How to raise bar/expectations in relationship after setting too low?

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  • #838704 Reply


    I have been reading the blog posts on A New Mode constantly, but only recently realized how helpful/active the forum is. The last month or so, I’ve been struggling with feeling insecure in my relationship. I fully acknowledge that some of this is my issue/on me, but also think that there are some things that my BF is doing that are directly contributing to this. I’m hoping to get everyone’s thoughts.

    Background: Met BF 5 months ago and started going on regular dates 1-2x/week (now more like spending most of weekend together and 1 date night/week). We agreed to be exclusive and BF/GF 2.5 months ago. Our dates are awesome, and I always feel like we have a great time, are totally focused on one another, and he’s putting effort into the date itself (eg, cooking a complex dinner together and he gets all the ingredients and plans). We text back and forth throughout the day and he’s sweet and attentive. Due to my job, I will be finding out in March where I’ll be located in the US for the next several years and have somewhat limited say in where I will end up. He has been clear that he isn’t crazy about doing a LDR and that a lot of where things go between us hinges on this information that we won’t get for another 2 months.

    In previous relationships, my (now ex) boyfriends would get me elaborate gifts, plan surprises, were eager for me to meet their friends, talked a lot about the future, and overall, I just felt like they put a lot more effort in showing that they liked me/were super excited about us and wanted to make me happy. This is partly why I feel so confused now when this guy is so wonderful when we are together/texting throughout the day but isn’t doing any of the other stuff that I like/expect.

    The issue: When we are together, there is no question that we like each other a lot and enjoy one another’s company, but the current issue can basically be summed up as insecurities related to friends/family, vacation, and gifts.

    He has met some of my friends, but I haven’t met his sister (who lives very close to him in the city that we all live in) or any of his friends. When I brought this up, he cited COVID and that he works so much that he doesn’t even see his friends much (which is true, but I guess I also think that when you are excited about someone, you make time to actually introduce them to your family and people most important to you). He seemed to be listening during the conversation and acknowledging that he would introduce us, but then never brought it up again (it’s been 2 weeks). He also had a one-week vacation in February and has been planning to go home (3 hr flight away). At one point, we had talked about doing a long weekend at the end of his vacation together, but then he never brought it up again and when I mentioned it, he would just say “yeah let’s” but then nothing happened. My love language is gifts, and we took the love language quiz fairly early on in our relationship because I know for better or worse, this matters to me. He does not get me gifts or do the “little things” like flowers, a cute note, a cookie, whatever, that I care about.

    My question is: I know that I have walking power and that if he can’t or won’t provide what I’m looking for, I should use my walking power. But I also don’t want to be overreacting and fully realize that I’m expecting a lot, especially when my future right now is so unclear. I basically just want to feel like he cares/is making a genuine effort and I feel like I set my standards for the relationship too low early on. Should I/How can I convey that I need more from him? How unfair am I being?

    #838705 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    How old are you both?

    If I understand correctly, you’ll most likely be moving away for work in a few months, right? And this guy understandably doesn’t want a LDR.

    I don’t think it’s realistic to expect this guy to invest heavily in your relationship, I’m sorry to say. I’m putting myself in his shoes. It sounds like you have a nice relationship and he enjoys being with you, but this situation has an expiration date. He’s living in the moment. Expecting him to think about the future is unfair, in my opinion. If I were him, I wouldn’t be in a rush to introduce you to my family and friends knowing you’ll be gone in a couple months. Covid and a busy work schedule do complicate things, and he probably doesn’t see it as worth the effort. It sounds like he’s enjoying things for now but doesn’t expect a future, which frankly sounds reasonable.

    It sounds like you have a nice time when you’re together and that’s about as much as he’s willing to give you. That’s just my take from reading what you wrote. You can certainly have a conversation with him about it and tell him you need more, but I’m not sure it’s a reasonable expectation given your circumstances. Surely you understand he may very well be reluctant to invest heavily in you when you’ll be gone shortly.

    #838712 Reply


    I thought the love language was giving gifts not wanting to get them. Thats not a love language. Thats a love demand.
    And the previous gif giving bf’s are exes so im not sure if you should measure the two against them.
    So thats the snippy part.
    I think you are totally in denial about the real elephant in the room, which is your future location and him not wanting to do ldr, meaning he will broke up if you are getting stationed too far away. And seeing this is just 4 months in, that means he is really sensible in his approach in not giving it all.
    But you just keep going and starting to wonder about little things here. Your only question is: how can i tell him i need more from him. When you cant even promise you will be there. You do see that is unbalanced right? Forget about the cookies for now and adress the real issue. Will your relationship make it if you are moving away. And worry about the cookies when its a Yes to the relationship part.
    When its about the questions in general: i think you are asking way too much way too soon. He sounds like a super nice guy, give him some time before you state all demands on him. Or just walk away and let him find someone who actually appreciates what he gives .

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