Am I Wasting My Life With Him?

Am I Wasting My Life With Him?

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


My thoughts?

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…


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 Love U member 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 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.

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  1. 1

    Whew, Evan. Thank you. If I may add one more point: one of the reasons Michelle may be staying is that she’s so eager to be married to someone – anyone – that she doesn’t care if the red flags are smacking her right in her face.
    It’s far better to be single than to be married to someone who doesn’t value you and makes you feel bad about yourself. The way Michelle describes her boyfriend, he sounds like a complete moron – comically so.   The type for whom you’d literally raise your fingers in an L shape on your forehead. Sweetie, I echo Evan’s last sentence: Get out now!

    1. 1.1

      I have been with my partner for 3 1/2 years and the past half a year we rarely have sex any more I don’t get attention and I can’t even remember the last time we kissed properly let alone cuddle, sometimes i lash out and get upset and ask why I don’t get attention and this angers him more I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried buying him gifts I know he wants I’ve tired dressing up more, I do all the house work all the time, I always ask how is day is and complement on how he looks but it’s upsetting because I want more and I can’t even remember the last time he said I was beautiful 🙁

      1. 1.1.1

        i am no one to judge, but why try to buy his love with gifts?   Thats not fair to you. Your constantly trying to prove yourself to him, and it looks like he just walk all over and you dont get the results you want. Honestly i would give the relationship some time apart, before its to late. Maybe he comes around, maybe, you will discover a better you, someone that doesnt need someones aproval to be happy. Dont let it control your happines. Remember you are better then this.

        ….just some one trying to figure out what to do with their 3 1/2 yrs of relationship too…

      2. 1.1.2

        Get financial profesional advise and RUN AWAY from that relationship.   I had the same experience trying myself to fix what it was already broken.   The last 3 years of my marriage asking myself what I was doing wrong and suddenly I received an email from him ending the relationship… do you know why he didn’t do it before? Because we was planing all the finances stuff to leave me without a penny. He got it.   He finally try to kill me disconnecting a mechanical part of my car.   My car didn’t   respond when I braked and I went in to a car accident.   After that I got terrorized and moved out of the city to another province 15 hours away and hide. I could not fight for what legally I was entitle to.    Got Depressed and with a diagnosis of PTS.    Couldn’t   work and lived in a transition house for a while.   I got nothing but frustration.   It has been 6 years since separation and 3 since legally divorced and still dealing with mental issues, asnxiwty, going to counselling,   mental groups and so on.   The worse of all I can not trust any more.   When I was in your situation I had nobody to advise me what to do except people from Church and religious people who told me to have patience and pray as he seemed to be “confused”.   Now, I am starting on my feet again while he owns a new bigger expensive house (it was in my name too) new cars, and with a woman… don’t know how many since…

        Do not feel guilty, ask for emotional and legal support righ now, before you start thinking you are the problem.   There is hope and life worth it.

        Hope the best 💜

        1. Shana Brown

          Why don’t you fight for the house in your name?


      3. 1.1.3

        Sometimes men will stay with someone long after their happiness and contentment fades. Women do it too, as we see from the original post. I know that everyone else here has already replied to your comment but I hope and pray that by now you have gotten out of that relationship. You’re trying your very best to make him happy, and he’s just not seeing it. And when he tries to communicate, he shuts you out with anger.


        I’ve experienced it, too. Please remember that there are plenty of other fish in the sea. I know that after being with someone for so long it’s hard to imagine being single again. But you must learn to love yourself again and to rediscover the self worth you have lost because of this unappreciative man.


        Remind him that you are trying your very best. Giving your all. And how his coldness makes you feel. Frustrated, alone, heartbroken, whatever it may be. If he still doesn’t change his ways and open his eyes, it is certainly time to move on.


        Remember that you need to love and care about yourself before loving anyone else.

        Best of Wishes and Love,


        1. Jane

          I meant to write when you try to communicate* not when he tries.

