My Boyfriend Doesn’t Want to Spend Quality Time with Me. What to do?

My boyfriend and I are co-workers. We sit next to each other at work all 5 days of the week. But we’re busy and we rarely talk meaningfully during work. Even when we’re not working, I’m always the first to text. He doesn’t even reply to all of them. We meet only in the evening on weekends. Whenever we meet, either his friends are around and he keeps talking to them ignoring me, or we go for a movie or he wants us to make out.

I’ve tried telling him how I crave some quality “us time”, but it seems that he’s just not ready to listen. However, he’s always there to help out when I’m in trouble and I know for a fact that he has feelings for me.

How can I make him understand that I need more warmth from him to keep the relationship going?

-Anonymous

How can I make him understand that I need more warmth from him to keep the relationship going?

I’d be honest with you Anon.

One possibility is he doesn’t love you at all and is using you not only for sex but also because it ‘feels nice’ to have a girlfriend (major brag-worthy factor with guy friends).

The only reason that’s one of the possibilities and not the only clear conclusion is the fact that he always helps you out when you’re in some real trouble. That’s the only aspect of your relationship which doesn’t fit the textbook example of a guy using a girl mercilessly by taking advantage of her typical feminine emotional dependence on him.

You can see for yourself – your relationship bears all the red flags which point towards such a scenario.

  1. In spite of spending the whole week sitting a few feet away from each other, you communicate very little during the week.
  2. You rarely text/call.
  3. You’ve tried to tell him that his apparent negligence hurts you but he’s “just not ready to listen”, which means he either doesn’t understand or doesn’t value your feelings.
  4. He doesn’t want to spend time with you alone. There are always either friends, or movies.

Now throw into this mix the aspect of him helping you out when you’re in need.

You have mentioned his apparently negligent behaviour, and you’ve given lots of details and specific examples. You’ve also mentioned he’s always there for you when you’re in trouble. But you’ve not given any instances which made you feel so. That tempts me to think – are you sure you’re not seeing what you want to see here Anon? Are you sure the reason you’ve stopped short of mentioning specific examples of his kindly behaviour is not that they’re too trivial and your subconscious knows that?

Answer that for yourself and you’d know if the first possibility is really the case here.

The second possibility is that he loves you and cares for you but the two of you have vastly different emotional needs and skills. He’s a lot less emotional than you. While it’s true that guys usually need and provide less emotional contact in a relationship than women, but going by your description your guy seems to fall far below the threshold of “normal” even for a guy.

In either case, your course of action is very clear here.

There’s one and only one step you need to take which will give you all the answers and bring about the change in your life that you need.

Stop showing your emotional needs.

You text him regularly. You crave time with him. You keep telling him how his negligent attitude hurts you.  All that makes you come across as “safe” to him. Unfortunately, a bit too safe.

Stop all that. Stop texting him. Never call him. Pick up only every 3rd of his calls (if he ever calls that is). Accept only every 2nd of his weekend date invitations (if they can be called dates).

I know it’s going to be hard. But you have to do it.

Let me tell you a story.

I was with a highly negligent guy at one point of time. I was young, away from home and very dependent on him emotionally. When I realized I was in a destructive relationship I threw all my strength behind reducing my dependence on him.

When I had urges of calling him, I’ll call a friend/start watching a movie.

If he called me I’ll just plain let the phone ring and leave the room, ’cause I didn’t have the willpower to stare right at his name on the screen and not pick it up.

Just like you.

It wasn’t something I liked to do, but something I knew I needed to do.

Does that sound doable now? It has to.

This would achieve two very important goals:

#1. You’ll gradually wean yourself of your emotional dependence on him. Always remember:

A healthy relationship is a companionship, not a total dependency.

As I mentioned, men tend to be much less skilled in emotional exchanges than women. Research shows that when a woman reduces her emotional dependence on her partner, he’s highly likely to feel more drawn to her, ’cause this helps him see her as a complete and independent person, special for being who she is, rather than a burden of emotional clinginess to him. If he really does care for you, this approach is likely to turn a relatively unemotional person like him around and make him behave more warmly with you.

#2. If he’s in it just for fun, this approach is just perfect. He’ll most definitely sit right up and take note as soon as you start giving him about as much attention as he gives you. And when he does, waste no time in making it clear that you’re not trying to teach him a lesson for ignoring you, but just working on yourself. Once you’ve done that, he’ll either recognize you for the special person you are and start giving you the importance you deserve or gradually slip off your life. In either case, you’ll have a better life.

All the best.

 

 

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