Dear Miss U,
My mother says that I talk to my boyfriend too much; how many approximate hours should I talk to my boyfriend a day?
How you communicate has a pretty big effect on the quality and duration of communication, as does your level of focus. The communication target I usually offer people is 1 – 2 hours of talk time (talking with your voice in real time) without distractions (such as posting on forums, watching a show or playing games.) To supplement this 3 -5 text messages or Snapchats a day does the job. Not text conversations; 5 messages in total.
Some days you might not be able to talk, so there might be more messages or even an email, but common sense and practice will help guide you toward what your relationship needs in each stage. I know that when relationships are new you feel like you can’t get enough of each other, so I suspect your mum might be right that you’re talking more than is healthy. Even if you’re not, it’s good to respect your parents and try to help them feel comfortable with your transition into the dating world.
If you want to go beyond an hour of talk time without getting your mum offside I highly recommend studying together. Yes, actually studying. Being able to show your mother notes you made or tell her new facts you memorized while working with your boyfriend will not only raise him in her opinion it will help the two of you build team-mateship. Working together, supporting each other’s dreams in a practical way, setting goals and achieving them are all important skills in adult relationships that you can and should start learning now.
Dear Miss U,
I have been having troubles with my boyfriend because he has become busier this year. He recently got a job at the cinema near him and he barely has time to talk to me. He goes to school during the day and works at night. I know that he works because he wants to help his family and I’m really happy that he does that but in a way, I feel sad. I feel like he doesn’t have time for me anymore. I don’t get any messages from him for days at a time. I told him multiple times that we need to do something about this but he hasn’t done anything. I miss him so much. Sometimes I feel like I should just give up because it feels like it’s only me who tries to make our relationship work.
Do you think maybe he is just too busy (and maybe even overwhelmed) to solve this problem and that’s why nothing has been done? I feel like if you present the solution to him and it doesn’t take him effort he would be more than happy to give what little time he has to you.
Messages are a huge time suck for how much one can actually convey and they are prime space for misunderstandings too, so I always advocate for talk time. Look at his schedule and find time within it that you could phone him. I bet he gets a lunch break at school. Maybe he even has recess or a “study period” too. Could you phone him at lunch time every day? Could it work if you rearranged your time table a little?
Or what about the morning? Could you have breakfast together on Skype before the chaos begins?
How about his commute from school to work? Does he have 20 minutes on a bus or some other small window of time wherein you can connect?
What about weekends? If you set up an online date night each week and all he had to do was log in, would he remember? What about a brunch date? Most cafes have WiFi now, could you not go for coffee and have a bit of quality time to help make up for his absence during the week and give yourself something to look forward to?
I know it sucks to have the responsibility for carrying the relationship dumped on your shoulders but sometimes one partner is in a better position to manage the business of love for a while. Figure out when he has time, and stake your claim on it! If you can’t beat his schedule maybe you can become part of it.