Three Things You Can Do When He’s Getting Emotionally Distant

Why do we sometimes hold on so tightly to something that isn’t working for us?  To someone that isn’t treating us the way we deserve to be treated?  Isn’t loving us the way we were meant to be loved?  You know the scenario – it starts off with fireworks, an amazing connection, you just can’t get enough of each other.  Then suddenly, he’s not calling as much, he’s out with his buddies more than he’s out with you, or you just have some gut feeling that something has changed for him; he seems distant.

Any time a relationship I was in started taking this kind of turn for the worse – I started hanging on tighter.  Yep.  Break out the stranglehold.  I would get scared, and instead of taking a step back and reassessing the relationship, I just held on tighter.  I’d feel like I had to do something – anything - quickly to turn it around because he had so much potential; because WE had so much potential.  After all, it had started off so well – it had to be worth saving, no matter what it took.  So I’d decide to show him that much more just what I had to offer.  I’d try sexier.  Prettier.  Funnier.  More hip.  Whatever he clearly wasn’t seeing, I was going to show him. You get the picture.

It was, of course, the worst thing I could have done in this situation.  This type of behavior is not healthy, not honoring of ourselves, our own worth.  And unfortunately, this type of reaction is all too common.  Because when he starts pulling away from us, it brings out every abandonment issue we’ve ever had, and leaves us desperately trying to turn things around by pulling out all the stops and becoming everything we think he wants us to be.  Everything, that is, except ourselves.

So why do we continue to do this to ourselves?  Why do we hang in there, remaining silent on what we’re observing, while we’re pretzeling ourselves around to be whatever we think we need to be to get him, and the relationship, back the way it was?   And the worst part is, in reality, it only has the opposite effect – it brings the relationship crashing down even faster than before.

The good news is that we can look at this as a gift.  It’s the gift of a clear message that things aren’t quite right.  It’s like getting sick – when our bodies are telling us that something’s wrong; we’re working too much, we’re too stressed, or maybe we’re not eating well.  And we can then take steps to correct the imbalance.  The message here is similar – you’re both on different pages, and there’s an imbalance that needs to be corrected.  And whether we like it or not, what we’re seeing is who he is and where he’s at right now.  And that’s the point.  The present.   Right now.  That ideal we have in our mind, those dreams we’ve got – they’re all ours, not his.  And whether he’d be the perfect guy for us if he’d just be more attentive isn’t the point.  He’s showing us what he’s capable of right now. And that is the point.

So what do we do in this situation?  Well, there are basically three avenues we can take.

Be direct and ask him.

If you’re feeling like he’s distancing himself and the two of you are losing the connection you once had, well, you’re most likely right.  Our instincts are usually spot-on in this regard.  So we know he’s not where we are, not on that same page as us right now, and he’s not quite sure how to let us know except by putting some distance between us.  The reason for this is because he’s insecure too!  He afraid to tell us how he’s feeling directly; he’s not a guy who’s in touch with his feelings and can say what’s going on.  So go ahead and tell him how you’re feeling, and ask him why things have changed.  If you take this route, be prepared and open to hear the truth.  He may say that he’s having second thoughts about the relationship.  He may be feeling like the relationship is moving too quickly, and he wants to slow things down a little.  He may be afraid he’s losing his freedom.  Maybe an ex has re-entered the picture.  If the answer is any of these, just know that knowing the truth earlier is always better, and it will save you a lot of anxiety and even more heartbreak down the road.

He may also say that he feels that nothing has changed.  This may be because he’s not in touch with his feelings or aware of his own changes in behavior, or it may be that he’s now being his true self and he’s just not capable of giving you more than you’re getting from him right now.  If this is the case, this gives you a chance to re-evaluate the relationship while it’s still early and recognize that you may be looking for something from him that he just won’t be able to give you.  It may also be that he’s not comfortable with this type of direct communication.  If you’re the type of person that wants to be able to communicate freely and openly, then this is a sure sign that the relationship will be on a rocky road.

On the other hand, you may find out that the answer’s more benign, and you were worried for nothing.  Maybe he’s had some stressful situations at work that have had him preoccupied.  Or maybe he’s had some personal or family health issues that he hasn’t felt comfortable discussing yet.  Finding out now will help to relieve your anxiety and may even wind up bringing the two of you closer than ever.  Again, knowing the truth is always better than second guessing or attempting mind-reading, which we all know never works!

If you’re not ready to tackle things head-on just yet, there’s another good option.

Focus on yourself.

The second choice is to let it ride while making up the difference with your own life.  Enjoy yourself, pursue your own interests, follow your own passions, expand your world.  Take a break from thinking about the relationship and go to that art gallery you’ve been wanting to check out or take that dance class you’ve been thinking about.  In this way you’ll be discovering your true self while at the same time giving him the space he seems to be asking for.  And then take some time to reassess what you’re really getting out of this relationship.  After getting a little space and distance from the relationship yourself, you may find that you’ve gained more clarity and realize that it’s not all that after all.

