Why Is My Boyfriend Distant and How Can I Deal With It?
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 problems 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 her 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.
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 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!
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.
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.