Ask a Guy:  My Boyfriend is Stressed and Pulling Away… post image

Ask a Guy: My Boyfriend is Stressed and Pulling Away…


My boyfriend has become withdrawn lately. He’s really stressed with not working, his dog dying, best friend’s dad having lung cancer, and everything just adding up.

He’s been pulling away for a couple weeks and has recently started going a day or two without texting me.

Should I stop texting him all together, or will that be showing that I don’t care, that I’m not supportive? I want him to know I’m here for him and that I’m not going anywhere, even though it’s tough.

Here’s a few things to consider:

First, remember that his situation is tough for him (independent of whether or not he’s in a relationship).

It’s important that you don’t take his being withdrawn personally. It’s most likely not about you at all.

When a woman is upset about something, most women talk to their friends and lean on their support group. It’s culturally accepted, which helps.

Guys, on the other hand, typically view themselves as weak and incapable if they voice their feelings or lean on other people for help / support. A guy might do it, but he’ll typically feel like a loser or weakling for asking for support or even talking about his feelings.

The way women handle difficult emotions is much more psychologically healthy and healing, but it is what it is.

With that said, when a guy is under a lot of emotional / psychological stress, he will want to withdraw socially until he’s figured out his situation. Guys don’t like to be around people when they don’t think they’re at the top of their game. Plain and simple.

So just remember that his withdrawing is a factor of him not wanting to appear weak or out of control and just allow him space for that.

Next, make sure that you give him space “the right way”.

What does that mean?

Well, remember what I was saying before about guys not wanting to appear out of control or needing of help / support?

If you start offering help or support to him, a lot of guys will actually resent it. They won’t resent the gesture in it of itself, but they’ll resent the fact that they feel like they’re an object of pity… like they can’t handle their situation themselves.

Instead, the best thing that you can do is admire and appreciate all of the good parts of him. If you are a well of appreciation, love and admiration, he’ll feel good around you and it will have a healing effect on him. He’ll feel relief and he’ll appreciate that you’re not trying to play therapist with him (playing therapist typically backfires for the reasons stated above.)

Just remember to be a source of relief for him without directly trying to “help him” with the problem. When he feels relief from you, it will be easier for him to work out his own issues.

Finally, on that same note: Don’t bring up his stresses or struggles – he’ll bring them up himself if he wants to talk about them.

On that same token, if he wants to talk about his stresses or struggles, just listen. Feel free to ask questions, but seek to understand and not help solve.

When a guy shares something with you, his main desire is for you to understand him and his experience. He doesn’t want your help – he wants to feel you understand him.

One last thing to keep in mind: It’s unfortunate, but sometimes in an effort to help, women actually cause men to retreat deeper into their shell because of how they react to his withdrawn behaviors.

Women either try to be helpful (which makes the man feel emasculated) or they take it personally and start becoming really insecure / needy (which makes the man feel burdened even more).

So just remember: don’t try to solve and don’t take it personally.

Just be a well of admiration, appreciation and love and give him the space to come around.

Hope that helps,

eric charles

{ 57 comments… add one }

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Rissa

Eric, Thank you so much for this article. I needed this bit of encouragement, hopefully my relationship will take a turn for the better in a while.

Much love

Reply July 25, 2014, 12:00 am

Shahrukh

My boyfriend and I have been together for about 9 months now, everything was perfect and great up until 3 months ago when we had a huge fight about his best friend (who he calls his “little sister”). In the beginning of the relationship he had told me he only gets along with girls because the guys in his school are incompetent and I do believe that he is more mature than most of the people at his school (by his school I do mean we go to different schools) he seemed sincerely sorry for the fact that he had to have me deal with the fact that his only companions were girls but I told him it was alright because it really truly was! He was such a sweetheart about it and would even ask me for permission if he wanted to hang out with a group of his friends (a group a girls) if they all planned to go out one night (I never asked him to do things like this he chose to ask all by himself, so it made me feel secure). Up until three months ago, his best friend whom is the only girl I’m threatened by (because of her inability to keep her space from his comfort zone for me) put a picture of herself on snapchat to his story which I asked him to tell her not to do that, she was also number one best friend which I also asked not to have that happen because it just seems like he is more interested in her than me. He told me he yelled at her and I was completely done with the situation until he kept nagging on and on about how he was an awful boyfriend and it made me mad because he wasn’t. One thing went to anther and he basically ended up thinking I was giving him an ultimatum between me and his best friend which was NOT what I was trying to do, I was asking him simply to just pay more attention to me after school since he sees her all day and only sees me very rarely! (Which I found very suspicious but I did not tell him). Ever since then he has fought with me about her and refuses to talk about her when he brings up a story of him and her doing something that makes me feel uncomfortable. For example, her parents hate her being around my boyfriend because they find him as a bad influence and one night they were at a play together (which he also did not tell me that he was going to be with her there) and apparently her parents barged in, took her phone and took her away after seeing her with my boyfriend. He came home that night and texted me distraught about the whole thing and apparently he dreamt about her because he felt it was his fault and also began stressing about her wayyyy more than he’s ever stressed about me. Even when I had a minor heart attack that same day he didn’t seem nearly as distraught about that as he was about her. I know he may not want to talk about her to not start a fight but we use to never fight about her before he would usually see that I’m hurt , understand and we would fix it together. A week ago he finally heard back from her from the night of the play (meaning he’s been trying to get in constant touch with her) and she said she was fine and not to worry, she’ll her phone back before school (she did this through a friends phone , why would your friend feel such a need to text you through another friend over something like that? It is important but not that important right?) then recently he also told me the reason he would not let me see his ipod was because he has him and his best friend as a background chilling and I would have “freaked” if I saw it, but he still remains to not let me see his ipod. He tells me he has nothing to hide and that he feels like I’m invading his privacy when I ask to look through it but it just makes me even more suspicious! Ever since the fight about his best friend he has not done nearly half the things he use to do such as send me loving goodnight and Goodmorning messages, nor does he seems as affectionate as he once was when we would meet up in person…what did I do? Does he have something going on with his best friend?

Reply July 7, 2014, 6:46 am

Shahrukh

The whole point I’m getting towards with that is the fact that because of such a minor thing like his bestfriend having her phone taken is the stressor that is causing him to be distant. He said she’s his one source of comfort and she’s gone causing him to be more stressed. But she didn’t seem that important 3 months ago when he would literally block her on snapchat and not text her just for me.

Reply July 7, 2014, 6:55 am

Sue

Thank you so much for your response Eric. I am going through a similar situation and have been feeling very insecure. My boyfriend is a very romantic sensitive man with a huge heart. He lost his wife in 2008 and then had a bad break up with a very unstable woman last year. Him and I have been friends for 31 years and it became more. He is such a wonderful man and has been very good to me, although the past couple of months he has been withdrawing more and more after his ex girlfriend posted something nasty about him on Facebook. He says he loves me everyday, however normally he calls me an affection name and hunny or sweetheart, but the other day he told me that those types of things are redundant in an adult relationship. This is not like him. He is normally very affectionate. He did tell me he knows he is still broken, plus he has a lot on his plate. I haven’t told him how I have been feeling because I don’t want to add to how he has been feeling. He is also normally a very happy go lucky fun person. Joking around, smiling, etc… but he doesn’t do that very much anymore either. I am so worried about him. I love him so dearly and want him to be ok. I do support him and tell him that he is strong and a man of integrity and that he will be fine. I know he loves me dearly as well. I just want to be a good partner to him.

