38 answers

Relationship Conflict - Solution?

Just a little background, I am a 30 year old, full time working mom of a 7 year old. I have a boyfriend that I've been with now for 6 months and we really hit it off great right away. He has met my son several times now and we've all hung out and played games together and such. But, there is one issue that I just can't seem to let go of and i want to know if i should just try to forget about it because i'm silly for being upset about this, or if i should keep pressing this issue that seems to come up more often than i'd like.

Basically the problem is that he is a very busy, social person with lots of friends. If we both were invited to something on the same day and same time, no matter what it may be, he will always go to what he was invited to and not come to my invited event. Another issue that ties into this alot is that I believe that family is VERY important and comes first but he always says his friends are very important to him as if they were his family. If my son has a special event that he is in for school or for cub scouts and my boyfriend already has plans to,for example, go to a movie with his friend that day, then he would go to the movie because he already has plans for that day.

A current conflict example is that he is invited to 2 birthday parties of high school friends, that he hasn't seen or spoke to in awhile; he RSVP'd by e-mail that he was going to go to both of them even though they are on the same day. Then the next day we were invited to a party at my uncle's house (on the same day as the birthday parties he'd already rsvp'd to) because my cousin, whom just got married and lives out of town, is going to be in town with his new wife. I want to see my family because i haven't seen them in a long time, i didn't get to go to their wedding and my boyfriend hasn't gotten to meet them yet. But, because it is on the same day as his 2 birthday parties for his friends he is unwilling to go. And, on top of that if i want to see him and spend any time with him on that particular day, i have to drive to one or both of his friends houses' by myself to meet him there.

I hope i've explained this well enough for you to tell me if you'd be upset by this too (because i feel that he keeps choosing to be with his friends than with me and/or my family), or if I'm over reacting and should just try to get over it and not be upset when these situations come up. Please let me know what you think.
Thanks.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I have to second the 'he's just not that into you' thing. That's the first thing that came to mind. Someone will move mountains to hang out with the one they are totally into, it's just that simple unfortunately:(

7 moms found this helpful

He sounds like a trust worthy friend. As I see it, you don't change plans when another offer comes along. You do what you say you are going to do.

With that said, he isn't that into you.

6 moms found this helpful

No offense to you, but you are expecting this man to be much more invested then is realistic after only 6 MONTHS of dating. You say that 'family comes first'... but you need to realize that you are not his family. You are his girlfriend. He has commitments that he made as a single man and it is unfair for you to suddenly expect him to drop all of them because you want him to attend an event with you instead.

Just my 2 cents.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Um, you've been dating for only six months and he's been with your son several times... Sorry, but I disagree with most of the previous responders and see your expectations as somewhat clingy and demanding. I surely wouldn't be expecting a six-month boyfriend to attend my child's school events and/or be excited to meet an out-of-town cousin of mine.

Be glad he has friends. You don't mention his family? Do you ever attend his events with him, or is he the one that is supposed to drop his social connections to take up yours??

But, talk with him. Let him know what you are feeling and listen to him in return. Differing expectations are a good reason to have a sit down. If you are looking for someone ready to join in with your life in short order, then this may not be the guy.

13 moms found this helpful

It's only been 6 months - live your life and don't worry about what he is doing with his social life. You have your life with your family and friends, and he has his. He is letting you know how he prioritizes things and is being pretty transparent, and this might also be his way of maintaining appropriate boundaries and sending a message that you and your son are not instant family to him, at least not at this point. As a mom, it is early for you to be getting very serious with someone so if you can take things slowly, do so. I don't see anything wrong with him honoring commitments to his friends and valuing friends like family but there is also nothing wrong with you having different values. This is an area where your values differ. If it's something that upsets you and you want to change about him, then I would say that it's best to reconsider this relationship and accept that you may not be compatible.

7 moms found this helpful

I have to second the 'he's just not that into you' thing. That's the first thing that came to mind. Someone will move mountains to hang out with the one they are totally into, it's just that simple unfortunately:(

7 moms found this helpful

He sounds like a trust worthy friend. As I see it, you don't change plans when another offer comes along. You do what you say you are going to do.

With that said, he isn't that into you.

