Jump to content

Am I overreacting? Phone calls, texts, long-distance


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,


Just looking for some opinions as to whether I'm overreacting about my situation. I've been seeing someone for around 6 months, and we are long-distance for the next few months. She's great, and we are generally pretty good about resolving any conflict that comes up.


We seem -- or maybe it's just me -- to be having a problem with phone calls and texting. For example, she says she will call me back "in a couple of minutes", and she won't get back to me for over 30 minutes. Actually, I end up getting anxious and call her first (the purpose of her calling me is to split long-distance costs). It turns out she is having a snack, but there was no particular reason to keep me waiting.


I find this rude. She could send me a text saying "give me a couple more minutes", and that would be fine. I have a bit of an anxiety issue, and I told her that when she leaves me waiting, it makes me stressed. She improved for a week but now she's slipping back into old habits it seems.


Am I overreacting because of my anxiety problem? When I call her out I feel needy and controlling, but if I don't say anything, I feel disrespected, especially since we've talked about this being an issue for me (including in my past relationship). Other than this she seems totally into the relationship.


Thanks so much!

Link to comment

Yes, you are overreacting. But she is also being inconsiderate.


Do you two talk and text a lot? My feeling from this is that she may feel a bit smothered. She will say she'll call you back in a couple of minutes, but what she really means is that she needs a breather and some time to herself. Again, that doesn't excuse the rudeness, but it may be a reason for her behavior.


Have you had any treatment for this anxiety? If it's an ongoing issue then even if she stops doing this one thing to you, something else will come up that you'll feel anxious about.


My advice: Get yourself into therapy, and from now on when she says "a couple minutes" just assume she means at least 30 minutes. Unless this is a HUGE deal to you, I would not make a mountain of a molehill. There is a lot to be said for picking your battles.

Link to comment

Things seem to have deteriorated quite quickly.


She sent me a "naughty" text the other morning (woke me up). I replied enthusiastically within 10 minutes. I waited for an hour and never heard back from her. Finally, I freaked out and called her. Apparently she had fallen back asleep in those 10 minutes and my reply didn't wake her. Normally I might not have flipped on her, but this was after we had discussed her being insensitive to my anxiety, and this was following a stressful conversation the night before. So I assumed that she would be on "better behaviour" the next morning.


She has also been grumpy on the phone.


I'm pretty panicked about this, not gonna lie. Today, she texted me three times -- afternoon: "how are you doing" -- evening: "how are you holding up?", and "good night!" at the end of the night. She didn't even suggest that we talk by phone. We've talked by phone every day for the past few weeks.


How would you "normal" (non-anxious) people interpret this? Have I pushed her away? How does a normal (non-anxious) person respond when their significant other misses a text, or is grouchy on the phone.


AND: where do I go from here? If I stop initiating any contact to give her space, and she doesn't initiate either, then i can't help but feel the relationship is over.



Link to comment

Honestly, I think you have overreacted a lot (in the original post and in this one). I don't think I could put up with it. Flipping out because she respond because she fell asleep. It's exhausting to have to cater to someone's anxiety as opposed to the person with the issue to work on it and learn to be more accepting.


She didn't call you because she needs a little space. The relationship may or may not be over, but I can tell you that this behavior gets old really quick. (This sounds like insecurity.)

Link to comment

Thanks for your opinion, Ms Darcy. It's true that her falling asleep was not a big deal in itself. But not knowing that that is what happened, what was I to think?


So, yesterday I was walking to a coffee shop and instead I kept on walking right past it and into a walk-in clinic and got myself prescribed some anti-anxiety meds. I hope they work and that it's not too little, too late.


Do you think the three texts she sent yesterday are a good sign? I kept my responses short, positive and non-needy ("doing great", "doing good", and "goodnight!")

Link to comment

If I was her, I would feel suffocated. I wouldn't want to have to keep updating someone on exactly how long it'd be before I called/texted them. She might just need space and freedom without feeling like she has to check in with you like you're her parent.

I don't want to offend you, just giving you a different point of view. I hope you guys can work it out!

