Confused in love
I wanted to ask you a question that I can’t even answer myself. Well, I have a boyfriend and we’ve been together for seven months now. We both love each other so much and I always make sure he knows that. I do everything for him: cook, clean, wash clothes, practically everything to make him happy. He used to be really loving with me. I mean, he still is, but I feel as if he’s changed in some way. Before, we used to be able to tackle our problems and if we argued, we would sit down and fix the problem. Now, he just ignores it and leaves, and smokes his weed. What’s your advice?
From, Confused in love girl
Dear Confused in love girl,
You and your boyfriend need to speak about this soon. Tell him that you are confused about your relationship. Ask when a good time would be to have a conversation (not an argument) about your concerns. Choose a time when you know you’ll both be relaxed, and a place where you won’t be interrupted—at home may not be the best spot, unless you take the phone off the hook and agree not to answer the door.
Before you speak with him, write down your thoughts and feelings. Clarify the problem. Do you feel unappreciated? Why? Do you feel as though he loves you less than before? Why? What will make you happy? Do you rely on him for your happiness? If so, what can you do to change that? Are there other things that are bothering you, such as his pot smoking? In what ways has he changed? Make a list of all the things you like about your boyfriend and the relationship. Then, make a list of what you don’t like. What are you willing to live with, and what won’t you tolerate?
When you speak with him, do not accuse him of ignoring problems or not doing much for you. That will only put him on the defensive, and he’ll be less likely to express his true feelings. Use “I” statements. “I am confused. I do so much to let you know that I love you, but I am not sure if you still love me like you did before. Has anything changed?”
You can also talk with him about ways to solve the problem. Could you do the chores together, or share the chores? In either case, you would free up time for the two of you to spend together, which is an important part of a healthy relationship.
Your relationship needs deserve to be met; however, these needs have to be realistic. In couples, partners often give what they need. You could try doing less for a while and then see how you feel. If you still feel confused and unhappy, or don’t get the information or responses you want from him, it may be time to move on.
Originally published May 29, 1998
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