Breakdown in Communication

QUESTION: Here's my question.

My boyfriend and I are having a long-distance relationship now as we are in two different countries with great time difference. I am feeling quite pissed with him because he keeps saying that he misses me very much, but he always fails to call me as he promises. Everytime I mention that to him when I call him, he will just apologize but the same thing will happen over and over again. I am really trying to keep my cool about this as I can understand the problem could be with the crazy time difference and his busy work schedule.. but sometimes, I really wonder.. would it die for him to just spare 5 mins to give me a call over his work? It just makes me think that I'm not important to him after all. What do you think?


CHUCK: At this point in the last millennium, if you had a loved one in another country, you would have to write out letters in longhand, post them in the mail, and then wait weeks to receive a reply. But that didn't matter. Lovers would write at length, pages and pages pouring out their feelings with emotion and eloquence. And today you can't even get some blockhead to send you a two-sentence text?

I'm kidding, but I'm serious. For every advance that is supposed to make our lives move more swiftly and conveniently, we just get farther and farther apart. Okay, getting off the soapbox... now.

There's a number of possibilities for your lack of reciprocated communication from your boyfriend: A) He's genuinely busy, and keeps forgeting, B) He hasn't adjusted to any time differences yet, and is reluctant to contact you at weird times, or C) He just can't be bothered. Is it necessarily bad if the answer is C? Well, It's not good. Nobody likes to feel that they''re not important to their lover anymore, but some folks are just not mature or committed enough to be in a long distance relationship.

And if that is the case, you need to know. If he's moved on in his head, and doesn't want to maintain the relationship as it was, he needs to let you know, rather than just let you keep blowing up your phone bill with international charges. So I would ask him if I were you.

I wouldn't be confrontational. But I would let him know that the one-sided communication isn't working for you right now, and you need to know if anything has changed between you. It's likely that even if it has, he'll deny it like he has been. But if you see no change in the way he has not been contacting you immediately thereafter, quietly let it go. At this point, it doesn't sound as though you're losing much, anyway Take care.

GARLAND: Thanks for your question. Sorry The Old Boy is not holding up his end of the deal.

The time difference could be a big issue, but I'd have to say - If I was at point X on the globe and my wife was at point Y and they were at the worst time zones imaginable, I'd still find time to E-Mail her and speak to her on the phone. Even if I had to set an alarm to wake me up at 3 A.M. and chat with her in a semi-awake haze - I would.

But, that's me.

Any number of things could be in play here with your man. He could be losing interest in your relationship; he could misplacing his priorities and truly forgetting to call you, he could be having the time of his life and living in the moment; or he could be working like a dog and only working, sleeping, eating and shaving. Honestly I don't know. I'll say this - in this day and age with the Internet, computers with cameras, global satelite communications and Express mail - the world has never been smaller. Time zones and continents are minor obstacles when it comes to communication. He could reach you if he wanted to.

My advice - expect that he might be done with your relationship, but talk to him and tell him that you don't understand how he can so easily forget to call you. Ask him if he still wants to be in the realtionship and give him a few days to think about it. Let him know that if he calls back in 2 or 3 days, them maybe he wants things to work, but if he doesn't tell him not to bother at all. And let that be that. But, don't allow a guy to keep you dangling on the hook - you are a woman, not a fish. There is hardly a reason for him not to be calling you on a regular basis, though. None at all.

Best of luck to you.

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