Reply May 1, 2014, 1:14 pm

Emily

Ive been seeing my bf for 11 months now. His mother died 10 days ago and he is completly withdrawling from me. I know he needs space and time but I dont want to loose him. Each day our communication gets less and less..how can I show him support that will not push him further away. In what ways can I show him my admiration to help him pull himself up from how low he is feeling?

further away? I know trying to help him through his pain will not work so what can I say to him s

Reply February 2, 2014, 1:53 am

AC

Great advice, thank you so much. My bf is going through a stressful time right now due to some unexpected developments in his life. I read similar advice before (and double-checking because I don’t want to mess it up!). I’m doing my best to apply it. Seems to be working as he is not withdrawing from me, and even opening up a bit. I’m simply loving, the way I always am with him, and when he does open up I sit quietly and listen. I give him his space and I respect his wishes. He wants me around though, and that tells me I’m doing something right, for him, and what he needs right now.

Reply January 26, 2014, 11:14 am

Belinda

I’m pretty much with Amy, May 14 2013 on this one, especially if this is a repeated behavior. First, sometimes the woman has every right to take pulling away personally if this behavior follows a disagreement in the relationship and this is consistently how the man handles it. Next, if there’s something going on outside of the relationship and needing space is his MO, then he needs to at least say that much–a decrease in communication or availability really does require some kind of explanation, even if it’s just a simple statement, because it is a downgrade in companionship, and any normal person would question this. I’m with Amy, that IS being a grown-up, and a guy doesn’t get off the hook because “it’s a guy thing” any more than I should get off the hook for, say, wanting to over-talk things just because I’m a woman. I think accepting these stereotypes is damaging to a relationship and maintains an unhealthy status quo.

So, if my boyfriend and I usually talk daily and spend two evenings a week together, for example, and then our talks decrease to just a few times a week, and our evenings together turn into quick coffee dates, yes, I need to know why. Of, if his availability is the same, but he is unusually quiet, unresponsive, or in other ways emotionally absent, I need to know why. Upon learning the reason, I may be just fine and the conversation can end, but we cannot be shut out. If I were with someone who responded this way to stress and did not find a way to open up to me, I’d be gone.

Reply December 1, 2013, 2:28 pm

me

I so needed this article. Eric, thank you. You have turned my day around hopefully for the better.

Reply November 10, 2013, 4:48 pm

Jelly

Our wedding is in a month but one week before something major occur and boyfriend is very stress and shutting me out… Usually I would love to give boyfriend space, but tomorrow is the date we meet parents for wedding! I rather him to quickly give me an answer then moping and being sad! Is he still coming or rather postpone!? I properly make a mistake by chasing him for answer but I can’t wait anymore! I am so worry and scare…

Reply September 12, 2013, 11:06 pm

Jessica

I agree with this article, but still not sure. My situation is a little different. My boyfriend and I met online back in August. We started dating in January. Everything was good and then he made the decision to move to Atlanta which is a few hours from me. He is a truck driver and has told me that he has been stressing about working and living arrangements. Before the move, this started changing and we use to talk everyday on the phone and now we basically only text in the morning and maybe sometimes at night. Throughout the day, there is no communication. I’ve never question what he was stressing about or thinking about because I think that he would let me know when he was ready. I just feel like I can’t do anything and I feel bad that I get mad that he isn’t talking to me about anything. When I did say something to him about something about me he changes that subject or just says that he will talk to me later and I never bring it back up. I just want to know if I’m doing the right thing with giving him is space, but how do I not get mad about it though!!!

Reply July 22, 2013, 12:06 am

Joyce

Hum I found this interesting but still wondering what my role is and what I can ask for and what’s too much or too little? I’ve been seeing this guy for about 2 yrs. Recently he’s really stressed and has been pretty vague about his issues although, I know theyare complicated and hasn’t made any attempt to get together or say hello for the past 6 weeks. I’ve tried to contact him a few times and he’s just said not to stress everything is fine but his mind is on his issues. 3 weeks ago I told him I understand and I won’t pressure him cause he needs to do what he needs to do but just dont be stranger and say hello….. well he hasnt and its driving me crazy. I finally got up the nerve to text him a hello after 2wks and he says he’s still going through his stuff. So I say I miss u and its been a long time….. did I make a mistake? He never responded to that and has given me no time frame or assurance again. I just don’t know what to do? He’s done this before but never for this long. This is not easy! !!!! And just don’t see why his stress must also stress me when I just need to know me & him are ok. What should I do?

Reply July 7, 2013, 2:13 pm

Fa

I think I’ve ruined my relationship. I’ll try keep it short…

My boyfriend was in a relationship with a girl about three years ago. She had a young son from a previous relationship and he said that the kid started to see him like a father. When they broke up he said it took him about a year to get over it – that he took it really badly.
They were together for about a year. From the start of our relationship (9 months) I have had insecurities about her. I bring her up a lot and he had been patient in dealing with me. But today it came to a head. He is really angry that I keep bringing it up. He says he wasn’t thinking about her before but because I kept pushing and pushing I have made him think about her a lot more. He says that he feels like he will have to grieve the child all over again. I didn’t realise that what he was not over was the child and that he felt he had lost one.
He blames me entirely for making him think about and deal with this again. Rightly so. I feel terrible, he is so angry. He said that he needs someone stronger and doesnt know if il be able to change… ( I’m seeing a therapist for the last few weeks). He said he is only willing to give it a shot is because we live together but if I ever snoop on him again – it’s over, he’s gone. He doesn’t want to deal with drama and shit in his life.
What can I do? I’m determined to change my thinking. He is sleeping on the couch tonight, he didnt want me to go and stay with my parents for a few days but is ok to sleep on the couch. I will give him that space. What if he changes his mind and decided to leave? How do I deal with this situation? I’m so full of shame and guilt – I never realised it was the child and not the girl that he found so hard to get over. I’ve been stupid and I hate myself right now. He thinks I take pleasure in sabotaging my own happiness. :’-(

Reply June 5, 2013, 10:57 am

amy

Well, I think that’s kind of crap, Eric. If the guy’s half the relationship, it’s up to him to be a grownup, get some help, figure out how to communicate, rather than cutting the woman off and expecting her to be a nurturing angel. I suppose this is where you say yada yada things even out over time, but in general what I see is that if a man can’t handle the communication responsibilities of a relationship in tough times, then no, things aren’t going to even out.

I’d suggest she just be straight with him: say look, I know things are tough for you, but I’m a person too, and if we’re going to be together, I need for you to be present in the relationship. If you’re having a tough time, I get that, but you need to find a way to deal with it that doesn’t involve putting me in the “girl I don’t want to deal with” closet until your life rights itself and you feel like Popeye again. I’ll be patient a while longer; after that, I love you, but I’ma go live my life.

Reply May 14, 2013, 11:25 pm

Eric Charles

Some of what you’re saying I agree with, so I think we’re more on the same page than you might think.

When I right these, some of the times I need to cut down the questions for space reasons. Still, I respond personally to the woman asking the question and when I do, I try my best to give her what she needs for her situation.

