Firstly. I have very much been enjoying your blog. It’s very helpful to get a moderated forum from an expert. And the folks who post seem to be halfway intelligent.
OK question. My girlfriend of one year wants to talk to me on the phone every day. To me it feels like I am checking in with my mom. I say “no way, it pushes my buttons.” She says “If you really loved me you would want to rather than feel like you have to.” Evan, since you have dealt with many daters and have some perspective, where is this phone call frequency on the range of daters who call each other?
I know it seems nuts, the woman is otherwise great for me, but I can’t get past this feeling.
Thanks for your kind words about my readers. I would have to agree that they’re a smart bunch. They ask tough questions and are open to challenging answers.
Which leads me to the very predictable portion of today’s blog where I challenge you.
So you have this girlfriend who you’ve been with you for a year. Your constant source of tension is that she wants to talk to you every day. You don’t want to do this because it makes you feel like checking in with your mom.
Hadley, my friend… If relationships are about compromise, what exactly is it costing you to talk to your girlfriend every day? That’s right. Nothing. The only thing it’s costing you is “being right.” And that’s where most couples stumble. We want to be right. We want to tell our partners how it is — what we do, what we don’t do, how we’re not going to be bossed around. And what for? So your amazing girlfriend can feel insecure that her boyfriend of a year doesn’t really love her? How does this arrangement possibly help you?
Think of it as simple cost/benefit analysis.
Time it costs you to call her to say good night and ask about her day: Ten minutes.
Time it costs you to argue about not wanting to do this simple task: a lot more than that.
Women crave connection. And until you’ve got a ring on her finger and are signing your marriage contracts, it’s very reasonable for her to be concerned about the health of your relationship. The way to reassure her? Constant contact, constant communication, constant affection, constant talk of the future. Let any one of those things go for a day or a week, and I get a letter from her saying, “I’ve been seeing this guy for a year and I think he loves me but doesn’t want to talk to me as much as I’d like.” And you know what my answer to her would be?
If he can’t see fit to accommodate you by calling you every day, he probably doesn’t love you that much.
It may be annoying, Hadley, but it’s a small, small price to pay for a healthy relationship. Pick up the phone and let her know you’re turning over a new leaf.