Dear Miss Emily:

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2.5 years.  He works constantly and we have opposite schedules.  I work days, he works nights, so obviously it is next to impossible for us to see each other!  This makes me very unhappy. I feel like I am always alone!  Every weekend I am alone or out with my friends when all I want is to be with him!  His only two days off are Sunday and Monday, but I work on Mondays so that limits our time to Sundays.  Well, I have a second job where I would work Sundays.  He asked me to stop working on Sundays so we could spend that time together.  Well, I did stop working Sundays and he still doesn't make me the priority.  I feel like there is ALWAYS something else going on that is more important to him than spending time with me.  For example, on Sundays he just has to go watch football with his buddies...  or he has to work last minute... or he has to go see so-and-so because he hasn't hung out with him for ages... There is always a reason for him to be anywhere but with me (so it seems to me!)  He tells me all the time that he loves me, but I don't FEEL that he does...  I don't feel like he makes any time for me.  His life revolves around work, drinking, and friends.  He asks me to be patient with him and to be understanding of his work schedule...  but I don't know how long I can put my needs on hold!  I want to be in love and be happy!  I don't want to be patient or wait around anymore!!

------------------------------Miss Emily's advice----------------------------

These work schedules (day/night), not allowing you to see each other but one day a week, are really no one's fault. I assume you two are working as hard as you can at jobs that are available to you, and there's little you can do to accommodate each other unless you were to do the impossible -- and that's be in two places at the same time. That, alone, is lousy for any relationship to prosper.  The relationship seems to have gone a bit cold, as they can under the circumstances. New patterns have developed, and a more independent lifestyle has been forged -- at least on his part. But it seems you have done all you can to make it easier to have that one day, together, and he's dropped the ball. A committed relationship isn't always easy in the best circumstances, and your circumstance is abysmal. Rather than sit around stewing because he's MIA, I'd come up with a plan that works for you -- and maybe it won't be the ideal plan, but one that allows you a path to getting out of this rut. And if that means telling him, "You know, I think we need a break from each other in order to see if we really care about this relationship, or if we're hanging onto it only because it exists. Neither one of us has the time to let it flourish, but only time to let it stagnate."  This wording will avoid putting him on the defensive -- you take some of the responsibility, and it will make it easier to come to some sort of understanding without recrimination.  It's hard, but the frustration is eating at you, and you need a solution to this problem.