Dear Em & Lo: My Boyfriend Never Calls

woman_phonephoto by mistress_f

Hello Em & Lo,

I’ve been in a relationship for 4 months and things are getting pretty serious: we spend almost every weekend together. But during the week we only talk to each other a maximum of 30 to 45 minutes every night right before we go to bed. Should I be concerned? I’m really irritated that he doesn’t find the time to call me during the day. Is it me? Am I overreacting?

Call Me

Dear CM,

You’re overreacting. It’s totally you. We thought you were going to say you only talk to each other a maximum of 30 to 40 seconds once each week. Thirty minutes every day is a lot of phone time, especially for someone who might not be a phone person (and many guys aren’t). Man, there are couples who live together who don’t talk that much. If your relationship is otherwise good, don’t be such a nitpicker — appreciate all the good things, including the three and a half hours of intimate quality phone time you’re getting with him each week. And if you really want to talk to him more during the day, pick up the phone and call him yourself. But then don’t be surprised if you’re reading this site a few weeks from now and you see us answering an advice question from a dude whose girlfriend won’t stop bugging him at work.

Thanks for calling!
Em & Lo

To ask us your own advice question, click here.


  1. ^ Let’s take this situation, for example. One hundred percent of commentators – including the experts whose advice the original writer sought – agree that this woman is over-reacting.

    I went a step further and suggested that this situation is almost definitely symptomatic of larger emotional issues. That makes me an emotionally manipulative “gaslighter?” When almost 40 out of 40 impartial observers can agree that she’s out of line?

    Sometimes that gas light reveals things we’d rather have left in the dark.

  2. ^ That article places blame squarely on male shoulders while letting women off the hook altogether through a series of sweeping generalizations, selective examples, and self-justifying anecdotes. You don’t think that’s problematic?

    The comments section below was far better balanced and more insightful.

  3. I agree with the above comment to an extent. I don’t think that you’re “needy.” Many people I know talk to their BF’s regularly throughout the day in some form or another, and those who live together do at least make time for dinners and small talk before bed. For others, they’re perfectly happy seeing that person once a month! The bigger issue I see is that instead of dissecting yourself here, think about what makes you feel good. If you want more communication as Jayann said, then you need to find a man who is willing to do that. It’s all about compatibility. Some comments on here seem a little harsh. Certainly neediness is unattractive but some women turn table scraps into gold nuggets. I think there needs to be more emphasis on compatibility rather than making it sound like a woman’s emotional problems if she wants a “sensitive” man (another word I don’t care for). Too genderized.

  4. all men r different..if u want a more sensitive type,then get one. most men i ve been with want to know what im up to…hence calls. Remember, whatever needs u r not getting emotionally are important. Also, men LOVE to talk about themselves mostly…they will talk FOREver…who cares..girls saying dont expect alot dont get alot..go find what u need!!!

  5. I wish me and my boyfriend talked 30-45 mins a nite. We only text. We used to talk all the time when we were friends but alot of stuff (drama) happened since then. And we’re finally together now trying to work it all out but we dont talk when were not together just text. Thats def all in her head.

  6. Wow! 45 mins a DAY? I don’t think, except for a medical conference with our pediatrician, My Man and I have EVER had a 45 minute phone conversation.

    When we were “dating” (years ago, at least 5 of them an Open Relationship) we’d talk the day before or the day OF getting together. For about 5 minutes, ‘Ya wanna go out tonight?” “Yeah, OK, what do you want to do.”….silence…”I don’t know. I’ll pick you up at 7:00.” Even now, it’s a 2 minute “check in” once or twice a day, unless one of the kids is sick or in trouble. He thinks “The phone is for Communicating data and the exchange of pertinent information, not a form of entertainment.” What a fun guy! LOL!

    He HATES the phone. Leaves his cell at home half the time, and doesn’t realize it until he’s halfway home, at the store, thinking of calling me to ask what to pick up for dinner. He has, get this, about 6 or 7 people on his quick dial list. Me, the kids, his ma, my ma, my dad, his best buddy, his buddy’s wife (to find his buddy if HE forgot his phone) and the Veterinarian. *sigh*

    Texting? My Man literally does not know how, and has NEVER done it. If I call when he is driving I get a curt, “I’m driving! I’m not going to get killed just to talk on the phone with you, make it fast or I’ll talk to you when I get home.” And, he LOVES me….. 🙂

    I’d say 30 to 45 minutes a day is a LOT for a lot of men. Just my opinion from my experience.

  7. My bf calls me about 3 times a day and I was complaining that he wasn’t calling me enought. After reading these comments, I realize that I am a needy and a lucky person that he even calls me. Well I will not be complainting anymore about how often he calls me. Now I need to work on me being so needy. Thanks for answering that young lady comments, you have helped me out.

  8. oh my god.
    i would like to thank every person who commented on this individually. i have been having really hard time the past week with my boyfriend not talking to me so much (we have talked like 3 times total in the past week) and reading all of this made me realize that every relationship is different and in general guys don’t like calling or making much of an effort but that’s just them. my boyfriend is a great guy and when we do talk he is completely himself and i know he cares about me. i feel a lot better knowing that it’s not just him. boys will be boys and when you love him you deal with him.

