No communication?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-14-2009
No communication?
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 1:57am

Okay, I'm in my mid30's, with two kids in elementary school. I met a guy online, on a message board, and we started chatting. Fast forward 6 months, and it got to the point where we started flirting and admitted we may like each other.

So, we met and things were great. He called several times a week, or I called him, we talked on Facebook, we went out once a week at least, etc. Now he's having trouble with his ex-wife and her custody schedule. They have 50/50 custody, but he's been having his child about 90% of the time. Obviously this has cut into our dating time.

There's a few other things that are bugging me, though. I just don't know if this is normal, or not, as this is only my second post-divorce relationship (in 8 years). I took a break from dating because I had a serious illness (now resolved), and just wanted to give my kids stability. So, I'm new to this online dating stuff as well.

The thing that bugs me is, although I'm understanding with his (hopefully temporary) custody issues and us having to put the breaks on seeing each other as much as we were. However, my issue is that, he just goes off and stops texting/emailing on a whim. He never calls anymore. The only time he called was once in the past month when he had a prank call and thought it was me (long story). We used to text a LOT at first. Now he can go a few days without answering my texts (if he doesn't answer after 2, I stop...I don't want to bug him). He doesn't even email me anymore about his day, or anything. WE used to discuss EVERYTHING via email before we met, just general stuff, things we liked...EVERYTHING. Now, he calls me his "girlfriend", but we've not had the "exclusive" talk. I don't refer to him as my boyfriend at all. Never have. He has told his child about me, though. And has told several family members about me. I'm just so perplexed by his behavior.

Maybe I just need to come out and ask him what the heck his idea of what our "relationship" is. He has said he's not seeing anyone else, but that's it. He's a really nice guy and I really like him, but...I can't stand the not knowing why he just drops off the face of the earth. He even sent me a text and admitted "going dark" on me for a 2 day period and said he was sorry for not answering my texts. He was away for the weekend, but had told me to please keep in contact when he left (we had a date right before he left).

What do you more experienced people think? I don't even know how to ask a guy about this stuff. I feel like such an idiot sometimes not knowing how things work anymore. Yikes. I feel like I'm back in high school again or something. :/


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2007
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 7:55am
Honest opinion, I think he is talking to somebody else pr has moved to just friends.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2009
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 8:29am

Sounds like he might have alot on his mind right now. How long has he been divorced? I would just be up front and ask him what is going on. If he is still interested in pursuing a relationship with you or not. There could be alot going on right now that he just doesn't want to talk about.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-14-2009
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 8:48am

Duh...I realize I never did say that he does still contact me within 24 hours usually of me stopping communication. He will either send a quick text, or a quick email. He cannot text at work, and he works pretty long hours at the hospital (as I used to). So, I understand that part. He can get online at work, and he will somedays send me several very quick emails (3 sentences). Yesterday he sent me 3 emails, but then never replied to my 3rd reply.

Maybe this is just his communication style? I don't know. It's just SO different from what he originally was.

And, in reply to the second poster, he DOES have a lot on his mind with work and with the child (the custody issue...she's of course still asking for all child support even though she constantly leaves the child with him more than 75% of HER time). I've told him to just let me know what he needs from me. I don't want to be the incessant, always-bugging-you person. I never keep texting/emailing after two no replies. Obviously if you write twice and they've not answered, there's a reason, and I don't want to be a bother.

I feel bad putting additional stress on him when he's got enough on his plate as it is. He's not been divorced nearly as long as me. Almost a year, but they had a very tumultuous divorce. I've been on my own a lot longer. Perhaps the timing is just off. I'm in a different place than he is post-divorce.

I appreciate the replies. If your opinion changes after what I just posted today, please let me know. I wrote this post really late last night, and obviously left out a few pertinent details.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2009
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 9:44am
IMHO, he is pulling
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2003
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 10:26am

here's my opinion.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 11:23am
Although I could understand him being preoccupied when he has his child more, I don't really see why he can't call you. My 2nd DH was a widower so he basically had his child 24/7 except that when we were dating she used to stay over her grandmother's one night a week, which was our date night. We used to email a lot after the kids were in bed and talk on the phone, so if he really wants to keep in touch, there are ways to do it. Also, has he never heard of a babysitter? If the mom is supposed to have the kids and she doesn't take them on her time, she can't very well complain that he's getting a babysitter.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2009
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 11:41am

' if he really wants to keep in touch, there are ways to do it'

This is basically it. If he wanted to continue keeping

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2009
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 1:53pm

Hi Liberty, need to read my thread from a few weeks back, "Guys...need opinions please"

Same basic issue. MHash had some great insight although I must say, I didn't come to any real decisions yet. I am still seeing my guy, and still struggling with his communication style.

