LDR Advice from Michelle and Frank

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Long Distance Relationship Boredom

July 18, 2008

I’m feeling tired but i dunno how to tell him… i feel like our conversation is dry and everyday I’ll be asking him the same question… how did he sleep…how was his day…how was his work… anything new… sigh. We’re in a long distant r/s and we just got together 3 months ago. We met online beginning this yr and met up face to face in May. Since then we haven’t seen each other. It’s just been a lot of msn and phone conversation… I feel like we have nothing to talk…even when we go out in May… and sometimes when I’m telling him something, he doesn’t seem interested or paying attention??…And from what I hear thru the phone, he seems bored. And he said I am not interested in his conversation. I felt that I really did listen but from what he saw in the web cam…he says I didn’t. I feel terrible. It’s like I’m being watched and I don’t wanna put up an act and be all attentive. I just wanna relax, surf the net and listen to him as we Skype at the same time. Is that not ok?

I know he loves me very much, I do, but the thing that bothers me is that our conversation just some to a standstill and it is torturing to me. I don’t wanna pretend like that is not a problem or it doesn’t bothers me… it does… Is there any way for us to improve this? Is us being away from each other a big factor to the dry conversation?

This whole silent in conversation really makes me contemplate to whether or not I should fly and go visit and stay with him for 3 months… it scares me… I just don’t want to have that awkwardness… we probably would be so into each other physically for the first month (sigh – I actually find that deceiving emotionally) and then when we come back down to earth… will the conversation be the same?

What should I do… any hope?

Drowning

Michelle says…

I feel that Frank and I will suggest similar things, so to avoid redundancy, I’ll answer the question, and Frank will supplement it.

In long distance relationships, conversation can tend to get a bit dry. In long distance relationships the main way to interact is to communicate over the phone or online. Unlike “short” distance relationship couples, we’re lacking physical closeness, which makes silence more comfortable when you’re together. If you think about it, is it more comfortable to be quiet while cuddling on the couch and watching TV with your partner, or watching each other silently on webcams? It’s a no-brainer that second scenario is bit more awkward.

Also in long distance relationships, since talking (whether over the phone or instant messaging) is the main way to interact with one another, you may actually feel you’ve run out of things to say to one another, except for conversation about day to day life. There’s the feeling you may have exhausted every conversation topic.

Frank and I have been in this similar situation before, so we can relate to what you’re feeling.

Here are some things you may wish to try before you decide to give up.

Instead of solely talking, try to find something you can do together. Watch a TV show or movie simultaneously or play an online game. It allows you to not stress so much over trying to make conversation. It may also create new topics of conversation.

There are also books and websites out there with questions for couples to ask each other. Here is an example: 100 Questions.

You’ve only been together for three months so don’t think that there’s nothing left to talk about. You just haven’t asked the right questions yet. Have fun with a list of questions and take turns asking each other the questions.

To answer your question about whether or not it’s okay to do things on the side online while you’re on Skype… I think it’s okay, but only to a point. Frank and I both surf the net while we’re talking to one another online. We often share things we find when we surf the net too. Obviously you don’t want to be ignoring your boyfriend while you’re doing things online, so if you catch yourself missing things he has said, you have to stop what you’re doing and pay more attention. It sounds as though he may be doing other things when you’re talking as well since you don’t feel that he is always paying attention to what you’re saying. This is probably due to the lack of interesting conversation, but he should pay more attention as well.

There has to be time where you totally focus on one another and nothing else. Frank and I surf the net while we’re on the webcam and instant messaging, but when we talk on the phone we avoid distraction and stay off the computer and focus on each other.

Obviously long distance relationships take quite a bit of effort… so if you want this to work out, you’re going to have to actually put effort into making good conversation but also figuring out ways to do things together so you don’t stress about conversation.

Also, don’t be afraid to confront your boyfriend with these problems. Openly talk about it. Figure out what he’s doing that makes him look like he’s not paying attention. Confess that you do surf the net while you talk. Before you can work on your communication problem you both have to recognize there is one and admit it to each other.

If you really love each other, then there is hope.

Michelle

Frank says…

If you feel that your conversation is dry, swim toward controversial topics. Maybe see his point of view on the current political elections in the US. See if he is for gun control or against, and how he would feel if they banned semi-automatic weapons. You could even find out his view on Roe vs Wade (scary topic i know). My point is, there are infinite things out there to discuss.

Now, I will tell you that being apart is mostly the reason for this dry conversation. I mean, you only have talk. And when you spend time with someone every day, you will get bored. Even if you hung out with your friends every day in person, you would run out of things to say. But since you are doing activities, it is fine with your friends. This you probably already realize. Now I will hit some points.