On the other hand, you may find that this bit of distance between you actually brings you closer together when the two of you are together.  One thing that men love is a woman who has her own life.  And having your own life will make you more confident about who you are and what you want out of life, which men also find very attractive.

And if all else fails, there is a third thing you can do.

Let it go.

If he’s gotten so distant that the writing’s clearly on the wall, just let him go.  Even if he shows so much potential.  And do it without hard feelings, since it truly is a gift.  Because as hard as it is to admit it to ourselves sometimes, some relationships are just not meant to be.  As hard as it can be to give up the dream of what the relationship could have been, at least in our minds, sometimes we find ourselves falling for guys that are just not the ones for us.  And you deserve better than that.  Better than settling for something that’s less than the real thing. Better than settling for someone who doesn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated.  Because there really is someone out there who will treat you better than that.  Someone who’s waiting for you to come along as much as you’re waiting for him.

The irony is that it’s only when we refuse to settle for anything less than we deserve that we find out we don’t have to.

About Jane

Comments

  1. This article is exactly what I needed to read right now and I love your site! You have some really spot on advice. I was feeling badly about breaking up with a boyfriend that I wasn't sure was "the one" and was feeling that he was pulling away. I feel more confident about my decision after reading this and Ive been learning to trust my gut instinct - it will usually lead you in the right direction!

    • Thanks Lisa! I'm glad it helped and I'm glad you like the site. Trusting yourself and your instincts and following your heart is always important when it comes to matters of the heart. And know that if it's meant to be, he now knows what you want in a relationship and if he's able to give you that then he knows how to get in touch with you (see number 7 in this post.) Thanks for sharing :-)

    • Wonderful article,
      I sure could use some help. So, my boyfriend (30) and I (29) have been dating for six years, it's been rocky but we made it. We ha e both grown so much in the past few years. I have started my career and working on a doctorate and he has been very supportive. Lately the past few months I feel like we are emotionally disconnected. He does'nt stay over as much, he doesnt call, and when I get upset he still kinda laid back and uninterested, he hangs out more. We have been talking about marriage for some time now, but still no ring. We have even gone to pick out rings, but still Nothing! I've given him chance after chance without trying to be pushy but still letting him know my expectations. I'm feeling like maybe I should be running instead of clinging at this point. Could it be that he is just not ready even though he says that he is ? Could it be hat I'm just not the one even though he says that I am? I'm confused and it's a bit depressing to ThI k that this change in behavior could mean so many things: cheating, disinterest,..... How do I know what move to make. Boy I sur do hope all of this makes sense...

      • Trust yourself and your gut instinct if you're feeling some emotional disconnection, K. You don't have to know that reason, just to trust yourself that there's something there. Sometimes, when there's an expectation of a greater commitment, or a marriage proposal, a ring, or a timeframe, some men rreact to this by pulling back out of their own discomfort with something that's coming up for them, even if they don't even realize it or understand it. Sometimes, it's just a phase as they get more comfortable or sort through it for themselves; other times, it's something else.

        You can drive ourselves crazy trying to understand what's really going on with him - especially if you've already approached him about it and only get a "nothing's wrong" answer - or you can shift the focus from him to you, and give him some space to see what he does with it. It's in that space you'll find out where he's at. Does he move closer to you, or let it remain that way? Never be afraid of losing someone if you give them that space; if they want to be close again, they'll fill it. If they don't, you know that much more about where they're at, and now you can decide what you want to do with that information.

        You never need to do anything more drastic that just shift the focus to you, do what love and honors and respects you, my beautiful friend, and let your own actions speak louder than any words. You have your own beautiful life, your own interests, hobbies, and things you're passionate about. Focus on those so that what he does or doesn't do is in the background and not the foreground of your life. You'll know more as you go along. You'll know by how this feels, by how he's treating you, by how this is all playing out. You'll know what he's worth to you, and what having in his life on his terms is worth to you, if these are his new terms. Along the way, make the decision that gives you the greatest sense of peace and joy, and leaves you with the least amount of regrets. This is your life; you get to choose what it looks like, K.

        But most important of all, K, don't take any of this personally. This isn't about you not being the one. This isn't about you not being enough of anything or of anything you could have said or done differently. If you're both truly compatible in the ways that matter, this won't be complicated. It'll be what real love always is; two people on the same page who want the same level of commitment from each other and are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

    • sad@themoment says:

      It was nice reading this article. It's a few days away from Valentine's Day and the guy I just started dating decides that he wants to be distant. I found it to be very strange because in the article we started off great; he was always calling me/texting me, always wanted to know what I was doing etc, now he acts as if I don't even exist which is very hurtful, and the worst part of it all he decides to do a 360 a few days before Valentines Day. I tried to talk to him and tell him how I was feeling and of course he tries to deny it, so right now I am just pretty much in my feelings. I'm not sure what happened, because he was always the iniator in things and even the future it's like all of that just vanished. Maybe there's another female in the pic but what the case may be i simply texted him and let him know that I was going to do him a favor and take a step back and i left it at that. I was hurt by it even cried my eyes out this morning, but i know that eventually i'll get over it, I just wasnt expecting this

    • Louise says:

      Thank you so much for basically writing down what I needed at this present time, it becomes hard not knowing what direction to take.

