I’m a 29-year old girl and I’ve been dating “Jake” for two months. He’s great overall: he marks off a lot of the trivial boxes most of us have (funny, educated, kind). My issue is that he doesn’t make an effort, like plan our dates or pick a time. He returned from a business trip, telling me he had brought me something and handed me his hotel soaps, shampoo and local bread that he kept at his place so we could both eat it. I’m not the kind of girl who expects lavish gifts or elaborate dates, but I keep feeling like I’m dating the laziest guy. He keeps saying he’s giving us his best, that he’ll improve, but there has been no change. He blames it on his lack of relationship experience. Can I really expect my 37-year-old boyfriend to change? Or should I call it quits?
–Waiting For More Than Hotel Soap
This one’s a dud. Put him back on the shelf and back away slowly. You are 29 years old. You don’t have time to waste trying to fix a 37-year-old boy. Men put forth an effort because you are worth it. Boys don’t see a need. He is who he is. If he is putting in this little effort at two months, I can’t even imagine what this relationship will look like in a year. Oh wait! Yes, I can!
Walk down memory lane with me for a moment…
Enter “Jack,” 29, circa 2012. He was funny, tall, handsome, family-oriented and well, the sexual chemistry was out of this world. Cut to four months later, the rose-colored glasses came off and I realized I wasn’t happy. He never had time for me. When we did spend time together, we did what he wanted or we didn’t do anything at all. Jack couldn’t buy me a birthday card or cook a special meal because funds were tight. It was only a week later that he tells me he bought a new big screen TV for his room. The room he occupies at his mom’s house.
At the time, my family lived three hours away. We are very close and I spent as much time with them as I could. Jack would tell me he was coming then he would bail at the last minute, because he “couldn’t afford to take time off work.” All the while knowing my family had planned a dinner in his honor. I wish I could say this only happened once. He couldn’t compel himself to do the simplest things to make me happy. I spent 18 months of my life fighting for this relationship before I realized I was the only one with skin in the game. The more I needed from him, the less he was willing to give.
The fact is, WFMTHS, I wasted a year and a half of my life fighting for changes he didn’t want to make. Who knows who I could have met in that time had I been available to do so. The thing is, I was intuitive enough at four months to know this wasn’t right for me and I stayed. I wanted his time and I wanted him to meet the most important people in my life. I wasn’t worth the effort to him. In the end, I stood up for myself and what I wanted. I’ve dated since Jack and I’m single right now. Jack made me realize I would rather be alone and happy than in a relationship that makes me miserable. A man who values you will prioritize you in his life. You are worth that much. Demand it.
WFMTHS, don’t make the same mistake I did. You can’t start a relationship hoping for change. If this is his best, there is a reason he is 37 and in his first relationship. When someone says “I brought you something,” it’s not unreasonable to expect something thoughtful. He grabbed the only thing left in his hotel room that wasn’t bolted to the floor and called it a gift. Lazy is an understatement. He was thoughtless. We each get a finite amount of time on this planet. A second spent on something that isn’t positive and fulfilling is a second lost. Wasted. Relationships take work but love should come easy.
Do the next guy a favor though. Be honest about why you are ending things. Who knows, you may be the catalyst that makes this boy a man.
Put him back,
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June was born and raised in the south where “bless your heart” is an insult. Self professed serial dater and an expert in all matters of the heart. June also enjoys volunteering, dancing and sewing.