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You Asked: Where Is This Going?

Dear Sugar,
I am in a long-term relationship, four years, that has recently hit the rocks. My boyfriend and I have been arguing over a lot of petty, but a lot of important things lately. I feel that I am not as big a priority in his life as I should be, and I feel that he doesn't take my interests and feelings to heart. Recently I have felt myself pulling away from him, and it breaks my heart to think of losing my best friend and a relationship I have invested so much time and energy into. My boyfriend complains that I am not attentive enough, not nice enough to him, and selfish. I will admit to being slightly selfish, but am I wrong for wanting him to treat me like a queen?

There are certain things I expect from a man when we're in a relationship (fidelity, honesty, respect, love, and acceptance), but what does a man expect out of a woman? What do men value as highly as I value the above qualities? Is it possible that I am not giving him what he needs just like he is not giving me what I need? — Unsure Ursula

To see Dear Sugar's answer


Dear Unsure Ursula,

Relationships aren't easy, but they shouldn't be all that hard either. It's perfectly normal for you to fight with your boyfriend from time to time but it sounds like you're arguing out of some built-up resentment. If you feel like your needs aren't being met, I urge you to talk to him about it ASAP. It's very clear that you know what you want, but the only way to find out what he wants is to ask him. All women dream about being treated like queens, but Ursala, you need to be realistic here. No relationship is perfect all the time — we all have off days, we all fight, and we all need our personal space.

Yes, you have put in a lot of time and energy into this relationship but that isn't a good enough reason to stay together. If you're both unhappy, perhaps your relationship has simply run its course. As people grow up, they can change. I suggest talking about all your hesitations with your boyfriend, explain why you've been pulling away and let him tell you about his concerns as I'm sure he has some as well. Keep in mind that all couples go through their ups and downs so once everything has been laid out on the table, ask each other if you're both willing to put forth the energy to make this relationship work. I wish you luck.


Join The Conversation
thegiraffe thegiraffe 9 years
Yeah, the last three lines are well-put. Anyone play the game Black & White, where you get to raise this animal and you get to be a god? You have two paths in this game: to be a good, kind and benevolent God and/or have such a pet (i.e. Queen) that people choose to love and willingly revere, or the spoilt, rotten kind that people secretly dislike. I think you should choose the first one :)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Hmmmm, you've been with your man for four years. Don't you know him by now?? What he expects from you? What he values highly? What he needs from you? Have you been so self-absorbed about your needs, that you neglected his needs? I understand about wanting to be treated like a Queen, but you need to be a BENEVOLENT Queen. Have a heart, be kind, and do good towards him. And he will worship and value you. It goes both ways.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
A relationship is a Queen AND a King. i do feel like there are some missing facts in this story, so i can't give a true opinion. the relationship was great at one point, and apparently things have changed. either you both have started treating each other like crap, or you're simply growing apart. you DO grow as a person. and 4 years alot happens. maybe you both need to sit down and take a look at who you are as individuals now, and see if that matches the other person.
Indigo4320 Indigo4320 9 years
My boyfriend would say I have a "princess mentality" and he'd be pretty right on. I've been spoiled my whole life (not excessively, but enough to expect things my way). Until I started dating my current boyfriend I didn't see this as a problem, and boy did he set me straight! As much as we'd love to be pampered and treated like a queen all the time, the reality's just not going to happen. I would say learn to appreciate the times you are treated like a queen...and know that when you are it's a genuine act he's doing for you. If you start demanding he treat you like that queen all the time his actions are going to become disingenuous...and he's going to build up a lot of resentment. Things won't always be perfect, and if resentment is an have to deal with residual bad feelings and get over them quick or your relationship won't last. Don't hold things in because lack of communication is detrimental to a relationship. If you have to fight constantly to keep the relationship afloat..I'd say jump ship.
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
A relationship is a partnership, not a queen and her serf. You should talk to him about his needs and values so you can both get what you want out of this relationship.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
I understand how you feel - it really sucks when you don't feel you are his #1 priority. I've had moments like this as well, and the best thing to do is to talk to him about it. Find a time when you're both relaxed and calm enough to talk and express your feelings and then try to find out his. I found that this works. For a while in my relationship I felt like my bf wasn't making me his #1 priority, only to find out from him that he felt the same way (I was so busy focusing on my own feelings and getting him to make me feel like a queen, that I completely forgot about his feelings). Now I make an effort to be more understanding and patient, and he in turn makes sure I feel that i'm his #1 priority. The only way to find out what is important to your boyfriend is to ask him. Sure, we can tell you what WE think men expect out of women, but you need to be asking your bf that question. The reality of it is that we all get really busy and sometimes take our significant others for granted. Don't see it as "hitting the rocks", but as a part of any normal, healthy relationship. In a perfect world, we would treat each other as kings and queens, but let's face it, when work and life get in the way, its kind of hard, don't you agree?
thegiraffe thegiraffe 9 years
I would love to know more answers to this too. On being treated like a Queen: invite such behavior, rather than forcing it. Behave like a true Queen. Be generous in accepting HIM and understand when he's having some issue that means less time for you. Be largehearted when he's too busy with work, and say 'no problem' with a smile and make sure you make him feel good when he's stressed. Make sure you are attentive to Him, but behave with enough dignity and independence (i.e. don't let him think your life depends on you). Walk like a good-hearted Queen in public, and look well-groomed (someone he's be pleased being seen with). Chances are that he will start treating you like a queen, and even better: not out of force, but because of a genuine desire to do so. Sorry if this sounded too dramatic, but I really believe this helps.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
Men can be tricky with the attention thing. They want attention, but they also want freedom and not to be suffocated. I can see you wanting your BF to treat you on a higher level than anyone else in his life, but to some men that is just ridiculous if they feel that they are giving you the love and respect you need and deserve. I don't know if I would tell him you want to be treated like a Queen, like you want him to wait on you hand and foot and be at your beck and call. Some men run from women who seem too high maintenance or too needy. Your BF probably has a low self-esteem or is unsure about your relationship and is trying to tell you he needs reassurance from you. I think you guys are competing for the top dog spot and both of you are starving for attention. Are you guys both stubborn people? You love him so maybe you should be the bigger person and go to him first. Maybe the attention and reassurance will in turn make him want to be more loving and attentive to you.
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