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He's fine in person but is awful at texting!

Tagged as: Dating, Online dating, Teenage<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 April 2015) 13 Answers - (Newest, 2 May 2015)
A female United Kingdom age 18-21, anonymous writes:

I was just hoping for some general advice. My boyfriend is incredible, and I'm head over heels for my relationship. We're both in college, so I know we're young, but I've never been happier with a significant other. He treats me like a princess. The only problem is with communication. He's fine in person, and talks a great deal face to face, but he's an awful texter. The main issue is that I'm always the one to ask him if he wants to do anything or hang out, and Im at the point where I'm afraid I'm bothering him. We do not see each other everyday, though we do most days. (5/7 days in the week Id say).

So the thing is I've brought this issue up with him, and he took it kind of poorly. He kept saying how he was disappointed in himself, and he got upset over this. During telling him this, I had to comfort him. But we got through this, and what he took away from it is that I wanted to know where he was at all times.

This isn't false, but I didn't expect him to comply with something that seemed so ridiculous and clingy. So now, every morning for the past few days he texts me what he has planned for that entire day, which is so sweet to me. And I appreciate how hard he's trying to make me happy, but really all I wanted was for him to text me to hang out sometimes. This every morning telling me his schedule is very sweet, but it seems a little awkward. What should I do? How do I tell him that's not really what I meant when he is trying so hard? The last thing I want to do is hurt him.

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A female reader, maverick494 United States + , writes (2 May 2015):

If you want something, you gotta ask for it. But if you feel he would not deal with the question well, reframe it. Initiate something (propose a place to hang out, etc.) and then after doing that, text him you had a great time and that you're curious about where HE'll take you next time. That way, you'll make it abundantly clear the ball is in his court without having to criticize him.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 May 2015):

You have a face to face chat and say ugggh this whole texting thing isn't working but I really appreciate communicating...so lets just chat by phone or even if it's just leaving a voicemail? If days or weeks go by without hearing from him I'd say he's too busy for the relationship you want. You can't make somebody something they're not.

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A male reader, olderthandirt  +, writes (1 May 2015):

olderthandirt agony auntT" of texting is awkward to learn so why not give it a rest and just use the phone as intended and speak words to each other? I suppose a few decades ago the art of sending carrier pidgen notes was seen as hard to master.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (1 May 2015):

Ciar agony auntThis is the problem with trying to change something about someone else. Either they resist, or they try to accommodate but they don't quite understand and therefore don't get it right and you end up with a bigger headache.

Let's break this down to basics. The issue here is you think you're bugging him.

Is there anything he has said or done that leads you to believe you're bugging him? Does he frequently avoid your calls and come up with excuses not to get together? Does he sound annoyed to hear from you? If the answer to any of these questions is 'no' then it's fair to say you're not bugging him.

Equality doesn't mean everything is split evenly down the middle. If your relationship is otherwise good, your boyfriend is a great guy, you enjoy your time together and all is well, then leave it. There is nothing to fix. It's perfectly fine for one to be the inviter and the other to be the invitee.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (1 May 2015):

Honeypie agony auntSo if ALL of us misunderstood you and your BF misunderstood you... MAYBE you should take Lawncare's advice... AND CALL him instead OR NEXT time you are face-to-face tell him... I WOULD like for you to INITIATE meeting up, hanging out, dates instead of ALWAYS letting ME be the one to ask.

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A male reader, lawncare United Kingdom +, writes (1 May 2015):

lawncare agony auntHere's a really simple piece of advice that changed my life regarding texting. I'm not a huge fan of texting either. I am quite good at it, but I find it time-consuming. This piece of advice will seem really facile at first, like I am mocking the advice-giving process. But I am not. This is something I have implemented into my own life to great success. Are you ready?

Don't text. Call.

For one, you get to hear the voice, which is awesome. For two, mobile to mobile isn't expensive these days. You can convey the same amount of information and add in detail and tone in approximately a quarter of the time it takes to text. People read into text all kinds of hidden meanings intentions that are not there, whereas with a voice you can riff, relate, change the flow.

I think you're being a bit uptight and pressuring over someone you claim to be awesome. Back those words up with actions and it'll get even better. Next time you want to hang, dial his number and hear his voice, read the enthusiasm in his pitch and get excited immediately rather than waiting for him to deliver in a medium he feels uncomfortable in.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2015):

OP -

What I meant when i said "This isn't false" is that I would like to know where he is some of the times, not all of the times (which is why I'm asking for advice how to ask him to stop, without stomping over the fact he's working so hard to make me happy)

I would also like to make clear we never have full conversations during texts, our texts would go

Me: "You free to hang out?

