The Not-So-Great Communicator

QUESTION: I've been dating E. for four months. He has a brilliant mind when it comes to his profession (he is a doctor) but I'm having a hard time understanding his mind when it comes to our relationship. We're both mid 40's, divorced, w/kids.

Problem: He communicates with me via text 99.99% of the time, even when we had our first "fight". His reason for not dialing up is he that he doesn't 'like' to talk by phone, he talks so much at work. So much of 'conversation' gets lost in translation. You can't hear inflection in a text. You can't hear sarcasm, nor can you hear warmth/sympathy. There is also the frustrating pause (minutes/hours/a day) between texts. calls this 'textually frustrated'. That I am...Sometimes he won't reply to a text at all which makes me feel like I'm being ignored, what I 'said' wasn't important, etc.

Finally, last week I told him something needed to change. He asked me how many times a week I wanted him to call. As ridiculous as this request seemed, I gave him the answer of a minimum of three. It's Saturday, and we've only spoken once by phone.

E. was out of town for three days this week. The last two days, he sent a total of 20 words via text. Nothing today until he got home and all it said was "Home". Long story short, I went to his place (not in the best of moods but wanted to talk to him about the lack of conversation, etc.) and he didn't answer the door. This has happened to me twice before. This time I left and said to myself F* It! Came home and hours later got a text that he had fallen asleep and knew he was in trouble and "I'm sorry". Replied "So bad I can't f*g see straight".

Silence... Not a call, not a text, f*g nothing.

He told me he loved me last month. Really?!?!?!

Do I let it go???

signed...Mrs. Thomas Edison

GARLAND: Thanks for your question.
Interesting situation. I have a feeling that your 'friend's odd, anti-social, juvenile and self satisfying behavior probably played a big part in his divorce. I certainly don't know for sure, but he sounds, uh... 'special.'

Not wanting to speak to you because he speaks so much at work is now the number one ranked crock of BS that I have heard since Chuck and I started this blog. Congratulations and thank you!

Your Doctor friend is pretty much giving you the most that you are going to get from him. A grown man that prefers texting to talking, who refuses to let you in his home, and who has asked you what number of times he should call you each week is nuts. There, I said it - NUTS. I really wanted to give you some fluffy / gentle insight, but that would just NOT be be true. This guy is a piece of work. He is showing you exactly what he is going to give you as your relationship continues. You know what he is about, so everything you do from now on is at your own risk.

You can certainly ask him to change, but I live in this little place called The Real World, and in the Real World a guy with this much non-sense as your fellow has - is going to be almost impossible to grow to where you want him to be. Good Luck... you'll need it.

CHUCK: At the risk of sounding like some grumpy old fart, I'm going to go off on a little rant. I don't know, but the technology that was supposed to bring us together is keeping us apart. These gadgets and gimmicks that were sold as tools to enhance our experiences seem to be replacing actual experiences for some people. So we don't talk, we send 140 character tweets, or twits, or whatever. To make a friend, we put a check mark in a box on a website. And we maintain our relationships with text messages. What the hell.

Mrs. Edison, make no mistake: E. is a jackass. If this were 1840, and you were writing to each other with quills with feathers on the end, he'd still be a jackass. But the technological wrinkles of today have just made it easier for him to live up to his jackass potential. Garland is 100% correct. That "I talk so much at work, I really don't want to talk when I'm off" excuse has got to be one of the most ridiculous I've ever read. If anyone out there has heard a more comically bullshitastic excuse from their boyfriend, let us know. Maybe we'll give a prize.

There are some women who might say, concerning your situation, "at least he's thinking about you." And they would be right. In fact, I'll tell you just what he's thinking: "What is the absolute least amount of effort I can expend on this woman, and still get sex from her?" I mean, he asks you what is the minimum amount of calls he should make to you in a week. You tell him, and he still can't even meet that minimum? Just unreal.

And finally, you paid him a visit, and he didn't open the door, although you knew he was home. When I was about ten, I did the same thing, and didn't open the door for this pesky kid up the street from my house, who liked to play with my toys. It was wrong for me to do that when I was ten. For him to play similar games in his forties is INSANE.

In closing, Mrs. Ed, yes, let it go. Dr. E does not have issues, he has subscriptions. He doesn't possess enough affection and caring to maintain a relationship with a houseplant, let alone a woman. Leave this guy behind, and find someone who you can relate with somewhere other than a 3-inch screen.


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