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DrJackiePhD
DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 192
Experience:  I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
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My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost two years. Hes

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My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost two years. He's in his mid 20's and I'm a few years younger. We used to be going to the same school, but now we're about 2,000 miles apart.
I haven't seen him in about 3 months. I keep asking him when he's going to come out here. He hasn't been on a plane since he was a kid. I felt like I had to go online and look at websites and tell him how much tickets would cost. I want to see him in about six weeks (2 year anniversary in October). He says he wants to come, but it never sounds like he is actually doing anything toward making it happen.
I keep getting him mad at him lately, and mostly it's because he won't get these things together. I try to ask him about what his day is like, and he keeps getting angry and accusing me of acting like the KGB.
I've been going through a bunch of difficult changes in my life right now and he keeps saying that he wants to be understanding... but it doesn't seem like it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 1 year ago.

DrJackiePhD :

Hi I'm Dr. Jackie, if you want to chat.

DrJackiePhD :

Did you want to chat?

DrJackiePhD :

I'm here to help if you want to talk

Customer:

um

Customer:

sorry

Customer:

i wanted an answer.

Customer:

i don't know if i feel comfortable with this.

DrJackiePhD :

I'm sorry--what can I do? I read your post twice--did you want a comment on it? Or do you want to chat with someone else? Is that what you mean?

Customer:

yes i want a comment on it.

DrJackiePhD :

If so, I'll step out. I just want to help if you want.

Customer:

i wasn't looking to chat right now.

Customer:

i'm sorry.

DrJackiePhD :

oh ok. Do you want me to at least provide an initial comment via the email/Q & A function?

Customer:

yes

DrJackiePhD :

You never have to pay either until you are satisfied your concerns have been addressed/answered. :-)

DrJackiePhD :

OK. I'll at least start an initial response and maybe when you have time you can respond to that.

Customer:

ok.

Customer:

thank you.

Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 1 year ago.
Hi Again!

Thank you for the opportunity to try to help, if I can.

First, I'm sorry you have been going through so much. And optimistically, I hope your bf changes with regard to give you the understanding you have indicated you want. However, here is my first thought on that. As a researcher in relational communication, I'm pretty familiar with the majority of study results and know that overwhelmingly, statistically speaking (there are always exceptions but again, generally speaking) people just don't change unless there is an external force/intervention. What I mean is, people do not usually change behaviors whether they are addictions, poor communication, jealousy/insecurities reactions, etc. unless there is some type of intervention--like therapy/counseling or perhaps a near-death experience like a car crash or something serious that forces people to re-examine their lives. So many times we wait, hoping the other person will change. But again, this statistically just does not happen unless there is an intervention of some sort.

Second, the distance really seems like it is not working for your relationship. So you may want to explore this more. What I mean is, if you are going to be apart for a long time, is this relationship really going to work? Is it possible for either of you to move? If not, again, you may need to write out a list of pros and cons (I definitely recommend journaling and writing thoughts down on paper because it forces one to think through things very carefully) to being in this relationship the way things currently are.

Third, I am unclear what you mean by getting mad at him "because he won't get these things together." Do you mean you are frustrated because he is not taking initiative to come see you and seems to say one thing but do another? You mention going online yourself to ticket websites. Why not use one of the travel websites and send him various possibilities? It will take some of your time, but if you do all the leg work for him, at least you will see if he will "bite" and act on the itinerary that best works for him. That way at least you will know better where his heart is, so to speak.

Fourth, is it possible for you to go visit him? Again, at least you would more clearly know if he is having anxiety over issues in his life rather than just putting you off or reacting the way he has because he does not want to see you. You need and deserve to know where his mind and heart are regarding the relationship. Relationships are tough sometimes, but all communication scholars agree that communication is the key element to having a satisfying relationship. If you are not communicating well, you cannot have a satisfying relationship. So I challenge you to really think about the pros and cons of this relationship, especially if it's going to be long distance for awhile.

Unless he is a very rare exception to the rule, his behaviors are not likely to change without some type of intervention. And you say that you need him to be understanding due to the difficult changes in your life. My final challenge to you is to figure out what you want out of this relationship and if the two of you can both be satisfied. Would he go talk to a therapist/counselor? Everyone needs to talk to someone at some point or another and it sounds like he has issues he needs to deal with to make himself emotionally healthy before he can change to be the bf you hope he will be.

Please let me know if this helps or if I can add anything or address anything (else) for you.

Best,

--Dr. Jackie

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We've talked about him moving maybe in January. He doesn't tell me how his plans for that are going. He moved back in with his parents recently and hasn't told them he plans to move. This concerns me and I told him it did, and he only said, 'there's no point in saying anything until there's something definite.'


