He's Too Busy For Her, Should They Keep Dating?
Is a Busy Schedule a Deal Breaker in Your Romance?
My ex and I still love each other 6 months after we broke up. We split because of his busy schedule and my inability to deal with it. Should we try dating, but not being exclusive? -Haley
I am answering this assuming that his "busy schedule" does not mean his wife. I'm assuming it's work, and perhaps hobbies, kids, charity work, religious commitments, season tickets, and friends.
Assuming we are not talking about other women or partners, I have to begin by referring back to an idea I referenced in a past article, When Your Girl Wants to Get Married and You Don't.
Men marry when the time is right. Women marry when the guy is right.
I realize you didn't say anything about marriage, but I think the thought implied is basically the same.
Clearly, this is not the right time for this man.
If it had been the right time, he would have made it work. He would have fought to get you onboard with his busy schedule. Or he would have less-busied it. To put it as clearly as I can, had he wanted the relationship to work, the excuse of his busy schedule would be non-existent.
You said your inability to deal with his busy schedule was a factor. This leads me to the other angle of the view.
Women marry when the guy is right.
If this had been the right guy for you, I don't see how his being busy would be a deal-breaker. I can not imagine that in your heart you were saying, "This is Mr. Right. This is the One. And he feels exactly the same way about me; I am his One & Only. But since he has a hectic life, it's not worth it for me to be with him. I'd rather be alone all the time, than with the man I really love some of the time."
Someone asked me a long time ago how do you know when you've met the one you should marry. And my answer is the same today as it was then: its when you stop thinking about yourself first. Seriously. I don't mean the little things. I don't mean going to his favorite restaurant instead of yours, or sitting through Scarface for the 10th time, or cleaning the bathroom, or going out of your way to stop and get Malamars for him.
I mean the big things. The things that make a difference. Real compromise, real sacrifice. Real moments, where you think about what's best for him, and what he would want. And you are willing (at least half of the time) to actually put his real needs before yours: Living in the city where he works instead of the countryside where you'd prefer to be. Not having any more cats because he's allergic. Not spending Christmas with your family for the first time in your life, because it's his turn that you both spend Christmas with his family. Spending Saturday nights on your own because of his poker night/season tickets/job/karate class.
Don't get me wrong. Each of those things has a counterpart, compromise, or balance to it: Like, getting the condo that overlooks the park you like, instead of the studio in Soho he'd prefer. Getting a cockapoo, even though he doesn't really want one. His being on his own every Friday night because of your poker night/martini club/kick boxing class. His taking his vacation in Paris with you, instead of Cooperstown with his brothers. His sleeping on floral Laura Ashley sheets and letting you use his Bed-in-a-Bag for drop-cloths while you repaint the kitchen peach and sage.
There is balance, and give and take. But I can assure you, the right person is not sacrificed because of his schedule. Had he been the right guy for you, his busy schedule would never have been a factor. I guarantee it.
The other spin on the "women marry when the guy is right" side of the coin, is that maybe you aren't ready. Maybe he was, and he tried to compromise. And maybe you weren't ready in life to make the kind of commitment it takes to have a real, long lasting, adult, two-sided relationship.
There is nothing wrong with not being ready. Putting yourself first, putting your growth and your needs first is an honorable stage in all of our lives.
I remember my first apartment without roommates. It was 3 railroad rooms in Jersey, about 30 minutes from Manhattan by car, shorter by train. I called it my Mary Tyler Moore apartment. I was independent, and on my own. I was focused on my writing, my career, my friends. Even my hobbies and interests were primary focal points. I dated often. But I knew I wasn't ready for a relationship. I was nowhere near the point in my life to compromise. I was not a willing partner. I was not a team player. I was just me back then. And it was a vital and important time in my development. I learned a lot about myself. I became who I am.
I'm the first to tell anyone, you can't skate in doubles until you can skate on your own. I think it's important to become you, the person. I don't see how you can become you, the partner until you have mastered being you on your own.
If you've read this far, and none of my ideas ring true for you, then consider this: If he's busy, he has the ability to fill his life with things that aren't you. Your inability to do the same may be a turn-off. He may see your demanding to spend more time together than he is willing to spend, as needy and dependent. Apparently, he doesn't want that.
Some relationships are super co-dependent. Maybe that's the kind of gig you have to have. Clearly, that is not the situation he'd be attracted to. He'd be better suited with a woman with her own life, strong and independent. You'd be better suited with a man with much less of a sense of self.
My grandparents did everything together from taking out the garbage together, to food shopping together. It's sweet and romantic, and maybe you're like that. Please believe me when I tell you I can see the wonder in that.
However, for me, I'd have to say, yuck. I'd be suffocating, and screaming, "Get a life and get off of me!"
This final thought was not said in dis. It's said, to say, if you would choose not to be with someone because he is too busy, you may do better looking to a different kind of guy for a partner.
Best of luck to you, Haley, in your journey of self.
All text is original content by Veronica.
All photos are used with permission. All videos are used courtesy of Youtube.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.