      I feel much better now from reading this article and confident in knowing my gut instinct is right....Great site :)

      • Thank you, Louise; I'm so glad this resonated with you right when you needed it. You can always trust yourself! Welcome! :)

  2. WOW, what a great piece! It's nice when a writer makes some self-admissions. All too often in blogs that I read the writer makes it appear as if they are all-knowing...versus admitting that they've done this or that. I truly enjoyed your writing and will be signing up. I definitely feel empowered by the 3 options and although I am going to go with the second one for now, as I've done the first.... I am also well-aware that option 3 is there for me as well. Thank you for being so open & honest. CC

    • I'm glad you enjoyed this article, Claire. It's in sharing what I've learned from my own experiences that I find I can best help others who are in the same boat that I was in back when I was still learning so many of these hard lessons about love and relationships.

      Yes, the second option, focusing on yourself, keeps everything in balance and maintains a healthy kind of space for you to be your own person and to allow him to be his own person, too. Only then can you see the relationship for what it is to decide for yourself whether or not it is honoring you and your beautiful self and giving you back as much as you are putting into it. By embracing that space as time for you to really get to know yourself and find your own passionate life, outside of a relationship with someone else, you will find out if this really is the right relationship for you, because if it is, he will come closer to you. If he doesn't, then you know it's time to let go of the illusion, and you can freely move on to the relationship that is meant for you – the one with the guy who is right for you. And yes, I learned all this the hard way. :-)

  3. I love your article, but I have a question that I thought maybe you could help me with:) I've been seeing this guy for two months, maybe twice a week, and talking to him regularly. It's been great, he has been really open with me, we talk about everything, have the same interests, he wants me to meet his friends etc. Then suddenly he stops calling. I called him last week to see if we could get together, and he didn't answer, and hasn't returned my call. What is happening? I thought everything was going great..
    (sorry if my english is bad, it's my second language:))

    • Your English is beautiful, Silje; I understand exactly what you are saying. :-)

      There can be so many different reasons why someone just stops calling or returning calls. And it doesn't seem to matter how long they've been calling before they stop; it's one of the most common scenarios I hear from women of all different ages, from all walks of life. The reality is that he knows how to contact you, he knows you are waiting to hear from him by your phone call last week, and he was there with you all along as you thought everything was going so great. So this is really about him, and not you. It's about where he's at at this point in his life. And no matter how amazing and how wonderful and beautiful you are (because you are!), this isn't about anything you should have done differently.

      These things happen sometimes to save us from further heartbreak when they are just not meant to be in the end. Sometimes we never get the answer we're looking for but eventually, we look back and understand. I know that doesn't help ease the hurt, but comfort yourself by knowing that if it's meant to be, it will. For now, keep living your life and going about your daily routine, enjoying time with friends and doing things you enjoy that make you happy. You deserve so much more than waiting around for someone to call you, wondering what is happening.

  4. I have been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years. I can't say I have been happy. I feel caught between trying to make him happy and never really succeeding. I have a 12 year old daughter and we moved into his house (his request to further our relationship) and since then, I feel like I have lost myself. He is angry when we don't do things in the house exactly to his standards, he ignores me when he feels like it and will go for days not speaking to me. He says he does things for me and my daughter no one else will ever do and I feel indebted to him for certain material things, but he does not talk to me about my hopes and dreams and seems satisfied just having me here in the house. He's a pilot and gone a lot- and yet he's the one who does not trust me. He was married twice before and both wives cheated on him. I am not a cheater, but I feel incredibly alone and not sure where to go now. I read your article and it made me cry. I don't know what to do. Maybe I won't ever find anyone better, but I am miserable....Any thoughts??

    • Oh Ingrid, I hear your pain. I'm wondering what you are getting out of this relationship? What being in it does for you? This isn't about him and what works for him, or what he wants to do to further your relationship; it's about you and how you feel. And my beautiful friend, it is never, ever up to you to try to make anyone else happy! If he's not happy, that's his own stuff. His issues to work on. You are not here to make someone happy. You are worth so much more than this!

      You say "He is angry when we don't do things in the house exactly to his standards, he ignores me when he feels like it and will go for days not speaking to me." This is not how anyone ever deserves to be treated by someone, but especially not with someone you're supposed to be in a loving relationship with. These things he does sound cruel to me, Ingrid. And not at all about an equal relationship where both of you are on the same page and want the same things. A relationship is all about working together and resolving differences in ways that respect everyone involved.

