There’s no effort here

We chat at 1 p.m.

I've been dating my boyfriend for six months now, and for the past two months I've really noticed a decline in communication, among other things. To my knowledge he's very happy, settled, and content, and swears he loves me very much. But he's also less romantic, rarely messages first anymore, and generally doesn't initiate plans.

Lately I have to ask him to meet my basic needs, like a simple text, physical affection, or hinting that he should compliment me if I've gone through a lot of effort to get dressed up for him. We have talked about him opening up more (which he has issues with), and me trying to relax and be less anxious about it being my fault if he's struggling to communicate. But I have no idea how to approach this lack of general effort. He's such a wonderful person and we do connect on a deeper level, but this decline has left me feeling unsatisfied and distant. How can I talk to him about this? What should I do?

– Unsatisfied

In the beginning, it's the beginning so everybody's doing a lot of work. Often, there's a lot of excitement – followed by texts, plans, and compliments.

What you have now is a more realistic look at your relationship and how your boyfriend wants to behave on a daily basis. If he says he's content, believe him.

Unfortunately, you see his baseline as a lack of general effort. There might be a deep connection here, but you have different needs when it comes to coupledom. It doesn't mean one of you is wrong, by the way; it just means it's not a match.

You can give this a little more time so that you're confident about the decision, but if this requires constant negotiation at six months, it's not going to work. You need someone who texts and makes plans. It doesn't sound like your boyfriend wants to be that person.

– Meredith

Readers? Can they make this work?