He does not spend enough time with me

-- Question for John --

I’ve been seeing a man for approximately 7 months. I am having issues as to whether I should end this relationship or continue. I feel he has always has excuses to not spend time with me. I just wish he would fight as hard to see me than he does to not. He tells me that he has been alone for so long that he enjoys his time to himself.

The thing is that he is incredibly busy and with his alone time doesn’t leave much time for me. He just lost his father in June and uses that a lot of time as the excuse. Telling me to just be patient and things will get better. I feel that I have been patient. I have tried for 7 months now and see no results.

Things have not changed and I feel that I am at an age were wasting time is not an option. The thing is that I am so in love with this person. He can be verbally abusive and when we get into fights he just ends things with me and we won’t talk for days and then calls and acts as if nothing has happened. He cannot face the issue at hand. Its like he runs fast and hard.

There has even been times that I have questioned , as well as others, that he may be married or have a girlfriend. I am asked that repeatedly from my peers. It seems as if he is trying to hide me away. The few times that we have gone out it has been out of town and not in the town we are from. His response to this is that I am not married or with someone else I am just a very private person. Any advise or clarity you can shed on this is appreciated.

I have been freaking out lately that I am not married and would like that along with starting a family. Is the reason that I put up with this because of the need to marry ??? I am starting to think so. I feel that I have given 100% to the relationship and he has given only 65%. I think the reason the relationship has lasted this long is because I have compromised so much.

-- Answer from John --

Re-read your email to me. On the one hand you tell me you are so much “in love” with this guy — which is a feeling which you do not spell out any actual contributing reasons for or examples of how this guy is so wonderful. On the other hand you point out at least a half a dozen clear reasons why this relationship is not working for you in the most basic of ways.


This is not going to be a gentle, sugar-coated piece of fluff kind of advice that I will offer you. Instead, I feel you are old enough to really start looking at yourself and you need to confront yourself as to why you are in this unsatisfactory, no-win situation. So if you don’t want to be challenged, do not read further. I am offering this following set of challenges not as the absolute truth of what is going on with you — because I would need to talk with you in depth to discover with you what your specific unconscious patterns are — whether it is the desperation to get married, as you suggest, or the alternative possibilities that I will now present for you to look at.
What if I challenged you to consider that the underlying reason you feel so “in love” with the guy IS EXACTLY that he is so totally unavailable? Despite your protests that you want to get married, you fall totally “in love” with a guy who has no time for you, who is verbally abusive, who does not face issues, and who acts like he might be otherwise engaged or married.

These are not attributes of a person who can become a full partner in a lasting relationship. Think about that.

In fact, these are not attributes which a person like yourself who claims to be serious about getting married will respond to — at least not on a conscious level.

So what I am challenging you to look at in yourself is where all the emotional juice for wanting this guy comes from??? A lot of people — a surprising large number — are basically afraid of real intimacy. For whatever reasons. They think maybe they don’t deserve it. Or can’t really get it. Or maybe they have unresolved issues from childhood of not being loved. These — and many other similar things — are not things they are directly aware of. These are things that are deeper, more unconscious. But very active. So it’s like, when you find someone who is unavailable, this unavailable person becomes the goal, emotionally, to chase after. Because (1) they fit into the unconscious movie of the person from childhood who didn’t give you the love, so you are unconsciously trying to resolve that earlier lack right now, with this new person. It’s like, if you can just win this new person, who is playing the role of that parental figure, then you can solve the old unconscious issue. Also because (2) this unavailable person is absolutely safe. You pick someone who will never turn around and truly want you. So guess what, you will never have to face the deep fears of intimacy that all of us have within us. You will never really have to risk truly connecting intimately with someone, and then risk losing them. Instead, you set up an emotional boundary, where the game is to chase the person you already know you cannot have — but who will be kept at a considerable distance from you and will never get inside your own barriers to intimacy.

Let me know what you think…