I’m usually pretty nurturing, and what I struggle with is making sure I don’t get walked all over.
It’s one thing not having time to go out in public as a couple, but the fact that nobody in his life seems to know we’re a couple kind of puts it in a different light. I do really like him, we have a really great time together and he always seems so attentive whenever we can’t physically be together, but maybe I’m just seeing what I want to see? The first issue is a valid one and you have every right to consider whether you’re getting your emotional needs met right now.
The second one is just an ego/insecurity thing and should not derail an otherwise strong relationship.
I’m not fully convinced, however, that your relationship is strong.
First of all, kudos to you for a few reasons: you’re self-aware – you’re trying to be cool, patient, and nurturing – and you’ve internalized the lessons of “Why He Disappeared.” But one of the key points in “Why He Disappeared” is that you can do everything PERFECTLY, but if the guy is not in the right place to give, there’s nothing you can do. Listen, I’m no single father, but I’ve had many clients who are single parents and are torn in a million directions. So what it really comes down to is this: are you satisfied with what your boyfriend can give to you?
They desperately want love and stability but feel the pull of parenting responsibility and end up neglecting their love lives. Is it okay that you never go out to dinner on proper dates?
Are you content coming in third after his kids and career? If he lets you go, you saved yourself a lot of time and angst. What matters is that you have a happy, healthy, nurturing relationship that’s slowly growing into something more. But if its coming up on a year and there is still the compartmentalizing, I’d have to rethink it. It’s one thing to be the cool, nurturing, patient girlfriend IF your needs ARE getting met. It’s not being self-centered to walk away because you need more; it’s centered.
You’re not wrong if you yearn for more; nor are you wrong for feeling that he’s “worth the wait.” The question is whether there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – or whether you’re just the emotional booty call who serves her purpose in his life but never really has a full-on relationship on her own terms. You just want a real-life boyfriend, who calls you every night, who has his weekends open for you, who is making a long-term investment. If he steps up to the plate, you might have yourself a boyfriend. And if you suspect that it’s not growing, it’s time to walk away and find out how much he has to give to you. I will agree with you Evan on the “fully integrated” advice to a point. Being selfish would be to demand he meet your needs and manipulate and create drama until he complies.
But it is hard being third on his list: son, job, and then me.
Also, we haven’t been out on a proper ‘date’ since the first one: we usually spend time at each other’s houses, whenever he gets a free moment, but we have lots of communication in between and I really felt that things were starting to build towards something good between us. And I’m wondering if he can possibly be that interested in me.