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Hi guys.

I've been in a long distance relationship for about 9 months now.

We've managed to stay extremely close all through the pandemic and lockdown so far. With him flying to me several times and me managing to fly to him a few times.

Inbetween we have always been in regular daily contact. Always open and very affectionate with each other.

 

He has always been blowing very hot since we met. He has always been consistent with contact and about his feelings.

We have been slowly making plans for me to make the move to live with him most likely in the new year sometime.

So far so good.

 

I recently went to visit about 6 weeks ago for a couple of weeks. All seemed fine. No red flags I could see.

He just started a new job with really long hours. Sometimes 15 hours straight. It should calm down soon but since he started and I came back home, our contact has suddenly dramatically decreased from several times per day to about once in the morning and maybe a goodnight.

Any time we do get to speak, he is quiet, looks tired and very distant. Doesn't have much to say.

Suddenly the plans of me moving there and him sorting paperwork has dropped off, and last week he mentioned he hated us being away from each other.

I mentioned I have noticed he has been pulling away, but I assume it's from the work more than anything else.

He said he has been feeling distant. We briefly acknowledged it but reaffirmed we love each other and we'll be together soon.

 

Anyway, yesterday was his day off and he hung out with friends most of the afternoon and evening to relax. He deserves it. After he gets home quite late we have a nice facetime call.

 

We chat a bit about our day and then I mention that I'm going to look at flights to come spend some time with him in a couple of weeks.

He immediately pulls back slightly and says that he'll be working so much, that with the covid19 situation it might not be so safe and he just wants me to be safe.

I sensed some hesitation so I asked what an I supposed to do if we miss each other, and yet I can't come and see him?

He says he doesn't know.

 

I tell him I can sense he's pulling away and it makes me nervous cause I can't do much from here and he is working so much.

He agrees he is feeling distant from me. He thinks it's cause of the physical distance.

I get upset cause I feel helpless to do anything.

He doesn't like me getting upset and then tells me I should come there and spend some time with each other and see how it goes.

 

He started talking about how he doesn't want us to have a family together and only stay together because of the kids like his parents did and his friends do. That if we don't work out that we should be friends and keep things civil.

This scares me cause he's never once talked about us not working out. I get more upset and I think I reacted a bit overly emotional.

I told him that I don't want this relationship at all if he feels so doubtful already. That we should just call it a day right here and now.

He backtracked and says he's not breaking up just being honest with his current feelings.

He tells me he loves me and it is probably just the distance.

 

It was late so we decided to go to bed.

I barely slept all night.

This morning he texted me just a heart emoji. It took me 2hours to respond cause I was still so upset. I just said good morning.

He calls me half an hour later. He sounds quiet and says he hardly slept all night, had an awful dream.

That he was running late for work and quickly asked if I was workin and had breakfast. I said yes and told him I hadn't slept either. He said he knew.

He then said 'I do love you ok?' I just said I don't know through tears and he said we'll catch up later.

That was 10am this morning. It's now 7:30pm and I've heard nothing since. Not one thing.

 

I'm sorry for the essay.

The thing is, I'm sensing this coming to an end shortly. I don't know if I'm jumping the gun due to past experiences, or if I should treat this as a warning sign and jump ship?

I don't want to go through a dragged out slow fade or slow breakup. But at the same time I need to feel like I'm doing the best things I can do right now to see if it can be salvaged.

 

I haven't been blowing up his phone at all. I haven't made any contact so as not to overwhelm or push him away.

I am trying to let my tears and emotions out during this time I don't hear anything so I can try and keep a calm head when we eventually do speak.

 

I have written a list if questions or things I should bring up when we discuss this again.

But not sure if I should.

 

Do I step back and give him space to see how he feels? So he can take time to figure out how he wants to proceed?

Or should I make a big effort of keeping up contact and reminders of my feelings and try to keep me on his mind?

I've never had a long distance relationship like this or a long distance breakup and not sure if I should behave differently during this stage?

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you.

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He's pulling away and doing a slow fade. Trust your instincts. Hold off any moving plans and figure out a plan B for your stay. Rest 90% of your energies on staying put. I don't think it's wise to move.

 

You can't be sure of the reasons why he's getting cold feet but his alluding to distance, mixed messages, out spending time with friends quite a lot and being emotionally distant all suggest to me that he's in the company of other women or female friends. There's nothing you can do about it nor should you. He's entitled to spend his time how he wants but count this as a blessing and don't go anywhere.

 

Slow things down. You're doing the right thing reserving your thoughts to yourself and thinking things through. Even if he were to do any about-face and say he's sorry, I still would not move for this person. Not for a very long time until things are much more stable.

