General Dating Questions/Communication Styles

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QUESTION: I have been dating a guy exclusively for about 15 months -- we were friends for about 4-5 years prior. We have different styles of communicating but his drives me nutty!

We talk daily (more often than not) but he has a habit of "disappearing" and not letting me know -- he won't contact me for several days. About a month ago we both decided to try to be more communicative but a few days later, he pulled the disappearing act! During the July 4th holiday I let him know I was angry with him for doing the same thing he just agreed not to do. The next day he went out of town for 2 weeks without so much as a word. I called, emailed, texted and got no response for several days. Then he replied saying he couldn't talk because he's out of town celebrating his birthday with some friends. I only found this out after many desperate attempts to reach him (I didn't know if something had happened or if this way his way of breaking up with me). He responded and said we were fine and he'll talk to me when he gets back. Naturally it made me angry and hurt that he resorted to the same behavior he said days before he'd change. I don't suspect him of cheating at all and he was this way when we were just friends.

I don't know how to address this most recent 2 week disappearing act without getting yelling and making him defensive. How can I get him to understand that I don't agree with this behavior without making it seem like I'm attacking him? I don't want to argue and I don't want to make him defensive.

ANSWER: Hello Selina!

"We both decided..." usually means "I insisted that...", right?

Here's the first problem: as you stated, you communicate every day. That's great for you, but not so much for him. In fact, it's likely creating great stress you don't even realize. It's also one of the reasons he doesn't tell you what's going on - he just assumes he'll tell you during one of your mandatory daily communications.

Why all this neediness and desperation? Are you really that insecure (with yourself and the relationship) that you can't go a day with a little freedom for you both? Selina, changing up that ridiculous "rule" will go a long way to get him to actually want to communicate with you!

To "address" this problem you first have to understand that your own demands are prompting at least some - maybe most - of this. After being together for 15 months you should be at some point of comfort and demanding that he talk to you every single day doesn't come off as "connecting" at all. It comes off as controlling. No wonder he responds by going into hiding!

Further, think about this: why didn't you know it was his birthday? Why didn't you know what he was going to do? You blame him for not telling you, but I blame you for not finding out!

Selina, you need to completely rethink exactly what "communication" means. You seem to think it's all about you telling him about (and him being interested in) you and your life. What about him and his life? Here's the reality: it's not his job to tell you, it's your job to find out and to know!

If all you're doing is focusing on yourself - your life, your issues, your feelings, your needs, etc., etc. guess what? He isn't going to feel connected to you. In fact, he's going to feel used and neglected. Further, he's going to feel completely within his right to take off and do his own thing whenever and with whomever he wants.

Regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
323.638.4145
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your direct reply. I am very insecure and am being treated for several mental issues, including borderline personality disorder with fear of abandonment, and Asperger's.

Our agreement was actually a result of him telling me that he was a little upset when I had not contacted him for a few days. So we both decided to let the other one know when we wouldn't be available. You're right, I'm not sure what communicating involves but I thought people in love would want to and should speak daily.

I knew it was his birthday and we'd already celebrated, I just didn't know he was going out of town with friends for weeks.

I am a degree self-centered and I try to work on it but I don't always realize it. Most of our communicating is and had always been me asking him questions about himself and his life not the other way around. In fact, I have never thought he was ready interested in me even as a friend because he rarely asks questions about me.

I know I need help which is why I reached out to you. I do appreciate your comments.

Answer
Hello again Selina!

To be honest, there's very little I can do for you at this distance. Those are very severe mental issues that require a TON of therapy by someone who can track the progress very closely. I simply can't do any of that via this message system.

With that said, as you improve and get healthier, your relationships will directly reflect that as well. Continue the therapy and you'll see very direct improvements. I wish that for you!

Regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
323.638.4145
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”

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Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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I'm able to answer any sort of question related to the approach, meeting people, dating, sex, relationships, break-ups, non-legal marriage and divorce questions, and anything in between. I've helped over 30,000 people with their individual issues. IMPORTANT: Please, PLEASE don't ask me, "what was he thinking..." or "why did he say..." types of questions! I DO NOT READ MINDS! There are 1,001 reasons why someone does what they do, says what they say or thinks what they think. If you *REALLY* want to know what they were thinking, saying or why they were acting that way - go ask them! Be sure to check out my FAQ's on my website at: http://beingaman.com. You can email me directly at: dwneder@beingaman.com.

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I am the author of the books "Being a Man in a Woman`s World I & II" and "1001 Places and Techniques to Meet Great Women" and 11 others. I`ve spent the last 20 years studying the art and science of every aspect of relationships, and have answered over 30,000 letters from readers all over the world. My main focus is men`s relationships with women, but I also have many female readers and answer questions for them regularly as well.

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Doctor of Philosophy

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