It's 8 o'clock in the evening, and even though you've tried to reach your boyfriend three times during the day, he hasn't yet called you back. There can be multiple reasons for such phone-phobic behavior, and, fortunately, not all of them are personal. However, you may need to adjust your relationship with your phone to stay content in your current liaison.
Rethink Your Communication Strategy
If you find yourself talking to your boyfriend for an hour whenever he answers the phone, you may need to rethink how you are communicating. Men often feel as though there's no point to a conversation unless it has a clear purpose, writes therapist Richard Drobnick in the YourTango.com article "Six Ways Men and Women Communicate Differently." Your guy simply may not want to pick up the phone if he assumes he's in for a long chat fest whenever he sees your number pop up on the screen. In the future, try keeping your calls brief and to the point and see if he becomes more inclined to answer your calls.
Play Hard to Get
Two can play at the game of ignoring the phone. Don't be so quick to pick up his calls and he may reconsider taking you for granted. Not being overly available can work to your advantage, writes Jaqulyn Spezze in the article "Does Playing Hard to Get Really Work?" on the dating website eHarmony.com. Not bothering to call your boyfriend repeatedly when he won't answer the phone sends the message that you value your time and your self-respect.
Accept Less Communication
You can't often change a man's behavior, and if he doesn't enjoy talking on the phone, you may simply need to acknowledge that his communication style doesn't include answering the phone every time it rings. Acceptance can neutralize irritating experiences, says psychology researcher Steve Taylor in the "Psychology Today" article "The Power of Acceptance." Your man may be a throwback to an earlier time when people used the phone for their own convenience, rather than that of others. You'll find the most peace of mind if you simply accept that he doesn't like to answer the phone and tell him your news in person.
Ask Him What's Up
If your boyfriend used to answer his phone but now is harder to reach than someone who's on an expedition to Antarctica, be direct and ask him what's wrong. It may be that he's been lagging behind at work because of his time chatting with you or he needs to feel more independent in his daily life. Whatever the reason, you're more likely to find out the cause of his reluctance to pick up the phone if you approach the issue calmly, without accusation or guilt-tripping.
Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.