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Lals49 10-02-2005 09:04 PM

different priorities- am I overreacting?
I posted a week or so ago about how I never see my boyfriend now that he moved to the same city. Lately, he has been making efforts here and there to see me more than before because his schoolwork lightened up for a week.

However, there are still the same patterns. I have been rejected sexually three times in one week (I ask him or try to initiate and he is too tired.) When we do see each other, its for 2-3 hours before he passes out. (He is in med school and I am in grad school). Now, we are different in that he needs sleep to function MUCH more than I do-at least 7 hours a night- and I can go for a week on 5 a night. He also takes much longer to do his schoolwork than I do/studies at a slower rate than me. So, he has less time to give to me on a typical day vs. what I have. Its not fun sometimes but theres not much to do about that one.

I took the advice from my last thread and have been giving him space. I have a very busy life and am very occupied socially, but he is my top priority (after school of course). I consider myself a pretty independent person- I moved to the city by myself, I have lots of friends. However, I do not feel that I am his top priority. I feel that I constantly compete with a bunch of other priorities he has. He puts MUCH more time and discipline in his schooling than I do (and he has to, I understand that). I commend him for that, and try to support him. He also prioritizes his religion and family over me often. I am not close to my family and am not very religious, so I do not have those priorities to put ahead of him.

Now, before I make myself sound completely selfish/needy, let me say that its not that I dont feel important to him or that I want to be put ahead of all of this. I love all of his values and respect everything that is important to him. Rather, I just feel that I am CONSTANTLY available for him, but hes not for me. Whenever he wants to see me, Im usually available at some point in the day (and I have a larger libido than him so I'm ready for that all the time). But for me, it just seems that he always cuts out time short for some other reason. I just can't help thinking "must be nice for him!" Im always there- and in a way, I feel like I have to be, because when would we get quality time in?

For ex: His friends were visiting recently, so I went out with my girlfriend because a) i wanted to and b) I thought he should be with his guys without me tagging along. However, we had planned to meet up at the end of the night because he was going to stay over and my friend wanted to go home early. He DID call, but in the course of the night he ended up traveling 60 blocks downtown instead of being 2 blocks away from me (we coincidentally were going out in the same area- totally unplanned by us- which is why we planned to meet up). So when he does call, hes not nearby but miles away. Therefore, since he was so far downtown, it ruined our plans to meet up. Of course hes not going to NOT go with his friends because of me- its not about that. I just feel like he should have called before heading down to let me know- I could have gone with him for a bit or made other plans.

This is the most recent thing that happened. Other things are more general like sexual rejection and coming over for an hour before wanting to sleep (I know, I know, at least he comes...I try to remember that). It doesnt sound like a big deal at all, but I guess I am getting frustrated over feeling "needy" and always being there for him when hes not for me. I have tried giving him space. Ive kept busy and I do NOT sit at home and wait around for him. Ive left him be the one to make plans with me. But what can i do to not feel like my availability and eagerness to be with him is not being reciprocated? I feel like you should sacrifice/make bigger efforts to be with your loved one instead of just whats convenient for you.

We've talked about it and it hasn't done much good. I have complimented his efforts to be with me and I do appreciate them. But I told him that I feel like he has a lot of choices and that he does not choose me a lot of the time when Im always there for him. He sees it as him NOT having choices and its just what his life demands of him, and he can't do anything about it. When I tell him that I am going to give him space, he says "do what you have to do." It doesnt seem to phase him much.