So yeah, there’s a time and a place for having a frank discussion and being on the same page.

In this case, the issue I was speaking to primarily was not to take it personally. There’s lots of situations where a woman sees a guy pulling away because of his own personal stress response. She assumes that she did something wrong and gets into a cycle of paranoia – she feels worried the guy is losing interest in her, she tries to get validation that he cares, he’s not in the head space to give her the type of response she wants, she gets more paranoid, fishes for more proof he cares, and on and on until the relationship takes on a life of chasing, worrying and reassurance.

Another trap is the woman sees the guy struggling and wants to “help”. Most women *want* to be nurturing to the man that they really love. In that regard, all I’m saying is she doesn’t need to do anything… just step back and let him handle it.

The way you wrote it, you make it sound like the guy is actively cutting the woman off like he’s trying to be an immature *sshole. That’s not the reality… personally, when I get overwhelmed with life, it can be hard for me to be all “there” in my relationship.

It’s not that I can’t (or don’t) communicate. It’s not that I’m not mature. It’s not that I’m not a “grownup”. And it’s most definitely not because I expect her to be “a nurturing angel”.

I just look at it as a fact of life. I have to deal with mine, she has to deal with hers and we understand that we can’t both be shiny objects all the time.

I do think your approach of talking frankly is far better than trying to play “emotional detective” by observing his micro-behaviors and things he said, then fishing for clues if he cares, etc. Much better to put your thoughts on the table clearly and succinctly IF that’s your nature and IF you have the ability to speak so clearly. Not everyone does well with that…

Reply May 15, 2013, 5:13 pm

Apple

Hi Eric, I have dilemmas here I hope you can voice out your opinion. My boyfriend recently resigned from his job and now jobless. He keeps saying he wants to find job but he never works it out.

Everyday all he does is just watching tv and eat, yet he always complains about how he’s wasted his days and he wanted to sort things out but he never able to.

One thing I don’t understand is, he never really works it out yet he whines to me everyday about how he wastes his days. He even asks me help for him.

In this case, should I help him? Yet on your article, I learned that I should give him space. And yeah, I give him space. A LOT of it, since I am busy with my works also. But when he asks me for a help, does that mean I should help him?

Well, up until now what I’ve done is to encourage him to not take it stressfully and I told him to do things that he loves. Does that work?

Thank you very much :)

Reply April 21, 2013, 12:42 pm

Tiffany

ok what do i do?! my boyfriend is mad at me for something i didnt do. I was sleeping and someone hacked my facebook account and said somethings to him. now he wont even talk to me. i tried to tell him it wasnt me, i tried giving him space. but he just wont talk to me. he is ignoring me like im not even there

Reply November 27, 2012, 11:16 am

Alex

This was really helpful. My boyfriend’s former mother-in-law just passed away. He had been very close to her for a very long time. Now his ex-wife is telling him that not only can he not come to the funeral but he can’t send flowers. He’s the type of person who values those kinds of rituals in order to say goodbye and now that he doesn’t have them he’s not in a very good place. I REALLY want to be there for him but whenever it starts to get to him he doesn’t want to see me. Part of me is hurt by that and honestly, I was raised to believe that relationships aren’t supposed to work like that. I was taught that everyone is supposed to talk everything out. But I’m going to take your advice and stop offering help and support he doesn’t want. Instead I’m going to wait for him to signal that he’s ready to see me and then I’ll “admire and appreciate all of the good parts of him.” As long as I know my role in this I can deal.

Reply November 4, 2012, 4:54 pm

molika

Hi Eric, I enjoyed reading your article and you brought up good, reasonable points. However, I do have an additional question in mind… you stated that men withdraw although it personally has nothing to do with his significant other. Why do some men punish only their women and not everyone else? My boyfriend treats me this way and I don’t understand why; he even said it is a ‘not you but me kinda deal.’ When he is stressed, he hangs out with his friends or does something else. I still trust him somehow. We are close and talk about personal issues but I guess this is a big deal— he did mention family. I want to be by his side but he pushes me away. Its frustraiting

Reply August 22, 2012, 10:23 pm

Stacia

What if his pulling away from stress is causing him to slow contact? Should I just leave him be and when he does reach out pretend like nothing’s wrong?

It is really hard not to take something like this personally, especially when I’ve asked him to be better about communication.

Reply May 19, 2012, 4:09 pm

Floor

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half now. Last year he moved to another school and eversince he hasn’t been the same. He can easily go 4 days without texting or calling me, not even answering my efforts to contact him. He is either working or laying around at home all day, but he doesn’t seem to want to spend time with me. I miss him. He is straying from me. He barely wants to have sex anymore ad when we do it, he almost doesn’t climax anymore. I miss the old him, but the more I try to understand and support him, the more he pushes me away. It hurts so bad.

Reply April 17, 2012, 11:39 am

emma

I just split with my boyfriend of 9 months the other day and I cant understand why. Im in a lot of distress about it going over the details of what I might have done wrong. He had a very stressfull week and was pulling away so i panicked and got needy, I called him and texted and worried. but i tried to be nice about it. Then on saturday he was supposed to come to mine but he called to say he would be late, so I shouted at him and then he shouted back. Ten minutes later he phoned me back to say he couldnt do this anymore, and that a relaitionship was too stressful. We agreed it hadnt been the same for a month or two now since his uncle died. then he said he was sorry and needs some time before we can talk or be friends again. Basically we said we loved each other in october, upto that point it was perfect! then his uncle died and he became a little less attentive to me, workload increased, people were pestering him. In late december I brought up that I was unhappy because he was barely paying attention to me and let me down several times. We had big fight but it was solved. Two weeks ago it got better, he started doing all the things he used to do. Then this last week he was so stressed out and suddenly he wants to break up?
Any insights as to why he really dumped me, or what may have triggered it? Because he seemed happy the night before it happened.

