I need your advice

I can’t work out if I’m being unreasonable and I need the advice of my sage followers.

I’ve recently written about my frustrations with Andrew. He can be a bit crap at keeping in touch and is a workaholic. He isn’t used to being in a relationship and considering someone else when making decisions.

Obviously a couple of weeks ago, I went a bit bananas because of a series of small things, which developed into a massive thing in my head, because I didn’t talk about it soon enough.

Then, we finally did talk, and it went well.

That message he sent me, saying “I need to know when my behaviour needs to change” was the most adorable message I’ve ever received, and seems like something a maturing puppy would send.

But how things have been over the last week hasn’t really filled me with confidence that it’s all going to be brilliant now.

This is how it’s played out.

When we were saying goodbye on Friday morning, the morning after his interview and The Chat, I said “when shall we see each other next?”

He was an usher at a wedding that weekend, out of London, so the weekend wasn’t an option.

We went through each of the days of the next week, but every evening, one or both of us was busy.

In the end, he said the Sunday. As we said goodbye, I thought he meant the Sunday that was 2 days away, but later that day, it suddenly dawned on me that he meant the following Sunday, like 9 days away.

I felt sad about that. We had already just had a gap of over a week between dates.

He texted me a bit at the wedding, then tried to phone me on the Sunday morning, but I was still asleep.

We spoke on the phone in the afternoon. He was back in London. I suggested I came round to his, and he said that would be nice.

I’ll probably write a separate post about that evening, but we had a really great time. He was very tired and hungover, and was quite sweet and almost a bit clingy. He kept hugging me a lot.

In the morning, it was the first time I’d gone to work from his, from one side of London to the other.

At 9am, I texted him saying “I made it to work!” as he’d been concerned the journey would be too epic.

He replied that evening.

I sent quite a long reply, and he just texted “night 🌃” at about 1am.

Tuesday morning I sent him a link to somewhere in Dorset where I thought we could go, for our weekend away.

He initially suggested that we go away together, a month or so ago. Since then, he’s brought it up a few times and we’ve tentatively planned to go to somewhere in Dorset with a beach, in October.

He replied at 9pm, saying he’d look at it when he got home from work.

At about 11pm I sent him a message asking if he had time to speak on the phone.

I wanted to talk about my plans for the Wednesday night.

I was planning on meeting a friend for a drink in North London, not far from where he lives. Previously, he had said Wednesday was the one night he was free and I wasn’t.

We had previously talked about me making more of an effort to go to his place, and also, I wanted to see him, so I suggested that after meeting my friend, I stay at his.

He said he thought it would be nice to see me.

He has been in court this week, as a case he’s worked on has gone to trial, and he seems particularly busy with that, as well as preparing for another trial that’s coming up.

On top of that, he’s being an usher at another wedding in a few weeks.

He was supposed to be going to a suit fitting on Wednesday evening, but he thought he would have time to see me afterwards.

I said, “Look, you sound really busy, and I don’t want to add to that.”

We agreed he’d text me in the day, when he knew how the court case was going, to tell me whether to come around or not.

I said I needed to know by 5pm, so I’d know whether to leave my car at work or not.

On Wednesday, at 4:30pm, he texted me saying things were so busy, we couldn’t meet.

I felt a bit deflated as it was the first time one of us had suggested meeting and the other had said no.

I also felt like I’ve been trying to take more risks and put myself out there more, with suggesting to meet up and not relying on him to do it. I realised I haven’t been doing it because I’m a bit scared of being rejected, so it was a shame it hadn’t gone well.

However, he had let me know by the deadline we’d agreed (just), and I hadn’t had to chase him for confirmation, so that was a step forward. It wasn’t his fault he was busy.

I sent him a nice, albeit quite therapisty text back. (I was kind of referencing something we’d previously talked about.)

I had an amazing time with my friend and was glad I didn’t have to rush off and see him. (I met up with the lady I met on my EMDR training, back in February.)

However, I was a bit sad he didn’t text or phone or anything that evening. If I was him, even if I was busy, I would at least have replied to his message.

On Thursday, he eventually texted me at 9pm, saying he was stuck at work.

He tried to call me at about 11pm, but I was asleep.

On Friday, I think things started easing off with the court case.

When the jury was out, he had a bit more time and tried to phone me, but I was busy at work.

When I finally got time for a late lunch, and called him back, he was back in court.

We finally spoke when I left work, at 6pm.

About a month ago, he had seen a poster for an open air screening of Back to the Future, at a park near his place, which is on this Sunday.

I can take or leave Back To The Future, but it’s one of his favourite films and he seemed really keen.

A week ago he had said “I must get the tickets.”

When we spoke about it yesterday, it transpired he hadn’t got the tickets and it had sold out.

After we got off the phone, he sent a follow-up message saying “have a nice time with Tess,” who was coming around.

A bit later, he sent another message saying he was doing work. He said “I’m watching some really boring CCTV. Is there any chance you could send me a diversionary image?”

I wasn’t sure how to respond.

