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Thread: Over-Communication

  1. #1
    Silver Member Goodfellas's Avatar
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    Over-Communication

    Hello all,

    Iíve been with my girlfriend for a year and a half now and everything is great. We get along with each otherís friends and families, weíre supportive of each other and we communicate well. Sometimes a little too well.

    Lately Iíve noticed our pre-bed conversations are a bit dry, predictable and brief. We donít live together so we text throughout the day meaning when we speak at night thereís little news to discuss. Iíve also noticed she doesnít really listen as she asks same questions twice and Iím guilty too as Iím playing on my phone half listening to her. Rinse and repeat each night before bed.

    I want to suggest communicating less Ė either texting less throughout the day or talking every other night Ė in an effort keep things fresh. My fear is weíre becoming boring and predictable but I donít want her to see my request for less communication as Iím losing interest in her.

    Can anyone shed some light on this please?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I would not suggest to suggest to her to "let's communicate less".
    Instead, I would make a rule for yourself to not have the smartphone in bed unless you do not have an alarm clock except your phone.
    If the latter is the case, plug it in and leave it on the floor or the dresser.
    If you have a travel alarm clock, use it and leave the smartphone in the kitchen or bathroom counter or wherever.

    When she talks in bed, roll over and look at her while she is talking.
    Its okay to not really talk in bed and just sleep.

    What you can suggest is instead of texting all day -- why not one person call the other at lunchtime?
    Or better yet, don't text back when you are working - focus on work - text her back during breaks.

    Another thing i would suggest is not spend every night together. Or also see a family member without eachother or do something without eachother, like participate in a pick up basketball game with the guys or whatever else you like to do. When you do things that interest you, you have more to talk about

    I don't see anything wrong with your relationship. Married couples sometimes talk about remembering to turn the coffee pot off or start the dishwasher as pillow talk -------

  3. #3
    Silver Member Goodfellas's Avatar
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    Appreciate the advice, abitbroken. We donít live together so we only see each other on weekends and the odd weekday. This is partly why we text throughout the day and call each other at night.

    Itís just that lately I find our convos are brief and weíre able to predict how the conversation will go. She says things like ďI knew youíd say that!Ē and I know exactly how her day will play out without even having to ask. Thereís no mystery and I fear thatísÖboring so Iím glad you reminded me of married couples and coffee maker banter haha.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Agree. Make communication more about quality than quantity. Also talk more in person. Don't request less communication, just do it and curtail all the nonsense and boring communication. Keep things briefer, that's all.
    Originally Posted by Goodfellas
    I want to suggest communicating less Ė either texting less throughout the day or talking every other night Ė in an effort keep things fresh. My fear is weíre becoming boring and predictable but I donít want her to see my request for less communication as Iím losing interest in her.

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    Originally Posted by abitbroken

    What you can suggest is instead of texting all day -- why not one person call the other at lunchtime?
    Or better yet, don't text back when you are working - focus on work - text her back during breaks.
    I like this advice. Text less, or even none at all, other than a quick "Good Morning", and other than that, call each other once a day, and discuss your day.

    20 years ago, couples had no way of keeping in touch with each other All. Day. Long. like we do today. Today, you can text each other, call, check social media, email. It's too much and yes, it leads to the nothing-left-to-say syndrome.

    I drive around all day for work, so that's always my excuse when I'm dating someone who wants to text throughout the day. What could be your "reason"? Just figure out a way to tell her that you'll need to text less, if not almost none, throughout the day, but that you can't wait to hear her voice at the end of the day.

    You sound like a good boyfriend, trying to figure out how to do this without hurting her feelings, but by helping keep the lines of communication open in a good way.

  7. #6
    Silver Member Goodfellas's Avatar
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    My roommate said the same thing about the 20 years ago thing and itís so true! My dad calls my mom on his lunch break and thatís itótheyíre celebrating 40 years of marriage this year.

    The questions seem robotic and conversations seem forced. I adore her and love chatting, but somethingís gotta give as I donít want this to be a long-term issue as I plan on spending a long time with her.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Goodfellas
    Appreciate the advice, abitbroken. We donít live together so we only see each other on weekends and the odd weekday. This is partly why we text throughout the day and call each other at night.

    Itís just that lately I find our convos are brief and weíre able to predict how the conversation will go. She says things like ďI knew youíd say that!Ē and I know exactly how her day will play out without even having to ask. Thereís no mystery and I fear thatísÖboring so Iím glad you reminded me of married couples and coffee maker banter haha.
    Of course she does and of course you do. Unless there was a bomb threat or it was Fleet Week outside her workplace, you're gonna have a pretty good general idea of how her workday went. And if she knows her conversation topics are so mundane and repetitive that she can predict your reactions, that's even worse. Honestly, that **** ain't cute to me. I do understand there's an appreciable level of stability and security that comes with being able to have talks about coffee makers and gas prices, but if those become defining rather than a byproduct, that's a problem. Not saying it's doom and gloom for your relationship, but that I do think the value in you recognizing the dynamic can't be overstated. You're hitting what's generally seen as the transition into a long-term relationship. As Wiseman put it, focus on quality over quantity, and if that's difficult or, worse, if she bucks against it, you may have to make some no-BS assessments for yourself.

