Withdrawing because of stress, not sure what to do

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This topic contains 36 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Anderson 1 month ago.

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  • #838384 Reply


    Hi guys, I need some unbiased advice on my situation please.

    I’ve been dating this guy for 3 months (dating app) and for most part it’s been going very well. Communication has been good and consistent, he initiated pretty much all the dates, he’s independent but caring, intelligent, affectionate and chemistry is amazing. We’ve agreed that we’re not seeing anyone else but we’ve not put titles (bf/gf) yet.

    After dating for 3 months we spent Christmas with our families, separately, for two weeks. He did not communicate a lot over that period aside from Christmas Eve and NYE but I didn’t mind because I understood that he wanted to focus on his family and so did I. He contacted me as soon as he came back to check if I came back ok (a day after him) and saying he’s looking forward to meeting up after we both quarantine for a week (Covid times!) and finished with “all my love to you” which was a first.

    This guy is an entrepreneur and leading a start up business. Unfortunately the business was robbed last week and the losses aren’t small… It’s been a very hard blow for him and has created a lot of tension between him and his business partner. When he told me last week, I responded by being very supportive, not giving advice or bombarding him with questions but just saying that I was so very sorry and that I knew it was a hard situation but I had every faith in him and that I will be happy to take care of him and try my best to cheer him up. He responded with hearts and kisses.

    He’s been in his man cave since and I didn’t hear from him for a week. I received a long voice message two days ago where he sounded very down and saying he’s been staying at the business late at night to think a lot. You can tell he’s very affected by what happened and the tensions it has created. He then asked me how I was and finished again with “all my love” and told me to stay safe. No mention of seeing each other. I responded saying that I understand he needs time to think and that I’m sorry he’s having to go through this but that I knew he was going to do the right thing and he’s achieved so much already. I said I’m good and staying safe at home but I miss spending time with him and don’t expect each other to always be super happy when we are getting together but that maybe we could be each other’s little escape from all the mess. He listened to the voice message quickly but still hasn’t replied after two days…

    I know I can’t take it personally but I feel like he’s slipping away and because the relationship is new, it feels fragile… We haven’t seen each other for a month and I have no idea if / when I will see him again. I want to give him his space but I don’t want to act like I don’t care either… And I’m afraid the relationship will fizzle out. Is it normal that he is withdrawing so much?

    #838385 Reply


    This is very bad timing all together. But i do think youre overreacting a bit. You say he didnt reach out for a week but two days ago he send a voice message. So he is not gone. Just trying to recover from the big blow. I know a guy his business got hijacked and he disappeared for over a month trying to solve it and then work with the FBI to do all the paperwork.
    I think what you can do is reach out to him, say you know he has a lot on his plate but if he is up for it, you like to distract him a bit with for example cooking him meal. Where he can vent or not. Or ask if there is something he likes to do that would distract him.

    #838386 Reply


    Hi Sonja
    I won’t lie but this is a shi**y situation to be in. I feel like your walking on eggshells simply because you haven’t been together too long 3 months is not enough time. The fact he is going through stress due to his business losses is also out of your control. I think you did the right thing by saying you would be there for him and I feel that is as far as you should go. The issue with his business is stressful and extremely disappointing to him but he needs to learn how to deal with it. Hopefully he won’t let it get in the way of a blooming relationship IF that is where it is going. On the other hand the fact that you are seeing how he deals with this situation i.e. pulling away and not including you is also an opportunity for you to see how he handles pressure and stressful situations. I understand you’re at odds on what to do because you want to be there for him but you need to give him space to handle his problems. If he doesn’t respond I would reach out 1 more time in a few days just saying hey just wanted to see how you are doing? After that I would let it go and let him come around. We all have to learn how to deal with difficult situations and unfortunately as the person on the other end we cannot control other people’s actions only our own. There is not much you can do or say and if he doesn’t want to spend time with you then like you said do not take it personal.

    #838391 Reply


    It is normal for some men, when their livelihood is under threat. However, I do not know why you agreed to exclusive but not girlfriend. I doubt be is cheating on you, but I suggest you get real focused on your life. Give him 1 more week. I would never agree to not seeing someone for a month and staying exclusive. This is showing you that he will not include you as a partner when the poop hits the fan, you need to pay attention to that.

    I would say to him: bob, I know you are struggling and I want to support you in that. I wanted to let you know I think it is best we are not exclusive while you are sorting this out. The truth is I am looking for a partner that I see (even infrequently and under challenging circumstances), but you seem to need solitude and I want to give that to you. So you take all the time you need, and I look forward to connecting when you have more bandwidth.

    #838392 Reply


    And start going on dates again.

    #838433 Reply


    Thank you for the advice all of you!

