Dear Bitter Single Guy: My boyfriend & I have been together 2 years and living together for 8 months. Two months ago he began working part-time & attending university full-time; for this reason, I rarely see him. Also, I have begun to develop a crush on one of my co-workers; it seems like I see my co-worker more often than I see my boyfriend. I feel very guilty saying this because I know my BF is bettering his life. And, I also know that having a “feeling” for someone else is normal & passes with time but I am scared that I am becoming detached emotionally from him because of our lack of intimacy. Also, our sex life has been really suffering as well & that’s been going on for a lot longer. He says that we have to make “sacrifices” in life, but I think that it’s a bit early on in our relationship to be making so many. And, it seems like having a better sex life is a non-issue for him even though we’ve spoken at length about it. On the other hand, I love him very much & I also love his family. Please help! I don’t want to make the wrong decision but I am very confused. Fondly, Feeling Guilty
Dear FFG: The Bitter Single Guy remembers a parable that’s much like your letter. In this parable, a woman takes a small step onto a rock in a stream. She’s safe; the bank is just behind her, but she sees another rock just a tiny step farther into the stream, so she steps there. Eventually, taking small safe steps, the woman finds that she’s in the middle of the stream and isn’t entirely sure how she got there.
The BSG is pointing out here that if you look at each of the tiny points that you make here, they are inconsequential by themselves. Let’s look together shall we? Sex life slows down…not critical, usually fixable. Not seeing much of your BF…a small sacrifice really, and usually fixable. Crush on someone else…this is, as you say, normal and usually passes (crushes don’t survive well in the cold light of reality).
But once you add all these together, a pattern starts to emerge. The BSG believes that you’re emotionally disconnecting from your BF because he’s unavailable and when he is, you’re not connecting in that festive physical way that we all enjoy so much. Naturally, as you start to emotionally disconnect, you’re probably unconsciously looking around for your next conquest…hence the crush.
The BSG realizes he’s reading a lot into your letter and jumping onto his own rocks regarding the conclusions he’s drawing, but here’s the gist. Talk to your BF. DON’T tell him you have a crush. DO tell him that you miss the physical intimacy and that you need a solution (telling you to make sacrifices isn’t a solution, it’s a cop out). Finally, determine how much longer you’re willing to go without a satisfying relationship and if he can’t step up in that time, dump him.