I feel single even though I'm in a long term relationship

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2012
I feel single even though I'm in a long term relationship
15
Thu, 10-18-2012 - 11:54pm

I really need some help. I've been with my boyfriend for over 5 years and he has always been super busy but lately I'm feeling like I don't even have a boyfriend. He is pretty busy with graduate school and working for the university and working a per diem job however I feel like that's always an excuse.I barely talk to him everyday and if I do it's more of a 5 minute quick conversation. I only see him once a week and usually it's not for a long period of time. Last week we went to the movies and hung out for an hour afterwards and that was the only time I saw him. As soon as the semester is over he does have more time and we do see each more but I don't feel like it's enough. I literally spend more time hanging out with and talking to my guy friends than him. I don't even feel like I have a boyfriend anymore. We had a similiar issue last year at this time.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010

So you had the same problem last year, how did you resolve it? Or did you just wait it out?

Since you have so little time together I don't think I would use it going to a movie where you don't get to relate to each other. Use it for talking or cuddling or however you feel is quality time.

Its also possible that over the 5 years that you and your needs have changed and you need more from a partner than your bf can give you. Are you together because of a deep love and bond, or out of habit and convenience, or ?? Only you can decide if you get enough from the relationship to continue it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2012

Do not worry it generally happens in long term relationship buddy.I understand your frustration ,communication is must for you guys only then you can lead a successful relationship!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002

My husband went to Grad School about 6 years ago.  At the time he was also working full time, and we already had a family.  For the duration he was in Grad School, we didn't see much of each other.  We had the benefit of living with eachother, which helped some.  But he was still gone most evenings and weekends, and he was working during the day.

Is there a light at the end of this tunnel for you?  Meaning, once he is done with Grad School is he done with school all together.  Or is he considering pursuing his doctoral degree following his graduate degree?  I ask this because if you are not happy with how things are now, and there is no chance of it changing in the long run.  Then it maybe time to reconsider the relationship.

But, if this is just a blib in the longterm plan, and he is looking to be done with school and move onto a career.  Then maybe there is a chance for you two to settle into a new relationship routine once he graduates.

I will be honest though, if your BF is a naturally busy person.  Then he will always be busy, no matter what it is he is doing.  My DH is like that, not a moment of his day is used to just sit around.  He doesn't function like that.  It can be frustrating at times, but it is also a trait I admire in him.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2012
Last year we probably had the roughest year in our relationship and there were 6 months where we were constantly arguing because of this and other little things. I was really hopeful that things would calm down and we would have a nice summer together but he decided to study aboard for a month so when he came back I went right into my summer session. He is planning on pursuing a PH.D so that worries me. His plan is to start school for his PH.D in the fall and he has no idea where he is planning on doing it at.. He wants me to move with him when I'm finished with school so either next spring or next summer so we will have a year apart. It's sad that I literally spend all my time talking to or with my friends and not my BF. Sometimes I don't even bother calling him because he is so busy that will I feel rushed. i don't know what to do. I still love him and I do want to move with him and get married and all of that and I'm sure living together would help things but that's like forever away.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Right now it just doesn't seem like he has time for a relationship so maybe it's time to step back.  I'm not saying that you should break up & never see him but why be tied to someone who has no time for you?  Why not date other people?  It looks like he's going to be very busy when he's getting his PhD too--so even if you move with him & move in together, are you going to be sitting around all the time alone  while he's studying & working -- you'll still be unhappy and probably even more so because if you move, then you won't have your usual friends & family around.  I think his behavior is showing you that at least for now his needs are really coming first and you are like an after thought when he has time.  It's true that sometimes people have to be like that when they are concentrating on school--but that also means that it's not fair to try to be in a relationship when you have no time to devote attention to a partner.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012

BelleDuJour18 wrote:
<p>I really need some help. I've been with my boyfriend for over 5 years and he has always been super busy but lately I'm feeling like I don't even have a boyfriend. He is pretty busy with graduate school and working for the university and working a per diem job however I feel like that's always an excuse.I barely talk to him everyday and if I do it's more of a 5 minute quick conversation. I only see him once a week and usually it's not for a long period of time. Last week we went to the movies and hung out for an hour afterwards and that was the only time I saw him. As soon as the semester is over he does have more time and we do see each more but I don't feel like it's enough. I literally spend more time hanging out with and talking to my guy friends than him. I don't even feel like I have a boyfriend anymore. We had a similiar issue last year at this time.</p>

