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Insecurity & lack of trust in new relationship due to texting

Tagged as: Dating, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (27 September 2019) 3 Answers - (Newest, 30 September 2019)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I feel insecure about my new relationship. Is it all in my head or do I follow my gut?

My boyfriend and I met online a few months ago. We met before in college, and when I told him about this, he remembered as well and we bonded over it and thought it was quite amusing. My boyfriend is a gentleman, treats me with respect, is supportive, and was willing to take things slowly with me. He made it clear from the beginning (without being in-my-face about it) that he was looking for something serious. We live an hour apart and usually see one another a couple days a week together.

I hate to be yet another woman concerned with his texting and phone behavior, but I am. His behaviors have always been the same since we met so he’s actually consistent, nothing has changed.

On weekdays, my boyfriend doesn’t usually talk or respond during the day. His nature of work consists of mainly client meetings, presentations, and tons of talking, in fact he talks so much that he's often coughing and losing his voice when I see him on weekday evenings. So it's completely reasonable to me. And even if his nature of work wasn't this way, i know he's focusing on work which is normal. After work, he'll text me asking how my day went. Then, he'll go to the gym and not respond to me until a few hours later just before bed, regardless of when I replied. It’s like he’s texting just to text and then ghosts until just before bedtime. By that time, I’m usually asleep before him. He does respond quickly when making plans though and they are usually initiated by him. But other than that, I never expect to see his reply until the next morning. I'm not a needy person but I do feel a lack of connection this way.

When we are together, he's extremely attentive. We have great quality time together, try new things together, and have meaningful and interesting conversations. He remembers what I say and notices the details. When I go to the restroom when we are together, he’s usually texting and finishing up texting when I get back to the table. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, because I do the same thing. Sometimes it’s within my view and sometimes it’s not. I guess I feel bad because he’s attached to his phone yet it takes hours to reply me when we’re apart. He also puts his phone down face-down on the table when he’s done. Again, normal. But I can’t help but wonder if he’s hiding something.

I'm not a needy person and I'm usually not insecure. But I think it's a bit of a learning curve for me to get used to his communication style. I also wonder if my past relationship made me insecure vs the high self-esteem person I used to be, and it sucks to acknowledge this. My ex-fiance and I were together for three years until I uncovered his affair. (I've been over him for a while, what happened turned out to be a blessing in disguise). My ex was also someone who likes keeping in contact here and there throughout the day. He would also call me daily during his evening commute even though we lived together. So I get that perhaps he was on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to communication. But that was my ex and my boyfriend is an entirely different person. Towards the end of my relationship with my ex, he would always text away from my view and turned off all of his notifications so there would only be a sound and not a pop-up message (presumably hiding texts from the other woman). So I think that made me hyper-vigilant in noticing my current boyfriend’s text behaviors and putting his phone on the table face down.

I actively tell myself not to punish my boyfriend / the next guy for what my ex did. But I don't fully trust my boyfriend. I can't help but wonder if there are women involved when he says he's having dinner with his coworkers or cousins. Or if he's using his time texting women instead. I have anxiety over his lengthy response time, even though I'm doing my own thing, living my own life, and hanging out with the girls, etc.

Is this all in my head? I've always believed in following your gut feeling regardless of what your heart and head says. He's proven himself trustworthy but my anxiety makes me question whether i'm in the right relationship. I think i either need to open up to him about this or work on myself. Am I overcomplicating things in my head and should just tell him that hearing from him throughout the day makes me happy?

My love language is Words of Affirmation, followed by Quality Time and Physical Touch which are his top two. Words are on the bottom for him. So that’s something I keep in mind too.

View related questions: affair, co-worker, cousin, insecure, met online, my ex, text

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 September 2019):

OP, if you really do like this guy, and you would like to trust him, and develope a serious relationship with him, then you need to openly communicate to him, what you have spoken to us! The main failing of most failed relationships, is poor or non existent communication. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, by telling him what you perceive and how you are feeling. If he is a player, you want to know that now, and make your exit. I think a good face to face talk, with no cell phones, is the path to pursue. You want to have direct eye contact while discussing any important topic. If he cannot maintain constant eye contact and gets shifty eyed, the you will know that he is deceptive. If he is invested in you, he can adjust his time table, for your sake, to contact you in prime evening hours and at bedtime, for a romantic good night! If he goes to bed when you do, he can arise earlier, to hit the gym, or some such adjustment, to make you know his commitment to you, as his only lady!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 September 2019):

Long distance is difficult, period. You're lucky, because you live an hour apart. One thing you have to remember is love and relationships take time.. time to work on fitting into each other's lives, time to understand each other, and time to learn to trust each other.

You might be upset because he is not wanting the same things you're wanting. You might be upset because you feel he can't read your mind. Again, all this takes time. But if you can't wait.. then I suggest you just openly talk to him about your concerns. Address all the issues you've presented to us here, with him, in a nice casual conversation. Don't accuse him, just ask why, and see if he can make a little change in his schedule for you.

Again, building a relationship takes time. I'm sure that a year from now, you'll laugh as you re-read this post, thinking "Haha That was quite silly of me."

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 September 2019):

You sound level-headed and sensible. I don't think your suspicions are wrong. If I was with someone who NEVER found the time to reply to my text until much later in the evening then I would be wondering why. Sometimes, it's not possible or convenient sure, but if someone made this a habit every single evening I would feel very unimportant. And if he is interested in something serious then I would have thought that he would be treating this more seriously, if he really wants to be with you, as in explaining why he is always busy in the evening, and making the time and the effort to reply to your texts anyway, even if he is busy. At least some of the time. If I was in your shoes and I never heard from him during quality evening time, then I would wonder why.

Not everyone's the same as you say, but to ignore your reply until hours later, each evening, would cause me to suspect something.

And the fact that he finds the time to text others when he's with you is also suspect in my opinion. Because he doesn't make the time or effort to do the same for you.

You know, sometimes people like to play mind games. He knows that you wait every single evening to hear from him, until it's too late and you have to go to bed. And then he openly texts others when he's spending the evening with you showing that he could do so with for you if he wanted to. It's possible that he knows that this won't go unnoticed by you.

I have been with men who have done this sort of thing, so I may just be being cynical, but I have experienced perfectly lovely men on the face of things, who have entertained behaviour like this to make one insecure and needy.

Mentioning that he wants something serious can be a ploy. To make you think that you have found someone who might be worth investing time and energy into, when all they're doing really is making you put up with things that otherwise maybe you wouldn't. You think, 'Well he says he wants something serious, and I like him, so if I wait until things sort themselves out. He must be telling the truth.' Whereas if he hadn't mentioned this, perhaps red flags would have become more obvious, earlier?

I would pull back on meeting him or texting him and see what happens. Give him the same treatment he gives you. You could ask him any number of questions about it, but if he is a player, he's not going to tell you the truth.

If he's worried about why you've pulled back, you could tell him why in no uncertain terms. Don't worry about sounding insecure. Men will play on this too, that we don't want to sound insecure so we put up with all kinds of things until we genuinely think something's wrong and we have to ask others, because by then, we've lost perspective.

And finally, when a man has fallen for a woman, he will move heaven and earth to text, talk and meet. If I was put on the back burner every evening, I think I would wave him goodbye.

Good luck

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