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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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I have a problem with my new girlfriend. SHe and I started

Customer Question

I have a problem with my new girlfriend. SHe and I started dating 6 weeks ago and it started out very fast for about a month. Then she got a new job and has to dedicate a lot of time to her new job and clients outside of her work hours. I feel totally neglected now. Going from her wanting to see me every day to her wanting to see me only on the weekends and really only 1 day on the weekend, because she is too tired after work and on the weekends. I feel that she would want to see me and make an effort to see me no matter what since we just started dating and are in that butterfly in your stomach phase. How can we build on our relationship if we don't see each other? Now she is telling me that she want's to start English classes and Kick Boxing classes as well. If she is too tired to see me how can she start other things? I feel that she is taking a step back, but she says she isn't. She did tell me that she would rather us break up if I can't deal with her new life and she doesn't want me to sacrifice my emotions and desire to be with her.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
I am afraid you know the general answer to your main question, but it is hard to look at it. I suspect you feel that at this time, you like and care about her more than she does you. You suspect that she COULD elect to make time more time with you a higher priority than some other activities, but chooses not to----this of course, makes you quite nervous and worried that the relationship might fade or slip away.

It is important to look at the possible "why" behind what you see. (I think you can trust your instincts on this one---she is very likely electing to spend more time doing a variety of things she wants, and spend less time with you). Could it be that the relationship moved forward too intensely and quickly for her; once she "caught her breath" and could step back from the relationship, she decided that she wanted to move more slowly and keep her overall life a bit more broadened.

If you haven't taken the time to perhaps invite her to lunch or dinner and simply talk to her about what you observe, you should; you could begin by saying something like. "I'm a little perplexed about our where the relationship we have is heading right now. We spent a great deal of time together during the first month or so and I felt great----I felt we were quickly getting to know each other and the time we were spending together was really helping us to become closer. Since your [job change, work schedule, kick boxing lessons---you fill in the blanks], began, we've spent a lot less time together and I just wonder what it means, from your standpoint, what the change has meant."

Hope this information is helpful to you. If I've overlooked something important to you in your question, please advise me.

"PLEASE....Be considerate of your expert. If the information shared with you has been helpful, confirm by Accepting their answer and provide Feedback. Thank you!"
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you,
I have spoken with her about it and she assures me that she still likes me, or why else would she be with me. She said that she use allow herself to get too carried away with her boyfriends being all consuming of her life and thoughts of every minute of every day and put too much into it to get ultimately negative results. She said that she needs to be more independant and live her life for herself. I totally understand it, I applaud her for that. I could totally handle the fact that she wants to see me only a little bit, if our relationship started out slow, but to start so fast and just put the brakes on seems so drastic. I am sure if she was at her old job, she would still see me a lot more like she did in the past. I just would like to know is it ok for me to sacrifice my desire to spend more time with her so she can get acclimated with the new changes in her life, with no gaurantee of really getting to see more of her in the future? Is it selfish of me to only want her to think of me as a top priority since it is a new relationship? Should I giver her space and not say say things like: "oh, so you don't want to spend time with me"? I do not have a lot of experience with girlfriends so I am a bit of a novice in handling these issues.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
I can tell by your writing that you are obviously quite a bright guy. Reflecting back on your first post----again, it is not at all uncommon for relationships to start out very intensely, and then for one partner to "catch themselves" in terms of having the "rational" side of their brain gain more strength and caution them to "slow down"---perhaps because they moved too fast in the past and got hurt, or because they realize they have other things they want to accomplish and as a practical matter, the pace and intensity of the contact in the relationship isn't compatible with seeking those goals. So you can safely think about new, fast moving and intense love relationships as being much more emotionally driven than created by a combination of emotion, careful consideration/thought (rational thinking).

You ask whether it is o.k. for you to sacrifice your desire to spend more time with her so she can move get acclimated, though there are no guarantees of this improving in the future. I would say, "yes" it is certainly o.k. for you to sacrifice in this way. Frankly, more relationships would survive if more people knew how to give more than their "50%" in a relationship. So if you feel you can do this, it will probably be good for you, and good for any future partner you have in a relationship. May sound silly or trite, but it does help once in a while to practice sacrificing for others or knowing that for a time, we won't get as much out of a relationship as we might invest in it. And, as a practical matter, you likely have no choice except to do so or do what (?), abandon her, along with whatever degree of frustration you feel and try your fortunes with someone else (?). I would suspect you definitely do NOT want to do the latter!

Also, you are ABSOLUTELY correct in thinking you should perhaps give her space, not pressure her or say things like, "oh, so you don't want to spend time with me"? Your intuition is correct i.e, how attractive or enamoring is it to hear that from someone? You would sound like an insecure, overly dependent partner. EVEN THOUGH YOU FEEL THAT WAY PERHAPS, you absolutely should not act like it!!

Hope this information is helpful to you. Let me know please, if I've overlooked any important aspect of your question. You sound like you will do just fine in this or another relationship in the future; your main enemy is your need to battle your anxiety over losing a relationship you really want (insecurities). Frankly, this sounds quite normal, however; it happens to many if not most people as they mature and gain experience in love relationships.

Best regards.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for the great advice. I really appreciate it. If I have any further questions I will let you know.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
O.K., best of luck to you with this relationship.

Best regards.

"PLEASE be considerate of your expert. If the information shared with you is helpful, confirm this by Accepting their answer and provide Feedback. Thank you!"