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Wedding Woes

How do I find boundaries with my needy, somewhat jealous BF?

Dear Prudence,

I am a young woman (23) who recently moved out of state with her boyfriend (21) after graduating college and accepting a job. I can see myself spending the rest of my life with him. It took him a while to find a job in our area. That did not bother me considering he battles a mixture of depression and anxiety that makes some work difficult. He has finally found a job delivering pizzas, which seems to suit him well. There is one problem: He insists on calling me every time he delivers a pizza and is in his car (about once or twice an hour). At first, I didn’t mind the chats and used it as a way to help him feel more comfortable. Now, I cannot stand them. I almost loathe every time he calls. I don’t like talking on the phone and hate trying to carry a conversation. I also really like the alone time I’ve gotten since he started working again. I have had conversations with him about calling so much, explaining that I want time alone and I am not always up to talking on the phone after my own demanding job.

It gets complicated because I do spend a decent amount of my time playing games. Most of these people in gaming communities are male, and I often struggle to find people I enjoy talking to because of rampant sexism. Recently I have found a community that is diverse, friendly, and actively anti-sexist. I found this community about a week before he started this new job, and therefore at the same time I have been spending more time talking to them. So when I bring up to my boyfriend I do not enjoy talking on the phone that often, he keeps insisting it is because I would rather talk to them. He has also been increasingly jealous of this community to the point where he has gone through my private chat messages. Of course there was nothing there, and he apologized, but he is still feeling anxious and jealous.

What I really want to do is find a good balance between talking to him but also protecting my own alone time and friendships. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I am suffocated right now every time he calls, but I don’t enjoy hurting him when I choose to decline the call to occasionally do something alone or talk to others.

—Let’s Talk Later

Re: How do I find boundaries with my needy, somewhat jealous BF?

  • Sounds like he adds nothing to her life and does not spark joy so thank him for his service and discard him. 
    VarunaTTOurWildKingdomMyNameIsNotcharlotte989875
  • I can definitely understand the points of @VarunaTT and @STARMOON44, lol.

    But I'd try to work with this guy a bit more, if the relationship is happy otherwise.  I'd set boundaries that he can call me once per shift, on a break.  And I will NOT pick up the phone, otherwise.  He can send a short text here and there.  That I will probably send a quick text back, but maybe not immediately.  The other concern I'd have is he needs to be WORKING when he is at work or he might get fired.  Or get fewer deliveries which means less $$$.

    And that he also needs to stop with harassment about my gaming.  That's just a red herring and has nothing to do with the fact that I don't want to talk to the person I live with on the phone, 1-2x/hour.  Now, if the LW ignores her b/f for hours on end when he's home because of her gaming, then that's another discussion.  Certainly not saying she is doing that.  It just seems like a common relationship problem some couples have.

    Definitely not cool he looked at her private chats, but sounds like they worked that out and he apologized.  Though I wouldn't blame her if doing it again would be a dealbreaker.
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    OurWildKingdom
  • VarunaTT said:
    I feel like the easiest way to achieve LW's goal is to DTMFA.
    My first thought as well.

  • Sounds like he adds nothing to her life and does not spark joy so thank him for his service and discard him. 
    Exactly this.
    MesmrEwe
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    After reading the first line, didn't need to read any further before saying "Honey - if you want something to rebuild, buy a classic car!  It'll cost you less money and aggravation, and most of all when it's finished it'll actually be worth driving around the block, this BF - not so much!" 
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