Too Busy for a Relationship?

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I went out with my boyfriend for 9 months, and tried to keep the relationship going when we got to college. We were very close, and both admit that it was the best time of our lives that we spent together. He joined many organizations and didnt have time for the relationship, saying it wasnt fair to me if he didnt have the time.

It's now 4 months later and were both still very good friends...i think there is still hope that we will get back together, i miss him terribly and i think he still as feelings for me. How should I go about trying to start up this relationship again? I think he's afraid that next semester will be just as hard and busy so he won't ask me out...What can I do? Advice
I think this is sort of related to the people who want to 'take a break' from their relationship, because they have some sort of notion that a relationship means you "have to" go out 7 days a week and spend 1.5 hours a day with each other. Which is not true! A relationship is about *emotional commitment* - and it can involve being apart for months at a time. Just look at all the married people who have great, loving relationships even though one of them is in the navy or working overseas.

I guess in one way you can say that he chose those other organizations over you - he rated the importance of being in them higher than the importance of spending time with you, and then when he felt guilty about that he asked to break up so he wouldn't have to deal with the guilt of being in those places instead of with his "girlfriend" to whom he owed time.

On the other hand, you only go through college once, and there are tons of exciting, new things to do in it, and it can be hard to pass those up for a female that you hope will be there for you afterwards anyway. So maybe he sort of put you on "hold" for now so he could have this other fun guilt-free and then just come back to you later.

In any case, all of this is in his mind. It all has to do with his guilt over not having time to be with you. It doesn't sound like either of you have been dating other people so it's not like you were "freed up" to go spend that time elsewhere with other guys. So you need to sit down and talk about this.

Yes, he has a right to spend time with his clubs. And yes, it's just one of those tradeoffs that people make in college. But it does NOT mean that your relationship has to cease. If he has feelings of guilt, he has to just accept them and get over them. If you're happy being his girlfriend and knowing it means only X hours a month of actual together time, then do it that way! Think of it as your own long distance relationship. Like I said, lots of dating and married couples do so from far away and spend FAR less time with each other than you guys do - and they are perfectly happy. So there's no reason you guys can't date, and still lead your own lives, and just be happy that you're committed to each other and that when you *can* spend time together, you will.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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