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Sorry to hear this. It sounds like it's going a little too fast talking about moving there/paperwork, having kids, etc. Slow down a bit, it's 9 mos. and a handful of visits. LDRs are very hard so don't be too tough on yourself.

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Thank you both for such a swift reply.

I know it's been very fast paced and he initiated most of it and seemed 100% all the way through. Was very convincing that I didn't doubt his intentions at all. Which is why this sudden change once he started his new job just threw me for a loop.

 

And yes you are confirming what I'm feeling, that it's a slow fade of some sort.

I'm not sure of any cheating or other women yet, but it did cross my mind.

 

I'm just not sure what to do right now or how to handle myself in this situation when we speak next.

Any pointers?

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It depends on what you are prepared to do and depending on how dire or urgent your current circumstances. Are you in a position now in your place/country of residence where you have to leave? I would weigh the risks and consequences heavily on here versus there and make a choice that's best for myself in terms of opportunities for growth, job/career and stability. I wouldn't make the sole purpose of moving about this person. There would have to be far more reason for me to move than for a single individual I've had ties to for 9 months.

 

You can be tactful if you wish and remain neutral or calm about it. You've already voiced your concerns so repeating yourself is sounding like a broken record. If he doesn't want to level with you or be completely honest, that's up to him.

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No. I can stay in my home country no problem. I was only moving there cause financially it made more sense if we were to be together. He has a better job than me.

I won't be going there now I know he is having doubts

 

Thank you. I just like to know I've done what I can to be open and try and show that I wanted to help if it was a genuine blip and he needed support or something, or if it's a serious breakup worthy behaviour I need to manage extremely carefully.

I'm angry with myself for getting emotional, but it came out the blue and knocked the breath out of me.

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It probably the hardest thing you'll have to do when all you want are answers, but waiting this out is all you can do.

If you reread your list of questions about what do now, it's really more of a how to control of mitigate the situation. Unfortunately you only have control of your part. Stay calm, shore up some support and take the high road.

You will regret any sort of preemptive strike so early on. Give him some space and you will have your answer soon enough.

I do agree with the idea that if he's not already doing some sort of slow fade, he seems to be having second thoughts. People have second thoughts all the time. Don't sabotage it quite yet.

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He's working 15 hour shifts so let things be for now. Try not to push anything. Eventually you can make a decision once you're feeling a bit better about whether you want to continue the relationship or move later down the line. Don't bite off more than you can chew.. it is moving very fast.

 

My previous partner worked very long hours also. There's little time to process. I have some empathy for him but I'm also wondering about you and where that leaves you.

 

What are your thoughts in general about his overall perspective on life and future goals? Where do you see yourself given his limited time due to his work hours, for example?

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I think that just 9 months in and long distance, planning on moving in together is incredibly premature. You barely know each other, so much so, that you don't even know what to make of his behavior right now. My guess is that he realized that and got cold feet, but is not telling you that quite so bluntly.

 

You do need to talk and this is one of those moments in a relationship where you are starting to learn the heavy duty stuff - real communication skills when things are not rosy, real problem solving skills or lack off, etc. Also, how he handles stress, life problems, important decisions, etc.

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Thanks all. Lots to respond to.

@rosemosse

He has a side business he wants to build up. With his current job it's a new place that's opening so these long shifts are because he's trying to get many things done before opening. He's hoping in a few weeks it will settle down into more manageable hours. If not, he said he won't be able to sustain working there.

We both have the same goals in life and wants and that's how we bonded so well. We have always been on the same page on everything.

 

@dancingfool

Yes it was very fast and now there is stress, I'm not sure if this is a typical way of him dealing with it. By pulling away or if this is just him having 2nd thoughts about us. We never are the shouting or arguing type and so far we have always calmly discussed anything that crops up.

This is the 1st time I've seen him shut off.

 

I don't really know what to do with this yet but be open and gentle to him and try to be sympathetic to his needs. I am sure I'll find out soon enough if he decides it's over or doesn't want to see me anymore.

I just don't want to make any mistakes that will be detrimental to the outcome in the meantime.

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Seems very painful to be in limbo like that. You shouldn't be walking on eggshells with someone you're about to change your life for. What stood out to me was your last sentence "I just don't want to make any mistakes that will be detrimental to the outcome in the meantime." That's a very heartbreaking sentence, Limiya.

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Ok, so he called me as soon as he was home. He was in bed and looked rough.

He briefly told me about his day and I made sure I was pretty normal.

 

He asked how I was feeling. I said I was ok just a bit worried about him.

He proceeded to tell me that he only started feeling like this since he started this job.

That the crazy hours, and distance with us barely gave him time to think about us.

That he is exhausted.

