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Poor communication in early stages


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Old 18th February 2019, 5:28 PM   #1
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Poor communication in early stages

Hi all,

Dating this guy for a little over 3 months, became exclusive (though not official, his words) a few weeks ago. Treats me like a queen when we're together. Conversation is easy, he's attentive, gentlemanly, and thoughtful. All around great lover in bed and out. We see each other 2-3x/wk, including overnights. Dates are a mixed bag of indoor and outdoor activities.

Problem is, his communication skills are pretty lacking. He's admitted he doesn't like texting/typing, but when that's our primary mode of communication, it gets old. Takes a long time to respond to texts (sometimes 24h+). Will say he'll call me back if he has to leave in the middle of a phone call, but doesn't always. I suspect he's a little scatterbrained and disorganized, so not sure if that's related. I've also heard his friends/family rip on him for not answering them or letting them know if plans changed.

Usually shows up to dates on time, but when he runs late, he doesn't let me know and is unresponsive when I ask. Had to reschedule a few dates recently due to a family emergency, but I didn't know the dates were cancelled until I flat out asked him if we had to reschedule, because he said he was trying to work something out and then I wouldn't hear back for the rest of the day.

He also doesn't seem to be able to articulate how he feels about me or what his reasons are for not moving things forward at this point, but has acknowledged he has a problem verbalizing his feelings.

He seems like a good guy overall and I want to talk to him about it and see if we can make something work. How do I bring up the topic of poor communication and what do I say? Is this even worth it when there's problems this early on?

Thanks in advance for reading and your advice!

TL;DR: Loving and attentive guy, 3 month old relationship, poor communicator, but I want to give it one shot. How do I talk to him about it and is it worth it?
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Old 18th February 2019, 5:30 PM   #2
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You talk to him but you be sensitive. Pick your battles in here. I would be more insistent about him telling you when he's running late.
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Old 18th February 2019, 5:31 PM   #3
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Sounds like his friends and relatives have had to deal with it for a long time so don't expect too much change. Definitely talk to him about it. He may be the type who would rather communicate in person rather than phone or text. I'm that way and I'm a woman.
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Old 18th February 2019, 8:22 PM   #4
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Figure out your boundaries. Figure out what you will not tolerate from any man and you apply it to this guy.

For me personally I would have a problem if a guy doesn't ask me to be his girlfriend after 3 months. A guy knows by 3 months whether he wants to be in a relationship or not. I also would not tolerate it if he doesn't officially let me know a date is canceled. I count that as being stood up. If he officially cancels a date once then ok I won't say anything because emergencies do happen. If he cancels twice that's a problem. If we are on the phone and he says he is going to call back but doesn't then first time I would let it go but second time im saying something. And if I texted something that warrants response like maybe I asked him a question but he doesn't respond to my text until 24+ hours later then that means he flat out ignored me and that's unacceptable. I also expect a guy I would want to be my boyfriend to talk on the phone in between dates atleast once out of his day. Those are MY boundaries. Again you need to figure out what yours are and then let him know when he crosses one. I feel like if you would have stated atleast one standard he wouldn't feel so comfortable breaking so many more lmao or at the least do you a favor and just disappear.

My basic rule of thumb in communicating boundaries is you let him know sweetly and make a request for him to turn it around sweetly. If he doesn't respond favorably as in being an a**hole about it or basically flat out saying no then you breakup if it's a deal breaking boundary. If it's not deal breaking then you have no choice but to accept his flaw if you decide to stay. Now I normally do that for an exclusive boyfriend. But if this is a guy that's technically not my boyfriend and he hit the boundaries you mentioned then instead of talking about these things I would simply ignore and date other men personally. People suppose to show their best foot forward before a relationship and if this his best I don't want it lmao. And if he ask why I am ignoring him theeeennn I would communicate the boundary sweetly. If he wants to correct I may give him one more chance but that would be his last chance. But since your exclusive just not together (rolls eyes) then you could communicate your standard after he crosses your boundary instead of being harsh like me and ignore.

Example of stating the boundary sweetly "Joe honey (or whatever your suitors name is) I enjoy talking on the phone with you. I would really love it if you would call me back when you say you will. Would you be willing to do that for me babe? *kissy face emoji (if you text it)*" if you state your boundary after you ignored him and he wants to know what happen you could say "Joe honey I like you and we have a lot of fun together but I ultimately want to be in an exclusive official boyfriend girlfriend relationship and you haven't asked me to be your girl. No hard feelings though hun *hearts emoji if you text it*"

if I am not in a boyfriend girlfriend relationship and a guy is on some flaky sh*t I have low tolerance and don't believe in proactively communicating a "breakup". I ignore and date other men simply because he isn't my boyfriend. I would only officially breakup with a guy who is my exclusive boyfriend. Unless he was a total sweetheart of a suitor and I just wasn't attracted to him. That guy would get the courtesy. However Flaky suitors don't get the courtesy of a breakup text from me.