      4. 1.1.4
        Kathy farmer

        He’s become comfortable in his relationship,   he has the world on a platter so why change?   His life is good so what does he care?   You need to care,   not about him but about yourself,   he’s not,   I’ll bet when your ready to start caring about yourself , you’ll find the answer to your dilemma…

      5. 1.1.5

        Natasha I was in the same exact boat. It took a lot of time ans self reflection to realize it was OK to be angry– but I needed to acknowledge this anger for what it was instead of minimizing it as an outburst or thinking the message is invalid because I didn’t communicate it properly. Recognize your anger as a natural reaction to being rejected, and that unless YOU make a big change (NOT HIM) you will continue getting angrier because the more he is rejecting you the harder you’re trying to prove you’re worth his time when really he’s the one that doesn’t deserve you. (trust me I did this– I could’ve been much better off had I invested that energy into myself rather than a dying relationship )

      6. 1.1.6

        Sue.                                                                                                      I have just ended a 5 year relationship with my fiance for exactly the same reason. I can’t feel this way anymore.I think I’ll end up having a mantle brake down as it hurts me so’s just not in him to do those little things that shows he cares .then I question myself saying it’s me,I’m too needy he’s a great guy !this has gone on long enough.NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES!!it’s only been 6days and we’re still living together and he’s saying   he’l change etc!!heard it all before!!I need romance and loving …not a brother or friend!!I’m really trying to stay strong as it would be so easy just to go bck to our relationship but I no I just can’t..

        1. Bek

          Hi Sue,

          I’m in the exact same position, we’ve been together almost six years and I feel like we’re just friends. He says he loves me but there is a huge change in his behaviour towards me, from when we first met until now. We bought a house together, now we have to start the messy business of untangling our lives! I think he thinks I’m going to go back, but not this time. I deserve better.

        2. stephanie

          Yup i hear you ! I’ve been with my fiance for 9 years and we don’t live with each other but just being separated and only seeing him once a week is not easy I feel empty most of the time and I feel like he treats me more like a friend than fiance I have to ask for sex all the time ,I show him I love & appreciate him and anything he asks I do and even when it comes to my happiness & needs I put them aside but when its him.i respect and basically make sure he is good.

      7. 1.1.7
        Need To Heal

        I’m in the same situation. He is cold as ice for last 4 months after 12 years. I feel sad but I know I have to pick myself up and find my happiness. It’s a shame cause we have a child and that makes it worse because I’m really family oriented and love my family.   It’s not worth the heartache I feel now. If u don’t have kids, move on. The deeper you get,   the harder it will be to move on. He doesn’t compliment me, ask how I’m doing, or show concern when I’m sick. When I say something, it turns to an argument. I know what I’m dealing with and it’s heartbreaking. Moveon, move in, move on. It’s not worth it.

      8. 1.1.8

        Ugh Same

  2. 2
    my honest answer

    I totally agree with Evan! Talk is cheap, it doesn’t matter if he says he loves you, if he doesn’t follow it through with actions it’s totally meaningless.

    1. 2.1

      My spouse is the same way. he is also passive agressive, they say things they dont mean, they blame you, they ignore you, they dont want to answer the truth, they will say ” i dont know” so that they do not have to be honest. he has not been loving to me for years, yet he would say he loves me, not no more, i have not heart those words in about 3 years. He blames me for things i do not do. says one thing yet does nothing or does the opposite. refuses to talk about the problem. i would always say if you love me then show me, back to the actions speak louder than words. He is now staying with someone else. i wait for the day he yells at them, treats then disrespectfully or physically abuses them like he did me. passive agressives also like you to get upset and will try to make you angry to justify their actions. be ware do not give them what they want.

      1. 2.1.1

        Wow this is exactly my fiancée minus the physical abuse. Even if he is caught he just can’t tell the truth. Everything is my fault even if it has nothing to do with me.

        1. mcangela

          some men are like that, and it hurts to see them behave like that.

      2. 2.1.2
        Renee Brasier

        Sounds like a narcissist. I’m currently dealing with the hurt of a breakup with one who’s living with another woman. Don’t hurt urself waiting on him to do it to her. He will. Believe it. They r who they r.