Reply February 6, 2012, 5:33 am

Ashley

I met a guy a back in August who works for the same
Company as me and had just moved back to the city were in for a job. He knew a friend of mine and she had given him my number. He of course never called. Then in the beginning of January he messaged me on a dating website, not realizing he already knew me. I messaged him back calling him out on it, he did not reply. He then came into work and talked to the girl who had given him my number before and told her how he felt like an idiot and really wanted to ask me out. So he immediately messaged me on the dating site and after a couple of messages we exchanged numbers. We texted and talked that whole weekend and on Monday we went on our first date. We had a great time, talked for hours, and both had the best kiss of our lives (exact words coming from his lips). We talked after the date and he wanted to see me the next day. So we had a day date and then hung out the next night. We then went out two nights later on a Friday and spent the whole weekend together where I met his friends and he met mine. We spent five out of seven days in the next week together. We spent the whole weekend together again. Staying in on Friday night and watching movies, going to a work function together all day Saturday and having an impromptu dinner with my dad and grandparents and then going out with his brother and friend. All the while he has been telling me how scary it is how much he likes me, how he’s always going to spoil me, how he’s so thankful for me to be in his life, how awesome I am, and how happy he is with me. He even got off the dating website three days after our first date and a week after our first date he wanted to be exclusive. Everything felt so natural and easy with us and I had never been swept off my feet like this so I was willing as well. I hadn’t felt this way in a really long time. He even bought me a pillow for his house and we were making insignificant plans for when it gets warmer outside. He was suppose to meet my mom and sis this past weekend at a mice race event. He started transitioning to a new position at work last Friday while continuing to do his current job and finding a replacement for him. We spent the whole
Weekend together and everything was perfect. Monday he worked 8-8 which he continued to do everyday this week. We were suppose to have a dinner date on Tuesday but we had to cancel so I brought dinner to him and we stayed in and watched movies and I stayed the night. Everything was great. On Wednesday he felt distant and we talked about him being overwhelmed at work. On Thursday he told me that all He could offer me right now is a friendship. We talked about it face to face that night after he got out of work and we both cried and he begged me to be his friend because he didn’t want to lose me. He promised that once things settle Down at work that he would give us a chance. He wants to be the best boyfriend he can be and spend every waking moment with me or he thinks I’ll leave him so that’s why he wants to be friends and not date bc of all the stress. Well with me being a girl, I was too pushy. And he texted me yesterday and told me to
Just relax about all of this and that he just needs some time. Then an hour later he texted me and said his feelings have changed, this has to end now, I’m sorry. Then the last text he sent me after I was trying to get answers was “this has gone completely out of control and I’m at work. My job is really important to me. I’m really sorry.” Did I mess things up too badly? Could his feelings have changed that quickly or is he just trying to push me away bc he needs his time? I need some help. He is amazing and I don’t want to lose him for forever. I can stand being without him for a short time but I need help on what to do to get him back. Did I screw it up by being too pushy after he asked for time? Any help or advice is much appreciated. Thank you

Reply February 5, 2012, 11:30 am

Kusanagi2112

I’ve been reading through some of the comments and I’m a little distressed at some of the mistakes I seem to have made with my current boyfriend. He has been through a hard time and I think all I’ve done is put pressure on him to try and get him to open up and tell me what’s been going on with him and I think it’s made it worse. He says I’m putting him on the spot and that he always deals with things on his own but this was making me unhappy because in my last relationship all we did was tell each other what was bothering us and it was a bit of a shock to then be with someone who emotionally shut down and in essence was pushing me away and if I’m honest I was worried it was also me that was making him unhappy and it go to a point where things were so bad between us that, that’s all I asked him-if everything was okay, was he happy with me? etc and I now hate myself for it because I don’t think I’m a needy person but I know I was coming across as needy but I just wanted reassurance because I had a dramatic breakup and partially left my last boyfriend for him and was worried that he was already bored of me.
I would like to perhaps bring it up and apologise for it but he’s the kind of guy who when an argument’s taken place he kind of wants to forget it’s happened and hates it being continually brought up( we’ve had a rough patch recently which I really hope we’re coming out of no). I don’t want to bring it up per se I’m just the type of person that when they feel they have screwed things up won’t feel etter until they’ve at least apologised but I don’t want to antagonise him. So I’m not sure what to do: let it lie or try to apologise for putting unneccessary pressure on him?

Reply January 26, 2012, 6:33 am

Christina

Basically, I have known this guy a year now(we go to the same church so I see him 2times a week or 3), the first few months, I’d just say hi as I didn’t know him. But after around 5-6 months- I don’t know how but we began but we were talking many times, after every meeting session he would come straight up to me and wouldn’t go up to his friends etc. We would have such laughs and I was certain he liked me, he would come up to me all the time, stare at me etc. I then went on holiday for 2weeks, when I came back I went into hospital for 1 week, then after that he was away for 2 weeks, so we went ages without talking. Since I came back, he did try to get back that spark we both had but i shunned it due to fear of rejection because I began to start falling for him.We haven’t spoken at all but he stares at me constantly, my friends have verified this. They all say I am too good for him (in the looks sense) but that doesn’t matter to me at all as I find him attractive to me. He will always hover around me and sometimes stand on his own (something he would do then we would both go up to each other the few months before) but I turn my back on it and I don’t know why I am being like this, even when he tried to brush his body past mine , I looked at him like he’s weird.- I don’t want to lose him! I feel something is still there but I don’t know. When he stares and I catch him a few times, he will either hold out the stare and I just look away or he will look away very quick. I cannot keep going on like this but I have no courage to go up to him, although I know nothing bad would happen but I am stubborn and think he should make the first move he is a guy! ….help me!!! email me

Reply December 30, 2011, 4:44 am

Kimberly

Me and my boyfriend have been dating for about 2weeks now,he told me a week into our relationship that he has a baby on the way with n ex gf,He just recently came to see me a little after his son was born he stayed with me for 3 days then went home which he lives 2 hours away from me.when he did get back home i barely herd from him he don’t text me or call me like he use to,he son is premature and i know he spends a lot of time at the hospital but even when he is not there he don’t bother with me, a lot of times he ignores my text messages.i did ask him last night if he really did want to be with me he tells me yes i asked him why he don’t bother with me and he tells me his busy.I don’t know what to do i really don’t want to lose him and he also admits he is still in love with his baby momma but tells me he does not want to be with her cause she has cheated on him in the past.I texted him once today to ask how his son was no reply from him so what do i do.

Reply December 5, 2011, 8:59 pm

Kate

if he is not fully over someone or the situation even if they’ve been separated for days, months or years, you will be his rebound girlfriend. He may want to be with you, but he will be and wants to be apart of his baby and the baby’s mother’s life. You can be supportive of him, but don’t expect a big commitment. His big commitment is his child and senario at hand right now. It’s a lot overwhelming him. Don’t take it personally, just be there for him. Time will tell what happens, but it’s more important to be there for him and let him open up and trust you when he feels he is ready. That can help form a great relationship.

Reply February 3, 2012, 4:03 pm

brandy

My boyfriend ask for a 2 week break from me and where getting married in 6months but the whole reason why he asks for that break so he can study but im scared im gonna lose him or he fall in love with other girl. BTW he in college and im back in Cali

Reply November 30, 2011, 9:11 pm

Fury

Dear eric,

Im experiencing something like this with someone i am exclusively dating. Lately he is unhappy with his new job. Misses his old one. And now currently he is broke adding more stress on him. Parents nagging on him. Then suddenly he told me that he wants to date other women. When i told him that he can do that it makes him happy. And then he responded in a pissed off manner that if he does that i will be unhappy and will go MIA. But the thing is i have yet to go MIA nor gotten unhappy because that situation has yet to happen.

He is now withdrawn. Has yet to reply or text me.

What does this mean and does he mean what he says?

Reply November 23, 2011, 6:06 am

Sam

wow, everything stated in the article are the mistakes i made. I knew something was wrong when he was pulling away and he retreated even more when i started to take it personally and tried to “help” him …i feel like crap

Reply November 9, 2011, 9:54 pm

Eric Charles

I understand why you might feel like crap – you regret the actions you took.
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But the fact is, you did everything you did because at the time you thought it was the best option… or maybe the only option.
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Now you have a new approach and a new perspective. For the rest of your life, you’ll be able to handle this type of thing better and get better results in your relationship-life.
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So really, this is a time to celebrate and feel good. From this point forward, you know something that will get you better results than ever before.
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It’s all good, don’t worry.