      I would surprised if there wasn't anything better out there for you, Ingrid, from what you've said here. It sounds like you are simply going along with him, instead of looking within to see what it is that you truly want in a relationship and in life in general .In fact, it sounds to me like your attraction to this particular man has more to do with you and some unresolved issues that run deep within you, than with what it appears like on the surface. When we can't see what's going on for ourselves, is almost always a sign that we need to step back and re-evaluate the situation and see why we're here, what is really going on, and what we need to do to honor and respect our beautiful selves. Sometimes we need some space to see the reality of what is, instead of what we want it to be. Those are just a few of my thoughts, but if you give yourself permission to be honest with yourself and see this relationship in light of what it really is and isn't, I think you'll have a clearer picture of it all. You deserve nothing less than being with someone where you are both equals, with equal say on every level and without having to walk on eggshells to please someone else and keep them from being angry with you or giving you the silent treatment.

  5. Dear Jane,

    I can't help but keep reading your articles. They really gave me a different perspective. Thank you! Then I want to write to you as I recently have a situation that I do not understand what have happened and wonder what are your thoughts. Hope you don't mind reading this long message. Sorry!

    My unhappy four years of marriage ended six months ago. Recently I started to get back to the dating field. I felt miserable after each date as I missed my ex-husband dearly, I missed all the good and fun times we had. I got more and more nervous as I met more guys because I don't want to feel the pain again.

    Then things suddently changed when I met this guy three weeks ago. I did not miss my ex after our dinners and I started to have feelings for him. We had been talking via text, phone or e-mails everyday for the first two weeks. He was super nice and super sweet. I felt he is genuine. I felt everything with him was so right and he was everything that I was longing for, until he turned cold and did not show up at my first half marathon last Sunday. He slowed down his texts and eventually stopped all communications. I sent a checking in e-mail on Monday night. On Tuesday morning he replied saying everything is ok, he is just a little under the weather and has little brain power right now. Right before this drastic change, he asked me how I feel about our age difference. I am 31 and he is 44. I told him I was first hesitant when my co-worker asked me if I would like to go on a blind date with a 41 year old (apparently there was some miscommunications between the people who set me up), but I haven't paid attention to the age difference since I met him. I told him if it is with the right person, age doesn't matter. He said but what would others think (e.g. our family). He also said his first impression of me is that I am too young. I felt silly now as I wish I am older so he will not feel creepy dating me.

    He has not called or texted or e-mailed for the past week. I got really mad and deleted all his messages, e-mails, pictures and his number. I even drunk dial him, but can't remember what I said when I left him two voice mails. He texted back the next day (Friday) as he said he is sick and when he is sick, he doesn't want to deal with anything. I felt really sad as I am just "anything" to him.

    Then I sent him the following e-mail: "TGIF! =) I am very sorry that I drunk dialed you. I truly really hope you will feel better and I will pray for you getting better and not be sick. I thought of making the offer to get you something when I first heard from you that you are sick. But I didn't because I felt you did not want to have any contact with me since we parted on Saturday. So I left you alone. I was disappointed and felt hurt when you didn't show up on Sunday at the half marathon. I thought you were coming. When I felt I want to give up and walk, I told myself I can't, if I keep running, I will see you. But I know before the race you were not going to come based on how we said goodbye on Saturday. I guess it is my mistake that I misunderstood. Perhaps you were never intended to come. I will not call you as I think telling you the above should settled for me. You are right, I need to sort things out. Thank you! I sincerely thank you for all you have done for me. Wish you all the best!"

    Then later that day, I e-mailed him again saying "I just want to reach out as a friend because I care about you. I am not sure what happened to you besides that you are sick. Please let me know if there is anything I can do besides giving you space. I really mean it. I promise I will leave you alone unless you contact me. Please take good care of yourself."

    It has been two days and I still have not heard from him. I don't want to force him to tell me what happened (is it the age difference or did I do something wrong or he lost his interest). I do believe he will show up in my life again if we are meant to be. I truly believe things happen for a reason and I am thankful that he appeared in my life as I felt I got over my ex because of him. This past week I found out my ex is happily in love with someone else and I actually feel happy for him and that my prayers work (I pray for his happiness and get what his heart desires).

    My heart is missing this guy I just met three weeks ago. I check my e-mail / phone from time to time to see if he has reached out. But I am determined to focus and enjoy my life. At the same time, I will pray for his happiness.

    What do you think is the reason for him turning cold? Do you think he will ever contact me again?

    • It's always hard to know for sure why these men who seem to have so much potential end up turning so cold like this, Eva. In my experience, I have found that trying to pinpoint a reason and over-analyzing what happened and what's going on with him, only brings you down and doesn't do anything to change things. It has to come from him. You've done all you can, you've reached out to him on several levels, and his response sounds like he's just not there, not on the same page as you for whatever reason. If it's the age difference, you've answered that - for the right person, it doesn't matter. And he knows this, too. I, too, believe that people come into our lives for a reason, even if we don't know exactly what it is at the time, so trust that this is the case with him.

      It's hard when you've just come off of a marriage that didn't work out and no one seems to be able to compare to at least what you had with him, even if it was unhappy. But know that it's still fresh, and there's still so much more out there for you if this guy is going to disappear like this. How much better off you are to find this out now than down the road, when you're heart is that much more invested in him - even if it's hard to see that right now.

