View Full Version : Long distance communication tips?

08-21-16, 04:46 PM
I'd like some survival tips for long distance communication with my boyfriend, as we've got at least a year of long distance ahead of us.

Things I have learned:

When he's stressed, he cannot bring himself to look at his phone. It's not uncommon for it to be underneath something for days until it loses charge.

It is really easy for me to get really sad and deal with some minor anxiety when I can't get a hold of him. Even though I KNOW I'm not being rejected, it's really hard for me to not feel this way when we miss an appointment to Skype. History: last summer was the first time he disappeared on me, and it was for about two months.

Some tools I have at my dispense:

We've been using this program called Discord - it's for gamers to use for chatting. It runs in the background of his computer all the time, however I have only seemed to be able to get a hold of him while he's online playing a game, which hasn't been really often so far.

While he's in between semesters, he's living at home. I've got his mom's cell phone number for when I've lost hope of reaching him.

I've let go of the idea that we'll text each other on a regular basis. It's kind of a miraculous, snow in the middle of July wondrous thing when he'll respond to a text or answer an out of the blue call.

I'm just focusing on making the occasional skype date and asking really specifically, "ok so when am I going to hear from you?" Or when he's not sure what time he can skype I'll have him confirm that he'll text me sometime earlier and tell me 1) what time we can talk, or most important, 2) if he can't skype tonight, and then he usually reschedules.

Despite this, things fall through anyway. Even though he's starting to have a regular schedule (which helps him a lot) things still feel like a hit or miss.

I have said before that the only surefire way to keep in touch with him is if I could graft a beeper to his skin that never had to be charged. He agrees. Sadly, this technology is not available to us. :)

I'm asking for anything you folks have got - tips for him to help him remind himself to stay in touch with the people that love him, and tips for me to help my emotions stay more stable. Even a "hey I know what you're going through, and I know it's hard" would help.

08-23-16, 12:10 PM
I cant say that entirely know what you are going through but I can say that my husband has ADHD and we had a long distance relationship for almost 2yrs when we were dating. It is hard! Even in the best of circumstances long distance is just hard.

I think for you, the best thing to do is to really try to accept that he can not do what you are wanting him to do. If you are really going to be in a relationship with a person with ADHD for the long run, you have to accept this. People with ADHD just do things differently and they are not doing it because of anything anyone else is doing, its just how they are wired. If you spend your time worrying about if it's you then you will just make yourself depressed.

Think about who this man is. Do you trust him? Do you think he would keep things from you? Really think about who he is and if you can put your trust in him because if you are living apart you wont know if he is lying to you, cheating on you, etc. You have to know in your heart that this person is a trustworthy person. You cant sit around waiting for him and worrying about what he is doing when you are supposed to be on the phone/skype.

I assume since he is living with his mother that you are not really all that worried about him physically. If you dont have any contact with him for a few days you dont think he is dead or something right? You are just worried that he is either not interested in you anymore or that he is off spending time with other people? Or is it just that you miss him and want to talk with him every day?

What I am saying is you need to work on YOU because only he can work on himself. You have to let go a little. Maybe give him a little time without contacting him and maybe he will just miss you and contact you. I see that once it went for 2 months so I can see how that might make things worrisome but again, do you trust him? Really think about this is the relationship you want because trying to change someone is usually not something that works. Trying to change someone with ADHD can be even harder because they often dont even know they are doing it. If you continue with the relationship there will be soooooo many other things you will have to deal with over the years.

Suggestions for him, therapy. Or maybe an apple watch or something that he can wear that will give him your messages BUT of course he could take that off just as easily as not looking at his phone.

Good luck. It can be difficult to love a person with ADHD at times. If he is the right one for you, work on ways you can deal with how he is rather than trying to fix him.

08-24-16, 01:40 AM
Wow, thats really tough. I get it that the adhd can make us forgetful, or overwhelmed but two months?? I dont think I could live this way personally. How can it be a relationship without regular communication? You have some rights in all of this too. What if you meet someone who seems like a good fit for you even if you are not looking? Are you supposed to ignore that and wait for your bf to get around to taking your call?
No offense, but this seems a little one-sided.

08-24-16, 07:18 AM
I'm ADHD and have a relationship that was long distance for 7 years.

I found that the connection grew over time.... initially we didn't communicate that much when we were apart, occasional letters and emails.

As time progressed we communicated more and more until we were having Skype conversations every other day, some short, some long.

Even though we were thousands of miles apart we knew what each of us was doing and going through so when we met there wasn't a big jolt in communication.