I am not sure how to feel about this- sometimes I feel like I am completely overreacting and being insecure, but am I, if I am continuously feeling disappointed/resentful? I just sort of feel depressed a lot. When he does give me his time and attention, I am blown away by how much I love him. Its been almost 2 years, we were long distance all last year and I think we are getting used to being in the same city and spreading our time out. Sometimes I wonder if I had expectations of just seeing each other constantly since now we live close. However, what can I do to get past feeling less important/unequal? Hes even agreed that he has a lot of priorities and was silent when I said that I dont feel like I'm prioritized to him like he is to me. I turned down spending time with him today, but I can't help wondering if I can generally "give him space" - how does that happen? When would i see him in that case?

stacykgb20 10-03-2005 01:04 AM

Re: different priorities- am I overreacting?
Hmm, this is definitely a tough situation. I can understand that he doesn't have a lot of choices when it comes to his academic obligations, but I don't think you're overreacting when you say that he seems to be more important of a priority to you than vice versa. Part of me wants to say that if you give him more space, maybe things will work out. But on the other hand, didn't you say you used to be in a long distance relationship and only recently moved to the same area? In that case, maybe it will take some time to adjust to the new circumstances, depending on how long you've both lived there. But another part of me is inclined to say that your needs are not being met in this relationship and that you seem to be doing most of the work, most of the compromising, and most of the sacrificing. Not to be trite or cliched, but to quote a very good book that you might consider reading (trust me, it's invaluable for any single woman and I"m definitely not a hardcore adherent of dating guides), it sounds like he's possibly just not as into you as you are into him. It concerns me deeply though that he seems to put his friends before you and that he lacks interest in soon as you said he made religion a priority over you, I had a feeling he was going to have some serious sexual hangups, insecurities, and/or deficiencies. If I was you, I would not settle for a relationship in which I was giving more than I was receiving, especially if the man didn't make me feel like a priority and didn't fulfill my sexual needs. After all, there are millions of men out there who would kill for a partner like you or me who is almost always eager for sex instead of the many women out there who have little interest in and enthusiasm for physical intimacy.

Personally I think intelligent women with strong libidos deserve better than a guy who won't give you much of his time, doesn't prioritize quality time for you two to spend together whenever possible, and who doesn't his very best to satisfy your sexual desires. No matter how busy a man is, he always can make time for the woman he loves if he wants to make her a priority, and even if he doesn't have much time to spend with her, he can still make her feel like she's the most important thing in his life. Your boyfriend just doesn't seem to be making nearly as much of an effort to sustain a happy, committed relationship as you are, and I'd suggest you assume things won't change (and in fact are likely to become even more the way they are now as time passes) and seriously consider whether or not this relationship will satisfactorily meet your needs and desires. I've been in a situation kind of like this before, and when I finally left my ex, I was overwhelmed with relief, thrilled to be dating men who were much more enthuastic about me and eager to make time for me in their lives no matter how busy they were, and most of all, I wished I had trusted my instincts that this wasn't the right relationship for me and dumped him sooner. It sounds to me like your instincts are telling you that he's not able and/or willing to provide what you want from a partner and that you know deep down that you deserve better, but only you know for sure what your instincts are telling you. I strongly suggest that you listen to them, however, and do some intense thinking about whether or not this relationship really makes you happy as it is currently, as you seem to intuitively grasp that it is highly unlikely to change much anytime in the forseeable future.