I did send him dates and itineraries and he voiced some enthusiasm, but he hasn't done anything.


At the beginning of the summer, I was planning to go to school a couple hours away from where he is, but it didn't end up working out.


He says he wishes he could be here or that I could be there. Sometimes it seems like that's all it is for him, is wishing. Just something inside his head.

Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 1 year ago.
This system does not allow different fonts. So what I'm going to do is respond to each of your paragraphs after each one in all caps so you can see my specific responses. I hope this helps! :-)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We've talked about him moving maybe in January. He doesn't tell me how his plans for that are going. He moved back in with his parents recently and hasn't told them he plans to move. This concerns me and I told him it did, and he only said, 'there's no point in saying anything until there's something definite.'

I AM CURIOUS FIRST OF ALL--DOES HE RESPOND TO A LOT OF THINGS THIS WAY MEANING DOES HE TEND TO IGNORE OR NOT TALK ABOUT THINGS UNTIL HE WANTS TO OR UNTIL "HE KNOWS SOMETHING"? IT SEEMS LIKE HE PRACTICES AVOIDANCE. ACCORDING TO TOP RELATIONSHIP CONFLICT SCHOLARS, THERE ARE ABOUT FIVE MAJOR WAYS (AND SUB WAYS BUT THEY CAN PRETTY MUCH FIT INTO 5 CATEGORIES) TO DEAL WITH CONFLICT. AVOIDANCE IS JUST CHOOSING NOT TO DEAL WITH THINGS. THIS IS ALMOST NEVER GOOD BECAUSE IT JUST FRUSTRATES THE OTHER PERSON (YOU IN THIS CASE) AND CERTAINLY DOES NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO RESOLVE ANYTHING.

EVEN IF HE WON'T DISCUSS THE MOVE WITH YOU OR WITH HIS PARENTS, WILL HE DISCUSS THE NATURE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP? I REALLY THINK HE NEEDS TO OPEN UP AND REVEAL HIS HONEST THOUGHTS REGARDING YOUR RELATIONSHIP, WHERE YOU ARE HEADED, ETC.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I did send him dates and itineraries and he voiced some enthusiasm, but he hasn't done anything.

I THINK I ALREADY RESPONDED TO THIS BUT MAYBE NOT AS CLEARLY AS I NEEDED TO. "TALK IS CHEAP" TO QUOTE THE OLD CLICHE. BUT ACTIONS SPEAK MORE LOUDLY THAN WORDS. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE PLANS TO AND SHOULD NOT BE EXPECTED TO WAIT AROUND TO SEE IF HE IS GOING TO COME VISIT OR NOT. I THINK IF YOU DO THAT, YOU WILL LIKELY BE DISAPPOINTED. DO YOU THINK YOU COULD BE BLUNT AND ARTICULATE THIS TO HIM? IT'S NOT FAIR TO YOU OTHERWISE.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

At the beginning of the summer, I was planning to go to school a couple hours away from where he is, but it didn't end up working out.

I ASSUME HE KNOWS THIS? HAVE YOU REITERATED THIS TO HIM THAT YOU MADE AN EFFORT TO BE CLOSER TO HIM BUT SOMETHING(S) GOT INTO THE WAY? HE SHOULD DEFINITELY BE MADE TO REALIZE YOUR EFFORTS AT THIS RELATIONSHIP AND THAT IT JUST ISN'T FAIR TO BE ONE-SIDED IN YOU GOING OUT OF YOUR WAY TO MAKE EFFORTS TO SEE ONE ANOTHER IF HE IS NOT DOING THE SAME.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


He says he wishes he could be here or that I could be there. Sometimes it seems like that's all it is for him, is wishing. Just something inside his head.

I DON'T MEAN TO KEEP REPEATING THIS, BUT TALK REALLY IS CHEAP. AND I'M NOT SAYING HE DOESN'T MEAN IT. BUT IT JUST DOESN'T SEEM TO ME FROM WHAT YOU HAVE SHARED THAT HE IS MAKING MUCH EFFORT. I WOULD DEFINITELY "FORCE HIS HAND" AND FIND OUT HIS GOALS FOR THE RELATIONSHIP, HIS SATISFACTION LEVEL, AND WHERE HE SEES IT GOING. I WOULD COMPARE HIS RESPONSES TO YOUR RESPONSES TO EACH OF THE SAME QUESTIONS. AND SEE IF YOU ARE READY TO CONTINUE THIS "MERRY-GO-ROUND."

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thank you very much, you have given me good things to think about. sometimes i am not sure about the relationship and it is hard for me to find someone unbiased to talk to . i am very grateful.

Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 1 year ago.
I'm so glad you are thinking about things. Please let me know if you would like to talk again.

I wish you well,

--Dr. Jackie
DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 192
Experience: I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
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