    He sent me a very long reply today saying that it’s been a really hard week and giving details of everything and said he always like to spend time with me but this week he really had to focus on the business. He asked if we could meet early next week as by then I would get a better version of him. He also commented on things I mentioned about my job and ended by sending me lots of kisses. So I guess all is not lost!

    Dating other people in lockdown Tallspicy is not easy neither it is recommended I believe. I don’t think I necessarily need to date other people to move on from someone who is not good for me.

    The truth is I like him. We now have plans to see each other which will give us the opportunity to discuss our needs and wants without blame or pressure and we can take it from there. If it becomes apparent that he doesn’t have the time or doesn’t want to dedicate the time to nurture the relationship then I shall move on and heal my bruised ego.

    It’s the not knowing the tricky part! Once you know, you can do the work either way :)

    #838443 Reply


    I dont think this is lost at all. But you have to stop to try to control the outcome and have some real empathy for what he is going through. Because this is not only the phase were he can ghost but also the phase were he finds out youre not the soft cushion to land on. And im saying that because i found the support phrases you gave him sounded rehearsed, as in make him feel manly, and you his fan etc. I recognized the phrases when i did research myself. So im guilty myself here as well. Yeah you like him, but if it falls apart, you will be fine. Meanwhile like i said, try to be more open yourself as well. And i dont mean going to nurse. Absolutely not. But you can tell him you find it hard to support him. And like to be included because you care. Because you do have to find out soon where you stand seeing the timeline. And i dont think it looks that bad. So good luck and be soft

    #839579 Reply


    Update on the situation, I am losing it a little..
    After apologising last Friday for not seeing me because of work and asking if we could meet the coming week, to which I replied yes obviously, I didn’t hear anything until I got a missed WhatsApp call from him at 7pm today. No message. He never calls (not our thing) so I was surprised. I sent a text asking if he tried to call me or pocket dial – no answer. I called back an hour later, he didn’t pick up. Decided that was enough follow up but I am getting so frustrated now.. I wonder if he was going to dump me over the phone and then chickened out. Whatever it is I just wish he communicated more, whether he’s not feeling well or he doesn’t want to continue seeing me for whatever reason. I don’t want to end it but I may have to as this is not making me feel good anymore but I have one ounce of hope that maybe it’s a phase because of the situation with his business. Everything was so good until the issue with the business… I don’t know what to do!

    #839584 Reply


    Leave it alone. I had some hopes for you but i think its dead. Also because you dont call. Stop calling him, stop reaching out

    #839588 Reply


    I speak from experience so I’m going to be straight up with you, do not become a source of contention.

    I own a business, it was robbed a couple times plus I have to deal with all kinds of licenses, inspections, equipment issues, etc. and it can be very overwhelming at times! My partner felt like you. I went distant, not responding and he too was super concerned that I was ‘slipping away’ so to speak.

    I wasn’t slipping away. I just had so much on my plate that I didn’t have any more energy or head space to give to him. It had nothing to do with how I felt about him, or us but I was becoming annoyed by his “peppering” which is why I’m telling you to back off and not ask anything more of him right now.

    Its too new to expect BF treatment from him, especially during a very stressful time. What I do know is that if you give him the space to deal with it, he will pay you back ten fold when he comes up for air. Just do you right now. Hang out with friends, work on a hobby, watch some comedies, anything to keep your focus off him and on you. Nothing you can do but just give him ‘a little’ bit of time, such as a week and then decide to walk away if he doesn’t step back in on his own.

    #839597 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    A guy you’re dating 3 months says on a Friday that he’d like to see you the following week, and you hear nothing from him til Thursday night? (I’m not even addressing the fact that you didn’t even speak, but only had a missed call). No text or call all week? No guy is that busy. He’s not into you. A guy who wants a romantic relationship with a woman would not go 6 days with radio silence. He just wouldn’t. It doesn’t matter how busy his business is. And even more so that he didn’t bother to reply when you called him back.

    I think you’ve reached the dreaded 3 month relationship endpoint. Many relationships end at 3-4 months. If you read this forum you’ll see many women who post because their boyfriend has dumped them, or is pulling away, or even ghosted them after 3-4 months of dating. I’m sorry but I agree with newbie, just leave this guy alone. Don’t call or text. I would consider the relationship over. You know you deserve better treatment than this.

    #839609 Reply


    This is no longer about “giving him space” or whether or not you’re BF/GF. He called you Friday and asked to see you earlier this week and then didn’t follow up. That’s just straight up flaky and rude. And, I”m sorry to say, a sign he’s not that into you. In thinking of all my dating and relationship experience I can’t think of one instance where the guy was really all in that he went 6 days without communicating and or asked to see me after he’d been stressed and busy with work and didn’t follow through.

