We're still looking for podcast stories for Love Letters Season 2. Did you meet a partner/ex-partner at work? We'd like to hear about it. We're also looking for people who found a partner by reaching out to someone from their past. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, send a letter today, please.
My boyfriend and I were dating for seven months before we almost broke up. For a long time, it felt like he wasn't trying, or at least not as much as I was. He wouldn't cheer me up, blaming it on him being "bad at that kind of thing." Whenever I asked him to try, he said he would but then he didn't. Whenever we spent time together in person, though, I was filled with butterflies, and it felt like all of the love had been restored. But soon after, when it came to messaging, he just didn't try. I also realize that in person, a lot of what we were doing was enjoying each other physically.
I've always told him how much I loved him and sent him cute messages, but he never did the same. He used to, at the beginning of our relationship, but unfortunately that stopped. He rarely wanted to hang out.
Then it was our seven-month anniversary. When we saw each other, he gave me back something I'd let him borrow. I asked what message he was trying to send by doing that. Later, he wrote a long paragraph about how he knew he wasn't a good partner. I told him that I love him and wanted to stay together – I even begged – so we did.
I'm wondering whether I made the right decision and how to make things better this time around.
– Trying Again
On Friday we talked about expectations in romantic relationships. Sometimes when we're unhappy with a partner, it's because our expectations are too high. Other times it means we're with the wrong person and need to find someone else who can make us happy.
You seem to want a boyfriend who is good at messaging and telling you that he cares about you. You also want someone who can "cheer you up." But the man you've chosen isn't great at that kind of communication. His doesn't want to reach out much. Sometimes not at all.
As you try to make this work, think about the following questions: 1. Why do you need him to cheer you up? Yes, that's part of being in a relationship – mutual support when the rest of the world is difficult – but is this a request you make often? It’s one thing to ask a partner to listen, but if you're constantly asking someone else to make you feel better, it's a lot of pressure. It would be better to just talk, with no expectation that he'll change your mood. 2. Figure out why he doesn’t want to hang out. Because if seeing you in person isn't a goal – something he looks forward to – it's time to move on. Hanging out is the whole point. If he's a bad planner, maybe you can have a standing day of the week for getting together. 3. Ask him how much he likes to message people, and what daily communication would feel natural to him. Then think about whether you can be happy with what he can offer. If not, walk away.
Readers? Tips for Take 2?