You Asked: He Constantly Tells Me I Can Do Better

Dear Sugar,

I have been with my boyfriend for almost two years. It's a long distance relationship and it's not always easy, but he makes me happy. There have been times, though, when he tells me that I could "do better" than him. I'll admit, he's not the greatest boyfriend sometimes, but who's perfect? The distance (2,200 miles) and the time difference (three hours) doesn't help either, and with such factors, it's sometimes hard to make time for each other. Even if he thinks I deserve better, shouldn't I get to choose to be with him for as long as he wants to be with me? I hate it when he tells me that and I hate it even more when he does things to push me away. I'm really happy, but I don't know if this relationship can work if he keeps thinking like this. How do I get him to stop? Can I get him to stop? What should I do? — Settling Sally


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Dear Settling Sally,

I'm sure this isn't the answer you want to hear, but it sounds to me like your boyfriend is trying to make you break up with him. It also sounds like your relationship is quite a roller coaster, as many long distance relationships can be, but it can't make you feel very secure to have your boyfriend continuously tell you that you can do better. Although he could simply be self-deprecating, my take is that he's just afraid to end it.

Since you've been struggling with the distance for two years, a talk is most definitely in order. Ask him where he thinks this relationship is going and be prepared to answer the same question. You say he makes you happy, but do you make him happy? Get to the bottom of why he's verbally pushing you away — deciphering whether it's insecurity or the beginning of the end is imperative. Once you figure that out, hopefully you can work together to build the lines of communication and change things in your relationship for the better, if that's the path you decide to take.

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