The difficult thing in long distance relationships is the "rupture/repair" cycle.... having fall-outs and make ups..... it's much easier if you can have a couple of those when you're together physically so you've been through the cycle and know how the other responds before it happens when you're apart.

Likewise it's important to understand one's physical needs.... not just sexual, but also for touch, friendship and socialisation..... people who are anxious find this difficult in long distance relationships as they often seek all this from "the one".... their relationship is not one amongst a variety of others.

I found that being in a long distance relationship was a great way to explore relationship as one didn't have that joined at the hip thing going on.... but still had emotional support.

It's difficult to pull off an LDR if there isn't good solid open communication on both (all?) sides..... it doesn't matter how frequent the communication is... as long as both sides are comfortable with the frequency.

It's lack of openness is what kills relationships, both long distance and close up.... it's just that close up one's can survive longer without it!

In short....
the LDR is one amongst many.
Open communication is essential
Experiencing rupture/repair is important
Frequency and mode of communication are unimportant as long as all sides are comfortable with what is happening.

It is this last that appears to be the issue with you.... if you want him to be more communicative you're trying to get him to change instead of loving him as he is.

08-25-16, 03:28 AM
Why are you putting yourself though this? Are you two married? Because otherwise I'm not sure why you would put up with this kind of treatment.
ADHD is not a reason to not speak to your partner for 2 months!

Honestly reading what you said, I think you're the only one who thinks their in a relationship. You're "boyfriend" seems to think of you as an acquaintance he can talk to when he wants to, and ignore when he doesn't. That's not a relationship, that's Facebook friends.

09-02-16, 07:14 AM
Thank you for the feedback so far.

Is it unreasonable to want to speak with him for 3 days out of the week? Or to get some notice before he doesn't call me? (Which happens sometimes, but if I don't get a text saying he can't skype, I can't expect to hear from him at all for sever days)

I often feel like I have no control in this relationship (just because of this issue, but I think it's fair to say that it's a big one), and that's uncomfortable. I'd like to think that I can call my boyfriend and that he'll answer, if not immediately, by the next day.

I do not understand what his phone ever did to him to ruin his relationship with it. I can't wrap my head around why this happens. When I've asked him, he doesn't really understand either. But this has damaged a lot of his relationships.

09-02-16, 07:18 AM
I don't know what to do for him.

09-02-16, 11:23 AM
Well, I don't think it's your job to "know what to do for him."

You are in a relationship .... It is his job to ask for what he wants and it's your job to be clear on what you want ... and if he isn't contacting you or responding, I say your job is to not accept that ... make clear that is behavior you don't want in a relationship.

Listen, if he's not communicating consistently with you now, why do you think that will change? .... even if you are in the same town?

It's always tricky to bring ADHD into a relationship ... I mean, the condition certainly affected me and my ability to open up ... The problem is sometimes my issue was I just wasn't really that "into" the person I was dating. So someone zeroing in on ADHD would have been completely off track.

To be safe, you don't want to rule out that he's "Just not that into you." In my case--and I'm only speaking for myself--ADHD definitely led me to get involved with people who were NOT my type or who I hadn't really thought about seriously .... I made a lot of impulsive decisions getting involved with people and then would immediately run into trouble--in the form of disinterest--once the relationship started. That, for me, was the ADHD ... not that I "forgot" to call partners. But that I got involved with partners I didn't care much about in the first place.

I was in a long-distance relationship and as I remember, I talked to my partner pretty much every day ... and if we skipped a day, the next time was a long talk. If I were in a long-distance relationship today ... I assume there would be multiple rounds of texts EVERY DAY ... and phone calls probably once a day ...

Stand up for yourself ... if you don't like what he's doing, tell him ... and if you continue to be miserable, consider moving on to someone else ...

It's not your job to fix him ... your job is to set limits and be clear about what YOU want.

Good luck.


09-02-16, 01:05 PM
You seem to need/want much more communication than he does. This is not a good sign as it's one of the areas that seems to be a marker for whether relationships last, either living together or long distance.

My experience was that communication was sporadic at the beginning then increased n frequency as we began to help each other and make our own relationship rules.

I would relax.... put the ball back in his court and see what his natural communication frequency is.... if you can't live with that, you'll inevitably want to change him, and that is not a good place to be in a relationship, for you and for him..... as it's potentially a toxic power relationship.... all Parent/Child stuff.

09-02-16, 08:35 PM
It sounds like he doesn't care about you as much as you care about him.

Unless he has other mental health issues going on, I don't believe ADHD causes someone to ignore their SO for 2 months.