Dear Miss U,
My boyfriend is amazing, and we’ve been in an LDR for a little while now. I think it hits me a lot harder than it hits him. I experience major depression, especially after visits. And generally need a bit more attention than he does. Which is fine, but I think this results in me wanting to do more LDR-like activities. Like letter writing, planning out things together via lists, sweet emails, watching TV together, just things like that. They make me feel closer to him, but that’s because for me, I’m feeling pretty down and have that need to feel closer to him than he does to me I believe.
We FaceTime every night, but sometimes we can’t have each other’s full attention because of work, school, etc. So I think since he’s stressed out, doing those activities would just be another thing on his plate, and another source of stress because he’d feel bad if he didn’t keep it up. As nice as it would be to do those sorts of things together more often, I can’t bring myself to mention it for fear of making him feel bad with his already crazy schedule. So I end up just kind of sulking on my own and trying to hold it together without that extra bit of TLC that I crave. By the way, I should mention that this issue is nonexistent when we’re actually together. Should I bring it up or let it go?
You speak as though you’re a burden, that your love is some kind of curse he suffers through, but I believe he probably enjoys spending time with you (both on and off line) just as much as you do him. Maybe you do need this contact more than he does, or maybe he just doesn’t talk about it because society likes to condition our boys not to feel, but either way, there’s absolutely no shame in needing a little extra care and attention. If he’s crazy busy be prepared to take on most of the mental load – the planning and being flexible with times – but never be afraid to speak up about what you need in a relationship; even if he isn’t able to provide the time I have no doubt he’ll step up the TLC in other ways.
Dear Miss U,
My boyfriend and I reconnected 3 months ago after 20 years of lost contact. Our love was immediate and intense since we already knew each other, we had many firsts together way back when! He is not very tech savvy – still uses a flip phone, for example. He’s also in the midst of family estate stuff, remodeling and preparing to sell his childhood home. I try to get him on Skype or Facebook video chat but he refuses and says he has too much to deal with and he won’t do it. Granted, he’s not good with computers. We saw each other in April and it was wonderful and magical. I gave him a smartphone but he refuses to use it. I would move back to my old home town for him but he needs to deal with his house situation, so it’s going to be at least a year. The ‘honeymoon’ phase is over and I’m afraid I’m getting bored with texts and the less frequent and shorter phone calls. He loves me very much, I’m sure of it, and I absolutely love him but it’s starting to feel like a relationship with words on my phone screen which tend to be the same thing over and over. I’ll see him again in 3 months – he bought me a plane ticket. I don’t like feeling like this because I know what we have is rare and special. If I ‘push’ it (using Skype) he gets irritated, then I get irritated. I just want him to put a little more effort into this. Any advice is appreciated.
Dear Losing Interest,
Whilst the future is important, knowing there are awesome things coming isn’t always enough. Relationships need to be fun and fulfilling in the present as well. But how, without glorious technology?
Would he be willing to do a monthly care package exchange? You could choose a theme and a budget and mix it up each month (or even each fortnight if you both have the time.) Is he willing to write old-fashioned love letters? Do you think he’d play a sexy dares game with you? Some can be found online, or you can come up with your own quests.
Conversation wise, I really recommend picking up a questions for couples book. There should be enough conversation fodder in a good questions book to get you through until the next visit at least.
At the heart of it, he has to be willing to work with you on the relationship, and you need to respect his techno-limits. It is my hope he will be willing to talk to you and find a compromise on this issue; there must be some way he can show you the affection you crave without relying on gadgets and devices. Remind him that you’re a team and need to work together for the health and longevity of your relationship.