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"Boyfriend" doesn't know how to be a boyfriend


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Old 26th February 2018, 10:52 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by lovelies25 View Post
He also has never celebrated my birthday (he will show up if I plan a get together and maybe send a happy birthday text but that's all), much less Valentine's day, and has never done anything romantic at all (in 4+ years I think the most romantic thing he has done was when he made a dinner reservation in advance one time and that was honestly really surprising).
Hang on... you've been with him for 4 years? Has he been romantic at any point throughout the relationship (namely the first year or so)?

You should start mentioning these things - if you don't want to do it all at once, start with one thing at a time. Suggest he organise a date this weekend (and maybe you organise one the next). Then when birthdays come along, suggest what you want him to do.
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Old 27th February 2018, 2:56 AM   #17
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What seems strange to me is that you've been with this man for four years and he behaves this way. If a man was crap at communicating, not making an effort I think he's a commitment-phobe or not that into me, likes the security and comfort of a relationship. It's not the whole inexperienced thing, people gain experience in a relationship whether they've had five long-term relationships or are in their first long-term relationship and he's been in one with you for the past four years so I think he would have enough experience by now to know what makes you happy and feel loved and valued. You only really need experience with one person to figure this s#&t out. I'd say there is something else going on he's not telling you.
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Old 27th February 2018, 9:34 AM   #18
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As for relationships, we live in the terrible times. Our culture and media affect us so much and form us into the beings, who believe that the real love consist from going together to the cinema, having dinners, roses on the Valentine's Day and romantic sparks everywhere, most of the time. Our concentration on the romance and extreme reciprocity blind us before the deepness and the importance of friendship, sharing and understanding. We want all this into one, like an ideal Hollywood movie.

That's a cliché, pink glasses view on the relationship. The fact is that people are different, they have different needs, different views of relationships and (!!!) different experiences with their parents/caregivers - which most influence what and how we are in the relationships.
If we add the cultural background and all kinds of possible personal disorders and mental illnesses (which are nothing special, by the way) we have many diverse human begins.

Each human being experiences love in a different way, influenced by the things I wrote about above. So the fact that my boyfriend forgets my birthday or doesn't celebrate them (because the question also could be - what is a "proper" birthday celebration?) can mean nothing. It doesn't have to mean that he doesn't love me.

What you have to ask yourself is: what are my needs in a relationship? What do I need to feel good? And then ask your boyfriend if he is able to give you these things.

I can see that people make big mistakes - they want proof of love and they forget what's really important in relationship. But everybody must do this journey and find it alone.

Your boyfriend sounds a bit schizoid to me. Try to search something about this. Don't make a conclusion, just observe, give him love the way you can do it and see. If you realize that you are not giving what you need, tell him. If he cannot give it to you, then accept it or leave.
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Old 27th February 2018, 9:38 AM   #19
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Ha well yes, he is in fact great in bed (because he learned quickly despite the lack of experience). I have better chemistry with him than with anyone else I've met in that aspect.

But there is also the fact that he is in my eyes a "better man" than any other guy I've met, in that he is compassionate and caring and selfless when it comes to the outside world, and is frequently helping those in need in a way that I wish I had the strength to do. I admire and respect him in a way that I haven't with anyone else, which is why it's not easy to simply move on and find someone else.

Also, to respond to Gaeta's comment, perhaps you're right and this will never change, and I know to an extent we can never change a man. I think it's impossible to change a man and who he is fundamentally, but am hopeful that "how to be in a relationship" is something a person can learn, since we have all had to learn it at some point. The problem is, similar to what I just said above, there are plenty of men (including the ones I've dated) that do all of these romantic and other things, but are not as kind, or compassionate, or what have you - and those characteristics I would never expect to be able to change, whereas this seems less fundamental. Also, I think the reason for him not dating is not because he's emotionally immature (though he is in some ways I'm sure), but in part because of upbringing and religious reasons.
Wow, your boyfriend sounds like an ideal type of man for me
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Old 27th February 2018, 9:52 AM   #20
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It’s no wonder girls get played so darn easy if booking tables, buying chocolate and sending superficial “how’s your day”-texts are the measures that’s being used to dertermine whether or not someone is relationship material.

