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Hi Alex,

You know, no matter what happens with this guy, I think this relationship will have been really good for you just for teaching you so much about yourself and what you want in a man. I was sorry to read your last post--this guy is really being a jerk and treating you badly. I wish I had some great advice to make everything okay, but the only thing that comes to mind is that you might benefit from pulling back a little. As it is, he knows he has you at his beck and call, and he's taking advantage of that by controlling when and for how long you talk. Calling him back and showing him how much that bothers him is just going to make him realize that he's succeeded in getting to you and that acting like that is a good way to get your attention and rile you up.

My first boyfriend used to thrive on pushing my buttons, because I am easily angered and I think it amused and entertained him. He later said that he thought he had to create drama to keep me interested and to keep things exciting for me. We had a strange relationship in this respect, but every guy I've been with (including my current sweetie, who does it in a playful, well-meaning, not hurtful way, but still likes getting a rise out of me on occasion) enjoyed ticking me off, at least to some degree. Considering the many qualities we have in common, I would suspect that you arouse that same instinct in the guys you date. Since you're not content with the current state of this relationship, I would suggest making some changes in your behavior so he no longer feels so secure that you'll be really into him no matter how badly he acts toward you.

It definitely sounds like he's telling you that he liked how confident, opinionated, and curious you were when you guys first got together. That means he likes the real you, and rather than trying to change, you might improve your relationship by putting more emphasis on the qualities of yours that he likes most. Maybe if you made a point of talking about what you're studying, reading, etc. rather than discussing your relationship, he would open up more and want to have longer, more in-depth conversations. People are happiest in a relationship when both people have things going on independently in their lives, like hobbies and interests, that they can discuss together. That keeps the conversations fresh and intriguing. It seems like he misses what you used to bring to the table, so to speak, through the interesting things you were learning that you shared with him. Why not make a point of getting back to that by talking to him more about things he wouldn't be exposed to otherwise, even if it's just a book you're reading for school?

Thank you for your sweet and supportive comments, Alex--it's funny how similar we are in terms of our personalities as well as what we want in a guy. Mine really is the perfect match for me, and I hope you find a man who is everything you want, ASAP! I think the key is identifying what you want and need, in terms of finding someone who is compatible and whose traits compliment you, rather than clashing with you. For that reason, we're both best off with quiet, sweet, patient, and easy-going guys. Like you, I'm the strident, aggressive, and forcefully opinionated one, and he balances me out. But he also likes being with me because I tend to carry the conversation for us in social situations and help him stand up for himself when necessary. Basically, I think the ideal partnership is when one partner provides all the qualities the other lacks, and vice versa, so that together you are both better people than you are apart (and you bring out the best in each other).

By the way, I used to be very impatient and mean on occasion, especially with past boyfriends. Now that I have met the guy I want to spend my life with, I try to be a lot more careful about taking out tension and frustration on him. I pick my battles carefully and make an effort to bite my tongue whenever I feel the urge to snap or pick a fight over something stupid and trivial. It sounds like you've come along on this front as well, and I think your boyfriend will come to appreciate this change in time. It's definitely a good thing that you've learned not to take a great guy for granted just because he loves you and is devoted to you, regardless of whether things work out with your current BF. I think the plan you described in your second to last post sounds great, and I really wish you the best of luck. Now, time to get back to my sexy hunk, lol :D. Take care and keep us posted, OK?

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