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I'm in a long-distance relationship, fortunately we have plans to put an end to the long-distance. However something really bugs me, namely how whenever I ask something she says "yes sure I'm doing it right now" and then she doesn't and avoids talking about it.

The last example is when I asked her to proofread my résumé because English is not my first language. She said "sure", then talked about other things. Twelve hours later I reminded her, she said "yes I'll do it right now" (again), and then didn't do it.

The same thing happened, for example, when she had to book tickets to come to see me. She said, at four different occasions, "ok I'm doing it today", and then finally I had to confront her about that, and tell her it was okay not to do it but I would like to know. Then she finally did it, but it really felt different for me because now she was doing it at my request and not genuinely by herself. I find her unreliable in general, and I'm pissed that she seems to doesn't give a damn about keeping her promises.

If I just confront her about that I'm pretty sure she will say "oh yes you're right" but won't change. I'm pretty sure she does love me though, I believe her. Can you find any way to make her understand (verbally or non-verbally) that I need her to be able to say no to my requests, or when she says yes to really mean it?

  • Hi and welcome to IPS! Your question reminded me of another one we've had - although the issue there is different, perhaps some of the strategies in those answers for talking about it can help here too. – Em C Dec 28 '18 at 18:07
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The procrastination is probably something that she will have to work on herself.

But you can try to reduce the negative impact on you and mitigate the schema where she automatically says "yes" to everything (even though she might not mean it) by making it clear that she can say "no". For example:

I'd love for you to proof-read my resume, but please feel free to say no if you don't have the time or energy. I can ask [person X] instead.

To reduce the negative impact on you when she does say "yes" but doesn't do it, you can set a deadline. Set this deadline well before the actual deadline the thing needs to be done. This has two benefits:

  • You can put it out of your mind. Just assume that she is going to do it up until the deadline. If she doesn't do it, assume that it's not going to be done. You will be disappointed when she doesn't do it, but will not be anxious the entire time. It will also help her, because she doesn't feel like she failed every time you wanted/needed to remind her, but only once (if that).
  • If she doesn't do it, you still have enough time to get someone else to do it, do it yourself, or make other plans.

So for your two examples, you might say:

I'd love for you to proof-read my resume. I'd need the feedback by the XXth of [MONTH]. Please feel free to say no if you don't have the time or energy. I can ask [person X] instead.

And:

It's love to see you in [MONTH]! Can you let me know when your flight arrives by the start/end of [OTHER MONTH], so I can plan [OTHER ACTIVITY; family, work, friends, etc] accordingly?

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