He has been a little better in the past two weeks though...sort of. I'm starting to think it's a combination of his personality type and a not very high developed emotional IQ. He admittedly says he is not good at reading other people's feelings.

And in talking with a lot of friends, it's become clear that some men just don't think going a day or two with minimal communication is that big of a deal. It doesn't mean anything is wrong. We tend to overthink things.

I'm at the point with my guy that I'm pulling back myself some. I don't e-mail or txt or call him unless he initiates it. So he's started to make more definitive plans with me again in advance. And he actually called me twice last week just to talk.

I'm less focused on why he's not communicating consistently and have taken a wait and watch and listen stance. I enjoy the times we have together, but I'm just not sure that he's a good fit for me long term. And it's more important to me that I focus on what's best for my life rather than worry about how he feels about me at the moment.


Your final reward will be heartaches and tears if you’ve cheated the man in the glass.       &nb

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-14-2009
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 2:23pm

Hi in the mirror, yes, this morning I was perusing the board and came across your thread. :) I was thinking of messaging you to see what you did.

Now, this guy of mine says he is good with emotions. That he's emotional, he cries when the mood hits him, and he's not big on holding things in. He's cried in front of me twice in the time I've known him. One of my main attractions to him was when we started to get more serious, flirting, I told him straight up that I had been hurt physically in the past and have some hangups as far as getting intimate too quickly. He told me he knew already that I was hurt somehow, and said he had been involved in a group in the past that helped women/men cope with being abused/hurt. I thought that was cool. Most guys aren't willing to deal with that kind of stuff, but he said he was. And he has been okay, to a certain degree. Something have bothered me, but we talked about them and worked them out.

I'm just so torn. I wish people could just be honest with each other. Some things come up that bug me, but they're not huge dealbreakers...I realize that NO man is going to be so awesome that I love everything about him. If that makes sense? I realize that no man can meet ALL my needs, and that part of life is having different people to meet different needs of ours (emotional, physical, intellectual, etc). Does that make sense? No human is perfect. We all have our past baggage, our past experiences that influence who we are today. I don't think anyone can say that their "significant other" doesn't do ANYTHING that bothers them to SOME degree.

What bugs me the most is that he seems to blow hot and cold. For some time, he sent me many "sweet" texts, emails, etc. Called me routinely. Then he backed off, but said "I worry too much" and that he thinks we're good, and he wants to put the effort into our relationship to make it work. That what he says. But, to me, his actions don't equal his words. That's just my opinion. But, I overanalyze everything, to a fault. That's how I am. He says he's the same way...but he has never expressed doubt about me and my feelings for him, etc. Maybe he's more confident that I am. I just see a big change in his communication style. Perhaps he think he "has" me now and doesn't need to put the effort into little things? But to me, people in a relationship TALK or communicate more often than WE do. Plus, we've never had the "exclusive" talk. Not yet. I've been willing to give him space and let him deal with things. Not that he's asked, I just sense it.

I have looked back at my journal over the past month, and I realize this guy has got me in such a tizzy and so confused about what the heck is going on that I am doubting it's worth it anymore. I don't know if I should just talk to him about it, or just break things off? He has said he likes to talk with his "significant other" about EVERYTHING, and likes to be in constant communication. Yet, he DOES NOT do this anymore. Not with me. I don't want to seem so controlling that I need him to text me every hour with his location, but, talking/communicating in SOME way throughout the day, unless otherwise discussed beforehand (i.e. "I'll be out of town, so I may not be able to call/text/email until the end of the day" or whatever), should be the norm. Am I wrong here? I just see SUCH a big difference in how he WAS to how his is NOW. And it bothers me. I LIKE getting sweet texts, sweet emails, etc. I don't need it 24/7, but telling me to "stay in contact" over the weekend he was out of town, and then just falling off the face of the earth by not replying for a day and a half...that just is wrong. Then to text and say "sorry for going dark on you". So he KNEW I was expecting a text based on what he said, and he KNEW he didn't do so, so was apologizing.,I just don't get it.

