Enlightening Answers: An Unappreciative Partner and a Long-Distance Relationship

I’ve been seeing a guy for nearly a year. I got him a job with a friend’s company – groomed him for the interview, redid his resume. And he got the job! He was a quick learner and he’s doing brilliantly. Here’s the problem: One day he’s so nice and sweet to me, the next he’s flippant, rude, selfish, dismissive and arrogant. He’s apologized many times for this, only to do it again… We fight so much now I’m a bit insecure. I feel that getting him the job has upset the “balance of power” between us. I helped because I genuinely wanted to. But I now think this was the most stupid thing I could do. I just feel he should treat me with a bit more respect. I know I should just move on. But I still have feelings for him, and I believe he does for me, too. Carol, I really would appreciate your view on this and the next steps.

Signed: Sorry I Helped

Dear Sorry,

You are right on two counts – he should treat you with more respect, and you should just move on. I don’t care what you did – it’s never okay for anyone to be “flippant, rude, selfish, dismissive and arrogant.” He’s not that way because you helped him – he’s that way because he’s that way! The guy is not a good guy, though he may have many good qualities, so please stop making his bad behavior your fault. I don’t care that you still have feelings for him – that’s the oldest, worst excuse in the world – the “But I love him,” whine is what gets women (and men!) abused and mistreated the world over. Put your love for him on the shelf and go find someone healthier and more supportive whom you can help or not help and will treat you well either way.

I hope that helps!

I’m in a long-distance, complicated relationship with a man who is overseas. The problem I’m having is that when I ask him to call me more often, he says he will but doesn’t. I’ve tried saying, “It would make me happy if you would… Could you please call me more often… Do you think once a week is possible?” I’ve even made jokes about being at the bottom of his list. I’m frustrated that nothing’s working. The odd thing is that when I don’t ask for anything, he then does it more often. All this is making me feel hurt and angry ’cause I don’t ask for much. I’d appreciate some suggestions on how I can get him to call regularly.

Signed: Waiting By The Phone

Dear Waiting,

Here’s the bad news – you can’t “get him” to do anything… If telling him how you feel isn’t enough to inspire him, then you have incompatible needs. You’ve done everything you can – asking for what you want, letting him know how much it means to you, complimenting him, etc. If that hasn’t worked, nothing will. One of the positive things about dating is you get to find out if someone will give to you and take from you in a way that works for you both. He doesn’t need or want to connect as often as you do. Because you’re in a long-distance relationship, it makes sense you’d need lots of regular phone contact (I’m a five calls a day kinda girl, myself!). If you’re only asking for once a week, he’s lucky! I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – you can’t get anyone to give to you what they’re not giving. It’s good to communicate what your needs are, but your partner is only going to give to you what they feel moved to give. If you have to ask, beg, plead and convince for more and they still don’t do it – you’re with an incompatible partner. It also sounds like he gives more when you don’t ask because he doesn’t like feeling like he “has to” do anything for you – he wants it to be his idea. Here’s the brutal truth – I’d find a less complicated, more geographically convenient relationship with someone who wants the same level of connection and contact that you want.

Good luck!

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