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"AITA for asking my BF a question he thinks was 'loaded and unfair'?" UPDATED

"AITA for asking my BF a question he thinks was 'loaded and unfair'?" UPDATED


"I [25f] asked my SO [25m] what I thought was a reasonable question. He thinks it was loaded and unfair."

So I've been with my boyfriend for about a year and a half. He's quite stoic, not very emotional. He has a tendency of just saying or doing anything to keep the peace and hates conflict. We've sort of fallen into a pattern of me wanting things (to talk more, to do more things etc) and him doing them 'to make me happy'.

Nearly every time he does these things or I bring up that they're important to me, he says that those specific things are not important to him. Here is a list of things he's stated are not that important to him:

  • Physically being in the same place. We've recently gone long-distance (not far though, about two hours away from each other) and when I mention I would like to see him more or be together more, he says that being physically together isn't a big deal for him, or not 'as important as it is to me'. He says that he 'doesn't mind' going to see me, as long as it's not inconvenient.

  • Sex. Our life has dropped off since we first started dating (not significantly, about twice a week now instead of five or six, not a big deal). He's mentioned before that sex just isn't that important to him. It's fine and he likes it, but not a priority. He rarely initiates anymore.

  • Physical affection of any kind. He's not a cuddler at all, he doesn't care much for kissing (he'll mostly do it because I want it, I feel, though he hasn't stated this expressly).

  • Communication. Since we've been together he's stated that he doesn't feel the need for any type of meaningful communication or to talk much. He will do it to please me.

  • Doing activities together. He doesn't feel the need to do anything specific together. Doesn't see the point of dinners out, doesn't see the point of social events.

  • Holidays together. He hates holidays, doesn't see the point in them.

This list goes on but these are the main ones. Also, these things came out slowly during the course of the relationship. He would do the above activities, and only later tell me he did them for me. The only activity he's ever said he enjoys doing (with me) is watching a movie together at home. He also enjoys buying little gifts for people in general) and will buy me little thoughtful gifts.

Last night, he told me that he can't afford to come visit me (it is about a $50 flight) because he's decided to go to a wedding (his friend's ex-girlfriend's sister's, whom he has never met, don't ask) where he will spend way more than that. I've come to visit him twice in a row and can't travel during the period we're both free because my own sister is visiting during that time from Europe

(he's close with my sister btw, and him not visiting will mean he won't see her as well). I said that two months of not seeing each other is long for me and that it sucked. I wasn't angry, but definitely upset, and I said I didn't want him to not go to the wedding (I actively encouraged him to go) but that I feel he doesn't ever put anything in our relationship on priority.

He then told me again how the same things that are important to me in the relationship aren't important to him. So I said okay, you've told me many times about the things that aren't a big deal for you/aren't a priority, and that's valid. So what IS important to you within the relationship? I said it doesn't have to be the same things as mine,

but surely there is something within the relationship that is sacred or a priority for you? He said that was a loaded and unfair question and refused to say anything. He then said that some things I stated were important to him, just not as important as they are to me, and not something he would necessarily sacrifice other things to do. I just said goodnight and hung up after that, and now don't know what to say.

He is a kind person and I appreciate that he does things to make me happy, but I wish there was anything he did just because HE wanted. It must be tiring for him to constantly be doing things he doesn't want to do, and it's tiring for me to know it's always, always a chore for him.

I don't know if it was bitchy of me to put him on the spot or if it's something valid that should be addressed. We are so different, but I enjoy being around him and I really do care for him. I'm just starting to feel that we are too different and want very different things.

tl;dr my boyfriend has a list of things he doesn't consider super important in a relationship. I asked him during a semi-argument what he DOES consider important. He thought I was being unfair and has still not answered.

edit: I really didn't expect this to blow up the way it did! Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to leave comments. I want to go through each one properly, sorry if I haven't replied to yours yet! The consensus seems to be that this isn't a relationship he's invested in and that I should cut my losses.

I think this is something I've known subconsciously for a while, but to have nearly a thousand people reaffirm it makes me feel like I'm not the crazy one for once. I also think I need to visit this whole issue in therapy and explore why I feel the need to just be in a relationship, why I don't expect more for myself, and why I don't think I can do better than this.

A while later, she shared this update on the situation:

After the events of the post, I sent my boyfriend an email (after we spoke on the phone and I voiced all my concerns), essentially saying that I loved him but we had different needs. He wrote me a long email back, which was very surprising to me since he doesn't like to show emotion in any way. He said he feels as if he's become a shell of a person and that he would really like to work on things.

I agreed to try, vowing to myself that something major had to change. During all this, I bought 'Attached' by Amir Levine (after a few commenters suggested it). It completely changed my outlook. I identified so strongly with the anxious attachment style and I really felt my boyfriend was avoidant. A lot of our problems made sense. I started to work on sorting through those issues individually in therapy.

I tried to put a stop to my protest behaviours completely (threatening to leave during fights, ignoring messages in hopes that he'll 'miss me', asking for reassurance often). I even recommended that he read the book. He read the first chapter and immediately agreed that we were anxious/avoidant.

Over a month later, I've felt a growing distance. The future is looming and decisions need to be made. I started doing more without him. Looking at flats alone for once. Yesterday, after weeks of not discussing 'the relationship', I asked him if he felt a disconnect too and he said he did and was glad I said it. We then agreed that it wasn't working and likely never would due to our differences.

I'm pretty devastated. We ended on incredibly good terms and I still think the world of him. It's hard for me to know if I'm doing the right thing or if I expect too much. He's such a stable, solid, kind presence in my life and I feel thoroughly alone. I do realise that I went through this for a reason, it's just hard to remember that right now. It's just very raw at the moment.

I'm hoping time heals all wounds and this isn't something I grow to regret. Thank you to everyone for your support on the last post. It's really helped me get through all this so far. I go back and read the comments every time I wonder why I went through with this.

tl;dr I tried to make it work with my boyfriend after realising we have different needs. It didn't work out and we ended civilly. I'm feeling shattered and scared, but hopeful I made the right decision.

Sources: Reddit
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