      I don't know if he will ever contact you again, sometimes it happens, but my experience is it usually doesn't. But regardless, make this about you, Eva. You deserve someone who you don't have to chase, you don't have to question, you don't have to convince of your worth and value, and who you never have to wonder if they are into you or not. You deserve nothing less than that, my beautiful friend!

  6. Hi Jane,
    I have been dating a guy for six months and he is wonderful, though we have had two misunderstandings that lead to lapses in dating because of miscommunication. The first time he rainchecked a date that was something it took me weeks to set up;I assured him I wasn't angry,but his past relationship made him withdraw.After I extended the olive branch we resumed the wonderfull balanced relationship we had enjoyed;until I reminded him of an invitation to a black tie event he had agreed to go to....he got very defensive about going....I was disappointed I had wanted tonenjoy the day in the city

    • It really comes down to whether or not the two of you are on the same page here, Joan. If you both want different things and have different expectations of the relationship and what your current dating status means, then you have to decide if these misunderstandings are minor or are potential dealbreakers for you. He may be busy, or not enjoy the same types of activities or social interactions together as you do, or it may be something more. How does he respond when you talk to him about your expectations? A real relationship requires both people to want to put forth the effort to make it work, so if you're not both on the same page here, there's bound to be misunderstandings and miscommunication instead of harmony.

      Six months isn't a long time to really get to know someone, but it should be enough for you to know where he's at and what he perceives your relationship to be about, so this really is about you deciding if he's worth looking past these differences, or if there's more going on that you need to either discuss with him or accept that this is the reality of what a relationship with him looks like. Ultimately, you will know, because a relationship that's meant to be always is, but only if you have two people on the same page committed to making things work regardless of your differences.

      • Hi Jane,
        I emailed you back in April about a guy at that time I had been dating for six months, and I told you how he had one value excuse for canceling a date, but the second time there really was no good excuse.I do understand not everyone enjoys the same things, but in a relationship you should be like the willow to have harmony. I discussed this with him;and his level of avoidance with any activity that breaks out of his comfort zone (eating at the same place, going to the same places) was his way of excercising control. He told me I was right and he was being a jerk (his words) and I deserved better! Amazing,but he said he really wasn't ready or.
        willing to change.I said that I was glad he told me he wasn't in a place emotionally to have an adult relationship and I wished him luck.Honestly emotionally I really felt like I broke up with him

        • Be so proud of yourself here, Joan, for having the strength to have that kind of direct conversation with him. You opened the door for him to be honest and direct back with you, and the fact that he told you that he isn't ready or willing to change is exactly the information you need to be able to really let go and move on.

          As hard as it can be to accept the reality of where someone is at, you are now free to be with someone who is on your page, who is looking for the same kind of committed relationship as you are, and who you never will have to wonder if he's there, or what he's really thinking. As painful as it can be, finding out the truth sooner, rather than later, is always the best thing for you, so that you don't waste any more of your beautiful time and energy on someone who isn't a match for you. Know that you found this out because you had the courage to stand up for you and what you know in your heart you deserve, Joan; that's huge!

          • Dear Jane,
            That was so true about deserving better, and not beating yourself up because you aren't living the Hallmark moments with this guy. Ironicly a guy I broke up with three years ago now, (who I have remained friends with) for very different reasons than this guy (probably why I was able to be friends.)
            called and asked if I was going to see fireworks, I said folks at my house weren't interested, and though he knows I normally go to any activity I want with or without a guy or by myself totally, I told him I just didn't feel like going alone.....he said I wish you would call me.....I'm not in a rush to get back into a serious relationship with him nor anyone at this time, but as you've said if its meant to be.....

            • You've got it, Joan; if it's meant to be, it will always be. Enjoy the journey, see it for the adventure it can be, and know there is never any reason to rush into anything; if it's going to be that great, it will be - and by taking things slow, you will find this out without risking your beautiful heart being broken when we get ahead of ourselves.

              We forget this sometimes when our loneliness or doubt takes over and we forget that nothing has changed, that you are still everything you were before him, that you still have so much to offer someone who is right for you, and that if you simply refuse to settle for anything less than you deserve, you will find that does so much for your confidence and your self-esteem to be around people who make you feel better about yourself, not worse!

  7. I love what u have said Jane, but I have this question tho.
    I have been seeing this guy for about 7months now, we had a misunderstanding sum time in march, and we went cold on each other, but then I decided to break the silence.
    I went to his and apologized whether I was wrong or not, I was just tired of the silence and waiting for him to make the first move. During the process of me apologizing and all, he did the and told me he missed me and he loved me, for a few days, things stabilizing until suddenly again he just stopped calling and checking in as he usually did.
    I did the calling for a week stretch with out him returning it and his excuse was work.
    Then I decided not to call any more, gave him two weeks to respond but he never did, then I went to his place to find out what's happening and he clams his going through sum tin at the moment and is trying to sort him self and he would reach out to me as soon as he can.
    But yet no word from him yet. What do u think I should do, should I still be quite till reaches out like he said he would or should I call to still try to find out whats wrong.
    I think his talking crap and making excuse but I don't want to make my own conclusion becoz I may just b wrong.
    What should I do in this situation.

