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Hey all! 

I've been experiencing some issues within my relationship I could use some outside perspective on. 

I'm someone that deeply values true quality time. Attention solely on us, creating a bond and memories and all that fun stuff. 

My partner of about a year and a half now sees quality time as just existing in the same space. 

I've tried conversations about this. I've tried explaining that just coexisting in a room together is not my idea of quality time. He expresses that I should be able to ask him when I want to do things together, and I do! But if it's something outside of the house I'm always disappointed with excuses, and if it's at home it is not long before he's distracted with another thing and I'm left in the background yet again. 

I feel like it's not much to ask for my partner to want to include me in things he does or offer to do something with me on occasion, but he feels I'm just trying to assign him options to choose from in order to spend time together. 

I am not feeling valued. And the sense of rejection is so high when even a conversation about wanting him to engage more seems to roll into an argument. 

Am I seeing things wrong? Not understanding his perspective? 

Thoughts? Advice? Any welcome. 

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16 minutes ago, AlienRiots said:

My partner of about a year and a half now sees quality time as just existing in the same space. 

 if it's something outside of the house I'm always disappointed with excuses, and if it's at home it is not long before he's distracted with another thing.

even a conversation about wanting him to engage more seems to roll into an argument. 

Sorry this is happening. Do you live together? How long? How old is he? What are your goals/plans? Do they align with his?

What happens when you make plans? Is he a homebody who just plays videogames or watches TV all day?

Why is he shutting you and shutting you off? If he is just dead weight taking up space in the house and checked out, it's time to reevaluate and consider if you are compatible.

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How much time do you spend together?

It's a tough question to answer, because the actual answer is balance. Yes, every couple needs to carve out quality time for just each other regularly, but also, you have to be able to relax and just be in the same space without needing your partner's attention all the time.

From what you've shared, it's hard to tell if you are being too demanding or if your relationship is drifting apart and getting too complacent. Best I can tell is that you are more active and want to do things while your partner is much more passive and would rather relax at home. That seems like an incompatibility between you.

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I've been married for a long time. 

Your partner acts as if you're a nuisance and doesn't have interest spending time with you.  He prefers  NOT spending time with you.  He prefers to remain home,  make habitual excuses,  prefers distractions and you are left to figure out what to do on your own or remain miserable with him. 

Granted, my husband and I don't spend every waking hour together.  We have separate interests, tasks, chores, errands, hobbies, exercise and even though we have couple friends, we have individual, separate friends.  

When we spend time together, sometimes it's a leisurely walks, random errands, I'll cook while he assists with easier cooking tasks, he constantly cleans up along the way and afterwards.  We have various conversations.  Other times, we've picnicked at local parks. 

There is nothing wrong with wanting to spend occasional time together.  Your partner is SELFISH, self centered, lacks empathy and truly does not care to spend quality time with you.  You can't change him.  Either accept the way he is or be with a partner who enjoys spending quality time with you.  You are definitely valued and to him, you're not that important to spend quality time with.   I'm sorry.

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I think one issue might be your harping on this concept of "quality time" - a concept that to me (especially as a parent) has become overblown, overused.  To me it seems simpler -you like to plan and do activities and he either doesn't prefer what you have planned and/or in general is more of a homebody than you.  Which is it? 

Also he might be experiencing you as clingy/needy for attention rather than "quality time" -meaning time where you two are having a good time together whether you're focusing intently on each other or watching a favorite show, etc.  Do you two have inside jokes and laugh together? Do you try to initiate Deep Talks about The Relationship with him when he is distracted or enjoying a video game, etc? To you that might be "quality time" and to him -it is not.  

Like someone else wrote, more info is needed - throwing out an abstract concept like quality time is not enough.

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1 hour ago, AlienRiots said:

Hey all! 

I've been experiencing some issues within my relationship I could use some outside perspective on. 

I'm someone that deeply values true quality time. Attention solely on us, creating a bond and memories and all that fun stuff. 

My partner of about a year and a half now sees quality time as just existing in the same space. 

I've tried conversations about this. I've tried explaining that just coexisting in a room together is not my idea of quality time. He expresses that I should be able to ask him when I want to do things together, and I do! But if it's something outside of the house I'm always disappointed with excuses, and if it's at home it is not long before he's distracted with another thing and I'm left in the background yet again. 

I feel like it's not much to ask for my partner to want to include me in things he does or offer to do something with me on occasion, but he feels I'm just trying to assign him options to choose from in order to spend time together. 

I am not feeling valued. And the sense of rejection is so high when even a conversation about wanting him to engage more seems to roll into an argument. 

Am I seeing things wrong? Not understanding his perspective? 

Thoughts? Advice? Any welcome. 

He sounds checked out and complacent. I’m sorry you’re feeling neglected and not valued. 

The relationship is coasting along. Are there any other disagreements? I’m sensing some low key resentment on his part if he’s avoiding you and finding reasons to retreat or not think of you or include you in his plans. 