    I”m in agreement with Liz and Newbie. Leave him alone, totally. Either this is his way of fading away and he’ll stay gone or he’ll come back next week apologizing profusely and asking to see you again. If you decide to agree to see him, then when you get together make sure you raise your concerns and frustrations over being left hanging on a broken promise. Don’t get too heavy about it, but you do need to say something or it will fester. You need to nip this in the bud if you’re going forward with him.

    If someone treats me like this they’re on a bit of probation. Anyone can have a rough patch and mess up, but I”ll be watching closely to see if it was a one off or if it’s a pattern. This is where you’re teaching him how he can treat you. If you put up with any more of this, he’s going to think it’s OK. This is the way it works in any kind of relationship – lovers, friends or business.

    #839621 Reply


    You do nothing. If he’s really dealing with something, he needs time to do that. If he’s ditching you, you’ll never hear from him again. You can’t make someone love you and there’s no way to guess what the outcome will be. I realize this is an uncomfortable position to be in, but you will not die if you never hear from him again.

    #839682 Reply


    I don’t understand why women believe men should revolve around them and their needs all the time??? Where does this mindset come from?

    People go through hardships, struggling, or have things they need to tackle and shouldn’t be demonized for doing so. I have given men a lot of space in these instances, especially when they tell me up front what their dealing with. I cut them the amount of slack/space they need and when I do, they naturally step back in and picked up where we left off as if the days, weeks or months, yes as in SEVERAL MONTHS of not having the ability to communicate with my husband due to military deployments. When they return they will double down and give you extra time and attention because they are so appreciative of your support.

    Men used to go out for days/weeks to hunt, went to war, travelled for extended periods of time without communicating with their women for centuries and guess what, they survived. SHOCKING I know! Just because we can reach out and annoy each other 24/7 today doesn’t mean we should. Like they say “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”, maybe the ladies should learn it?

    #839710 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    Oh come on. There’s an enormous difference between a husband in the military, or a long-term partner needing space to deal with some personal things, and a guy who you’ve been dating 3 months who is not committed to you. This guy is *not committed to the OP* and is making no effort to do so. He is making no effort to make her feel that he is interested. And yes, going 6 days with zero communication with someone you’re dating is a sign of very low interest. Texting takes seconds. You can text while sitting on the toilet, for Pete’s sake. Texting is super low effort and this guy isn’t even doing that.

    If this guy cared about the OP and wanted to make sure she felt cared for, he would reach out. ESPECIALLY after asking to see her “early next week” last Friday, and then making ZERO effort to contact her. That’s just rude.

    It’s very telling that this guy was very communicative and “everything was great” and all of a sudden came to a screeching halt at 3 months. It’s obvious that he’s lost interest and is using his business as an excuse.

    #839739 Reply


    Sorry but you don’t have HIS SIDE nor know what he’s going through. I’m tired of the ladies automatically assuming every single guy is showing low interest just because he doesn’t reach out within a certain amount of time. The problem with this is the other party wants to keep engaging, so its best not to start a conversation when you’re not in the proper headspace to engage in one. I do it often, doesn’t mean I don’t like/love them or intentionally ignoring them, I’m just not in a good place to engage and will when I’M READY.

    Priorities shift and life gets in the way sometimes. Cutting people some slack isn’t a hard thing to do, ya know.

    #839743 Reply


    @Lane, you normally give great advice but sometimes it’s not so helpful because you’re a lot more like a man than a woman in the way you deal with relationships and you’ve got the military background. It’s great you’ve got your life and relationship so together. But most women (and men) aren’t like you and they’re posting here because they don’t know how to handle a situation. Just telling them to suck it up and be more like you, someone who is very self contained, emotionally detached, not terribly interested in marrying again and happy with a man who isn’t with her for weeks and even months at a time, is only going to make someone who posts a question here feel worse about themselves. Sometimes I think you’re kind of tone deaf to people who aren’t like you, you know? Not wanting to insult you or pick a fight, so no need to blast back at me or defend yourself. I know you’re entitled to your opinion. Just a polite suggestion that maybe you consider everyone’s not as experienced, clear and smart about relationships as you are. Your advice is generally spot on but sometimes you come across as a smug know-it-all and I”m sure that’s not your intention.

    @Liz, unfortunately I think you’re right. And shooting off a text that says “hey, up to the neck, but I”m thinking about you” takes less than 15 seconds. Someone who cares enough and is truly interested can and will do it. Whether in a committed relationship or not. That’s the bottom line. And someone who says he wants to see you early next week and doesn’t follow up, and then calls but leaves no message later in the week is rude by any standard, lover, friend or business as I said before.

