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April 23, 2007 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Ask Becci

I love my girlfriend very much, but lately it seems that I never get to see her or spend any time with her. She has a lot of friends who she sees a lot, as well as playing sports, studying and working. I’ve asked her a few times if she feels like she’s taking on too many commitments, but she just says she feels bad saying no because she feels like she’s letting people down. Yet she doesn’t seem to realise that she’s letting me down. I don’t want to break up with her, but if I don’t even get to see her for more than a couple of hours a week, is there really any point of even having a relationship?

Although there are no ‘official minimum time requirements’ as to what constitutes a relationship, it’s safe to say that only spending a couple of hours a week together can’t be good for maintaining a healthy, happy relationship, and the fact that you’re unhappy, missing your girlfriend, and contemplating breaking up with her supports this theory. However there are some couples, (people in long distance relationships, for example), who only get to see each other one weekend a month – if that – and they can still make their relationships work. If you really love her – if you think she’s worth it – then you’ll find a way to make this work. You’ve tried the subtle approach (asking her if she feels like she’s taking on too many responsibilities), but maybe you should just drop the subtlety and tell her straight up how you’re feeling? Tell her that you love her, that you miss her, and you understand that she has other friends and other things to do, but you’re feeling a little neglected and maybe she could find a way to spend some more time with you?

It’s not an unreasonable request, and she should at least be able to understand where you’re coming from, as long as you aren’t expecting her to drop all of her other friends and activities so she can spend time 24/7 with you, because then you’re going to be very disappointed.

I started my first serious relationship a few months ago with a really great guy, but he’s recently started bringing up the subject of sex. I really, really like him, but I’m not sure I’m ready to go that far just yet. How do I let him down gently without him breaking up with me?

Everyone goes at different paces in relationships – some people have sex on the first date and others wait weeks, months, or even years. The important thing is that when you do have sex it’s because you’re ready, and because you’re choosing to – not because you’re boyfriend wants it, or you’re worried he’s going to break up with you if you don’t. If he’s only bringing up the subject of sex – rather than pressuring you into doing it – then this gives you an excellent opportunity to tell him how you’re feeling. Tell him that you really like him, but that this is your first serious relationship and you’re not ready to take that next step just yet. If he’s really the great guy you say he is, then he’ll understand, and he’ll wait until you’re ready.

If he doesn’t understand, if he continues to talk about sex, or begins to pressure you, then breaking up doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.

No-one has the right to pressure you into doing things you don’t want to do or aren’t ready to do. And when you are ready, remember to be safe and always use protection.

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