6 moms found this helpful

I think you should live YOUR life and keep putting you and your son on the TOP of the priority list. Do what is important to YOU and your family.
If I were you, my son and I would be going to my family party without my boyfriend.
Also, I'd personally extremely limit my son's exposure to my boyfriend of 6 months. Especially one that appears as immature and "not in it for the long haul" as this one seems to be.
Keep focusing on your son's needs and you can't go wrong!

6 moms found this helpful

He's letting you know his boundaries. He's not willing to live "your" life at this juncture but allowing you to live his.
He sounds non committal at this point. Youve only been seeing him for 6 mos, that's not very long.
I doubt he's ready for a prefab family right now. He enjoys your company but is in no way ready for the Father part.
I'd move on if I were you, or continue enjoying him but without your child.
Your child should come first and he comes second.

6 moms found this helpful

This is the exact reason it's best to NOT introduce men to your son or your family. It sucks to bring guys around that aren't/shouldn't last. Get rid of this 'friend with benefits'. And hold off on introducing the next guy til you and he are ready for a full adult commitment.

6 moms found this helpful

If he has only met your son a few times, I don't understand your perceived obligations to your son's activities. I wouldn't have wanted a man to attend my young daughter's activities if they have only met a few times.

It seems like you have different realities about your relationship. I think it's time to get on the same page or move on.

5 moms found this helpful

I don't think either one of you are right or wrong. This may simply be a relationship that isn't meant to be long-term if your priorities are not compatible.

You said it - he is a very busy social person with a lot of friends that are important to him. He's also made it clear that your random cousin does not rank above his friend's birthday party, and that your kid's activities are not high up there on his list of things to do.

He is not hiding who he is. If you don't like what you see, it's time to move on. There is no point in continuing to get upset because he is not who you wish he would be.

5 moms found this helpful

L., you are not as important to him as he is to you. There aren't any wedding bells in your future (or there shouldn't be, because he isn't going to change here). It sounds like your relationship is mostly a convenience for him.

Please "graduate" from the perpetual frat boy and find a man who will love you for YOU, who will put you and your child first.

So sorry,
D.

5 moms found this helpful

He's just not that into you.
I'm sorry, I know that hurts, but it's true.
If a guy is really into you he will BE THERE. For you, your kid, whatever you need.
Stop making excuses and set this loser free. Concentrate on yourself (and your son) for a while!!!
In the end you should really be with someone who actually WANTS to be with you, right?

5 moms found this helpful

I am sorry but he REALLY wanted to be with you he would. I would say he is not a boyfriend at this point. I would say your just dating. Sorry.

4 moms found this helpful

oh i say this w/love....he's not making you a priority. you clearly would or do make him a higher priority & he's not doing the same.
i'm sure he's a cool guy & all, so it's nothing personal. but i just broke it off w/a guy last week & said practically verbatim, "you're not able to give me everything i need". i'm not needy & you don't sound like it either, but i do have reasonable expectations regarding communication, attendance to MY stuff, and some sacrifice.
i just don't think it's a good fit for you. just my little ol' opinion. you & I are about the same age & i'm just now starting to be able to sift through & determine if a relationship is working for me in regards to MY needs & not if i'm lonely or not. not saying you are...you know what i'm saying. good luck girl. be w/someone who makes YOU a priority just like you would them! :)

3 moms found this helpful

It sounds to me like he's not ready to be "family" with you. There's a big difference between dating and liking someone and being family with them. He either doesn't see you that way right now, or that's not what he's looking for in a relationship. This is something you can't change about him. Your choices are to either accept it or move on to someone who has the same priorities and vision for life together that you have.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm sorry, I don't understand why you're upset that he doesn't want to come to your son's events? It's not like your BF is the boy's father. And you've only been together 6 months...so I can't imagine that he's even considered being there full time.

As far as him wanting to spend time with his friends, instead of you and your son and your family...well, it sounds like he's made his decision as to where his priorities lie. I'm not saying he's a bad person, or you are, I'm just saying you both seem to have different priorities.

Find someone else to date if you're this frustrated over it.

