Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Losing interest:
“I expect too much.”

Hey Terra,

I am 20 years old and been w/ my bf for 3 years. He's my very first bf in life. We get along very well when were together. But when we're apart I lose myself always thinking about him, which is something I hate about myself.

He always seems to want to be in the spotlight and girls flirt with him and he does so w/out knowing it. It bugs me and I've let him know, but he just says "That's how I am."

I try opening up to him and tell him what's on my mind but he doesn't seem to help me out. He works on the weekends and I go to school on Mondays and Wednesdays. I always want to spend time with him but it seems he doesn't want to and to go out as much as I do. He doesn't even call me as much and when he does he just asks to see what I'm doing, and that's all. I always wait for him, prioritize him, clear my schedule for him. I try to overcome these problems of mine but I can't. I go back to being vulnerable. He even told me that I'm too sensitive. He told me to be patient because I've told him the reason I act so mean is because I just want to spend time with him.

He's finally graduated college and he says after graduating he will spend more time with me. But nothing has changed. He still does his own thing. While I'm at home I try to get him off my mind but he just always seem to pop up. And when I want to talk to him to tell him what's on my mind I just cant seem to do so.

It's weird. He just disappoints me. I expect too much. I want to break up with him but it's so hard. I can't let go. Please help me with what I should do. Break up or try to keep working it out? Where can I find help within myself?

Confused

Dear Confused,

Your boyfriend seems to be losing interest in your relationship. I realize that's a hard thing to accept and even harder not to blame yourself for something you believe you did to change his feelings. But the truth of it is this: this isn't about you. I'll repeat that because it's so important for you to really get this: your boyfriend's change of feelings has nothing to do with you.

People change and without a solid commitment to work things out when conflict arises, people tend to let upsets and dissatisfactions build up and erode a relationship. Often one person starts creating distance (as you've described) by always being "busy" and not calling, and not making the other person a priority. If there is no honest discussion early on when these signs first appear (and you can't have an honest discussion if both people aren't willing to be totally honest), then the one who started creating distance just allows his/her part of the relationship to drift away.

You have every right to expect a lot from a guy that you're in a relationship with. Don't lower your standards or your expectations because you're not getting what you want. Instead, you'd serve yourself better if you stick to what you know you want and need and accept the fact that this guy isn't going to give that to you.

Is he a bad person for withholding his love? No. He's just going with his feelings. Should he have been more honest with you all along? Absolutely. Do you have a right to break up with him? Sure you do. And if you're not getting what you want I suggest you take a break because you can't "work it out" on your own and from what you described, there's no willingness on his part to work it out. In fact, from what you describe, this guy doesn't seem to have a problem with the way things are. If you have a problem with the level of involvement you're getting from him, then you owe it to yourself to end it. Otherwise, you will continue to be "disappointed" and upset and feeling "weird."

You deserve better than that and you can have it... With someone else.

But before you jump into the next relationship, I would strongly recommend that you find a counselor or psychologist to talk to. Are you a student? If so, I'm sure that you can find a good counselor on campus to talk with. You need to do some self-exploration so that you can understand what you need and what you have to offer and what your pattern in relationships has been. All of that will increase your self-esteem and help you avoid getting into dead-end relationships in the future.

How's that sound to you?

I hope this helps.

In friendship,

Terra


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.


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