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70% effort, perfectly lovable boyfriend. HELP


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My boyfriend and I (26, 27) have been together for just under two years. We don’t live together, have never talked about living together, or even about living in the same city (we live 45 minutes apart). We make are very good about switching off weekends spent at his place and mine and I think to him, that means he cares about me because he’s making time.


He is a nice guy who understands me, has never criticized or judgment me, and I feel good with him. This is a big deal for me because I am so difficult to get close to and I don’t open up to people, but it feels like I get 70% effort from him.


Last year he forgot my birthday. I mentioned it the week before and he texted me a happy birthday the day after my birthday. I was traveling and sick-- he said that’s why he didn’t tell me on the day of, although we had been texting that day anyway.


This year I told him I was taking the next day off because it was birthday. He had no idea. We said happy birthday before we went to bed and again the next day. He suggested I go do something because I had no plans. I finally said that yes, I should have done something, but it didn’t turn out that way. He responded that ‘maybe we can do something this weekend’ in a way that made me think he felt sorry for me and not that he wanted to do something regardless of whether I had already celebrated. The weekend came and nothing happened. On his birthday the next month I texted him an obnoxious amount of Happy birthdays and took him paddle boating. He said thank you and we had a nice time.


I hate to sound shallow, but he doesn’t compliment me, like ever. He has called me cute exactly 5 times, 4 of them were ‘I don’t just like because you’re cute’. I started complimenting him a long time ago because I didn’t want to be a hypocrite but he still doesn’t. I think he is genuinely clueless and assumes it’s implied if we are dating.


I’ve been sick, very sick in the time I’ve known him and he just texts that he hopes I feel better. He doesn’t call, he doesn’t ask if he can bring me anything. I know its 45 minutes away and he works a lot (getting a phd), but people make that commute every day for work. I understand that his work is hard, but he could make the sacrifice, at least once? Even when we talk about important stuff if it’s his bedtime he’ll want to end the conversation. He’s not willing to go with 7 instead of 8 hours of sleep the next day for me.


And sex, let’s just say that’s also always been unfair.


I’ve talked to him about not trying enough before and he always says he feels like he tries more now. I think he is genuinely clueless about relationships and actually thinks he is being a good partner because he makes time for me and we have fun together every time. Is this a logical reason to break up? HELP

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So the guy treats you well but bombs it once a year (your birthday)? And even then, I give him a pass for forgetting the first year. I also think it's silly to have to not only drive to you because you're sick, but chance getting sick himself. Not having to get sick when your partner is is like one of the top 5 things you end up missing when you start living together.


It's up to you. I'm not big into compliments myself, but if you need a guy who will baby you when you're sick and call you pretty, then that's the kind of guy you need. I'd start considering that you can't change this guy and he may not be the right one for you.

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It's like he'll do anything for me while we're together, but if I need him outside of that time that he reserved for us I'm on my own.


And standard I do more (variety, work, time spent on him) and the rare times he does he makes a half-joking comment about why I'm tired if he did all the work.

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Not necessarily. I just wanted more than "i hope you feel better". That seems like something a neighbor or coworker would say


*edit* might be unclear, that response just seems like sure you hope the person is ok, but it's not affecting your day or anything

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All I'm seeing is that you are totally passive aggressive. You don't communicate to him what you actually want from him or what you need or what's important to you. Rather you do stuff, then expect him to read your mind and repay you in kind. Thing is that it doesn't work....like ever.... People are not mind readers and most people do not speak passive aggressive and/or vindictive/spiteful either, unless it's so obvious they can't help but finally connect the dots. However, the outcome of connecting the dots is the person will run away screaming....or rather politely back out of your life as quickly as possible. Probably not the outcome you'd like.


So stop playing games with well I took the day off so that should be a clue to him. He obviously doesn't read the clues. Instead, plan with him a special day. You'll get much more in life with that approach and end up much happier. If you wanted for him to come visit, you should have said something about it. Chances are he doesn't know how to handle that and probably thought best to leave you alone to do whatever it is they do in rehab for the disorder.


Other than that, he just sounds like a typical dude. When he is with you his attention is on you. When he is working, his attention is on work. So if this is something that seriously bothers you then you probably need to find a guy who is more romantic, attached at the hip, text you all day type of guy. They are out there.....in droves....

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He’s not willing to go with 7 instead of 8 hours of sleep the next day for me.


Its one thing if the guy tells you "sorry, i have to go to bed" and leaves you stranded somewhere or tells you he can't drive you to the hospital because of that, but if he has a demanding job, the guy needs his sleep. start talking earlier so it doesn't interfere with his sleep schedule. If he doesn't sleep and has a physically demanding job, he could make mistakes at work that could prove to be fatal to someone. My guy works an odd schedule compared to mine and before his bedtime, if I am bursting with things to tell them, I stick to the "light topics" and ask if he has a little time after breakfast or lunch tomorrow to chat with me if something is really weighing on my heart, etc. Or I bring those topics up earlier.


If something is super important urgent, he will stay up and talk about it (and i do mean urgent, someone just died, something requires us to immediately act on something) but not the regular day to day stuff. Its about respect.



About the sickness

If I was sick and didn't live near my guy, he would tell me he hoped I felt better, but then didn't rush over with soup. he went on phone silence so that I could rest. If you were not sick enough to be hospitalized and feared to die, then you should not get on him for dropping everything to be by your side. He is not your next of kin.


I agree you need to clue him in "its my birthday on Friday and I would really like to have dinner with you that day". Or something like that.


I think you have to be super direct and tell him what you want.

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