Dear Rabbi and Shira,
Hi! I really enjoy reading your column each week and I’m hoping you can help me. I’ve been dating a guy for about a month and a half, and I’m not sure what to do. While in person we speak well, conversations flow, we laugh and have a great time together, after the date the phone will be silent, and I will not hear from him for several hours or even a full day. Most of the time, I am the one in the end that has to reach out to him. later. I feel like he doesn’t miss me or want to hear from me, unless I message him first. What should I do? What does this mean about our relationship?
Does he miss me?
Dear does he miss me,
Everyone has different expectations in a relationship. There are different ways that people communicate their needs based on their experiences and families of origin. Each person also acclimates to a relationship differently. Every individual has his own timeline of when he feels safe enough to speak about his needs.
It is understandable that it frustrates you that he doesn’t follow up immediately after a date and that you are the one that has to reach out to him.
We believe that it is time for you to open the doors of conversation and have an honest discussion. Consider the following questions. What are his needs and expectations regarding communication and dating? What are yours? How often would you like him to communicate with you each day for you to feel loved? How often does he need you to communicate with him to feel appreciated? What is the cultural expectation in your circles for a couple who is dating for a month and a half? Does he have similar expectations about dating for a month and a half?
What are your expectations regarding the various modes of communication? How do you discuss issues? We must emphasize that messaging (text,whatsapp, etc) is a very rudimentary form of communication, and truthfully better left for requests for information, and short greetings. It is not the place for lengthy conversations, due to inability to hear tone or see facial expressions.
We wish you hatzlacha with this new relationship and hope the two of you can read the messages well!
Rabbi Reuven and Shira Boshnack