Advice | Ask Amy: I don’t like how my rekindled flame communicates … – The Washington Post

Dear Amy: Eight months ago, I ran into an old flame. We had a three-year relationship that ended 10 years ago. We did not stay in touch after our breakup, and we both moved on with other people for longer relationships.

We each broke up with our partners in 2022 and reconnected afterward. We have been seeing each other regularly and talking or texting every day since then. It has been great! We have both matured. Our relationship is easygoing, fun and mutually respectful.

However, there have been two periods over these past months where he has been upset with a situation unrelated to me.

The first time, I knew he was upset, but without warning he did not contact me for five days. I was upset and annoyed by this. I asked him to be better at communicating with me when he feels this way.

We have been communicating in a healthy way since restarting our relationship. Last week he received bad news about his job and became very stressed. He verbalized a need for space, which I understand and respect. I stated that I would like him to check in once a day with me.

He has checked in, in a very sweet way, but it is only a few texts each day! He is not updating me on how he feels or asking me how I am doing during these brief exchanges. I do want him to have space, but after a week of this, I definitely want to return to normal communication.

Should I say something to him, or should I give this more time, since he is doing what I asked him to do? How long is too long?

Impatient: Your guy is following your instructions, which tells you that he has some awareness of your needs and that he wants to please you. And while you asked him to check in “once a day,” he is checking in several times a day, and yet — his texts don’t contain the wording or content you would prefer.

You have every right to own your honest preferences and reactions, but do you really want to be in charge of how he processes and expresses his own needs? You have identified an extremely important issue regarding how you two relate. His reaction to stress is to withdraw. Your instinct is to share.

I think you should approach this current phase with an open attitude. Let him take however long it takes for him to process his stress.

Pay attention to the way he comes back to you. Will he choose to discuss the reasons behind his stress and withdrawal? Will he accept your commiseration and comfort? Or will he resurface and simply want to move on?

Intimacy really does require that partners be honest about their vulnerabilities and needs. This is an essential component of the trust that intimate partners share.

Dear Amy: I live in a small college town and work at the college. We have a broad group of friends and each Christmas my partner and I like to host a big party.

I work in an office in which I consider two people genuine friends, but the others are honestly very gossipy. They are nice to your face but not behind your back. I basically don’t trust them.

The trouble is, being in a small community, it is difficult to invite some and not all, as word gets out. To avoid an awkward situation, I have generally held the policy that I don’t invite any co-workers with whom I work directly, but I honestly would like to invite the two whom I do consider friends.

— A Sensitive Social Butterfly

Sensitive: It’s normal to have friends at work, but you should make sure to handle these friendships (and any social invitations) extremely discreetly while at the office.

Invite these two friends (issue the invitation outside of the office), and ask them not to discuss the event at work.

Dear Amy: Thank you for your response to “Frustrated Volunteer,” whose fellow volunteer altered original photos without the photographer’s permission.

I appreciate you standing up for the rights of creative people to protect the integrity of their original work.

Photographer: Editing tools have made it possible to essentially steal the original work of creative people, alter it, and violate the copyright of the creator.

© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

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