Friday, December 11, 2009


I've been dating someone for about seven months.  He's a great person in so many ways.  Unfortunately, he's also a very busy person.  He's got a child and he's a graduate student trying to finish his thesis.  He's also a bit of an entrepeneur and is trying to start his own business.  This doesn't leave a lot of time for me.  For a while I was ok with this, or at least I tried to be.  I worked on tolerating the discomfort of uncertainty caused by not knowing exactly when I would see him again.  I worked on giving myself attention when I felt lonely instead of expecting to get it from him all the time.  I worked on accepting him as he is and learning to love him for him as opposed to loving him for how he could meet my needs. 

But lately I'm just not happy.  I have a hard time trusting my perception of the way things are though.  Maybe he's giving me enough attention and I'm trying to get him to fulfill a need that I should be meeting myself.  How do I know how much attention is "enough?"  Is it fair for me to ask for more than he's able to give?  Am I being too demanding?

I know that no one can really answer these questions for me.  It just helps me sometimes to get my thoughts out of my mind and onto paper. 


  1. I don't know how much attention is enough. I went through this with my last long-term girlfriend. She wanted more, then sometimes I wanted more. Our schedules always seemed to be a problem.

    I do think, at some point, there has to be a shift in priorities for a relationship to work. I felt like my ex overworked, and then expected me to be available whenever she didn't have to work. And on my end, when things got messy between us, I deliberately over scheduled myself to avoid having free time for her. It was a bad cycle.

    But maybe, in your case, it's more about different priorities. Maybe he's fine with how it is, but clearly you want more. It's ok to want more, but if he wants someone who has no problem being third or fourth fiddle, then it might not be a good match.

    However, maybe he just needs to hear that you want to be involved in his life more - which could spark him to either invite you to spend more time with him and his child, or maybe come help out with his business idea in some way, or some other point of connection that isn't one right now.

  2. My husband has a very demanding job (trauma surgeon) and has always worked a lot of hours. I knew this when I dated him and before we got married. It has not been easy, but despite all of the hours he works, I have never felt like I was second place to his job. I also realize that his work is a calling, it is a part of who he is. At some point I decided that I would rather be with the man of my dreams and not have as much time with him, than be with someone else and have more time. You can get advice and insight from others, but only you can live your life and only you have to live with the consequences of your decisions. What does your gut and your heart say? You already know your answer. The trick is to be still long enough to hear it.

  3. Again... the best advice anyone ever gave me:


    How do we know when we're "settling?" You just know. Listen to that voice inside ~ it never lies... we just don't always open our ears to what it's saying.


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