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Boyfriend emotionally affectionate in person, but distant and 'business-like' on the phone


Traveler27

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I'm having a hard time understanding some of my boyfriend's behaviour. We see each other about twice a week and sometimes I stay over at his place. When we are together, he is open and tells me he loves me, adores me and showers me with lots of wonderful adoration.

 

Then when we speak on the phone (which is everyday) he talks to me as though he were talking to a friend or someone casual. He just tells me about his day, but doesn't ask much about me except to ask me: "are you ok?" and "what have you done today". He never says he loves me or missed me on the phone. Doesn't call me sweetheart, honey, my love and all the other terms of endearment that he does when we're together.

 

I just don't know how to interpret this. I want to tell him I love him, miss him, etc. when we speak on the phone, and I have a few times, but he seems uncomfortable saying these things on the phone. What is going on here? Can anyone offer any guesses as to why he is so cold on the phone? I don't like the inconsistency here.

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That is a good question. I have noticed this too, in my relationships, friendships, and family relations. Why do we tend to act different in person than on the phone or through email? Does seeing their face make a difference? Should it?

 

My boyfriend and I don't connect as well through internet chats and email, but he is really flowery and lovey dovey in email. It comes off as distant and kind of weird. In person, he is more grounded lately and less likely to be so flowery. For me it is opposite. I am more business-like in email and lovey dovey in person. I feel better calling him "sweetie" when I hug and kiss him goodnight than when I end an email.

 

I think that we tend to somehow forget part of our bond when we are away from our partner and have to project a fantasy. That sounds bad, but I think it's kinda natural. Without seeing our partner, we are left with words, which are sometimes hard to express.

 

Sometimes I wonder if it's a bad sign too. If someone acts different in one circumstance over another, what are they reacting to? I will be curious to see your responses.

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I'm a bit like that. Very engaged and attentive in person, but markedly less so on the phone. I'm not sure why, exactly. I do know I dislike talking on the phone (as it lacks almost everything that makes talking one-on-one so engaging for me), and I can only surmise that my discomfort manifests itself as something approaching disinterest. It's not intentional, and I don't much like it, but there it is. Fortunately my partner understands this and does not take it personally.

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Maybe he just finds talking on the phone a little impersonal and has a hard time getting emotionally involved with you when he can't see you.

 

I wish this were the case, but it is him who initiates all of the phone calls. I really dislike talking on the phone, as I find it very impersonal and sometimes even awkward. He actually likes meaningless chatting on the phone. I'm still concerned why he is so distant emotionally on the phone and so loving in person.

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No, absinthe. Good question, but his job doesn't require him to spend much time on the phone. I just can't figure this out.
Okay, so that's not it.

 

Another way to think about this is, do you know people who are more friendly and confident on the phone but when you see them in real life, they're a lot more introverted? I've met many people like this. Perhaps your b/f is the opposite of this.

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