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When He Doesn't Care, But You Care Enough For Both Of You - Relationship Advice

Updated on September 7, 2010

"When should I start thinking and taking decisions as an individual?"

Dear Veronica,

I know the title of this email sounds a bit confusing but let me explain what I mean here by using my own story.

I've been in this relationship for 2 years now; he is doing his graduate studies and I am working, but we live far away from each other. Since the very beginning I have travelled almost every single weekend to see him. It takes approximately 8 hours to get there, but once I do, we are sooo happy to reunite at the end of each week!

He hasn't travelled much during this time together, usually because he says he can't concetrate somewhere else (I got used to it) During the 1st year we were together, besides working full time I was also doing a master's degree, so it was p retty hard to travel every weekend on top of work and studies; but you know...when you love someone you just don't care... To make a long story short, I have never seen him putting a great effort to see me. It was always me the one juggling in order to make everything work. He is very loving, and I do know he is not seeing anyone else, but I also know he is very comfortable the way things are, and I doubt he'll move any finger to change our current status.

This is to give you the framework of our relationship. We are both from different countries also. The thing is that I got this job opportunity at my home country, which according to everyone, it is the best thing that could happen to me. I agree. But I cann't picture myself without him. Not because "i'll die with him", but just because I can't picture myself with a life with someone else, or with a brilliant professional life and a lonely personal one. Perhaps I am getting old, I am 28 and I've come to realize i care abo ut having a family as well. I am not the same "kamikaze" I used to be! I presented my opions to him, tried to look at the different options we have in orrer to be together, and I clearly exposed that I see myself marreied to him and with children. not now, not in 1, 2 or 3 years, bur someday for sure. He said he is notsure about that. That he never saw himself married or being a father...I said perhaps I was the problem, perhaps he is not ready for me; buthe'd be someday with someone else. He denied that and said that sometimes he doubts about his "not getting married" position, and that is because of me.

HMy question is: given this framework, given his affirmation, can i infer he's not the one for me? should i discard these 2 years together and move on, just for the sake of my career? or do you think, there's any chance he'll REALLY consider the possibility of being together, finally: withou having to travel and carrying this "comfy" (which is not that much) style of l ife? Thank you very very much!!!


Dear llaura82,

There's certainly a lot going on in your head and heart right now. I think you've got yourself a little frayed and it's affecting your thinking. There are a lot of "tells" in your words.

Much of your email reveals that in your mind it's either this or it's that. It's one way or another, and there's not a lot of play in the middle or gray area to take into a different direction. I think this comes from frustration. I am guessing you've been very available, compliant and accepting of your boyfriend's non-participation in your relationship or future planning and it's taken it's toll on your sense of grounding.

For example: "Should i discard these 2 years together and move on, just for the sake of my career?" It says that in your mind right not, f you aren't going forward with him, then you should "disregard" the past 2 years. That really shows you're at the end of your rope. We choose words for a reason. Discard means throw away, dismiss, forget. You could have chosen to say Should I move on from this 2 year relationship or Should I end this two year relationship. But you specifically chose wording indicating to throw away.

I'm not picking on you at all, I'm just trying to get a clear idea of where you're head is at right now. The other side of that sentence is "just for the sake of my career." This is, according to what you described, completely unfair and unbalanced. It's not like he is an active partner, promising you the future, sacrificing to be with you. So it's not at all "just" for the sake of your career.

You said you can't picture your life without him, that it would be a brilliant professional life and a lonely personal one. Again, all or nothing. This, or that. Obviously you could have a brilliant professional life if you were with him, or someone else, or as an independent and whole person who is not at all lonely. You could also have a good professional life, or a mediocre one, and be a crabby lonely person, in or out of a relationship.

You said that he told you he has never seen himself married or having children, and you said maybe he's not ready. The all or nothing you're relaying in that whole line of thinking you explained, is that what he said to you doesn't actually have value and merit to you. You just want to figure out how to make it be what you want. It's as if you don't think a person that doesn't want to get married and doesn't want to have children is making a choice you can accept.

He told you he has never imagined himself married or with kids. You said he wouldn't "move a finger" to change the current status of the relationship. He doesn't travel to see you, or put the effort and sacrifice into the relationship that you put in.

