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Thread: I feel like I'm not a priority in my girlfriend's life

  1. #1
    CelticMetal
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    I feel like I'm not a priority in my girlfriend's life

    Sorry if a similar topic has been posted before. I did a search and didnít find something that answered my questions. And sorry about the length. Skip the first paragraph if you want as its background info.

    My girlfriend and I have been together for a year and a bit and things are generally going really well. Weíre both in our early twenties and just out of school. When weíre spending time alone together I feel like I could easily spend the rest of my life with her. The problem is that our relationship doesnít seem to be a big priority for her. I know that she loves me but itís seems like to her having a boyfriend isnít as important as other parts of her life. Iím sure this is because this is her first relationship and sheís always been quite independent. That being said, sheís also a very social person and her friends and family are very important to her. Sheís a people pleaser and doesnít want to let anyone down so she ends up having more things to do than she has time for. So it usually ends up being our time together that gets cut short. Iíve talked to her about it and weíve sorted out some communication issues which has helped.

    Anyways, getting to the point, the part thatís still frustrating for me is that while she doesnít cancel last minute as much anymore, my girlfriend doesnít try to make much time for us in the first place. At least not as much as I think we should have together after dating for over a year. She does initiate plans but mostly when there's something specific she wants to do and asks me to go with her. Maybe Iím just being too needy because itís my first relationship too. Sheís working 6 hours away during the summer and she doesnít get a ton of time off and since itís sporadic itís difficult to plan anything in advance. But I know thereís not a lot that can be done about it. The one thing we did have planned was to go to California or somewhere else for a week with just us, between when she finishes her summer job and starts teachers college (located 17 hours from where I live).

    But a couple of days ago she told me that now sheís decided to lead a canoe trip at the camp she used to work at instead of going with me before she goes back to school. She could tell that I wasnít terribly happy about this and said she felt bad and that she knows she always cancels things. She said that she felt like the people at the camp were like family to her and she missed them and that she felt she had to help them since they didnít have enough staff. This is understandable but it makes me feel kind of useless. Doesnít she miss me too? Iím pretty certain her coworkers wouldnít be there for her if she needed it like I would be. She tried to tell me that we would still have some time together this summer but itís really only going to be every other weekend at the most, and likely only once or twice a month while sheís at school. Most of this time we probably wonít have alone since she lives at home (45 minutes from me) and doesnít have her own car. I know sheís really busy so it isnít possible to see her that much but if I were in the same situation I know Iíd be doing anything I could to fit in time with her. Donít get me wrong, Iím not being clingy or anything. I still have my own interests. I just try to plan them so they donít cut into our time together.

    Am I being unreasonable? If not, how should I explain this to her? It seems like when I try to she thinks things are fine and that weíre spending enough time together or feels that Iím trying to push her friends away (she told me once that her friends said she was spending too much time with me Ė the ones who donít have boyfriends, most of the ones with boyfriends have already moved in together). I was hoping that now that sheís finishing university Iíd be a bit more of a priority but Iím worried that this is just the way she is and expecting her to make more time for me will just leave me disappointed. I donít want to lose her but things arenít working for me the way they are. Any help to resolve this would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Stay_home
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    That isn't really much of a relationship in my opinion if she's always cancelling out on things and doesn't make time for you. I understand she has other things going on in her life, but this is the responsibility of being in a committed relationship; you have to make time for your other half in between everything else. That's why being in a relationship is a choice for us and not a must. You don't have to be involved with anyone if you don't want to, but if you do, there are things that you have to compromise on. A big part of that is changing enough so that you don't change who you are, but change in the sense that you make space in your life for your partner. Unfortunately everybody doesn't want to really make that kind of committment. It's huge. I just don't think some people really realize what they're agreeing to sometime before getting involved. Much like yourself and into this situation with your girlfriend, that is, if you know beforehand that she was more about the things going on in her life than about making time for a relationship.

    I'm going to tell you the honest truth, I think you're girlfriend is the career-minded woman. Her career and the many facets that are surrounding it are going to come first. As you find yourself constantly being cancelled on and having plans rearranged to fit her life and the things important to her. And when you raise the issue of concern, her first line of defense will be what about me? Key is, a relationship is not about you, it's about us. That's very vital. It's not me or you, it's us. How will this affect us? That's how you have to start looking at things when you committ to someone. Right now, she is all about her and the things that are important to her.

    I honestly commend her for doing positive things with her life, for the camp and it's counselors, those things are all great. However, in terms of a relationship, making time everywhere else instead of at home is counter-productive. If I were you, I still would try to talk to her about this and voice your feelings and how you feel about things and go from there. She can listen, she may change, she may not change. At that point, you have to make a decision if this is something you can continue with or if not, you may need to find someone else who can offer more of a committment than she's willing to give right now.

  3. #3
    EgoJoe
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    My advice is as follows:

    Dial her number.

    Whether voicemail or she answers you say:

    I think you want this and while I don't want it. I have no other reasonable option. I am breaking up with you, your stuff is in the mail. My decision is final. Do not contact me, enjoy your life, Goodbye.

    She doesn't give a damn about you. You're merely an option, time filler etc. not a priority. Dump her and get your read on. She will get worse.

