It's going to be 4o-something degrees in Boston this week. Spring – and new love – is coming. Tell me any and all problems about in-progress relationships and being single. Email [email protected] or fill out the form.
I am in my early 20s and have been dating a man who’s around my age for about two years. We've both met each other's families, we say we love each other, we've lived together for months upon end, and are unremarkably happy and in love. Communication is excellent and we rarely fight or disagree on things. Everything in my relationship is more than I could ask for. Even when we live together for weeks upon end, we get along better than a dream.
Recently, however, I have been dealing with a great bit of boredom. We were living together for three to four months in Boston prior to the pandemic, but once it started, he moved back home with his family 40 minutes away from me, and visits every weekend. Thus, we haven't gone out to eat, gone on weekend trips, explored much, or done many adventures. We try to make the best of it and have date night with takeout, go walking, etc., but I feel that it is not "stimulating" enough. When he's home and not with me, we text and try to FaceTime every night, but I often don't find much enjoyment in it, and sometimes would rather just go straight to sleep or wait hours to respond to a text. When he's here on the weekends, everything is comfortable, happy, and things feel a bit more normal, like they were before. When he's gone, I often don't feel I have a boyfriend. But our plans are to move in together permanently this fall and potentially "show the rings" in the near future, so I am hoping this will help solve the feeling I am having, as we'll be together all the time.
Is the feeling I'm having due to the pandemic and separation? Or maybe I am getting bored of the relationship in general? Do I need constant attention? Am I just lost and spoiled, not recognizing how great I might have it in this relationship? I am also fearful of the tendency I've been having to reach out to other people, old friends, etc., some of whom I probably shouldn't talk to out of respect for my partner.
– Mr. Anxious
"Is the feeling I'm having due to the pandemic and separation?"
Listen, it's been a year. Many of us are sick of every part of our routines. It's a pretty good sign you still want to see your boyfriend at all.
My advice is to ask for more days of his week, and to stop the obligatory nightly FaceTime calls. You're best when you're together. Maybe he can add one day. If not, give yourself some hours to miss him. I don't know what your daily responsibilities involve, but if screen time and remote communication are part of it, a FaceTime that should be fun can feel like an obligatory task. It's another moment you have to be on – and on a device. Maybe it'd be better to watch the same show and text throughout. Or leave each other voice memos. Or skip two days of communication so you have a ton to talk about when you do meet up.
Also, maybe stop thinking about "showing the rings." There is no official timeline here. You're both going to have to adjust to an open world and what it feels like to live together when you can see your greater community. Please do not add "we better get engaged" to your to-do list. Give yourself time to be in the moment.
As for reaching out to "other people," it could be a boredom thing. A pandemic thing. See the old flowchart from 2020. Call friends, family, or anyone you've been neglecting. Again, we're at about 12 months of some level of isolation. It sounds like you're coping with restlessness. The most important thing is that when your partner is in your presence, you're happy he's there. Find out if that continues in a more normal world.
Readers? Is this about hitting a pandemic wall? Is it about something else?