It seems from what you've shared that the two of you want very different relationships. He wants an easy one, something he doesn't have to sacrifice things for, something that he doesn't have to work at. You on the complete other hand, want a relationship that you have to do all the sacrificing for. You want to be the only one working at the relationship.

If that's not what you want, then why are you in it.

He doesn't want marriage and children. You do. He doesn't want to put the relationship he's in as a priority, he doesn't want to have to change or sacrifice anything. You are willing to do all those things. You seem to want to put the relationship you're in as a big priority in your life. You sacrifice and work hard at being with the person you're involved with. Clearly, you both want different types of relationship.

Let's go back to should you throw your relationship away for just the sake of your career. That statement also indicates a sense of control that you don't actually have. It's as if you want to believe it's up to you to choose. He doesn't drive to see you or make the effort you do, he's telling you he doesn't want the future you want. But instead of your asking yourself if you should put up with that, you put yourself in a position of control and say should you throw your relationship away, and just for the sake of your career. You remove the part about how it would actually be because it's not a fair balanced healthy relationship. You make it just about this job opportunity.

It's a lot easier to be in control. It's a lot easier to say, "I chose to do THIS, I threw that away!" instead of saying, He didn't want what I wanted, he wasn't willing to prioritize me the way I prioritize him.

I think you're at a breaking point. You don't want to see the forest for the trees so you're going to be your own chainsaw until you don't have to see either.

To answer your question, no, you should not disregard your relationship of 2 years. You should use it as a learning experience. You should really think for a moment about what it would be like to be in a relationship where both partners want to work equally as hard on being together. You want to be in a relationship that you both prioritize in the same manner. You should remember fondly how wonderful it was to love someone who loved you back, but you should also think realistically about what it actually takes to be a Partner, not just a lover.

And, no, you shouldn't do anything "just for the sake of your career." Luckily, you aren't. Taking the right opportunity as it presents itself is probably the smart move. But you aren't throwing away anything the rest of your love life. No drama here. You're in a relationship that doesn't seem to be standing the test of time. You are fighting the thoughts that it isn't the right relationship. You want to think you have control over that, or that the choice of a good job trumps the choice of not being in a not-great relationship.

Let me present it in another way. If this was the greatest freaking relationship in the world, if he were jumping up and down, driving 8 hours to see you, promising you marriage, naming your babies, prioritizing you and proving his love and commitment every day, you would have already turned down that job. You wouldn't even be thinking about it.

Or, let me put it one more way. If he wanted his future to be all about you, and was that into you, and was working as hard as you do on the relationship, your taking this job wouldn't matter. It wouldn't end anything. He'd go with you, or you'd work it out. If my husband got this phenomenal job in another that he just had to have, I would go with him. He'd do the same for me. There's no doubt in my mind. We'd work it out.

To answer the title of your email, you should be making decisions as an individual because you aren't in a relationship that meets your needs and answers your efforts.

There's nothing wrong with this not being a forever relationship. That whole concept of only being with someone if it's the last person you will ever be with is unrealistic, a lot of pressure, and leads you to be self-sacrificing in an unevenly prioritized relationship, just like the one you're in. It shouldn't be all or nothing, throwing it away, or getting married. It should be a healthy growing experience that develops you as a person, and a woman.

Let go of the idea that if you aren't with him you will have a lonely personal life and a brilliant career. Unfair and unrealistic. It has drama written all over it. It doesn't have to be drama. It can be a normal healthy step in your life.

I think the drama and your all or nothing statements come from your frustration, and your denial of how uneven this relationship was. It's kind of just imploded inside of you and faked out your thought processes. You are too close to it now, you're muddied by perception. It's time to take a deep breath and step back. It's time to be a whole you, a healthier you. Take the job, move. You sound very young. This should be a wonderful time in your life. Very empowering and very happy. You have changes to go through. You're better equipped now to go out into the world with a clearer idea of the relationship you might want, farther down the road.



Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Oh god, this made me think a lot. I'm in a similar relationship and I'm getting quite tired of always being the one with creative ideas, with more time (maybe?), with more fun in life...hell yeah, I should finally understand that this all could be better...