    #839750 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    Cutting a guy some slack does not equate to abandoning yourself and your needs. The OP is posting because her emotional needs are not being met by this situation. From the way I interpret her timeline, she has not seen this guy she’s dating since before Christmas- over a month. And the guy is being flaky and vague, yes he’s offered excuses about stress over his business, but he is most definitely not prioritizing his budding relationship with the OP. He is not communicating. That’s his choice, whatever “his side” is. The OP doesn’t have to accept “his side” if it’s not meeting her needs. It’s also the OP’s choice to walk away from a man who is not available for a relationship.

    #839775 Reply


    You can disagree with me all you want but I’ve been in HIS shoes so my advice is based on personal experience. If you have no idea what running a business is like, especially a start up or having to deal with a robbery then good for you! I have and there’s a lot of footwork involved and that’s where your attention and energy NEEDS to be. There is an investment and skin I the game involves here, whereas If a lady is unwilling to let him tackle and deal with it in the way he needs to tackle it, well it says more about her than it does him.

    Taking a step back and doing you isn’t a bad thing. He could spring back when the dust settles or he may not but making any demands on someone who’s clearly dealing with a pile of craps isn’t helpful either.

    #839782 Reply


    As a side note: Thankfully I have a partner who is understanding. There was a time I wanted to dump him because he didn’t understand the nature of what I was dealing with day-to-day. It was only when he saw it first hand (spent time in my business) is when he finally “understood it” and started to back off and do him. It’s what strengthened our relationship.

    #839793 Reply


    I do agree that at some point mentioning we could do months without contact since there were no smart phones or email, becomes irrelevant to posters looking for advice. Lol i already feel pity for the now 12 year olds as it only gets more insta now

    #839801 Reply


    Your right Newbie and relationships now last just as long. I digress.

    #839814 Reply


    This is more about what each person, including OP, can handle… than what’s the “right decision.” I I think the comments here are more so projecting their own personal preferences, than what the guy’s intentions are. Because no one can be sure of what his intentions. His signals are indeed mixed.

    I admit there’s some merit in acknowledging that it’s only been 3 months. Because it’s not impossible for this to be an excuse for him to ghost. But look at how the guy still initiated a call. And hello? He borderline lost his business. Nearly every man’s self esteem revolves around his livelihood. I thought this was common knowledge, especially on this forum.

    I’m always great at communicating. But if I’m going through something rough, I will almost certainly shut down. The comments saying it takes only 15 seconds to send a text… are forgetting that it’s never about time and effort but _mental capacity_. I once juggled a full time job, full time school, and a serious relationship. And it wasnt because I was “serious” about the girl, but because nothing in my life at that point was really overwhelming me. So mentally, I had all the time in the world. Compare this to when I was in a relationship but switching careers. Going for job interviews etc. I had all the “free time” because I had just graduated, yet I was suddenly very uncommunicative during that phase because I was hyperfocused on my transition from grad school to career. Work is my achillies heel. Perhaps my only one.

    I agree with the comment that this is just terrible timing. Because even if he was genuinely interested in you. An incident like this can be difficult to move forward from when your relationship/foundation is this young @3 months.

    And for the record. I like my women to be feminine too. But not princesses. It’s all about a balance. My last relationship taught me a valuable lesson that even though I enjoy being the one who gives majority of… well everything really. I need a potential wifey in my life who’s strong enough to support and handle me at my weakest –on the rare occasions that even happens– instead of freaking out and thinking it’s all about her or the relationship.

    #839880 Reply


    Anderson – ROTFL of course we’re all “projecting our personal preferences.” That’s what an opinion is. That’s all we’re here giving. Our perspectives and opinions.

    Just like you’re one man and you’re one man who thinks that a text is more about mental capacity than it is time and effort. While men’s brains are certainly different than women and they tend to focus on one thing at a time rather than multitask, I nonetheless don’t know a man who has a woman who is truly important to him who fails to find the “mental capacity” to communicate with her just a little at times he is very busy or stressed. So who’s right? Both of us. That’s how you roll; I’ve observed differently in men I know.

    All we can do is guess here. That’s what this site is about. Hearing a story and taking a guess and offering an opinion. This OP and all OPs are tasked with taking the comments on board and applying or not applying the advice.

    #839983 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    To tailgate on what AngieBaby said: I’d been dating my bf for 2 weeks when he had to leave town & take his mom to the hospital for potentially life-threatening surgery. He texted me constantly from the hospital. I heard from him multiple times a day. Because despite his personal stress & everything that was happening, I was on his mind and he wanted to maintain his budding connection with me.

    So yes, of course these are just our opinions and personal experiences. And not all guys are the same. Maybe some guys wouldn’t have the mental capacity to send a text during this time. I myself would not want to date a guy who totally shut me out whenever the sh!t hit the fan. AngieBaby is right that all we can do is give our opinions and the OP needs to make up her own mind and decide what works for her.

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