  3. 3

    To be fair to the OP, her relationship hasn’t been awful for 2 1/2 years- things have been diminishing over time (like the sex and text messages). Evan’s advice to get out still stands, but clearly very few people would be confused about whether or not to leave a not so hot relationship if it were bad from the very beginning. People get caught up because, more than likely, it used to be good, possibly really good, and they wonder if  they can  get back to that state. They think *they* have done something to make the guy not treat them well anymore (whether it’s true or not), and so they want to know what to do to fix it or if it can be fixed.  

    So yeah, if she’s not getting what she needs now leaving is a good plan, I wholeheartedly agree, but let’s not assume  things have sucked from the very beginning and she was just too stupid to know to come in out of the rain.

    1. 3.1
      Tired in pdx

      You nailed it here. Thank you for pointing this out because it is THE driving factor in many unhappy relationships.

      I am in a similar situation, strangely enough also at 2 1/2 years. He is still wildly attracted to me and we have sex nearly every day. However, his indifferent behavior outside the bedroom is slowly killing my desire to he with him. It has inspired me to make other living arrangements three times in the last 6 months. Every time he asks me to stay, he says he wants me here but it’s hard for him to show and he’ll do ## (whatever i am asking) for me to stay. Then weeks later, the affection dries up. I am close to calling it quits for good; just making sure there’s no way I’ll stay before taking those steps. It’s become a ridiculous pattern and I want to be done with it once and for all.   However, the memory of his passion for me, both recent and long ago, causes hope and hesitation.

    2. 3.2

      thank you.   I totally agree.   We often stay because things used to be GREAT.   We built a dream and now it’s broken.   We don’t know if it’s our fault.   I still love him.   I wish he loved me still.

      I’ve been in three long term relationships and they have all ended with me feeling neglected and forgotten.   Maybe it’s me.   My last relationship lasted 2 years and it ended an hour ago.   I’m in so much pain but I can’t possibly function any longer in a relationship where I’m not hugged, kissed or made to feel special.   I have tried so hard to meet his needs but ultimately, I’m empty.   All I have heard for months is what a disappointment I am.   I have withdrawn emotionally and sexually.   Yesterday I was told that if I didn’t pick up my game in the bedroom, he would have no choice but to sleep with someone else.   Why have I stayed??? Because I was still hoping he would choose me.   I still wanted him to want to fix it as badly as I did.   I stayed because I’m not a quitter- even when I should.

      i stayed because I was confused- am I the problem or am I just terrible at choosing men?   I still don’t know the answer.   And that is why I have stayed.


      And that is why I’m waiting by the phone like a thirsty man in the desert, waiting for water.   Hoping he will call.   But I already know he won’t.

      1. 3.2.1

        i just want to be very honest. Been in a similar situation. was in a relationship with a man who never kept any of his words. he would claim to love me but he hardly called or texted. he gave me no attention and showed no affection. i wasnt sure why i still held in. he would stay for days without communicating. at times he would keep me waiting for him the whole night since he promised to come but fail to show up. other times he would just show up at 3am without informing me. every time he comes to my house he doesnt contribute to anything.he could even stay at my place for days and i would buy him food,pay bills….i would do everything for him and after all that he still took me forgranted. so i decided that it wasnt worth it. and i left.
        the best you can do for yourself is let go foif its not deserve now singlw but happier.

        1. maribel lemus

          my name maribel never would of thought   reading my same situation thank u time to move on I tried been hurt knowing he’s needs and   not given in return had made me out burst 16 Dec had stroke and now waiting to get physical therapy see why I lost feeling on right leg now on wheelchair all on expressing my self and him not caring as shown hard moments leaves me thinking knowing not trying holidays coming and had to say I’m done for the well being of my health and daughter tired I cried a river    each tear made new page to my book

  4. 4

    The interesting thing about Michelle’s letter is that she is able to articulate her issues and fears very well in her letter, but it doesn’t sound like she’s talked directly to her boyfriend about them. I find it odd that she wants to marry someone when she has so many unaddressed problems. She doesn’t say he has never been sweet or sexual, but that these things have diminished a lot over the last 10 months. What has changed? I wouldn’t tell her to automatically dump him, but to  talk to him first.  You cannot hope to have a successful marriage if you can’t talk to each other about your concerns and fears.