  • ahostagesituation profile image


    7 years ago

    Nice. I'm always saying you can love someone and stay the hell away from them if they're not right for you...if they aren't even right for themselves. Been there, done that, and I just couldn't be more over it. Everyone deserves to be treated well and if you're in a relationship where that's not happening, it should end. Good love is such a good thing--life altering, even. Why settle for anything less?

    Your hub is so great!!!

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from NY

    Thank you so much, dotty1! Thanks for your comments.

  • dotty1 profile image


    7 years ago from In my world

    great hub, we all deserved to be loved and cherished - your advise (of which I am fast becoming addicted to reading) is fantastic x

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY

    Sue Paulson,

    Congratulations on finding your amazing guy! Sometimes the hard road (2 marriages for you) is the best road because we learn things in a big way, for good.

    You're right - when you're ready, when you're inviting good things in and not allowing the unfair things in - the right guy will be there.

    Thanks for your comment!

  • Sue Paulson profile image

    Sue Paulson 

    8 years ago

    Take it from a "mature" gal who had to grow enough through two marriages (a total of 31 years) so I could find this amazing guy and a relationship that's heaven on earth. Relationships are here to help us decide what we want and what we don't want. Whenever we settle for less than what we deserve, not only do we cheat ourselves, but the other person loses out, too. I agree with Veronica. It's time to get clear, set some boundaries about your needs and clue him in. He'll tell you soon enough whether that fits for him or not.

    If it doesn't, that doesn't make either of you wrong. It just means you're both choosing different paths. Take the best memories and the best learning from this relationship and part friends. You've been blessed with some loving from a nice guy for the past two years.

    When you're ready, there will be someone even better!

  • 1moreHero profile image


    8 years ago from USA

    there comes a time in our lives when we find out that we are more invested into the other person then they are into us. what you need to understand is that, 2 yrs is only that...2 yrs. did you waste it? no...why? because you learned a lot about things and a lot about yourself. should you throw it all away? no. but the thing is, and this is something my mother did, she told me this, because she was serious about marrying my father... she was seriously considering about moving to Arizona, and she was planning on it.... that was the push my father needed to ask her to marry him. this was 37 years ago.

    sometimes you have to have a plan all ready to roll, and you need to move forward with your life, and in that process you will find out if they are invested in you for life or not. because that's what marriage is...its sharing life together...its making 2 lives as 1.

    i think you should go, and if he deems you as "worth it" then things will change, if not...then someone out there will find you and appreciate you for who you are and your effort....and they will give just as much effort if not more because they love you.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY

    susannah42, thanks for the comment! Love your icon pic btw. I totally agree, it is very good for the soul to be able to be alone with yourself.

  • susannah42 profile image


    8 years ago from Florida

    Being alone is the best after you get out of an unhappy relationship. I am alone now after many years of being with someone who always wanted to control me. There is nothing like being your own boss, watching what YOU want to watch and living your life like you want. Good hub

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY

    Thanks Pam D. Great point, usually people are on their best behavior at the beginning. If he's not giving you effort and priority now, imagine 2 years into marriage what it will be like. Thanks Pam!

  • profile image

    Pam D. 

    8 years ago

    Don't forget, if this is the way the relationship starts out, it will be pretty unlikely that he will put forth any more effort in future relationships. Do you really want to be putting forth 200% of the energy in the relationship? forever? really? Doesn't seem like that much fun, or that much of a partnership.

    Then again, this part is probably re-iteration. Veronica's advice of looking at the gray in the bigger picture is a lot more relevant to your mind frame than these few words :).

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    LLAURA82--I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. Frankly, I don't know how you did it for so long --- being the only one to drive 8 hours to see him. I could have done that for maybe 6 months or so, or if there was some other reason he couldn't have reciprocated initially (broken leg and can't drive, etc.), but I would have started to resent him pretty soon after that.

    I'm a big believer in that people do what they really want to do. If they're not doing something on a consistent basis like you describe, then you're just not that important to him. And then you've got to decide whether you can live with that. Some can; I can't.