You've tried to give him space and keep your own life going as much as possible, but I still remember what it feels like to be doing all you can to make a relationship thrive and feel like you're not being met halfway by your partner, who always seems to have other priorities trump you. I don't know if that's just me projecting or an accurate assessment of your situation, but I do think you can fairly assume that he's going to remain more or less the way he is now, with his current priorities sustained or possibly even intensified in the future. The question you need to answer for yourself is: does your relationship truly make you happy and fulfill your needs and desires? Try to think about it objectively, without factoring your emotional attachment to him, the fear and uncertainty involved in being single and finding love again, and the comfort of having an established relationship into the equation. If you decide that, emotions aside, the relationship can fulfill your needs and keep you content in the long run, then I think you have your answer. However, if you can't help want more time, effort, and energy from your partner, then please realize that there is nothing at all needy or selfish about that...if anything, your man is the one who is being selfish in not putting in his share of the effort and energy required to sustain a mutually fulfilling partnership. So if you're just not completely happy with things as they are, please please don't stay just because you feel that you should adjust your expectations and settle for less than what you want from a partner. Instead, in that case you need to end this relationship and move on toward finding someone who will satisfy your desires, both emotionally and sexually. I'm inclined to say that no woman with a healthy sex drive should ever settle for a man without much of a libido, but I know that sex isn't as important to some women as it is to me--how much of an issue is sex for you? I truly believe that you already know what the best choice for you is--remember, there are no right or wrong answers, and what makes sense to one woman isn't necessarily the smartest choice for you. So please don't second guess your instincts and don't hesitate to commit wholeheartedly to whatever decision feels most right to you. I suggest that if you decide that your current boyfriend makes you happy and is the right partner for you irrespective of your emotional attachment to him, then you should fully commit yourself to that relationship and do whatever you can to make it satisfying for both of you. If it's not everything that you want in a long term partnership (as I suspect from both the fact that you're posting and the content of your posts), then I really think you'd be best served by ending things immediately. That will minimize the emotional turmoil and distress associated with ending a relationship and will also jump starting your healing process and provide you with the most possible options to meet a new partner who will instinctively provide you with just as much time, affection, and intimacy as you give to him without you needing to lower your expectations in order to be fulfilled. No matter what you decide, I know you will come out happy, and I wish you all the best of luck achieving the kind of relationship that truly satisfies you in all the important ways :).

greeneyes100 10-03-2005 03:01 AM

Re: different priorities- am I overreacting?
I agree that you are not being too needy. Something is definintely going on here! The fact that he never wants to be intimate speaks volumes. To me, this is always a red flag, especially if he was intimate frequently in the beginning. I'm assuming when you first met, all was good in that department.

I think you should start re-evaluating this relationship, whether you want to stay in it, and also seriously consider a temporary separation from your boyfriend. This relationship is obviously causing you a lot of unhappiness and distress. Whenever one persons starts giving more than the other, it's not a good thing.

You have done everything in your power to make things right, yet your boyfriend has done absolutely nothing.

I know it's a tough decision to make, but if I were you I would tell him the way you feel and that you don't feel he is being sensitive to your needs. Tell him you think it's a good idea to sepatate temporarily until he decides whether he really wants to continue the relationship or not.

Now, this is just a suggestion of what I would do in your situation. Of course, I am not you, so you must make the ultimate decision. I know it's not an easy one, but do what is best for you. It's time to think about yourself now.

Lals49 10-03-2005 04:09 AM

Re: different priorities- am I overreacting?
Thanks for your posts. I will have to think about it for awhile. It is always hard to "portray" your partner through the internet so I hope that I did a good job- it makes me wonder if I showed this to him if he would agree or think I was being unfair...but I definitely have something to ponder over now- I was worried that I was overreacting. I was not expecting an overwhelming agreement. I appreciate the time and effort of your responses.

I do have to add though that we do NOT have sex. That is where the religion comes in- he is waiting for marriage for religious morals, Im not a virgin. It is hard for me sometimes but I love him and do not try to pressure him and will respect his wishes. However, when we do get intimate, it is always extremely intense and loving, etc. It just doesnt happen as much because he is too tired. So, yes our libidos are different and we also are in different places, but we used to be on each other all the time until recently. Ive always had a higher libido but assumed it was because I was the more experienced, etc. But it wasn't like he has never pleased me or has issues in that he just doesnt seem to have as much interest in it. He requested intimacy once or twice and said he was going to make up for a time in which he rejected me, but lately I just cant get over how its once or twice a week! Sorry for making that part unclear but I wanted to clarify that point.

Piranna65 10-03-2005 04:41 AM

Re: different priorities- am I overreacting?
Wow this would be difficult. The most you can do is talk to him. I understand he's tired but what about weekends? Dont get me wrong I too study on weekends but there has to be a little bit of time for cuddle fun and stuff.

My boyfriend would be thrilled if I was more like you Im the one always busy working and going to school, so once my day is done he is going to work for the night. And once he gets off of work im in bed. We dont live together yet either so it makes it even more difficult for our schedules to work out.

