He wants me to text more

Dear Lisa,

Hi Lisa, I am having a “thing” with this guy who I am very attracted to and am hopping to start dating him soon as well. There is one problem, I don’t like to text him or anyone and he wants me to do it more. For example this week we haven’t seen each other because he was away so all that we had to communicate with was text. I tried to text him everyday but I am more of an “in person” type of person and he knows that. So yesterday he texted me “can this work?” and he told me that “we never talk and it hurts.” and I don’t want him to think I don’t have feelings for him back because I really do. What can I do to make him feel special and keep the conversations going? Thanks in advance!!

–It's not personal ( ♀ )


Dear It's not personal,

I read a quote this morning by Anna Dostoyevsky from her book ‘Dostoyevsky Reminisces’ on the secret to a happy marriage (in this little e-newsletter I get each Sunday morning, if it leaves you jonesing…) Despite the presumptuousness of marriage at this point, it feels apt, so I’ll share:

In truth, my husband and I were persons of “quite different construction, different bent, completely dissimilar views.” But we always remained ourselves, in no way echoing nor currying favor with one another, neither of us trying to meddle with the other’s soul, neither I with his psyche nor he with mine.

You two have different ways of doing things, which is awesome; you are your own people. You aren’t a texter (in the sense that if he saw you in your natural habitat, your phone isn’t attached to your fingers, and you probably don’t text anyone back consistently. Right?). He is a texter. Unfortunately, the way you naturally behave is triggering his insecrities.

The good news is, you don’t have to make him feel special in order to keep the conversation going. I think that exactly what you wrote should do: I don’t want you to think that I don’t have feelings for you because texting doesn’t work well for me. Then maybe you could add, ‘let’s think of a way to talk more often that doesn’t rely on texting.’

You do need to know that unless he can let you be you, this relationship is not going to be fulfilling for you (or him). If you feel obligated to change the way you are* in order to make him feel special or secure, resentments will arise. This is an important question at the beginning of a relationship: is he attracted to me the way I am?

* For the sake of clarity: changing the way you are for someone is very different than changing the way you are because it’s better for you. For example, if you habitually isolate yourself by ignoring texts in order to make others reach out to you the way you want them to, you might consider a change because are going to damage your friendships and ultimately not get your needs met. However, if you just can’t seem to get on the texting train or you don’t like how it feels to text, but are willing to reach out in other ways, the change will probably not stick (and if it is for someone else, will likely be a sore point in the future).

Let me know how your conversation goes.

– Lisa



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