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Old 08-28-2008, 11:36 AM   #1
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Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

Hello, new to the board. Hi, my name is jerk...lol, ok, obviously not my name, but it's how I feel after my gf airs all of her grievances about me on a regular basis.


I know I'm not perfect, but I also wonder how close to normal I am in this relationship, and also how close to normal is she?

She says I don't give her enough attention/affection, and I feel like she's to high strung and negative.

So basically her complaints about me are:

1. I don't look her in the eyes enough when she is speaking to me.

2. I don't pay attention to what she's saying enough...she has to repeat herself a lot, and I forgot bits of the conversation.

3. That I'm not affectionate enough. Basically I don't hold her hand, put my arm around her, give her kisses, etc, as often as she'd like.

Now from my perspective, these are things I simply don't think about. I don't like being in anyone's personal space. I don't mind it when there's a reason to (you know ), but otherwise I'm not going to be stuck to her side the whole time we're hanging out.

I was brought up by parents who were not very affectionate towards one another. I never saw them kiss and rarely saw them hug. Now that I'm a grown man the only time I hug my mother or father is when I'm leaving their house. This might sound sad to some people, but it's just normal to me. We simply aren't "touchy feely" people.

I'm having a hard time reminding myself to hold her hand, or put my arm around her. Don't get me wrong...it's not like I never do it. It's just not as often as she wants. She never attempts to initiate the hand holding, so it upsets me that the affection/attention thing is all on me, and all my fault.

About the eye contact and listening. Basically anytime I see something move, or someone walks by I have this compulsive need to look and see who or what it was. When we are in public, say, at a restaurant, and we're talking, if someone walks past our table I automatically look at them. If there is a TV on in the background behind her, it's difficult for me to not look at it.

Now for the good qualities I think I possess:
stable job/good work ethic
Fun
confident
Good Sense of Humor
Educated
Positive
Super laid back
no drugs
no cigs
never cheated on anyone
athletic
lots of hobbies (that she doesn't like bc they take up time)

The good stuff I do for the relationship:

I do my best to hang out with her as much as possible. I give her pretty much all of my free time after work plus I spend every weekend with her. I take her on vacations, and also try to get her involved in things (she has no hobbies). I go shopping with her and don't complain about it. I help her with anything and everything she needs help with. I give her the remote control - we watch whatever she wants to watch. (although if I try to get her to watch discovery/history or any documentary on occasion, she then complains and acts bored )

She only seems to focus on the negative things and never seems happy with the fun stuff we do. Basically I could take her to the beach and we have a wonderful time, then a few days later she is starting an argument about something and complaining to me about how unhappy she is. I'm thinking, damn I just took you on vacation and you're starting an argument with me bc I wanted to surf the net for an hour instead of sitting on the couch and holding your hand while you watched Sex and the City? ***

I never start arguments with her. I get along with everyone. I don't understand how I can get along with everyone...even people who other people find difficult to get along with...but somehow she and I don't get along?

Am I a terrible boyfriend?

 
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:49 AM   #2
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

Are you a terrible boyfriend?...well you are who you are but she wants more so she needs to look elsewhere cuz you aren't the one for her. She sounds immature and too young and if I were you I would move on. Nothing wrong with either of you....she just wants you to be someone you are not. You are fine just the way you are but this just isn't the girl for you. You will know when you find the right one for you...she won't demand you be someone you are not. Good luck.

 
Old 08-28-2008, 12:16 PM   #3
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

I can actually see both sides of this story. I think it's wonderful that you spend time with your girlfriend and want to do things for her and take her on trips and such, but if you look at it from her side, a nice fancy dinner doesn't really matter if the person you're with spends the whole time focusing on other things besides you.

Do you really love her? I think you may really truly love her, but she's not a mind reader. She needs for you to SHOW her that you love her, and that means listening to her when she talks. Finding what she says important and valid enough to listen to and to remember is also a part of being a good boyfriend. I mean, from her point of view, how much could you really love her or even care about her as a friend or fellow human being if the things that come out of her mouth aren't even important enough to you to listen to?

she does sound like she's a bit needy and demanding, but it's hard to tell if she came into the relationship that way, or if she became that way as a result of always having to repeat herself because you can't pay attention to the things she says, always having to initiate, always having to coax you to hold her, put an arm around her, hold her hand, etc. Probably a little of both. Most women are really turned on by a guy who really listens, who is turned on by who they are, and a man who really WANTS them. few things are sexier than really being wanted, heart mind body and soul.

