I’m not looking for advice, but I just wanted to say that (as a man) you give solid advice to women. A good female friend of mine found her fiancé as a result of reading your advice. Your advice regarding women with unusual or difficult schedules is spot-on. Sadly, I’m going to have to end a fairly good relationship tomorrow with a smart, cute, funny woman. Why? Her priorities.
She’s been either in school or a high-powered job her entire life. As an achiever, those have been her focuses. She’s never made a man her focus. I’m OK with not being her #1, but between her many (and growing) friends, hobbies, and endeavors, I find it increasingly difficult to spend an acceptable amount of time with her.
If you have a boyfriend who only has one night a week for you, I would encourage you to dump him.
The last straw was when she decided to work at a year-long weekend festival both Saturday and Sunday mornings. She had been working Saturday when we met and I was okay with that. It’s not a money thing but more of a do-gooder thing to her. In any case, she took my understanding a little for-granted and added the second day before mentioning it to me. She would be far too “independent” to go back to one day a weekend, because she doesn’t “do things just for guys.”
It’s not unusual for her to tell me that “I have dinner with a friend Monday, an event on Tuesday, a soccer game on Thursday, a meeting on Friday, and the festival Saturday (and now) again on Sunday. Do you have Wednesday or sometime during the day on the weekends open?” Since, I’m also somewhat busy, the answer is often no. She’s exhausted most of the time when we do hang out.
The thing is she genuinely loves me and I know she will be hurt when she gets the news that this is just too hard for me. I’m a flexible, secure, giving man but I have my limits. Like I said, Evan, I never asked to be her #1, but being her #10 isn’t going to work. I don’t take it personally — this is how her past relationships have gone.
The sad part is that she really doesn’t perceive that her life is inaccessible for a man. I’m a tough guy but being made to feel like I’m the leftover backup plan, however unintentionally, is just not what I want in a partner.
It will be tough telling her that I’m out. I grew up with a mother who was so “involved” in the community and career that my Dad and me were just filler time. I feel the same dynamic with this lady and I don’t want that for me or my eventual kids. This woman has a severe fear of ending up old and alone, and yet it’s not enough to make her change her behavior. I have communicated my position and her enthusiastic promises to “chill out a bit” and “open up my calendar” haven’t been kept. Add in kids and I just don’t know whether I’d have an absentee mother on my hands.
Relationship needs are relationship needs and people who refuse to compromise – regardless of gender – can’t be too surprised when they find themselves alone.
Life is about choices and I feel like an increasing number of women are lying to themselves about that reality. When two things truly conflict you have to pick one, you just can’t have it all at the same time. Healthy things like “compromise” are now frowned upon by women’s advice-givers. The college lifestyle of being busy all the time is taken further and further into adulthood. It’s all just enough to push a good, progressive guy like me towards a more traditional woman, even if she’s not as degreed or professionally successful.
What I feel really bad about is that I won’t be single for more than a week or two, but she could be entering another year-long bout of men who never call after the first date.
Feel free to print this if you think your readers would find it helpful.
Thank you, Austin. It’s rare when I print anything that I didn’t write myself, but this is a valuable anecdote that is more powerful than anything I could have made up myself.
And for any woman who gets her hackles up that another woman is being told to compromise because she can’t “have it all”, let’s just say that nothing would change if the genders were reversed. If you have a boyfriend who only has one night a week for you, I would encourage you to dump him as well, no matter how much you loved him. Relationship needs are relationship needs and people who refuse to compromise – regardless of gender – can’t be too surprised when they find themselves alone.
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