    Definitely take the job, and all the exciting possibilities that come with it. When you're ready, you'll eventually find someone that is just as generous and caring as you are. When I met my bf, that was one of the things he continually commented on, saying, "You're just so generous. I'm used to being the one that always gives more, that goes the extra mile or does the extra thing. I never thought I'd find someone that was like that too." And it's great, truly great. I love to give, but it's also amazing to have the generosity reciprocated. It makes me feel so loved and secure, knowing that I can really rely on him to come through if I needed him to. Best of luck in your new chapter---great times are ahead of you!

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY

    Wow, you people are GREAT. kkalmes, I love the worm frayed sweater analogy. That is just spot on, how it all falls apart once you finally look. And really, it's a comfortable sweater, and we do get comfortable in the relationships we're in. But that doesn't make them the right relationships. It's not the sweater you feel you're best and brightest in. Thanks so much for your brilliant comment.

    LLAURA82 I'm so glad you stopped back, and you could appreciate the terrific word choice Katiem2 shared with us. Unattended. Absolutely a perfect fit.

    I'm getting my comment notifications out of order, sorry if my responses seem to skip around because of it.

    BTW people, I love getting your emails looking for relationship advice. Thank you. It's the best way to reach me. I don't always see or keep correct track of all the comments on my @250 (and growing) active Hubs. An Email is best. Thanks!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Hello Veronica, a one0sided relationship is like a worn frayed sweater it is comfortable for the longest time and then you pull slightly on one of the treads hanging loose and it comes completely unraveled.

    You cannot love enough for two in a relationship... the weight of bearing all of the burdens of a relationship will begin to fray in time...

    Do not waste any more years trying to repair the old sweater just go out and buy a new one... it won't take long to break it in and feel just as comfortable.

    Two years, five years, fifteen years... you don't get them back!

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY

    Thanks Sa`ge!

    Good points. Additionally it's that time you spend on you own that helps you build the real You. And that is the person that will attract the better partners somewhere up the road when you're ready. Men like an interesting independent woman that creates her own happiness and has her own life. They respect that, they step up to the plate for that. They don't work to win the attention and affection of a woman that is dependent on them for happiness. They get bored with that very quickly and they don't work at all to maintain those relationships. - Very over generalized but you get my point. She should go ahead and have that independent time in her life, it is not only fun and empowering as you're saying, it's also the key to being the best person she can be, and attract healthier more balanced relationships in the future.

  • Sa`ge profile image


    8 years ago from Barefoot Island

    great job Veronica and great read! Why in the world do people think they can not be very happy being alone. Being young and having a great career and being not in a relationship can be the happiest time in one's life time.

    All that freedom to so what you want when you want, come on, live, be happy, do all those things you really want to do and meet new people along the way. You do not have to be in a relationship to be happy! :D When one happens then it will be GREAT, because you will have had your freedom time, and you will be ready full on for one!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Dear Veronica, thank you so much for your thoughts! As always, a great help =)

    Katiem2, thank you also for your comment and advice! I agree with Veronica, "unattended" is the best word choice in order to describe the way we feel while with this kind of persons.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY

    Thanks Helen Ma. Certainly, as you become mature and ready it could be a goal. You could hope for that and work toward it. But imposing the "only" on it especially at a young age is just not fair to either of you, and it's just not going to work.

  • profile image

    Helen Ma 

    8 years ago

    This is my favourite part!

    "That whole concept of only being with someone if it's the last person you will ever be with is unrealistic, a lot of pressure, and leads you to be self-sacrificing in an unevenly prioritized relationship"

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY


    "... I felt unattended."

    Wow, that is the perfect way to describe it. Great word choice.

    I'm so happy you commented and shared your story. You are so right - you don't even realize how unsatisfying your relationship is until you allow yourself to go out and find one that is truly satisfying and attentive and mutual.

    Thanks for your comment!

  • katiem2 profile image


    8 years ago from I'm outta here

    Well I would take the job. I was married to someone like you described. You see women like those of us who are willing to go above and beyond for those we love are sometimes met with others who take comfort in that and enjoy the ease of our nature. But after being married to him for several years I grew tired as it seemed I was the one making every effort to do everything, it exhausted me and in the end I felt unattended. I left and it was the best thing I've ever done. You don't know how sad you are till you find out how happy you can be. Peace :) Great read I enjoyed it greatly.


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