I felt a bit like I’ve barely heard a peep out of you all week, and now you’re asking for a naked photo?

Also, the last couple of times I sent him naked photos, which he’d asked for, he didn’t acknowledge receiving them, which made me feel a bit embarrassed.

I didn’t reply straight away, then, 20 minutes later he sent another one saying “Sorry that’s a bit inappropriate when you have a guest. Have a good evening.”

I replied saying “Tess has seen my tits before. But I’m currently in Sainsbury’s.”

Then I said “this will have to tide you over…”

As the evening progressed with Tess, we got quite drunk and decided to go clubbing.

I texted him a series of increasingly drunk messages, and then got Tess to take a photo of my breasts in the toilets.

He just texted the word “Nice” in response to my breasts.

This morning I texted him “sorry I was trashed last night. I don’t even have an umbrella.”

He hasn’t texted me anything today.

I know today he was just planning to go running, see his sister and maybe do more work.

I feel a bit of a dick for my drunk messages last night, and his silence is making it worse.

I feel like crying, but I know it’s partly because I’m having the slight existential crisis you get after a heavy night of drinking and I’ve got period pains.

So, this is what I need advice with.

He hasn’t been communicative this week. Usually he is better than this. I know he’s extremely busy at work. The one time we spoke on the phone, it got to midnight and he said he needed to go, to continue working.

I remembered that last time he was in court all week, it was the week I had laryngitis, and that time I also felt a bit insecure about his lack of communication.

I think this time, he’s even busier, because he’s just come back from annual leave (even though he was called into work several times then.)

Whenever he’s not in court, he’s preparing for another trial that’s coming up, because he’s been away.

Also, normally he works very long hours, but makes time to see me outside of that. However, with these two weddings he’s involved with, he’s had to fit in suit fittings and things when he might usually have seen me.

I think if it was a different week, I’d just write it off and hope we’ll see more of each other when things settle down.

However, after feeling unsure about our relationship in the last few weeks, this all feels more significant.

I think I just need to wait and see what happens next.

If it carried on, I don’t think I can be satisfied with seeing each other less than once a week.

I can’t be satisfied with texts going unanswered. I can’t be satisfied with permanently feeling like I’m not a priority.

However, it’s not usually like this. We had been seeing each other 2-3 times a week. He can be hit and miss with replying to texts, but he’s good at phoning me when he has the chance, and he has even done that this week.

I’m worried it’s always going to feel like this, with him.

I think his work will always be all-consuming. He might be able to improve his communication when busy, but his hours and attitude to work won’t change.

A lot of his colleagues seem to have partners who have been side-lined because of the police force. I don’t want to become one of them.

I think this phase, coming out of the honeymoon period, is always hard. Your feelings have become really deep, but you don’t have the strong basis of a well-established relationship, to counterbalance them.

I’m stressed out and overthinking things because I’m falling in love with him, and the stakes feel really high.

I think I’ve already answered my question.

I think he hasn’t really done much wrong, except for not sending a couple of replies that he should have. He’s just incredibly overworked.

Things will probably get better over the next week or so.

I think I just need to wait and see what happens next.

But what do you think?

Is it going to be OK?

17 thoughts on “I need your advice

  1. This isn’t going to be what you want to hear, but I have known several police officers – both senior and not so senior – and their workload was nothing like he pretends he has. It does seem that he’s putting work ahead of you at every turn – but then I’m only reading your side. There’s also the fact that your work often deals with deconstructing behaviour, so you’re going to pick up on the smallest things that others might not. I’m not really helping, am I – and of course I’m biased 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My opinion is that this is part and parcel of who is. Work comes first. It will always come first. Or his other obligations. It seems friends are also ahead of you. He means well. Heart of gold it seems. But oblivious to the attention and focus he needs to put on you. I’ve been married to someone like this for a long time. After 16 we are finally starting to get her to realize how much she prioritizes everything except me.

