My boyfriend and I are currently in a long distance relationship and my issue, whether we are together or apart, is that I don’t know how to express what I need from him in a way that doesn’t come across as being needy. For example, I need more contact than he is giving me, like a regular phone call once a week and a few more texts than he sends.
His work and my work make it difficult but it is not impossible. How do I tell him that without contact the connection between us fades for me and makes me feel unloved even though in reality I know he loves me very much? I just want to be able to tell him what I want without sounding needy. Is this possible?
First, it’s important to remember that neediness is a state of mind where you need something from another person or you won’t be OK.
You asked, “How do I ask him for what I NEED without sounding NEEDY?” That’s like one of those Chinese proverbs, “If a tree falls in the woods…”
The answer is to STOP believing that you need things from him, first and foremost. You don’t need him to do anything. You won’t stop breathing. You won’t starve. You won’t die.
You’ll be disappointed or hurt maybe, but my point is that when you say you need something, it’s a sign that you’re blowing the importance of individual behaviors way out of proportion. And in response to you blowing it out of proportion, you work yourself into an emotional lather… which causes you to do things which will push him away.
For example, if you believe you need him to text you back within 30 minutes and he doesn’t, you might start worrying. And for every minute that goes by, you feel a growing sense of worry… which becomes fear… which becomes agony.
Then you start creating paranoid scenarios in your mind: What if he’s with that girl he mentioned started working at his job? What if he met someone new? What if he’s cheating on me? What if he stopped caring?
Meanwhile, for all you know, he could be driving someone to the hospital. He could be on an important phone call. He could simply just be busy or not looking at his phone at the moment.
But in your mind, you’re fearing for the worst and now you feel you need to reassurance to prove that he cares about you.
And hey, that can happen sometimes… but when you let it get out of hand, it starts to becoming tiring on the guy when he feels he needs to prove to you that he cares. And then he starts to wonder why you doubt that he cares, which inevitably leads to a downward spiral (which I’ve explained many times before in other articles and in the newsletter e-mail list…)
Long distance relationships are extremely hard. I know people hate when I say this, but my motto is: Long distance kills relationships. Period.
Once someone feels like they’re chasing a relationship or that it’s heading downhill and it’s long-distance, it typically means the end is near 99.99% of the time.
In terms of him not calling or texting, the best way to convey that you would like to hear from him more often is to praise him when he does things you like. For instance, saying something like “I love it when you call, it’s always so great to hear from you” rather than “Why don’t you ever call?! This isn’t fair to me!”
It may seem counter-intuitive, but when you point out what a guy is doing wrong, it will only make him less likely to do anything at all. It becomes a point of contention or resentment.
Tell him what he’s doing right and he will do it more often to keep the praise coming his way. Guys want to feel like they’re winning – let him know when he’s “victorious” in making you happy.
Overall, the best thing you can do is stop thinking you need things and recognize that it’s just something you’d like, but that if it’s not happening you can live with it. And that you have plenty of other options to make you happy – keep your whole life happy and fulfilling, don’t put that burden only on your relationship.
Hope that helps,