My boyfriend of two and a half years and I just moved in together. As time goes by, he spends less and less time with me, and he constantly turns to his friends for his outings, parties, and events over me. Part of the reason why I fell in love with him is because he's so fun and creative — we had so much in common in terms of passions and hobbies, but the more committed we get, the less of these we seem to share.
I understand that it's not that much fun to sign a lease, buy furniture, and set up accounts with utility providers, but it needs to be done, and I don't see why we can't go and relax together afterwards. Instead, he's off to hang out with his friends. We're still living without hot water, gas, or a fridge!
He says he only has so much time allotted for me and unfortunately, that time is now being spent doing routine stuff like getting cable or shopping for bookshelves, so when we're done, he's seen enough of me for the day and would rather go do something else. I understand what he means; I don't want to monopolize his time, I just want to have a life together. I know moving can be stressful, but I'm afraid his behavior is a sign of something worse. I'm tired of making suggestions for fun stuff to do and getting rejected. I don't know what to do. Do you have any suggestions?
— Stuck at Home Serena
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Dear Stuck at Home Serena,
I think everyone can agree that moving is overwhelming, especially when it's with a significant other. It's very possible that your boyfriend's change in behavior is simply a symptom of his worries and fears about taking this big step with you. If that's the case, it's likely that he'll relax as things become less hectic; but, that's still no reason to abandon you with all the chores. Try divvying up everything instead of doing it together. If he hates furniture shopping, go ahead and do that yourself, but make sure he's put in charge of buying the fridge and getting the gas turned on — neither of which should be difficult regardless of whether or not he needs time with his friends.
However, dropping the ball and pulling away just as the going gets tough is never a good habit to see in a significant other. I don't think anyone should ever "allot" only a certain amount of time for the person that they love each day. He should be able to spend time with his friends, but it's not reasonable of him to put a time limit on the effort he's willing to expend for your relationship. Next time, try to come up with something fun you both can do with his friends, and plan on doing it on a day when you won't be doing anything household related. If he still puts up a fuss, then it might be time to reevaluate this relationship.