He ditches me for his family

Looking for updates. Former letter writers, please send a quick update to meregoldstein at gmail dot com. Include your original email address so I know it's you. I'd love an old update or two. And maybe a recent one. We'll return to chat next week.

Hello Meredith,

I don't usually do this (ask for advice online) but here's hoping I get something good out of it. My boyfriend and I have been together for six months now. We go on dates and hang out. I've met his family and he has met mine. I feel like we are at a good place in our relationship, but recently his family has been trying to move into a new home. He has been bailing on the plans we make to go out with his family.

I know I shouldn't be so upset about this, but I feel like he doesn't take the plans we make seriously. I'm always stuck not knowing how to spend my time when he ditches our plans to go out with his family. This has probably been the fifth time he has done it. Most of the time he hangs out with his family when this happens – they aren't actually buying or doing anything for their new place. They usually just go out eating, shopping, and doing random stuff. I would go out with my friends at times like this, but my friends like planned outings, so I'm usually stuck doing work at home when this happens. I'm tired of being disappointed.

– Bailing on plans


If you're looking for validation that this is annoying and disrespectful, you've come to the right place. Five cancellations is a problem. It doesn't matter that he's hanging out with his family. Even if he were ditching you to do volunteer work, you'd have reason to be upset. He has become unreliable.

You didn't tell us whether you've actually talked to your boyfriend about this problem, which means you probably haven't, and that's no good. Please let him know that you understand the importance of family and why he wants to help his relatives transition into a new home. But make it clear that your time is also valuable, and that if he makes plans with you, he should expect to follow through. Also ask him whether there's anything you don't know. Is there something going on besides the move? Is there a family situation that isn't on your radar? Let him know that you're happy to talk about it.

If you have this conversation and he continues to cancel, it might be time to walk away. Sometimes people ditch plans for emergencies, but it shouldn't be routine.

Readers? Does it matter that he's canceling for family?

– Meredith