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TL;DR: My boyfriend said that he thinks we're in contact too much and that we should cut back on how much we talk - I don't really know what to make of this because I see no issue in how much we talk and I don't know how to explain this to him? He was very clear on making sure I knew he loves me, and I love him, but I am confused about how to get my views across without sounding needy...

So my boyfriend and I have been together for a year now, things are amazing between us, we don't have any relationship problems so to speak, but he recently said he feels like we're in contact too much. We talk every day without fail and I personally don't see the harm in this but he was obviously getting worked up over it - he was very clear in saying to me "I love you, remember that" before he brought it up and he told me he loved me multiple times throughout telling me about the problem (for want of a better word). I love him too and I know that that won't change if we talk less but at the same time I enjoy talking to him and I don't want to stop - he's the only person I have where I am that I can rely on for talking to because I live away from home for work and college and I don't have many friends here I can rely on either due to being on opposite sides of the country and so on.

I'm very confused and I don't know how to bring this up with him - I understand that talking every day might not always be a viable option and I understand that we should both be able to say to the other "Now isn't a good time" because we're busy or something but I'm so confused about it all that I don't know how to bring anything up with him. I'm a very anxious person so despite this being a relatively small issue and one that any normal person could voice their thoughts over no problem, it's a big ask for me because I don't want to seem like a burden to him or come across as needy. I don't even know where to begin with my own thoughts on it all to start forming a coherent response for him.

On the other hand, I completely understand where he's coming from, we do talk a lot, but at the same time I need him to know how I feel and why I don't want to have to cut back on talking to him. I don't know is it just that I'm afraid there will come a time where I'll really need him and he won't be there or if there's something else that's bugging me over it, I can't quite put my finger on it. I know that we'll figure this out but I could really use some advice about how to tell him how I feel and ways to go about bringing it up with him in a way that won't make me panic or come across as an asshole about it, I want us to be as independent as we can be but still be able to be us when we're together.

We don't live together nor do we see each other more than twice a week if we're lucky, when we do meet up it's only ever for a couple of hours because we are both doing internships for the summer and he faces a long commute every day.

Update - we talked about it last night and have come to the agreement to talk less, I'm still not sure how I feel about it but I said I'll give it a shot for him, it can't hurt to try

closed as unclear what you're asking by sphennings, Clay07g, Jon.G, ggiaquin16, scohe001 Jul 2 '18 at 19:39

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Do you guys live together / see each other every day or is this all via sms or IM? – Tfish Jul 2 '18 at 14:38
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    I'm a bit unclear what you're asking. Are you wanting to tell your boyfriend that you "see no issue with how much you talk"? What is wrong with telling him this? You could also be asking "How do I have a conversation with my boyfriend about our differing levels of interest in conversation?" or "How do I get my boyfriend to keep spending time with me despite the fact that he feels that we talk too much?" Can you edit your question to clarify what you're actually asking? – sphennings Jul 2 '18 at 14:39
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    There isn't actually a question being asked here. I appreciate your effort to make the situation clearer, but there needs to be an actual question. – Clay07g Jul 2 '18 at 15:19
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    Is your boyfriend an introvert? Introverts can find constant social interaction to be draining and like to have time alone to recharge. – Pyritie Jul 2 '18 at 15:55
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    @Chilly I can appreciate your situation, but this question is in danger of being closed without a clear, specific question about how to accomplish a clear, specific goal. It seems like what you want is to express your needs to your boyfriend, but the question title is about finding a compromise amount of contact for you two to have. Could you write out the question and goal? – Upper_Case Jul 2 '18 at 16:27
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Do you think you can ask him about specific examples or moments when he has that feeling and then listen to him without any comments from your side?

That can be difficult because you think that you then have to defend your own behaviour. You don't. An inquiry like this is not about you. It is about creating a safe space for him to talk, expressing what's there for him, maybe distinguishing why he feels that way. This may not have anything to do with you even if you think so in that moment.

You can help him by asking why, does he recognize that feeling in/from other situations, maybe what he's afraid of, not making it wrong. Your only intention should be to understand him. Not to argue. You should not even have the intention that this has to change.

So again, this will only work if you are willing to stay silent, and just "get" what's there for him.

Some notes:

  • The best moment to have such a conversation is when someone is actually "in" that mood.
  • What helps when doing things like this is realizing that you both operate from a stand that you do not want to hurt the other. The other may be hurt (you may 'press a button'), but it is never by intention. Given what you write here yourself, and the way he kept expressing that he loves you, it sounds like that is the case.
  • Maybe it's good if you ask him first if it is OK to do this kind of inquiry*. Express that you really want to understand him.

* I'm not really sure about this. My wife and I do this when either of us is hurt by something the other did. We have a fixed set of questions, and the one person then asks the other Do you want to go through the questions? This is an 'established protocol' for us, so we know exactly what that question means.

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I would definitely ask him and listen to why he feels this way. As introverts, we tend to like a more intimate 1 on 1 conversation with deep connections to a few people. You mentioned in a comment that he is very extroverted. It's possible that he feels the need to socialize with other people. Maybe his friends are giving him a hard time because when they hang out, he is always texting you and not paying attention to his friends. Maybe he wants to be able to workout and not have 5 text messages waiting and feel like he needs to immediately respond or else you think something is wrong.

Whatever it is though as Jan said, ask and be attentive to what he says. Less focus on how you feel and more focused on how he feels as this is a new boundary he is trying to establish and hope you respect. You may find out some things that you were not aware of by actively listening to his feelings.

Communication is always good, so make sure to maintain good communication, but part of good communication also comes with good listening. He assured you that he still loves you, take the chance to understand his side. Once he is done, think about it for a moment, contemplate his feelings and thoughts and then provide him with an honest response.

He knows it bothers you that he is asking you to talk less. That's why he went out of his way to reaffirm his love for you. Try to also be understanding and see if there is a way to come to an agreement or compromise that allows you to understand his wants/needs without totally hurting you or allows you to feel better about the situation.

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    thank you for your answer, I appreciate it and I found it very helpful. I do leave him alone if he's with friends or busy but often times he won't tell me that he's doing something until he's going to do said thing - don't get me wrong, I'm not his mom, I don't need to know everything - but I would appreciate knowing in advance if I can or cannot talk to him. I'll sit down with him when we next meet up and see what I can do to clarify things for myself and explain how I'm feeling too and I have no doubt that things will be just fine. Thank you again, this really helped! – Chilly Jul 3 '18 at 12:55

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