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Should I break up with him? (Sorry, it's long...)

Kaiyinn Flynn

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I'm seriously considering breaking up with my boyfriend, but I'm not sure if it's the right decision... Please help.


We've been together for almost 6 months now. It's a long-distance relationship-- we live about 3 hours apart, and he is also very busy (he's a law student), so we only get to see each other a couple weekends a month. This always involves me going to his place-- he can't come here because he has a part-time job on Saturdays. When we're not together, we keep in touch by sending each other short texts throughout the day, and occasionally chatting online or writing longer e-mails. We rarely talk on the phone because I am not a phone person, and he knows this. By the way, I'm 23 and he's 30.


I know there's nothing that can really be done about the fact that he's busy, and I want to support his career goals and all... But still I can't help feeling lonely when he doesn't have time to spend with me/ talk to me. Even when I'm at his place, he's often sitting at his desk studying while I'm sitting and reading a book, and when we chat online he's often slow to respond because he's busy studying. Sometimes I feel like he doesn't appreciate me, or that his academic career is more important to him than our relationship. I think he realizes this to some extent, and he has apologized to me before for being so busy. So I try to be understanding about it, but sometimes I just get frustrated. He mentioned in the past that he would have some free time during July and August, but in fact we haven't had any more time with each other recently than we normally do. I'm on vacation all this week, and I mentioned to him last week that I would like it if we could do something together, and his response was that he had some things to do so he'd "have to think about it"... And the issue wasn't brought up again until yesterday. We still don't know if we're going to do something this week.


I also can't help feeling like he just doesn't love me as much as I love him, and that he doesn't really miss me when we're apart. I tell him all the time how much I miss him, wish I could be with him, etc, but he never tells me he misses me. He also never asks if I'm going to come visit him that weekend, etc-- it's always me who asks if I can see him that week, and it seems like we wouldn't see each other at all if I didn't say anything.


He is extremely intelligent and is passionate about things like history and politics... So he really knows a lot of things, and I always learn a lot from him in our conversations. However, although I do find these subjects interesting, it often seems like he talks about *nothing* but history and politics. Sometimes this makes me feel inferior to him, because I'm not nearly as knowledgable and I can't really contribute much to the conversation... So it's pretty much just him talking and me listening. Sometimes he'll ask me a question or mention a certain term or something, I'll ask him what that means because I've never heard of it, and he'll act shocked that I don't know such a "basic" thing. He tells me I should study more history, watch more news, etc... And I agree that I should, but honestly, I only have so much time on my hands and there are other things I'm committed to. When am I supposed to find time to sit down and memorize a history book?


I must also add, however, that the problems are definitely not all on his side. I have issues, too. I have a bit of a social anxiety problem, and am a naturally quiet/ shy person. I have this thing where I sometimes "freeze" and find myself physically unable to respond to a question or gesture. A few times I have completely "frozen" in his presense and have become unable to speak for a long period of time, maybe an hour or so. I know this might be difficult to understand, but that really is the way it is... I believe I might have some sort of anxiety disorder. I also have poor social skills in general, and am not good at reading peoples' emotions and responding appropriately. Thus I often unintentionally offend people or make them uncomfortable. Also, for most of my life (up until about a year and a half ago) I was an extremely religious, conservative person. I thus believed that sex before marriage is a sin, etc. Then some things happened and I ended up losing my faith, but it seems that the things I believed so strongly for so many years are still embedded in my subconscious mind. I now do not think there is anything wrong with sex before marriage, and I have had sex with my boyfriend... But it's difficult for me to enjoy it. I never initiate anything (I want to, but I just can't do it), and when we do have sex it's always him on top and me just sort of laying there. It's like I have some sort of mental block, and I can't move. Finally, I sometimes become extremely emotional and am very clingy. By contrast, he's cool as a cucumber.


I know all of these things frustrate him and I'm trying to change, but it's extremely difficult. He understands that I have problems and don't mean to act the way I do, however, so he is generally very kind about it, never gets angry and explains very calmly what I'm doing wrong and what I can do to fix it (because I often don't realize what I'm doing). This makes me feel extremely fortunate to have found someone so kind and patient and understanding, who is willing to help me work out my problems and believes I can change.


Sometimes I get confused about the way I feel about him... Recently I'm not sure if I really love him or not. But then once in a while I'm suddenly hit by a wave of emotion and miss him terribly, and desperately want to see him or talk to him... And sometimes it feels so nice to be with him, too. Most of the time though, I just feel lonely or frustrated.


I really do think he's an amazing guy and I don't want to just throw this away lightly... I'm also really afraid of being alone. =( What should I do??

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i guess you can just talk to him and be honest with him. that you really like him and all that, but that you are kind of feeling very lonely in this relationship, and are not quite sure it's working out for you. obviously, it sounds like you are very understanding of the pressures he has at school, however, this relationship really isn't meeting your needs. what is it he can do? what if once a week, you two spent an afternoon together, no books, would that be enough? half a day? come up with something reasonable that would be a good compromise.


if he isn't willing to spend more time with you, then perhaps yes, you should go and meet a boyfriend who is more compatible with you.


good luck

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Long distance relationship never worked for me. It's extremely hard for anyone, I believe. If you can take a few days off and visit your bf and see how he spends his time, you might feel better again. Like you said, he is probably really busy and stressed out.


In my opinion, you don't need to change. Just be yourself. You are 23 and still learning!

Is he doesn't agree on some stuff you do, talk to him and compromise! If he likes you, he will listen to you. But I really think you should visit him for a few days to talk about it.


Good luck!

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Oh my Lord, woman, the man is in law school. That is a highly demanding course of study. If you take it personally that he is studying while you're visiting, or that time is tight in his life, you are not being supportive and this is not the relationship for you..... find someone closer who is not working hard to build a future.....

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Thanks for your replies, everyone. I'll try talking to him.


luvs2kayak: Yes, I'm well aware that law school is highly demanding, and I'm not "taking it personally". I'm very proud of him for working so hard and want to support him. But can you blame me for feeling a little lonely when I only get to see him two weekends a month, and even then we barely talk because he's at his desk buried in books the whole time? It's almost like I don't have a boyfriend at all.

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Thanks a lot-- it's nice to hear from someone who's been in a similar situation.


I know that I'm being too clingy, but it's really hard not to be... >


i think that's a really good idea. sign up for a dance or cooking class or sign up to learn a foreign language. get to know your neighbors. it's good if you meet more people and have some new interests.

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  • 1 month later...

I don't think that you'r desire to be a priority is being selfish. To be a priority in a relationship is normal, especially if you are going to be serious later on. I'd pray about this relationship and think about this. It doesn't sound like you two have been together very long and you are alread feeling 'lonely'. That doesn't sound like the greatest situation in the world.


I would suggest you think about whether this relationship is really for you. If you decide to move on, I'd suggest you work to continue to develop yourself as a person and think about what kind of mate you would want. Sounds like you need somebody who is going to 'be there' for you in a healthy way. In the interm, work on developing yourself as a person and clarifying some of your values and expectations of a future relationship.


Sounds like you also have a spiritual background. Maybe reconnect with your Higher Power as well as part of the process of overall wholeness.


God bless you and I pray you receive wisdom to make a right decision about this relationship.

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