    1. 4.1

      my refuses to talk, i ask him if we can talk to get any problems resolved so we can close the book on it and he REFUSES to talk, still trying to figure out why, because by not talking and finding out what he problem is, he puts demands on me, plus by not talking it out, it will just fester and get worse and worse. passive agressive

      1. 4.1.1


        He is a leech. He will take everything you have, don’t give him any more.

        If you can’t get out now, start investing your time into something more worth while like a hobby.

        He will probably get a bit jealous of your hobby or success, (making it a success pisses men off)

        …and try to coax you back in with his charm, but tell him you are busy, dont fall for it.
        If you are not going to dump him, try this for a little while, generate some attention from yours and his friends for yourself, then he will want some of it; but don’t give it to him.

        Dress nicer, go out more with friends or even alone. Become less “gettable”
        It is like a reset button.

        The important point is, don’t give him any of it, and don’t be cruel or obvious about it, just act like you simply don’t have time for games and keep your hurt to yourself, find a trusted person to talk to.
        Don’t have

        That’s payback and it is more fun than it seems. You can gain some of you own confidence back and he wont be able to touch it and you will need it the day you walk out and don’t look back.

        If it works, and he starts to become more curious, time to talk. Let him initiate it. Don’t fight, if he tries to fight just say NO and get up and leave the house or room.
        If that talk time does not come in a couple of months, I would be out of there.

        I think you need to change your own behavior for your own good. (first hand advice)

        1. kay

          So true I will try this method..

        2. Shaquita28

          seems very helpful , I think I’m going to try that

        3. Nadia

          Thank you so much! I love this. Totally gonna do it. And i have the biggest opportunity now that i had just got a better job far away from where we had been living.

        4. Alba

          i think I need to try this too. Especially since I’ll be done with school in two more semesters. All I think is “I can’t wait till I finish flight school and my boyfriend fears I’m moving away.” He never wants me to leave him but as time passes I feel more and more like I’m wasting my time with him. It’s been a year and a half now and I feel like I’ve already invested time and should try. This might be because I’m afraid after my failed marriage with a very mean guy. And that took way too long for me to get out of (4 years). But my boyfriend is strange. He’s jealous but he’s not as affectionate or attentive as I’d hope after all this time. But he does notice when I get really busy. But doesn’t express how he feels about it until we have a random fight. I don’t know what to do but I feel like it’s gonna be what I usually do… Soon as I finish my licenses I’ll just run, without even saying anything. I don’t feel the need to verbally break up or express my reasons, cuz I feel that he needs to for once sit and think to himself why I would’ve left… Just like my exhusband had to. (He actually apologized for everything he did after a year of me disappearing).

        5. Tammy

          I am going to try this .. Need to see if I can get him to turn his head and want to pay attention to me . He will wonder why I am not making him #1 anymore .

        6. Jen

          I agree but be prepared for it to go the other way. He may “ghost” you

      2. 4.1.2
        Need To Heal

        Strongly consider leaving.

        If u can’t talk out issues and problems what is the purpose of being in a relationship?

    2. 4.2

      Maybe she is afraid to talk bcoz she does not want to nag or criticize him.It is like walking on eggshells…However I agree that a good talk done once in a gentle,understanding manner may improve the relationship.

  5. 5

    That is an excellent feedback!
    Let me share that I was once that moron of a guy in a big relationship in my past. I have learned from that, and I would never do that again. Sure I deeply regret being that person. But I don’t think I would have changed and took the new path that I have without her leaving.  
    Maybe the thinking goes that if both of us stuck it out and worked on it, things will get better and even work out in the end, just   like how I am now enlightened. NO. While I feel I am more insightful and self-aware than the average guy (and probably more than 80% of guys), it still took a massive slap in the face and many years and more pain to turn myself around. Also, there were other things in our relationship that suggested she could be happier not with me. So if I was the guy in those shoes, I think that Michelle leaving is the best for both of them.
    As for what happened to my ex-girlfriend after she left me? She met a guy on Facebook. He was not the type I would have thought she would have liked. But they are now a very happy couple – have been for years! I don’t know if they are married. But I can see that he showers her with affection. In their pictures, I can see it in the smiles in their eyes and in the things they are doing together. I shouldn’t be looking! But I am very happy for them. And when I see that, I can’t be selfish, because in my reformed self, I see that I can’t do for her what her partner is doing for her now to make her so happy.