Reply November 12, 2011, 4:59 pm

Laura

Hi Eric,

So I need your insight into what my boyfriends thinking…

Some background: Me and my boyfriend have been together for a year. It’s been really great despite some ups and downs. I give him a lot of space, and we just hang out like friends most of the time. All and all it feels like a great relationship.

We’ve had some struggles because his parents got divorced two years ago, and he is still struggling a lot with that.

Also my dads been having an affair on my mom so I’ve been dealing with that, and it’s put stress on our relationship.

We both get along with each others families really well, and it seems that we are getting pretty serious because he and I stay over at each others places quite a bit. *He mentioned that he’d want to live with me in the future, and a week before my dilemma arose was complaining about living with his buddies this year and said he doesn’t want to live with them next year. Also he even said he sees a future (i.e. marriage) with me*

The Problem: Recently I got really stressed out about us because he seems depressed because of his family issues, and that has lead to him seeming not engaged in anything really. I mentioned this to him and we seemed to come to some what of a resolution. I suggested it might help if he talk to a counsellor, and he agreed that would benefit him. I decided I am going to too because of my family issues as well.

After this we went back to getting along very well, laughing together and so on, and then we went to a bookstore for a date, and had a great time. We started looking at children’s books together from our youth, and both bought children’s books. There was an unspoken sort of implication I think we were both aware of that the books would be for our hypothetical children. We didn’t say much about it, so it was a good night.

The next day when we woke up he was complaining about how I leave and bring too many clothes to his apartment because it clutters his room, which it really does, considering it’s a small room, and I got frustrated and said well why don’t we move in together?-that way I don’t have to bring clothes back and forth. (In my mind I felt light hearted about the situation though, not as if I was really intending we would move in together soon).

Later that day we walked to get my brother a birthday present, and he said, “so when would you move out of your house?” I assumed because he’d already mentioned his desire to live with me he was inquiring because he was impatient and looking forward to my moving out. The I freaked out a bit because I felt like I was being light hearted about the whole idea of moving in, and felt like he was being serious, so I said, “Oh you’r bringing this up?” (again light hearted) and he said, ” Don’t act as if you didn’t bring it up first” (frustrated). (Still light hearted) I said, “Oh I dunno, I have to save up some money first.” He responded, “Well I didn’t think you were thinking anytime soon…” and I responded, “no like I say it will take a while to save some money.”

I didn’t give this conversation much thought, because I still was under the assumption that he wanted to move in together.

After we bought my brothers birthday gift, he quickly diverted me and said he had to go to buy groceries and left. I felt like he was being really weird, but didn’t pay much attention to it because he’s been so stressed out about his family.

Then two days later I texted him good night I love you, and he texted, “you too hun” which is really uncharacteristic of him. After this I just began to worry. I proceeded to call him…WHICH wasn’t the right thing to do, but I was stressed because tonight, of all nights, I was totally aware my dad left to cheat on my mom, so I called my boyfriend in seek of help. He talked to me a great deal about my dad and really helped a lot, I didn’t ask my boyfriend about the text because as we talked I forgot anything was wrong, and then I said “alright I’m going to bed, love you”. And he got all weird about the I love you again…he said it, but in a very rushed, unnatural way.

We hung up, and I began to worry again, I was still baffled as to what he’s feeling. Then I started to think of everything in context…and wondered have all of these events led him to feel trapped? Did he take me very seriously when I joked about moving in? Why is he freaking out if he suggested he wants us to move in?!?!? How can I repair the damage I’ve done? I don’t want him to feel trapped, I’m not even sure I want to move in, I mean I’m just enjoying our time now…and if thats the way things go for us I’d be happy, but I definitely want us to just continue enjoying each others company, and see where that takes us. Why do guys say they want things for the future and then freak out if the girl reciprocates? Is this about the future, or IS it about his other stresses with his family?

Thanks :)

p.s. sorry for the novel ;) seems like you get that a lot^. i guess its a chick thing.

Reply November 9, 2011, 3:24 am

Vickie

My boyfriend & I have been seeing each other for just over 4 months. He is 42 & I am 29. We live about 2 hours apart, so we are not seeing each other often. The 1st month & half he was super lovey dovey & called/texted all the time! He really showed his interest. Then it seems he quickly fell into comfort zone. The calls dwindled to every other day, which is ok because my life isn’t that crazy to talk for extended times every day. Also september & october, because of work & family obligations we were not able to get together except for every other weekend. When we are together in person he is great! Completely in the moment, he takes care of me, he’s affectionate… The month of October I really started to feel disconnected from him (my perspective & point of view. He probably is just in comfort zone & doesn’t see anything wrong). We couldn’t see each other much, he wasn’t asking when can I see you again like he used to (I guess its just assumed that when it can happen it will). And our phone calls were very superficial because we aren’t integrating each other into our lives due to the distance (again, my perspective).

Then, about 2 weeks into October he called me & said “I just wanted to let you know that I’m not blowing you off, I’m sorry I haven’t called as much as usual but I just found out my mother has pancreatic cancer & spots on her liver & lungs. Also, her brother has it too! So this is what I am dealing with & I will probably be spending more weekends out of town with my folks.” I thought it was really considerate of him to call and tell me that.

Now, I was feeling the disconnect (from my perspective) prior to us having knowledge of his mother’s illness. FYI, my grandmother died from pancreatic cancer. Fast forward to now, the beginning of November. I spent last weekend with him, friday, sat, sunday. We had a snow storm, he lost power for days & it was a cold crummy weekend. But we made the best of it, seemed to get along famously as we always have. I know he was stressed about his house & pipes bursting & being too cold. I noticed his father calling often, & over all he has a lot going on. But he had not shut me out.

Then on nov 2 his mother had a biopsy on her liver & lungs. We exchanged 1 text the day before. Since then he has disappeared. This is the longest I haven’t heard from him, nearly 5days. I am not the kind of girl to blow up his phone with texts & calls. I fret with my friends & my mother. I sent one text on friday morning. I had forgotten about his mothers procedure so in my text I asked how he has been & did his power come back on. Later that evening I was trying to figure out what changed between us & I remembered his mother’s medical procedure. But my girlfriend’s say don’t pressure him so just send a simple xoxoxo text & let him be. That is what I did. last night, saturday, I sent xoxo and now its sunday afternoon and I still have no idea what is going on.

I don’t know what came of his mothers procedure, I don’t know if my BF left town to be with his parents. I don’t know if he has been going to work like usual, I don’t know if this has anything to do with me. I dont know if I pressured him somewhere about meeting his parents. He seemed like the type of guy to tell me if he decided he didn’t want to see me anymore, this ignoring thing seems out of character for him. I’m a little concerned. I’m concerned selfishly, wondering if this means he doesnt want to see me anymore, if its now a bad time. I’m concerned for him, how is he doing, handling this. I’m concerned for his mother & father, how are they….. How hard is it to send a puny text just to give me a heads up.

I don’t want to break up, I want to support him however that is. I will wait for him through this but I dont even know if he is interested anymore.. My experience is when a guy goes this long with no contact they are done with the relationship, or will be very soon…. wtf?!!!

Do I let him be & when he gets back to me try to understand what happened to him? What if he tells me hes just been busy at work? if that is the case I will be pissed because 4-5 days with no contact in a long distance relationship isn’t enough for me. If his mother’s health is worse than they thought how do I support him without emasculating him? How can I support him when I am so far away?