And as much as you might not like to think about the possibility, there's a chance you two just aren't really right for each other. Maybe she just needs a man who is more into who she is as a person, who really loves and admires the way she sees the world, what she thinks and feels and the way her mind and heart work and who loves to cuddle and hold hands and perhaps you need a woman who is more in keeping with your personal style. I know for me personally, I wouldn't date someone who never listened to me and who never remembered anything I said and who didn't ever want to hug or be demonstrative toward me. Not because I'm immature or selfish, but because that's just my style of loving. I would consider it a waste of time to date someone who didn't really love me, and I would consider someone who couldn't care enough to pay attention to me when I spoke or to keep their eyes on me when they are having a romantic dinner or something with me to be someone who didn't really love me.

I don't really think it's that you're a terrible boyfriend, OR that she's totally in the wrong here either. Communication and compromise are the keys if this relationship is to work.

Last edited by Larrylou'smom; 08-28-2008 at 12:28 PM.

 
Old 08-28-2008, 02:03 PM   #4
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

I wouldn't say you're a bad boyfriend.....maybe just clueless....
I had a BF like that before......I told him we had a problem, I told him how to fix it, he didn't listen.......he's an ex-boyfriend now......
she's not asking you to read her mind. she's communicating with you telling you exactly what she needs, telling you that you're not meeting her needs.....are you gonna start meeting them or just keep acting like you don't understand?
Unless you start listening, don't be surprised when she dumps you.
Spoken from one who's been there.

 
Old 08-28-2008, 02:37 PM   #5
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

As much as I don't like to play doctor, I get the idea from this -

Quote:
Basically anytime I see something move, or someone walks by I have this compulsive need to look and see who or what it was. When we are in public, say, at a restaurant, and we're talking, if someone walks past our table I automatically look at them. If there is a TV on in the background behind her, it's difficult for me to not look at it.
- that maybe you have some kind of Attention Deficit Disorder? I mean really, if you and your girlfriend are sitting at a restaurant, enjoying a meal and conversation together, it is REALLY rude to turn your head every ten seconds and focus on something else. That sounds like something you should consciously work to fix. If you care about your girlfriend (or anyone) and they are talking to you, you should be looking into their eyes and focusing on what they're saying.

As for watching TV - I feel very strongly that if a couple is going to watch something together, then they should both really want to watch that particular show. I do think it's ridiculous to make your partner sit through a program that they have no interest in. If someone isn't interested, they're no interested. She shouldn't make you sit through SATC, and you shouldn't expect her to sit through the History Channel.
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:55 PM   #6
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

Thank you everyone for your replies!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Larrylou'smom View Post
Do you really love her? I think you may really truly love her, but she's not a mind reader. She needs for you to SHOW her that you love her, and that means listening to her when she talks. Finding what she says important and valid enough to listen to and to remember is also a part of being a good boyfriend. I mean, from her point of view, how much could you really love her or even care about her as a friend or fellow human being if the things that come out of her mouth aren't even important enough to you to listen to?
I think I may have sounded like I never listen or make eye contact. That's not the case at all. I listen to her and make eye contact. It's just that I don't listen or make eye contact 100% of the time. I couldn't type out every situation or every detail about my listening, so I just made the general points.

Quote:
she does sound like she's a bit needy and demanding, but it's hard to tell if she came into the relationship that way, or if she became that way as a result of always having to repeat herself because you can't pay attention to the things she says, always having to initiate, always having to coax you to hold her, put an arm around her, hold her hand, etc. Probably a little of both. Most women are really turned on by a guy who really listens, who is turned on by who they are, and a man who really WANTS them. few things are sexier than really being wanted, heart mind body and soul.
thinking back to when we first started dating, I was working almost full time and going to school full time. She had no job and had graduated undergrad months beforehand. I would be trying to go to sleep at night and she would be laying there next to me asking me to "stay up and talk to me." I would tell her to please let me sleep bc I had to get up early. Sometimes I'd ask her what she wanted to talk about and she would reply with "I don't know, what do you want to talk about?" Not sure, but that might be around the time when I started tuning her out sometimes...