Link to comment

Unless she is supposed to call you back to confirm a plan or she knows you are waiting for her response to a specific question like "should I order plane tickets to come see you -the price is good until midnight" - realize that her "few minutes" means anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or so. She shouldn't be calling you back hours later but 30 minutes is fine. Don't wait around for her to call back and if you are on the other line when she does so much the better. Your anxiety is not her problem - your obligation is not to subject her to it as much as humanly possible. Around the time I met my husband I had just started dating someone who likely would have been perfect for me if he weren't so darn insecure about our dating/potential relationship. Killed my interest and we ended things after about 6 weeks of dating.

Link to comment

Hey everyone. Thank you so much for your input. I guess I screwed up. To me, when I say "I'll call you in a couple minutes", I mean what I say and I stick to it. Or when I've stressed out my partner, I make sure to be extra reassuring the next day. But I guess the rest of the world doesn't operate like me.


She skyped me "good morning!" this morning. I responded with the "kiss" emoticon, and left it at that. I haven't heard from her since (she is still logged on).


Is her skyping me a positive sign? Sometimes I think she is only talking to me just enough to get me through my exams, and then will drop the hammer over the x-mas break (that is, she doesn't want to dump me during exams). OR IS THIS JUST MY PARANOIA?


What is my best chance of getting things back on track (assuming that is still possible)? I've done the meds, and I hope that helps. Do I just leave her alone and let her contact me when she feels like it?


All comments are welcome (Wistful, you did not offend me).

Link to comment
Hey everyone. Thank you so much for your input. I guess I screwed up. To me, when I say "I'll call you in a couple minutes", I mean what I say and I stick to it. Or when I've stressed out my partner, I make sure to be extra reassuring the next day. But I guess the rest of the world doesn't operate like me.



You are still looking at it from a point of view that is not going to help the relationship. Re-read your post, which I quoted above. What you aren't getting, is that many people would find your point of view annoying and suffocating. But instead of accepting that, you are being very passive-aggressive about it. It reads like this always keep my word and call right back. I always bend over backwards if I've stressed out my partner. I behave the correct, awesome way, but I guess the rest of the world just isn't as great at relationships as me!


You are still stuck in the mindset that your partner should cater to your anxieties and insecurities. And what the majority of posters are trying to tell you is that is draining and exhausting. Having your partner get pissed because it takes you 30 minutes to return a text? Having to bend over backwards and cater to them when they act insecure and paranoid? You need to consider, for a minute, that what you are asking for from her is too much.

Link to comment

Jenny: thank you so, so much. This is exactly what i need to hear, and very insightful (you saw something in my post that hadn't occurred to me). So I've taken steps to curb my anxiety, so as not to lash out at her.


But I'm going to throw something back at you (or anyone). At what point am I justified in being annoyed, and bringing up rude conduct. For instance, she can be quite grumpy and short with me on the phone. At what point is she being disrespectful, and can I call her on it? How much do I have to let go?


Also, when one's partner is aware of the other's main insecurity, to what extent should that partner at least be more considerate. For example, if your boyfriend is overweight and insecure about it, shouldn't you stop making fat people jokes? Or if your partner was insecure about her appearance, shouldn't you refrain from commenting on how hot other girls are?


I put myself in a vulnerable position by telling her that this was the one thing that really caused me stress (bad communication). Does she have no responsibility to be a little more considerate? As long as I also make some efforts (which I am), can't we be expected to meet half-way?


Thanks again

Link to comment

First of all, I want to commend you for being open to other posters’ opinions. I think you are really trying to move past lashing out, and that is great.


As for this:



I put myself in a vulnerable position by telling her that this was the one thing that really caused me stress (bad communication). Does she have no responsibility to be a little more considerate? As long as I also make some efforts (which I am), can't we be expected to meet half-way?



I do think that partners should be able to express their insecurities. And also ask for concrete and reasonable responses. I think the problem with saying you get stressed about “bad communication” is that it could mean a million things. And if since you are long distance, it could mean every aspect of your relationship. So, try to narrow it down, and ask for something concrete and reasonable.


