First and foremost: I do have a really great relationship with my girlfriend. We trust each other blindly, never argue, almost everything is perfect and we are happy with each other.

But one thing sometimes bugs me. During work I have lots of free time and sometimes want to write with her a bit. But sometimes she does not seem to have that much time, which is totally normal and something I understand. But she almost always says things like "I got several things to do" or that she is somewhere and I have no clue why or what she does at this specific loaction which bugs me a tiny bit.

TO clarify I for my part am a person that likes to share my day with my significant other. I tell her almost everything I do, when I go somewhere, what I got planned etc. It has nothing to do with someone being jealous or something like that, I just like doing that.

So on the other hand when my SO after not hearing from her the whole day writes "yeah I got some stuff to do" it hurts me a bit because I want to be part of her day a bit, and it feels like she does not want to tell me what she is doing. We do not really keep secrets from each other and talk A LOT when together about everything so this is no trust issue but it sometimes feels bad to me personally.

We are able to talk about it if someone has issues with something so this is normally no problem, but this feels to me a bit silly and small and actually no fault on her part because she doesnt have to report to me of course. It just feels bad for me sometimes. (especially when she writes without smileys suddenly, and i know this sounds incredibly silly, sorry)

So how can I communicate to my SO that such vague answers after not hearing from each other the whole day hurt me a bit?

  • 4
    Have you tried telling her exactly what you've told us? – only_pro Nov 7 at 15:57
  • For clarification, are you only talking about messages at work/during work hours? Your last sentence "So how can I communicate to my SO that such vague answers after not hearing from each other the whole day hurt me a bit?" suggests the problem is you're asking at the end of the day how her day was and she's giving vague answers. – Philbo Nov 7 at 17:05
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Try direct and honest dialog.

It's great that you are working on this sort of issue and care about building a healthy trusting relationship.

If you want to avoid getting "Fine, I'm doing some things" you need to make it easier for her to tell you why you're getting that.

You can try something like:

Hey, I want to make it clear that I acknowledge and understand that you are a busy hard-working person and I respect that. I think that sometimes I have more free time during my work than you have during yours. Sometimes when we talk when you're at work I get pretty general responses like "I am doing things". Can you tell me why that is?

Then listen and do not criticise her response and hear her out. She might be busy, she might have negative connotations for text messages during work, she might consider it unprofessional to text or she might prefer face-to-face time. We really don't know why she is doing that.

It is important that you hear her out and acknowledge her reasons. If she responses with an "I don't know" you can respond with "Let's think about this together, I'm here for you".

Thank her for telling you why she is responding this way and then approach the subject:

Hey, thank you for sharing these reasons with me. It makes me feel worried when I get these sort of responses from you. Do you think that we can figure out a way together to address your issues X, Y and Z?

Then again - listen to her and hear her out. It is important for the relationship that you trust each other enough to be vulnerable with each other so I recommend that you reward her willingness to share with your behaviour.

Think of a way together to address it.

Remember: Trust isn't about having fun together - it's about trusting each other to be on each other's side (even when you are apart). Practice being vulnerable with each other and hearing each other out non-judgmentally.

I want to propose a bit of a frame shift for this question because as a more introverted person I can completely relate to your significant other.

I think it's important for you to realize that texting takes time (yes, its very small for a single text but conversations are rarely done in one or two messages) and effort to read and come up with your response and in that time you are taking their attention away from whatever else is going on around them. This means if they are at work, school, or just taking time to themselves to relax you're interrupting that for them.

From my personal experience I would suggest that the best way to get a more involved conversation with your girlfriend would be to ask her for some of her time later to catch up, don't assume to take her time right that moment, you could even ask to make it a regular thing.

hey, feels like it's been a quiet day, do you have time tonight to catch up?

This way the conversation can be completed in just a few texts for her to say yes or no and a time perhaps and then she can return to whatever she has to do. Later when you're talking you're likely to get much better responses from her because she's agreed to the time it'll take to text a longer conversation.

You could always go for the old school method and call her or skype her too though. Depending on what she is doing it can be much less disruptive to call and talk rather than having to read and write in addition to getting through more conversation in less time talking.

  • 2
    I think this is a really important dialog example. I don't see it explicitly mentioned in this answer, but this kind of invitation to open up also leaves her room to tell you that there's "nothing to catch up on", in the case of her having nothing to express in the first place. I often struggle with OP's problem and I've found that saying too much can be off-putting or tiresome for someone who doesn't feel like they have anything to say about their day. – Jess K. Nov 7 at 19:50

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