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Unfortunately, after honeymoon phase(where everything is perfect and usually both try a lot), some relationships become complacent. Meaning one or both of you just stops trying. In this case, he is contempt with the current thing. He has you there, so he doesnt need to try to "woo" you anymore. Basically he became lazy. In a sense that he took you for granted and doesnt want to  try around you. 

Unfortunately, what you see now is your future with that guy. That kind of things rarely change. You are getting frustrated and undervalued(which is normal since he takes you for granted) so its best to move away. And find somebody who will appreciate you. Even after a year together.

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How often do you dress up to go out with friends, leaving him home to his gaming or whatever?

Doing this allows some time for him to reflect on how much he really does value you--or not.

If you've been too isolated to do this, then you're contributing to your own problem. Consider reviving old friendships or explore meetup.com or classes or clubs in your area to get out and do things without him.

You'll learn several things: whether you've been bored enough to become boring, so now you'll have enough outside people and experiences to enliven his interest in you, even while you are less dependent on him for your social life, and, whether your partner will step up to fit into your life again, or whether you'll outgrow him.

When talk doesn't work, there's always action. Take some!

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A few weeks ago my son and I spent "quality time" together - in a foreign country we'd never been to -we had a day long adventure I spent a lot of time planning and prepping for.  It was the classic quality time experience social media parents fawn all over complete with pigeons feasting on our leftover lunch at a cafe outdoors with a guitarist in the background.  He had a blast. I had a blast.  I didn't post social media photos cause it's not my thing but I could have.  

Yesterday I finished a marathon project at work that had lasted 5 days plus.  I was exhausted.  Grueling and stressful.  I clicked send and it felt sooooo good.  Within ten seconds my son said "want to read together now?" Ten seconds.  Did I want to? NO.  I wanted to breathe, to zone out on Facebook.  But I made a choice.  He's getting older and often prefers video games to his mama.  So I said yes.  And we read together in his room for about a half hour.  I enjoyed it a lot.  So did he. 

Is this "quality time?"  No, it's just time.  It wasn't social media or photo worthy like my planned Portuguese adventure.  It's what caring people do for each other even when they don't feel like it.  Had he said "do you want to have a Deep Talk right now about our hopes and dreams - or go for a run together in the humidity -I'd have probably said no.  I mean I was fried.  But sometimes you have to marshal up whatever you have left and say yes to your loved one especially if he doesn't know what you've just been through.  Or say yes with a condition "how about we just laze on the sofa right now and I'll take a rain check for the run -maybe tomorrow?

But it's not quality time.  It's just called -a relationship.  But here's also the thing -do you want your partner to feel obligated to spend time with you? If you get the sense that he feels obligated but doesn't really want to - that's not an issue of quality time, that's a relationship issue. 

Now if instead he says yes because he decides to prioritize you over being exhausted or needing space that reflects caring (even if it's partly a sense of obligation).  But that's still not "quality time."  Time is time.  Stop trying to categorize it and label it and if you feel that compunction that tells me that something is amiss -because when you're comfortable with someone you don't keep score like that -you might say "you know we never go bowling anymore -why is that?" - but it won't rock the core of your relationship where you start feeling like there's no "quality time."  

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You didn't mention if you two live together or not.

I typically spend the weekend with my bf, Friday thru Sun.  Though we are very active and find things to do, it's not always possible to fill up the 72 hours and in those moments, I start to feel restless.  It occurred to me recently if we were married and lived together, we wouldn't be shadowing each others every move.  We'd be busy during different times of day doing things independently and circle back together maybe at the end of the day.  

We typically are at his house which leaves me with not much more to do independently than sit and play with my phone.  I find myself limiting my time when it grows quiet, because home alone I rarely sit still and can find things, even if it's cleaning my sock drawer to entertain myself. 

In turn, if he's at my home for any extended period he's sitting idle playing with his phone.  Mind you, we spent a lot to time doing things we enjoy together, but it's impossible to keep up that pace the entire time.  It's occurred to me that it may be easier to strike that balance if we did indeed live together.

It's about quality time.  There will be quiet times but if it outweighs you two doing much of anything together, I'd just excuse myself and go home.  If I felt the way you just described, I'd probably figure it wasn't the relationship for me.

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On 8/1/2022 at 10:57 AM, AlienRiots said:

but he feels I'm just trying to assign him options to choose from in order to spend time together. 

I am not feeling valued.

A relationship requires TWO.

You are not getting this. 😕 . Sounds more like this for him is a chore.. wow.

IF someone is truly into you, you'll know it!  Don;t let this drag you down.

Be done & move on.

 

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On 8/1/2022 at 10:57 AM, AlienRiots said:

he feels I'm just trying to assign him options to choose from in order to spend time together. 

If someone were to say this^^^ to me, I'd kindly tell him he needn't fear any more options. They're all off the table, and he won't see anything more of me.

And I'd mean it.

Spending time together is the point of a relationship. If someone never wants to do that, why even call it a relationship? You can find someone who WANTS to be with you.

 

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On 8/1/2022 at 10:57 AM, AlienRiots said:

if it's something outside of the house I'm always disappointed with excuses, and if it's at home it is not long before he's distracted with another thing and I'm left in the background yet again. 

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