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Advice on increasingly distant boyfriend

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So I've been seeing my boyfriend for about 2 and a half months now, we were friends for 5 or 6 months beforehand, regularly spoke and hung out. He always knew I had a thing for him but he never seemed interested in that way until 11 weeks ago when he asked me out (although I'm told that there was a certain spark between us a good bit before then by my other gay friends).

Things were fine for the first 7 weeks or so, we talked a lot, met up when we both were off work, hung out with our friends etc, then I had him over at my house for a night and we shared my bed. Nothing happened because I'd told him that I was happy with him setting the pace of things (he was 19 then and I'm 24, he never has had any issue with the small age gap) so we just cuddled and fell asleep. He was much more comfortable and affectionate the next day before he left to go home and overall I thought things were going very well. Then he vanished for about 6 days with no explanation and no contact, ignoring texts and calls. When I finally got speaking to him again he just claimed he got like that sometimes and I let it go, I know he's had periods of mild depression before.


The problem I have is that this behaviour continued for another 2 weeks, he would give me his work hours then ignore requests to spend time together, we were off for 2 days recently (first time in a long time to spend tiome together) and he ignored me again, then claimed he did "nothing" when he was off. When I finally asked him about it he apologised for his avoidant behaviour but wouldn't explain why he'd been behaving like that and insisted everything with him was ok. I gave him several chances to say if he wanted to end things but he insisted that we were good and I hadn't done anything to annoy him.

His avoidant behaviour is still going on though, this last week he's been difficult to contact and he's going back to his further education college this week (I'm heading back to uni in 2 weeks) so he's busy all week with that and work.

I'm feeling rotten, he's always been pretty quiet and introverted and just as geeky as me but the way he suddenly went completely dark for so long and for no apparant reason yet still wants to go out with me worries me. Are my worries misplaced or am I right to be concerned and what should I do? When I ask him about how things are he gets quite serious and just blanks me with a simple "everythings fine", when I try to talk about more personal things he clams up and looks almost angry, he's not overly affectionate in private but especially not in public so I asked him if he minded about people knowing about us and he was conused that I thought that he would mind and yet he's been even less affectionate since.

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My sense is that for some reason your boyfriend feels he can't truly be himself, that it is just a lot of work to be around you. Maybe he feels self conscious about the fact that there isn't a lot of passion between the two of you. From what I can tell that doesn't seem to be a top issue for you. I wonder if it isn't time to clear the air.

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Is he openly gay with everyone in his life? Or is it possible he is trying to hide that about himself? I suggest this as a possibility because I have known some gay friends who have acted similarly, where they cannot overcome their inner-self at times, but then other times they are in denial about it.

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@lukeb I don't think the passion side of things comes into it for him as I tend to be the one who's more openly affectionate, to the extent that he seems to need me to initiate everything before he'll go along, even something as minor as a hug or kiss.


@Penseur That I don't know. His attitude and the way he speaks says to me that he is but he's very close to his father and I don't know if he's told him about us. It has crossed my mind that his father amy not know or be happy about his nature and this is weighing on him but I so rarely see him in person that I haven't been able to ask him.

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It's a fact that most men deliberately don't call, just to he how you respond. When you are upset, you are easy to read. And he can easily gauge how much you want or need the relationship by simply pulling back a little bit. When you react emotionally, it gives him a feeling of control. And if you react emotionally frequently, over time he will come to see you as less of a mental challenge. If he can't predict how you'll always react, you remain a challenge.


If you don't hear from him for a little longer than usual, show him that you have absolutely no "attitude" about it. This behavior will make him a little unsure about whether you miss him (i.e. "need him") when he isn't around. It gives him a reason to come your way because he won't perceive you as needy.


Try not to say things such a "Why haven't you called me?" or "Why haven't I heard from you in a week?" If you act as though you haven't even noticed (because time flies when you're having fun), he will come your way. Why? Because he doesn't feel as though he has a 100 percent hold on you. I hope this advice helps.