Women (and men) are different and have different ways to express love and affection. Telling someone what you like is not “teaching them how to be a boyfriend”, rather informing them what you prefer from your boyfriend. Yes. Maybe you are fundamentally incompatible, but unless you bring up this issues with him there really isn’t anyway for him to know.

I’m also curious if you are planning activities? Are you initiating contact? Four years together is approaching a fairly long time: Any talks about a future together?
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Old 27th February 2018, 10:10 AM   #21
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He doesn't know how to be a bf when he's how old? And he has never had a relationship with ANYONE in ANY WAY, SHAPE or FORM? I can't believe that. But then again there are tons of socially awkward people in the world and you have no idea how many there really are. Here is what I have to say about this person and your situation:

1) Socially awkward - None of us are perfect to be sure. But I have met some very socially awkward people in my life. Is it autism? Maybe. The mind is a strange thing, to be sure. But I have also reached a certain point in my life where I have standards. I have given up the notion of wanting to make a difference or changing something because I can't do that. Just like no one can change me, and if I'm not good enough for or I am treated badly by someone, they are not worth my time anymore. There is being flighty and then there is basic courtesy. I think this is where some people for some reason fail. And continue to fail.

2) Not knowing - There are things that we don't know how to do the right way. And we have to be told. Political correctness has now taken over to such a point that we are afraid to hurt other people's feelings or tell people that they are / are not doing something that isn't politically correct. Instead we have to learn the hard way what is and is not politically correct. On another hand, communication is the key to any and every healthy relationship. If this person is not communicating with you he's not successfully doing much of anything.

3) No time -. Has he ever said anything to you about this? Has he ever given a reason or an excuse as to how and why things can't be done? I will bet you anything - and I mean ANYTHING- that he does have time to do other things that he wants to do. And he doesn't let anyone or anything come in between that and him. Priorities, honey.

Am I demanding to or unreasonable to want these things out of others? I don't think. I think I am defining what I do and do not want because it's not about being with someone to try to "fix it", it's about being with someone who treats you with courtesy. Fact.
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Old 27th February 2018, 10:17 AM   #22
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Lots of people are mentioning * 4 years dating* where did you guys find that? I have been searching and cannot find it anywhere. Also her last thread is dated 2 years ago and she was single.
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Old 27th February 2018, 10:49 AM   #23
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He also has never celebrated my birthday (he will show up if I plan a get together and maybe send a happy birthday text but that's all), much less Valentine's day, and has never done anything romantic at all (in 4+ years I think the most romantic thing he has done was when he made a dinner reservation in advance one time and that was honestly really surprising).
Gaeta: This is where she notes the duration of her relationship.
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Old 27th February 2018, 11:08 AM   #24
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Gaeta: This is where she notes the duration of her relationship.
Thank you very much!

OP: Would you explain how long you've been *girlfriend/boyfriend*? Obviously this relationship is not a straight 4 years because in May 2015 you were on OK cupid.
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Old 27th February 2018, 12:15 PM   #25
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I would keep one eye open for something better to come my way if I was you...I can understand your desire for more...dated a man like yours too...it would have been better to treat him to a taste of his own medicine and do a slow fade from his life as I moved on to happier times with no regrets for him not specifically spelling it out to me in words how he really felt about me...I hope I never see someone I care for even a tiny bit spinning their wheels for me as I kick back and enjoy the little bit I want from them while knowing it's so much more for them than it will ever be for me...it's weak. The other posts here may be right in assuming your partner isn't going to change much, and I'm sorry he let you invest so much if that is the case...but only one way to find out for sure--you will have to talk with him about it...unless you take my initial advice and start moving on without him...like he's watched you move on in your feelings for him while he's stayed behind-on purpose-most likely...hope it works out for you--four years is a long time to commit to a person and shouldn't be undervalued by your partner, especially since you seem rational and considerate of his needs without blowing up at him--he is an idiot if he doesn't appreciate you and yes, you could do so much better than him if he doesn't recognize how much of an asset a woman like that is to his emotional well being when dating. Good for you hon. Don't let his previous treatment towards you get you down. You will be appreciated by a man who values you one day. Keep a good attitude. You can get more out of life if you want to
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Old 27th February 2018, 12:19 PM   #26
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Thanks so much again to everyone for their thoughts and advice. There's a lot here so may not respond to everything, but my general responses:

