Dear Miss U,
My boyfriend and I have been friends for years. Last year, we started dating for about 3 months and broke up badly due to miscommunication. We went 6 months without talking, and when we did start talking again, he was in a relationship. He broke up with her for me.
We’ve been together for 6 months now, and up until two weeks ago, we would talk, Skype, Snapchat, and text all the time. He recently moved and has stopped talking to me almost completely. When we do talk, he is uninterested and usually Snapchatting someone on his phone.
When I asked why he stopped talking to me as much he said he was “bored with being on his phone all the time” but he already is anyway. I’m supposed to visit him for a week in under a month, and with how he has been acting, I’m not sure I should go anymore. My friends have been telling me to dump him, but I really care for him and think it might just be stress. I don’t know what to do.
Confused in Cali
All relationships have problems. You’re never going to get together with someone and encounter flawlessness until death; that’s just not how it works. So then, dumping your boyfriend at the slightest sign of turbulence isn’t the best advice your friends could be giving you, nor is it particularly supportive.
Your boyfriend has already told you what he feels the problem is (he’s sick of being on the phone all the time) and you have made the very astute observation that he’s still on the phone all the time – just not to you. Instead of leaving it at this you need to take the conversation a step further. He’s bored with being on the phone? Great, what can you do together to alleviate that boredom? Can you switch up the medium you use to connect with each other? Can you play online games together? Do you have date nights or are you always just relying on conversation to carry the relationship when you are apart? What are you doing together to keep it fun? Sit down together (online or in person) and make a plan of action to address this problem in your relationship. Work as a team! And then if he’s unwilling to resolve the issue, compromise with you or otherwise put in an effort then you can ask yourself if this relationship has run its course – but don’t give up without first trying!
While you’re talking, for your own peace of mind, do address his phone use. Tell him it’s odd that he doesn’t want to be on his phone and yet you always see him on his phone and ask him if there’s a way you can support him breaking this habit if that’s something he truly wants. I’m willing to bet we could all do with less screen time for our health and well-being (I know I certainly could) and that’s a worthy goal even for people whose relationships are heavily dependent on technology.
Talk to him and carry the discussion until you reach a solution.
Dear Miss U,
We met on a trip a week ago and started dating, but we live in different countries with different time zones. I miss him horribly as well and was originally scared of being that “clingy girlfriend,” but he is always texting me – for example, when it’s 4 am over there, but he insists that he will not sleep anyway so we should keep texting. I feel loved because he constantly remembers me/thinks of me, but I am worried for him. This is more of a post for: How do I make him miss me less and what can I do as a girlfriend?
Missing my boi
Missing each other is part and parcel of a LDR. You’re going to miss each other. As time goes on this gets harder and harder, but thankfully you will also get better at managing your time and LDR related stress. It’s also very standard that one or both parties sacrifices sleep here and there to maintain communication.
It’s also very normal to worry about your partner’s health. Getting enough sleep, exercise, eating right, etc. We want our partners to be happy and live long lives by our sides! But we have to accept that our partners are autonomous individuals; they have the right and responsibility to take care of themselves and though we can make suggestions we don’t have the right to tell them what to do.
Overall, I’d be more concerned if he didn’t miss you and didn’t want to spend time with you.
As a partner, you can be supportive. You can model healthy behaviors and lead by example. And you can enjoy the ride! That’s the main part here. Just chill out and go with it!
Worry is like a rocking horse: it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.