    1. 5.1

      This kinda made me cry. As I am in similar situation as OP and believe my “moron”   will need to work out these emotionally unavailable tendencies/traits without me by his side, as it seems happened with you. Nevertheless, I thank you for you honesty, and a perspective from the other side. And perhaps, my leaving is for the best (mutually).

    2. 5.2

      Sounds like your a lot happier now Dan im very pleased you found a better life after leaving her well done. Don’t regret it. glad you have found enlightenment and are probably teaching others the same.

    3. 5.3

      Reading your post made me feel better I just ended a 5 1/2 year relationship with my fiance because it always felt like I was chasing his affection. He is a wonderful guy I tried talking to him but it never got better I don’t blame him but I do hope he comes to the realization that he can’t be closed off especially in whatever other relationship he will be in later in life.

    4. 5.4

      Wow!! What a mature approach you have taken. I think that people make mistakes but if you can learn from them that is great.

      I wish my ex husband was the same. He was the “moron” i ended it, he begged me back i refused and instead of looking at himself and where he could go wrong he now has the firm belief that we ended because of my now current partner!! Even though he should after 7 years together know me as a person that i would have never have done that to him

      He has a new partner now and as much as he is not that nice to me I wish he could learn how you have i fear he will never make a good partner to her or anybody else until he does.

      I almost feel that if perhaps he could have learned something maybe all the pain wasn’t a complete waste. Strangely i’m the one left with low self esteem and attending counselling……  

      I wonder if you ever got the chance to tell your ex what it has taught you, if not i might consider it. Would do me the world of good to hear that from my ex!  

    5. 5.5

      I commend you for your self introspection and the way you see things now. Thanknyou for sharing your experience.

    6. 5.6

      You most certainly could have. You *chose* not to. He doesn’t hold the secret to fire. If you don’t realize the need to be physically affectionate or appreciative when somebody tells you directly, you are missing a very important memo about interpersonal relationships. People will tell you exactly what they need. It’s your job to listen and respond. (As long as they are being ridiculous about what they need I.E. a million dollar house or something) People reach for a connection in many ways. Over time if you don’t respond, they get the memo that you just don’t care. They leave you and find someone else who doesn’t need to be endlessly told. Their problem is solved and you take your deafness with you. 🙂

      1. 5.6.1

        This rings very true to me.   I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 1/2 years.   We bought a house together, have a puppy together.   I brought up marriage and kids, and it freaked him out.   Then he stopped trying all together.   He won’t talk… he doesn’t say I love you or initiate sex anymore. The last 3 nights he slept in the spare room.   When I asked him this morning why he’s sleeping in the spare room he got mad at me and just said, because he wanted to.   This is so hard, but I think I have to let him go.   I’m tired of talking and being ignored.   Plus, I remember him telling me at the end of his last (5 year) relationship, they were more like roommates than a couple… sleeping in different rooms… and then she ended up cheating on him.   I’m wondering if it happened just like this.   One day everything is awesome… then next it’s dead.

        1. Emma

          I suggest you end the relationship now everyone deserves to be happy and he clear wants a room mate and not a girlfriend set deadlines save up and as him to move out .

    7. 5.7
      Melissa Phillips

      Ur brave. Finally a guys point of view

  6. 6

    This is a good example of misplaced compromise. The guy is clearly going through the motions. He comfortable enough to stay with you, but that’s about it. The lack of touching is, to me, the most obvious sign amongst those listed. Sex often fluctuates in a relationship, but when regular touching of any kind goes, you’re in big trouble.

    1. 6.1

      Nathan, what if the bf of 2.5 years cuddles with Michelle often but the sex has disappeared? What would your take on that situation be? He still doesn’t do the “little things” and when asked about why he just stopped out of the blue being physically intimate he says things like, “I’m under a lot of stress.” “I don’t have a job so it bothers me.” (and then he gets a job and there is still never any sex) or “Sex has always gotten me in trouble and I am trying to build a foundation on something other than sex.”

