Thursday, August 20, 2020

Her Boyfriend Is Too Damned Sweet

Here is a slice of contemporary American life, from a Carolyn Hax column. Or better, a portrait of a bizarre relationship. Apparently, Tim is the soul of generosity. He is always giving-- to someone somewhere. He even seems to seek out occasions where he can lend a helping hand.

If Tim had been a member of the ministry, such would be his job. Apparently, such is not the case. Strangely, the Girlfriend who writes in about Tim does not bother to mention what he does for a living. Or whether he does anything for a living. He seems to be so completely preoccupied with giving away his caring empathy for free that he cannot be doing too well on the job. 

Girlfriend does not seem to care about his solvency or lack of same. She does remark that Tim is faithless, in the sense that he often fails to keep plans. Apparently, he does not show up for appointments or meetings. It is a bad sign. In the business world this appalling habit will undermine his prospects. In fact, Tim should get a job in some ministry, where his bad habits can be put to good use. 

As for Girlfriend, many of her friends think very ill of this unreliable boyfriend. They believe that she is being mistreated. In that they are correct.

When I started dating "Tim," my friends were very excited. I don't usually date, especially long-term. Tim is a great guy, really nice, very funny and endlessly sweet. 

Almost too sweet. He constantly overextends himself, drives hours out of his way after work to help a friend of a friend and, because of this, has a hard time keeping plans. He is very well-intentioned, and I trust him. I have no doubts about our relationship. None of this bothers me. It honestly inspires me to become a better person and help others like Tim does.

However, my friends think I'm being strung along, mistreated, overlooked and ignored. Some have met Tim and are charmed by his charisma, personality and sense of humor. 

Others are bristly when I even bring up his name. It bothers me that my friends can't just be happy for me. I've always been wildly independent, without a need for a man constantly around, and it truly does not bother me that Tim is busy lending a hand, even if it's at the expense of our alone time.

I guess I'm asking, where is the line between helping someone else and mistreating your girlfriend? Am I tiptoeing on it? Is Tim neglecting me, or are my friends projecting?

— Girlfriend

Actually, Tim is neglecting her. He might be there when she falls ill, but he will not be there to support his family or to provide for his future children.

Best to move on.


urbane legend said...

What is it with women, or men, for that matter, who cannot see that making a choice means seeing that certain basics are required to make anything work? Commitment to the other person is the first thing. If the person you choose to be first in your life doesn't put you first in his/hers/zirs, that person isn't the one.

I've always been wildly independent, without a need for a man constantly around, . . .
Fine, then continue. But continue without Tim. Even with him, you are by yourself.

370H55V said...

Move on indeed. It looks like she doesn't need him any more than he needs her. If I were him I'd bail first.

Fish meet bicycle.

Sam L. said...

Tim has already bailed, 370. "Girlfriend" just hasn't twigged to it yet.

Anonymous said...

I know a man like this. He's on his second wife and both complain(ed) about the same thing: he is always stuff for other people ahead of catering to his wife. He will lend money to others without consulting the wife. He will expend massive energy helping others when the wife wants him at home. It is "people pleasing" behavior where he wants others to reward him with appreciation. It's not as gratifying coming from his wife. The wife's feeling of neglect is part of the gratification because others will feel even MORE appreciative if he puts them ahead of her. Ironically, the current wife is now being neglected on behalf of the ex-wife who used to complain of neglect.