  9. Lucky girl! My boyfriend and I used to talk everyday when were first started dating. Then we went to once a week when he was in training for the army…and then maybe once every 2 days …but we would talk online every once in a while. Now I am lucky to hear from him once a week. He never comes online anymore, he is too busy and tired from work. He doesn’t like texting and long conversations. We’re in a long distance relationship…I have to talk to him about calling me more often…

    Girl, you don’t know how good you have it…if you don’t appreciate it, he will leave you for being too clingy. Count your blessings, hun!

  10. My boyfriend left for college and this whole long distance thing isn’t working very well..he usally never makes the inciative to call or even text me he usally only does when I don’t talk to him for awhile…its weird cause he’s always been like this even when he was in la with me…he tells me he loves and cares for me and never wants to loose me and things seem good when were together but when were not I fall apart..it really upsets me that we don’t talk more and I’m fed up with making the effort..I’m jealous you girls get even to talk to ur bf every day…I don’t know what to do anymore..and I know he’s not cheating so that can’t b the reason..what do u think it is?help

  11. Man, I wish myyy boyyfriendd called me that much! We neverr talk on the phone; alwayss text. But occasionalyy, if we haven’t seen each other in awhile, he’ll call me just to hear my voice. And when we ever do that, it’s only for about 20 minutess which is plentyy for uss. Wow, this chick should be happy they even talk.

  12. Wow, everyone that said they were in long distance relationships and only talking for about 10 minutes, I feel bad for you. My long distance boyfriend and I talk on the phone for about a half hour every night, sometimes I wish it was more but he’s always tired. I think if your boyfriend cares about you he would want to see how your day went and such.

    To all the people saying that they live with their boyfriends and barely talk to them: you LIVE with them. You see them basically every day. You have no room to talk.

  13. It’s easy to become spoiled in the beginning as you have. The main thing to remember is that if he is into you, he will always be there no matter the length of time you talk or don’t talk. Establish a line of trust and deal with that. If he is mature or has any sense of integrity, you have something to build on. Work on growing together ironing out the bumps as you hit them. As I see it, calling you every day is minor; what will you do when something major occurs? Make the most of the times you do talk and be at peace.


  15. He should call when he says he will/She should call when she says she will. Actually doing what one says builds geniune trust, without it you have no relationship!!!!!!!!

  16. Sister you need to wake up, me and my guy stays together and see each other and I’ll be lucky if he says hello when he comes in the house. We rarely talk about anything let alone talk on the phone.

  17. I’m in a long-distance relationship and my BF and I talk everyday on the phone. It can be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more. Sometimes he calls me from work during the day. Sometimes I call him. It really goes both ways. Maybe you should call your BF during the day if you’re thinking of him. Don’t always wait for him to call you. Maybe he doesn’t know you’d like to hear from him more often. Also, what is it you’re doing during the day? School? Work? Nothing? The busier you keep yourself the less you’ll be thinking about how much he’s not calling you. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it if you give him some space. Hang in there.

  18. Hello 🙂

    I have been with my boyfriend for 9 months and our relationship is long distance. we try to see eachother every weekend and most of the time that is the case but sometimes can be every other weekend depending on our schedules. We are guaranteed to talk on the phone before we go to bed for an hour or so and on msn messenger every evening and maybe get a phone call from him during the day while hes at work. I believe that if ur relationship is long distance. it is important you mantain the communication through phone, texting or internet chatting..

    You have nothing to worrk about 🙂 x x x

  19. you’re doin fine girl. my boyfriend and i aren’t in the same city at the moment, we talk pretty much everyday but i don’t think i’d worry too much if we talked even a little less than that. if you’re talking to him everyday, even for just a little while, you’re doin great. want to entice him into more phone time? phone sex, baby! can be weird and awkward at first for a couple but once you figure out how to talk to each other, it can be great (and when you get really good at it, it can be surprisingly fulfilling!).

  20. 30 mins ? me and my boyfriend have lived together for 2 yrs and we talk a total of 10 mins a day — a few texts thruout the day added to that but thats about it and we are happy and totally fine. I would talk more on the phone but he just isnt a phone guy. Im not worried about it. My friends talk to their guys about the same time. no biggy. You are totally over reacting and you must be a very needy person. Relax.

  21. I agree that most men aren’t phone people but come on some of these long distance relationship comments are crazy. If you’re already long distance why would you still not talk on the phone. You don’t see each other you need to talk on the phone more than ten minutes. sometimes texting is too impersonal, you don’t get the same emotion over text and IM’s. My BF and i have been together a little over a year and we talk all the time on the phone. Some times for hours and we live in the same city. He even calls me while he’s at work, its part of having a healthy relationship if you ask me. Especially if you don’t see each other daily. He wasn’t necessarily a phone person before me. He says he just has to be on the phone with someone worth talking to.

