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by Abigail Van Buren

Boyfriend's Take-It-or-Leave-It Attitude Drives Woman to Think About Leaving

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been together a year and a half. We knew each other for a while prior because we used to work together. Our relationship has been somewhat fun. The only issue that bothers me is that he can never seem to open up. He doesn't express his feelings toward me or even show much that he cares that we're together.

When I ask him about it, he says he's just not ready to open up and I should respect that. I do, because he has been through a lot in life. But it's hard to figure out where I stand with him. I'm always the one to make the first move -- whether it's to show affection or express my love for him. It's lonely and confusing that he doesn't, and I often feel like I'm in a relationship with myself.

Should I give him more time to get comfortable enough to open up? Or am I wasting my time? -- MIXED UP IN LOVE

DEAR MIXED UP: Not all men are comfortable expressing their emotions verbally. More important than what someone tells you, is how he treats you. You stated that he not only doesn't express his emotions, but also doesn't show that he cares you are a couple. A year and a half has been plenty of time for your boyfriend to respond with more than indifference.

Because you need more than he seems capable of giving, it's time to find someone who can give you the affection and affirmation you crave. In a relationship, BOTH parties must contribute if it is to survive.

Read more in: Love & Dating