Me and my boyfriend have been together for almost eight years. He is worried that we have both just gotten comfortable and settled. He wants me to take time to figure out if being with him is what I really want. My immediate reaction is to say yes, that’s what I want, but I know I really do need to take the time and also get advice on our problems. Problem number 1: We work opposite schedules so we see each other maybe 30min to an hour everyday. Problem number 2: We are both a bit emotionally damaged and so things like saying I love you and simple no sexual affection are lacking. Problem number 3: I am a non confrontational person and am scared of rejection so I don’t initiate the affection or talk about issues while he just is not affectionate, but thinks that if I were to initiate the affection it might change. I don’t know what advice I am looking for but any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Whether or not you’ve gotten too comfortable and settled, or whether you’re simple needing to take some time to consider what direction you want to go in your life, it sounds to me like you need to resist that impulse to just stay put. The problems you list are pretty big problems….not horrible ones, but definitely issues that can make happiness in a relationship elusive. Is it impossible to have a good relationship when you barely see each other? No, but it’s difficult. That combined with the emotional distance you’re describing make me think that you and your boyfriend may be at cross-purposes.
Consider this. As much as you care for one another, and no doubt after eight years you do, there is something that is keeping you from showing one another affection. Is it emotional baggage (or damage) or is it maybe that you’re not compatible on that level? Sometimes we find ourselves with someone who makes us feel safe and comfortable and we think that’s enough. And then its not. Being aware of your fear of rejection and your issues with intimacy is a good thing. But the reality is that you initiating things is not likely to magically make your boyfriend more affectionate if that’s really not his strong point.
Try not to let your fear of rejection keep you from finding happiness. It sounds like your boyfriend may not be the right person for you. Or maybe he is. Taking some time to focus on you and what you want in life will help you to make that decision. If you two are meant to be together, you will be. But settling for the status quo just because you’re afraid of being alone or starting over is not likely to make either of you happy in the long run. If your boyfriend is asking you to take time to figure this out, he’s seeing the problems too and is asking for a time out. Maybe you’ll find that you want to be together. Or maybe you’ll find that having a relationship with someone more openly affectionate or someone you can spend more time with is really better for you.
You never know til you try.
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