my mouth shut because this is a step toward his dream job. I don't want to complain when he is working toward his goals. I want the best for him and I don't want to drag him down, no matter how much it hurts my feelings.
Because of this job, I now see him about 1 or 2 nights a week (if I'm lucky), compared to the 3 to 4 nights a week I used to see him when we first started the relationship. Of course, the longer periods of time that we are apart make me more thankful to see him when he does have some time. I always make sure to shower him with thank-you's when he does make time to see me, hoping that the positive praise will make him want to do it more. It doesn't really change the frequency of our visits, though, whether I do it or not. And, when he does come over, it's usually because he's horny and he wants sex. Granted, I have a high drive (sorry if that's TMI), so I don't usually turn him down.
This is where I feel that our relationship is merely only a relationship when he wants it to be. When we're together, it's great. There is a lot of affection, talking, "i love you's." But I feel that our communication is at an absolute stand-still. We don't talk on the phone when apart, we only text. And I'm usually the one to initiate conversation, anyway. The last time I expressed frustration with his work schedule and the fact that he always has time for other things, despite his work schedule, he got mad and completely clammed up. A week later, he broke up with me. We got back together shortly after, though. We came to the conclusion that we needed to work on our communication and both agreed that we would work together. I've become more outspoken about my feelings, but he continues the same routine - ignoring me and getting mad when I get frustrated with something and tell him.
The reason I am writing today is because, yet again, work get puts before me. I understand that, in this economy, working is important and making money is what a lot of people are worried about. He is on call today and it's father's day weekend. I told him about the barbecue my parents are having and his response was that he would come if he wasn't working. Later on in the morning, he tells me that he made plans to go to lunch with his friend, as well as, get a new CD player installed in his truck. Needless to say, I'm immensely frustrated that he could make those plans, but cannot uphold any plans with me that he knows of in advance. Everything always starts with the sentence "If I can..." or "If I'm not working..." I haven't been able to make any plans for us as a couple in 4 months, now. Every time I bring up making plans to go on a vacation for my birthday or even just a simple date, he has something that he has to do.
Am I being unreasonable? Should I take a step back and become even MORE understanding with him? Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can communicate that I'm tired of being the only one to make an effort?
Any and all help would be much appreciated!