Urban Therapy (advice column 3)

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Time To Grow Up Or Move Out

Urban Therapy: Taking Life’s Questions and Giving Real Answers from the Heart

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Column 3
Question: I am worried that my partner is becoming disinterested in me or our relationship. Although we spend a lot of time together, I sense that when I’m talking to him he isn’t listening or doesn’t care to hear what I’m saying. Am I over-reacting or am I not communicating well?

 

Answer:  It’s generally a provable notion that men and women communicate differently. In a long-term relationship, it usually isn’t the subject matter that seems out of place, it’s the approach and timing. In general, most (but not all) women are multi-taskers, but men often are not. This translates to communication styles and likely affects a man’s ability to communicate with you if he’s trying to focus on something else simultaneously. I wouldn’t be quick to think he has lost interest; however, he might not be interested in what you have to say – at that moment. Manage your conversations like you would in a business setting. If there is an important matter you want to discuss, schedule a time to talk so that you have his undivided attention, without any disruptions.

Consider your environment – trying to talk during any sporting event, season finale or exclusive viewing of a show or movie is a no-go. You’re probably wasting your time and energy. Go for a commercial break, half-time or ideally when it’s over. Try not to take it personal, just make some adjustments to ensure that you are being heard. If you’re totally unsure of how to connect, ask your partner what they prefer in terms of time, setting, method, etc. Living in the twenty-first century often requires using a variety of technologies to communicate. Utilize text messaging and email for quick updates or to ask basic questions to be more efficient in your communication, but don’t let it become your primary method.

Now, if your partner seems confused as to who you are and why you’re speaking to them, don’t ignore the signs. If your partner is NEVER in the mood to communicate and seems disinterested in the relationship overall, it is a sign of trouble. But don’t tiptoe around the issue; state your concern in a supportive, responsible way (i.e., I’m feeling ignored or abandoned when I attempt to communicate and I wonder if everything is okay). Without a doubt, you will get one of two answers to prevent speculation and unnecessary worry.

 

 

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