3 moms found this helpful

Cliche but....."He's just not that into you". You deserve and it sounds like you want to be with someone that is. I'd cut your losses and end it. If you decide you want to settle for less and stay in the relationship, give less. Don't go out of your way such as you've described, driving to one or two houses to meet him. This isn't about being selfish or picky aobut being even/fair. It's about a relationship of convenience for him, not something he's willing to compromise for. I doubt if he's thinking long term, and if he is, Would you really want that long term?

3 moms found this helpful

He seems to be uninterested in you and not that serious. He is a social butterfly. If he cared enough about you and was totally in love, nothing else would matter. I wouldn't leave your family functions just to be around him at some silly parties that he is attending. He should be dropping everything to be around you. Somebody that LOVES someone wants to be with them all the time, especially at functions that are important to them! I wouldn't be following him around.

3 moms found this helpful

He's met your son after only 6 months? Yikes. I don't know about the wisdom in that. He won't be around long, and hopefully your son isn't attached. Hopefully, he isn't the one getting hurt. I suggest not bringing men around your son, until the relationship IS serious, and you are certain he will be around for a long time. Just my opinion.

He's not really into you. Nothing about this guy shows he wants to be with you in any serious way. He wants to party and he wants to have someone he knows will be around for sex if he wants it...I'm guessing. Talk with him. Ask him to be very honest with you about his intentions for the future. Please prepare yourself for him just not being seriously into you. Sorry.

3 moms found this helpful

For all I know you could be talking about the cashier at your local grocer or your mail carrier. No commitment to you accept when he needs to see you for HIS purposes, not yours.

He's taking you for granted. It will only get worse if you commit long term or worse, get married. Admit he isn't boyfriend material. The sooner you do the easier your life will be.

2 moms found this helpful

IMO, it may not be that he's not that into vs he's not looking to get married and become a stepfather right now. Not sure how old you are but lots and lots of relationships aren't that serious after 6 months but the couple goes on to get married. It depends, usually on the girl to be honest, if that time frame is ok. So in his world, he could really like you but what's the hurry to meet your family, go to all your son's events etc?... To this day I just don't care that much about spending time with extended family of my husband's. It's weird but I think I got it from my parents. They never wanted my sister's or my boyfriends to come home and visiti with us. They just wanted their actual family. In these situations, I think it's a waste of energy to be upset. I know it's hard if you really like him and want it to get serious... But don't think about whether what he is or is not chosing is right or wrong etc. It is what it is. This is how he operates. Can you deal with it and give the relationship time or you are more on a mission to find someone to marry?... I think that it's almost a blessing he gives you a lot of space so you're not neglecting your son who should be your priority. This way you get a boyfriend so some of that need filled but can concentrate on your son. Also - the more you appear to need him, the more you're giving him room to not need you... In terms of the bday parties, I think he should go to the HS friends!! He already rsvp'd yes. Look at it from their POV. Not like you're a long distance girlfriend who came into town unexpectedly. Why should he blow off old friends for a random cousin of yours?... My husband and I were still kind of dating other people after 6 months and now we're happily married 9 years later. 6 months isn't long so try to be very objective and rational about it. Which I know can be hard...

2 moms found this helpful

It's only been 6 months and you don't need to do everything together and he doesn't need to know all of your family yet. Go to your uncles party and have fun and don't drive to either Bday party to see him. You worry about living your own life and he wants to fit in it, then he will.

2 moms found this helpful

He's being honest with you about what his priorities are (and aren't) at this point in your young relationship. You should appreciate the honesty. Your expectations are misplaced. He is telling you how he chooses to handle his social calendar, and you keep expecting him to line up with yours. It doesn't sound like he's trying to force his calendar onto you, just wants to do what HE wants to do. There's nothing wrong with that. You just have to determine if that's what you want right now or not. There's nothing wrong if you choose no. There is something wrong if you continue to move forward in this relationship trying to force him to change. We do what we want to do. When it means more to him to do something else, then he will, and you won't have to force it on him. It sounds like he's not really your boyfriend but more a guy you're dating.

Because you have a child, you don't have the luxury to casually date and introduce your dates to your kid. Parents date differently, looking for different things at different times. He obviously thinks you're cute but doesn't want to settle into a ready-made family right now.

Oh, and everybody doesn't use blood to determine family. His "family" is whoever he decides it is based on relationship. You really shouldn't assume that YOUR relatives will be more important in his life than HIS friends. Your relationship is not there.

