Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

Difficult Communication in Relationship

DEAR NATALIE: I feel like no matter what I do I can't win with my partner. He and I have been together for almost two years, and our communication issues are getting worse, not better. He told me he wants to marry me, but we haven't moved forward with those plans, and whenever I bring it up, he becomes very defensive. I know that he wants to do things in his own time, but I'm starting to feel like he's stringing me along. We are both in our late 30s, and he sometimes doesn't respond to my text messages for more than a day (we still don't live together).

I'm confused and hurt, and whenever I confront him about our lack of communication, he tells me I'm too sensitive. Am I? -- TEXT ME

DEAR TEXT ME: Sounds as though he is not as ready for a commitment as he pretends to be. From now on, pay attention to his actions, not his words. The fact that you have been together for almost two years, are in your late 30s and he still takes a day to respond to your texts is ridiculous. Why are you putting up with this nonsense? Give him a taste of his own medicine and see if he likes it when you ignore him.

My other question is why do you want to marry someone who doesn't seem that into the idea? Lip service is easy, but actions are harder. A lot of people just go through the motions of their lives, not taking a vested interest in what will actually make them happy because they play the "I should be doing this by now" game with themselves. Throw that rule book out and redirect your energy toward things that will actually bring you peace of mind. Tell him what you want, and if he doesn't move in that direction, cut him loose. Life is too short to be waiting on someone's text messages. Instead send him one of your own. Preferably, "Boy, bye."

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to nbencivenga@post-gazette.com or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)