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How or Should I work it out with my self-centered boyfriend?

By Anonymous June 22, 2011 - 4:03am
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5 months ago this guy was my dream partner. He is 29 I am 28 (11 months apart) We are both are artist and tech types who enjoy working on side projects, watching movies, listening to music, playing video games, and are very driven individuals with a sense of identity. We may not share the exact taste in music/movies/etc but we can talk about these things and open up to trying new ones.

First red flag was when he wanted to label our relationship boyfriend/girlfriend very early on. I don't suspect him of cheating or lying to me and was weary of this but since we weren't living together and I felt the same, I went in head over heels.

Over the past month or so I've become increasingly aware of the distance between us. I feel like he is emotionally unavailable and the conversation ALWAYS ends up being about him, or it starts and ends that way without allowing me a word in edge-wise. I get a few token, "what did you want to do?" or "what would you like to watch?" but if it is something that he isn't into he will say, "I'll pass." or he will complain or find some reason why he wants to watch or do something else. Lately our only dates have been to the movie theater DURING THE DAY because he likes to "avoid the crowd". We usually have some errands for him that we run like going to the pet store or Best Buy to look at movies/games. All this was fine with me since I wanted to be cool and go with the flow and enjoy movies and games as much as he does. What makes it difficult is the way he has his set way of what we do and if I suggest say, going to dinner with another couple or out to see some live music he says he doesn't want to or he has to work.

He is inconsiderate and I am the opposite. I pick up on things he says he likes/wants and I will try to make it happen but him, it's like I'm not even on his mind. He suggested getting me a key for his place to make it easier on me to stay the night. I made him one a week or so later and gave it to him, he never gave me one. I even reminded him on several occasions and nothing.

The other issue I have is that in the 5 months we've been dating he has only slept over at my house in my bed a few times. The other times he comes to my house is just for a couple of hours and even that is only a handful of times.

I've tried evening the playing field by not coming over and spending the night but we work out (at his house of course) and we began having sex before/during/after workout and I would leave and go home. That made me feel less close and like I was losing myself and being there for his convenience. I tried bringing this up to him several times, each time started a massive blowout with him repeating that he doesn't keep me from doing anything. All I want is for him to take an interest or at least TRY to do some things that I like or come into MY space to let me feel like he is interested. He claims that he is a great guy and not doing anything wrong but refuses to discuss emotion and gets defensive if he has to look at himself it seems. Anything that disturbs his little universe will upset him to the point that we can't even talk. It has gotten really bad face-to-face and now we hardly see each other anymore. Once per week I stay the night, we go to the movies and run errands. The rest of the time I hardly get texts and we NEVER talk on the phone. He will IM me through GChat about superficial topics.

I feel so alone and I've done a lot of reading and part of me just wants to run as fast as I can but the other part still sees the person I fell in love with and hopes that communication can solve this or something. I just need some perspective as I've been losing sleep for weeks.

Thank you,

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EmpowHER Guest

This post is 5 years old but I would love to know what happened between you two. Reading your post was shocking as it mirrors exactly what I went through.
I met my boyfriend 6 months back and things went really well for the first 3 months- He said he wanted to marry me soon and even came to see me in New York for 10 days (From India)

After the trip, he changed completely. There was a major difference between us and he told me he experiences anxiety and cannot be in a healthy relationship. He still wanted my help and I helped him without expecting anything in return. (Because he was a good person)

Slowly his true nature came out. He became so increasingly self centred, only met me once in a month when it was convenient for him. Only spoke on the phone when it was convenient for him and never took my calls otherwise. He used to take ages to reply to my messages and I started suspecting him of cheating on me.
However, the truth is - he is a self entered guy with no empathy for anyone and he can't even relate to any of my emotions. On several occasions I have told him his behaviour upsets me and makes me feel unwanted. His usual response - what? I don't understand how I can possibly upset you?! It's you who doesn't give me time.