Quote:
And as much as you might not like to think about the possibility, there's a chance you two just aren't really right for each other. Maybe she just needs a man who is more into who she is as a person, who really loves and admires the way she sees the world, what she thinks and feels and the way her mind and heart work and who loves to cuddle and hold hands and perhaps you need a woman who is more in keeping with your personal style. I know for me personally, I wouldn't date someone who never listened to me and who never remembered anything I said and who didn't ever want to hug or be demonstrative toward me. Not because I'm immature or selfish, but because that's just my style of loving. I would consider it a waste of time to date someone who didn't really love me, and I would consider someone who couldn't care enough to pay attention to me when I spoke or to keep their eyes on me when they are having a romantic dinner or something with me to be someone who didn't really love me.

I don't really think it's that you're a terrible boyfriend, OR that she's totally in the wrong here either. Communication and compromise are the keys if this relationship is to work.
Good points!




Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsyArcher View Post
As much as I don't like to play doctor, I get the idea from this -



- that maybe you have some kind of Attention Deficit Disorder? I mean really, if you and your girlfriend are sitting at a restaurant, enjoying a meal and conversation together, it is REALLY rude to turn your head every ten seconds and focus on something else. That sounds like something you should consciously work to fix. If you care about your girlfriend (or anyone) and they are talking to you, you should be looking into their eyes and focusing on what they're saying.
You're right, it is rude. As I said to larrylou'smom, I think I may have come off sounding like I never pay any attention to her and that I solely focus on everything else going on.


Obviously I can't type everything for every situation we have been in, but to explain further, I might quickly glance with my eyes (not completely turn my head 90 deg ), everytime the waiter walks by, it is certainly nothing that most people would notice. I may have a bit of attention deficit, but the weird thing is that I can get interested in some things and have a super long attention span...other things I can only pay attention for minutes at a time.

 
Old 08-28-2008, 07:37 PM   #7
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

You're probably not a bad boyfriend, just maybe not the right boyfriend for her. If you have someone who is really needy (perhaps insecure?), someone like yourself who is more aloof just may not be the right match. Either you are or you are not the kind of guy who is going to hold hands and pay her the level of attention she wants/needs.

The only thing you can change is you, and if you know that she needs this to be happy, if you want it to work you have to want to change these behaviors. If you are really, really in love with her, then it shouldn't be that hard to do.

Which leads to the question: Are you REALLY that into her? Or are you just into the idea of her or someone, period?

It sounds like she's either in tune with the possibility that maybe you're not right for each other, or perhaps just insecure and in need of reassurance. If you really do love her, then make the effort to build up her confidence in you, the relationship, and herself. Maybe then, she'll be more comfortable giving you some space.

 
Old 08-28-2008, 07:50 PM   #8
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

are you my boyfriend????? ha ha just kidding but man this sounds just like my life only I'm the needy crazy girlfriend.

The only advisce I can give is that she needs to get a life outside of what the two of you have created together.

 
Old 08-28-2008, 08:06 PM   #9
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

Hmmmm I am going to disagree with most of the post here and say I think she is being WAY too demanding. I can see her complaining if she is talking to you in a resturant and you are looking around AND not hearing her as she is talking. (I tend to do this when the conversation is boring me).....BUT I also have trouble with constant eye contact and I do NOT look someone in the eye the whole sentence....I will glance their way many times but I don't hold the contact. I myself have noticed this....and MY BOSS actually focused in on it by saying to me...."You are not listening to me." I was. I heard and comprehended everything he said, and could even repeat it back to him but I don't feel I should have to LOOK at him to HEAR him!

As far as your G/F expecting you to hold her hand and show more affection.......I have never really understood that kind of affection either. WHY hold hands? So everyone will know you are together? Thats immature. If I had a partner who wanted to sit on the couch and watch tv and touch all night I would run away so fast that he wouldn't know what happened! I have just got to have my space! I think this is what you are saying....that this isn't you! For her to ask for these things and expect you to change how you are.....hmmmmm is it the same affection if you have to remind someone to take your hand? I don't think so, and really don't know why she would want it if she HAD to ask for it.

