I have been going out this guy for a year now. We went to the same university and it was great because we saw each other every day. Since graduation, there is more distance between us as we set up our lives. We do find time to see each other most weeks. But when we're not in front of each other, he goes cold. He won't reply to texts or Facebook messages quickly. Sometimes he does pick up the phone to actually call.
I recently booked a trip for a long weekend. I asked him if he wanted to join me, and he said he wasn't sure and that he doesn’t like making that kind of plan. Three weeks ago, he got cold feet about the whole relationship, saying "I love you and you are all I want, but I am 22 and not sure if this is what I want forever." But then we went to his mother's for a few days and had a lovely time. We went for dinner a few days later and he told me that he was so happy, and that he was glad he didn't end it when he got scared.
But now it's been a few weeks apart again, and he is mostly silent. I don't know what to do. I really love this relationship and want it to work, but we are just not in the same geographical space right now, and when we're not, there are issues.
The two of you could benefit from a talk about expectations. You're constantly disappointed because you have high hopes for his Facebook messages and texts. But if he explained his preferred messaging style – how he communicates with other people – you might be less frustrated by his natural habits. Maybe he'd rather make more calls. Hearing your voice is more like seeing you in person.
You can also talk about how you make plans. He doesn't have to commit to long weekends if they stress him out, but he should be respectful of your schedule. You don't want to have to chase him for dates. Again, ask him what he wants to offer. Then think about whether it's enough.
It'll help to let go of any comparisons to the life you shared at your university. Everything was different in school – because school is its own thing. Not only were you next to the guy you liked, you were also removed from much of the rest of the world. It's easier to focus on a significant other when you've been given permission to be all about yourself. After school, the world gets bigger and so do other responsibilities. You can't expect him to be the same.
When you talk about all of this, it doesn't have to be a big, serious, stressful discussion. You should be able to ask simple questions about how you communicate. He should want to answer them – so that everyone can relax.
Readers? How should one's expectations for their college relationship change after college?