2 moms found this helpful

Okay, L. (great name, by the way),

It would be easy to jump the gun and assume that he's using you, the fact is that you have only been going out 6 months. Now, my husband and I were married after knowing each other three months so the time in itself isn't an issue. But what that length of time means to him and what it means to you may not be the same thing. He might see you guys at not as serious as you do. It doesn't mean he doesn't want to get to that really serious place, he just isn't there yet.

I don't think you let it go, because the only way to figure out if he is in this for the same things you are is to ask him directly. If he says he is then tell him what you're expectations are. You want to be a priority. You want him to take an active interest in the life of your son and the things that he is doing. You want him to take every opportunity to meet the members of your family because they care about you and knowing them is a way to know more about you. Either he will or won't want to do those things and based on that information you will or won't want to show him the door.

2 moms found this helpful

I agree with various perspectives on this issue. There is a book by Steve Harvey, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. In that book he actually suggests introducing your kids early, because if you and the guy hit off and are going strong and 6 months later you introduce him to your kids and they don't hit it off, you ended up wasting 6 months. Makes sense. I introduced my husband to my son the 2nd day we met. He wanted to meet my son. I had never had anyone ask to meet my son before. But we all got along and 8 months later we were married. He was ready to settle down and be a family man. If it was up to him, we would have gotten married the first week we met. I agree that you need to sit down and talk to him and be honest about your feeling/expectations. My first reaction though, he's just not that into you. Maybe you should pick up Steve Harvey's book. It has gotten really great reviews. Good luck with your situation and keep us posted.

1 mom found this helpful

He wants no strings attached SEX and he's getting it. He doesn't care about you now and probably never will.

1 mom found this helpful

You are dating not married. He has made plans previous to what you did. Would he expect you to change your plans after you made them to go to something of his? There is nothing wrong with a couple going to two seperate places on the same date. Maybe you can make plans on a seperate date with him to meet your family or make a special trip to do so. Has he told you no to meeting your family in general or was it because he had previous plans? I think the key thing I see here is that he had previous plans. It wasn't like he was saying no in general. I would have a huge problem if he never wanted to do stuff with you and your family, but it sounds like it's only when he has plans that he won't change them for something you want him to. If there is a huge conflict in things you are doing on a particular date you don't need to see him. He can be with friends without you and you can be with family without him.
What you need to ask yourself is this...if smething happened and it was an emergency would he come to you no matter what his plans were?

1 mom found this helpful

What I think is he is showing you his priorities and you and your son aren't at the top of them. If he is this way while dating, what would he be like being married to?
The movie could wait for one more night and any friend would understand. The birthday parties are a different thing though because he had RSVP'ed and to cancel because something better came up would be down right rude, especially since they planned for him to be there. He could go the next morning to meet your family or even the night before. Compromise works both ways. Sometimes when they have other plans we can't expect them to change it for us, but we can expect them to be available for those important scout and school programs.

1 mom found this helpful

No offense to you, but you are expecting this man to be much more invested then is realistic after only 6 MONTHS of dating. You say that 'family comes first'... but you need to realize that you are not his family. You are his girlfriend. He has commitments that he made as a single man and it is unfair for you to suddenly expect him to drop all of them because you want him to attend an event with you instead.

Just my 2 cents.

1 mom found this helpful

Sorry L.. My opinion is that his beliefs, not right or wrong, are what they are and will really not change. I experienced this same belief system in my ex-spouse and it was a continuous point of conflict over the years.

He has every right and there is nothing wrong with him desiring to spend time with people he is closest to. If you openly asked him if he would be willing to do things with you and/or your sone, and he has declined because he just does not want to make that choice, then that is that. If this is not the way you envision your future or desire your relationship with him/someone, then he is likely not the right person.

If your issue was how he folded your pants after the lanudry or which way he put the toilet paper on the roll, then I would say maybe just get over it. But companionship, shared experiences, messages to your son about what a healthy relationship looks like...these are all way bigger issues than toilet paper. He sounds like the perfect guy for a woman who has her own busy social life and does not want to worry about her partner's schedule.

Sorry & good luck.
D.

