How Often Should He Call When He's Away?

Q: I recently started dating a great guy. He's smart, funny, sexy — everything I'm looking for. My problem is that he travels frequently for work and so there's entire days at a time where I don't even hear from him, let alone see him. I have a history of being jealous and insecure in relationships, so it's hard for me not to think the worst. What's a reasonable amount of checking in for me to expect? Taylor-23

Dr. Pamela: Congratulations on your new relationship. I applaud you for acknowledging and tackling your issues. That's a great start toward not repeating a behavior pattern that can sabotage a relationship. Now, here's the glitch. If you call the guy you're dating while he's away on business, there's no guarantee that you won't come across as overbearing, possessive or jealous.

It's natural to miss someone you care about when they're away. Calling to tell him you miss him, (not to see what he's up to) is a nice thing to do. So if you want to call, then call. But I will say this: Unlike women, men tend to do what they want, not necessarily what they should. If he's away and doesn't call you for days, it's not because business or travel is preventing him, it's because he doesn't want to call.

The best thing for you to do is deal with the reasons for your insecurity. Otherwise, you'll not only upset this relationship but all those that follow. Pinpoint what triggers your jealousy. What belief pops into you're your head when you feel jealous? Maybe it's the feeling "I'm not worthy of being loved" or "Everybody leaves me at some point." Once you identify the beliefs, try to learn and apply some cognitive behavioral techniques. For example, you can learn to address your negative beliefs and build self-esteem with positive self-talk.

If it's important to you that your new boyfriend call regularly when he's out of town, tell him, at a quiet time, without being demanding. Then, if he doesn't step to the plate and honor your feelings, you may need to step out.

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