    2. 6.2

      Im in a waisted relationship but I have a baby by him. I told him he can go on with his life and I will take care of   our child by myself and dont want nothing from him . He has no license but turns around and buys me a car so I can drive him everywhere. He owns his own home and I live in my own home. He doesnt give me anough attention like a real boyfriend should. and I know he gets online with other women and plus text or talks to them on phone ive caught him doing it.

  7. 7

    To me, all the little things she talked about are not as important. I’ve come across guys who text everyday, or call you beautiful, but it feels more like it’s a “magic” recipe they try and follow and doesn’t really come natural to them. When I read that letter, all I read were the things he “doesn’t” do, … but what about the things he “does” do?. How does she feel when she’s with him? What did she like about him? What does she like about him now? If one is not appreciative of what the other person does, how can we expect them to be appreciative of us? It just doesn’t feel natural.  

    I have a married friend who told me that.. although it is believed that married people only talk about their children, she finds that single people (specially girls) only talk about getting married. As if getting married was “it”, as if it becomes more important to get married than to be happy with the person you’re with.   So what if you don’t get married? Isn’t it more important to appreciate your partner and be happy? And if you’re not happy and you don’t appreciate what your parter brings to the table… why be there?

    1. 7.1

      U are so right.  

  8. 8

    Is anyone happy with a guy (or woman) who doesn’t do anything to make them feel hot and desired ?
    Just that she is asking the question indicates what the answer is. It’s just good that she is asking it now, rather than after years of marriage.

  9. 9

    great response — great metaphors (The car!!!)

  10. 10

    Wow, I read this and I didn’t think her relationship sounded that bad at all. Finding a guy who says he loves you and is thinking about marriage really isn’t that bad. Plus I assume he has a decent job since he’s thinking about work. Maybe I’ve been single too long, because I thought she was being way too hard on him. Maybe he can tell that she is pulling away, and that influences his actions. It seems like she doesn’t know him that well and is too focused on her needs. My advice to the poster would be totally opposite from Evan’s. I would try to understand the guy better and ask him questions to try to understand how he thinks and feels, and then try to determine whether there’s some reason his behavior has changed. I’d also TELL him how I feel before just dumping him.. how’s he supposed to read her mind and know she expects these things? He at least deserves an explanation for why she feels unsatisfied, because she’s probably doing all these passive aggressive things without communicating her feelings, and that can really damage a relationship over time.

    1. 10.1

      Laura I agree with you.   Not surprising, because I was basically that guy.   My wife left me after 13 years of marriage, telling me her own version of  Michelle’s story.   I just didn’t realize what I was doing, and by that point it was too late.   I tried to change, but it was too late for me.   She didn’t give me a chance to address her concerns.   Two  weeks after she announced she was moving out, two weeks of me trying my best to be what she wanted, she said “I see that you are trying, but I’ve made up my mind”.   A month later I discovered she was living with an old flame.   It totally sucks that she did not clue me in that my behavior was going to be a marriage-breaker until it was already too late.   I would have done things a lot differently had I known.   If I am ever lucky enough to find someone again, I will do things differently.   Guys just don’t know what we don’t know.

      1. 10.1.1

        I told him and all he says is you know how I am.

      2. 10.1.2

        Great feedback Matt.

    2. 10.2

      Completely agree Laura.Thanks.

  11. 11

    Oh Laura, Laura, Laura…yes, I think that ymayou are willing to compromise waaay to much and perhaps waaay too eager to please a man and be his “mommy.”w I think that you are giving this guy waaaay too much credit! NONE of her needs are being met, and you are telling her that she “is too focused on her needs?”
    Please, Laura, you are just as important as your partner!!!!
    Remember that, if your needs are always second, and his are always first, GET OUT!

