Dear Wayne and Wanda,
My boyfriend and I have had a pretty rocky relationship, but despite several breakups, we always end up together again. The reason for me is pretty simple: I love this man so much that I can't stand our time apart.
Unfortunately, we spend a lot of time apart. We don't live together and he has part-time custody of his only child. This definitely makes it hard to schedule time together. We just got into an argument a couple days ago and he left and went home instead of staying the night as planned. This devastated me because we barely get time together as it is.
Now that baseball season has started, he's a fanatic with his fantasy team. He also had bought tickets to the Seattle Mariners home opener and planned to fly down and take his child. At the time, we were having a pretty major conversation about our future so I asked him to miss the game so we could sort out some very important things, like taking a step forward in our relationship so I don't feel so lonely all the time. He chose to get his child and go to the game.
I'm crushed he made that choice, but I don't know if I made the right decision about asking him to choose me over the game. I do like baseball — we frequently watch games together! I'm just not obsessed like he is. I also believe your family and spouse should come before a baseball game and we really needed to spend some time discussing our relationship. Now I feel like he doesn't love me like I do him. We have been seeing each other for a year. I've brought up living together which he didn't seem opposed to but it still hasn't happened. I just need to know if I'm wasting my time.
You're wasting your time. Look, you sound like someone who is very ready for a serious relationship and is eager to spend a lot of time and space with a partner, which is great. But is it possible you've decided your boyfriend is the perfect candidate simply because he's currently the only candidate?
I'm not questioning your love for him; a year is a long time to spend with someone, and it's natural that after that duration, you'd seek out a higher level of romantic investment. From what you've described, I don't think your boyfriend has the emotional bank account to write that check. The frequent break-ups and his lack of action around moving in together both point to someone who isn't stepping up and doing the hard work required to elevate and maintain a relationship.
Whether you should have asked this sports junkie to skip a baseball game with his kid — well, I'll let Wayne swing at that one. As a side issue, note that not only were you asking him to skip an important event, but you were asking him to give up quality time with his child. That's a pretty big ask. He was a father before he was your boyfriend and it would be a hard sell to tell a kiddo, "I can't take you to that awesome game out of state because I have to stay to have a chat with my girlfriend."
When in love, one should never have to feel like they love their partner more. That sense of emotional imbalance is draining and depressing, and true love should make us feel anything but. All things considered, your relationship sounds like it may be in its final innings but this may not be a bad thing. You sound like you need more than you're getting here — someone who can give you more time and energy, and make you a priority.
Thank you for pitching this letter right into my baseball wit wheelhouse. You see, baseball is really a metaphor for life. It's exciting and exhausting. It's simple and complicated. It's excruciatingly slow and ridiculously fast. It drives you crazy when it's there and you miss it when it's gone. And even if you struck out and had an error yesterday, you can still step back up to the plate today with a fresh slate and a few big swings for the fences.
And then there's the old family bonding cliché about the complex parent/child relationship being magically stitched together comfortably by a common love of baseball. While life is no "Field of Dreams," there's a lot of authenticity to the story of family and baseball and the parallels of their spectrum of disappointment and delight. Check it out sometime.
I could go on, but we're on a pitch count … err, word count.
Anyway, baseball or no baseball, there's no way you're coming between this man and his child. Your boyfriend is trying to stay close with his kid during a really difficult time for everyone. That's something you should admire, not admonish.
And a few more observations from the cheap seats: You've only been with him on-and-off for a year! It's been turbulent. There have been several breakups. You spend lots of time apart. But you think you should be his MVP when you guys aren't even solid teammates?
Look, if you're lonely and need constant companionship, get a dog and/or get on Tinder. This man can't provide that for you right now and it's possible that he never will.
So, yes, you're wasting your time. Sorry. This relationship is going … going … gone!
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