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Thread: what to do while my boyfriend needs "time"? (sorry if duplicate)

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    what to do while my boyfriend needs "time"? (sorry if duplicate)

    I apologize if this is a duplicate- I am new to this website and not sure if my first post went through.

    My boyfriend of almost 4 years said he hasn't been feeling the same and he's not sure why. I have noticed him being emotionally distant and "there physically but not there mentally" for a few months. Our intimacy levels declined drastically. 2 days ago, he asked for some time to reevaluate his feelings, see where he stands, and do some soul-searching. I asked if this has to do with other women and he said no. I'm taking that as truth because he has never been the play-boy type in the 15 years I've known him.

    I told him to take all the time he needs, but I am feeling lost and not sure how to proceed through this time-out. I am kind of invoking the "No-Contact" rule because I feel that if he needs time, then he should be the one to come back so we can speak. He did not explicitly break-up with me. We have been friends for 15 years, and he helped me through a divorce in 2014 ( I was married young, at 18 and divorced with 1 child at 23) and I helped him through the loss of a sibling. Our friendship naturally progressed to a romantic situation about a year after my divorce. We have been taking it slow and I am perfectly happy to do so. I'm worried he will conclude that he is not ready for a relationship at all (I am his first real girlfriend.) I think we may be at different stages of life. I want to let him figure his head out, whatever the outcome. I just don't know what to do while we are in this limbo he has placed us in.. (In case you're curious, I am 28 and he is 26)

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Have there been other problems that led to this in the previous months? Differences in parenting, financial management issues/difficult living situations, difficult family relationships, work issues? I'm not sure why he would drop that bomb without some information as to why he's feeling the way he is or he and you already know about your pre-existing issues and don't need to verbalize them.

    I don't tend to think very highly of people who put others in situations like this or oscillate back and forth. Think of your kid.

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    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by margotann3
    2 days ago, he asked for some time to reevaluate his feelings, see where he stands, and do some soul-searching.
    I would not give him "all the time he needs" to do this... ask him to commit to a time frame of coming back to discuss this further, given how long you have been together I think you deserve to have some communication from him on what's going on.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have a lot of insight and are doing the right things to handle this. Hang in there but at the same time reflect on what You want.
    Originally Posted by margotann3
    I am kind of invoking the "No-Contact" rule because I feel that if he needs time, then he should be the one to come back so we can speak.

    I think we may be at different stages of life. I want to let him figure his head out, whatever the outcome.

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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    Have there been other problems that led to this in the previous months? Differences in parenting, financial management issues/difficult living situations, difficult family relationships, work issues? I'm not sure why he would drop that bomb without some information as to why he's feeling the way he is or he and you already know about your pre-existing issues and don't need to verbalize them.

    I don't tend to think very highly of people who put others in situations like this or oscillate back and forth. Think of your kid.
    He and I do not live together, and so we have all separate financials and bills and all that. He did just get a new full time job, and is going back to school to further his degree. I know he is not sure how he wants his career life to go, but I figured that given our strong background as best friends, we could navigate his issues together. He could not pinpoint an exact problem when we spoke the other day... I guess maybe I'm just feeling a lot of different emotions all at once.. I'm not sure if it's wise to continue this relationship, but if we do decide to continue it cannot go on as it was. I feel a little like I have always put a little more effort than he has. I'm afraid this is turning into a "I love the man but the relationship" situation because of the distance he has shown me recently. I'm sorry I am rambling. Thank you for taking the time to write your response.

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I'm sorry this is happening. Despite there being differences, he shouldn't be stringing you along or taking too long to decide. I would say one or two days is sufficient. Anything more is disrespectful as he seems on the verge of or in the process of already hurting you and the relationship. I'm not prone to thinking that this person is cognizant of the fact that he's causing that damage or able to see the effects this has on the other person and for that lack of consideration and love.

    You're coming from a place of love and affection so it's painful for you. Take one day at a time and let the space and distance give you clarity too.

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    Platinum Member SGH's Avatar
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    It sounds like this is something he's been thinking of for awhile. Instead of talking to you openly and working on issues, he is choosing to move away from the relationship.

    Some people are really uncomfortable with making firm decisions, because they fear regret. Don't stick around as a backup plan while he tries to make up his mind.

    Oh, and to some degree the potential breakup is about other women. I am not saying he was cheating or leaving you for a specific woman, but no one breaks up to be alone for the rest of their life.

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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    It sounds like you have a lot of insight and are doing the right things to handle this. Hang in there but at the same time reflect on what You want.
    Yes I guess if he needs time, that means I have time too... I have gotten conflicting ideas from various frantic google searches. Some say force him to talk about this now- others say set a time limit- others say leave him alone and focus on myself and self-improvement. I am afraid to do any of these things, but have settled on not contacting him.

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by margotann3
    I think we may be at different stages of life.
    This is what I can't help but see here. By which I mean not only obvious differences, but that he is, right now, at a stage in life where he deals with emotional conflict by imploding, going distant, hoping clarity comes when the dust settles as opposed to settling the dust himself. Not uncommon in a man of his ageóI was very much there, at that ageóbut I think it's really worth looking at this moment with clear eyes.

    I'd give it another day or so, but don't bend too far and don't tread too far down that path where you're patiently teaching him how to "man up" during these moments. Never goes well, that, for either party.

    I'm really sorry about all this. Know it hurts, know it's hard.

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    Originally Posted by SGH
    It sounds like this is something he's been thinking of for awhile. Instead of talking to you openly and working on issues, he is choosing to move away from the relationship.

    Some people are really uncomfortable with making firm decisions, because they fear regret. Don't stick around as a backup plan while he tries to make up his mind.

    Oh, and to some degree the potential breakup is about other women. I am not saying he was cheating or leaving you for a specific woman, but no one breaks up to be alone for the rest of their life
    .
    I suppose that is something that I should consider as well. I don't want to think that way because I love him, and my previous marriage ended in part because we were too young, but also because he had cheated.

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