I honestly think your G/F is asking for things that no one can really give all the time. It would be smothering. It sounds like she is very insecure and unless you want a life with someone who will possibly never give you your space I would run for the hills!
Mileena

 
Old 08-28-2008, 10:36 PM   #10
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

You both have different love languages. She needs affection and physical contact to show love and feel love. You are ok just knowing the feelings are there. There is nothing wrong with both of your approaches to relationships. You both are simply different in that area.

Question is: In order for the relationship to work, can you both compromise and meet each other's needs for intimacy and for space? Do you want to? If not then maybe this is not the right chemistry.

She might need to find someone who wants to nurture her and you may want someone who is a little more independent? You both have different needs and a right to find what you want in a relationship. No one is wrong here.

 
Old 08-29-2008, 06:52 AM   #11
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

I wouldn't say you are a terrible boy-friend, but you aren't a terrific one, either. At least, not for her. But what about her? Is she a terrible girl-friend, too?

I don't know if you are trying to describe her as a person who is hard to please. To some extent, some of things she is asking of you do make sense, but perhaps she gets so irritated with your "misdeeds" that she becomes "impervious" to the good things you do.

Perhaps she is not being fair if she is nagging you all the time. Perhaps you are not making a real effort if she has to nag you all the time. You see, it's a vicious circle. It doesn't get any better, and both of you appear to be stuck.

If you really care for each other, you may want to enter each other's shoes. You will try to be more attentive with her, which doesn't mean you have to be with her 36 hours a day, but if you are with her, you are entirely with her, not in a half, if you see what this mean. She will try to be more tolerant, acknowledge your efforts, accept the healthy differences between you and her and take whatever you give as real gifts and not as your duties.

In other words, you both have to change, if the relationship is to thrive.

 
Old 08-29-2008, 11:49 AM   #12
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

Yes, you both have to change if the relationship is to work.

I too don't get attention or caring enough from someone and I am going to walk for the last time. I deserve better. He says he really loves me but I don't think he knows what love is.

His parents have been married for many years...however, they too were not affectionate around their children...however the other children don't have a problem being warm or affectionate..my man does. I am sick of that and his abusive mouth.

If you think you are a bad boyfriend then you probably are not a good one. If you are questioning it....then there is a reason.

Good luck.

 
Old 09-05-2008, 10:30 PM   #13
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

Hard to say exactly. I can say that if you watch TV all the time while she is talking to you or just being with you ... and you show her little to no affection... and you don't remember most of what she says and appear disinterested, well... you're coming across almost like you could take her or leave her. I know needy women and nothing is enough for them... they always will find something that simply isn't enough. On the other hand I know men that treat women in a way that makes them wonder why they are even with the guy. It's hard to tell because you don't even know if you're with someone that's asking for too much (clingy and needy). I know when people come from a family that shows little to no affection often they simply don't know how to do it or they are afraid to do it. But it also sounds like you may not even desire that type of interaction. I know that if a man doesn't seem interested in me I won't stay long. What will probably happen is this will get worse. The longer it goes on the more frustrated she will become and everything you "don't" do will constantly rub her the wrong way. Maybe you should try to be a little more aware of what she wants and give a bit more of yourself to her... afterall.. is it so bad to hold someones hand or shut the TV off? Like I said... she may be over the top with what she wants OR she may have a real legit complaint... hard to tell.

 
Old 09-06-2008, 04:34 PM   #14
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

Sounds to me like you are a very attentive boyfriend, but it's quite possible that your girlfriend is a little too high maintenance to realize that (yeah, yeah, I know I'll get grief for that comment). After reading your post, I don't see what you're doing (or not doing) that is so terrible. You give her attention, affection, ALL of your time, so what's the problem? You don't hold her hand enough??? Then she should reach for your hand when she wants more hand holding time. You're surfing the net instead of sitting next to her on the couch? It's not like you're a lap dog! If she is as you say and is negative and focuses a lot of the time on the bad things --- then she needs an attitude adjustment. Sounds to me like she is missing something in life and is looking to you to give it all to her. There is only so much that one person can give...and if what you are giving her isn't enough then maybe it is time to find someone who will think you're absolutely fantastic!

 
Old 09-06-2008, 05:26 PM   #15
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Re: Need advice...am I a bad boyfriend?

Move on! Women are a dime a dozen......don't be a whoosy, o/wise you'll be stepped on all your life if you EVER get married. Don't be a submissive loser.....

 
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