How to Work Out Arguments With a Loved One/Did I do the wrong thing?


Hi, I'm 18 years old and my boyfriend is 17. We've been together for 9 months.
This week, I started university. I told him that due to this, I may not always be able to hang out as often as we used to (before uni, we had lots of spare time). But I told him I'd make every effort to make time, at least hang out for several hours a week. Not everyday but at the very least, several hours a week.
It is only the first week, and he is not happy with me. He confessed to have talked about me behind my back to his friend, saying that I 'never' have time to hang out, in his message saying "screw her" (in other words "stuff her/who cares about her") and went on to say about he "always made time for me when he was working". But I told him I felt that was different, because he works with his dad, and after work he had nothing to do. By hanging out with me, he didn't lose time, and would not risk losing his job. But for me, if I don't spend enough time studying, I will fail my course and have to redo my units.
Well anyway, we got into an arguement about it, and I just felt like he wouldn't understand me and wasn't being reasonable (ironic, today I put aside several hours to hang out with him!) It wasn't the first time he made an arguement out of something that was silly or insignificant, either, I'll admit we argue a lot and it was something I wanted to fix - because when we had good times, they were really good times. But the bad times were horrible. Anyway, at the end,  he tried to "be nice" and apologise, but I didn't want to hear it, for 2 reasons: (1), he still didn't understand my point, and wasn't really apologising for anything. and (2), this is how it always was and I was sick of it. I feel like he thinks he can argue with me and in the end as long as he says sorry, no damage is done, it doesn't matter. He tried to be affectionate (hugging etc) but I told him I just wasn't in the mood, I wasn't happy. So this got him really annoyed, he cried and said about how he "tries" to fix things and I "do nothing". I had told him I just wasn't ready yet, and furthermore I was just annoyed that this seems to happen all the time. Most arguements are over petty things which he always brings up, and I was just getting sick of it. His apologies meant nothing because he seemed to be apologising everyday and moreover they were empty; he didn't really seem to be sorry for what he DID, just sorry that we fought. And even when he apologises, it is accompanied by defenses for himself, like "I'm sorry, I really am... but you know, if you hadn't said so and so, I wouldn't have done that!"

Basically it ended with him going home annoyed and sad because I was just not cooperating with his affectionate advances for the reasons I stated. So I would please like your opinion on this matter. Is there a different way I should have acted? Thanks.

Hi Nicole,

You are a smart, mature, intelligent young woman, who has her priorities right and who knows where she wants to be 5 years down the line. He is just acting clingy and this will do no good to your relationship. Sit with him and discuss his future plans, encourage him to go beyond and to make use of his time better. Explain to him that you are not ignoring him but need to spend more time with books now. He is feeling a bit lost and is trying all means to get your attention. You are now busy and you won't have much patience to handle his child-like whims. So it's best that you define rules that you'll spend 'x' number of hours with him daily/weekly; which days you'll be busy with course work or which days you'll be burdened with studies. That way he'll know that you are clear about him and about your future.



How to Work Out Arguments With a Loved One

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