Told me he is 'like this sometimes' and disappears into himself for a while with stress.

 

I listened and am trying to see his point of view.

I asked if it's like a bit of a depression of some sort. He said yes he thinks so.

He is hoping once work levels out he will feel clearer.

I told him I shouldn't come to see him then, and he said best not atm.

 

He really did look bad. He insisted I did nothing wrong and I need to not beat myself up.

I told him I'm fine and I'll be fine regardless.

That I can look after myself.

I said he needs to take some time to do what he needs to and he knows where I am if he needs me.

He said to contact him anytime and that he really does love me.

That he is sorry he's feeling like this.

I then wished him goodnight and left it there.

 

I think I handled myself ok. I didn't get emotional and I just wanted him to deal with whatever it is without judgement.

 

I am gonna give him some space now and hope he will be ok. I can't do anything else.

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I think you're smart to take space.

 

My sense is that he's losing interest in the relationship now that honeymoon phase is over and he's got other distractions. I don't doubt that he's stressed but I also don't believe it's all down to the pressure he's now feeling at work. It seems that this all moved too fast before he really stopped to think about your true long-term viability as a couple. And now that he has, he's not sure if it's a match.

 

I'm sorry this happened, OP. What a disappointment.

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Thank you.

I handled it as best as I could. He refuses to say it's a breakup, but I think he's just trying not to upset me cause it sure feels like one.

 

I feel he's holding back on more information and his unwillingness to discuss it is painful cause I feel like I'm not having any questions answered.

Just sitting and wondering what the hell happened so suddenly.

 

I'm trying to work but can't concentrate and keep crying every now n then.

It's painful but I won't chase him. I won't go that way and make it worse.

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Ok, just pull back and don't contact him. Yes unfortunately it seems like a "soft" breakup where he just wants to fade out and leave quietly.

 

Part of this is the way too much way too soon factor. An LDR of only 9 mos. and all the intense future talk about moving/ paperwork, families kids, etc. is rather frightening.

 

Your last visit seems to have made up his mind and your suggestion to visit yet again made him pump the brakes on this.

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I believe you're right.

He just called to check how I am. We talked a bit and I was calm but honest.

I told him it feels like this is a breakup and he said it wasn't. That he just needs space to get his head straight.

He said last time I arrived it felt strange at first cause he hadn't seen me for a while but loved it.

I said he might benefit from seeing a therapist and he said he'd look into it.

I said I deserve to know what's going on and not have him string this along.

He said it's not over and to just let him figure things out.

 

To me this just upsets me more cause I just want a straight answer either way.

I don't think I'll hear from him for a while at least. It's very painful.

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Sorry to say but this is a straight answer. "I need space" means a breakup. He can't 'string you along', unless you allow it. Unfortunately this is one of those 'read my lips', breakups where you need to decide to break it off.

he just needs space to get his head straight.

He said last time I arrived it felt strange at first cause he hadn't seen me for a while but loved it.

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@misscannuck

I think it's about 7 times in total. Sometimes staying a month long other times a couple of weeks.

 

@wiseman2

Thanks, I guess space is a kind if answer but when he says he just wants space but no breakup It is a bit confusing.

I am gonna give him all the space in the world now.

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Excellent. A tacit breakup is confusing, but sometimes it's not wanting to hurt you, sometimes it's to avoid confrontation or avoid looking like the bad guy.

when he says he just wants space but no breakup It is a bit confusing.

I am gonna give him all the space in the world now.

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I also think you handled it very well but I'd be cautious how you interpret his need for space. He moved out.

 

The situation has changed completely for the both of you. What you should do going forward is start establishing what you need out of a relationship. At the moment you're in shock and just surviving on what his needs are.

 

As the dust clears and you regain your strength and confidence, you have to keep asking yourself what your needs are in tandem. Don't forget about your own needs, your desires, your dreams or your goals in life. It's a balancing act in every relationship but even more important now than ever as soon as you realize that the situation has changed completely.

 

Always remember that you sail your own ship. Don't drift around too long.

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He just text me before bed.

'Good night. I hope you're ok!'

And then 'you can call me of you like!'

 

Ummm... no thanks. It's taken me a whole day of tears and talking with friends to get myself relatively calm enough to try and sleep a bit.

The last thing I want is an awkward pointless conversation cause he's feeling sorry for me and i will get upset all over again.

 

I don't want to respond right now. I can't.

He wanted space anyway... so...he should enjoy it.

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He's talking out both sides of his mouth here.

 

He wants space, but you're already quite long-distance with ample time spent apart.

 

He wants space, but is inviting you to call.

 

Not good. I would take my time replying to him, and remind him of what he requested.

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