He would then respond yes or no,

Then depending on that we would hang out or not.

I don't expect us to have extended conversations over text message, this is not what I want.

What is my issue, which I believe I failed to address in my original question due to my rambling, is that I am always the one to ask whether or not he was free.

I would like it for once if he made the effort to express that he wanted to spend time with me instead of the other way around.

I tried to bring this up with him already, but that only lead to the misunderstanding I tried to explain above.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2015):

I must be getting old !! How somebody texts is more important than how they actually are? I think you sound very needy and you've made someone else feel bad for being themselves.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (1 May 2015):

Honeypie agony auntI agree with WiseOwlE

An AWESOME BF is what you have, the fact that he isn't great at texting? Seriously? DO NOT try and carry on a relationship over text, that isn't real.

Dial it back a bit. Him giving you his daily itinerary is (sorry to say it) ridiculous.

I'd tell him that what you were looking for was a heads up for plans to spend together. You are together 5/7 days you say? That seems great!

Save some CONVERSATION material for when you are together.

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A male reader, Garbo United States + , writes (30 April 2015):

Garbo agony auntI think that you should tell him to drop texting if he is uncomfortable with that. You can't carp at at a person over trivialities like texting as in which way you want him to reply. If your communication is good in person then nobody cares about texting. If he is that great guy that you say he is why are you beating on him over something as dumb as a text. Frankly, I would have been very offended had you spoken to me about texting in such a way and you would probably never get another one from me let alone my daily itinerary.

Many studies suggest that there is a huge discrepancy in the way people appear in social media, such as texts or this one, and the way they are in person. Harmony and tranquility in PERSON marks a great relationship and not how and in which way you swap binary code via texts.

So you should tell your guy to drop it not because it is awkward for him but because you are dogging him over something that has to bearings on your relationship with him.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (30 April 2015):

If the guy is awesome, you shouldn't complain. Keep criticism to a minimum. Nobody's perfect, and when someone is good to you, don't make it a strain.

You want some good advice?

Go back and tell him it isn't necessary to text and give you his daily itinerary. You'd just like a shout-out during the day, and to let you know what he'd like to do later. That's all. Don't get message-dependent or needy.

I have an awesome guy too. I think just letting them know he's doing great is what he needs to hear. He needs your positive-feedback. Remember, it's not all about how good he is to you; but how good you are to each other.

Texting is a tool of communication, we're lucky enough to have a couple of great guys who have the skills to demonstrate in-person just how incredible they are. Mine hates texting! If you ask me, it's a fantastic trade-off. Phones are used like those horrible ankle-bracelets criminals wear. Just to keep tabs on a guy; and to constantly stroke your ego, by reassuring you by messaging you on the hour. Like nursing you with baby formula. If he's incredible, what's your complaint?

Don't go looking for faults; because he's human and everybody has them. Just appreciate all the sweet things that he does in-person, and shrug-off the texting. You're adults now, texting is for teens! You see the guy five out of seven days a week. How much texting do you need?

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A female reader, WhenCowsAttack United States +, writes (30 April 2015):

Ok, so you say it "isn't false" that you want to know where he is at all times, then follow by stating you weren't asking for anything ridiculous and clingy?

Honey, that IS ridiculous and clingy. He is a grown man, not your child. You do not own him, nor do you get to demand updates on his whereabouts 24/7. That isn't how healthy adult relationships work. That is how insecure, jealous, controlling partners work.

I'm sorry but you are in the wrong here, and you are making unreasonable demands. Trying to wrap that up in a pretty box with a victim mentality doesn't change that fact.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (30 April 2015):

Tisha-1 agony aunt"And I appreciate how hard he's trying to make me happy, but really all I wanted was for him to text me to hang out sometimes." Does that mean you want him to text you to make plans? Or just to be there texting with you?

I think if I had my 'druthers, I'd rather have a boyfriend who is great in person and treats me like a princess in real life, than a boyfriend who is all about texting.

Maybe it's time to turn off the phone for a bit and spend time in real life with real people face to face? Hm? Why do you feel the need to be validated by a texting session?

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