It's just something the two of you should talk about and get on the same page with rather then sit and worry. Ask him how he feels about everything, does he still love you ect. Im sure he does but it might make him wake up a bit and see that your feeling a little neglected here.

greeneyes100 10-03-2005 01:37 PM

Re: different priorities- am I overreacting?
The fact that you are not having sex adds a new dimension to your dilemma.

I strongly believe in having sex before marriage; otherwise, you take the risk of not being sexually compatible with your partner. This can cause enormous problems in any marriage, especially if one partner wants sex more than the other.

I think it would be in your best interest to make sure you two are compatible in this area before entering into a life long commitment.

I still think there's something fishy about him not wanting to be intimate too.

Anway, good luck.

Daphnee 10-03-2005 02:00 PM

Re: different priorities- am I overreacting?
Some people seem to need more free time while in a relationship, in this case you are the opposite. I would feel the same way as you do if I was the lowest priority on the list too. This is a delicate situation and you need to ask yourself if this is the kind of relationship you can be in for the long haul. Trust your instincts and you can't go wrong, good luck!!

Lals49 10-03-2005 09:42 PM

Re: different priorities- am I overreacting?
Thank you again, everybody. I think you all have offered me some different views to think about.

For more info: Greeneyes, I see your point completely. I used to feel that way until I met my boyfriend, and sometimes it is really hard. I never thought Id be the one to wait for somebody. But he is worth it to me. As far as sexual compatibility, I think about it and worry about it sometimes, but if what we do now (which is everything BUT the actual act- sometimes I wonder how he just doesnt give in bc its so close to the actual thing! sorry for the details) is any indication of what our future may be like in that department, than I will be extremely physically pleased. But you're right, who knows. I just trust my gut on that one. Even talking to my mom about it today, she mentioned that I sacrifice a lot for him and brought up the sex issue. So I wonder sometimes if I am insecure or resentful over that.

He has usually kept me extremely pleased, so it was easier to handle. But now, I feel like when he doesnt want to mess around at all, its like me sacrificing even MORE than I already have. I understand he is extremely tired and has to sleep for school, but...well, u know.

I guess the idea of actually ending the relationship has really never crossed my mind. Tonight, I took Pirannha's advice and started asking him some questoins about his feelings for me, if he still wants me, if he feels the same way, etc. I wanted to wake him up. (This was over the internet, he was studying and I didnt call him all day since Im trying to back off). He seemed really concerned and it WAS like I finally got his attention to see how seriously I feel about these issues. He said that he thinks its because hes "become a robot" due to school and thats why I feel this way. But I tried to explain to him that its other things to. So he said he wants to talk about it as soon as possible. We have always had the most amazing line of communication, but lately not as much.

I guess I just expect him to say, again, that "he is busy because of school, and he can't find the time for everything, and something has to give, he cant do it all, and its just situational right now". I think you all are right in saying that I need to think about things in the long haul. We were talking about getting engaged in the next year, have the baby names picked out, have always been as close as can be. So this is why Im so distressed that things have changed, especially when he doesnt seem to see it as much. I never thought about us just being too different to work out.

Oh- and Pirannha, u mentioned the weekends. Well, I usually plan to catch up then, but one weekend he went home to see his family, another he literally STAYED IN HIS ROOM and studied for a huge test and came over at 2 am on Sat night and stayed for brunch the next day, etc. He even came to a party with me last week and left 2 hours later because he wanted to be in bed by 11:30. So i stayed out. To him, the weekends means extra time studying especially with other people, and then a little free time. It sort of drives me nuts! I want him to be a good student and be supportive, but my god!

Daphnee- I dont feel that Im the lowest on his list of priorities by any means. I just feel that I prioritize him a lot higher than he does me and I feel that I need to compete with his other values a lot. But you're right, I am the type that when I get closer emotionally to someone, I want to be with them more and want to do more for them. Isnt that the way it should be?

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