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Finding a balance


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Being upfront, I'm not in an LDR and never would be as it wouldn't work for me.LDRs have their own unique quirks so recognizing that take my thoughts with a grain of salt. A few observations before I get to your specific questions.

 

First, there will always be times where one partner gives more than the other. Relationships are about give and take and will never be 50/50. Problems start to creep in though when one partner starts tracking respective contributions whether they be monetary, emotional, time spent, effort, etc.

 

If you are finding yourself tracking who is spending more effort compared to the other it suggests a problem that needs to be addressed before it gets worse. I'm going to go back to my usual advice, I'm sure I sound like a broken record, Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

 

Second, the fact that you are putting your partner above your school and your health raises red flags. Yes, we all want to support our partners but when that starts interfering with responsibilities and health that isnt a good sign. If you dont look after yourself it is really hard to be present in the relationship. I would never let my Wife or Daddy harm their health or careers to support me, that isnt love in my eyes, that's a sign of a relationship issue.

 

For your questions,

 

"Am i selfish? Is it wrong to ask someone to set more time or be more appreciative? Or should I just conform to the time we spend right now together?"

 

It isn't wrong to ask but keep in mind that asking doesnt mean anything will necessarily change. It sounds like you and your partner aren't on the same page and could benefit from a serious, open, adult conversation.

 

As for conforming, well that's up to you but if it's making you unhappy now it's unlikely to change or improve unless you AND he make some changes. Improving the situation cant be one sided or it will just create more of a perceived inequity which could make the issue worse.

 

You do have options the big lines of which are 1) status quo, do nothing and accept the situation as is, wouldnt be my choice at all but it's up to the two of you, 2) communicate and work together to solve the issue and grow your relationship, my go to, or 3) decide where you are at, your wants and desires for the relationship are incompatible and move on.

 

People can be very much in love but relationships take more than love. They take effort, work, commitment, communication, compromise, give and take. If those things aren't there on the parts of ALL partner relationships tend to have issues and fail eventually. Like I suggested to another member earlier, reflect on what you want, what is negotiable, what isn't negotiable and your desires for the relationship and then ask yourself if what you want is possible with that person. Only you and your partner have that answer.

 

Little kaiya

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I think it's important to set expectations and standards. It's a bummer that he's promised to get data before and even if/when he does, he'll forget or be too busy to message you. That's just not fair. I would suggest to make expectations more firm and to set time frames for when you'll explicitly be speaking with each other. I know your post asks about quantity, but I do think quality makes a big difference. (Not good when he prioritizes a game especially when you'd previously discussed and settled on a time to call.)

 

In regards to quantity, I personally find it pretty comforting just to be on a call even if the other person is busy. It creates this sense of togetherness and being present despite each of you having your own things going on. I think this could work especially well for both of you since you're both students; studying and homework are naturally going to be large chunks of your lives and a perfect time to just let the call run while doing those things. In this sense, you'd be spending time together but doing what you need to too. (Doing this on school campus will help with data because they got that wifi. ;D )

 

To re-iterate what Little kaiya said: Communicate communicate communicate!

If you're hurting, he should know about it - especially if it was his actions that caused the hurt.

 

Am i selfish? Is it wrong to ask someone to set more time or be more appreciative? Or should I just conform to the time we spend right now together?

This is something I had to learn over trials and tribulations: People value time differently.

Personally for me, time is something I assign very high value to and is what I often equate respect to. But for others, time is loose and not something that is of particular emphasis in their lives.

 

I do not think it's wrong of you to ask someone to set more time aside for you, but also realize that people will likely place a different value on time than you do.

In terms of being appreciative, this is likely a mismatch in expectations. People express affections and appreciation differently, and so while for you waking up early and sleeping late is something that you do to maintain longer contact, it may not be something he's aware of that you're doing consciously on his behalf. So again, communication is key. Have a discussion on what you two are doing to make things work, and what you're not doing to make things work.

Edited by MysticSand
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Guest crazycatdaddy

I've been in a similar position in the past. While every couple is different and every individual has different needs and expectations when it comes to communication, if you're not on the same page at all it has the potential to become a big problem in your relationship. While I agree with what was said above that these things can probably never be exactly 50/50, if you feel like you're putting in significantly more time and effort to the relationship than your partner, well I can understand completely why that's upsetting and doesn't feel right.

