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Girlfriend says she needs more time, constantly causing arguments over it....


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I'm having some problems in my relationship, and I really appreciate the chance to get your opinion on it. I've been with my girlfriend for about 1 1/3 years. We both live with our parents - we're saving for the future - about 20 minutes away from each other, and work full-time. I've recently started a new job, which I'm trying to put an awful lot of effort into as I want to prove myself. It's a demanding job, and I also have a long commute - 3 1/4 hours every day in total, so I'm out of the house from around 7am-7.30pm, and I don't have much time for other things. My last job was slightly better, but I still got home at about 7pm, so not much moreso. I don't drive either (I'm currently learning) so it takes a while to get to places even a short distance away.


Me and my girlfriend see each other once during the week, when I come to hers after work, and also during the weekend - I usually come to her at about 5pm on a Saturday, and leave around 3pm the next day. She is deeply, deeply unhappy with this situation, and feels strongly that it's not enough; it's gotten so bad that she cries regularly because she doesn't feel we're close enough, or that she's gotten a chance to know me during the time we've been together. When we are together, she constantly criticises me for this - and when it's not directly for this, she says it's because she's frustrated with the lack of time - which is frustrating because, instead of valuing the time we do have, it's taken up with arguments. It also makes her antagonistic towards other things which do take up my time - she criticises me for exercising, for spending time with friends, for socialising with work people (I feel I have to, to get to know them in my new job), and also she criticises me for not wanting to drink alcohol with her, and then criticised me when I did recently.


I feel I've done all I can and I don't know what more I could do to satisfy her need for intimacy. I'd prefer to see her more too, but I feel making the effort to come to her one night during the week, after a long day at work, is reasonable, and anything else would potentially threaten my work performance. I know one day we'll move in together, but neither of us in a rush to do this as the cost of living is so high where we live. I try and tell her that we'll be fine together when we do eventually move, but she doesn't accept that because we argue so much. I want to make her happy, and I'm not sure whether I'm doing anything wrong - I think she needs to accept the circumstances and we'll both work towards a better future, rather than letting it cause arguments in the present. But I'd be really grateful for an objective view of this.


Thank you!

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It seems like these problems would still exist even if you moved into together, doesn't it? You would see each other every day, but it would be in the morning when you are getting ready and in the evening when you are tired. I think there could still be arguments in that scenario just like there are now.


I don't know if you are thinking it might be time to break up, but this relationship clearly isn't working as it is now. Yes, it would be ideal if she could accept the situation, but that would require her to change -- and that's something you can't control.


How long ago did you get your new job? Were you able to spend a lot of time together before that?


Relationships aren't easy, and trying to keep everything in balance can be difficult. I don't know what it's like to be you, so I can't say if spending time exercising, with friends, or socializing with co-workers is right or wrong, but it does seem like you aren't exactly motivated to want to spend time with her right now, since it always devolves into arguing. If you cut everything out of your life except work and your GF, that seems a little extreme. If you quit your job for her, that's also extreme. However, not investing in the relationship is a problem too. Not sure if you can figure out the driving thing and get a car, but that could help down the road (pun intended).


I would talk with your GF about the situation. What does she want of you? What are your expectations of her? If the time you spend together continues to go the way it has been, eventually the attachment you feel for each other will be eroded. It won't be an easy conversation, but better to have it now than to wait until things explode at some point and the relationship can't be saved.

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It's unfortunate it's become such a point of conflict between you but I can sympathise with her immensely. I would want more than one day a week contact time with my significant other.


What is your own preferred amount of contact time? (If work wasn't a factor). Ask her what hers is. Do you both have wildly differing ideas about how much time you'd like to spend together ideally? Is it close enough that you can hit a compromise point?


It's ok for your work to be more important than the relationship right now. (But it's also ok for her to be sufficiently unhappy about that to not want to be with you anymore). Is the all of your time taken up with work and living thing going to stretch on indefinitely into the future? If it is, I'd be contemplating telling her you realise you don't have time to have a relationship right now, although you love her very much, you can't give her what she wants and deserves at this stage in your life.

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Go earlier on Sat or go Fri pm and stay a bit longer on Sun.. Spend more of the weekend with her so it doesn't just look like weekly booty call. Don't waste time drinking and arguing...plan and do some fun date-like things. Stop giving her all the distant future talk about saving up, maybe someday,etc.


It's excuses because relationships are in real time and you only see her 20 hrs a week. Also check your communication between visits and make sure that's satisfactory. To be honest she doesn't have to 'accept the circumstances', she can find another guy.

I usually come to her at about 5pm on a Saturday, and leave around 3pm the next day. She is deeply, deeply unhappy with this situation, and feels strongly that it's not enough.
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