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I Never Feel Enough Affection From My Boyfriend. Am I Obsessing?

Question:

i really love my boyfriend. We live together and have been together for a year. We have been friends for a couple of years. I would say 90% of the time we communicate well, and are really close, and really enjoy each others company. My problem is that both of us work 2 jobs and really only spend all day Sundays together without interruptions. During the week, we cant really speak for too long on the phone, because were working. So in the afternoons, when we both get ready for job #2, i always feel like i never get enough of his time. i just want like 5 minutes for cuddling or intimacy. But i always end up feeling like he didn’t show me that much affection. I miss him all the time and would probably spend every moment with him if i could. Am i obsessing?

Last year when i was with another boyfriend, i was cheated on and really drug through a TERRIBLE break up. I sometimes wonder if i am holding on to my current boyfriend so tightly so that same thing doesn’t happen again. He has been really patient with me and sometimes i even call him crying hysterically on the phone because i miss him so much. I don’t want to drive him away. I really love him a lot and know he would never hurt me, I trust him completely.

How do i rationalize to myself and realize that it is not that he doesn’t want to spend time with me, its just that he has to work? Are my past relationships and heartbreaks interfering with the fact that i have a chance to have a normal, healthy relationship? please help me!!

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Answer:

You’ve clearly been wounded by your past relationship, and are at present very sensitized to the possibility that this new relationship could also fail. Some people just avoid getting into a new relationship after a bad breakup has occurred. Others, like yourself, will reattach, but do so in a tentative or insecure way, always vigilant for the possibility of a new failure.

When you feel insecure, the natural tendency is to hold tightly to what you are afraid of losing. The problem with clinging in this manner is that it tends to alienate and put off the people you are trying to stay connected to. People don’t like to feel that others are dependent on them, I guess. This is something for you to be aware of. Paradoxically, the very thing that you are doing to try to avert abandonment has some potential to help it happen. This is not to say that the relationship you’re in will fail. Just that it has a better chance of lasting if you can learn to relax some about the possibility that it could fail.

Relaxing into a relationship is not easy when you feel insecure. The feeling of security and attachment you crave cannot ever be fully satisfied by your partner because your partner can never make you a permanent guarantee. Life just doesn’t work that way. People die and relationships break up sometimes. You know this because you’ve already experienced a failure. If it happened in the past, it could possibly happen again. In this light, your statements that the new boyfriend would "never hurt you" and that you "trust him completely" strike me as wish fulfillment; something you’d like to be true, but which, if you’re really being honest with yourself, probably isn’t.

I don’t mean to frighten you. It’s really okay that there is the possibility that your relationship could fail. Your worth as a person is not a function of who you are in a relationship with. You are a good and valuable person independently of this man, and you can learn to take care of yourself independently if necessary. Your life will not end or be permanently destroyed if your relationship fails (although it will likely be very upsetting for you for a while). All of this is true, whether you believe it to be true or not.

If you don’t believe it to be true, then you have a worthwhile self-improvement project to work on, namely working out what are the barriers and fears that keep you from feeling confident in yourself. You can never feel confident when you are dependent on someone else to do it for you. You have to seek out and do the things that will help you to become a self-filling cup.

Even if you were feeling very confident and relaxed in your relationship, you would still be stressed out just based on how hard you and your boyfriend are working, and how little time you are able to spend together. Work demands like that put real strain on even the most secure relationships.

The thing to do, apart from working on your own self-confidence, is to talk with your boyfriend about ways that the two of you can maximize your time together in the time you have to spend with each other. Keep in mind that what you need is not necessarily what he needs. Some people need more time alone than others and that has nothing to do with whether they are committed relationship partners. What from your point of view is an instance of him not giving you enough affection, may be from his point of view just a period of time when he is catching his breath. He may not mean to be withholding; he may simply have different needs than you do.

You can’t expect that every moment you both spend not working needs to be spent with one another, is what I’m driving at. But there are times you will want to spend with one another, and you can talk about how you can make the most of those times. Be explicit and direct in terms of saying what you’d appreciate. If your boyfriend knows that you like to be cuddled for five minutes in between jobs, and how much that makes your day, he can respond to that request. You have to tell him that you like this; he can’t read your mind!

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Comments
  • laura

    I know what you are going through. But you better back off or you will lose him. I was the same way with my boyfriend but know we are not seeing each other. He told me I was very demanding ( for affection and insecure) and that I needed to go for help. I am taking his advise and going help. Back off or you will lose him. But he also needs to show you when you do spend time together. Good luck.

    Laura

  • Egg Shell

    Everytime my bf and I have a bad argument I end up telling him that I think we should end it...During the argument when we are discussing something we are having trouble with I often say "well if you feel that way, than maybe we should not be together" "Maybe we should end the relationship" "I dont think we should continue" "This is not working out" I always resort to separating? He doesn't. We have conversations and things may or maynot get heated, but when I hear something I dont like, that doesn't sound pleasing, my suggestion is to exit. Sometimes I feel like I just want out of it, that it's not working, the only problem is that the things I think are not working are minor things, (after he packs his bags, I ask him to stay, we talk it out, kiss make up and go back into the relationship fine again) I know every relationship is not perfect, but some times according to my actions, it's as if I think mine is supposed to be and I think I am obessed over things being blissful, although I understand things are not going to be blissful all the time, I really do know this...But I just dont know how to deal when they aren't, I cant detach well enough, so I try to get out all together. My last relationship consisted of my bf doing exactly what I doing to my new bf now??? HELP, I have a great guy, but I need tools to help me deal with my wanting to end everything.

  • sensitive gf

    eggshell - I know exactly how you feel

  • Anonymous-1

    It is so bad why we are woman tend to rely on men so much, and worry more on the success of therelationship, it is so bad that we define ourself and our success whether we are in successful relationship or not.

    Please ladies, try to be convinced that you are a full independant person you are judged only by yur own actions nor whether you have a man or not in your life, you should live a 100% fulfilled life without a man. and when you have that man your role is to give him qualified time when he asks for, i mean make time for him when he comes to you when you really can but when you can't because of work or any other very important staff that can't be postponed so don't give him time.

    my dear, live your life and be sure if the relationship is to fail that's not a big deal and you can't do a lot about it, it is natural thing that will come up with time, and poeple with long lasting relationship still continue because they are smart they know how to fulfill their life as two independant individual yet enjoy their company together.

    if the days come up with this relation to fe failed, no problem you wll defintely start a new one. just enjoy every possible hapiness that can come with it, if it is nt a source of hapiness any more, do not care, continue your fabulous life and let life surprise you with a new one. The key with men is not to give them all your time and attention just at once and from the beginning, just give small attention and let him ask for more, and then increase the attention and the time a bit more, and then reduce again, then increase a bit then reduce, ... etc. Play the game, it is really a game most of the time but interesting one :)

    the sumary is not to rely on the relationship to make you happy, it is just a 10% of your fulfilled happy life.

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