My boyfriend is a workaholic

Dear Dr. Shoshannah,

My boyfriend of two years is studying with his career in mind. His workload takes up every night, and I think this is time we should spend together. During the day, I'm at work. He's upset because he had to quit his job for school but doesn't seem at all phased that we don't have as much time together. I get bored easily and don't know what to do when he's not home. Maybe I am too dependent, but I really feel lost without my man. What can I do to get him to spend more time with me?

From lemondrop77

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Brenda Shoshanna

Dr. Shoshanna is a psychologist, therapist and certified divorce and family mediator. She has written five books, including Zen and the... Read more

You need to focus on how dependent you are, much more than how to get your boyfriend to spend more time at home. The reason is that in a relationship, both partners need to be both close to each other and independent too. Your boyfriend is not cheating on you; he is dedicated to a career. It's normal for people to sacrifice time with their partner when long-range goals are on the line. If you cling to him too much you impede his growth, and that doesn't help. Worst-case scenario is that he might feel suffocated by you. He might not think that you are supportive.

Deal with your dependency on your own. Get strong! How? Start by finding out what your long-term goals are. Imagine yourself five years from now. If you can't do that, start brainstorming about where you might want to end up. Or if you can see that far down the road, examine whether your happiness will depends upon another person's love. The truth is that you will never be happy if your satisfaction depends on another person. Come up with at least three things that you can achieve for yourself by yourself.

You can also start with short-term remedies. Right now, develop your closeness with friends and do things that are meaningful to you -- even if they are not meaningful to your boyfriend. A relationship should be two full whole people, sharing with each other. When he's busy studying, you can be growing and working on yourself!

Best wishes.

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