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Thread: Is he selfish or am I being too sensitive?

  1. #1
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    Is he selfish or am I being too sensitive?

    So there is this guy that I am dating for three months.

    I am going through really difficult and tough times due to a huge deadline I have at the end of this month. Its my phd thesis deadline. 5 years of hardwork. Its so important to me. I am overstressing because I still have a lot to do and I am not even sure if I will be able to meet the deadline with a decent piece of work.

    We talk about this alot. He knows how stressed I am. He calls me to make me feel better or he tries to help me as much as possible with the writing.

    But I realised that he may lack empathy a little bit. He went away with work this weekend. to a pace where I would love to go as well. Actually we talked bout this, he know i love this place. I am already feeling bad that I cannot even go out, meet friends or even sleep because I need to constantly write my thesis. This has been going on for the last couple of months.

    before he went there, he was like i dont wanna go, I want to be with you and help you bla bla bla. when he is there he was like we should come here together when you are done etc.

    But today he puts a picture on social media, with the beautiful view, and him having fun.

    When I thought about it, I would never post a picture if I cared about the person I am dating and I know they are going through such a difficult time and wished they were where I was. I would at least wait until i come back, show him pictures etc and then do it. Just so he doesnt feel bad.

    Would you do that?

    To me it feels like all he does is say words, perhaps he doesnt even mean anything he says.

    Or am I overly sensitive because of what I am going through?


    PS: He went to Thailand last month. this was booked before we met. When he was tehre he did the same. he constantly put pictures. I didnt mind it. even though I was still struggling with my thesis. I just went offline and concantrated on my work. When he came back he was like I will not go away without you. we will always be together. But really? If you lack empathy how can we proceed?

  2. 01-12-2019, 09:31 AM

  3. #2
    Platinum Member Annia's Avatar
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    You're being too sensitive. Your deadline and how you feel about it is not his responsibility. It's not on him to stop travelling and walk on eggshells around you avoiding to take pictures and post them just because you feel stressed.

    He has all the right to go out, specially with work, and post whatever he wants on social media. He's been supportive otherwise so if this is the issues I honestly think this is a no issue.

  4. #3
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Call me strange, but I actually enjoy seeing my partner enjoying herself. I can't imagine her posting a picture somewhere lovely and thinking, "That b*tch."

  5. #4
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    Originally Posted by j.man
    Call me strange, but I actually enjoy seeing my partner enjoying herself. I can't imagine her posting a picture somewhere lovely and thinking, "That b*tch."
    i guess you are missing the point i am making.

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  7. #5
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    As someone who is also very sensitive herself, I'll tell you: I think you're being too sensitive.

    You're probably not very available for "fun dating" right now, and he knows this, so he figured, he'll go somewhere fun himself, and hey, scope it out so that the two of you can go once you're finished with your thesis.

    Posting pictures is not meant to be a stab at you, but rather his own little documentation of his trip.

    Call him right now, and tell him you're so glad he's having so much fun, and that you miss him, and that you can't wait to have fun adventures with him when he's home.

    Or, lose your boyfriend. Your choice.

  8. #6
    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    Do you want your partner to be as miserable as you? That seems somewhat selfish.

  9. #7
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    I agree completely with LH Girl. You’re working toward a PhD. You’re not sick thank goodness - and even then - after three months of dating sure he should show support and encouragement but before you started dating him who would you have contacted - if anyone ? You chose to work towards a PhD. Many years ago I had a similar goal and was in a serious relationship. What I did - I basically told him I couldn’t see him for X amount of time (a few weeks I think) and just got the work done. He had a similar background so he helped where he could but I knew I needed to do this on my own and I don’t remember having the level of expectations you seem to have. I’ve had several other instances like you describe. And yes I feel vulnerable and yes I tell myself that I am strong and I can do it. Heck on my very first day of work after 7 years away as a full time mom I was so anxious. And as of the night before my son seemed unwell and my husband said no he absolutely could not delay his business trip even if I had to miss my first day of work. And no he didn’t really relate to why I was so anxious and didn’t relate to how awful I would feel if I had to delay my first day. And you know what - I accepted it - he’s not my clone - and I accepted that sometimes he’s not going to get it. And then turned to potential alternatives if my son woke up sick. And that’s another thing- do not waste time and energy on resenting your boyfriend. Channel the energy to buckling down to work or finding an alternative outlet for your anxiety whether it’s power walking or calling a friend (I’ve done both). Good luck on your thesis!!