  4. #4
    CelticMetal
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    2 sided coin,
    Thank you for your quick reply. I think you really understand what's going on here. The part about a relationship being about "us" and not two separate people makes a lot of sense. That's what I feel like I'm not getting here. When we're together with just the two of us everything is great but a lot of her decisions don't involve me. I also agree that if I knew early in the relationship that things would be like this I probably wouldn't have continued it. But now there's that emotional attachment which it makes it more difficult. I’m going to talk to her about it and make sure that she understands how this is an issue. And if she can’t accept that our relationship needs to be about “us” then I guess there’s really no option but to end it. Because it’s not fair for me to continually want more time together and it’s not fair for her to feel like she’s missing out on things she used to have time for.

  5. #5
    thebigbigsky
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    Quote Originally Posted by CelticMetal [Register to see the link]
    Sorry if a similar topic has been posted before. I did a search and didn’t find something that answered my questions. And sorry about the length. Skip the first paragraph if you want as its background info...
    Hi CelticMetal, some angles that I see are:
    1. Not sure how serious is she being a people pleaser, and whether she agrees or realizes about it? If she is willing to work on this issue, she would probably lives happier and also have more time in close relationship, generally speaking.
    2. Everybody has different preferences, needs and personality etc, if her nature is someone who needs only little time in close relationship and needs a lot of time in other relationship or activities, then you need to talk to her heart to heart, tell her your needs, eg more times together etc, and see how both of you can compromise each other.
    3. If compromising takes too much energy or not really work well for both of you (sometimes minor compromising would work, however major compromising which lead to avert from a person's nature might bring unhappiness to this person since it's incongruent with his/her own nature), perhaps it would be wiser to put an end to this so that another person who suit you more would appear in your life in future. Though you need to spend energy and work on your emotions to put an end to this relationship, it might be worthy if this relationship won't work well for you and your needs which would eat up even more of your energy in long run and might make you unhappy.

    Wish some different angles would be helpful for you. All the best!

  6. #6
    CelticMetal
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    thebigbigsky,you make a good point about everyone having different preferences for how much time they spend in a close relationship. That sounds more likely to be the case with my girlfriend. I don't think she needs as much time together as I do. I talked to her about cancelling our trip and how I think it's important to take into account how decisions like that will effect "us" and not just her or I as individuals. But maybe the bigger issue is not that she doesn't make time for us but that she feels like we're already spending enough time together and so doesn't see it as a problem. So I need to make it more clear to her that we're not getting as much time together as I would like and that we need to find a way to make this work for both of us.

  7. #7
    thebigbigsky
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    Wish you find a well compromising point for both of you... best wishes!

  8. #8
    unanimous123
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    Quote Originally Posted by CelticMetal [Register to see the link]
    thebigbigsky,you make a good point about everyone having different preferences for how much time they spend in a close relationship. That sounds more likely to be the case with my girlfriend. I don't think she needs as much time together as I do. I talked to her about cancelling our trip and how I think it's important to take into account how decisions like that will effect "us" and not just her or I as individuals. But maybe the bigger issue is not that she doesn't make time for us but that she feels like we're already spending enough time together and so doesn't see it as a problem. So I need to make it more clear to her that we're not getting as much time together as I would like and that we need to find a way to make this work for both of us.
    I'm with you on this man, and totally understand what you go through. I'm thinking there's some of sort of imbalance going on in the relationship, otherwise, why would we feel starved for their time while they completely think they spent enough quality time with us? **sigh**

  9. #9
    CelticMetal
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    So I talked to my girlfriend about how I thought she wasn't taking me into consideration when she planned things. And that I know she needs to have time with her friends and family but we should try to coordinate things together instead of only seeing each other when there was time in between. I wasn't sure that she understood what I was getting at since we were on the phone and she didn't really say much about it. But she had the past week off due to her graduation being in the middle of the week and we ended up spending time together on five of those days (one of which she planned things for just us to do the whole day). There was a miscommunication where I assumed that I would be going to her house the night before graduation but she already had plans to see her friends that night. But she changed it last minute to a day when I would be working and not be able to see her anyway. So things are going well at the moment and hopefully this is an indication of how it will be in the future.

    unanimous123, I think you just have to let her know how you're feeling about it. I didn't say anything for a long time because I thought things would get better as the relationship got more serious. But it made me more disappointed when it didn't change. Now that I've talked to her it seems like she's starting to make compromises so that we can both be happy. Good luck to you.

  10. #10
    thebigbigsky
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    Quote Originally Posted by CelticMetal [Register to see the link]
    So I talked to my girlfriend about ...

    unanimous123, I think you just have to let her know how you're feeling about it. I didn't say anything for a long time because I thought things would get better as the relationship got more serious. But it made me more disappointed when it didn't change. Now that I've talked to her it seems like she's starting to make compromises so that we can both be happy. Good luck to you.
    Hi CelticMetal, good to hear your update... I use to be not saying things or feelings out too, after that I learn to say things out and it really help in relationships. Last time I read that more female tend to not saying things out due to some culture things in some countries or region. But later as I read more and also based on my own experience, I begin to have question about whether introverts also tend to not saying things out in relationship. Anyway, good thing is saying thing out is something that we can learn no matter what kind of person we are... So wish your relationship going to be better and better!

    unanimous123, wish you all the best too!

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