Social Question

Carly's avatar

How can I show my boyfriend I'm sorry, besides a simple apology?

Asked by Carly (4550points) May 12th, 2012

My boyfriend and I have been dating since early September last year; however, I’ve been away from him since December except for a couple of weeks when I saw him in March. This is mainly because I couldn’t afford to stay for another semester at our college, but I’ll be living on campus with him all summer as well as all next school year.

Since our relationship has been temporarily long-distant, we obviously haven’t been able to bond as much as we did when we were physically around each other. I wrote him a few letters, sent him Christmas presents, paid for an expensive plane ticket to see him at school, and called him whenever I felt texting wasn’t enough. The thing is that when I called him, he always seemed really zoned-out, and had nothing much to say except complaining about school work. I also noticed he’s been getting more and more sarcastic, something that isn’t attractive to me.

I finally told him that I was noticing these things. I told him that I feel sometimes that he would much rather be studious and put all his hard work into research so he can become a renowned expert on Musicology, as well as a hermit-type university professor, but I also told him that I think he should consider having a more balanced life with real relationships.. He said he didn’t know how to be a good boyfriend. So I said I just wanted him to show that he cared more about our relationship, to talk to me with positive enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, it seems I brought the topic up too many times, and the last time I talked to him, he said that maybe we should just be friends. Then he said, “we can talk about it when you get here.”

I’ll be there on Monday afternoon, and I don’t know what to say or do. I don’t want our relationship to end because of this, and I really don’t want him to be opposed of ever having a relationship with anyone else because he thinks it’s more glorified to have a strong career if he can’t have both.

Sorry that was so long… Its a bit complex and I’m kicking myself for messing everything up :(

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9 Answers

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Ok. Don’t say you are sorry again. You are starting to come off needy. Show up, be fun. Be the kind of girl you were when you first met. Let him chase a little. You can’t apologize somebody into wanting to be with you. You can be the girl who attracted him in the first place.

nikipedia's avatar

Sounds to me like he has been checked out of the relationship for a while and decided to pick this issue to make the end seem like your fault.

Not that this will make you feel any better—but I think what you have been picking up on and bringing up to him is his genuine lack of interest/investment in the relationship.

Sorry to say I think you should start preparing yourself to move on from this relationship. I know it sucks more than almost anything else. Hang in there.

chyna's avatar

It seems very one-sided. You seem to be putting all the effort into this relationship and he is just on the receiving end. I think it may be over and he hasn’t told you yet. I wouldn’t appologize because you haven’t done anything other than to try to find an explanation to his actions.

wundayatta's avatar

Long distance relationships are very hard. Just hold on until you see him. Let a week or two go by just to get to know each other again. See what happens. Don’t discuss the “whither us?” question for at least two weeks. After that, you’ll have a better feeling. You just can’t make good decisions when you are separated from each other.

lillycoyote's avatar

As @wundayatta long distance relationships are inherently difficult anyway, as are relationships where people may currently have different priorities. While I certainly don’t believe in all work and no play, your boyfriend has a right to take school, to take his studies seriously. I think if you were both in school, as you were before, it is easier to fit the relationship stuff in between the spaces of the school stuff.

And I wouldn’t worry about souring him on future relationships. He seems like he has a goal and he he trying to work hard to attain it. College is not the place where you have to decide between a career and a relationship. The purpose of college is to prepare you for that career and that’s really what a person’s primary focus should be in college: on going to college. Maybe he just needs you to understand that. Maybe he is just more serious about his studies than you are; maybe there is an imbalance in your priorities, I’m not sure, I can’t tell from your description. You may be demanding more from him than he can give you at this point, I don’t know.

When you get there just relax a little maybe. Don’t put pressure on him to choose you over school, or to give you more time than he has available, if he thinks it will detract the effort to accomplish the things he wants to accomplish, to reach his goals. Be supportive of him and when you get back to going to school yourself the two of you will have more time together. If you are unwilling or unable to support him and his goals, he will find someone who can.

You must have goals and ambitions too. Is he supportive of your goals? It has to go both ways.

Trillian's avatar

Don’t worry about his ability to be in a relationship ever again. He’ll manage it. So will you. If this is your first break up, I commiserate. Truly. Allow yourself time to process and grieve.
I can’t try to say something I don’t believe. I believe you know that the relationship is all over except for the crying. I also know that you won’t believe me when I say you’ll get over it. You will. Revisit this in six months.

Bellatrix's avatar

My feeling when reading your question was the same as @nikipedia has suggested. I think he has already left this relationship but he doesn’t have the maturity to tell you this. I hope I am wrong and when you get there things will be revitalised, but keep the possibility that this is over as a possibility.

jrpowell's avatar

“but I also told him that I think he should consider having a more balanced life with real relationship”

He probably is. It is just with someone that is closer.

I’m a dude and I will admit to doing this. I intentionally got distant so she would break up with me. Since we shared a lot of friends I wasn’t the bad guy, she dumped me.

Carly's avatar

@johnpowell I don’t think he’s thinking of someone else. We share a lot of close friends, including a best friend, and I would have heard about it somehow. I don’t think my trust has been broken with him in that department, but I understand your point.

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