    1. 11.1

      While there’s some truth to what Laura said, I agree with Maria. It has taken me long to understand that men are not like women nor respond to the same things we do. Laura is very understanding, empathetic and thoughtful according to what she writes. Those are wonderful qualities. However, no matter how wonderful they are, your well being and needs have to come first. Self respect is a must. Maturity is a must. And these trump any issues the guy may have. You can talk it out, try and understand but always see if things are working out for you. If they’re not, even after talking, better walk out. Too many mulligans are not exactly the way to go.

  12. 12

    Laura, I’m intrigued by your response saying that what she describes isn’t that bad. I totally agree that she needs to do a better job (or perhaps any job) of communicating her feelings, but  what she describes doesn’t sound healthy. It sounds as if they are just roommates. It seems pretty likely that the health of their relationship is on life support. While this guy may not be an abusive criminal, he certainly doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs. I hope that they are able to communicate their needs to each other.

  13. 13

    I have seen many women who won’t take the time to get to know someone if their attraction buttons aren’t pushed on the second date, regardless of the fact you can’t know someone after 2 dates (unless they really turn you off). Then, there are women like Michelle who must have some unconscious attraction buttons pushed perpetually here, or how to explain her choice which seem irrational to an outsider. I don’t think this is a question of reason. Sounds like she is addicted to certain feelings and needs to do some soul searching and find out what.

    1. 13.1
      Pipe c/o Sydney Woman

      you are right. I see myself in these woman. We are (in my case WAS) emotionally unattached and we channel these men. I’ve been working on my issue for 3 years and I’m attracting the sexual nice guys now.

      This experience will make you suss out similar behaviours next time and you will avoid them. As you find your happiness, you will channel much better men and those men who are wonderful for you , who you can’t see right now, will become very obvious to you as you start to love yourself.

      Your relationship wasn’t a failure, it and even this “moron” is simply setting you up for exactly what you do want from a relationship. Have faith, time is not running out and your perfect relationship will arrive.

      1. 13.1.1

        Love this.   I’m dating an emotionally unavailable man.   I’ve told him time and time again what I need and he doesn’t listen.   There’s no physical or emotional connecting from him anymore… I’m always chasing it and I’m sick of it.   We bought a house and puppy together but he won’t talk about marriage or kids even though I’ve been clear from the start that’s what I’m looking for.   Now he’s completely shut down.   I’ve read a lot about emotionally unavailable men and I think I was attracted to him because my father was unavailable.   But this isn’t what I want.   I hope I can see past it next time.   If I decide to give up.   Which I think I have to after 3 1/2 years and no communication or sex anymore.

      2. 13.1.2

        Good one pipe…if you are emotionally available then you will repulse the emotionally unavailable people automatically.

  14. 14
    Susan C

    Sounds like she should investigate to see if he is starting to see someone else. If things are tapering off, perhaps he is getting HIS needs met elsewhere. And since they live together and may have some dependence on each other for living expenses, he may be riding her as long as he can until he gets his ducks all lined up. She would be wise to check a few things to at least put her mind at ease that he isn’t pursing anyone else at the moment.
    If she is asking these questions, deep inside she has to have some doubts about him and their future together.

  15. 15

    @13…yes Michael, why on EARTH would Michelle be addicted to feeling loved, appreciated, cherished and beautiful?   For shame on her.   She should just be happy that this guy comes home every night.   

    1. 15.1

      You are not clear.

      1. 15.1.1

        it was a sarcasm. unless she meant it. but i bet she didn’t.

  16. 16

    I just went through this same thing with my boyfriend of 3 years. Over the last 6 months he pulled away considerably. We talked about twice a week (just basic “How are you?”s from him) and fought about once per week, because there was no emotion from him. I knew he had a lot on his plate but I finally said “Show me you care because I’m sick of staying to be hurt and unfulfilled.” He came to me about 4 days later and admitted that he’s been a jerk, but in that time I looked at myself and maybe it was me being unsupportive.

    So Michelle, why is he acting this way? Maybe he feels pressured to be your source of happiness. It could also be that he feels put off about the way you regard his proposals. Men are really forced into buying the ring and asking their partners. They do have every right to feel rejected when we don’t give them a good answer.

    But maybe he is looking elsewhere or something for something different for when you leave. It’s sad, but I read somewhere that men sometimes force a breakup when they find what they perceive as better.

