Why is he doing this & What should I do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2003
Why is he doing this & What should I do?
2
Thu, 05-15-2003 - 2:31am
My (ex)boyfriend and I just broke up a couple days ago after 6 months of being together. Lately I have been feeling underappreciated, taken for granted, and that he doesn't really have any real interest left in me. He works, goes to the gym a lot, and has other things to deal with in his life I know; he seems to be getting a bit depressed, trying to decide which path to take in life; new job? school > which career? etc. and has been smoking marijuana on a daily basis & 'blocking out' his problems.. but it seems to me that he doesn't realize just how much he shuts me out.

I am very good to him and try to maintain the relationship although I was experiencing depression problems myself. He never takes me out anywhere, we usually don't go out and do much besides stay at his house, and he doesn't try to carry deep conversations or learn new things about me the way a guy does when he is interested/first dates a girl. I know we are more serious than a couple who has just started dating, but I know we have much more to find out about each other, we just don't. I try to, (kinda) I want to, but I don't have the best communication skills, I've always been 'the quiet one' my whole life. He on the other hand claims to be so great at it, but doesn't take the initiative to do so. Why I wonder? Is he bored with me? It's like when I do try to get us to have some fun together he is still programmed to 'bored mode.'

At one point he said he loved me, and that I make him happier than he's ever been before. But then he sorta quit saying it after a while. It's one thing to not hear that your loved, but not to feel it? I know he didn't even realize that he wasn't showing the love, but once I brought it to his attention he got defensive about it. He almost acts as if he doesn't care and gets angry with me whenever I try to talk to him about anything like this.. Only when I cry does he show any compassion or see how serious I am and how much this is hurting me.

I did the only thing I felt I could still do, which was break up with him. The impression I got from him after telling him these things was that he didn't care enough to change for the better of the relationship, that it was too much of me to ask of him, and that he didn't want to stay with me if he was making me unhappy. He called me the next day to say that it was all he thought about since then and that everything i said to him (including what I said here) started to make sense to him and that he wants to stay friends and on good terms.

I'm going to wait for him to call me again now. But why can't he just show some love? Why is it so hard? I'm guessing that maybe he'll realize what he had now that it is gone. Is this the only way to get him to appreciate me? What are the chances of a guy actually coming back once you let them go under circumstances like these? Maybe time apart is the only way for the both of us to get ourselves and our relationship /frienship to mature/grow/last?? Will time make things better or worse? What should I do from here?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-15-2003 - 3:48am
First of all, it seems a bit selfish that you placed all of the onus on him to make changes to suit you when you mentioned nothing that you did to accommodate the relationship...which isn't a thing in-and-of-itself...it's the two of you together which entails TWO of you making sacrifices.

*** But why can't he just show some love? Why is it so hard?

What more do you expect from him, you dumped him?

*** I'm guessing that maybe he'll realize what he had now that it is gone.

That seems unlikely considering his reaction to being dumped. From what you described, it seemed like the idea appealed to him.

*** Is this the only way to get him to appreciate me?

The way of getting him to apprecite you would have been to work on your relationship rather than dumping it.

*** What are the chances of a guy actually coming back once you let them go under circumstances like these?

Unlikely...unless you're willing to make the kind of accommodations that will ultimately cause you to leave the relationship again in the future...since you seem to be insisting that it is he that make the changes to suit you.

*** Maybe time apart is the only way for the both of us to get ourselves and our relationship /frienship to mature/grow/last?? Will time make things better or worse?

Time apart? "I'm dumping you" doesn't translate into "time apart." And dumping someone doesn't usually make the "relationship" "mature" so much as it does disintegrate entirely

*** What should I do from here?

Let it go. If he were that involved...or at least to a degree with any hope of satisfying you...then he wouldn't have been so cavalier about letting the relationship go...but he did. So I'd suggest that you set your sights on someone who's more in line with what you're looking for long term.

Mac

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-15-2003 - 6:37am
Re-read your post and try to take a look at what you are REALLY asking. What I hear is "He isn't doning what I want him to do in this relationship. Why?" The answer is in the question - because he is HE, and not YOU.

Your relationship is quite new. New enough, in fact, that you are still just getting to know one another. Indeed, you said this yourself. This is the stage in any relationship when EACH party is assessing the other, looking for a glimpse of the REAL other, and deciding whether that other is someone they can like and EVENTUALLY love. If your fears are correct, and he is rethinking whether to take the relationship farther or not, there is nothing you can do to change the ultimate outcome of that process. And there is no guarentee that just because YOU feel differently about him than he does about you, that somehow that will affect his decision.

What this needs is a little more time - for him to make some personal life decisions, get rid of some of his external stresses, and quit smoking pot so regularly. It still may not work for the 2 of you once he gets past all that, and you'll have to decide if you want to wait around.

If I were you, I'd be particularly concerned about the daily pot smoking. I happen to support efforts to legalize pot, but I also know that like alcohol, when you're doing it every day it's going to have a very serious and negative effect on your ability to function at your peak. In my opinion, the pot is the OPPOSITE of what he needs right now, because life decisions need focus and clear-headedness. All you can do about this is express your opinion about it once, offer to help in any way you can, and then drop it.

The good news is that if he wants to remain friends that certainly means that he cares for you and "likes" you as a person. And, if you are "friends" you are free to meet and date others while you wait and see if: 1. He gets himself together, and 2. if there's something there for the 2 of you when he does. In the meantime, if you happen to meet your soulmate, you've got a good friend for life.

This isn't a bad situation at all. It's just that you would PREFER that it be different than what it is. Well, as Mick Jagger once said "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you can get what you need." Relationships always contain OTHER people. You have to be able to understand and allow for the fact that those people are separate from you, with separate needs, desires, opinions, objectives and perceptions. It's called "rapport." And along with trust and respect, it's part of the basic foundation of a sound, strong and lasting relationship.

You've got some work to do and some decisions to make. Good luck.

Lee M.