Emotional component of the relationship seems insufficient? [advice]

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Emotional component of the relationship seems insufficient? [advice] Empty Emotional component of the relationship seems insufficient? [advice]

Post by MauveShirt on Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:36 pm

Hi, long time lurker here. Sorry in advance if the post gets too long.

I recently got into a relationship with someone. We’d known and liked each other for about a year, but were too shy to say it, until about two months ago, when we admitted it and got together. Since getting together, he’s made it very clear that we are an official couple –eg he was the one who suggested telling our common friends that we’re boyfriend and girlfriend.

It is long-distance, and we meet about every weekend/ every other weekend. We mostly stay in and have sex, which is quite good, but conversations don’t really flow. Between the times we meet, we talk very little, usually about one relatively brief conversation per week, by instant messaging on facebook.

I thought that in a relationship, the conversations would be on par with (or even longer/ deeper than) the conversations in my friendships; and I would be content having about two substantial conversations a week outside the times we meet in person (or sometimes talking on phone/skype would be nice too). I have many friends I talk to, so it’s not that I don’t have people to talk to – I’d just like to talk more with him. To play devil’s advocate, we both work long hours, and even if we tried to talk more, I’m not sure we’d have stuff to talk about. I have many interests and it’s easy for me to talk with most people,  but the conversations with my boyfriend stale a lot, and not for lack of trying on both sides.

I’m not so much questioning his intentions about me – he’s been displaying commitment very keenly. Sometimes I’m thinking to myself “You’re getting laid and you have the bf/gf title, what’s your deal? You can’t expect a person to fulfill you perfectly”. And I don’t want to be that woman who leaves a decent thing just because she doesn’t feel some elusive “connection” – after all, good conversations are hardly a sufficient condition for a good relationship.

But long-distance relationships cost time and money, and I’m not sure I should be spending it on something with so little chemistry outside the bedroom. I’ve had this problem before, so I’m taking responsibility for it – maybe I’m a bad conversationalist or boring. But in that case, maybe I’d be happier single, because at least I wouldn’t be reminded of what I’m missing.

So far, the to-do plan comprises of:
-more active listening, and thinking potential interesting topics before talking Razz
-bring it up gently that I’d like to talk a little more
-leave if the situation doesn’t improve

Just writing that down helped me calm down a bit, but I’d love to hear other people’s inputs on this – it would help put things into perspective.

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Post by The Wisp on Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:33 pm

Hi, welcome to the forums!

I'm completely inexperienced with relationships, so take this with a grain of salt.

One thing that came to my mind is that you mentioned that you're both shy. Did you have a deep friendship before you got together? If not, maybe you two just need time to warm up to each other.
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Post by reboot on Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:25 am

You definitely need to try everything you listed. You could also try calling him to talk on phone or Skype. Now you may find that one or both of you are not great conversationalists, but you will not know until you try
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Post by reboundstudent on Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:51 am

MauveShirt wrote:And I don’t want to be that woman who leaves a decent thing just because she doesn’t feel some elusive “connection” – after all, good conversations are hardly a sufficient condition for a good relationship.

I find this an.... interesting perspective, since from my experience, good conversations are almost the only thing that matter. So much of the longevity and health of a relationship depends on good, solid communication. Communication about sex, communication about ourselves, communication about our expectations and thoughts and feelings. You don't necessarily need to have talky conversations, but the conversations should still be sufficient and fulfilling. You don't necessarily need to talk about hobbies, or have long-winded, stay-up-until-4-am talks... but if you can't really hold a conversation at all, that seems like a pretty basic component of long-term compatibility. I mean, this is someone you are potentially going to be sitting across the table from for years. You don't wanna be the Dining Dead, right?

Emotional component of the relationship seems insufficient? [advice] Bored

But I admit, I might place emphasis on this because good conversations help deepen both my love and my lust for a person. Perhaps it might help to ask yourself, what is a condition for a good relationship in your eyes? Sex and a willingness to commit? Essentially, when you look at your relationship, what makes you go," Yes, this is what makes me want to put time and energy into being with this person"?
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Post by OneTrueGuest on Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:54 am

Yup. I also think since the issue of the lack of conversations has prompted you to sign up and write asking for thoughts on an internet forum that it likely means it is important to you. And it's allowed to be. I think your plan is a solid one and I hope through communication you will both be able to communicate more. Smile

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Post by Lemminkainen on Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:58 am

Your three steps seem perfect, OP. What you "should" think you need doesn't really matter-- only your happiness and satisfaction with the relationship is actually important, and if you feel like you can't connect, and that makes you unhappy, you should definitely leave.

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Post by MauveShirt on Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:59 pm

Thank you everyone for your replies!!

We're both shy indeed, and needing time to warm up to each other is very likely, and I hadn't thought of it before.

Commitment is the minimum requirement for me to consider someone as a partner. But I probably underestimated how much I actually value connection. Its lack in my current relationship bothers me a lot more than I expected. I'll make an effort, I'll give it some time and see if things improve Smile

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Post by nonA on Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:11 pm

Why and how did you "get together" in the first place? More to the point, what made him seem like boyfriend material at the time?

Then again, I come at this from pretty much the exact opposite direction that you do. The DTR talk usually only comes well after we've been in a de facto relationship for a while, and there's no intrinsic benefit to having a BF/GF just for the sake of having one. It might be worth mulling over what you had and how it got to this, so you can think how to go next time you're in a similar situation.

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Post by MauveShirt on Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:43 pm

We were in the same university course and social group. There was flirting from both sides from the beginning, but it took us a year to admit it. I liked him, but at the time I wasn't sure if he was flirting for fun or flirting with intent, and I was snapped up by someone more assertive for a while.

We got together as follows: shortly after the uni course was over, a classmate of ours had a party in another city. We both arrived early and spent the day together. At the party, he told me that, for a long time, he had been thinking of asking me to be his girlfriend, but he hadn't done it because he wasn't sure I was interested. Me spending the day with him confirmed my interest and he felt he had the green light to say it. We both said something along the lines "I'm sorry I didn't make a move earlier".

What made him seem like boyfriend material was that in the year I knew him he generally seemed like a good person. Also, I liked that his decision to ask me to be with him was not a whim; it was something he had thought about carefully. And, emotional compatibility concerns aside, I still think he is boyfriend material.

I agree that there's no intrinsic benefit to having a BF/GF just for the sake of having one. But having the DTR first works much better for me - it helps me trust my partner more. It's not a binding contract, and it's fair game for anyone to walk away from anything that isn't working. But I don't want to enter into any arrangement where the guy has decided from the get-go that he's not looking for something serious. I'm not judging what happens between consenting adults, but if my only options were casual sex and celibacy, I'd choose celibacy.


Edit-update: I discussed it with my boyfriend yesterday and he actually said that he'd also been thinking that we should talk more often. There were occasions that he wanted to message me and didn't because he thought I might be busy with work. He also said "You know, if we both talked more, maybe it wouldn't have taken us a year to get together". Lesson taken: if something concerns me, I should just say it instead of silently worrying about it. Thank you all for your support, keep up the good work with the forum!


Last edited by MauveShirt on Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:25 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : update on the situation)

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