A Relationship Requires Two

Dear Neil: I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year. We had a minor disagreement, and he then ignored me for 2 weeks. He is saying that he has an emotional block and does not have the same love for me that I have for him. I’m confused and scared. I love him and don’t want to lose him, but I don’t want to stick around for someone closed off to me. He says he doesn’t have an answer about future plans for us as a couple.

What Should I Do?

Dear What Should I Do: If it doesn’t feel that he is equally interested in you as you are with him, then you’re no doubt right. So it is time to fall out of love with him—and then to go out there and find someone who wants you. Tell him that you are looking for more than he is offering you, and that you are seeking someone who wants a committed future with you. And you can tell him that you do not want someone who blows you off whenever he gets upset.

Perhaps he will change his mind when he realizes it is him getting dumped, rather than you. But if he changes his mind, make sure he acts genuine and authentic. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for him to dump you again when something “better” comes along.

Dear Neil: A year and a half ago, I got into a long distance relationship. I live in the Philippines, and due to visa restrictions, I had to leave last summer. When I came back this spring, I was expecting us to get married. But my boyfriend says he wants to know me better and was thinking it might take another 2-3 years before we would marry. We have mapped out goals together and a division of responsibilities. But he hasn’t flown, and my parents live overseas. Does he sound serious to you? What do you think about his 2-3 year timeline?

Confused Asian Gal

Dear Confused: It is up to each of us to stand up for ourselves and for what we want in an intimate relationship, so we are not ill used, taken advantage of or disappointed. You are making huge sacrifices in order to be with him, and it doesn’t sound as if he is attempting to make similar sacrifices for you. You are going to have to let him know what you want and need from him in order to for you to be willing to wait.

Is the 2-3 year time frame longer than you are okay with? If so, it is up to you to say so. Do you want him to fly over to meet your parents? If so, you’re going to have to make it clear how important that is to you. Perhaps he will be willing to compromise with you—say one year rather than 2-3 years, and that he will come to the Philippines to meet your parents in the meantime. That would be a good sign he is putting forth a greater effort and is willing to make some uncomfortable sacrifices as well. A relationship requires two. You can’t do it alone.

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