Ask A Dude: Why Isn’t He Keeping in Touch?

Dearest Dude,

So, basically my boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. We met in college, and after spending the first year and a half together at the same school he (due to unfortunate circumstances) has had to relocate and go somewhere else. We get along pretty well, although it’s been pretty hard for me to be back at school this fall without him here and all of those reminders…blah blah blah..

Anyways, the thing I’m most bothered about recently is our communication from day to day. Yes, we usually talk every day, but sometimes it’s not even until night time online and/or texting or something. I wonder if girls are different than guys. Do we like to keep in touch more than guys? Do they think nothing of it if they only talk to us at night or at any given point during the day? I’ve just felt like I like to keep in touch more with the distance because my day goes by quicker with a few texts here and there, but he seems content some days just waiting all day to answer a text, or to even initiate conversation. Is this weird? Lately, I’ve been trying to wait around for him to say stuff so that he doesn’t think I’m needy or that I can’t live without him, but it’s quite frustrating to not hear anything all day and wait until I’m on AIM or something at night. Even if I’m going to class or working or whatever, I’d still do my best to talk to him, so why isn’t this the same for him as a guy?

— Seriously Confused & Agitated

Dear Seriously Confused & Agitated,

Let’s pump the brakes, just a bit.

Two people separated by state lines, hundred of miles, sixty dollars worth of gas, and up to three hours of time difference run on completely different schedules. When it’s tough to be in the same place and at the same time, keeping the connection as strong as it was when they stayed over every night feels like organizing a space shuttle launch. Is it a feat of space exploration engineering?

One person’s always better at staying in touch than the other. Maybe it’s because of personalities or it might just come down to there only being 24 hours per day. Talking once a day instead of texting five times between two midnights doesn’t necessarily mean he’s losing interest. It might just mean he’s really busy or he’d rather talk to you when he can sit down and focus on just you. When you’re sprinting from Acting Shakespeare to Introductory Neurology, you’re likely to not look at a text or put off answering it until your brain is fully functioning again.

A quick text to say “I miss you” will take approximately 28.7 seconds (max!). So, why can’t he fit it in? He probably can. He may not feel like he needs to. Perhaps he’s totally secure in his feelings for you and yours for him. He thinks it’s no big deal and he can wait until he can spend an hour before bed putting off his Organic Chemistry work. On the other hand, maybe it’d be a constant reminder of how much he misses you and is trying to keep focused on the practical stuff. There are plenty of possibilities. There’s only one way you’re going to find out which one is right.

When in doubt, ask. After a year and a half, don’t worry about him judging you because you’re bugged by something. You’ve got to trust him.  If you explain you’re nervous or concerned, even over something you’re not sure is that big of a deal, you have to trust he’ll respond to what you’re saying and that you’ll work it out. The fear of bringing it up to him is the bigger concern. If he doesn’t realize it’s a big deal, then point it out. If he still won’t take it seriously…well, you’ll cross that bridge then. Remember, “kids swallow quarters all the time…if he craps two dimes and a nickel, then you can start worrying.”

We all wish upon a star for a relationship that’s 50-50. Then we wake up from our Disney dream. The most we can get is a shifting 60-40. Sometimes you’ll be the 60 and other times he will be. Some people are better at keeping in touch than others. Same way some are more comfortable with PDA, doing laundry, or cleaning the shower curtains. We can’t expect people to change just because the circumstances do. They have to be aware that a change is necessary, or at least appreciated. Once the choice is given a chance to be made, then you know what the situation actually is. Take the first step before you jump off the cliff.

Don’t freak out,
The Dude

[Check out The Dude’s other insights into the male mind right here.]

A Few Tips for Dating a Nerd
A Few Tips for Dating a Nerd
  • 10614935101348454