I want the guy I'm dating to text me.

Is it needy of me to ask for more communication from a new person?

A TOTAL CUTIE:

I haven't dated much in life. I've had one serious relationship in the past and we met through being roommates, so my experience in Adult Dating is pretty limited. I've had a lot of casual flings in the middle, but nothing more than hookups.

So, that said, I've recently started seeing someone I met on tinder. He's great in a lot of ways that are important to me in a potential partner (our politics are similar, we like the same kind of music, etc.). The problem is texting! What a ridiculous problem to have (I feel silly asking you about it).

When we first started talking, we were texting all the time. Multiple times a day, many conversations. Now, three or four weeks in it's almost never. I don't want to seem needy but I like him and want to talk to him (and also want to feel like he wants to talk to me?). When we're in person, it's not a problem, it's clear he's interested, but when we're not together it feels like I'm pulling teeth to get him to even have a quick convo with me.

I can't tell if I'm being needy, or if communicating that I'd like him to text me more would seems needy but as of right now I've been playing it cool. I won't double text or anything, but I do respond way quicker to texts. I don't know. This seems silly to be asking about but like. I want some attention! Please!

SOPHIA:

When I first started dating my boyfriend, he texted me a lot! At least, compared to what any guy had ever texted me before (like maybe once a day, which again—to me—is a lot!) I absolutely loved it because he always had funny things to share and say, but I also felt panicked as fuck because I never had anything of my own to send to him. I felt like I had no clue what would be funny to him, what would make him laugh, what wouldn’t be “bothering” him. I simultaneously felt like texting too much was probably taboo (I hadn’t had much experience, but people are always deriding women for being too “clingy”) but also I felt like maybe he thought I wasn’t that interested because I wasn’t initiating text conversations. It wasn’t that I wasn’t thinking about him, I just felt… tongue-tied!

Meanwhile, for him, it was no big deal to text me a bunch because he was used to being online a lot and in a lot of group chats where people keep in contact all day. I simply wasn’t. To me, that was an overload.

My point is just that you two might have very different thresholds for what kind of contact connects you to people. I didn’t feel less close to (or into!) my boyfriend when we didn’t text, I just wasn’t all that good at keeping the text conversation going. Meanwhile, I did more of the heavy lifting in person while he was quieter. Your guy might have some of this going on. He might be the kind of person who isn’t used to using text messages to convey attention or intimacy.

Maybe he was more verbose to start out with out of nerves, or excitement or simply because you two hadn’t met in person yet and that was his only method of communication.

I’m not saying that there is no chance that he’s pulling back a bit, but I do think a slow-down in the texting department is pretty normal.

That said, you’re of course welcome to bring it up either directly or indirectly. The hallmark of a good, healthy relationship is feeling safe asking for what you want, even if it’s a bit embarrassing or often coded by others as “needy.” I don’t know that you’re far enough along in this relationship to feel totally and completely safe/uninhibited when asking for something like this, and that’s normal. But I hope you feel like he’s the kind of person who would take you seriously and not make it weird.

Ultimately, if you’re with someone who says that you’re “needy” when you ask for something you like, that’s a yellow flag at the very least and possibly a red one.

That doesn’t mean he needs to be down to text 24/7 or even return to what you guys were doing, but that he’s open to texting more. As a fair warning, the likelihood is that you will be doing more of the text-convo initiating regardless of how receptive he is to this idea. He simply seems like a guy who doesn’t need to text all that much.

So, here’s what I’d say, “Hey, this might be weird, but I really liked how much we used to text. It made me really excited to see you. I’d love to text you more but I want to make sure I’m not bothering you.”

I definitely think he’s into you, I just think he doesn’t see texting as all that important to intimacy. As you two build out the relationship, you’ll get closer and closer to happy mediums that work for both of you. It often takes some time and some imbalance, but it will happen. Don’t be afraid to point out what you do and don’t want or need. Massive overgeneralization alert, but many guys are relatively unskilled at picking up on hints (like you responding faster, or you texting more). Women seem to be generally adept at cataloging things like that (and what it might signify) without even trying to.

So, again, this is a reasonable want but just know that he’s probably not thinking about it at all either way. Like he’s not doing this on purpose, this is just his resting level of text comfort and it just happens to be lower than yours.

But you are not NEEDY for needing something or wanting something in your relationship and asking for it! Be unabashed! Even if you are being needy ever (you’re not) that is not even CLOSE to the worst thing on earth to be.

Ask for what you want, though. You have LITERALLY NOTHING to lose! You’ve got this!!!!


ASK A QUESTION!

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IF I HAVEN’T GOTTEN TO YOUR LETTER, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO RESEND!!! I DON’T MIND AT ALL!!!❤️❤️❤️


Sophia Benoit writes this very newsletter; she also writes about sex & relationships for GQ, tweets about everything else at @1followernodad, is a researcher for Lights Out With David Spade, and has had bylines in The Guardian, Reductress, Refinery29, Allure, and The Cut. You can reach her or yell at her at 1followernodad@substack.com.