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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is different if you are married, but how often do you talk to your SO when you are dating? I know this is different for everyone, but I am curious. Some people think that a certain amount of communication is normal, while others think it's clingy.

I'm in a long-distance relationship (I have been for three weeks or so; I met the guy during study abroad) and it has been really tough. I feel like I've turned into the person that initiates everything: Skype calls, Facebook messages, etc. In the week and half, we briefly chatted on Skype. We've sent Facebook messages back and forth almost every day, but most of them are something like, "Hey babe; I am going to bed. Love you. Night". He used to send me Facebook messages during the day just asking me how my day was. I miss that and I don't know why he doesn't do that anymore. I feel like there is no conversation anymore. It would be different if I saw this guy in person, but we are living hundreds of miles apart! I feel like we need to have bonding time, even though it is through the internet.

Let me be clear, I know that my boyfriend has a life outside of me. And he should! He has been busy with projects, school, and work. I have been super busy as well! But I really try to make time in my schedule to talk to him. Before, I looked forward to talking to him at the end of the day but that has pretty much ceased. I want to know that he is making an effort, but I feel like he isn't. I see him share pictures on Facebook but he won't ask me how my day was or say 'Hi'. If he has the time to check his phone, doesn't he have the time to take two seconds to send me a message? I really feel like I'm not asking that much. I think the thing that worries me is that if you have a SO, you should want to talk to them, right?

Also, we were talking about living together in June (if I go back to his country) but I really don't feel ready. That was another reason why I wanted to talk to him more, to see if our relationship could grow while we were apart. But he seems to have this attitude of "Well, enjoy your friends and everything there while you can, don't always be connected on the computer...have your own life and we'll see each other soon enough. We'll talk when we can." But moving in together is a huge step and I feel like he hasn't though it through. I feel like he's not ready even though he says that he is. I mean, we hardly communicate now....so how could you be ready to be around a person that much and actually live with them?! For him it is easy to say that, because he wanted to move anyway. I am just a puzzle piece that fits nicely into his already-made puzzle. I feel like I am already playing by his rules. But moving for me is a huge deal -yes, there are personal reasons that are motivators- but I don't know if he really takes my situations, feelings, thoughts, etc. into consideration.

Basically, I feel like I am putting way much more into this relationship than he is. I don't know if I am being clingy or reasonable. I am really thinking about calling it quits because I just feel like my needs aren't getting met in this relationship. But the thing is, when we are on Skype or when we are in person, things are nice. Does anyone have advice on what to do?
 

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it's been three weeks and already y'all are going to live together in a country that is near alien to you?

i'm not him, and i don't know your situation (other than what you've listed), but... he may actually have strong feelings for you, and is just really laid back and go-with-the-flow when it comes to life--like letting "everything fall into place" as it will... though, that is reading the best possible intentions into the situation, in his favor, and nothing you've written so far backs that up.

why not tell him that you'd love to live with him, but maybe just as friends, and that you can both experience what the area has to offer--to just explore. he'll probably throw a fit or just ignore you, but if he doesn't, then it gives you the chance to get to know him better in on more neutral grounds. and then if you'd still like to date him, go for it.

p.s. how long did y'all know each other/hang out before hand? if it wasn't for very long, and the living situation is already set in stone as being a temporary thing, i'd guess he's just looking for a good time. keep that in mind.
 

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I wouldn't move all the way to another country if the communication is already poor. He should be finding some time in his schedule to talk to you, not because he should, but because he wants to.

I am also in a long distance relationship. We have a huge time difference, but we make it work. I try to talk to my SO everyday, but that's not always possible because of how busy she is or when we are both busy. We do say something to each other once a day, though, even if it's just good night, small chit-chat, or saying we won't be online. Quality time is very important to me, and I imagine it is for her, too, so whenever there is free time, we make time for each other. Of course, this doesn't mean we don't have our own lives or interests or hobbies. Most of my day is doing my own thing, talking to other people, going to school, looking for a job, etc.

I shouldn't be bossing people around on what constitutes a healthy relationship, distance or not. Look at your love languages and what you need in a relationship to feel happy. For instance, I value quality time a great deal and words of affirmation. Touch is also a very big deal to me, but considering that's impossible in our situation, I make up for it by sending messages that include hugs, kisses, etc. Words of affirmation is easy to achieve no matter how far apart a couple is. I send my SO little love notes whenever I feel like it, and she does, too. Even if we can't have live time together, an email, forum message, text, etc. will do, just to let her know how much I appreciate her. Quality time - usually there is at least an hour a day in which we are both free, so we Skype together, look at things online, mess around. Sometimes we have a few hours to spend together, although that's harder to squeeze in given conflicting schedules. Sometimes there are days we cannot talk. That's what messages are for (this goes back to words of affirmation), and whether they are long or short, it says, "I'm thinking about you!"