Reply November 6, 2011, 1:13 pm

Me

after 5 years he left now he calls and says he needs his clothes says a day he’ll pick them up and then doesn’t , what’s going on???

Reply October 31, 2011, 2:03 pm

Buzz

Recently, I just got back together with my ex. We were together 9 1/2 months and then broke up because he thought too many people were interfering with our relationship. After 2 months, we got back together :) we are together now and have been for 2 weeks. But in the past few days something hasn’t been right between us. He has been ill with the flu which could explain things but it seems like he can’t be bothered to initiate contact with me. In a way i do feel like i am being needy because i’m missing our old relationship so much and i just want those old long conversations back. But It seems like he is relying on me to make contact but our conversations don’t even last long. I fear i’m losing him all over again and i could not deal with that. I know he does love me but i am sick of being pushed aside and left to hurt. How can i get him to come after me again and get that deep love and energy back into the relationship?

Reply October 26, 2011, 7:02 am

dlp450ccs

I got back together with my boyfriend from 21 years ago. It was a terrible break up back then and I saw him after all those years, he’s divorced now for over a year, and he apologized for how awful he was and could we get together for dinner. I gave him a clean slate and he has been wonderful but its only been 3 months. We lived together for 4 years and bought a house together 21 years ago so it was pretty serious. Im 51, he is 46. I have a 25 year old, his children are 11 and 17. He just left for Kauai because he is a General Contractor and building a home there, will be gone for about month and a half. I care deeply for him but wondering if Im wasting my time with him again. I know he cares but is this just something new for me and thats why I got so excited and its starting to sizzle a little now that he is gone. Im just confused because I am very ill with an auto immune disease and dont need to stress out over something I have no control over. Should I just let it happen in stead of making it happen. The sex could be a lot better, but how do I tell him without hurting his feelings. Thats a big problem. My last boyfriend was the best lover ever but turned out to be a much better friend that lover and we are the best of friends now. I wish I had that kind of sex with this guy

Reply October 20, 2011, 4:40 am

Sarah

A well rounded response to the poster and an interesting male perspective. In my experience I’ve found a lot of these things to hold true of men in my relationships. This is particularly evident with my current boyfriend who is very much the ‘blokey bloke’ and finds emotive communication very difficult. At first I found our differing approaches very frustrating and would push for him to open up to me, much to the detriment of us both! In the end I realised that although I was concerned, I was doing this more for my benefit than his; I wanted to feel like I could help him, and I was trying to approach it in a way that would help me – this was only pushing him away. I have since grown to better appreciate our differences and respect his manly space, and in doing so have gained his trust and he will now approach me to talk about the things in his life which are upsetting him. I have found that vocabulary is an important consideration. Instead of asking him how he feels about things, I ask him what he thinks. He likes to solve his own problems and feel on top of his game, so if I’m offering input I’m careful to make very broad suggestions to help him come to his own conclusions, leaving him with a sense of ownership over the solution. I also find that he is very responsive to praise in these times and that reminding him of his better qualities and how well he has handled difficult situations in the past is helpful to him. Crucially, I find that these discussions are no less revealing about how he feels and he is able to vent, just on terms and in ways that are acceptable and not immasculating to him. I have been mindful to use this approach with my boyfriend recently while he has been facing redundancy and have found him to be very open with me and that this has deepened our bond. I know these things won’t work for every guy as all are different, and even for those it would it won’t work every time, but I would urge all women struggling to cummunicate with their guy in a difficult time to reflect on the way he prefers to cummunicate, and try to mirror his language and approach. You will learn to better understand your guy and might just help him to open up, too.

Reply October 19, 2011, 8:40 pm

Sumit Arora

Well for Agirl as i am a guy i can tell you he is holding himself from you, try to give him some hints or just say wat you want, many guys like when girls are free to talk, they feel that girl is close to him, try to make him feel that he is special and then things might start working.

Reply October 15, 2011, 6:24 pm

Agirl

i have a question about this guy. i met him a month ago. He was nice, caring and he even cooked for me. But we werent dating. Everything started when i told him i cant sleep with him TWICE. he wanted to do it and asked me to sleep with him twice and my answer was… well NO. its not because i didnt like him, it was because i was afraid that the next morning, he would be gone. I asked him afterwards what we were and he was like ‘i dont know, do you want boyfriend right now and what do u think we are? ‘ sth like that. well his behavior changed ever since, it was back to friendship zone and i dont like that. we are still friends now, but he doesnt ask me out, or ask if im hungry or anything. we have same classes and thats all. but he never talks about girl or anything. we talk about… school etc. Is it because i said no to him twice and he is afraid to get rejected again, or sth else? I really want him back. i want to get in relationship with him but im afraid he is not willing to do that anymore. Is it because cultural differences or what? i dont think it is since im asian. /japanese/ lol

PS. he is 4 years older than me and anti-socialized lol

Thank you!!

Reply October 10, 2011, 1:00 am

Donna

I’m really glad that I found this site.

Reply October 9, 2011, 11:29 am

Donna

I lean on “him” when I’m upset about something that he’s done and I get mad and he knows why I’m mad. I don’t make him guess. He is the love of my life. He empowers me to overcome my struggles and my life, when he decides to be in it, is truly beautiful – it’s what women dream about. Then, he drops the ball. See, I’ve figured him out. I will not be there for him for sex because, I know, if I give myself fully to him that he has the power to hurt me. That happened once. I refuse to have sex with him because I know what that means to me and what that means to him. With me, it’s something special and I give myself because I want him; but, he’s just looking for sex and can find it on any social networking website on line. Do I want to be his next victim? No. I won’t allow myself to. And, it’s not because I don’t want him; we’ve had sex. It’s because I know it’s nothing more to him than sex and he’ll move on to the next woman. I know his routine and I know he pouts when I don’t give in. I’m in love with a man that won’t allow himself to love or be emotionally tied to any woman. Why? It could be that I’m not the right woman for him and he just liked the idea that I’m there and that I love him. He is my best friend and someone that I share my bad days and good days with. Being vulnerable allows us to open our hearts and love someone, but it also allows us to be hurt. I’m SO confused about “him” and have a difficult time of just letting him go. I thought if I loved him long enough and hard enough, that my dream would blossom into full living color. I love him enough for both of us, but that’s not what his heart is open to at this point in his life. (I guess!)

