Hi Evan, My boyfriend of 2 1/2 years (off and on) says he loves me everyday, but his actions don’t follow his words. He doesn’t show me affection or attention, either physically or verbally. By this I mean he does not send text messages to say good morning anymore, he calls sometimes, but never to just say “Hi, I am thinking of you”; it’s always just to ask a financial question or work-related question. Sometimes he calls to tell me he needs something or to tell me something that happened to him. He never builds me up with kind or sweet words like he did in the beginning. He very rarely touches me, and sex has diminished ALOT over the last 10 months. It’s as though he lives in his world by himself, and so I am supposed to live by myself in mine, yet we live together…. I’m not saying that I require these things everyday, but every once in a while it would be nice to know that he thinks I am pretty or sweet or SOMETHING. I don’t think I am being too high maintenance by wanting his attention, but then again, I am not a guy and don’t know what they think or why they think it. He has asked me about marrying him a few times; I say “about” because he later told me that he was just asking to see where I was on the subject, not REALLY asking. Yet if he says something to me involving marrying him, I playfully reply with “I haven’t been asked”, to which he replies, “I have asked you”. So now not only does his behavior confuse me, but I cant help but wonder is he just not that into me, but afraid to break up? What do I do? I feel like I am in a sea of uncertainty and wasting my life away waiting on him. Your thoughts? —Michelle
You don’t really want my thoughts, do you?
My thoughts are merely going to challenge your worldview, rock the axis of your earth, and change the course of your entire life.
That’s a lot of impact you’re willing to give some stranger who gives dating advice.
I don’t understand this phenomenon of “My boyfriend is totally indifferent towards me; how can I lock him in for the rest of my life?”
But since you asked, I only have one real question for you:
Why would you spend 2 ½ years with a man who doesn’t show you affection or attention?
Why would you spend 2 ½ years with a man who never does the “little things”?
Why would you spend 2 ½ years with a man who doesn’t ask how YOU’RE doing?
Why would you spend 2 ½ years with a man who never compliments you?
Why would you spend 2 ½ years with a man who rarely touches you or makes you feel hot?
Why would you spend 2 ½ years with a man who lives in his own adjacent world?
And, most importantly, given that he doesn’t do any of the things that you want from a long-term partner, that you DESERVE from a long-term partner…
WHY THE HELL DO YOU WANT TO MARRY HIM?
You’re not alone, Michelle, but, for the life of me, I don’t understand this phenomenon of “My boyfriend is totally indifferent towards me; how can I lock him in for the rest of my life?”
Just yesterday, I talked to a member of my Inner Circle who says that she’s been with her live-in boyfriend for 3 ½ years, and that he proposed and “unproposed” to her because she was too bossy. So now she’s on probation to try to win back the ring that she lost. If that’s not enough, I asked her what percentage of her relationship was good. She said about 50%.
Can you see the willful blindness of this situation?
She’s fighting hard to preserve an unhappy union with a man who really doesn’t want to get married, who doesn’t think she’s a good partner, who has all the power in the relationship.
Low self-esteem? Loneliness? Fear? Sunk costs?
But to me, it’s like you were leasing a car for three years that stalled half of the time …and trying to negotiate a deal to own that car for life.
You might understand the concept of “actions speak louder than words”, Michelle, but until you start living your life by that rule and making sure there are consequences towards his coldness towards you, you’re hurtling towards a lifetime of unhappiness.
To answer your original question, in a line: yes, you’re wasting your life with him, and honestly, you wouldn’t be asking me that question if you didn’t know it was true.
Get out now.