My GF and I are in our 30s have known each other for about a year now and ever since the pandemic started, she stays with me most of the time and the rest she stays with her parents. Due to the current conditions, both of us have to work from home the entire week. I live in a 1 bedroom apartment, so there is no dedicated home office setup for me to work. It is either the living room or bedroom with a table and a chair. I do have a problem of short attention span and am very easily distracted. So, I try to stay in my zone, when I need to focus, as much as possible even putting away my phone or switching it off completely. I like having an organized schedule everyday. My GF is more free spirited. She is kind and very caring.
My time during the day on an average weekday goes like this:
- 5 am wake up time and max of 10 PM to hit the bed.
- 8 hour work schedule
- Doing my postgrad at the same time. (1-2 hours a day)
- Learning new things which I can put to use at work. (1-2 hours a day)
- About 1 hour for physical fitness
- Try to read a book at least 30 mins a day(not always possible).
And on weekends, I try to get some chores and other household things done. I try to work more on my studies and relax a bit watching tv or sports.
My GFs schedule goes:
- worked about 4 hours a day
- Prefers to wake up past 6 AM and sleep late.
- Not much interest in fitness as me.
Before the pandemic
- we would spend weekends together.
- My weekdays were packed with work and gym etc but it was all by myself.
- She would work and spend time with family for the most part
- She works less hours about 2 hours mostly, 3 at the most a day.
- My schedule remains the same(or I at least try to maintain it that way)
- We spend most of the time together as she stays with me a lot.
- My regular schedule has taken a hit to adjust somethings suit her like waking up or going to the gym regularly.
I love her a lot but of late, her spending more time with me has caused a lot of concern in my being able to keep up with my schedule. I appreciate her staying with me during this time as we are all in lockdown. However, there are certain things she does that I making me wish she spent less time with me and more time with her family because there she has more people to interact with and to keep her occupied.
Concerns I have:
- She is more expressive and very often likes to make romantic gestures like hugging me or kissing me or even stand in front of me so I look at her while I work. This does not happen if I'm on a call but it does happen frequently and she expects me to reciprocate. Due to my short attention span, this is quite exhausting to me as I get distracted and I have to put a lot of energy and focus to get back to where I was. Same goes while I am studying or reading a book.
- If there is something that needs to get done, my focus is more on that than just fooling around. Say cooking/doing the dishes for example. Even here, she expects me to pay attention to her or goes on with her romantic gestures which I find a little annoying at times because I'm trying to get something done.
- Since she is less occupied than I am and it is just the two of us, I understand that she needs human interaction to avoid an otherwise boring situation. However, I literally don't have the time to do so. And this is causing a wedge between us in my head. I try not to show it.
- Every time I drop her off at her place(where I spend a few hours), she makes sad faces and wants to stay with me or wants me to stay for more time. While I try to stick with my schedule of any pending work or studying I have to do. It happens everytime and takes a lot of energy for me to stay polite and still come out of it. Due to which I prefer to avoid going to her place and spending time there at all or start saying good bye much earlier than I should because I don't want to deal with a hard good bye every time or it takes that much time to leave.
- Due to our highly contrasting schedule and interests, I imagined this kind of a situation would occur and I suggested that she spends more time with her family but she takes it as an offense. She does not take into account of what I am going through. Most times, I just bite my teeth and get on with things but I do not want this to continue. Anytime I ask for time for myself, it is responded with sadness/crying.
- She has trouble making decisions for herself, including finding a better job as she hates where she works now. I am a procrastinator myself who's trying to correct course by being more organized and I see a pattern based on what I used to do. Also, she hates it if I point somethings or give her tips.
Some of these problems along with her rather negligent approach to finding more work have caused me to think that maybe we are on separate paths and if we continue as is, sooner or later it will lead to a break up in which case, I prefer that happen sooner than later. During the lockdown, there have been instances, where things became tough and I almost broke up with her a few times and later reconciled as we stayed together and I did not want to see her cry or be sad.
What I would like some help on are:
- How do I create clear boundaries on time and place where I would like to be left alone so that I am not distracted?
- If that is not going to work, insist that she spend more time with her family where she has company to keep her engaged and I spend time with her over the weekends. How do I tell her this again without her crying or thinking I am pushing her away? I am open to her staying with me if she can understand and change her behavior.
- Sometimes her emotions and crying, I find that a little too much for a grownup and if I tell her that it only gets worse and I give in. I don't know how to deal with this. I need her to be more mature. How do I say this without getting into an emotional battle?
- While I love her, I cannot keep up with how much attention she wants from me. I don't know if this amount of disparity in a relationship is good for us to continue because If I don't say anything it hurts me and If I do say something, it hurts her. Sometimes I feel our emotional range is way too different and in order to not cause continued pain for either of us, break up and go our separate ways. Is there a better solution?