So it became clear that no matter how miserable I was, it wasn't going to make a difference to his life. I broke up with him day before yesterday and he didn't seem to be bothered. It's true he is not emotionally mature enough to consider anyone else's needs other than his own.
My advice is to leave such people to fix themselves and mature! There are plenty of lovely people out there :)

September 28, 2016 - 5:38am
HERWriter Guide

Hi again!

I'm sorry I've been unable to respond, I was away for some time. How are things going with you now? Are you still together and trying to work it out or are you through? I hope to hear back from you!

July 15, 2011 - 12:46pm

Well, he refuses to go out in public and says he will be uncomfortable and then said no. I tried to explain it would keep the tension to a low and prevent yelling outbursts from both sides. He said FINE he will meet me somewhere just tell him where. So I suggested coffee shop or he could pick a place that makes him more comfortable. His response:

"I will say that going to some public place is not going to help me feel comfortable. It makes me feel like I have to be on my defense and seriously, the fact that u even say that, that u don't even feel comfortable at my house and u don't want to do it at yours, that alone says something to me. u know what? No, I'm not going to drive to some place just to talk. I have as much right to feel comfortable as u do. We either agree on this or its already doomed."

I mean...this really does say it all. It's his way or no way.

I told him I can come by at 5 and pick up my things. He says not to bother that he will just drop them off at my door.


I'm very upset right now because he isn't even going to give me any closure and he is treating me like he never cared.

June 24, 2011 - 2:40pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anonymous

Thanks for your post!

I think it's a really positive thing that you are both individulaists who have their own interests but also have some in common too.

But the vibe I'm getting is that you are an individualist who also enjoys a compromise. He's an individualist who does not. It's his way or no way and he insists you come to him (literally and figuratively) and never the other way around.

You need to think carefully about some things. You have only been together for five months and the first six months of a relationship often dictates how it's going to progress. The first 6 months should be a dream! He woos you, you accept! Your dates are fun, adventurous and mutually satisfying, sex is fantastic and in general, you're in a complete honeymoon state of being. You cannot wait for his calls or texts and vice versa.

To be having these problems so early isn't a good sign. I know you said that things were great in the "beginning" but you are still in the "beginning" and things are kind of awful!

I want to suggest couples therapy but if a young couple of only five months needs therapy, there will be much work to do. But if both are willing, it could actually be a good thing; get the wrinkles out now before moving ahead. He sounds pretty sure that his way is perfectly fine though. Would he be willing to look into this? Or would he be shocked that you even feel this way?

If this continues into another week or two (yes, that soon) you need to consider the fact that you and he just maybe aren't a match. People date people all the time and unless they commit for life or get married, they realise they just aren't a match, even if they are both pretty good people. There is nothing wrong with that but get out now before you waste any more of each others time. Don't try to fix something that isn't supposed to be fixed. Watch and listen for signs and follow them. It's better to be honest and leave as friends rather than drag out the inevitable (with all the drama) only to find that two or three years down the line you split anyway, and what a wasted few years - especially when you will look back and see that there was trouble right at the beginning of the relationship.

Talk to him about how you feel - if he's selfish and inconsiderate, he probably has no idea that you feel how you do. You never know, he may be willing to compormise when push comes to shove. If he denies the issues or keeps up his treatment of you (which isn't really good, is it?) then it's up to you to decide what you want to do. Don't let him decide your life (or happiness) for you.

Let me know what you think and my best to you,

June 22, 2011 - 12:11pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Hello Susan,

I appreciate you taking the time to offer some insight.

I couldn't agree with you more. I am honestly already in the phase of acceptance that this isn't the best fit. He has brought up that it isn't good that I even consider "breaking up" however, this goes back to that point that if it isn't good for him it isn't working and if it isn't good for me, then who cares. He has admitted to having deep seeded issues which he blames on his mother and that his father was a good dad but not a good husband. Not good!

You're right, there are some serious problems. At first I thought he could be cheating, now I feel he just hasn't matured emotionally enough to meet anyone's needs besides his own.