Of course, my relationship is not everyone's relationship. You may not value the things I value, but there are always other ways to show that the person is on your mind, and that's what counts! Relationships take work, but it is work worth doing. In order to let something grow, or even to just sustain it, one must nourish it. It seems your boyfriend is really not putting in any effort at all. He either is unaware of his neglect of the relationship because that's just how he is (be it from different love languages, inexperience with this situation, whatever else is escaping me) or he simply does not care.

It would be best to bring it up with him and try to work things out. Perhaps seriously reevaluate the decision to move in with him given your concerns and the current state of the relationship. If he is a keeper, he will understand and try to put more effort into making time for you, whether apart or together. Figure out what you need (especially what you need at a distance) in the relationship to keep you happy and tell him you'd like more of that. See what he likes and needs and do the same for him. I mean this isn't to say he has to remodel his life completely to fit you in it. It's just little compromises that make the other person happier. Why? Because you care. At the end, that's the point of doing any of this ridiculousness.

Also, I should have said this way earlier - you are not being clingy at all. You like the guy and you'd like some reassurances that he likes you just as much. If he can't put in the effort now to show you how much he wants, likes, and appreciates you, what makes you think he will when you are together? Just out of convenience? The truth is, it will never be convenient. His life won't suddenly clear up once you get there. So, anyways, just bring it up with him and have an open, honest discussion about it and see what you arrive at. If he won't bother with any changes, or if he doesn't follow through, ask yourself if it is truly worth it. If it works out, that's great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Woops, I should have clarified. We have been dated around five months, but it has only been long distance for three weeks!

Thank you both for your advice. I don't know if I should give him the silent treatment until he talks to me. He is being really emotionally unavailable. We talked for thirty minutes on Skype on Sunday, and we tried to last Wed (but the connection was really bad). All the other communication, although daily, has consisted of him saying maybe 1-2 sentences per on Facebook. Many times he won't tell me anything during the day, but he tell me that he loves me and that he is going to bed.

I actually am interested in the prospect of teaching English in his country. But I agree...it's way too soon to even think about moving in! Especially with someone so emotionally unresponsive.
 

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Well, you clearly need more than that. Just let him know. Start off by just suggesting a thing or two. If he remains unresponsive, make him find some time to talk and go over this issue with him.
 

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Were you guys previously the types to get into good, long conversations with each other where you were both genuinely interested in what the other had to say?

Do you have mutual interests you'd both enjoy talking about?

I think one potential problem with long-distance relationships is that they can become about relationship maintenance/survival - people holding on to basic communication and saying I love you and whatnot, while the substance of your interactions/connection has diminished.

I've heard of long-distance relationships where people play games online together or watch a movie at the same time and have skype on while they're doing that. I think having something you share and get into together is important, whether it's something you do together online or something you guys both follow (like some kind of sport or politics or developments in your field of interest).

I think sometimes people can pull away from communication because they realise it's been a bit hollow, and they'd rather avoid that awkwardness and effort. Sometimes they pull away because they'd just prefer to be doing things with people in person than over the internet.

You should be able to tell him how this arrangement has been working for you and what you need. (If you can't, or if he doesn't care, then you really don't have much of a relationship.) That's all you need to do. Be honest with him and be ready for an honest answer.

Oh... and not everyone likes to talk about their day. I'm sort of in the habit of doing the checking in "how was your day/what did you get up to" thing with the guy I'm with, but sometimes you can tell that it's a bit of a struggle for us... It's not always that fascinating a topic, and it can feel tedious to have to detail the day's happenings. Whereas hit the right topic or question about an idea or mutual interest and things can suddenly take off.
 

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Woops, I should have clarified. We have been dated around five months, but it has only been long distance for three weeks!

Thank you both for your advice. I don't know if I should give him the silent treatment until he talks to me. He is being really emotionally unavailable. We talked for thirty minutes on Skype on Sunday, and we tried to last Wed (but the connection was really bad). All the other communication, although daily, has consisted of him saying maybe 1-2 sentences per on Facebook. Many times he won't tell me anything during the day, but he tell me that he loves me and that he is going to bed.

