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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bf and I have been spinning our wheels a little.

I'm giving the milk away for free so to speak and my boyfriend has stopped doing all the things he used to do to court me. We have been dating for 2 1/2 years, are both new in our careers, and just moved in together a few months ago after spending a year long distance. Our relationship has always come very easily and he is a wonderful man who I may just spend forever with. He works hard, is honest, patient, kind, funny, basically a jackpot. Our first year together was filled with exciting adventures, 2 or 3 activities a week. Then there was the year apart when he got used to texting me throughout the day with a call every few days and got lazy.

We've been living together now for 3 months and have been on 2 dates, both ones that I had to ask for. He has always preferred to be a homebody but likes that I get him out of the house. I get frustrated with having to take the initiative on everything and it really turns me off. I've lost track of when the weekend comes because we never do anything different unless I suggest it.

He is wonderful to me, but never does anything to make me feel special. All I'm asking for is a back rub, a little cleaning, maybe something sweet from the grocery store (my ultimate weakness), anything to show he's putting some thought into our relationship! He admitted he's only been thinking of the new job he'll be starting and has not been thinking about our relationship much. I've given up a little out of frustration, but I cook him full dinners, rub his head every night, plan things he likes to do, give him manicures, do things in bed he likes... The bedroom is the same thing too, he's happy to just do the same routine over and over, and it works but I'm kind of bored and wish he were more attentive (I have told him things I like many times, he never remembers to do them).

I've sat him down to talk about this 3 times and it hasn't been productive. It hurts his feelings very much to hear I feel taken for granted and that he's slacking off. So he mopes for a few days, I feel awful for hurting him, and then he gets over it and nothing happens. I feel like that first year was false advertising and this is turning into our first real sore spot in the relationship. I'm not sure what to do! I love this man dearly and being taken for granted hurts when I do so much to keep him happy.

To add to it, we are pretty stressed right now. He is waiting to start a new job, I am underemployed, and I have Crohn's disease which can be pretty exhausting and sometimes makes sex harder. This stress has made our sex life a lot worse the last few weeks, when usually it is great. We both are very open about these stressors and very supportive of each other.

Any advice? I know this is a problem couples go through, has anyone been there and what did you do? Thank you for your help!
 

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It sounds like you may be speaking different love languages. I would encourage you to learn about them and discuss them with your guy in a non-accusatory way. There's an online test available, too, that you could both take.

The gist of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts: Gary D Chapman: 9780802473158: Amazon.com: Books is that there are five ways people show or perceive love. If you do acts of service to show him that you love him, and he is focused on being a financial provider, you can have many disagreements if you don't understand and recognize each other's contributions.

On the other hand, I don't know what stops you from asking for the things that will help you feel appreciated. There's nothing wrong with saying, "Honey, will you take me to this concert this weekend" and then giving him credit for loving you enough to do it.

You could offer to exchange massages, make suggestions in the bedroom, etc. And you can show him love for the way he provides for you by working so hard and by doing the things you ask of him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
On the other hand, I don't know what stops you from asking for the things that will help you feel appreciated. There's nothing wrong with saying, "Honey, will you take me to this concert this weekend" and then giving him credit for loving you enough to do it.
Oh how funny, when you say it like that it sounds so much nicer! I am not very good at saying things in a positive way which is something I'm trying to get better at. I have tried very hard to use that "positive" language when talking about this with him, but it hasn't worked at all. I think you are right on the money, thank you.

I am just not sure how to help him love me the way that I need. I've flat out asked many times (honey it turns me on when you kiss my neck/rub my back, etc) but he never does it. So frustrating! I think he resents me telling him even though he wants to be receptive. I just need to figure out how to let him know in a way that doesn't make him feel like a bad boyfriend!
 

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It sounds like you may be speaking different love languages. I would encourage you to learn about them and discuss them with your guy in a non-accusatory way. There's an online test available, too, that you could both take.

The gist of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts: Gary D Chapman: 9780802473158: Amazon.com: Books is that there are five ways people show or perceive love. If you do acts of service to show him that you love him, and he is focused on being a financial provider, you can have many disagreements if you don't understand and recognize each other's contributions.

On the other hand, I don't know what stops you from asking for the things that will help you feel appreciated. There's nothing wrong with saying, "Honey, will you take me to this concert this weekend" and then giving him credit for loving you enough to do it.

You could offer to exchange massages, make suggestions in the bedroom, etc. And you can show him love for the way he provides for you by working so hard and by doing the things you ask of him.
Excellent advice. I am also what I would consider a homebody and my wife is the type to always be out and about. When we first married I would get frustrated with her constant need to be everywhere but content at home. But she continued to "drag me" out and go to things like concerts, movies, opera etc. And as I got older I realized that if she hadn't I would never have gone anywhere and done all those fun and interesting things. By the same token she often says that if I was not there to ground her she would probably spiral completely out of control and her health and well being would have suffered. In other words, we compliment each other.

Kathy is correct. Learn how to communicate better so that each of you can really let the other know how you feel and what you want. The love languages are a great start. You need to let him know what you want and need but do it in a way that will make him want to do them for you. It sounds to me like you compliment each other well. Learn to use that to your and his advantage and you'll have a happy life together.
 

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He has always preferred to be a homebody but likes that I get him out of the house. I get frustrated with having to take the initiative on everything and it really turns me off. I've lost track of when the weekend comes because we never do anything different unless I suggest it.
If he's always preferred to be a homebody, expecting him to be someone different now is futile. Either love him as he is and understand that means you need to take the initiative and enjoy it, or move on. Getting upset about it now and forever, when he has never been otherwise, doesn't make sense.
 

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He is a homebody and is a low key kind of guy; this is who he is today and probably forever. You WANT him to be something that he is not. You may be a person that needs reassurance more often than most and he is not doing those little things that make you feel appreciated. You now have a decision to make in life. Whether you stay or leave, does not make either of you good or bad people, just different. There are plenty of women that are happy to tell a fellow what to do all the time (see my exwife).

Most men are not trained well in this area. It is usually not the expensive things; it is the number of things that you do to make them special. If you think he is trainable than you need to have a serious discussion. Don’t be vague; describe the things you would like him to plan (ie romantic dinners, concerts, mini-vacations, etc…). It may not be that he is lazy, he just doesn’t know how to make you happy. Discuss that you will plan a certain number of events a month and he is required to do the same. If he is not doing things around the house, that is easy, make a duty roster of what is required of each of you. Each of you have to be accountable to one another.
 
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