    • wow connie thats sounds exactly like my situation even made me think we talking about the same guy. same excuses work.. trying to sort himself miss u love u... except we hav a toddler in the middle. but like jane said if he really wants to b with u he will do whatever it takes to b with u he knows how u feel and he knows how to contact u and by sitting and waiting for his calls its only gonna make u feel worst trust me still going throw this situation. so live ur life daily go out and interact with people that give u support and love u. good luck. jane thank u so much for ur kind words few months ago ur blogs give me strength teach me to b stronger person and look at things in different perspective

      • You're so welcome, Anna; I'm so glad you've found something here to remind you of all that you are and all that you have to offer someone who is truly worthy of YOU! :-)

    • If a misunderstanding between the two of you is enough to be a deal-breaker for him, to the point that he no longer wants anything to do with you, be glad you're finding this out now, Connie, because you deserve more than that. When two people really want to make something work and are on the same page, they communicate before just going cold like you've described.

      You've done more than your share, my beautiful friend; you've reached out to him by phone and in person going to him, and have had nothing in response. It's his turn to respond if he's going to, and if he doesn't, that's his decision and is about him and not you. If after seven months, this is all you have, with nothing from him in response to you reaching out like this, then know that you've done your part. It always takes two to make something work, and if one person is doing everything, it's in that space you've given him that he can bridge that gap if he's there. But if he's not, don't take this personally, Connie. If something is meant to be, it always is. If someone wants to be with you, they will be, and there won't be a misunderstanding that can simply end it all.

      You can keep trying, or you can shift your focus to you and to other areas of your life so that whether you hear from him at some point or not, it won't matter because your focus will be on you and living a full live aside from him. Sometimes, some men look for an out like this when they're not comfortable communicating directly with us. Either way, you'll know soon enough because a relationship can't be without both of you in it. The question to ask yourself is do you really want to be with someone who would treat you this way? Because this is always more about you than it is about him.

      And know that when you're with the right person for you, Connie, you never have to wonder where you stand.

  8. Amanda Jeffrey says:

    Hi Jane! My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and a half. We were so in love and somehow, I feel we still are. Our relationship has gone through ups and downs and we've broken up at least 4 times. We both have been very immature when it comes to conflict resolution. He says he 'doesn't like conflict' and I am more like 'in your face' kind of person. This poor control of my emotions (that I've experienced in previous relationships and I've pointed out as a my weakness) has made me said awful things. I've been irrespective with him, called him names, yelled, etc. Right after these episodes, he pouts. He shuts himself off and there's nothing I can say or how much I apologize to bring him back. Often times, he has mentioned that he becomes frustrated because his efforts seem fruitless and it doesn't matter how much he changes/works/modifies our relationship won't flow. When we've broken up, he usually takes a couple of weeks and comes back with this heart open again. Right now, we are broken. But this time, seems to be different, he told me he felt we were not on the same page anymore. He has remained like this for a month now and I always collapse in despair and depression. I try to get going but my sadness takes over :'( I think and explore the options that brought us to the separation point. I feel very guilty because I know he tried hard and I am usually the one that explodes when conflict arises. My explosions happened because I haven't been able to address my concerns in a proper manner. For example, when he seems distant, he wants space or I get curious on things (knowing about his texts, his facebook activity) I feel insecure, unloved and instead of controlling myself, I get pissed off and say nasty things. It's sad to see how the relationship with my dream person has faded away.

    • oh Amanda, I hear what you're saying. One of the hardest things about being in a relationship is the conflict part, which always inevitably comes up in even the most solid relationships. And when you both have different conflict styles - one avoiding it and the other meeting it head on - that makes it even harder. One of the books that I recommend that has really helped me to use "I" statements - which keeps inflammatory blaming language out of the conflict - is Non-Violent Communication. It takes awhile to get used to communicating in this more peaceful way of resolving conflicts, but it's so worth the journey to undo so much of what we've seen modeled for us as ways of behaving when we have a conflict.

      For right now, Amanda, don't heap this guilt trip on yourself. Conflict always involves two people, and just because you were the louder one with your style, doesn't mean you were any more responsible than him for what happened. His quieter style might seem like he wasn't involved as much on the surface, but I know firsthand that it is often the quieter one who avoids conflict that can escalate a situation more than anything else because the other person doesn't feel heard because they aren't given the change to bring their issues or concerns to the table without the other person using avoidance techniques that are just as hurtful to the louder person who wants to get everything out. Two different styles, neither right or wrong, just requiring some use of "I" statements so that issues can be addressed in a loving way without anyone feeling more blamed and escalating things further. If you felt heard at the beginning of any conflict, I suspect that you wouldn't feel the need to get to the point where you resort to more nasty behaviors. But I doubt you've been feeling heard by the way you both deal with conflict in such opposite ways. It's a push and pull type of dynamic that doesn't work, and in the long run, only builds resentment.