Reply October 9, 2011, 11:27 am

Eric Charles

Hey Donna, I understand and I appreciate your comment about this.
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I think you have a good grasp and perspective on the situation, so I’m not going to comment directly on it. You know what you want, you have a good understanding of where he’s at right now and even though it’s disappointing and not ideal, you aren’t emotionally overwhelmed by it.
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It was a hard lesson for me to learn, but it doesn’t matter how much you like or love someone. They might appreciate your liking and loving them, but it won’t change the “page” they’re on. And some people are on a different page than you.
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In fact, sometimes it can actually end up holding you in exactly the situation you’re in – even if you’re not happy with it.
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I don’t advocate or discriminate against any relationship arrangement. If someone wants a booty call relationship, go for it. If they want to have an open relationship, go for it. If they want a committed, traditional long-term relationship – go for it!
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But I do advocate people being honest with themselves and living a happy and fulfilling life.
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There are many cases where a person might be looking for a relationship to fulfill them or make them happy when in fact they should be looking within themselves and their own life for that happiness and fulfillment.
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There are other cases where a relationship just won’t work for someone and it’s better to move on to a better fit (and it sounds like this might be your case).
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To tie up my point, when you were saying that you love him so much, but he’s in a place where he’ll just move onto the next woman… well… by fixating on him, that’s more incentive for him to not do anything differently.
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I knew a dude who was a real asshole in general. Every time I’d see the guy, he’d have some new girl telling him that she was in love or obsessed with him and he would just be a jerk about it.
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One of my female friends said to him, “OK… after all these girls, haven’t you learned to do ANYTHING differently? I mean, girl after girl, every one of your relationships end in a train wreck.”
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And he responds (and pay close attention), “Why would I act any differently? I get exactly what I want… their emotions are their problem.”
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Now again, the dude is an asshole plain and simple, but he actually stated his point elegantly.
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Anyway… hope that tangent on your comment was helpful.

Reply October 9, 2011, 12:25 pm

Sasha

And if she sees ‘who’s the gf’ will it be enough to make her give up on trying to get him back? Or will she just continue to persist?

Reply October 6, 2011, 3:08 am

Ms.V

Sasha, I must say, you are a cute one. If she really wants to get him back, nothing can stop her but your bf. You can meet her only when your bf asks. Never deliberately meet her yourself. There is no point meeting her unless it’s for your bf’s request, since she is your bf’s best friend and he wants you to meet her. Remember, just think about things between you two and never let the ex issue bother you. I know its hard, but love is never easy. :)

Reply October 18, 2011, 11:13 pm

Sasha

Ms. V, thank you so much :) I feel so much more relaxed about everything now. Just a few weeks ago i let my anger and stress get the better of me and broke up with my bf over the phone but realised i had made a horrible mistake as soon as i hung up. But the love of my life knew i wasn’t serious about breaking up and we were able to reconcile. I talked with him about my fears and insecurity regarding his ex and everything has been cleared up. She is finally over him. It is such a relief to know she doesn’t love him anymore. My love and i have been through many misunderstandings, many disagreements, many arguements and many fights but all of it has helped us to become stronger. We’re looking forward to our 6th month together :D

Reply November 1, 2011, 3:57 am

Ms.V

That sounds great :) Congrats!! I am really happy for you even tho we dont know each other. I guess what you both been through counts the most in your relationship. It’s gonna stay and go strong in a long term. No worries!! Happy semi-anniversary!! lol Have a good one!

V

Reply November 2, 2011, 1:08 pm

Sasha

Aww thanks :D You’re right. Love is never easy and for me it never has been and never will be but that just makes me want to try harder :)

November 3, 2011, 1:40 am

Sasha

And btw should i meet my bf’s ex? Do you think it might help to alleviate some of my fears if i meet her? Maybe if we meet it will show her ‘who’s the girlfriend’ and ‘who’s the ex’. Or would that be a bad idea? Will it make me seem overprotective? Will it make me seem like i’m picking a fight with my bf’s ex? And will it make my bf feel like i don’t trust him?

Reply October 6, 2011, 3:07 am

Sasha

Ok so my bf of 5 months says he’s over his ex. They dated for 7 months and that was 2 years ago. They still keep in touch eventhough she’s now in a different country. I trust my bf that he’s telling me the truth that he really is over her but i get the feeling that she’s not over him. He told me she said she still loves him and recently she had a relationship with another guy but it didn’t last and she ended it. I feel she is still in love with my bf. She knows he is with me (she and i have not met) but I fear that if she is still in love with him she will do everything she can to get him back no matter what. I cannot compete with my bf’s ex. She is prettier and smarter than me and a whole lot more. I can’t ask my bf to cut contact with her. They are close friends and i respect that. It’s her i’m more worried about than him. Even if he’s over her, if she’s not over him could that be a problem to our relationship? He says he loves me and wants to be with me. I trust him but i wish there was something i could do to get his ex out of the picture. She tried to move on with another guy but she just can’t forget her ex (my bf). She wants him to visit her and he said he would. I’m scared that she might try to win him back and that he might give in to her especially if i’m not there with him. I can’t tell him not to see her and if i insist on going with him would that make me seem like an overprotective gf? I love him and trust him and i want him to have a good time catching up with his ex but i’m scared. If she tries to reignite the flames and bring back the spark he just might give in eventhough he doesn’t love her anymore. You know how guys are physical creatures. That’s what i’m worried about. If he can’t control himself and gives in to her that will be the end of us. It will break my heart to lose him to his ex. One more thing that she has that i don’t have is a much longer and seemingly stronger friendship with him. They knew each other since the beginning of high school and were friends for 3 years before they dated in their final year of school. On the other hand i only knew him for 2 months before we dated. But he says i am the exception and that just because we were friends for only 2 months doesn’t mean that we can’t be lovers for a lifetime. He says we clicked instantly unlike with his ex it took a few years for them to click. I truly do believe him. But i just feel so powerless over his ex. What she has is a childhood friendship with my bf which i don’t have. What i have is the love we share which she no longer has with him. What she has is a one sided love for him. Can i truly rely on our love to hold us together and keep us together? Is it strong enough to pull us through? Is our love stronger than their friendship? Can love be stronger than friendship? Our 5 month love vs their 5 year friendship. Who will win?

Reply October 6, 2011, 2:52 am

Ms.V

Remember you are the one who is with him now. Dont over stress yourself. There is a reason why she is the past. Personal experience, when a guy/girl has full confidence of him/herself usually is more attractive and made his/her partner feel relaxed. When you doubt yourself, you are making him doubt about himself too. He might think maybe there was still something between him and his ex and you see it, which is actually nothing, but not him. Plus, if he really loves you, he wont leave you. So, why should you trouble yourself thinking about the “what ifs” when there is nothing happening? Won’t it be better to spend those time and energy thinking about how to make you two happy than thinking about his past? :) It is not a competition and he is not an award. He is a person that you love who loves you back. Just be yourself and relax and you will be just fine.

Reply October 18, 2011, 11:04 pm

Amber

Hey Well i’m single but theirs this guy i really like he says he likes me but i don’t know if he does or not. Like i’ve been texting him the past few days and he hardly ever talks to me anymore like he’ll hardly text me back. And usually at night i’ll text him and say goodnight but thats when he wants to talk. We’ve hanged out 3 times and we have dated before but we didn’t take it real we were kind of young then. I can say we haven’t really hanged out a lot like we should but this weekend i am planning on it i hope so? But sometimes he acts like i get on his nerves because i text him a lot when he doesn’t reply back but today the only time i have text him was tis morning and i said i hope you have a good day and i haven’t said texted him but that text today? should i just give him sometime or move on?

Reply October 4, 2011, 7:32 pm

Les

I have been on two dates with a guy, following this he was sending me sweet texts telling me how happy he is signing them xo and telling me he missed me. We live about an hour and a half away from each other. Suddenly after his parents came down for a weekend I did not hear from him for three days. He finally did call me up and told me his father has cancer which is why his parents were down, they came to tell him. He has not called me since that day however every three or four days will send me a text message. When i respond he will stay wait days to write back. He is no longer signing the texts xo and has not said anything about getting together again. I am willing to be there for him during this time however as we don’t know each other well i don’t want to push it. For now I have just been letting things go responding when he texts but am unsure how long I should let this go on for? I am not taking it personally however we met online and he is still signing into his online account several times a day, my thoughts being if he has time to sign into his online account he has time to send me a text. What should I do?