1 mom found this helpful

So let me get this straight, he RSVP's to his friends parties. You find out about something else going on and you are upset because he won't drop his prior commitments to make you happy? Seems like a little selfish to me.

Just because you are dating, doesn't mean either of you need to give up your social lives. You just need to figure out how to make them work together. If at 6 months he is deciding he wants to still be around his friends the majority of the time, he may not be that into you.

1 mom found this helpful

my honest opion is first hes a control freak,secound hes just not that into you,doesnt sound like hes ready for a "ready made family"
third-you need to stand your ground-set up boundaries and what you expect from him-if he doesnt like it-tell him to move on.its not fair to you or your child-DO NOT CHASE HIM!!!! let him come to you-flip the tables..its your life-not his...please dont tolerate disrespect from anybody-he probably figures your desperate cuz you got a child in tow...please prove him wrong..

My grandmother had a saying that went like this, when someone shows you who they are believe them....the first time! I would say this relationship is not going to work. It is too early to start having conflict It will just get worse. Sounds like you need to find someone that has the same values that you do. Especially concerning your son. Good luck !

I think that he's not used to being with someone who has a kid, and he was his own person with a life & friends & family before you. You don't have to do everything together or drop everything for him. If he's made a commitment to someone, you can't expect him to bail for an invite he received from you after the fact.

Now, the fact that he isn't integrating himself with you & your family after 6 months of dating kind of makes me think that he's not thinking long term with the relationship. This is why I think parents need to think longer & harder about whom they're dating, and how it will affect their kids.

If you want a long term relationship with your boyfriend you need to accept that this probably will not change. You have to decide if you are willing to have your events put on the lower priority list.

Clearly he likes you but my guess is you like him way more than you probably should. It should be even more time before your son gets introduced and involved. As for your other family members, your cousin coming in town should take priority over his previous commitments.

Since you obviously really like him, it is time for you to pull back for yourself. Try not being so available, try focusing your attention on your son, family and friends. Try to get back some of the balance to your life. Pursue your dreams, desires and wishes without him and if he comes around great and if he doesn't you would have put yourself in a better position by meeting new people and having new experiences.

I agree with others that say he just may not be ready which is fine but you still get to choose for yourself what you will have and won't. Choose wisely and stop stressing over the things he doesn't want to do. You have a life without him and your son continue to keep on keeping on. Take a class, travel, learn a new skill, learn a language, something that will occupy your time and your mind while he figures it out.

This early in your relationship, it is good that he hasn't inserted directly into your family. He's not ready for that and you and your daughter shouldn't have that until all are ready.

Once you two have a serious, committed relationship this behavior should be changed but not yet. Maybe have a conversation about what you would expect if/when you are both ready. You can't force it.

Maybe he is just polite and well-mannered enough to keep the engagements that he has committed to. It is considered rude to ditch a party you had already rsvp'd to just because something "better" came along.

I agree with L. below pretty much.
Everyones timelines are diferent. Some people can commit after days, some days months and months.

My boyfriend of a year and a half acted like yours does around 6 months. Partly because of M.. I told him I didn't want my daughter to get attached to anyone unless there was a future so he was distant (I intorduced him as J. a friend at 4 months and would leave 2 week gaps between them seeing eachother for a good period of time) and when it came to anything involving her would be a little flakey. We later talked about expectations and I told him how I wasnt happy with how things were going and he told M. he wasnt either. Turns out he felt pressured by M. not to get close to Emmy because he didn't want to hurt her if things didn't work out and he did want to get closer to her. Right now a year and a 1/2 in I coukdn't be happier with how he is. He is a 2nd dad to her. He goes to tball games when he doesnt have work (soemtimes he leaves work for a hour to go) he picks her up from school if he gets out before M., reads her bedtime stories and J. plain loves her and has her best interest in mind. I do have to say it was work getting there though. For someone whose never had a child before this is a big adjustment and he may J. not be at a serious enough place to want to be there for your child like that yet.
Maybe he is smart and doesnt want to get close to your son before he is thinknig of marriage. thats how my boyfriend was.
I think a good conversation to have with him is what you would like the future to be and exectations of eachother should you get married. Make sure you're on the same page if things get serious.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.