      Know that he is only your dream person if he is willing to work on these issues as well, Amanda. Do the work you need to do to work on this area of conflict resolution yourself, first, Amanda, and then see where he's at - if he's willing to do the same. You're both not alone here; there's a reason why conflict resolution books and courses are among the most popular and wars start because of our inability to handle conflict in peaceful ways where everyone feels heard and validated. Don't let the guilt and blame feeling get the most of you - see this as a gift to get this difficult part of communication figured out! It doesn't have to be this way. :-)

      • Thanks so much! Jane, would you have any suggestion on how you will stop your thoughts controlling your daily activities? Not to be so sad and depressed?

        • Our thoughts really can take on a life of their own, Amanda - I understand exactly where you're coming from. Here's some posts I've written on this exact subject. On how you are right where you are meant to be, so stop beating yourself up so much and stop being so hard on yourself.

          What it really comes down to is that we are judging ourselves so harshly, holding ourselves to such a high standard of expectations that are completely unrealistic and we would never hold anyone else to, that we become so sad and depressed because we know we can never live up to these expectations! It's time for some grace for yourself, Amanda. None of us is perfect, we all make mistakes and have regrets about what we have or haven't done in the past and the way we've behaved. Whatever you believe about what you could have or should have done differently, know that you're human, my beautiful friend; and part of being human means being imperfect.

          Forgive yourself, learn from those things you have regrets about, but know that you're worth doesn't change simply because of your past. Give him some time and space, and learn some conflict resolution skills in that time, and then if he doesn't have this same kind of grace for you, know that that's about him, not you. You can't change anyone else, but you can always change how you choose to see a situation. Much love to you, Amanda. You can do this! :-)

  9. I am so glad I found this. My boyfriend of 2 years broke up with me a few weeks ago. He said he wasn't happy and loved me only as a friend. The funny thing is he did this last year at around the same time. I took him back last time, thinking things would be different. Eventually, he started going out without me and not answering his phone, or just acting like he wanted to be alone instead of me. He works a lot offshore(in the oilfield of Louisiana) and is only home for a week or few days then goes back to work, This made the relationship hard enough. Just when things get so close to taking it to the next level, he backs off and breaks up with me. I told him this time, I am done, and to never call or text me again. After I told him this, he said he wasn't so sure this is what he wanted. I can't help but feel so angry at him. i feel so angry at myself for being so naive to believe he loved me . I am realizing now that there are good guys out there that will treat me with respect and not lie to me like he did. He obviously has some issues with commitment. He told me his one fear was being in love and the other person not loving him back, yet that is exactly what he did to me. So, I am moving on with my life now. I feel stronger everyday. I am moving away to another state and starting over once I am completely over him. I am looking forward to a new life, without him.

    • Welcome, Heidi; I'm so glad this resonated with you! Don't beat yourself up here; we've all been there and experienced the should have known better phenomenon, but this is a journey and we all do the best we know at the time. We can get so confused as to what love looks like, and especially if we have a pattern of attracting men with commitment issues, it often takes us a long time to figure out our own blind spots so that we learn how to recognize what it is we're so attracted to.

      I am firm believer in the power of a fresh start, and starting over when you're ready for a change, so it sounds like you are giving yourself a wonderful new opportunity to begin again. It takes time to figure out who you really are and what you're really looking for, so be patient with yourself and know that this adventure in dating is really about meeting people, finding out whether or not you are compatible and on the same page, and letting things unfold naturally without making so much work out of relationships. When something is meant to be, it always will be, and it's in learning to accept the reality of what is rather than what we may want it to be at a particular point in time, that we find ourselves so much happier in the end with a real relationship based on honesty and trust and not on a fairy tale of someone's potential that only we could see.

  10. Hi Jane!
    I was dating a guy for 3 months. Not so long into dating we booked an overseas vacation together. This may seem fast, but we'd worked with each other for over a year so we'd known each other a little while. We don't work in the same area - thankfully.
    Everything seemed really easy and fine. We were really compatible and never had an arguement. We spent a lot of the first two months together.
    I hadn't seen him for a week, which I didn't realise until he sent me a message saying that he was sorry for not seeing me for a week. He'd had two days off work and was busy with family. He asked what I was up to after work. It clicked for me that he didn't organise days in the future to meet up. It was always spontaneous messages asking if I wanted to catch up. I told him via text message that I didn't want to be slotted in. What I meant by this was I'd prefer for him to organise a day to catch up rather than spontaneous messages seeing if I was free that night. I didn't get a chance to explain this because he shut off for over a month. Before shutting off he told me he was interested in me and that he was sorry he'd given me the impression of not being.
    He then flaked on meeting up two times to talk about what was going on. Which was very out of character because he'd never flaked before and was incredibly punctual.
    He messaged saying that he hadn't been in at work for a week and he needed time to rest, not from me but just in general. As each week passed he'd take one to two days off work.
    Finally we meet up and he mentioned (not in detail) that he had a few things going on that he needed to think through. I didn't push him for what these were because I'd expect him to just close up again. He asked if I could be patient. I said we could park the issue of the holiday until he's ready.
    I know he's been feeling down about work. He doesn't like his job, he wants a career. So he's taken up a course, which I know he's unmotivated to do. So he's probably feeling even more pressure because he has to pay for each paper up front.
    I think everything just came together and overwhelmed him. So he closed off.
    I know he over analyses everything.
    I saw him last week and asked if he could give me a timeframe about his decision. He asked if he could have another week. I guess this was to see how refiancing his mortgage went. I could see he'd made a decision. He said he was leaning towards no. I said what's gonna make you lean the other way. He said it would have to be something big. He said he was sorry and that he would pay me back for the vacation.
    I told him I was disappointed and left.
    Later I messaged saying that throwing away $4k was a lot of money. That there must be another bigger reason.....did he not want to go with me? He has not responded.
    I'm incredibly saddened by this vacation situation. There's the option of going by myself, but thinking about that is causing me so much anxiety - I'd be flying half way round the world by myself, which scares me. There's no option of going with someone else.
    I'm torn, could he be depressed and should I be understanding, or should I cut all ties and walk away?
    Help please.
    Sorry if this is disjointed to read. I'm typing this on an ipad.