By the way I really recommend not letting a man talk you into that we exclusive but not together bullsh*t again. It's either a man is your boyfriend or not and if he wants exclusivity then he agrees to the title.

Let me also say if I have to ignore/breakup with a guy once. And he ask for one more chance and he does something different that require me to ignore/breakup again then that means I would be ignoring for good. Because it doesn't make sense for one guy to cross so many boundaries to the point I got to threaten to walk just to get him to do right every time. That means he is trouble and wouldn't make a good boyfriend anyway. Now again I can imagine you didn't establish any boundaries with this guy which is why there may be so many red flags present lmao. You have to see how he is after you show your standard. But make no mistake your getting a peek of the type of guy he already is without you saying anything.
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Old 19th February 2019, 9:25 AM   #5
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Thanks for your responses! Gave me a lot to think about. I mentioned some of this to him last night and he said "I've been single so long, I don't know what to do with a girlfriend". I think that explains some of his behavior (but doesn't excuse it).

Curiousroxy - What you said makes sense and resonated with me. This whole exclusive-but-not-official thing is new to me, but I realized I don't like it, and I do want a boyfriend.

I do plan on having a dialogue with him the next time I see him. I plan to give him another month or so (I will be moving next month and won't have the time to date anyone else in the meantime). I figure if by 5 months, he still doesn't know / want to make it official, then I'm ready to walk away.
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Old 19th February 2019, 9:57 AM   #6
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The problem with waiting a whole 5 months is if he isn't ready to make you his gf you're now hooked on him and it will be hard to detach.
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Old 19th February 2019, 10:15 AM   #7
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I agree with stillafool

the longer you wait the harder it will be if he is on some "not ready for a girlfriend type crap"

you should have the talk sooner rather than later..like now lol but whatever you choose good luck my friend
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Old 19th February 2019, 11:37 AM   #8
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Don't people have Iphones? You can talk to your phone now to send text messages. So this "I don't like typing/texting" is a load of crap. At 3 months he only half way in...give him an ultimatum or ditch him.
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Old 20th February 2019, 3:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelfire138 View Post
Hi all,

\
Problem is, his communication skills are pretty lacking. He's admitted he doesn't like texting/typing, but when that's our primary mode of communication, it gets old. Takes a long time to respond to texts (sometimes 24h+). Will say he'll call me back if he has to leave in the middle of a phone call, but doesn't always. I suspect he's a little scatterbrained and disorganized, so not sure if that's related. I've also heard his friends/family rip on him for not answering them or letting them know if plans changed.

Usually shows up to dates on time, but when he runs late, he doesn't let me know and is unresponsive when I ask. Had to reschedule a few dates recently due to a family emergency, but I didn't know the dates were cancelled until I flat out asked him if we had to reschedule, because he said he was trying to work something out and then I wouldn't hear back for the rest of the day.
The lateness thing would really set me off. I've experienced both sides of the coin. Too much communication and too little. I like a balance in between. After dating a few guys who weren't "texters", I have come to the conclusion that this can be used as an excuse.


I dated a guy long distance. I noticed his communication was spotty and he even admitted he needed to text me more. The communication got worse. Being long distance, there needs to be more then a couple texts a day. Texting may be unimportant, but it literally takes seconds. One time when he visited, I noticed he was glued to his phone. He checked facebook all the time and messaged his friends like crazy.

I thought I could deal w/little communication. I guess I could, but not being ignored. W/tech the way it is today, I really think there should be strong communication between couples when apart. Couple of texts throughout the day and maybe a phone call couple days a week. To me this sounds like he has low interest. Btw before I dated my ex, I was not a texter. That changed when I got into my 1st relationship.
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Old 20th February 2019, 4:54 AM   #10
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This sounds just like my ex, as if they could be the same guy.

https://www.loveshack.org/forums/bre...-up-ghosted-bf

Except the part about him not wanting to be together officially. With mine he said from the start that he wanted the relationship to be committed and wanted it to work, but still ended up ghosting me, just like Curiousroxy described.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curiousroxy86 View Post

Again you need to figure out what yours are and then let him know when he crosses one. I feel like if you would have stated atleast one standard he wouldn't feel so comfortable breaking so many more lmao or at the least do you a favor and just disappear
He would do the same things in terms of being late to things, disorganised, unreliable with communication at times, I knew family members were exasperated with that behaviour, and when he did those things I'd tell him it wasn't OK (not start fights but calmly explain that it's not respectful to someone to do these sorts of things) and he'd say the same thing, that he's just adjusting to being with someone, doesn't mean to be inconsiderate, always said he completely understood where I'm coming from and was just so gentlemanly and attentive whenever we did talk or were together, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt but really these instances should be rare not common. And if they really cared and were mature they wouldn't mess you around.