- For background and some more context, we met ~4 years ago and got together at that time. As I mentioned, he didn't really have dating experience, but for those who have suggested that either it's a line he uses to get women into bed, or that he's not serious or just wants a no strings attached relationship, it's not that - he had barely been involved with women before me at all, other than maybe some very minor (and fairly innocent) crushes/"flings", though I hesitate to call them flings because he had done very little before meeting me. This doesn't come from "lines" he has fed me or anything like that - this is based on what mutual friends told me when we first met and we had barely even started talking, so it wasn't even in the context of me and him dating, it was more just general conversation and it wasn't until after that that I started seeing him. He has been really attached to me ever since we met and seemed to have a lot of trouble getting over me even when we were broken up. Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, at the time we didn't know if the relationship could actually go anywhere due to religious differences, so it wasn't that long (probably less than a year) before we called it quits. That being said, we have remained friends since then and have been sort of on and off in that time. I was dating (as Gaeta pointed out) but he and I would still see each other occasionally and end up getting together (but it would usually lead to a "this was a mistake, we shouldn't keep doing this" kind of conversation). During most of that time though he was always trying to get back together and has never wavered on saying he wants to be with me and that he couldn't let me go but at the same time was still struggling with whether or not the religious differences would be an issue, but I've been the one to say no because I don't want to waste my time if it would never actually go anywhere. It was only recently that he told me that he had decided not to let those differences stop us from at least trying to make this work, so I've only been thinking about this for the last couple of weeks because we are just "officially" getting back into things now. I hope that clarifies things for people a bit. That's why it hasn't really been worth it before now to express any dissatisfaction.

When we had this discussion a few weeks ago I already did tell him that if we are going to try this again I'm going to need this to be a more serious relationship than we've had in the past, and he was not averse to that, so my issue is more how to express to him what I want without trying to define exactly how he should behave or trying to mandate specific behaviors. It's not that I care specifically about going out to nice restaurants, getting flowers, getting arbitrary "how are you" texts - it's that I am struggling with how to explain to him my general expectations of what it means to be in a relationship, in a way that he would understand but also not be overwhelmed by, and in a way that isn't like "you must do XYZ". None of the specific actions matter that much on their own, it's more the general perspective and approach to a relationship, however that may play out. I don't think his parents were very romantic at all (where as my dad doesn't do big or lavish gestures but is still very thoughtful and sweet in the little things) so I don't think there was ever an example like that set for him.

Finally, to answer one of the other questions that has been floating around, we have talked about our long term priorities and I think we are on the same page. I've made it very clear that if we are going to date, marriage is the end goal (or if it becomes clear that marriage is not what we want, then I would not continue seeing him). He has always been on board with that since he takes marriage very seriously and is not the type to date casually.

Hope that helps answer some questions and provide additional context and again, I really do appreciate everyone's input.
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Old 27th February 2018, 12:29 PM   #27
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Thank you for that additional info.

Was he raised in a closed off religious community or sect?

Otherwise I don't understand how someone in 2018 be so clueless about basic courtesy. I mean he's in his 30s, does he have a social life? does he have male friends? at his age he should have a clue (or 2) on how women want to be treated. Even 18 years old male who never dated know what girls like!
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Old 27th February 2018, 12:40 PM   #28
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Nope, not raised in a closed off community/sect. I completely agree, I don't understand how a man in 2018 could be clueless about these kinds of things, but I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt/find some explanation. It might be more appropriate to say not that he is completely clueless and unaware of how a typical (decent) guy treats a girl he's in a relationship with, but maybe it's more just that as someone else noted, everyone has their own ways of expressing love and maybe he thinks the kinds of things I am looking for aren't necessary for showing someone you love them (and I can understand the thinking behind that). I know that for him, loving someone may mean sharing his faith with them, among other things. And since he has never dated anyone else before, he's never been in a situation where any woman has challenged him on that or pushed him to make more of an effort to show love in other ways.
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Old 27th February 2018, 1:54 PM   #29
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Nope, not raised in a closed off community/sect. I completely agree, I don't understand how a man in 2018 could be clueless about these kinds of things, but I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt/find some explanation. It might be more appropriate to say not that he is completely clueless and unaware of how a typical (decent) guy treats a girl he's in a relationship with, but maybe it's more just that as someone else noted, everyone has their own ways of expressing love and maybe he thinks the kinds of things I am looking for aren't necessary for showing someone you love them (and I can understand the thinking behind that). I know that for him, loving someone may mean sharing his faith with them, among other things. And since he has never dated anyone else before, he's never been in a situation where any woman has challenged him on that or pushed him to make more of an effort to show love in other ways.
Do you know something about his childhood?

