“I have less and less one-on-one time with my boyfriend. We mostly hang out with mutual friends which is great but I can’t help but feel like I am not special to him. We barely have date nights and I don’t want to push him. It feels wrong. I feel so alone in this because everyone only sees how great he is. Whenever I see him talking to anyone else I get insecure thinking he tells them things he never tells me. I think I may be losing him or that he is no longer interested in being with me. He asked me if I wanted to breakup with him when I brought this up and I said that is the opposite of what I want. I have tried telling him that I no longer feel wanted by him. He said that is simply not true and that he loves me, but I am left feeling anxious, insecure and not satisfied. I don’t know what to do.”
It often happens that people in relationships talk in different languages to each other. I don’t think this is a particularly bad thing, it actually helps explain certain insecurities and reactions. It sounds like you are asking to be seen, heard, felt, and your boyfriend reinstating that he loves you, though it may be meant as reassurance, probably feels like a casual dismal of this intense anxiety you are feeling. It’s one of the most frustrating feelings, not getting through to your partner. We are all told that being in love means that our partners will just magically understand us somehow, and that makes conflict seem like a terrible thing or a sign that your relationship is not meant to be. It is incredibly tedious to unlearn this and will probably take people like us a long time to do. I am afraid to tell you that the best attempt at getting through to someone is to get all the cards out on the table, your aces and your jokers.
I understand this may feel like you are pushing him, especially when he’s suggesting breaking up as an end-all solution rather than hearing you out or trying to work with you (if that is what you want). I am so sorry that was the response you got, having the worst-case scenario presented as a suggestion, I imagine, might have thrown you off completely. It takes a lot of vulnerability to address these feelings, and you deserve a far more empathetic response than that. I can sense you really don’t want to lose him, how much you value this love, and how much you want to make out of this relationship- otherwise, you wouldn’t be at crossroads.
I may be slightly biased in saying this as quality time is apparently my top love language, but intentionally carving out time for someone you love is not just the bare minimum but essential for any successful relationship. There is always space for spontaneous shenanigans, but you seem to crave the effort and exclusive access to a person that comes with dates, and that is such a fair ask, you truly deserve that. You feeling a lack of this effort from his end explains why you feel insecure when you see him interacting with other people. We have all been there where we obsess and assess if our partners are happier elsewhere, if we are/will ever be enough. It is a horrible, gut-wrenching feeling, my heart truly breaks for you. I think voicing this concern to your partner in the most unfiltered way, is my advice to you. If you are non-confrontational by nature and view confrontation as a last resort, trust me when I say that avoiding this only adds to the weight of your anxieties.
A regret that consistently haunts me from every relationship/situationship/fling I have ever been in is not speaking my side enough. I have always been left feeling like I had done myself a major disservice. It is important to ask yourself these questions: ‘Am I being completely honest with myself?’ ‘Am I only letting him see the surface level of what I’m feeling because I am scared to lose him?’ ‘Am I worried he is going to end things once and for all, and is that stopping me?’
You probably have a hundred thoughts/possibilities/situations/explanations all buzzing in your head. And while what you are feeling is completely valid, you will never know the truth till you communicate the baseline feeling to your boyfriend. I went through something very similar and found that writing down all my worries and highlighting the ones I had no control over mitigating helped me communicate my concerns better. Sadly, you can’t control his reaction, and it’s exhausting to prepare for every reaction scenario, so you are going to have to figure things out and process things as you go. But remember to be empathetic to his side of the argument and ask questions; ‘Why does he say the things he does?’ ‘Why is it that he can’t make time for you the way you want him to?’ ‘What are his expectations from the relationship? ‘How does he want to spend time with you?’ It is the only way you’ll see where you both stand and how you can move forward.
I willfully wish for you to have the courage of your convictions to see this through. It is not easy, but an open discussion where you address it all with good intentions and listen with empathy will likely present you with options, easy and difficult ones. I hope you take on the one that feels the most sustainable and supportive for your sense of peace, the option that allows you to feel content and doubt-free in the long run.
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