    Speaking personally, I love talking to my wife. Know what else I love? Not talking to her. There's something about comfort in silence I actually find more telling and valuable in many ways. Neither of us is a captive audience for the other simply for being married. Perhaps even more so than anyone else, we're still responsible for reading each other and engaging in interesting conversation. I give her a bit more leeway on workplace gripes as she's got a more emotionally draining job than I do, and yes we do have your typical "weather today is great" lines we exchange, but she'd get stiff-armed off the bed if I had to listen about a boring workday every night before going to sleep.

    Is it possible for the odd weekday to become a regular weekday? I can't 100% trash the lady when you're 1.5 years in and essentially are only reliably seeing each other on weekends. As someone who loves his personal space, that's a bit "oof" even for me. See if you can't both put an effort into upping your quality time together, and it will put you in a much better position to assert yourself pulling back on the mundane phone calls.

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    Here's my take. Married 10 years, been with my husband for 14 years plus 2 years many years ago. About 6 years ago my mother in law was in hospice for several months after being in the hospital and rehab for months. My husband is an only child, so close with her, I loved her so much too. And she was basically non-responsive for the last months of her life. So so hard. My husband was having a hard time expressing his grief and my father in law was a very loving but stoic person -very old school that way if that makes sense.

    So. I wanted to be there for him and I realized that the best way was - when he did feel like talking -and I mean about anything (no, not "what time do you want to leave/do we need more diapers" stuff -I mean other than nice weather talk) -I stopped what I was doing if at all possible. I looked away from any screen. I looked at him. I showed him with my body language I was there with him. And I listened and I responded and listened more than I talked. You know that should come naturally and we all know with screens, with distractions, with our stuff it doesn't always, at least not for my multi tasking self. But I needed him to feel supported, respected, present. So that if he did feel like sharing about the so so hard stuff he could feel I was approachable on that too.

    And after my mother in law passed away I promised myself I'd continue with that as much as possible. Sometimes I fail - and he does too! But it's on my radar and it's my goal.

    On to substance - we now have a routine where after I clean up and prep for the next day I sit in the glider chair and he usually is sitting at the desk getting work done. The TV is on. But, we "chat" - not in a forced way - not in an obligatory way -but we .. chat. Typically for about a half hour or more. He'll follow up on something we couldn't talk about because our son was around/distracting us or we'll talk about something on TV right then - and sometimes I tell him I just want to read and decompress and that's ok too .

    And very often -this has been going on for years -we talk about issues in general - sometimes it's a Shark Tank type business one of us thought of (all pipe dreams -we are not entrepreneurs we just like pretending and judging others' ideas lol), sometimes it's something that was posted on one of my Facebook groups, sometimes fun gossip, and sometimes we kind of egg each other on to make each other laugh -we have a lot of inside jokes after all these years! I will tell you for me when it feels forced -and this is weird - if we go out for lunch or dinner it feels forced sometimes. I just don't like that kind of time together anymore -I used to. It's ok if our son is with us but then it's not really time for us to have a real convo. I do like going to a movie with him and chatting before and after and holding hands.

    And finally -please please do not underrate silence. I could not agree with Jman more. My husband is an introvert ,I am an extrovert who now needs a lot more space given my parenting gig. A lot. I love comfortable silences. Just be.

  10. #9
    Silver Member Goodfellas's Avatar
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    Thank you all, this is some good stuff especially from the long-term marriage perspective.

    The funny thing is I know she feels it because she often said, when we first started dating, she didnít want to become boring and predictable. I personally feel sheíd be relieved if I brought it up, I just want to do it in a manner that doesnít insult her. I know she doesnít care too much for the ďhowís your day?!Ē banter but sometimes thatís all there is to say. Sometimes my day just isnít that interesting!

    Also silence is amazing. We had an hour or so of silence on Sunday as we read and I absolutely loved it. I shouldíve asked her opinion of it, come to think of it.

    Sorry for the brief replies Iím answering kn my phone from work.

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    Gold Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Wow. I can't imagine playing on my phone while texting my husband. Pardon, I'm not saying this to make you feel bad. I'm genuinely surprised. I think I would be quite hurt if I knew he was half listening and half not. I happen to think very highly of my husband (disclaimer) but one of the most incredible things about him is his attention to detail and supreme ability to focus. I have never felt that he's given me anything half-hearted and, trust me, I know what half-hearted feels like. I used to date too and, just now, remembering that is painful. When I realized he was able to give me that, I knew that I couldn't give any less of myself too and we don't skimp on attention and focus when we address each other or spend time together or apart/communicating through phone etc. When we feel one or the other is stressed out by something, we address it and try to listen to each other.

    There is routine to our life but we also make room for spontaneous things and we both live by the same beliefs and similar interests so things are never boring. I'd say his mind is far more active than mine (a LOT more active) and constantly needs to consume information and research. I realized a long time ago that he really cannot survive without constantly moving, learning and evolving. Our conversations are usually ridiculous, informative, wonderful and entertaining all rolled up and go from one end to another quite fluidly.

    Do you think perhaps you both have stopped growing individually as people? I noticed in the past that this can have an effect on a couple's dynamic.

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