La La La, I Can't Hear You, Or See You...
Depending on the type of man you're with, you may occasionally experience periods where he behaves like a total ass, withdrawing normal contact, eschewing his normal sweet nothings and instead ignoring you. This will normally occur after a relatively small disagreement.
There are several reasons for this behavior, the number one being that he is a (wait for it, I'm going to use a technical term here) 'passive aggressive ass' who doesn't know how to approach conflict so therefore acts as if he is okay, whilst withdrawing all relationship 'currency' as Dr Phil might say.
What can you do? The best option is to do nothing. You can ask if he is okay, but that will probably result in a surly "Yes, I am fine", which only becomes more short and terse the more you ask it. In his mind, you have wronged him and are no longer deserving of his attention. He is unable to resolve the conflict in a direct fashion, because that risks conflict, which he wishes to avoid at all costs. By ignoring you he avoids the conflict he is setting in motion, ironically by ignoring you.
Yes, this behavior is less than entirely mature. Yes, if it occurs too often this type of behavior will drain a relationship. Is there anything you can do about it? Probably not.
The ignoring period will end when he either ignores himself into feeling better, or wants something. It is then that he should discover the consequences of his actions, but you'll probably forgive him because you're not ten years old and don't hold grudges. Right?
You can hope that over time he outgrows this childish behavior, but it is unlikely to happen. By the time a man reaches the age of maturity, (anything over 20, say) he is probably set in his ways for life.
Instead of worrying about his periods of sulking, why not use the time you would otherwise spend enjoying your relationship to improve yourself. Read an educational book, watch a documentary, learn how to crochet. The house will be quiet and before long you'll be an accomplished woman with the largest tea cosy collection in the land.
Of course, it is always possible that you may have contributed to the problem by behaving in a less than entirely mature fashion yourself. Your time out from one another may allow you to see what went wrong and avoid similar problems in the future. Examine possible causes: Did you unintentionally wound his ego by suggesting he couldn't singlehandedly wire the entire house? Did you mess with a beloved object, like his car? Is he experiencing his man period? (The man period is a taboo subject and largely goes unnoticed, unlike the female period which is typified by rivers of blood and and intermittent crying.)
The most important thing to remember at the end of the day, however, is that you still love him, as he loves you. Which is fortunate, because who else would put up with your crap?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Kaelin on October 22, 2019:
This is totally so true. My boyfriend has been on his man period for a few days now and he's been so grumpy for no reason. I give him some space and he starts sending me cute texts and facetimes me.
email@example.com on May 08, 2019:
My boyfriend is ignoring me because i ask him why he bought a phone for another girl, i keep calling, texing and adking people to talk to him but he keeps telling his friends we are not fighting and i feel so hurt and font know what to do, and i really want him so what should i do to get him back
CrazyDaizy on July 24, 2010:
My boyfriend is exactly the same. Except the last time he did this I asked him if he just wanted me to leave him alone instead of trying to text him or something. He told me no, that he didn't want me to leave him alone and not try to message him..
So I don't understand that. He ignores me but he wants me to try and contact him.. but when I do he's really mean. And then when we talk again he says he really missed me. If he missed me why did he refuse to talk to me?
We had a fight a couple days ago. So it's been 2 days since we last talked. Usually I try messaging him after 1 day or less of him ignoring me because I get really upset and hurt when he does it. This time it's been 2 days and I haven't yet messaged him or anything. I'm tired of his childish games. I have no idea what to do. I don't know how much longer I should continue going without talking to him before I decide to try messaging him. I'm just so tired of chasing after him.. I feel like the man in the relationship when I constantly have to do that.
Ugh.. boys suck.
lili on June 12, 2010:
My boifriend ask me for time over and clear his mind about our relationship, but he keeps calling me and sendong me e mails. I don't undestend why he is doing that, and no respecting the time he asked to me. Why he is doing that?
Nikki101 on June 09, 2010:
My boyfriend has been not so much ignoring me but not taking notice of me so much within the past 3 weeks. It breaks my heart because only 3 weeks ago he was all over me and he loved me. Now im in dispear. Help! D:
Krystie Krisertons on June 08, 2010:
Are we all going out with Ben Rochon? Sounds like!
helendanger from Midwest, United States on June 07, 2010:
I like the hub! And the picture use is really creative and funny.
I'd add that it helps to heavily overpraise any little thing a guy does that IS nice or helpful mid-sulk. If I go into a sulk too, it takes a lot longer for us to get back to normal.
dunno on April 08, 2010:
i played a joke on my boyfriend of a year. he has a very short temper and gets very irritated/mad easily. After dragging it out for too long i told him i was kidding. he freaked out, called me names, etc. We talked the next day and came to terms, but ever since then he has seemed somewhat distant, or less interested... i know it was my fault and so i have tried to just let him have his time to get over it, but it had been almost a week and he is still acting this way...what am i supposed to do about it?
fishcakeS on April 02, 2010:
amen to the last line!
this article helped put things into perspective and made me cry seeing as im being ignored even more when his friends are around him. i just feel worthless and hurt.
typical on February 09, 2010:
its funny that guys can be this immiture.. and that they all act the same. As soon as me nd my bf fight he doesn't care about me and goes out wit his mates ignoring me. the thing is though.. he Never learns from what's hes done cause he just runs away fom the problems.. and does it over and over.. continusously leaving me at home depressed. and i can ever find things to keep my mind off it. and i've recently moved and have no friends where i am.
i am still young and have tried to leave him b4 but i can never get out of a serious relationship cause i am still finding my inderpendance and atm i hav not been able to go a day without talking to him.. so wen he ignores me for 2 a million things go through my mind and its very mentally challenging.
atm i love him but if i get out of the relationship in the end i kno that it will make me a lot mentally stronger!
Sheila on January 25, 2010:
This thing is happening to me right now...my boyfriend is ignoring me, no email, no chat for 1 week. I think he really don't care about me anymore and that is fine with but me but the problem is we have a baby and she need him.
Nunya on October 21, 2009:
Hope Alexander (author) on September 08, 2009:
sam622, woah, that is SO not what I was describing. I meant a guy who sulks in the garage for a few hours, not one who leaves for days at a time. He's a jerk who is using you and you deserve better. I hope you realize that ans find someone who will treat you as you deserve. Next time he returns from a three day tantrum, let him find his stuff outside and a new man in your life. (Or, you know, having coffee with you and romancing you.)
sam622 on September 08, 2009:
Amazingly, the discription here fits my boyfriend to perfection. We have been together for 3 and 1/2 years and I never know which small disagreement is going to make him leave for days at time (or longer). As of today, he has been gone for three days simply because I asked him to go to the store and help me pick out a new TV. I was attempting to include him, but he took it as being controlling and wanting him with me more than normal. Anyway, I personally think it is a little immature, but I also know that as soon as he knocks on the door, I will accept him back at home. I can't help but to love him deeply, but I sure wish something would give!
caitmeow on June 02, 2009:
this article is the very definition of my boyfriend.
it sucks so bad because im the total opposite. i love conflict and i love solving things that bother me. i love talking things out. but with him, its just torture trying to solve things.
i guess this article helped. put things into different perspectives.
so thank you to Hope Alexander for writing this article. you are a genius :)
Wendy Iturrizaga from France on May 12, 2009:
I guess you are righ with that last line :)
Personally I just take those times and have fun on my own, either go out with friends (cinema, dinner, walks) or use the time to pamper myself, after all once I am all pretty and pampered he always stops ignoring me ;-)