Low on my boyfriend’s priority list

Relationship Questions and AdviceCategory: Is He Right for Me?Low on my boyfriend’s priority list
Anonymous asked 4 months ago

I’m a 19 year old girl wondering whether my boyfriend actually might be the right one for me or not. We basically got together barely a month after meeting each other for the first time. There was just immediate chemistry between us, and so we went pretty fast into the whole relationship stage. We hung out a lot, both weekends and work days, and we had a lot of fun together. Personally I’ve been in two serious relationships before him, and so I feel like I know what I want in a relationship, and what I need to be happy. Regarding him, however: he has never been in a relationship. He’s four years older than me, but has always been very busy his whole life building a foundation for his future businesses.  
After about a month we started having our first arguments/fights. And in the beginning it was pretty much just me getting to know him. Everyone expresses their love towards another person differently, right? So I feel like these first fights was on me… that I could’ve easily avoided it if I thought it through more thoroughly, if I simply tried to learn his ways of expressing his love. The subjects of these arguments was indeed small things regarding what I didn’t feel like I received in the relationship, but which I needed to be happy. I didn’t realize, then, that I just had to figure out his ways of showing that he cares about me. And I have apologized to him for all of that later on. However, I noticed during these arguments that he was very difficult to talk to. Especially about feelings.
Another month went by, and I was still happy with him. But I still didn’t feel like I could talk to him if I didn’t appreciate something, or if something wasn’t right about our relationship. Whenever I would try and actually talk to him he would go straight into defense mode and shut his ears. Or at least that’s what it seemed like to me. It’s like no matter what I said, he’d say something against me, get annoyed, or tell me that we’re only wasting time talking about it. And that happens during almost every argument. «Time wasted». To him, his time is one of the most important aspects of his life, and he sees our talks as waste of time. It’s just negativity.
Anyway, we’ve had some bigger arguments since then, and I became a lot more silent when I had something on my mind, or if I was sad or upset about something. He didn’t like this. He hates silence, he says. And so whenever I would be silent, just saving what I have to say for a time when I’m in a better mood: he wouldn’t talk to me. He wouldn’t come over to me to give me a hug and say «Should we talk about it?». No. He would just be silent as well, and eventually leave the room. At some point I had enough, after I asked him why he’s leaving, and to which he said «If you’re not talking to me then i’m not talking to you». After that I got sad, but then angry, and I thought to myself that we had to talk about this and figure something out that’s gonna make us both happy. It can’t continue like this. He just wanted me to tell him immediately whenever something was wrong, and then if I had said something I shouldn’t have: I should just apologize. But I don’t see the point of that? I know myself and how I respond verbally when i’m upset, and I tried explaing to him that it is the reason to why I’m silent. I just try to save us from having unnecessary toxic comments thrown back and forth between us. I don’t see how one can throw a plate in the ground and then just «take it back» afterwards. That’s not how it works in my opinion. If you hurt someone, the damage is done. And he doesn’t seem to understand that. I’ve tried to be patient with him for a long time now, because of the simple fact that he hasn’t been in a relationship before. But I can’t continue feeling like the relationship is one-sided, and that i’m doing all the effort to make it work. I’ve tried countless times to explain how I feel to him, but it’s like talking to a wall… which has no empathy whatsoever.