  • I feel it is a little weird to be watched on the webcam. I agree, sometimes I just want to be on my own, and when I have a face looking at me on the computer, i get weirded out and don’t like it. What you might want to consider is not using Skype all the time, maybe every other day, so that doesn’t lose its magic.
  • It drives me crazy when Michelle is doing things on her computer when i am trying to talk to her. I could be talking about special screws used to hold down decks, and she could (and does) care less. However, I am interested, so she needs to just sit there and listen until i have told her about them. It is important to respect the other persons ideas of how they want to do things. When someone comes in to talk to you while you are at the computer, do you keep surfing the Internet, or do you stop and talk to them? I think you know that you should give them your attention. Perhaps you should find someone to communicate that one of you has an important topic that you should focus on. Saying “hey, listen” or “this is very important” and then you should focus on only him.
  • Now, for your boyfriend, he needs to do the same. When on the phone, stay with the phone call, don’t be reading a magazine. Girls are very intuitive on voice tones, and even if you think you are trying to be clever and giving her “ok, uh huh, that’s cool” to fool her into thinking you are paying attention, she can see right through that. Give her your attention. Also, respect that she is slightly uncomfortable with the webcam (even though it is like “being with each other”). Give her a break sometimes and let her just hang out with you on it.
  • One final suggestion is, if you talk every day, consider having a day off, or a short day. This is a day when you both do your own thing separately, and then call each other to say goodnight, and that is pretty much it. It takes the every day monotony out of the phone calls and talking, and then the next day, you might have more to talk about.

Please don’t think that this is easy, like Michelle said, we had/have similar problems.

And finally, you said you’ve been together for only 3 months and that you plan on going to visit him and stay with him for 3 months…. why would you stay with him for that long? Why not just a week, or a month, and maybe take the physical stuff slow. That is just a thought.

Good luck.

Frank

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Comments 7

  1. My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year. We met online, in the beginning of the relationship we would have so many things to talk about, he would text back quickly and everything. Fast forward months later and he is always bored with the conversation, I'm a Gemini so I can find anything to talk about but his responses are always dry. I guess he's just not interested in the topics I choose. Anyway, we plan to live together by my birthday next year so maybe this won't be an issue when we aren't long distance anymore.

  2. I have to agree and I wish my gf would have seen it same way. I been with her for 2 years and we were almost there 2 and half months away and she's giving up she feeling that she doesn't love me anymore and i'm boring, everything out my mouth is boring. Well lately I've been stressed at work and missing her like crazy like really for once wanting to talk to her like we used to before bed. But yet we haven't had barely any communication lately she been playing games if i joke she taking it like i'm making fun of her. I just don't know what to do anymore. I really wanted to have a legitimate talk I felt if we could talk about things maybe we would be ok. She couldn't deny she loved me or that she was happy or not bored when we are together and when I said I loved her she said I don't doubt it. She says she bored now I know I talk about work alot I just made more time to play online with her and spend time with her cause she was mad I wasn't doing that about month ago. I've been eating healthier and making changes we have talked about before but because we haven't talked alot she doesn't know this. She picked at these things while telling me she wanted a break and sounded so confused like first it was she loved me just needed to find herself, then she needed to be alone and learn to live by herself and maybe she wanted to do this new part of her going to a university she just applied to and got in near me by herself and be 20 yet she 25. Now to pretty much us being where we are at she hasn't messaged or called and our last call I said to her since she started playing with some people in games a few months back she's changed we been fighting alot and she been really needy on me being there not liking me doing anything cause she feels she waiting on me. But also getting on me for not talking to her at night and she unsatisfied yet I am the one who usually always get's a chat going with her and I been wanting to chat if she was talking to me. I told her this but she mind set on she done like all the small things have led us here but when i said does my good not out way my bad she said well ya. Also when I said we were almost together 2 months away she whimpered I know. Like now she says she hasn't been sure about moving with me for while which seems little far fetched we been planning it all and she even bought me stuff for our place at christmas.

  3. Very good insights! My boyfriend and I have been in LDR for almost two years already and it really is tough to say the least. The end-view we have is me moving near him within this year and that helps a lot because you guys know you are going towards a definite direction and not just floating around in limbo. Yes, we do run out of things to talk about but neither of us stresses too much about it becauase early on in our relationship we acknowledged that this is one of the hurdles that LDRs have to go through (among many others!). We celebrate little triumphs and give more time with the other person when he/she is going through something difficult. It is not the easiest relationship to be with and requires a lot of patience, commitment and sincerity. But despite the difficulties, I'd say this is the best relationship I've ever been in and he makes everything simply worthwhile.

  4. Me and my boyfriend have been dating for 6 months. His broken up with me a couple of times but always says sorry in the end because he has anxiety and has home problems. But his just said his bored of me and that must been he doesn't love me anymore. I will always love him. Were talk about our future. His saving up money to come and see me for the first time to meet each other. Well maybe.. I don't know what to do anymore, I've always been the one to fight for the relationship, but i also have alot of issues my self. I really really love him alot!! I've always said id fight for him. But I don't know what to anymore i need help!!!

  5. I am in a long distance relationship for almost 2 months now, he says he loves me but I find it odd that he rarely calls me, he only contacts me through whatssup and calls me once every two weeks…..every time we are chatting on whatsup he seems on a hurry to end the messaging at an specific time claiming that he has to go to sleep, yet when I check half hour or an hour later, he is still active on the chat ( not with me obvious). I don't think it is worthy anymore.

  6. I've been reading and idk me and my girl have been going out for almost a year now.. I've been feeling out out of it, we've been talking about getting married (like a dream sort of way) and now idk if I really want to go through with it all. Seeing y'all having trouble with 3 months and I'm now having trouble with almost a year…

  7. I have loved every bit i read and i'm sure its gona help us. I and Miriam are experiencing the very same problem.

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