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Simple Ways of Dealing with a Distant Boyfriend

My Boyfriend is Acting Cold and Distant. What Should I Do?

I've been branded the 'Advice Queen' by most of my girlfriends and have been faced with this question a few times. I'm no professional, but I do give the best advice I can and have had no complaints—as of yet, anyhow!

A friend of mine had some problem with her boyfriend wanting space and time. Her boyfriend wasn't all over her as usual; he preferred being on his own. He was only sending between one and three phone calls, texts, emails, and Facebook pokes combined. When she came over, all she could say was, 'He's being so distant lately—what am I doing wrong? Should I do something? How can I fix it?'

I said what I always say: 'How would I know? I'm the one that repels men." But they have been together for four years, and this was really bothering her. So I thought about it for a second, gathered my thoughts, and gave it my best shot. I say this as if I am all-knowing—full disclosure: I am not!

Nonetheless, I compiled these tips for dealing with a distant boyfriend, listed below. It doesn't matter how long you've been with him—you may not have been with your guy that long, or you might even be married. If you're in the same boat, it just may help you, too.

Is Your Significant Other Acting as Though He's Far Away?

Potential Causes

There are a number of reasons that can cause a guy can act distant. You may know many of these already:

  • Stress: It could be work, the pressures of family life, being in a relationship, or university deadlines. If he's stressed, his thoughts might be focused on finding a solution to (or distraction from) his problem.
  • Avoidance: He may be acting distant as a form of avoiding a situation that has nothing to do with you. Although you are not the cause, he may believe he must avoid you to avoid his problem because you would force him to face it.
  • Fear: Perhaps he has noticed how needy he is becoming and believes this might cause him to lose his independence. In this case, he probably likes you so much that it has just dawned on him how much needs you, and this might be to much for him. He may also fear the level of your commitment or expectations.
  • Cheating: Yes, it is quite possible that he may be cheating. However, being distant wouldn't be the only sign of infidelity. So fret not, ladies.

What to Avoid

There are a number of things you should and should not do if he's acting cold:

  • Wasting time worrying: Worrying will do neither of you any favours. What's more, he will sense that you're worrying, which will make him even more nervy and cold.
  • S-Mothering him: He needs your reassurance that he can handle this situation like a man. He is not a baby—nor your child.
  • Taking it personally: More often than not, it has nothing to do with you. As stated before, it could be work-, friend-, or family-related.
  • Trying solving it for him: This could put an end to your relationship. If he wanted you to solve it, he would have said so.
  • Playing mind games to get what's going on out of him: He will not enjoy it, and may even begin to feel he cannot trust you.
  • Making a big deal out of it, when he does open up and talk: Again, this is a vulnerable time for him. He needs you to be supportive, not demanding.

What to Do

  • Give him all the space he needs: If he's fearful of loss of freedom or independence, he'll snap right back to normal with time.
  • Love the hell out of your man: He needs you now more than ever before.
  • Stay happy: In other words, don't worry or play games to try to get him to talk.
  • Reassure him that you trust and believe in him: Give him confidence by letting him know he can handle it.
  • Stay breezy/chilled out/calm when you're together: If he retires to another room, keep things happy and smiley where you're at. After a while, he'll come out to feel the love. Positive energy is like a yawn—contagious!
  • Set up some quiet time between the two of you: Remove all distractions, so that he feels like he can talk, and he just might!

Something to Consider

Ladies, most of the potential causes listed above are fixable. Still, you should acknowledge that it could be the worst-case scenario—he may be ready to end it and is detaching himself, so it won't hurt when he's leaving.

But if you're willing to work through it, use the tips above to handle your guy's distance as soon as you spot it. Be brave—all relationships go through cold spots, and it's usually not the worst-case scenario.

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Comments 22 comments

Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 6 years ago from USA or America

I liked your hub. It's always to have a firm grasp on the relationship and where each one of the relationship wants it to go. The distance being created by very little contact is apparently how he wants it and not her, so there is a conflict. This needs to be discussed between them, openly and honestly, so as to strengthen the relationship. Should one not be honest about their feelings about the relationship, then everything else isn't going to make sense and will only cause more confusion. Thank you for sharing how people come to you for advice. It's always going to be like that, because we depend on one another for support and honesty. :)


Sa Toya profile image

Sa Toya 6 years ago from England Author

:D cheers Cags!

