So I think my boyfriend and I are a bit of a slump. We’ve been together for a year and things just aren’t what they were. We used to go out every weekend or at least stay over each others’ apartments but now I feel like he’d rather hang out with his friends and play Call of Duty than do anything with me. I really care about him and he tells me that he cares about me but I want to solve this but don’t want to come across as all needy, ya know? – 2ndtoCoD
It’s normal for relationships to wax and wane, but empty professions of strong amorous feelings aren’t enough to propel a relationship forward.
It isn‘t needy to want to spend time with your significant other. Right now he’s not being an available partner – physically or emotionally – which is what relationships are all about.
His actions are speaking louder than words – cliche, yes, but true – and while I’d never suggest giving him an ultimatum, I would absolutely suggest voicing your concerns in a way that he can hear them.
Complaining or nagging someone to get them to change their ways – even though you might not be consciously doing it – can have the opposite effect.
You never want to approach a discussion with a “you” statement. Own your feelings. An “I” statement disarms any defensiveness and encourages dialogue.
If it doesn’t – that’s a problem.
An “I” statement looks like this:
“I feel like you’ve been distant lately, and I really miss spending time with you.”
Instead of this:
“You’ve been spending too much time playing Call of Duty and you only care about your friends. You never have time for me.”
It’s a small change that has an infinitely better delivery and is more prone to facilitate you getting your needs met.
It might behoove you to create a date night. If it’s incorporated into the schedule, you’ll get your time and he’ll still be able to get his COD fix. Win:Win. It accommodates both of your needs.
If things don’t change, ultimately it comes down to whether your feelings for this guy trump your need for quality time and companionship.
Questions/Comments/Concerns you want addressed in next weeks column? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org