Reply October 3, 2011, 11:18 am

kathy

Youre not alone Les. Sometimes it could be tempting to think such relationship is goin stagnant or sinking and im unsure how much space wud a guy really need when having low days. Difficult for a long term relationship, less communication.How confusing. All i know is keeping lines open.

Reply November 2, 2011, 11:21 pm

JoLin

I think this is great advise. The guy I’ve been dating fir the past 4 months does similarly. Things were going great until his personal life became really stressful. Everything in it just blew up on him so he started pulling away from me. Of course I thought I did something wrong but after talking about it, he admitted his whole life just feels out of control so he can’t put any more effort into “us” until he gets life together again. I’ll admit I have a very hard time giving him the space he needs and finding the balance between enough space and too much space is nearly impossible. So for now, I try to follow his lead. Since we’ve talked about the situation, we both know we’re on the same page and want the relationship to work. I Judy have to constantly remind myself to hang on when it’s hard…it’s not personal. Thanks for a great response and to the OP, good luck and hang in there!

Reply October 3, 2011, 5:27 am

jenny

LOVE STORY… HAPPY ENDING OR NO?
on august 18 2008 miguel alked jenny to be his gf by phone. it was his first gf. they only had seen eachohter for 3 days and they went out after that. they were so in love that they would even get made fun of in church and in their homes. sometimes they would even get in trouble at church for being “to in love” they texted eachother everyday. 3 years later shey wold have arguments. jenny would want things her way. and once he inveted his gf to go to his mom wedding so she could renew he vows. she couldnt, jenny said that he couldnt txt her al all. bc she was a very pride person in a bad way. miguel would snet her txt such as i love u ect. and she would reply saying to not txt or she whouldnt call him. later he sent her a text that he wanted to brake up. she called until he answerd and he explaind that he was tired of her acting mean. that nigth jennies mom called miguel. he explaind what happend and she agred but she said either if he would help jenny out with their relationship or he had to completely forget about her. at the end he took her back. a monht later jenny noticed he wasnt loving as before. she kept asking and asking what was wrong. all he would say is nothing. then she aksed him again. he had told her he didnt love her anymore. jenny decided not to fight and said ok. during this time jenny had a health problem. he stomach grew largly. she tough it might had been bc of her period. and she knew she wanst pergnant bc she and her bf are absitence. one night she couldnt help but think that the guy she had so much in common and whom she loved and thought he loved her had left. she began to feel worse. she didnt eat for 3 days and bacame dizzy and felt like vomoting all the time. that same night her dad took her to the emergency room. they had givin her a CAT scan. they found out she had a cist that coverd her whole stomach. they had said that she was going to need a surgury to remove along with her ovary since it came from it. a day before the surgury she called her ex to apoligize since her mom had sent him a mean txt the day they broke up. she explaind what happend and he wanted her to call him asoon as her surgury was done. when she did they talked he had told her that he loved her. and said that he knows it might b confusing to hear that but he was going to lwt her know when he meant it. soon they became freinds with benifits on that day. they talked and soon they attented the same college. they are talking huging kissing and he asked her out. jenny said no bc she didnt want to seem desprate. he said that he would try again… but now amonth has passed and he hasnt asked her yet. the other day she saw him coming out of class with a lady. she didnt see her but by her voice jenny thought she might have been young. she got jeaoluse. and mad. but then it passed.he knew jenny was there. but he still showed her affection.. however. she notices he dsnt ask her to call him or anything. and on phone he treats her normal. he said he would make her fall in love with him much more than she was now. but for jenny it dsnt seem like he is trying. what should she think what should she do.?
help me decide. is my love to big for him?….

Reply September 28, 2011, 4:26 pm

Vaishali

First off, I just want to say somehow almost all of your articles seem to hit home with and i treasure your advice you give, especially your recent email about how women tend to read more into text messages than men.

I’m currently dealing with a similar situation where (I think) stress is pulling him away. The guy I’ve expressed interest in is actually a professional athlete so his life is constant stress. He’s new to the profession so he has the demands of fighting for his job everyday, evaluating if the new people in his life are in it for the fame and money or for him, and the constant pressure of going from a student athlete to having a full-time high pressure job. Unfortunately his team’s performance has been poor and the members of the team are definitely feeling the brunt of it which means harder practices and more to study.

After a loss he’ll shut down and disappear for a day or two. We’ve discussed the important factors between us, that we like each other, that we’ll do our best to try and remain on the same page and discuss (like adults) when we’re not. I’ve also expressed to him that when he “disappears” I’m never worried about another woman or that I’ve done something wrong, I just miss him as it is a long distance relationship-in-the-works. We’ve also discussed him coming to visit me, and me going to see him but since I am stubborn about showing him his money isn’t the reason for my attraction I requested he let me pay for my trip myself which is why the trip is currently delayed at the moment. He’s introduced me to his best friends through skype and even requested that when I go to a friend’s wedding this weekend I go without a date since he won’t be able to attend with me.

Lately though, since our discussion, I tend to panic slightly when he withdraws. I wonder if it’s just me. I wonder if he’s saying what I want to hear, or if he’s genuine. Again, he has done NOTHING for me to not trust him, I just have general trust and abandonment issues.

Please help. I’ve done a good job of not showing him my concerns. I’ve kept them to myself, because by the third day he comes back around and we’ll end up skyping once or twice a week for hours at a time. But the stress when he’s gone is draining.

Any advice will be much appreciated. My self induced panic has been the cause of a lot of bad endings to potential relationships and I am trying what I can to avoid that and know that IF it doesn’t work out with this particular person, I can look back and know that it wasn’t my fault.

Reply September 27, 2011, 8:17 pm

Ms.V

I am kind of in the same situation or maybe worse. What I did was still text him once in two weeks. Most of the time he won’t reply unless it’s something serious. I thought about the same things as you did, wondering if he is just being nice. But I believe no one knows him better than I do and that also apply to you. Sometimes other people’s stories affects our judgements. I just try to be calm, work out constantly and believe what my gut is telling me. What I am doing is simply stop texting and let him take the control. Keeping myself beautiful and successful is important either way. A relationship takes two to tango and I cant force him to stay. I love him and if time or others is what he needs and makes him happier, I should let him have it. That’s what true love is I assume. :) At least you guys are still talking and everything. Hang on and be strong :)

Reply November 3, 2011, 9:43 am

Lovli

I am going through that now. Kinda heartbreaking because we are so close. But he went through a divorce with two kids and things has been hitting him alot lately with money, work, kids, ex-wife so he has been stressed out. I try to offer support and encouragement, but he still is stressed and lately been withdrawn because he feels bad that i am going through this with him. I care for him alot. I don’t know what else to do, but to give him space, workout, and try to stay busy. Which has been very hard to do when I’m used to communicating with him 3-4 times a day and we been together for 7 months and was planning a future together. If anyone has any advice on that..I’m open to it.

Reply July 23, 2013, 5:43 pm

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