For instance, if your biggest problem is that she abruptly stops responding to texts, you could say something like “It gives me a lot of anxiety when you just stop responding and go to do other things. I realize it’s not always going to be possible (like when you fall asleep), but when it’s possible, if you’re going to stop texting me, could you just let me know? Like, “hey, I’m going to the gym now, talk to you later." I would appreciate that so much.”


Don't go into the conversation with the attitude that your way is the only good way to communicate in a relationship. Don't say things like "I always let you know when I'm going and say good-bye, but I guess that's just me being a great girlfriend!!!" Realize that her way is fine, too. It's the way a lot of people handle texting. Ask her to do this favor for you, in a nice way. The outcome may surprise you.

Link to comment

Thanks, jenny.


I'm going to try to ride this out until next week when I see her at Christmas (that is, no more flipping out or suffocating). At which point I can apologize and hopefully we can get things back on track.


She told me she would text me good luck on my exam today, and I still haven't heard from her. This is the kind of thing that gives me anxiety. Assuming she doesn't text, would this be something normal (non-anxious) people get upset about? What would a normal reaction be to not getting the "good luck" text as promised (not as an isolated incident, but given the problems we've been having).


I'm legitimately curious to know if others would consider this to be a big deal, or if most people would just brush it off.


This thread is helping me. Thanks everyone.

Link to comment

Thanks, Batya.


No, I didn't ask her to text me, because I'm not placing any expectations on her this week. I'm not asking her to call me or anything. I'm letting her communicate at the pace she wants. She told me she would, without any prompting from me.


So, given that it would be annoying if she didn't text after telling me should would, how do you normal people handle it? I'm genuinely curious to know what the majority of the population does in a situation like this. Do you even bring it up?


**she did end up texting, but I'd still like to know for future reference. I'm really trying to learn how to handle myself better. What are appropriate responses and what aren't.


Thanks again everyone!

Link to comment

Instead of apologizing, just act as if nothing ever happened. This way, you won't remind her that you affected her in whatever way you did, and you can show her the calm you. Saying something like "soso" almost seems like asking for a "what's wrong". The best thing you can do is act strong and positive, even if you aren't. Keep it up, see the results, and you will eventually become that person. I know how tough it is to understand her actions (I'm a bit like you) but just do your best, and be happy with that. Don't freak out unless you have a legitimate reason to. If she doesn't text or call right away, think of all the good things she could be doing instead of the bad. Don't immediately think she doesn't care, she just operates different than you, and you will have to get used to that if you want to be with her.

Link to comment

ncoconut: It's true that "so so" could be seen as asking for a "what's wrong" response. However, in my other posts (and I don't expect you to have read them all), all of my other responses have been positive: "doing great", "very good", and blowing her a kiss on skype. So in general I'm trying to be positive. She knows I'm constantly studying so "so so" could be interpreted to be about the exams.


Ugh. I'm just so worried about how to balance acting like things are normal but also not suffocating her or expecting anything from her.


Tonight she asked me how late I was studying with my study group and I said "very late", to which she responded "okay, talk to you tomorrow, goodnight!". I replied with a sad face Now I'm worried that that makes me seem needy (she didn't reply to the sad face). At the same time, I was trying not to ignore her goodnight text. I thought the sad face would express that it was too bad we couldn't talk, but on reflection I'm concerned about what I conveyed.


Obviously, I'm struggling to find a balance between showing her that I care but also not suffocating her.


As for the apology, I'm not sure I agree with you ncoconut. I want to show her that I'm not crazy and that I take responsibility for my actions (that is, it's not all her fault for stressing me out). At the same time, I get your point that acting cool is the best way to show her that I now am cool.


What do others think? Do I apologize for freaking out about the missed communications? Should we talk about what happened and discuss some concrete solutions?


Thanks again.

Link to comment

Instead of a sad face, you should have given her something concrete to reply to. Like "I'm sorry my exams have been taking up so much of my time" and then goodnight. I normally don't reply when people text me just a face or one word.


I'd apologize so she knows that you're aware of how she was feeling, but not get into a big deep discussion about it. Just let her know you're sorry and you're working on it and move on.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...