Question: I broke it off with my gf because I felt like I was at the bottom of my her priority list. When we’re together just the two of us everything is great but the moment she receives a phone call or text, it’s like I’m not there. She’s stood me up on dates more than I can count. The incident that caused the breakup is when she failed to turn up at my mom’s birthday party after she promised my mom she’d be there. I called her asking where she was, she said she’d call me back but never did. I confronted her and she basically told me to take it or leave it. I walked. After 2 weeks I reached out to her and apologized for losing my temper. She said she was sorry, she should’ve at least called me back. We’re in contact, talking almost every day and even going out on dates but not officially together yet. But I see the same old behaviour – canceling dates last minute and hanging up in the middle of a conversation because someone else is on the other line. I love her so much and want this to work, but I don’t know how.
The Love Doctor’s Answer: While it’s unrealistic to expect to be first on a girl/boyfriend’s list of priorities, it’s not a good sign to be last.
The way I see it, it not that she doesn’t treat you as priority, she doesn’t see you as priority. There are several reasons why:
1) you’ve allowed it
2) She knows you’re afraid to lose her (translation: not going anywhere)
3) she doesn’t think you are assertive enough and as a result has little respect for you
4) she’s using you
5) this is just the kind of person she is
You could try calmly talking to her about this, not when you’re upset but when things are going well. Explain to her how it makes you feel. It’s important you own up to your feelings, and not blame her for how you feel. She’s not responsible for how you feel (no one can make you feel what you don’t want to fee)l.
Based on the history, you gave, I suspect she might use the same old “take it or leave it” stand, but instead of walking (which is what she expects, especially if she thinks you’re not assertive enough), tell her that you’re not running away from your problems but dealing with them head on. Then try to work out a compromise. Highlight those things that are most important to you and agree to let go those that aren’t. And then ask her if she can meet you half way. Go back and forth until you find some common ground to start from.
That’s the easy part. The hard part is if this is just who she is. It’s not going to change anything. You either have to teach yourself to put up with it because as you say you love her so much, and hope things will change; or you accept that this relationship isn’t going to work out the way you hoped it would — and move on. At the end of the day, this is your heart on the line, and only you can make decisions about it.