Dear Uncle Mat 

I have been with my boyfriend for a little over four years, including a separation for a few months that began almost a year ago. He is kind and sweet and always very complimentary and supportive of me verbally. The problem being that his actions fall short of his words. He used to be a bit of a fuck-up and a party boy, but has totally cleaned up his act and is dedicated to his new career. He is the manager for his brother’s band and works really hard for very little money. He travels often with the band and is almost constantly on the phone when he is in town. I am proud of his efforts. However, since our reunion last summer I have received no Christmas and no birthday gifts. Not even an acknowledgement really. He promised me an “event” for my birthday, but has yet to follow through. He was out of town on the day and actually called to ask for my address. I told him not to send flowers.

This past week my sister and I traveled to a musical festival with him and the band and also visited our older brother. We had plans on the third night (I was kind of expecting my “event”), though my sister and I took care of the details, planning dinner at the strip club my very sweet and honest brother runs. (Yeah, my life is cooler than most.) Fifteen minutes before we are supposed to go to this dinner, he takes a call, announces he and the band are on the guest list for another show, and they all take off to shower and make the door time. Totally ditched my sister and I to go eat dinner alone at a strip club! WTF?! This is not cool. He said he can’t believe I am mad at him for this. What would you do? I blew him off for the last day of the trip and visited San Antonio before flying home. He accused me of running away. Have I had enough? My sister votes yes, and I surmise that my family mostly agrees. He is a nice guy and I do like him …

— Waiting for signs of improvement 

Dear Patience,

I am pausing to imagine two single women enjoying dinner alone in a strip club. I personally find the idea of eating in a place where members of the staff are sweating and barely clothed a little unappetizing. Are the waitresses fully clothed? Otherwise I find it amusing and a clever plot twist. Your life was cooler than mine for at least one night. Not that I want to have dinner in a strip club, but I am always jealous of a good subplot. Why did the band have to shower for the concert and not the dinner at the strip club? That is funny.

Running away isn’t always a bad thing. Floods, landslides, giant alien spiders, and other catastrophes require a little fleeing. It was wrong of him to ditch you on pre-made plans, no matter how Aerosmith-video-disturbing they may be. I suspect that those plans were not the promised “event” and you still have that to look forward to.

Or not. The guy clearly has at least one priority before you. I am going to say it’s actually two: the job and the band. He’s a nice guy and serious about work and probably loves you. You might even make it all worth it to him, but he still has you third on the list. If his life catches fire, he’s grabbing two other things before he rescues you. All of the verbal reenforcement on his part might make him feel better than it does you. After four years you are not wrong to find this unsatisfactory. You can leave him. You should ask yourself what it is that you want and need and then find it for yourself. Great guys, nice guys, and sweet guys are not always a perfect match. There are other guys who will say nice things. Change is hard and habit is easy to mistake for happiness.

 

Much love and attention,

Your Uncle Mat

Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at dearunclemat@sacurrent.com or
Myspace.com/yourunclemat. Your true identity is safe with him.


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