Since writing this post I haven't contacted him and he sent me a text saying he is upset, something is off and we need to talk. When I suggested we do it tomorrow instead of tonight since I didn't sleep at all he became extremely upset and demanded that we don't let it sit for 24 hours. Let's not forget that I've been sitting on it for 24 hours when he denied seeing me to talk and cut our conversation short. It's hurtful to know that if he is uncomfortable, talking is a priority, but if I'm miserable, it is my problem to deal with.

Thank you for the support and I will let you know how it goes after tomorrow when we talk.

Any advice on how to approach the topic? In the past even if I am careful not to accuse or attack him he ends up feeling that way anyway.

My plan is to ask him why he feels there is a problem and what is wrong for him.

I worry about expressing to him the way I feel without putting him on the defense.


June 22, 2011 - 5:58pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thanks for the update!

Have you had the chat yet? If not - since he initiated the offer of meeting, I'd let him do all the talking. I suspect he'll talk about his thoughts, his feelings, his opinions etc and as soon as you get to talk you'll offend him somehow or he'll accuse you of not listening to him (because you don't agree with him!). For some people, if you don't agree with them, then you are being judgmental. There is honestly no winning in these situations and no compromise. I think you should let him have his moment (as usual) and decide for yourself what to do with what he says.

You may have had the chat already but I'd love to hear back from you! I think you're pretty intuitive about people so don't lose that gift!

June 23, 2011 - 8:34am
(reply to Susan Cody)

Hello Susan,

We didn't talk last night. I texted him during the day to see how he was and when he wanted to get together but his response was:

"I'm anxious, irritated, sad. I've had slow burning anxiety issue for 4 days. It gets worse every day. I don't know honestly when to meet, I don't know how I feel anymore...part of me wants to talk, and part of me doesn't."

I asked if he was saying he NEVER wanted to talk.

His response:

"I don't know...I didn't sleep last night and when I do I have nightmare. I was up from 4 till I went to work. I don't know what to even say or where to begin. I feel like I've had to bottle everything I've been feeling in w my worries and now I have this huge knot in me and I don't know what to do. I don't feel like ur there and I don't feel like I can share this w u bc uve shut off from me."

Long story short, I was very nice to him and understanding and tried to let him know I am wanting to talk etc. He then said that he didn't want to talk tonight now because he wants us to talk on a night when we don't have to work and sleep. !!!

So the guy who couldn't wait 24hrs is putting it off for ANOTHER 24hrs.

It seems to me this guy just wants total control and he could care less about my feelings and he never will.

I'm going to meet with him at his house so if things end I can get my things. I'm prepared to let him know that I am not happy and I don't see a future with him anymore but I'm not closing my mind to a miracle. That is what it would have to take though, based on our conversation, this strange drama and lack of communication I can't imagine him suddenly having an ounce of empathy for anything besides his ego.

June 24, 2011 - 1:21pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to dvsnme)

Hi again

Good luck this evening - it seems he might be a bit unstable at the moment. Are you sure you are ok to meet at his house and not somewhere in the open? I'm not saying he'd do anything but he's not in a steady mind frame at the moment. Make sure you tell someone where you are going and when to expect to hear from you.

I hope you work things out in a healthy way that will make YOU happy. Keep us posted and be safe.

June 24, 2011 - 1:26pm
(reply to Susan Cody)

That is a good idea. I suggested that and he said he doesn't feel comfortable in public. I know it's because he can't control his crazy outburst when dealing with difficult emotions and he either will make a fool of himself or be forced to talk in a civil manner. Both I'm sure make him VERY uncomfortable.

Do you have any suggestions of a good place to go?

June 24, 2011 - 2:05pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to dvsnme)

I know your post was written years ago but I'd like to know how things ended with you two. I had the same situation with a guy I dated for 4 months or so but my problem is that I think I started falling for him too quickly before I realized what was happening. we had everything in common and got along wonderfully until I wanted to do something that he wasn't interested in. UGH! Did your guy come to his senses? or was it still all about him? thanks

June 29, 2015 - 4:55pm
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