I actually am interested in the prospect of teaching English in his country. But I agree...it's way too soon to even think about moving in! Especially with someone so emotionally unresponsive.
It sounds like you are going through an adjustment phase.


I am also in a long distance relationship, and we usually talk a few times a week, in a good week we might talk almost every day, and in a bad week we struggle to find time together. Timezones and differing schedules suck.

I think the next time you two get on skype together you need to discuss more how you are going to go forward while this relationship is in the long distance phase. Things like how often you are going to talk, what you will do when you can't talk, what kind of contact you both expect via facebook, email etc. until you both have an idea. He might find it harder to express himself via text.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your advice. I feel like he might get defensive about everything. We were never the type of people to have super long conversations, or to be constantly in contact with each other. Even over there, were probably only saw each other 2-3 times a week. This frustrated me when I was getting ready to leave for my home country, because it seemed like he didn't realize that I would be leaving and that I wouldn't see him for some time! I wondered if him acting distant whenI was there was a defense mechanism or something else.

i was looking back on our Facebook messages, and it wasn't always like this. When I came back to the states, he used to take the first step quite a bit. He would tell me that he missed me and ask if I wanted to Skype. I felt loved and wanted from his attention. So what happened? Now he is going through midterms, he is finishing up some projects, and he has work. I can understand that this might make him unavailable because he is trying to study while working full time, and he is getting into the thick of it now.

But another thing that changed is that I told him that I wasn't sure about moving back. When I was with him, I felt very sure that I was going to come back when I graduated. However, I thought about what I would be leaving behind here if I moved. That makes the decision much harder; I realized everything I missed about the States when I came back. This doesn't mean that I won't move there necesarilly, but it makes the decision much harder. I also told him that it pretty early in the relationship, and he agreed, but he said it wouldn't make much sense to live apart; it would be more money, I would be staying at his house a lot anyway, etc. (I'm not so sure though). I also asked him what would happen if we broke up. I made it clear that I needed to have a plan B in case things went bad, even though that sounds very unromantic; I just know lots of people who got themselves 'stuck' by cohabitating with someone andd then the relationship not working out.

so maybe he is pulling away because of this too; maybe he feels rejected. Granted, it would be difficult to wait on a decision from a person you love who lives hundreds of miles away. It would be really hard to say goodbye and not know if they are going to return.
 

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yeah, i dont think "the silent treatment", or any other sort of treatment, is really the way to go. even if it works, it only does so because he's been manipulated and the response from him won't be genuine (or long-lasting).

just be honest--there's nothing wrong with that.
 

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Idk, but sometimes I feel that when we love someone, we always make a bit of time for them. Maybe he's a silent and more introverted type, or maybe something has been really really tiring and troubling him? Thought if this is the case, then you might get the idea of what you might expect in the future. :/ Honestly, no one is perfect, but if you can't be satisfied in the over all then it might be the time to rethink all this living together thing before you get into a potentially complicated situation (in which it could be troublesome in case you end up breaking up).

But still, maybe it's coz communication is important to me, Idk, but I still think that chatting 15 to 30 mins almost everyday with someone we love and feel connected to (coz lovers are also friends) is not that much.
 

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so maybe he is pulling away because of this too; maybe he feels rejected. Granted, it would be difficult to wait on a decision from a person you love who lives hundreds of miles away. It would be really hard to say goodbye and not know if they are going to return.
Maybe and maybe. Confined to your own head, there are infinite maybes.

A relationship should not have to be a guessing game, and when it requires walking on eggshells or making yourself crazy for a protracted period of time that is not good news.

Talking honestly also requires trust. You either need to believe his answers or feel certain that you can read him better than he can explain himself and believe your perception of what's going on with him right now. If he's telling you that the reason why he isn't intiating as much is because he's busy or because he wants you to live your life etc then what's the point in seeking that answer if you're not going to buy it? And... wanting to understand him is one thing, wanting what you want is another.

Is it more important to you to understand him and then go with that flow, or to try and get a compromise with communication that will help you feel a little more comfortable? From what you say he was never a "let's keep in touch everyday" sort of person anyway, so if you have greater communication needs you are going to have to ask for it and discuss it.

Honest, clear communication and trust are really the backbone of relationships. And it is all you have to go on in long-distance relationships. You guys don't sound like you're completely hearing the other person right now, or that you have much faith in each other. If he does feel bad that you are wanting to think this potential move through in more depth, I could understand that but one would also hope he had some maturity and compassion to see that there is so much more at stake for you than for him in doing this.
 
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