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@PrettyGood Well I can give that a go, I'm just concerned that this behavour seemed to come out of nowhere with no rhyme or reason. I was never needy with him, he always knew that I'd try to meet him once or twice a week if possible, it makes no sense that he would suddenly disappear with no explanation and with no reason for it. One of my friends thinks he's never actually been properly involved with anyone before so perhaps its inexperience or fear but I'm most concerned with how he understands that his behaviour annoyed me and apologised for it but wouldn't give an explanation.

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@Dicallo - We're both guys. It's actually closer to 4 years, all this happened around his 20th birthday. Also he and I were friends for a good bit before he asked me out, I didn't ask him out, he had plenty of time to work out how he felt and what he wanted that coupled with my tendency to be mistaken for a 19 year old myself. I've also pressed him on the age gap already and he really doesn't care, he was shocked that I though he would care just as he was shocked that I didn't know if he wanted others to know about us.

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@Dicallo I pressed him on that when we first started seeing each other though, I really don't think it's got anything to do with things now. I'm more likely to think that he's either inexperienced or there's something else wrong that he's not telling me, I posted to see if anyone here had similar issues or knew how to proceed, so far it's been pretty helpful. I guess my core question would be that if he's tired of me or wants to end things because he no longer feels the same way (which crossed my mind when he went dark for those 3 weeks, I've had it happen to friends before) why did he not say when I pressed him on it and when I gave him the oportunity to cut and run?

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How many relationships has he been in since coming to terms with being gay?


If he's not familiar with the ins and outs of a new relationship, he may be pretty shaky internally about just what it all means to him, and how to handle things. And it may take him some back and forth to figure out just what he is and isn't comfortable with, during which he could seem anything from insecure to distant.


Best thing I can think of is to make sure he knows there's nothing off-bounds for him to talk to you or question you about - and sit back a bit, let him control some of the give and take. You were friends before becoming more - that's a solid start, so just make sure he knows you have an open mind and ear like any friend or partner should.

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@Mesemene Yes, I understand. I've told him that he can talk to me about anything openly and I'll not judge him so he knows he can, the problem is that he rarely opens up.


Thing is, if he's not used to it, it'll feel as awkward as trying to steer a car with his feet.


Like all other good things, it can take time and patience for someone to open up if they're used to keeping things to themselves, whether it's because they've been a loner by nature, thought their thoughts would be unacceptable, or were shy or afraid of criticism.

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See there you go again! Just because you SAY he can be open and you won't be judgmental doesn't MEAN he's going to just take your word for it go and do it.


People are not robots.


I never said that he would believe me, I just said that he knows what I've told him and rarely opens up. I didn't say he rarely opens up and he -should- because of what I say. He's opened up before albeit in a minor way, it's just rare for him to do so.


@Mesemene Yes believe me I know about that, I was like that when I was younger too. I guess I'm just frustrated that his behaviour seems so arbitrary due to him not giving his reasons, maybe he doesn't realise that when he doesn't explain why he behaves in a certain way it opens up the possibility of people misunderstanding/misjudging him.

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You said he knows he can open up because you won't be judgmental. You expect him to take what you say at face value and that's presumptive.


People lie all the time!


He could open up and tell you something and you could turn around and say "Holy Mother of God I cannot believe you just said that!"


I'm not interested in arguing semantics, I said that he knows (implying as-far-as-I-know) that I won't judge him if he chooses to open up and tell me something and that he rarely opens up. I wasn't linking those two statements, I was saying that I told him I wouldn't be judgemental (never said he beleived me, I can't make him do that) in order to make him feel more comfortable opening up more but he rarely opens up anyway so I wasn't expecting much in that regard.

And I accept that people lie but if you assume that people are lying all the time in a relationship then that's not a great place to be, I can't be constantly suspicious of him lying all the time, I accept that's a possibility but "he's lying" is a poor baseline assumption.

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