What to Do When He's Always Working, She's Always Alone

My new boyfriend works all the time. He gets home from work late, goes on out-of-town trips every week for business and often breaks plans with me because he has to work. We see each other only every week or two. He told me that his lack of time at home is the reason his former marriage broke up. To make matters worse, he's going to be transferred out of state in a few months. He told me that he cares about me and wants our relationship to continue, and I do too -- I'm crazy about him. But he also admits to being a bit afraid of commitment. It's so confusing. How do I cope with this without blowing up at him? --Carolyn

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Sherry Amatenstein

Sherry is the author of The Q&A Dating Book and Love Lessons from Bad Breakups. She has taught dating seminars, appeared as an expert... Read more

Dear Carolyn:

Three isn't company in a relationship. In your case, the "mistress" is his job. I admire the guy for being honest about who he is (a commitment-phobic workaholic) and even acknowledging his culpability in the breakup of his marriage.

He is who he is. Don't expect him to change. If what he's offering seems like slim pickings, well, it is. But you have free will and some tough choices to make. You can continue to see him when he's available and spend the rest of the time obsessed, miserable and railing at the Fates. Or you can continue to see him when he's available and spend the rest of the time living your life (a life, I hope, that includes trying to meet other more available men). Lastly, you can break off this relationship that, while making few literal demands on you, is taking up too much space in your head. If you walk through door number three, you'll truly be leaving yourself open to meeting someone who is geographically and emotionally available.

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