 

The only way you have a shot at resolving things is to discuss it. But don't just say "I need you to communicate more/better", try to find specific examples. Perhaps you want to have more frequent Skype dates, maybe he needs to tell you his plans and/or schedule ahead of time instead of when it's happening, it could be anything, but if you can pin down a few specific things you're asking him to do differently you're going to have a much greater chance of success. When preparing for a serious conversation I like to write down my main points ahead of time so I don't miss anything.

 

You don't mention in your post how long you've been together, but it seems like you've really fallen hard for him. And there's nothing wrong with strong feelings, but you must be careful not to put him way ahead of yourself in terms of priorities. If you're missing sleep to be with him, if you're getting in trouble with your family or making yourself sick, that isn't healthy and it isn't a good way to conduct a relationship. All that will happen if you keep that up is you will get burnt out. And no partner is worth damaging your relationship with your family, especially not someone in another country who, despite best intentions, you may not get to meet in person for many years, if at all. He has his own life, and while he seems to prioritise that in what I'd consider a strange way (wanting to play a game instead of talking isn't a great sign if you're already limited in when you can talk), you have to remember that you have your own life too. And no matter how nice this guy seems, you can't stop living your own life and drop everything just for him. Especially if it seems like he isn't reciprocating.

 

But back on topic - you have a choice to make. Either you can accept things the way they are, or talk to him about it. If you don't say anything, things are very unlikely to change. In many cases, people don't realise that a certain behaviour (or lack of behaviour) is a problem until they're spoken to about it directly. It could be that he simply hasn't realised how his behaviour has made you feel, and when it's explained to him he'll be willing to make some changes. If he is, be patient because these kind of things don't tend to happen overnight. And if you come to realise after the conversation that what he's able to contribute to the relationship is too different from what you want and need, then at least you'll know you did everything you could to make it work.

Edited by crazycatdaddy
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I have faced similar issues, mainly as I put my partner as my first priority but I also expect the same back ( it's the only way to make that work for then both look after the other and make sure the other person stays happy and healthy ). People can have different values around this topic and at least I'm not compatible AT ALL with someone who doesn't not share my values/way of behaving as I will feel worn, used, person who gives more, neglected and all other negative things. I haven't have needed to make my dating pool bigger by compromising on this ( yet :p ).

 

Anyhow, Little kaya made good point: not all can be 50-50, and counting stuff is symptom of something bad.

 

I just read an article of a woman who had MASSIVE issues with household work with her partner. She felt like she did most ( as did her partner ) and there were loads and loads of arguments there, they both were all the time calculatig who did what etc., so they both figured their rel couldn't work like that. -> They made two lists of house hold chores ( basically other one was cleaning, other cooking and other running stuff ), and every week switched the task list. Seems fair right?

 

Did they stop arguing? No. Arguing got even worse. They were all the time almost like spying who did what and how well and "he didn't clean dust from top of the shelves as he thinks I will do it next week! What a d*ickhead!".

 

Anyone can see that none was happy in that house. So, they stopped the two lists experiment. And they found balance when both were happy with each other. They started to clean together, they go to get groceries together.... Everything together. It is not optimal, specially as they had small kids but they become happy like that, they felt close to each other. Both clean and cook and so on when they have time, and no one counts what they have done. Thou she said: "from the look of our house no one has time to clean but at least it is a happy house now".

 

Soooo, I think all you desire and want is perfectly valid, you are not selfish, you just want connection with your partner. It also is upsetting to try to put effort when you don't see the other person doing so. Issue is that you have started counting those things which means you are not happy in that rel, otherwise you wouldn't notice. Like in beginning of rel you don't count stuff, you just enjoy the other person. Or how trash bag that is left to corridoor is just automatic that you take it instead of "why the f*ck he didn't deal with this and ust leaves stuff around??!!!" when you feel happy and satisfied in your rel.

 

I would talk about this as serious issue, as an happiness issue with your partner. Sure, the things to fix it can be pretty simple like having more time, him showing appreciation for things you do..... But it needs to be something he wants to do, what he also thinks or it will become a chore. So, explain that you are not happy and satisfied in the rel, not just that some specific little thing that bugs you ( even also give these as an examples to him but notice that he may make you feel appreciated and loved in slightly different way than you might initially think ).

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