If he doesn't want to commit, and wants to see other people...why can't he just SAY so? I have dismissed a few other men who have expressed interest because I just don't like trying to talk to more than one man at a time. It's tiring. But, if he doesn't want to commit to a long-term thing now, then I want to find someone else.

He is so much like me though. Religious views, political views, intellectual level, and the sex is great. I mean, EVERYTHING else is cool. It's just the communication and his drastic change in style that have me perplexed. I just want to come out and ask him. Maybe I should. Better to know that to constantly wonder, right? I'd rather him be honest and just tell me what it is he wants/doesn't want than to wait another few months and be constantly irritated and confused by his actions. It's just not worth the stress.

Sigh. I don't know what the heck to do. :/ I am so tired of the games, you know? I hate that part of dating. The games and the drama and the never knowing.

Thanks for your reply, in the mirror. I may go back and re-read the replies to your thread again. There was good advice there. I'm just SO perplexed by this. I guess we are just at different times in our post-divorce life. He is just in his first year, and I'm WAY past that. It's not his fault, it's just what it is.

And yes, one thing that bothered me was that babysitter option. I totally get he wants to be a good dad, and give his kid stability post-divorce. I know his child has really been upset with his mom bringing many men to her house in front of the child, and introducing the child to all these "boyfriends". He's upset, and I don't want the child to think the dad is now going to be doing the same thing. He HAS told his child about me (his child is a teenager), and such. He knows he's dating. But, when his ex calls him up and suddenly tells him she doesn't want the child anymore, and that she needs "time off", he goes and picks the child up. During work, he has family watch him. I mean, I totally understand wanting to give the child stability. But, seriously, could he perhaps put a date on the agenda EVERY OTHER WEEK, and line up a babysitter in case the ex flakes? Is that seriously TOO MUCH to ask? I'm seeking honest opinions here. Is asking for a date even once a week, or once every OTHER week too much to ask? He has a week on/week off schedule. Except, with the holidays and such, he's had the child almost every weekend and every week for the past 2 months. It's frustrating. I've seen him ONCE this month. I'm getting ready to go on vacation for 3 weeks, and during those weeks, I'll miss a week of potential time he should be without his child. So, we'll have to go another month, at least, before we see each other again. Without the phone/email/texts...I think that there's just no point in trying to keep up appearances anymore. Out of sight, out of mind. I think if you can't see your "girlfriend" for whatever reason, that you'd want to TALK to her in SOME capacity, yes? But he seems fine with a one-liner email or text every other day. That's just not "frequent" enough for me, honestly. I need more than that.

So...I'm just debating whether to break up before I go on vacation. I don't want to constantly be checking my phone or wondering about him while I'm up on vacation. It will totally ruin it for me. I don't expect him to do all the work, but, believe me, I've put in my effort. I text, I call, I email. But if he doesn't reply after two of those, I'm not going to keep on bugging him. I've gotten him little gifts (and a rather large gift) for him when I go out of town, or whatever. And he loves that. He's not reciprocated whatsoever. My birthday is coming up, so I'm wondering if he's even going to try doing what he hinted at (going out, making a big deal about it). I just don't see him doing it. I'm not a materialistic person, but...I'm thinking our communication needs are just two different styles and perhaps this is just not going to work out. WHich sucks, but it is what it is.

I know I can't just be wondering about it the next month. It will drive me insane.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2009
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 3:49pm

What bugs me the most is that he seems to blow hot and cold. For some time, he sent me many "sweet" texts, emails, etc. Called me routinely. Then he backed off,.

LOL, you're reciting my story verbatim. I'll recommend a book someone else here told me about: A Fine Romance by Judith Sills. You can find it on Amazon or in some used bookstores. It walks you through normal stages of courtship and is very enlightening. Also check out Steve Harvey's, "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man"

Just remember, what we see as 'hot and cold', he may think is normal.

I saw my BF


Your final reward will be heartaches and tears if you’ve cheated the man in the glass.       &nb