Busy boyfriend—should I take a step back?

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Hope 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #836293 Reply


    My boyfriend and I are in LDR for close to 2 years and was going strong. He used to be very attentive(even demanding) for texting/calling and maintaining our relationship. I wasn’t so used to it in the beginning but slowly accepted it, and we would keep calling for hours at a time. (Actually wasnt so healthy since i prioritized him too much and fell behind in my studies) Recently he graduated from college and started working, and have been so busy and stressed having to work late into the night, that we talk much less now. And when we video call I often catch him scrolling through Instagram/news websites even when I was talking to him about something serious. I brought it up to him a few times and he apologized, saying he just needed some mindless activity to recharge. But the thing is after he scrolls around he is tired and just falls asleep. He used to be the one who initiates calls and texts, but nowadays I’m usually the one to initiate and sometimes he doesn’t respond until much later(though he is online he doesn’t read them) I feel like he is sort of coasting and not putting much effort in nowadays… for me it’s kind of a shock compared to what it was like before, although I can try to be more understanding since he is running low himself. So.. what should I do? Is this a red flag?

    #836299 Reply


    This is not so much a red flag but more a sustainable question. Do you two meet each other regularly and plan to live closer or something like that? If not, then you have more of virtual bf. And the chances one of you gets bored of that are high.
    If you do see him face to face and all is good except his contact time is less now because he is working, i would say makes sense. If the two if you are serious plan less time but take care of quality. In ldr communication is important but consider watching a movie together every week for example. And focus on face to face dates

    #836311 Reply


    Ah yeah we actually live in different countries (Europe and Asia) and met when he was on a student exchange. Because of COVID we haven’t met for over a year 😅. So yes you are right we have more of a “virtual relationship” haha. I have about 2 more years of grad studies, and he has a bond to work for the government for another 2 years. But we do talk about the future/marriage and moving to the same location afterwards. Right now because of various reasons I’m taking a year off of school, so I wanted to visit him in Asia sometime, although getting the visa is an issue in these COVID times.

    Thank you for the advice! We do try to spend to weekend together on video calls. But once he starts work I just feel kinda lonely… I don’t know if it’s normal or I’m being clingy?

    #836312 Reply


    How far is your LDR? Do you have any plans of integrating your lives, say when you’re both done with school?

    I can definitely understand where he’s at as I too struggled with my LDR partner when I was super busy running my business. He felt like you do during those times and I had to let him know it wasn’t him but I was too tired and mentally drained to engage in another discussion. I literally couldn’t wait to decompress and do ‘mindless’ things because my brain was tapped and I NEEDED to unwind it in order to calm it enough to fall asleep.

    I would stop pushing him to communicate when the last thing he wants to do is talk as he’s probably sapped by having many conversations throughout the day; whereas engaging in one more is a chore so to speak. I would wait for him to initiate when he’s in the mood to talk without distractions. When you do the initiating, try to find a good time after he’s had some time to ‘decompress’ and is in a better mindset to talk but I would try to keep them short and upbeat unless he’s in a communicative mood, at which point, he will keep talking when he’s in it.

    My partner learned how to navigate it to the point he can immediately tell by the sound of my voice whether I’m in a communicative mood or not and knows to keep it short when I’m not.

    #836313 Reply


    We used to be able to talk about deep and personal things and get each other easily, and didn’t feel bored even with hours of talking. But now it’s harder to engage him for any serious topic, say at New Years I wanted to talk about how we grew in the past year etc, he jokes around or gets distracted. So lately I haven’t felt as connected 😌

    #836316 Reply


    Lane, thank you for that perspective! It helps to know that he just needs the space and I can grow to be more understanding too. But does it also affect your relationship in some ways? Or not too much?

    #836330 Reply

    Lolita Phillips

    i have a friend that i have been involved with for about 4 years we use to talk all the time but now he work 2 jobs and we dont communicate as much we still talk on the phone and text and we still see each other i really like him actually falling in love but i get mad when he dont respond back to me right away and when he do he tell me he was sleep do i believe him yes he even sometimes text me out of the blue when im not expecting to hear from him so yes he does check on me time to time.

    #836336 Reply


    No, it has no bearing on our relationship because our bond is strong enough to deal with any hardships we may go through.

    A big part of being in a relationship is accepting that things do change and you have to be flexible when they do. He has a new job, there’s a learning curve and a higher level of stress to perform in the way his bosses and co-workers need him to. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with starting a new job, fitting in and performing well so that’s where all his energy is going at the moment. He’ll eventually settle in and be less stressed once he bends the curve so to speak, so just be patient and understanding for the next few months.

    #836424 Reply

    T from NY

    In my frank opinion – this definitely doesn’t seem sustainable for 2 more years if you aren’t allowed to visit. Honestly I’m surprised you don’t see how normal his behavior is for a man who hasn’t seen, or had sex, with his girlfriend in a year! Sure some marriages and long term relationships can survive long distance when it’s a necessity (due to one partners job etc) but even if y’all spent a year or two together – you just spent one year physically apart. Men don’t bond through words, they bond through shared activities. I would completely take a step back, start focusing more on yourself, stop trying to having deep discussion or feelings chats and make arrangements as quickly as your able to visit him. Don’t play games – but get into your own stuff enough that you become mysterious to him again, and he wonders what YOUR doing. No! It’s not satisfying, and I understand (believe me) that once a sweet little routine of communication is established it’s very difficult to allow that to change without getting anxious. But I would also give him major slack because although many relationships ‘survive’ distance, very few ‘thrive’ unless there is regular intervals of physical contact. Diligently work on taking the focus off of him and the relationship, because if he wants it to work, he will make sure he does. It wouldn’t be anyone’s fault if things changed or didn’t work out. There’s you can DO to repair whatever’s happening as the other person has to CHOOSE. All you can DO is YOU. Wish you finding peace as you can! It will only help!

    #836600 Reply


    Hi T from NY, thank you for the reminder to focus on myself/my career. Yeah I definitely feel this clinginess is a byproduct of being too free, because during the semester I’m a lot less concerned about it. 😌 But since now I’m in a gap year and haven’t figured out what I’m doing… hopefully soon though! And since laney’s comment, I’ve cut back on the calling/engaging him when he’s tired and just let the conversation flow wherever it leads. Like you said a relationship is about choosing each other, there’s nothing I can force to happen haha

    #837224 Reply


    Hii guys, just wanted to say thank you for all the advice ☺️🙏. There’s a tangible shift in our relationship when I stopped trying to control the situation, got busy with finding research projects and hanging out with friends, and just letting him take the lead/matching his energy levels. In fact he became much more loving and talkative, and it feels much better that it’s his choice to and not because I guilt-tripped him. Haha but we really do miss each other’s presence and hope to meet this year soon. Thank you again for all the wisdom and seasoned advice! Might post more in the future hehe🙏

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