There was one time when he said he wanted to take me out to a fancy dinner. But he showed up late and when he walked through the door he was on the phone to the hotel nearby the restaurant trying to make a booking for us to stay the night, which I said I didn't want to do at such short notice and that conversation just made us later. When we got to the casino and parked he admitted we didn't actually have a reservation because he'd messed that up by booking an earlier time slot that he knew he wouldn't be able to make. But he "felt bad and hadn't known how to tell me". Bizarre, all over the place, avoidant and immature behaviour. I don't know if you could ever really feel secure in a relationship with someone like this.
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Old 20th February 2019, 6:32 AM   #11
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If he's bad at communicating via text now then it's going to be worse as time goes on, unless you say something about it. Consider your boundaries - what sort of communication do you expect from a partner and why? If it were up to me, that lack of communication would drive me nuts. Sure, people get busy and can't always answer immediately, but more than 24 hours? I'd think that's lacking motivation.

If even his family are annoyed about his inability to communicate, then that's something that is deeply ingrained and not likely to change. I wonder if you explain why you need to hear from him in a reasonable amount of time. For example, if plans change when it comes to dates - you need to know what to pack/wear/bring, and what time to leave the house, etc.
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Old 21st February 2019, 9:57 PM   #12
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Thank you all again for the responses. I talked to him last night and explained that, you know, I need to know if something changes, so I know whether to bring a change of clothes/pack an overnight bag/figure out what to do with my car/plan something else to do if he's going to be late, etc.

He seemed very receptive and just sat and listened, and then apologized saying he didn't realize it hurt me. So he agreed to keep me more in the loop next time plans change (It's common sense, but a surprising amount of people don't seem to do this). He seemed much better yesterday, letting me know he was running late and where he was. Said last week was an exception because of his family emergency and so much was up in the air and last-minute. So I'll be watching to see if this kind of behavior is consistent.

I struggle with asking for what I want and speaking up when something bothers me, so it's something I'm working on. Jaded from negative experiences doing so with my last ex.

As far as the 'making it official' thing, I had planned to talk to him about that as well, but we were both too tired and fell asleep. He had told me he wanted to take things slow and keep getting to know me, and made it clear he wasn't seeing or looking for anyone else, and said that he does want a girlfriend, and eventually marry and have a family. I haven't seen any signs yet to suggest he's stringing me along. I'd like to know his reasons for waiting, but I plan to bring that up on our next meeting. I feel like he has potential but I'm not 100% sold on him yet. 5-6 months is my absolute cutoff time for making things official, because I want a boyfriend and a relationship, and I will force myself to walk away and cut him off if I have to.
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Old 21st February 2019, 11:52 PM   #13
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Sounds like you're looking for a guy to communicate with you more regularly in between the times you see each other.

These never end very well [ie. opposing communication styles].

Not updating you that he's running late for a date is simply poor etiquette and has a ring of 'sense-of-entitlement' about it.

You need to assert your boundaries because he's clearly stepping over the line. Just be clear with him. You miss hearing from him in between dates and would like to hear from him more often.

Scenarios:
1) If he gives you excuses, becomes passive-aggressive/defensive then you need to seriously think about your future.

2) If he is honestly apologetic about his lack of communication and vowes to improve, then give him a chance to prove it.

I'm personally not the best communicator either, but If I was dating someone I'm interested in and she wanted more of my attention, I would step-up in my own way to show I care.
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Old 5th March 2019, 9:03 PM   #14
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Thanks, DrNo. Yes, it's definitely been an ongoing issue. I'm not an amazing communicator, either (I can be slow with the texts or returning calls sometimes), but I agree that if someone wanted more of my attention, I'd make a big effort to step up. He listened and apologized when I talked to him about it, and has been a little better. I didn't expect a huge change, and sometimes he slips back into old habits, but overall it's improving, very slowly.
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Old 5th March 2019, 9:34 PM   #15
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Just be careful about labeling the problem poor communication. Communication comes out of a context, out of motivation. I was a poor communicator when I wasn't interested in someone and when I didn't know how to interact with someone.

Communication is not some separate "thing." Frankly, three months in, I say you should assume poor communication = poor interest or poor ability to be in a relationship.

Communication and capacity for intimacy ... communication and deep interest in someone--are not separate.
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