When apart from your partner, how often do you text each other? Of course, there are no right or wrong answers. Some people love to stay connected all day, from an early ‘good morning’ text, to ‘what are you having for lunch?’, right up until you’re tucked up in bed reading the last ‘good night’ message.
But for many, they simply don’t have the time, inclination, or energy to keep conversations going throughout the day. And that’s okay. We are not wired to be connected all the time and the expectation to do so could be a red flag for clinginess.
That said, communication is really important. It can be the source of much unnecessary tension in relationships, especially, if the need to stay connected for one person is greater than the other. And it’s not rocket science; that compromise is the answer.
But how do you negotiate a win-win? First, it’s helpful (and essential) to understand each other’s needs. Why do you need to stay connected? Is it a trust thing? Maybe you feel insecure or fear abandonment? Or do you just want to hear reassuring words that your partner is safe? Perhaps you’re a romantic and simply need adoration. Or maybe you’re bored and want to chat?
If you are the less communicative partner, spare a thought for your other half. Instead of getting frustrated, consider they might have experienced a bad relationship previously where they’ve been let down. Or their emotional needs were not met as a child, which has led to an insecure attachment style and the need for a little extra attention. Equally, if you find yourself withdrawing communication when your partner gets too close, consider what holds you back. Are you frightened of getting hurt? Are they asking too many questions? Do you feel smothered? Or are you just more reserved?
For both partners, reflecting on these simple questions can help you both to open up a little bit. Let’s face it, wearing your heart on your sleeve can feel scary. Nobody wants to get hurt, but relationships can’t flourish if we don’t give ourselves permission to be vulnerable or honest to connect fully. Open communication builds trust, making us feel safe, seen, and heard. We all need that.
So, if you’re disappointed with the way your partner communicates, take some time to talk about it. Although this might not fix your concerns immediately, it will at least give you a better understanding of each other. If you spot an insecure attachment style in you or your partner, which is quite common and normal, please know that you don’t have to live with the same patterns. It’s possible to build a more secure attachment by working on building your self-esteem, being kinder to yourself, expressing your emotions, and healing from past negative experiences.
And of course, supporting one another. If you already text your partner to check-in or send funny memes, carry on doing so, as staying connected is a positive sign of relationship satisfaction.