    For you I think this means you need to have some really Frank discussions with him about how it is going. You may need to be ready to walk away as well. I can tell from your angst and constant wondering that this communication pattern is not going to work for you long term. As it wouldn’t work for me either. You either need it to change or you need to make a change. You can let him blame it on work but it’s not just work.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think he’s very much into you but this is who he is. His job combined with his personality equals this. His communication style doesn’t match yours and doesn’t match your needs. This makes you insecure (which I don’t think you need to be with him). The real question is will you be happy with this in the long term. If this is the best it’s going to be. It seems he can calmly take your constructive criticism onboard (which is great) but doesn’t apply it. So maybe you’ll learn to adjust your own expectations once you’re more secure in the relationship or maybe it just won’t work if you’re constantly agitated by his inability to meet your expectations.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am sure you know this anyway but I can assure you that his workload will be every bit as bad as he says it is! So please don’t think for one moment that there’s any element of him using work as an excuse or a veil for something else that he’s up to. I took a career break before I got ill. I am returning but I am returning to a specialism which, in my view, will be worth the inevitable stress! Also, I’m not sure that his friends are “ahead of you” as per the comment above. We all know people who go off the radar when in a new relationship and on a long term basis I actually I think it’s a positive thing that he has upheld commitments to them. In comparison to other men you have been involved and have written about it, his personality is in a different league. He has not done anything remotely cruel or mean. As I said I am surprised he has managed to see you as much as he has – I don’t think there’s any doubting how much he is into you. And the simultaneous orgasms!!!! That has to be a good sign. However I think you are right in that, even if he refines his communication skills, the situation will not fundamentally change unless he has a massive rethink. I can identify with him because I am also a workaholic and a perfectionist so I understand the mentality. The fact he has been acting up and is keen on career progression means he has to prove himself even more. To some extent you could experience some variation of this issue with other ambutious people, whether it’s someone starting a business, a touring musician, an A&E doctor etc. Personally I think he sounds like a bit of gem and I like to think things can work out, but ultimately it’s about what your expectations of a relationship are and what will make you happy. I would be intrigued to know what his end game is – what’s he really aiming for? And what are your most important goals? I always thought it was so promising that he showed enthusiasm about your novel writing and can see that you could achieve a lot as partners but it might come at a cost. You know what’s non-negotiable. I do know officers who have partners working in different fields and they do seem to be making it work, although I do acknowledge that some might have an almost “army wife” mentality. A lot of my old school friends seem to have found very domesticated, hands on dads (to their children). This stands out to me as they are so different to the men I am surrounded by who do tend to be a bit of a law into themselves (I feel like there some sort of feminist angle here, but I haven’t fully formed my thoughts on it!). But it’s worth bearing in mind if you want children factor into your future. Living in the present is all very well, but you owe it to yourself to pursue your ideals.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I echo Sophrosyne above and I think my views most closely aligns with hers. Dater, I feel so much empathy with you but to break down my thoughts, here they are:
    * have a D&M about what is really important in your current and near-future life, maybe even the big goals
    * decide what your minimum communication and actual time together is, and ask him the same (ie the deal breakers)
    * think about whether he actually has time for a committed relationship, and maybe tie into that discussion the top 2 points and ask him the same question
    * be prepared to be let down, because it does seem that Andrew’s job comes first, and that’s not a criticism of you in any way, but if you think about how hard he’s worked to get there, and the pressure he is under to do well or even maintain his position in the face of all the other economic problems in the UK, I think it puts ‘career’ into perspective
    * understand that sometimes, however much you might mutually care for each other, sometimes the universe does not align.

    Not sure if any of this is helpful and of course I hope for the best outcome, because I genuinely think Andrew is a gem and a wonderful match. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Can I be inappropriate first 😉 ? I love the picture you send. Hot! He should have compimented you more on sending this ❤

    I like cougars answer best of all, in second place sophrosynes. They both covered a lot.

    My 2 cents: Up to know he seems quite promising, even with the crappy answering style. He tried to call you, which makes up for a few things. So I dont think its all bad, but I think you need security.

    Did you have the boyfriend/girlfriend talk? Maybe if you had the talk you would feel more secure with him. Maybe even talk about having more regular sleepovers (like fixed days), so that you have more of a routine and not only dates. I think the dating should come to an end and the relationship should begin.

    Talk about what the two of you want out of a relationship, if you are on the same side and how to see each other regularly without the need to talk about it every single time (e.g. a befriended couple see each other on wednesdays as date night, and every weekend from Friday to Sunday/Monday. They stay at her place Wednesday night and at his place on weekends. Of course they have to accomodate if something comes up, but they also have something to rely on. On top of that they text every day they are apart and they call each other 1-2 times in between seeing each other).

    Maybe you could work out a schedule with Andrew by saying "Andrew, I quite like how things are going between uns, what do you think about moving forward…." then you could suggest what would be your ideal schedule and Andrew could tell you what his ideal schedule would look like. After a few months you could exchange keys.

    What do you think?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You’ve been given lots of great advice. It seems Andrew really cares about you and wants to please you but that his time management skills and/or his job demands don’t meet your needs all the time. It seems you’re quite happy with him most of the time and maybe that’s enough. Only you can answer that.

    It would probably be enlightening to ask if he thinks his job is always going to be so demanding. Is that the nature of his job, are they short-staffed, or is something unusual currently happening? I also like Eve’s suggestion of asking if he can commit to seeing you certain nights. If you talk more about this, he may even be able to offer some solutions that hadn’t occurred to you.

    I think you should give it a little more time to see if he can meet you halfway on this. I’ll be honest, though, his job demands and priorities remind me of one of my ex-boyfriends (you may have read about Gravy on my blog?). I was dissatisfied because I was very obviously a low priority (below work, school, and rugby) and he wouldn’t commit to seeing me at least one specific night per week. In the end, I felt slighted and unimportant to him because he wanted to cram me into the corners of his life. I ultimately wanted and needed more security and consistency than he could provide; it was a painful breakup.

    If you’re frank with him, I believe his reaction will tell you everything you need to know about how to proceed.

    Liked by 2 people

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