    The point is that it could be for many reasons. Give your boyfriend a free space to let him tell you anything that is bothering him. Don’t be so quick to throw away those years and regret it down the road.

  17. 17

    Bravo Evan! ITA! I love your posts they are so enlightening and I have learned so much from you. Thank you!

  18. 18

    Nicole, actually Michael might have a point. Some of the things the OP points to as having dwindled or disappeared aren’t necessarily indications of a poor relationship. I’m suspicious of the desire for text messages and the need for “sweet words” to “build her up,” for example. When the passion and heat of the honeymoon period fade or shift, this kind of stuff often goes too. Which doesn’t mean it should disappear completely, but expecting the kind showering of attention that occurred early on is a recipe for disaster in my opinion.
    Now, the OP doesn’t seem all that unreasonable about this, but I do wonder if some of what’s going on is her mourning the loss of that new, exciting phase of the relationship. I still think this guy is at least partially checked out, and the lack of touching and sex are a bad sign – a lot worse than him not sending text messages or making “check in” phone calls. However, I also don’t get the sense that Michelle has zeroed in on the deeper issues yet, or has really talked with her bf in depth about what she’s telling us here.

    1. 18.1

      Nathan, I really like your responses and being that you are in deed a man gives your opinions and words weight. What if Michelle’s bf still cuddles with her often but the sex has disappeared? What would you say to that scenario?

  19. 19

    No, no, and NO. Good post &  feedback, but  I  wholeheartedly DISagree with any of the comments that suggest she should investigate more, reflect, or self-scrutinize to see if  maybe she’s misread his signals, or isn’t doing enough for him, or is — horrors! — asking too much of this bump-on-a-log.  His behavior sounds  unpleasantly familiar.  He’s the guy that pleads,  “What do you want from me? To tell you I love you every 5 minutes?”

    Yea. It’s a smoke screen & it’s  bull.  As Evan says, it’s totally  reasonable to expect  expressions of  love and just plain caring on a regular basis when you’re a couple. It doesn’t have to be fireworks, but there does have to be connection that is intimate.  Not smothering, just tuned in.  Why be in a relationship otherwise?

    The biggest red flag here for me was how he handled the  issue of marriage. Michelle: it stands to reason that if you’ve given him hints that you’re waiting to be asked, and he hasn’t…it’s not likely he’s going to. I say, Lucky for you.  Without judging him as a person,  it comes down to him not  offering  what you want in a relationship. Crumbs! Crumbs do not make a wedding cake, or even cupcakes. And no,  no one gets  comp points for efforts they made in the beginning of the relationship. That was the easy part.   Don’t do  lazy coupling. Don’t be that woman who  says:  “Well, it’s better than nothing.”   You’ve already ruminated enough.  You’re not  crazy and you’re not needy. You just need a better boyfriend.   Go!

    1. 19.1

      Your email is truth. I’m in the exact same situation. After numerous sit downs and explainING my needs and wants out of the relationship,   I continue to get emotionless responses,   and no effort. It’s been 8.5 years. I haven’t been happy in a long time, but now feel I’m stuck financially

    2. 19.2

      Your message just made me cry. I’ve been with my bf for 5 years, and I experience a lot of what Michelle describes. Yet, we talk about it all the time, and my bf WANTS to fulfill my needs. He just doesn’t manage (to remember, to be present enough, to recognize what matters). I am still here because he constantly makes me feel that he can change and wants to.

      Yet, he IS the guy you describe. He DOES sometimes say “What do you want from me? To sit and hold your hand all the time telling you I love you?”.

      I constantly shift between feeling needy and too demanding, and having had enough and screaming to myself that I deserve better. He does wonderful things too, and I know he loves me. That’s why I’m still here. But I also spend most of my energy trying to get him to merely SEE me…Your words really did something.




  20. 20

    Agree with you Nathan. Good-morning text messages, I could do without (especially since they live together), but no touching is a giant red flag. Also agree that the two of them need to talk. Though, how to get him to talk when he is “partially checked out” all of the time, is a mystery to me.

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