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My boyfriend wants to make things 'less serious'. What do I do?

By July 1, 2010 - 6:19am
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My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for six months but have been official for about two. Through out the six months, as he lives away we've seen each other every weekend. Either him coming down to see me or me going to see him. Recently after a large argument about feeding my baby son (yes I am a single mum) he became very standoffish. We saw each other at the weekend and all seemed fine, however he has been reducing communication and I began to worry.

He then phoned to ask if we could go for lunch, and alarm bells began to ring, when I asked him what was wrong he said that things had become too serious too quickly. That he feels bad if he doesn't phone/text me and that we see each other every weekend and "he didn't know what was going on in his head". He acknowledged that it wasn't just me doing the running, he's been sporadically coming down to see me and instigating communication.

Next week he's coming down next week so we can have a chat. Either we break up or find a compromise as to how to make our relationship less serious. I don't want to break up with him as I really care about him, but I don't want to be in a relationship where we talk once a week and see each other once a month.

We were so happy until recently. I just don't know where to go from here. I'm trying to be proactive (like coming on here for advice) rather than breaking down and crying assigning our relationship to dust. I know as a single mum I've got a lot more baggage, but he's known me for a while as we have many mutual friends and he knew what he was getting into. How do I cool things down, with out breaking things off?

For your info, I'm 21 student and he's a 25 professional. Help!

Add a Comment3 Comments

Hi Bailey Chase,
Thanks for posting! I agree with what Alison told you, and with what you have said. You have to do what's best for you and your baby. It's good to know that you are willing to look at things differently, no matter how tough it is. You know that your baby is #1 priority, and this man (good as he is) is only part-time at best. You deserve to be in a relationship 100%, or as close to it as possible. I understand how difficult your situation must be, and how hard it may be for you to meet people, etc. The time you are without the boyfriend should tell you that you will be OK regardless of the outcome of this meeting and relationship. You can keep in touch with the boyfriend if you're comfortable with being more friends, and I truly believe that if it's meant to be, it will work itself out in time. Good luck and keep us posted on how you're doing!

July 2, 2010 - 9:28am

That is great to be proactive, and think through what is going on. Women often times analyze the relationship: what went wrong, what does he want, etc.

My best advice: figure out what YOU want. Independent of him. Pretend that you do not have a boyfriend in your life while you think about what you want and need in a relationship. Take time discovering what type of relationship, what type of man, you want. How do you want to feel in a relationship? What do you want to do with your time together, and when you are apart? What qualities are you looking for; what similar goals, life philosophies, future plans?

Please be honest with yourself, and not try to "match" what you want with your current boyfriend. Understand that no one will every match 100% what your relationship "criteria" is, but it should come close without compromise. Prioritize the list. Then, listen to your boyfriend and his needs/wants. It is WONDERFUL that he is talking with you about this! It might not have anything to do with you; he has probably thought through his own relationship "criteria" and is wanting to slow things down so that he can have time to be with you, to be with his friends, his co-workers, spend time alone...and really get to know what he wants out of his life. You can take this talk as a GIFT from him: you two can spend quality time apart, spend quality time with family, friends, alone, etc, as well as together. Get to know your authentic self--seriously!--and listen to what you want. Listen to what he wants, too. You both have to be true to yourselves for a relationship to work; you can't make yourself "fit" into what he wants. If it works...great. If it does not work out in the end...it is because you both were truthful and honest and this is equally valuable.

Does that help?

July 1, 2010 - 1:47pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

I agree with you. I've changed my mindset from being the 'victim' as it were to viewing our time apart as time to invest in me. Last night I followed your advice and made a list of all the qualities I want from a man/relationship and I now know when going into our meeting next week what I want and don't want from our relationship. If his needs don't meet mine although it will hurt I'm going to call it a day, better now than dragging the torment out for another few months for him to turn round and say 'its still not working for me'.

However something I'm unsure about is if he asks if we could go on a longer break. I don't see the point of not seeing each other for a month or so, taking a week or so to take a step back and reflect on our relationship I understand, spending a month or more is a little confusing. If he proposes an extended break, so early in our relationship I'm not sure how to react.

July 2, 2010 - 3:16am
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