Best-Of Advice

On mutual needs and compatibility

My boyfriend says he loves me, but only wants to see me like once or twice (max) a week. We both have shit going on in our lives, so sometimes this just ends up being status quo, but it hurts me when he passes on proposed plans because we’d seen each other the day or two before. Am I being too needy? Should I just chill the fuck out and be happy that he wants to hang when he does?

Okay, stop. Let’s take a step back from what you think is the problem, and let’s attempt to reframe the way you think about pretty much everything.

First, let’s examine your phrasing: “Am I being too needy? Should I just chill the fuck out and be happy that he wants to hang out when he does?”

These questions typify how you think with regard to your relationship, and it’s not healthy. The implication is that your boyfriend’s behavior is both appropriate and inflexible, and that if your emotional needs aren’t being met, it’s because there’s inherently something wrong with you.

That’s a fucked up way to look at the world. Would it ever even occur to you to use phrasing like, “Is my boyfriend being too aloof? Should I just put my foot down and demand that he hang out with me more often?” I’m not suggesting that’s the best approach, but you need to hear what it sounds like to not be a doormat.

At the very least, you should start thinking in terms of mutual needs and compatibility. The question you should really be asking is, “Are my relationship needs compatible with his relationship needs?”

Maybe they are, and you guys just have a lot of shit going on right now. Maybe they aren’t, and the relationship is too low a priority for him. Either way, convenience and inertia can’t be the only reasons you’re sticking around. If you aren’t getting what you need, have the emotional maturity to ask for it, and if it’s not likely to change, have the self-respect to move the fuck on.


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