Last year we probably had the roughest year in our relationship and there were 6 months where we were constantly arguing because of this and other little things. I was really hopeful that things would calm down and we would have a nice summer together but he decided to study aboard for a month so when he came back I went right into my summer session. He is planning on pursuing a PH.D so that worries me. His plan is to start school for his PH.D in the fall and he has no idea where he is planning on doing it at.. He wants me to move with him when I'm finished with school so either next spring or next summer so we will have a year apart. It's sad that I literally spend all my time talking to or with my friends and not my BF. Sometimes I don't even bother calling him because he is so busy that will I feel rushed. i don't know what to do. I still love him and I do want to move with him and get married and all of that and I'm sure living together would help things but that's like forever away.

This looks like a plain case of incompatibility. That you think that his work load is an "excuse" to not spend time with you is breathtaking.  It looks as if he's got solid goals he wants to pursue for his life. Other than marriage to him, what are your life goals? Tomorrow is not promised to him or to any of us, so what are your life goals outside of him?

You've known the whole time you've been with him that he was driven. Are you now saying that you expect him to be someone he's not?  I could see your grievance if this started happening within the last year, but it's been a 5 year run so far.

Neither living together nor marrying will change who this man is: it will only amplify your grievances about something you've known all along and went along with instead of saying "you dont' have time for me the way I require a man to, so I'm going to find someone who does".  And if he dashed his goals to make you happy, can you live with the eventual resentment that will grow because he could not be who he is?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2012
My whole point of posting this was to see if I was overreacting or underreacting to the situation. I love him so I'm willing to deal with this but it just seems crazy that we never talk or see each other. You really can't have a good relationship when you are hardly talking or spending time together. I'm in school as well working towards a career that I'm passionate about so I understand that but it just seems crazy to me that we aren't really "together".
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

[quote=BelleDuJour18] I love him so I'm willing to deal with this. You really can't have a good relationship when you are hardly talking or spending time together.

I just wonder when I see people making comments like this.  I don't deny that you must love him since you've spent many years together, but you're also unhappy with the way things are.  From experience & reading these boards, it just seems that so many women are willing to settle for something that they don't want in a relationship because they are "in love."  Why don't you insist on having a relationship where your needs count too?  Right now it seems that only his needs count--do you see him saying "well, I'm busy but Belle really needs some time from me, so I'll make an effort to do more things with her."  Even when he had the summer off, did he think that by going abroad & coming back when you were going to school, that it would mean hardly any time together?  No, he did what was good for his studies & his career.  So if you want to come in number 2 to his career & work FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, then stay with this guy--because it just looks like that's his temperament.  Now some women would be willing to go along with that, cause maybe the guy is a good earner, so maybe she gets stuff out of that (I'm sure Donald Trump and many other big execs work all the time) and maybe if she's pretty independent & doesn't mind doing her own thing, then she can cope. But it doesn't seem like you are that type.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2012
It's such a hard place to be in because I need more out of this relationship but obviously I do love him. I really think I'm hurting myself in the long run by dealing with this. I was so relieved that he was close to finishing graduate school without realizing that there was a possibility of him wanting to get a PH.D. I really don't think I can handle this much longer much less for another 6 years.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008

I need more out of this relationship but obviously I do love him.

What you need to realize is it is very unlikely you can get more out of THIS relationship.  Also, it is obviously that you love him, but as several other PP points out, his studies and career apparently are a priority over spending time with you.  Not necessarily a bad thing, in fact, being driven and focused is a trait I admire in both men and women. 

I also doubt that things would change even after he gets his Ph.D.  He will probably apply the same dedication to his work and other related activities.

The whole point of dating is to find out if the other person is compatible, not to force or fix things.  Now that you know he is not for you.  Time to move on.

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