Please help! My boyfriend of three years has started to pull away and I’m afraid I’m about to lose him. Everything was fine until a few weeks ago, when he started to act differently. He started calling me less, doesn’t seem to care if we see each other or not, and never has much to say anymore. Before this happened, we talked off and on throughout the day, he’d rush over after work to see me and we talked all the time! Now, it’s like he can’t even be bothered with me. When I ask if I did anything, he always gets an attitude and acts like I’m crazy. He won’t even acknowledge that anything is different between us. What should I do?
Floundering in South Florida
My Dear Floundering Floridian Friend,
First of all, calm down! We women like to make everything all about us, don’t we? I’m only half joking, here. Seriously, don’t let a few weeks of odd behavior make you crazy, Girl. Y’all have been together for three years, so these few weeks are just a drop in the bucket!
In all likelihood, your man’s odd behavior probably has nothing to do with you. He could be under new pressures at work or having some kind of family drama. It could be anything! Don’t be too quick to think it’s all about you or your relationship. He may be trying to work whatever it is out by himself for now, but will likely open up to you about it soon. So, for now, I advise you to hang in there and be patient. Don’t nag or bug him. Give him the space he obviously needs.
That said, there is something to be said for a woman’s intuition, ESPECIALLY when it comes to her man. Our instincts are rarely wrong. And since you’ve taken the time to write to me, your instincts are obviously telling you that something’s amiss. So, while I say be patient for now, don’t let this go on for too long.
Give it another week or two. If your boyfriend hasn’t opened up about what’s bothering him by then, it’s time to trust your instincts and do some investigating on your own. No, I don’t mean for you to start going through his pockets or his phone (though I wouldn’t be too mad at you if you did – I just can’t, in good consciousness, advise snooping). I mean, do some above-board, “concerned girlfriend” type investigating. Talk to his friends and family to see what they know. If nothing else, they’ll alert him to your concerns which might prompt him to start talking.
From your letter, it sounds as though you’ve asked him if anything was wrong between the two of you. But have you tried to talk to him about this in a way that doesn’t put you and your relationship smack dab in the middle of whatever it is that’s bothering him? In other words, remove yourself from the equation and ask about HIM.
And don’t beat around the bush about it, either. Sit him down and ask him, point blank, what is going on in his life that has him behaving differently. Don’t be confrontational, though. Don’t put him on the defensive. Try to approach it out of genuine concern and a willingness to help. Let him know that you love and support him, so that he’ll feel comfortable talking to you. After three years, I’m sure you know how to finesse it and get him to talk. You just have to take yourself out of the equation, that’s all.
Between your own investigation and this direct approach, you should be able to get to the bottom of whatever it is that’s got your guy acting strange. If both approaches yield nothing, than you may actually have a problem. He could be seeing someone else. Or the relationship may have just run its course for him. Either way, after three years, he does owe you an explanation.
But let’s not assume the worst, just yet. Give it a little more time and then press forward. Good luck!