I agree honesty, trust and openness is a must for any relationship. It can be tough sometimes being a 'go to' but I do love my friends :)


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

Hello Sa Toya it is always nice to read your hubs. I think I always say this but you always seem so wise beyond your years and you have given some great advice to your friend, however having said that, men are just not that complicated...just like the movie "He's not that into you", most of the time when they do act like this, they are ready to go but who knows I am not an expert but I do have some experience with men and sometimes us women over anaylize things to death when men just act the way they do because it comes naturally to them to be indifferent when they are not interested anymore. Good hub.


Sa Toya profile image

Sa Toya 6 years ago from England Author

totally agree with you here...us women over analyse. Most guys I know sometimes get quiet just because or for no reason. thanks for stopping by :D


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

Womwn think differently from men. We network and discuss everything more than men. Except for sports. My boss never stops talking about football. Great hub!


Fishgirl 6 years ago

Any ideas how to cope when your boyfriend is so busy and stressed with work he just has no time for you for months and months? He tried finding time once a week but was always so grumpy and antisocial it's just not worth it.


Sa Toya profile image

Sa Toya 6 years ago from England Author

@Cheeky Girl...lol at your boss, I do love football. I love how different we are from men but sometimes being more similar would help!


Sa Toya profile image

Sa Toya 6 years ago from England Author

@ Fish girl...If a guy has no time for yo for months and months...it's definitely not worth it, unless he's absolutely amazing and there is a guarantee it will get better soon. Unlikely right?! So I guess my advice would be to move on!

Totally agreeing that it's not worth it, if the only time you have together, he is a grumpy so and so. You get nothing out of being with him.

Thanks for stopping by nonetheless. Not sure if you were speaking about your present situation or a past one but good luck :D


RecoverToday profile image

RecoverToday 6 years ago from United States

Very good advice. Especially about going with your gut feeling. Sometimes it's not what we want to hear, but the truth can hurt. That 'distance' could mean they are covering something up if you have reason to believe he may not be honest. Watch the one who tells 'half-truths'. Then there is the one who has holes in his story. But it's not always bad news either. Whatever way you look at it, going with a gut feeling is a good thing.


charkamman profile image

charkamman 6 years ago from portugal

I read this Hub too late, made all the mistakes.. Luckily he is still talking to me, I might get another chance to put it right...Who knows.


dan 5 years ago

as a guy i have to say i have been distant before, my advice is to try and start conversions with him, asking how he feels. us cavemen have feelers to, we just hide them. most men are very insecure and sensitive. tell him you love him and your here for him. also stroke his ego a little bit. ask him what's wrong and see if he will tell you, if not don't ask again for a while. most likely he will tell you after a few days when he is not in as bad of mood. if any of you have advice about a distant girlfriend im in desperate need of help. i love her with all my heart and i don't want to loose her. my email is riker9@hotmail.com


mary 5 years ago

When you stretch a rubber band it puts pressure on it and it can snap. However, if you don't pressurise it it will never break. Relationships are like rubber bands! Also, I often find if you distance yourself from your boyfriend that he begins to wonder what is wrong and makes much more of an effort to communicate with you.


xxmaishaxx 5 years ago from hudderfield united kingdom

hi i liked your hub really interesting i found myself able to connect and relate to the question ... Are you being too needy/demanding/clingy? if im being honest me and my partner have been together nearly 3 years now and sometimes i don't know if it's a relationship we have or a friends with benefits relationship the reason im saying this is because when we first got together if was great for the first few months or so as everyone was so happy for the both of us but as time went by people then stated the ball of rumors going by saying things for example i was trying to reap him with a child and that he's a player and so on ............ i sometimes think to myself what should i do because when were alone it's the best feeling ever but the when his friends (BOYS) get in contact he seems to put them before me and some of them in the past have tried leading him a stray ......… he's a really nicer guy don't get me wrong but he doesn't. always treat me the way he knows he should for example he expects me to stop what im doing for example if he calls me and wants me to go to his house he then expects me to be down at his within 20 mins or so of him calling me and he apparently he tells people that he doesn't do girlfriend's but if that was the case would he get paranoid and always want to know were i am who im with and who comes and goes to my house .............. please please help or advise me as im now tried of feeling emotionally confused and blackmailed as i want to move on and find someone new but he's making it really hard as ive tried before and it doesn't seem to work as in the past ive been at the point of happiness and he's the taken it from under me by acting how he always does when were alone .......... if you could get back to me i would really appreciate it ... if u want to contact me by e-mail . my address is bibyangel2k8@msn.com


a crazy girlfriend! 5 years ago

all the things you said where "no-no,s" i have done! arhhh this opened my eyes!!


