Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend and I were doing long-distance for a while, and a few months ago he moved to D.C. We live 20 to 45 minutes away from each other, depending on traffic. Currently, I spend about four or five nights a week at his place, while he has only been to my place to hang out a handful of times.
I’ve brought it up a couple of times, asking him to either come over after work so I don’t always have to go to his place, or one night a week he can sleep here, but nothing has changed. His excuses range from, “I have a dog I need to take care of,” to, “You have a Metro card and it’s easier than me driving into D.C.”
While I completely understand he needs to take care of his dog, I feel like he is not listening to me when I ask him to at least come over for dinner and then head home. Am I being too sensitive? I just wish it were more equal.
I know this matter is probably trivial in the grand scheme of things, but I feel like he doesn’t listen.
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Stop going over there.
Not as a test of his love or loyalty or effort, though. Not only is that annoying and manipulative, it’s also not necessarily a source of useful information about him. He has his dog, he’s going to go home after work. You have your answer on that. And really, you want him to jump at your Plan B, leaving Scruffy to chill for another three hours unwalked?
The answers you’re looking for instead are about you. Specifically: Is what you get from the relationship worth the frustration of doing most of the work?
Is there a fundamental way you get along (or got along) that brought you together in the first place? Is there any of that left? Is there enough?
Does his not offering a Plan C make a difference? Does it say he’s OK with your doing most of the work?
Is this who-stays-where issue just a rerun of the long-distance, who-travels-where issue? Did you travel more then, too? Is this what you talked about then, too?
What comes after being told it’s “easier” for him to let you do the schlepping? Did he move to D.C. for you? Does that have any bearing here?
And, is anything ever “trivial” when it leaves you feeling bad?
This decision not to spend four or five nights a week on the road doesn’t have to be dramatic. Go to work, go home, go to work, go home. No sighs, guilt or games. Say the old arrangement was bothering you so you’re trying something different, say you’ll see him this weekend, then stay home with your thoughts. Sometimes not having is the only way to judge what you have.
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