(Rose, you say you’re a senior in high school, and so I’m guessing you’re not yet 18 – and I wanted to thank you for your story, and to address your great question.)
To summarize Rose’s situation: She’s mentally and physically chasing after a boy who she’s known a long while, dated for a few months, says he loves her, and yet has no time for her and takes no real action to see her.
This situation is all too common in us women of all ages, and here’s my answer:
Rose, Nothing matters about what’s going on with a man (or boy).
It doesn’t matter that he works, or plays football, or hangs out with friends or his family or his children. It doesn’t matter how much he loves you. It doesn’t matter what he feels. It doesn’t matter what he does.
All of that is HIS life, and doesn’t matter to you (except that, as a friend, you naturally care that people you love are happy – and even THAT isn’t your business).
The only thing that matters here is: Is this fellow meeting YOUR needs? Is he making YOU happy? Does he give you enough time, affection, attention and everything else you want? Is he kind and attentive to YOU?
(I’m assuming, of course, that you are a good girlfriend and friend, don’t blame, argue or try to change a man, aren’t pushing him away by doing too much…)
In other words – pick your men not by your feelings about them, or their status in the world.
Pick them because they’re good company. Because you feel good about YOU when you’re with them.
Don’t let anyone else’s opinions (or your OWN “opinions”) about a man make you want him more than he wants you.
Don’t let situations where there’s separation, or hard work schedules, or exes and kids leave you hanging and waiting around.
If you’re a woman who needs “space” – then a man who needs a lot of space can work.
And if you’re a woman who craves closeness, and “together” time – then choose only to be with men who want THAT with you.
***In my world, a relationship only works when the woman is on the receiving end of vast amounts of love, attention, affection, good sex, fun, time and “understanding” – and knows how to “open and receive” and “give back” in a way that always feels like a “response.”
Give the “puppy dog” men a chance.
Give the “awkward” men a chance.
Give every man who wants you a chance.
Give every man who pursues you a chance.
Give every men who wants to make you happy a chance.
Chose from THOSE men. Not every one of them will be right for you – but choose only from those men.
To practice “giving” in the way you want – volunteer. Be a candy-striper in a hospital. Work with abandoned dogs and cats. Read to children in shelters. Rock babies in crisis centers. These opportunities are available, and make you feel like a human being.
Romantic love is different from “love.” Romantic Love is romance. Romantic Love is sex. Romantic Love is an “exchange.” Romantic Love requires a “wholeness” and “independence” and “spirit” in a woman that volunteering does not require.
Volunteering can patch you up when you feel “less than.” Volunteering can be done while you’re crying. What people and animals give you when you volunteer to help them can be startling, and so much more than you even can imagine.
Volunteering does not require the same kind of skills that friendship requires. It is NOT a two-way street. It is YOU giving, with no expectation or accounting of what you’re getting back.
In Romantic Love, you are NOT a “volunteer.” You are a participant in a relationship that has dynamics, and skill requirements. Skill requirements beyond even friendship. Skill requirements beyond volunteering, where you do your job well as a volunteer.
In a friendship, you can be a buddy, a good sport, a hang-out gal, someone to lean on – anything you like.
Romantic love involves sex and possible procreation. It involves going deeper than anything you’ve known before. It requires Trust in new ways. It requires knowing and being known in ways you don’t even know of.
It requires “Intimacy” in ways that trigger explosive, buried emotions from everything you’ve ever experienced in your life before now.
And, for me, romantic love is where you learn everything about yourself.
Don’t choose someone based on desire. Choose someone who wants what I’ve listed above: To go deep, to know you and be known, to extend friendship to a different place (not better, just different).
Someone who wants to invest in Trust. Someone trustworthy. Someone who has time, space, heart, energy, love for you.
This is what you deserve in romantic love. Don’t settle for anything less.
Don’t volunteer for romantic love. Volunteer to give love where it’s needed. Look around town for opportunities, and give generously.
In Romance - Take love. Receive love. Experience love being given to you. That’s your job as a woman.