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Planner vs Non-Planner

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi guys, I haven't posted here for absolutely ages and I hope you all are well. :)

I wanted a bit of relationship advice. My BF of four and a half years has just gone off to uni an hour away and we're having a few teething problems. We hope to see eachother twice a month, probably me going down there mostly but I said if he wanted me to do "his" visits, he would have to pay my train fare for those.

I've done a search and read through this thread which I found quite useful on the distance side, but I wanted something a little more specific if possible.

The biggest problem I think we've always had is that I'm a control freak, and he is the complete opposite! I know that planners & non planners can work together because we have for several years, but now that we aren't seeing each other as regularly I'm finding it really difficult. I don't think he minds having a plan, I think he'd just rather somebody else made it for him.

Communication is quite hard at the moment, mostly because he's going out every night (and I've been out every day) so he isn't online like normal and he doesn't like to take his phone with him so it's really hard to get hold of him. I end up waiting online because I have no idea what he's doing and he never shows, and I end up upset and feel like he isn't here, but he's not there either. We've sent a few emails and the odd text, but it doesn't really feel like enough. We talked on the phone on Tuesday and that was great, so I think we need more of those.

I'd say "let's schedule a phone call for 8pm every Thursday" but I'm not sure he'd stick to it. I don't want to control him and force him to come online or whatever, but I find having a plan reassuring and I really need that at the moment. Any suggestions?


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Kate :wave:

    It's always much easier being the one going off to uni than the one left behind and it's no wonder you're feeling a bit lower on his list of priorities than usual. As frustrated as you feel at the moment it might be good to give it a bit more time. Once he's settled in to more of a routine at uni it's likely you'll find you can talk more often and he'll generally be a bit more available.

    You say he doesn't mind having a plan but he's not neccessarily going to initiate one. Planners and non-planners can defintitely work together but it can often be hard to ever fully understand how someone else works and you might find yourself asking 'why can't they just think like me?!'

    Do you have a plan for your first visit? It might be better to talk face to face about how you've been finding things and mention it's been a bit difficult for you not knowing when you're next going to speak but at the same time he'll be grateful, by the sounds of it, that you've not put a lot of pressure on him. You may also find that once you've met some of his new friends and can picture what his new life is like it will help you to feel more comfortable.

    Once the craziness of freshers week dulls down you may find that your communication troubles resolve themselves. Perhpas you could ask that he does take his phone out with him sometimes just so you don't feel quite so disconencted? Is there a reason why he doesn't?

    All the best and feel free to let us know how you're getting on :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hmm it sounds like a similar situation to my girlfriend and I when we first got together at university. I tended to do things like booking the train last minute, whereas she would have the weekend planned well in advance. It led to a bit of stress between us, mostly as she'd be angry I wasn't planning, and I was angry she was trying to impose her way of life on me. In the end I became more receptive to her desire for things to be planned out, and she tried to be slightly more spontaneous and worry less when there wasn't a plan.

    We were together for one year, then have been long distance for the past two. When you first start at uni it's a big change and I think it's quite normal for him to become quite independent while he finds his feet. It may be tricky to find the middle ground between the two types of people in these circumstances, but with communication and compromise it is definitely possible.

    If it will be difficult to schedule a time for you to call him, could you arrange for him to call you when he has time, at least until he is settled in at uni?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the response guys. :)

    He doesn't want to take his phone out because he's worried about it getting stolen. I think he might be taking it out a bit more now though, or at least he's getting better at letting me know if he won't be available. I will ask him if we can set a "call time" and - then I feel like I've got control of something (and we can be a spontaneous as he likes with the topics!) and there is something to be looking forward to.

    I hate moping, it's really boring and it costs a fortune in comfort food! Just waiting to get some finances sorted but I'm managing to busy myself up a bit for the weekend which I think will help. I did send him a home made postcard earlier this week, so even when I was upset or angry at him, knowing that was on its way chilled me out a bit. I thought I might do a similar thing for next week too.

    We did have a "moment" the other day, I try to be open and honest about what I'm feeling but it often seems to lead to an argument and then it's hard to get out of it. I'm figuring now that I'll just write it all down somewhere, and if I still feel the same in a couple of hours, then I'll tell him, and at least *I* should be calmer about it. :blush:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe you could plan some things and plan to have the other bits unplanned. Like plan that you will see each other for two weekends a month, but leave all other communication unplanned. As long as you have those two weekends that you have planned out, would that help you feel more secure about not knowing when you'd speak to your partner in between?
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