  10. #8
    Gold Member LC8328's Avatar
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    I respect that you're working toward your phd. I can't imagine the stress and dedication.

    Now with that said, you must realize that people do things for reasons that have nothing to do with you. Even your BF.

    i guess you are missing the point i am making.
    Honestly, you are the one missing the point. Your perspective on your situation is way off.

    My 2 cents is this: Just because YOU would handle a situation a certain way, doesn't mean that if your BF doesn't do it then he's wrong, wrong, wrong. You cannot compare your BF's actions to what you would do, because he is not you, nor is he a mind reader that will know "what you would do" and then do the same. He is going off what he thinks is best and what will make you feel better, and what he did was tell you how he felt, that he didn't want to go and that he wanted to stay behind and help you with your thesis. So in his mind...the matter was all settled. He didn't know that posting a pic of him innocently having fun would create these negative feelings in you. Honestly, that is not his fault & I hope you don't blame him for it.

    He saw it as sharing & being open and honest. Not bragging. You are seeing this in a different light because of how badly you want to go to this place, and you are probably under a great deal of stress, which isn't helping I'm sure.

  11. #9
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    He "lacks empathy" because he posted a pic on social media of the place he's visiting?

    Did the pic include women hanging all over him or him whooping it up on the dance floor or something?

    Would you prefer he post or say nothing and have you questioning "Why hasn't he posted anything, what is he hiding?"

  12. #10
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Agree with, well, everyone.

    And I don't mean that to sound harsh, at all. I work in a deadline-heavy profession—I am, you could say, always working on a thesis. It often tugs me out of life, throws me deep into my own head, makes me feel like fraud and a failure, often isolated from those I love—and, of course, them from me.

    That last point is important, regarding the nature of empathy, and something I think you're overlooking.

    See, I used to be much more self-involved. My stresses and my struggles—along with my successes and failures—sometimes seemed like the only things happening. And I'd get needy, thirsty for support—so needy that I'd forget that others needed support as I do. From me, from others, from within.

    Now I've learned to find a kind of comfort and calm—and a rich, loving community—in remembering that my stresses aren't unique or special. That in my own fragility is a reminder that everyone is fragile. That everyone (my mother, my friends, my partner, you, LH, Batya, j.man, everyone) is battling their version of the same pressures. We are all under the gun.

    Heck, sometimes the pressures those closest to me are dealing with are, well, me. Me being a stress case who has little to give. If they need a break from me by having a glass of wine with friends—or taking a trip—I will support that and revel in it and even encourage it. Their joy, even if not shared directly with me, lightens me.

    When you start looking at it all through this lens, something funny happens: your own anxiety is minimized, giving you perspective, even decreasing the stress. Your own troubled feelings allow you to feel for the troubles of another—and to revel in another's joys, even when you are in a joyless place.

    And that is empathy. Or at least the sort of healthy exchange of empathy that makes relationships work. Give it and you get it back.

    Your boyfriend sounds, from what you've written, like he's shown a lot of empathy. He talks with you about your thesis, about your stress, calls to check in. He is, in other words, making your struggles part of his life, which is the definition of empathy. He feels for you, and is showing that.

    That doesn't mean he cannot live his life, be it his own stresses and struggles and, yes, his desire for pleasure, for fun, to say nothing of his need for support and, perhaps, a momentary escape from you. Like, say, a trip. Like, say, posting about the trip because that feels good.

    You know what would make him feel really good, I bet? Hearing from you that it looks like he's having an amazing time and that you can't wait to hear about it when he gets back. Put that energy out there and see what comes back.

    My concern with the dynamic you've described is that it sounds that he has come to feel bad for having a good time, feels like he cannot be excited while you are stressed, and he's overcompensating for that by saying lofty things to you like he'll never go away without you, etc. He's on eggshells. He's scared you'll be upset with him for being, well, happy.

    So what you're calling a lack of empathy is actually a failure of open, honest communication between the two of you—a co-created dynamic that is not the healthiest. It's a momentary diversion from the narrative you need right now, or believe you need, which is that you are the most stressed person on the planet and it is his role to reinforce that 24/7.

    Mind you, I'm not pointing a finger at you and calling you a witch. You are in the weeds with a thesis. Sorry for that. Good luck with that. Feeling for you—truly. As I write this, I am under a tremendous amount of pressure to finish a project in 4 days. I get it. I so get it. Just trying to help you see things from a different angle, so you don't allow a supportive relationship to add to your stress or for your stress to put a dent in what sounds like a supportive relationship.

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