btw, try to check schizoid personality disorder, it seems that he could be schizoid
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Old 27th February 2018, 1:55 PM   #30
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Thanks so much again to everyone for their thoughts and advice. There's a lot here so may not respond to everything, but my general responses:

- For background and some more context, we met ~4 years ago and got together at that time. As I mentioned, he didn't really have dating experience, but for those who have suggested that either it's a line he uses to get women into bed, or that he's not serious or just wants a no strings attached relationship, it's not that - he had barely been involved with women before me at all, other than maybe some very minor (and fairly innocent) crushes/"flings", though I hesitate to call them flings because he had done very little before meeting me. This doesn't come from "lines" he has fed me or anything like that - this is based on what mutual friends told me when we first met and we had barely even started talking, so it wasn't even in the context of me and him dating, it was more just general conversation and it wasn't until after that that I started seeing him. He has been really attached to me ever since we met and seemed to have a lot of trouble getting over me even when we were broken up. Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, at the time we didn't know if the relationship could actually go anywhere due to religious differences, so it wasn't that long (probably less than a year) before we called it quits. That being said, we have remained friends since then and have been sort of on and off in that time. I was dating (as Gaeta pointed out) but he and I would still see each other occasionally and end up getting together (but it would usually lead to a "this was a mistake, we shouldn't keep doing this" kind of conversation). During most of that time though he was always trying to get back together and has never wavered on saying he wants to be with me and that he couldn't let me go but at the same time was still struggling with whether or not the religious differences would be an issue, but I've been the one to say no because I don't want to waste my time if it would never actually go anywhere. It was only recently that he told me that he had decided not to let those differences stop us from at least trying to make this work, so I've only been thinking about this for the last couple of weeks because we are just "officially" getting back into things now. I hope that clarifies things for people a bit. That's why it hasn't really been worth it before now to express any dissatisfaction.

When we had this discussion a few weeks ago I already did tell him that if we are going to try this again I'm going to need this to be a more serious relationship than we've had in the past, and he was not averse to that, so my issue is more how to express to him what I want without trying to define exactly how he should behave or trying to mandate specific behaviors. It's not that I care specifically about going out to nice restaurants, getting flowers, getting arbitrary "how are you" texts - it's that I am struggling with how to explain to him my general expectations of what it means to be in a relationship, in a way that he would understand but also not be overwhelmed by, and in a way that isn't like "you must do XYZ". None of the specific actions matter that much on their own, it's more the general perspective and approach to a relationship, however that may play out. I don't think his parents were very romantic at all (where as my dad doesn't do big or lavish gestures but is still very thoughtful and sweet in the little things) so I don't think there was ever an example like that set for him.

Finally, to answer one of the other questions that has been floating around, we have talked about our long term priorities and I think we are on the same page. I've made it very clear that if we are going to date, marriage is the end goal (or if it becomes clear that marriage is not what we want, then I would not continue seeing him). He has always been on board with that since he takes marriage very seriously and is not the type to date casually.

Hope that helps answer some questions and provide additional context and again, I really do appreciate everyone's input.


Ok so you are bothered over the affection part but you make excuses for him.

Whatever the reasons for him being that way won’t make a difference, the question here is are you okay with his attitude on a long term basis ?

You have great sexual chemistry you have similar goals and commitment but he’s not excited about you or to see you etc can you accept that because as many have said he probably won’t change
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