My boyfriend is running out of time and he still doesn’t listen to me

I started seeing my boyfriend five years ago, and we are now going strong. Even though I am considering moving to his hometown, which is an hour away, we won’t make the final decision until next week. He tells me he thinks I’m great, and I think he is. He’s super smart and I enjoy being with him. However, he tends to not listen when I talk about stuff. Like how long it will take to get to his hometown and back, or how to find my friends who live nearby. He is not into that type of discussion.

My friends would say, “He’s really missing the boat here. If he really likes you, he’ll focus on spending more time with you!” I’m not sure if they are right. But, I’ve got a ton of catching up to do. I can’t keep up with his workload and never had enough free time in college. And I’m his biggest critic. It seems we’re never on the same page. His tone of voice often shows how he’s feeling, and he’s really predictable. I don’t want to end up unhappy.

I would prefer to make a conscious effort to always stick to our schedule for a chance of staying together. Of course, we can’t always be together on one day each week, but how else are we supposed to spend our Saturdays? Is there a way to break the pattern of not seeing one another? — Elaine

Ellie: Give him a little more than he expects of you. If he asks if you’re dating anyone else, excuse yourself as you head to your professor’s office hours to carry his notes. Let him take on the burden of explaining how he’s going to step up his game so that you can have things you want to talk about.

Tell him that this can’t be left up to him. Maybe have a more dedicated voice and be more “mindful” of what he says. Make it clear that the two of you do talk about stuff. And your friends are right. I think it’s time to let him know just how much you like being with him. All of this is about setting some boundaries.

What I’d suggest is discussing how you’d like your schedules to be if you did decide to move out of town. If this is all that’s on your mind, I’d say it’s time to up the ante. Remind him what you’re willing to do or the options you’d consider. Make it clear that he is playing a very important role in this, which will be your decision, and not his. But listen to him. Pay attention to how he responds.

If this is a great area to live and you just want to see what’s available, then let that be enough to get your moving here. I also think it might be a good idea to stay together for now and focus on packing and visiting his friends, to see if that will make you happier. Take the time to show him that you do, in fact, want to be together and maintain a relationship without compromising. It’s important to realize just how good you have it.

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