I’ve been dating this guy for a few months. He works long hours at a restaurant during the week, so I usually spend weekends with him. The time we spend together is enjoyable. My issue is that when I go home, I don’t hear from him until we meet again. He barely texts or calls. His lack of communication makes me feel like he doesn’t value the relationship. I’ve tried talking to him, but he downplays it. I feel a disconnect and I’m not sure what to make of it. What’s the 411?
Dear Lines Crossed,
I don’t think that you necessarily have a bad connection with this guy. I think it’s more than your lines are crossed in so far as the two of you have a miscommunication issue. As we know, communication is essential to a healthy relationship.
As I was reading your question I thought that it sounds like the two of you speak different languages. It reminded me of Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. In the relationship book, he points out that people speak different “dialects” and compatibility is based on if your primary and secondary love languages match up with those of your partner.
It sounds to me like one of your love languages might be “words of affirmation.” You are feeling disconnected from him when you are not in his presence because he isn’t reaching out as you need him to. The way that you internalize love in a relationship is through spoken affection. If that’s lacking, then that might be the reason you’re feeling uneasy. Think about what he does to show affection when you’re together. Does he provide “acts of service?” Maybe he does things for you to show he cares and to make your life easier. The third love language is through “gift-giving.” Does he show you he’s thinking of you by buying you tokens of his love? Perhaps his language when you’re together is “quality time.” You’re spending quite a bit of time together if you’re with him all weekend. It’s a new relationship. You’ve only been dating for a few months, so a little downtime is a good thing. The final love language is “physical touch.” Does he cuddle or play with your hair? These types of demonstrations are other ways a person expresses love in a relationship. I’m sure you can see how there might be some confusion if the love languages don’t align. I suggest taking the love language quiz as a way to learn about yourself and reflect on your needs. I’d also have your man do the same. It might be a nice way to start a conversation about your needs and uncross those lines that are contributing to the static in your relationship.
As a person who has spent a lot of time in the restaurant business, I can attest to the fact that the job is very demanding. If he’s working long hours at a restaurant, he probably doesn’t have time to text you anything let alone sweet messages laced with emojis that you want. Not only is the job demanding, but it’s exhausting. He probably gets home, washes the smell of food off his body, and crashes on the couch. Think about it. He’s most likely spent 10 hours in a high stress, over-stimulated, loud, hot kitchen with people complaining about their steak being overcooked and asking when their appetizers are coming out. The last thing on his mind is mustering the energy to make a phone call.
But this is about you, if you need something and your partner isn’t giving it to you then you have to evaluate what you can live with or in your case without. Is the time that you get on the weekend enough? Also, just because it’s like this now doesn’t mean it will always be. See how it goes and what you’re comfortable handling.
The 411 is that I don’t want you to be unhappy because your needs aren’t being met, but I don’t want you to walk out on something good just because there is a misunderstanding. Start with the quiz and a conversation and go from there.