So my girlfriend says I don’t give her enough attention. Her reasoning is that because my family stays up so late I never facetime her and only when it’s convenient for me (my family and I hang out nightly from roughly 7pm till 11). I constantly text her throughout the day even when I’m working but my family and I enjoy being together. She lives about an hour away so I only see her weekly. What am I doing wrong?
Dear Random Dude,
When expectations aren’t being met, it’s good to define them. This goes for personal goals as well as in relationships. People have different needs, so it will be helpful for you and your girlfriend to find the middle ground where you both feel fulfilled but not smothered.
Figure out exactly what she expects from you. If you aren’t sure how to start the conversation, say something like this, “I know you have felt like I haven’t been prioritizing you. How often would you like to FaceTime, or are there any other ways I can show you that I care?”. This will open the door for a direct conversation about her specific expectations. This will also define expectations for your girlfriend, so that she will have a firm idea of what to expect from you. This can be helpful so there isn’t an undefined impossible idea of what should be happening floating around.
You might want to consider trying to think outside the box when it comes to the time you spend together. Maybe you can voice call her during your commute home from work, or on your lunch break. Maybe you can include her in your time with your family in some way, even from a distance. Watching a movie together remotely is an option as well.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with spending regular time with your family. I’m glad that family time is something that is part of your regular routine, many people don’t prioritize family time or have the opportunity to spend time together regularly.
Try these techniques to problem solve. Define your expectations for each other. If this doesn’t help, you may need to consider more conversations about your relationship and time spent together. If after all this, you are struggling to find a way to meet each other’s needs and expectations, you might need to consider if this relationship is the right fit and if you are willing to fight for each other.
I wish you luck,