Communication, Communication, Communication

When getting into a relationship, you can immediately tell a person’s communication style based on the first conversation. They either took forever to respond, or continued to keep the conversation flowing. However, when it comes down to it, communication styles are truly a driving force of a relationship. You either want someone who communicates the same way as you, or you’re willing to accept their communication style, whether you like it or not. Having said that, the biggest question lingers: are you okay with communicating all the time, or the opposite?

Meeting a partner on a dating app comes with a stigma of communication. The point of meeting someone through one of these platforms is to have conversations before meeting in person… easy enough right? Sure, there are negative stigmas to dating apps, however this is not the article for that. (insert dating app article here) It’s funny to say that I was genuinely shocked to receive the exact opposite from my own partner.

My boyfriend (insert fake name here) and I met around three and a half years ago on Bumble. It still feels surreal to say we had success from a dating app, however, the communication was always hit or miss from the very beginning. One I initiated conversation, it took him hours to respond, and the pattern went on for a while. Funny enough, I ended up on a date with another guy I met on here. When that date went down south, and I mean south, I decided to delete Bumble from my phone… dating apps were so not for me. Then, a few weeks later when I downloaded Bumble to delete my profile entirely, I saw a message from (insert name here). Checking the date on when it was sent, I couldn’t help but laugh. It took him exactly two weeks to message me asking me on a date. You’d think right off the bat I would know his communication style, but no, it took a lot longer for me to realize everyone has their own unique communication style.

Fast forward a few months later, and I am sitting in my apartment waiting for a text from (insert name here). He had asked me to spend the day together, and at the time I was visiting my mom. I had let him know I would make the drive back (I lived 45 minutes away) but he would have to honor my time and let me know when he is actually available. One hour passed by… then two… then three… and I grew fed up. I texted him letting him know I was leaving and that I did not want to see him. The response I got was not immediate – in fact it took him a few hours. Infuriated I read his text, it went along the lines of “I was studying and lost track of time… did you want to come by now?”

As if, right? I was not having it. I let him know I’d see him another day… which turned out to be the next day. After getting many apologies, I also got the dreaded “I am actually horrible with my phone.” Ladies, how many times have you been told this? Do you actually believe the words coming out of his mouth that very second? My brain told me it was a complete excuse but my gut told me he may not be wrong. I took a step back and remembered the first few months of our relationship. (insert name here) was never interested in having long text conversations, and sometimes wouldn’t text me unless it was to go on a date. He never followed through with plans until a few hours before, and the more and more I thought about it, he may be right. He was an awful phone communicator, but always looked me in the eyes and delved into conversations in person I always treasured.

I was not really used to this. The partners I had dated in the past used texting as their main form of communication. We spent hours upon hours texting everything about our lives, delved into conversations about life and pretty much texted each other whenever something were to happen. Did we have much to talk about in person? Not really. This in the end made me realize I was never anxious or excited to see them, or felt the desire to make plans. I felt as if I had already known so much of them because they allowed themselves to open their hearts via text. This is what I feel like is typical communication style that many in our generation fall into. While it is nice to text someone off the bat and have that constant communication flowing, is that actually how you would want it throughout your relationship? The reliance of having to constantly communicate on the phone, without much to anticipate when you’re reunited in person?

This brings me back to the question of: are you okay with communicating all the time, or the opposite? And to ask a further question; what kind of communication do you want in a partner? Many of us love the constant back and forth on text, having a piece of your partner with you throughout the day is nothing but a lovely feeling. However, from my own experience, my partner truthfully does not enjoy communicating via text… if anything it has come down to where his friends message me for plans rather than text him. Throughout the first year of our relationship, I took a lot of the “ignoring” and “short answers” personally. Yet, looking back now, I wish I could tell myself that our forms of communication were different, and that (insert name here) truly hates his phone.

When telling my friends about (insert name here)’s communication style, I was always asked why I put up with it and how “I cannot have a guy who can’t text me throughout the day.” This had me ponder, that some people have a communication style they prefer in a partner and how it is truly make or break. If you need that validation of being spoken to throughout the day – then that is something you should be looking for. It is not up to us to convince our partner to talk to us; that is a habit you cannot force on someone. It is up to us to know what we want in a partner, and what kind of communicator we eventually want to end up with; I seriously cannot stress that enough. 

The one type of communication that petrifies me is not being able to be upfront with your partner in person. It is so easy to hide behind our phones and let out our aggressions, anger, fears and even our deepest secrets be released via text. How do you know you can be with your significant other if you cannot get that all out in person? Is that being truly honest with not only them, but yourself? It also goes the same if you get this from your partner – if they are hiding behind their phone, is that something you want to eventually end up with?

At the end of the day, the type of relationship you want with your partner ultimately falls in your hands. Communication is no doubt one of the biggest foundations within a partnership, but it is important to remember that everyone has different styles of communication. When going into a relationship, keep in mind what you want to receive from your partner. I for instance, appreciate not having constant communication via text but having that face to face interaction with my partner.

What do you want?