I hope this e-mail finds you well. You are my ever brilliant guiding light in the world of dating. I was wondering if you had any advice for communicating with your partner about needs that he/she is not meeting without coming across as “nagging” or “trying to change” the person. I also don’t want to come across as one-sided. I would like to have it be a dialogue about his needs too. Meeting his needs are just as important to my happiness as having my own needs met.
My particular situation involves communication. My partner and I are in an exclusive relationship and have only been together for a few months. He told me early on in the relationship that he wasn’t much of a texter, but that he would try for me. He did text fairly often in the beginning. Once a day and not for long, which was fine with me. He would also call me on the phone sometimes. As time progressed, I became the only one who would reach out first for the most part, but he would still respond to me. I compromised in that I learned to accept that I would usually be the first one to reach out. I was willing to do that. After all, relationships are made of compromise.
Lately though, he will sometimes take days to respond. I need to know if this is something he is willing to fix because I need more than that. Without communication between times when we are physically together, I feel unwanted and unsupported. I also feel that it creates an obstacle in the forward progress of our relationship. How are we to get to know one another? I don’t want just a weekend boyfriend. It feels to me that he is losing interest and I certainly don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who isn’t interested in me. This would be an easier decision to make except that nothing else is out of place. In person he is kind, affectionate, generous, etc. He’s exactly who I’m looking for in every other respect.
I don’t believe in trying to change him, so I just want to explain my needs and ask him if they’re something he is willing to meet. If not, I will absolutely respect that but will need to end the relationship.
I am seeking advice as to how to make it a positive conversation that includes his needs as much as my own and doesn’t come across as an attack.
Thank you so much in advance for considering to offer me any guidance you may have. As always, if you’d like to include this on your blog, you absolutely may. I only ask that you use a different name for me. Thank you again for what you do for all of us.
I agree that taking two to three days to respond to a text is ridiculous. There’s just no excuse for it. HOWEVER…
He told me early on in the relationship that he wasn’t much of a texter,
I don’t believe in trying to change him,
Here’s the root of the problem. You are, in fact, trying to change him. He’s not a texter. He told you as much. Instead of takign what he said at face value and respecting it, you’re pushing the boundary he set down. That’s probably why he’s so resistant and unresponsive. He doesn’t want to tell you not to text him because he probably likes you and doesn’t want to deal with any conflict. He’s hoping you’ll read his social cues and take the hint.
I need to know if this is something he is willing to fix because I need more than that. Without communication between times when we are physically together, I feel unwanted and unsupported.
Here’s a question: why is he expected to fix his little quirks but you’re not expected to fix yours? His ambivalence about texting is on par with your neediness. This whole problem is a result of your insecurity. You must see that, yes? You need to figure out why it’s so important to you that this guy checks in every day. Don’t get me wrong. I love the daily texts and communication, but some people – male and female – just aren’t like that. They don’t need that much reassurance. What’s driving this need for you, I believe, is this fear that he’s going to dump you or leave. You need to address that, because it’s not just about this guy. It goes deeper.
I just want to explain my needs and ask him if they’re something he is willing to meet. If not, I will absolutely respect that but will need to end the relationship.
That’s cool, but your needs aren’t what you think they are. Yes, you need the reassurance, but it’s not about getting to know each other. It’s not. You think it is, but it’s not. You’re already in a relationship with a guy you only see on weekends. If getting to know each other is the priority, then how are you okay with that arrangement? And, really, you’re going to dump a guy because he doesn’t like to text you every day? I’m sorry, but that’s insane and doing that will blow up in your face, because he’ll be all, “Cool. Peace out.” You will not get the reaction you’re hoping for. To be perfectly honest, it sounds like this guy tried to accommodate your needs and you kept upping the ante.