  22. well, my BF and I do talk up to an hour every night and he calls me in the morning before he goes to work and during the day on his lunch time….he’s really sweet…we’ve been together now for a little over four months but it feels like we’ve been together for a long time…and yes we live apart from each other, I in the mid-west and he in the westcoast……we see each other every month….
    so not every guy doesn’t like to talk on the phone..my BF definetly enjoys my company as i do his……i care about him a lot he’s the BEST and i don’t know what that girl is complaining about…..

  23. Used to be me. Relax…its all good. I enjoy my time away from him and when I do communicate on the phone with him I make the most of it.

  24. Sorry but what the heck can you talk about for 30-45 minutes EVERY night on the phone? LOL maybe Its because I’m a guy but I can’t see that happening. If I really needed to talk to someone for that long about something I would suggest we meet up and do something together. Talking on the phone to me is for just keeping basis, relaying some information, or arranging a time to get together. I would never just sit on the phone for small talk. You know that costs money right? Why on earth are you willing to pay someone to do something that you can do for free??

  25. I’ve recently started seeing a guy and he and I don’t talk that much. He works 24 on, 48 off at the Fire Dept (and sometimes gets stuck for multiple shifts and that 24 hours just turned into 72 on) and I work 8-hour rotating shifts at the Police Dept and there simply isnt anyway for us to have a convo every night. When we talk, we could talk any where from 10 minutes to 2 hours, but I cherish that phone time because we don’t get to see or talk to one another on a daily basis. This girl sounds very immature.

  26. I have to agree with the majority of the other commentors. . . before we moved in together we spent a year of seeing each other a couple nights a week and talking for about 10 minutes on the other nights. We would text here and there through the day, but I was lucky to get 45 minutes of phone time a week. It gave us more to talk about when we were together And I really didn’t need to talk to him that much. . .because I wasn’t needy. I really think that’s why it’s lasted as long as it has.

  27. I can count on both my hands the number of times my boyfriend and I called each other during the first 3 years we were together. Neither of us are phone people so texting and email did the trick. Just the thought of being on the phone with someone for 30-45 minutes a day seems exhausting to me.

  28. My boyfriend and I have been together almost a year, are long distance, and see each other maybe once a month, usually less. I would give anything to be able to talk to him 30-45 mins a night! We talk 10 mins MAX a day, usually less than 5! Personally, I’m pretty jealous, 45 a night? Wow.

    Also, guys do have lives. I’m just saying, my boyfriend and I hardly talk because he’s busy and has school and I know he needs his sleep so I’m ok with only being able to talk for a couple minutes a night. Basically, it’s pretty selfish to complain, especially when you’re not making an effort. Give the boy a break.

  29. First off men don’t like to talk on the phone, they like IMing or texting. Long phone conversations are a girl thing. Now when my boyfriend and i were seperated for school breaks and a month and a half inbetween graduation and finding and apartment it was a terrible time for me. We had been living together for 2 years, but then we had to go to our homes. I wanted to talk on the phone but it was easier to IM. When I did talk to him we didn’t have much to say because we were always talking through IM’s. So with that said if your talking through out the day a long phone conversation, anything over 5 minutes, is overkill. There is nothing like hearing your love’s voice to say goodnight, but a 40 min conversation is too long for most guys and women too. There is nothing to worry about other than your own insecurity.

  30. My boyfriend of four months and I just broke up. I was lucky if I got a text message every other day!!! I would have LOVED a phone call every night before I went to bed,

    I’d happily trade places!!!!

  31. I agree Isis… I am not a phone person. I mean, every once in awhile my guy will call and talk to me for awhile because one or the other of us just need to talk for some reason, we might just talk for awhile. In person or IM please! But, then again, my guy does contact me quite a bit during the day – through text and such. I would probably get a little worried if that randomly stopped, but only because that has been the norm for our relationship. If he hadn’t done that to begin with, I really wouldn’t have even thought about it. Maybe she is really young, or hasn’t had very many relationships?

  32. Boy, do I feel lucky. My boyfriend and I talk for hours on Skype after he gets home from work and we often fall asleep on the mic together.

  33. Thirty to forty-five minutes every night? I’d complain that he’s keeping me on the phone too long. (I don’t like talking on the phone, and I’m a talkative woman.)

  34. God I wish my bf would call and talk to me for half an hour a night. When I was really stressed out, away from home for 10 days for a school seminar where I had to show my work in public, he only talked to me on the phone for about 5-10 min max in the evening. And he calls me RARELY on the phone when I’m at home. Granted, we chat in IM frequently, but he hates the phone. This woman is very lucky!

  35. No relationship this girl’s in can survive until she takes care of her neediness/attention seeking behavior.

    I don’t dole out this diagnosis lightly sister, but here it is: you’re nuts. Go see a shrink.

  36. dear god. while my ex and i were doing the long-distance thing, i was lucky to talk to him for twenty minutes a week. granted, mine wasn’t a very happy relationship, but this girl is RIDICULOUS. half an hour every night? all of us should be so lucky!

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