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Boyfriend distant since failed attempt at sex, tells me he feels drained emotionally. Help?

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Sorry for the essay length reply.



You have a lot of work to do on yourself emotionally and physically to get to a good place before attempting to date again. In the meantime, you should end this relationship with the nowhere man. And the fact of life is that nobody gets through life without being hurt. You let in people who seem like good risks for your heart, and if it they hurt you at some point, you're a survivor and life moves on. Have some faith in yourself that you will heal over time. When you attempt to live in a safe bubble with barriers up, it's not a fulfilling life. Good luck and take care.


Andrina, you're absolutely right. I'm incredibly fearful of getting hurt - it's true that closing myself up in a shell also closes myself to nee positive experiences. I know I need to work on it.


And I'm probably in denial - but it is hard to give up and there's considerable heartache. (why am I defending him?) He did clarify during that crying episode that he meant he didn't believe in the storybook; romantic idealisation of love, that it isn't all flowers and sunshine all the time. Which I agree. When I asked him to define it, he said t was commitment, friendship, growing together - though it troubled me when he said it was like having "a best friend you'd ", though that may have been his sense of inappropriate humour cropping up at the wrong time.


I've always been career-focussed and never thought about marriage being an absolute must-have/ priority, but perhaps the fact that I asked shows that I do see myself wanting it with him? I am also perhaps influenced by my friends who are contemplating such questions. He also said during that talk on marriage that the future is hard to predict, and that a relationship takes two, and it also depended on what I wanted for the future and for us. Admittedly, I was hurt that he didn't seem to want to commit to me.


He hasn't said "I love you" directly save that one time, and I'm not sure if he whispered "love you" twice or thrice before because I have misheard him. Before Sunday he was always affectionate, asking and caring about me, and calling me "sweetheart" and "darling", and always telling me I look pretty when we meet, and when we are in private, even with no makeup on and messy hair. I'm not sure if that could be his way of expressing it?


I don't know. I definitely may be biased here, and I don't mean to be difficult but reading the comments on incompatibility is just as bitter pill to swallow as it is with his short and unaffectionate replies these days. He does reply when I greet him and tell me about his vacation, though he never asks me about my day anymore. So I'm in this state of half wanting to salvage it hope, half hurt.


Even if I were to break up, how do I do it such that I can have some closure/ open up the room to productive dialogue so we can evaluate the relationship? Of course I'd like to try salvage it as foolish and inadvisable as it is. He is flying back in 2 days time. Do I ask him if he still wants me there?

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If you want to salvage the relationship, then go for it. Maybe just talking once he has had a bit of time to settle back in from his holiday. Just be honest. He sounds like he is direct, and hadn't been anything here to indicate he won't be honest with you. Good luck.

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Sorry this is happening. You seem quite insightful regarding everything. Agree that this remark is a negative innuendo, implying he's not happy because you're not convenient. It seems manipulative. In this case it may be wisest to lay back and reflect on this without keeping the chatting going with him to quiet your mind and think.

lately he had been feeling "feeling drained, and frustrated; emotionally, and sexually".
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello kind readers,


Just an update.


We ended up meeting to talk that Wednesday.


After dinner, we sat somewhere quiet, he took my hand and told me "You need to know this - I love you. I did something I shouldn't have." When in tears I asked him what it was, he revealed that he had a one night stand.


I felt blank. Tears dried up, I started shivering, then I went on autopilot and tried to talk through our issues and understand why he did it. When I pressed him for details (like whom, and when, and where), he was cagey and refused to say anything, stating that it was already done and he doesn't see how me knowing more will help. As we discussed the issues, he talked about how lonely and frustrated he was, particularly with my lack of freedom (conservative parents), and how I wasn't able to join him and his friends in their impromptu weekend gatherings during the night, where they would go to bars/ play board games at home. He appreciated my efforts to "try to make up for it", but then said he thinks we should take a break because he doesn't know if we could carry on and it was not fair of him to expect me to change for him.


I asked him why he didn't tell me earlier, and he responded that it had been going on for a while, and my reaching out to him while he was on vacation "was just words". I also told him that everything else was a work in progress - as a young adult I was beginning to enter the workforce so it would be a period of transition. He broke into tears and said he didn't know, and he did want us together.


Only towards the end of our talk when I told him he owes me this much, and I need to know, did he finally answer my questions. Saturday evening, when he texted me he went to bed at 10. It was with a friend who was showing him around, they drank and apparently after he "felt like ", the friend called him an . So there's that.


I was in shock so I asked him what now - he said he'll leave it up to me. We then changed the subject to our shared dance class, the upcoming Valentine's Day, he walked me home.


The week after was weird - he resumed his affectionate texting, but I was still processing and felt blank, just going about my everyday routine. But it would come back in sudden flashes - on public transport, while walking. I couldn't text him affectionately as per normal. I avoided meeting up.


Yesterday we met and I could not hold eye contact with him, or bear to touch him. The anger, disgust and hurt welled up every time I looked at his eyes.


Valentines' Day is coming, and so is a major public holiday two days after Vday. Logically, I know I should end things - as readers have mentioned, we are incompatible in terms of what we want. I have also told him before cheating is a red line.

Emotionally I have mixed feelings - I know I should want to let go and I want to resolve this but I do love him still and I am frustrated that I can't walk away. Also, if I give in - what does this say about me and my boundaries? I may not be able to respect myself.


What can I do to move past these feelings and how can I best structure our talk tomorrow?

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Sorry to hear this. Pull your self respect together and leave him. There are plenty of nice guys out there who won't prowl around or insist they force sex on a virgin. There are guys who will respect you and your values. He's blaming you for his cheating. (most likely all along). The best way to 'structure your talk' is to tell him you've been thinking and it's best to break up, that you are incompatible and have higher standards for yourself. Then delete and block him from all messaging and social media.

he had a one night stand. he talked about how lonely and frustrated he was, particularly with my lack of freedom, conservative parents, and how I wasn't able to join him
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