When you're in love with someone, it only makes sense that you would want to spend as much time with them as possible. But sometimes life gets busy, we get distracted, and that can put a real cramp on your quality time together. If that sounds more familiar, then it’s time to speak up. It can be difficult, though, to express that kind of disappointment to your partner, especially if you’re concerned they don’t feel the same. Thinking, “I want to spend more time with my boyfriend than he does,” or, “I want to see my girlfriend more than she wants to see me,” is never fun, but it is inevitable at times. Of course, you should grow to feel comfortable with your partner, but it’s normal to have a little insecurity in the beginning stages of your romance.
In this case, it's good to take note of the most effective ways to communicate these needs to your partner. Even expressing,
“I want to spend more time with you,” over text can be a way to start this conversation. This can be especially useful if you aren’t comfortable discussing — or, because of your busy schedules, you don't have the opportunity to discuss — how you are feeling with them face-to-face.
To help figure out the best approach and message to send, I reached out to the experts:
Meredith Prescott, LCSW; Anita Chlipala, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of ; First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love Jennifer B. Rhodes, a licensed psychologist, dating expert, and founder of Rapport Relationships; and Diana Dorell intuitive dating coach and author of for their insight into what you should keep in mind when you're ready to compose your message. Here's what they had to say. The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again
Can You Ask Them About Spending More Time With You Over Text?
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Opening up about your feelings can be intimidating and it may make you feel a little more vulnerable than you’re comfortable with. “
Some people find they have a hard time communicating in person and writing out their thoughts is more effective if they do it on text,” Presott previously told Elite Daily. This is why texting to speak up about wanting more quality time can be really appealing. “Any way of expressing positive feeling is better than keeping your feelings to yourself,” Chlipala tells Elite Daily. “So if it’s easier for you to be vulnerable in a text then by all means send a text.”
Rhodes agrees that more communication is better, even via text, but cautions that you should do so thoughtfully. “You should always feel free to communicate, but I also encourage people to reflect on why they want more time and why prior to sending a text,” she tells Elite Daily, and offers the following example. “If the reason why you are not spending more time together is due to situations out of your partner's control, the text will likely irritate your partner. An in-person conversation would be better.” As always, context matters. Because tone can be challenging to read through text, if you’re worried about being misunderstood, it’s probably better to save this conversation for your next in-person date.
How To Say “I Want To Spend More Time With You” Over Text
On the other hand, if you have concluded that texting really is the best way for you to approach the topic of your SO spending more time with you, all that remains is figuring out what exactly to type. The experts concur that it really all depends on your comfort level. For instance, if you are shy or nervous about reaching out, Chlipala says sending a text to test the waters may be a good idea. “Sometimes a partner starts with an indirect bid to see what kind of reaction they get,” she explains. “Rejection (or what a person perceives as rejection) can prevent them from speaking directly.”
In that case, she recommends starting with a simple
“I miss you” text. “If their partner responds with an ‘I miss you too,’ they may have more courage to express their feelings.” Once you feel brave enough, Chlipala says it’s OK to take the lead on planning a time to spend together. “Take the initiative for planning for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference in the amount of time you spend together,” she says.
If you’re looking for another indirect approach, Dorell suggests using past times you’ve spent together that were memorable as a jumping-off point for the conversation. “[Send them] something like, ‘Hey, I really enjoyed the weekend we spent together (reference something specific) and it would be really great to see more of each other (name when). What ideas do you have around that?’ End with a question to invite in a response!” Dorell tells Elite Daily.
Or if you are feeling more confident, just go ahead and set up a time to see them. “Plan a date,” says Rhodes. “It sends the message in a way that shows your willingness to contribute to the relationship. ‘Me. You. Our favorite restaurant tomorrow night?’ Keep it short and simple,” she advises. By initiating plans to spend more time with your partner, you’re approaching the situation in a more active way. Not only do these texts communicate the obvious (you want to see them more), but they also offer your partner a roadmap for exactly what you want — in this case, more face-to-face quality time. It won’t be tricky to catch on, and if you feel like your efforts aren’t reciprocated, that could be a good sign to put those attentions elsewhere.
What If Your Partner Still Isn’t Spending Enough Time With You?
If your partner still isn’t getting the hint, the experts agree it’s time to just be direct and let your partner know how you're feeling. “If you’re in a relationship, you should be able to express your needs directly – but please do it positively,” Chlipala explains. “State how much you enjoy your time together, getting to know him or her, and that you’d like to spend more quality time together.”
Rhodes agrees, but suggests starting with some self-reflection so you are clear in what you are asking for — and why. “Re-examine what you really need and what is really bothering you. Then have an in-person conversation,” she concludes.
Ultimately, if you are in a relationship, you really should be able to speak up about what you need. Start with a text suggesting the kind of quality time you'd like. Do you want to go on a date? Do you want to Netflix and chill? Do you want to just do the "chill" part? Hopefully, your partner will pick up what you're putting down. If they don’t, then just say it: “I want to spend more time with you.” There is nothing wrong with having needs and pursuing them, and if your partner is the right person for you, they will be more than happy to meet you halfway.
Experts: Meredith Prescott, LCSW First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love Anita Chlipala, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Jennifer B. Rhodes, a licensed psychologist, dating expert, and founder of Rapport Relationships The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again Diana Dorell intuitive dating coach and author of Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.