Dear One Love:
I’m feeling overwhelmed. Between work and school, it’s hard to be available for my partner. My S.O. wants to spend more time together but I can barely keep my head above water. I’ve tried to make time for us, but I wish I could do better. It makes me feel bad that I can’t be there for them like I used too, and it upsets me when they tell me they miss me. On top of that, there’s a lot of drama at work and it’s stressing me out. What can I do to fix my relationship? I’m exhausted.
Dear Stretched Too Thin,
So many of us are overwhelmed with responsibilities that we forget to put our own self-care first. While your concern for your relationship is admirable, have you considered how these competing responsibilities are affecting you? Aside from not having enough time for your partner, it sounds like you barely have time for yourself.
For your personal health, you should consider scaling back on your hours at work or some other extracurricular activity, if possible. Is there some way you can get more wiggle room in your schedule? If not for your relationship, at least for your own well-being. See if you can cut back on your hours to enjoy being a college student more if your budget will allow. Your financial aid office on campus might be able to help you further.
As always, good communication is key to all healthy relationships. It’s clear your partner wants more of your time, but can you give it? You don’t want to string your partner along but you have to be honest about what you can and cannot commit to at this time.
Finally, your relationship should not feel like another job. It sounds like you’re unable to meet your partner’s needs right now. Have you considered taking a break from your relationship until the end of the semester or until your work schedule lets up? Remember, taking care of your own mental and emotional health is the only way you can show up in a relationship the way you want to.
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