So, I've been seeing this guy, Larry, now for about 4 months. He claims to love me and that he'll do anything for me. But, lately, I just feel a lack of trust with him, and I'm wondering if this is about my own issues that I should come or a warning sign to slow down.
Here's what's going on: I've noticed that Larry doesn't open up much, especially not recently. When there are difficult issues, he clams up and just gets silent. Sometimes, he gets very formal in his conversation. I talk a LOT, so sometimes, I get uncomfortable that he's not interested in what I'm saying, and there are signs that maybe sometimes he's just not listening (or at least not hearing me).
Example: I had been looking forward to Thursday night for a long time. There's a special event in my town, and I normally have to miss it due to volunteering with a local organization. I made plans to go with Larry to the event as soon as I got back to town. I was at Sears trying to fix the fact that they haven't delivered my new appliances (even though I already got rid of the old ones because Sears had promised to deliver my appliances earlier) which was basically a huge stressful mess, when Larry calls me to tell me that his friend is going to be moving out of town and is having a give away party at about the same time as the event.
This is the second time that Larry has canceled something big with me because of this friend's last minute plans. Both times, Larry got very formal and basically made it a black or white issue -- either he'll be with me or he'll be with his friend; he offers little flexibility on making both work out. He speaks sort of in circles so I can't figure out easily what he really wants, especially since he never comes out and says what he wants. It becomes more passive aggressive, and he says things like: I'll give up this really important thing to do your thing, even though my thing is really important and I don't want to miss it.
Both times, he stressed me out in the middle of stressful situations. He spoke to me very formally and vaguely, leaving me to try to figure out what he really wants, what the options really are, etc.
I've been trying to talk to him about this, but he admittedly doesn't understand what I'm trying to convey. He openly said that if he gets an invitation to be with friends and they're doing something important, that he doesn't see any problem with canceling on me, even if it is last minute and even if our plans are important too.
I sort of got him to understand that we have different communication styles, and that for me communication is intimacy, and if he doesn't communicate openly and directly with me about what he wants, that I feel distant from him and a lack of trust. He admitted that he doesn't really have close friends so he doesn't ever practice open communication. He's always holding back and filtering, but he doesn't see a problem with that.
THEN on top of it all, we made plans to go study together this afternoon, and he calls me at 1pm to tell me that he has other plans to speak on the phone to his brother and mother. "I don't know why I didn't tell you that before." I said "I'm sure you just forgot." But I'm thinking to myself -- did you forget or did you just have problems communicating?
I don't even want to see him tonight. When he tries to kiss me, I just want to pull away. When he says "I love you," I want to say back "then act like it and open up to me."
Is this me reacting to the difficult situations in my life or is me recognizing big red flags? Should I slow things down with him or is this my issue that I have to get over?
Labels: communication, dating, relationships, silence, trust