Worried girlfriend 5 years ago

It says in your article that he might be cheating. It scares the hell out of me! I try not to think about it but it makes me nuts!


Genie 4 years ago

Im goin thru somin like tht I feel like hes cheatin cause I went frm c n him 3 times a week to maybe twice a month he use to call b for he go to wrk while he at wrk whn he get off all the way to his house but all tht.hve change we do hve a 9 month so whn he call it just b about the baby I haven't answered his call in4 days I need advice I dnt hve.a email so please respond back


Tea 4 years ago

Mine is an odd one...my bf made an off color comment about my family a few days ago. I called him on it, he apologized up and down but then insisted that I take some time to think - he offered ME space. I took a day at his insistence and came back to let him know what I had decided. He didn't even reply to my message and has been cold to me ever since. He messages in the morning to check up like a bf would but blows me off around 5pm every night. The next morning he apologizes and gives an excuse for disappearing. I've found that the only way he will even carry on a conversation with me is if I act super happy and busy - like I have tons and tons of stuff going on. Then he gets nosey and asks me if I'm hanging out guys or girls. Please tell me - is he braking up with me and being a coward about it? Or is he just taking some time off?


Michelle 4 years ago

I have only very recently started seeing someone I have known for 14 years, we have had connections before and it just never worked out, you could say timing was off. but now we are in a position where we can move forward. It has been great, he called me several times on wednesday this week to tell me, in his round about way he was missing me, even though i had only seen him that morning. But when he called me last night, ( the next day) he seemed a distant and not as loving as he was the day before. He said he'd call me at 4pm today and now its 5.30pm and nothing. Why do men tell you they miss you one day and act like they aren't bothered the next? Especially as we have known each other for so long. He is not normally good at expressing his feelings, he does it in a riddle-like-manner. I am frustated and confused. Do I cut him loose completely and move on, or hang on incase this could be something amazing, after so long. Any suggestions. We are both very free spirited, although this is by no means an open relationship, according to him. Any advice would be great. :0(


Stephanie 4 years ago

We have been so close lately.. And then the past two days it's like doesn't even wanna talk.. My friends think there is something up his sleeve.. Tonight we were suppose to hang out but he was supposedly sent to the the hospital due to chest pains?? After reading that message today I feel like he is cheating I don't wanna assume the worst but I don't know what to do or say anymore??? Any advice lady's


frmeital profile image

frmeital 4 years ago

It's a very nice and optimistic way to look at things...but sometimes your boyfriend can be distant because he is unfirtunately planning to bail. That's the hard truth. Guys don't like the direct approach to ending relationships and they rather trying to fade out "without being noticed". There are ways to prevent this, you can read about it here: http://www.howtogetaguytowantyou.com/boyfriend-is-...


jt 3 years ago

Finally an optimistic and true article. Optimists are the only kind of girl that can keep a good guy. The other types have negative energy that will drive him away. I know that 90% of the time, when a guy goes distant it has nothing to do with you. Women of course assume the worse every time. Don't do that!

In the beginning if he is distant, it's bc you are moving into his territory too fast which zaps your attraction level, and he's not attached to you enough to stay. If it's been a year or so and he becomes distant, it's the end if you have somehow hurt him beyond the level of what he's willing to endure. If that's not the case, then just be patient.

My guy of 1.5 years recently got distant, and it was the reason above "avoidance". After a week of no contact I finally asked him calmly if everything is ok, and he told me exactly what happened. Our communication finally opened up again.


Emily 2 years ago

In all honesty I was very skeptical but also desperate at the same time, anything was worth a try. I contacted purityspell@gmail.com who spoke to me at length about my situation and I decided to go ahead with the love spell. Then 4 days into it, I saw results that I never expected, my man came back and things began to progress, AMAZING.. I don't know what i would have done without Prophet Mike.All I can say is "thank you Prophet Mike you are the best

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