I’d say «time» is just below work; on his list of priorities. Since then I’ve slowly started to feel like I’m sinking further and further down on that list. That I am becoming less and less important to him. Since two months ago we’ve also started hanging out less and less frequently. During every weekend, at most, if I was lucky. He has gotten more and more busy with work, and in the beginning I respected and accepted it fully, without second thoughts, whereas lately…I’m struggling. He works day in, day out, sometimes during nights as well. And as I’ve said, it’s the most important thing to him. He’s got his own businesses, and of course I understand that it is important to him. That his dream is important to him. Why wouldn’t I understand that? But when he is so unpredictable that I can’t even plan a phone call with him.. then I’m starting to lose my mind. He started to blow off plans last minute, simply because some work stuff came up. I never knew what would happen or when he’d be available. When i actually got time with him I would cherish it, and try to show the love I have for him in so many ways. And we would normally have a really great time. I just sort of stopped caring all that much about my own needs in the relationship, and focused on his. I did everything on his conditions and his premises, and I still do that. Everything went really great when I started doing that. He just wants a smiling girlfriend who can give him what he needs when he wants, you know. Or at least that’s what I feel in the bottom of my heart. I started catching feelings for him about two months ago. He said he had too, but wasn’t sober at the time. He has never responded to my «I love you» ever since. Before the situation got really bad, I really loved him. I still do, but I’m biased by a lot of things. I see a future with him. I’ve never seen that before, with anyone else. So why can’t I feel like he’s making the same efforts I am, to make this relationship work? Lately I’ve just felt like he’s in control of the whole relationship. He has literally told me, both directly and indirectly, that he wants things to happen on his premises. And I don’t think a relationship should be like that; where one side has to adapt, and not the other one. I wish we could meet halfway, so that both will be happy. But I can’t force him to want to prioritize me over work. I don’t expect him to do that at all times, but I just wish I could’ve gotten at least a few hours with him every once in a while. I believe nobody is too busy to prioritize what they value as important. The last few weeks I’ve even given him space, simply because he asked for it to think about work. He said I’m too much of a distraction, and that he can’t give the relationship what it needs to last, right now. The only thing I truly want is to be there by his side and believe in him and his visions, encourage him and offer him support. Why wouldn’t he take advantage of it and draw support and love from our relationship, instead of pushing it away into a corner? He barely even opens up about his work or his real private life.
As I said, I gave him space, and I haven’t seen him for almost two weeks now. It was hard for me, but I did it for his sake, and for our relationship. Simply because I love him. The whole «space» thing came like a wrecking ball in my face though, after a few days of spending a wonderful time with him. This really confused me as well, and so I reacted really bad to the whole thing, meaning I got really sad and upset. However, the past week he has contacted me a lot, and has been overly flirty and cheerful with me. I got even more confused, but I replied nonetheless. I don’t wanna play games. And so, yesterday, he contacted me again, eventually inviting me over. I was over the moon, and gave him a maybe, cause I had work to do at home. But today I set the day off to him, and decided to go. But when I was on my way, he called and canceled. And why? Because of work that came up. I got really upset again, and I really started to wonder whether I want to put up with it or not anymore. It’s not like I don’t respect the fact that he needs to focus on his work, but when I’ve given him space for so long, he can’t even give me a few hours of his time? How can a relationship work without time spent together? I miss the times in the beginning when he actually prioritized me once in a while. When I didn’t feel like I was worthless. And he doesn’t plan a new date to hang out either, cause he never knows when he’s available. It’s like he’s keeping me on hold until it fits his schedule, and I’m sick of it. Talking to him about it doesn’t work, though. He doesn’t want to listen to my feelings, cause he sees them as wrong. That’s the impression he’s giving me with his words and actions. And so i gave him the ultimatum today… saying that I can’t keep on doing this… waiting for him forever. It’s cruel to do something like that to someone. And when I asked if he understood what I meant, he said yes and compared it to paying bills? He also said that «Okay, so you wanna break up then?», like if it meant nothing. It’s like he’s not even afraid to lose me. He just told me that if I can’t respect him being the busy man that he is, then he would break up with me. I mean, I’m sick and tired of this. I know I shouldn’t put up with it anymore, but I can’t see myself without him. I just want it to work, so all I really want is some good advice to be able to deal with this in the right way. But is he really someone I should be betting all my money on? Should I put my money where my mouth is and just go through with my boundaries and break up?
Apologies for the long post… There’s a lot more I could say about our background, but I figured it’d be too much for you to read. Thank you in advance!