    • It sounds like you've been more than patient and understanding with him, Prue. Honestly, as hard as it is to accept, sometimes we just have to cut our losses and realize that we do the best we can with what we know at the time, and then simply accept the reality of our situation and find the best way of dealing with it that doesn't involve being hard on ourselves or beating ourselves up.

      If it's really not an option to re-sell or exchange any part of the vacation, or if going alone or with someone else just aren't options either, then let it go, knowing that it could be worse. You could have gone on this vacation with him only to discover what you've found out about him now, and then it would be that much more difficult - and awkward - when it's just the two far away from home in the middle of your vacation.

      It doesn't really matter what the reason is, Prue, if there is another reason or not, he's just not able to give you what he thought he was. Whether he's overwhelmed, stressed out, or going through whatever difficult situation, the reality is that this is about him, and not you, and there is nothing here that should be taken personally. You are still the same beautiful person who has so much to offer someone who wants the same thing you do and is ready for a real relationship with you! And always remember that you are so not alone, there is nothing to explain, nothing to feel shameful about, nothing to beat yourself up about. We've all been there, we've all had our share of regrets, we're all in this journey in our way and in our own time. And we all get there, eventually.

  11. Hello Jane! First of all, I am enjoying reading your blog and found some useful advice. Well now im dating this guy for nearly 6 months now. In the beginning he did alot for me he showed me how badly he wanted to be with me however, then i wasnt that interested in him and when he asked me in the very beginning what there is between us i skipped the question because i felt it was too early to even consider that. A couple of months passed and i started to like him (finally). He introduced me to his friends we were hanging out very often and i realised have been creating feelings for him and because of that some actions of him started to hurt me e.g. Not answering phone or replying texts and he has this habit of being so unavailable at times it makes me so worried about him.

    We both are students and have been going trough a stressful period during exam time i have been helping him alot yet he started being abit rude and whenever he rang me he seemed to be more interested in getting help rather than me. I usually dont tolerate that but i thought he is probably stressed because of the exams but so is everyone. He didnt turn up on de exam day itself and i have been trying to contact him since i have been so worried and he never picked up untill my 10th call claiming he fell ill he has been rude to me there and I havent contacted him since, however he rang me the day after that incident just once
    . I feel dissappointed Jane, someone
    you have been helping alot doesn't treat you the way you deserve to be treated fair enough we are not in a 'official' relationship but at least as a friend he should have treated me right
    Appreciated the help and been grateful which he hasnt. I dont know what to but to
    Ignore him for him to learn his lesson it hurts me while im doing this. I dont want to talk about that with him as i dont want to look needy. :(

    • Sometimes you just have to accept that someone isn't on the same page as you are, Isabella, as difficult as that can be to do. Rather than trying to "teach them a lesson" by treating them a certain way in the hopes of getting a different response or eliciting different behaviors from them, if you can simply accept that this is where he's at, without judgment that only affects you in the long run, you will have a much easier time moving on from here. I know it's hard when you feel like you've invested as much time as you have already, but sometimes as we get to know someone better, we find out that we're really not that compatible after all, and there's no shame in that.

      You could talk to him about it - and no, that doesn't make you needy, it's simply what your terms are and lets him know your expectations. But the fact that you have to talk to someone about this is more of a sign that you are not both on the same page than that he is likely to change his behavior after you've talked about it. You don't ever want to be with someone that you feel compelled to call 10 times, Isabella, because you obviously had some concerns about him if you felt you couldn't just call once and leave him a message that he would return in a reasonable amount of time.

      Don't see this as any kind of rejection of you; see it in the reality of what it really is; two different expectations of what it means to be in whatever type of relationship you're in. Yes, you deserve to be treated better than this, but you may need to find someone else to treat you the way you want to be treated rather than trying to change him. After all, if you have to try to make someone behave differently, or teach them how to do it, that's a lot of time and energy you're spending on them that you could be spending enjoying your life with someone who's on your page and is treating you like this to begin with!

  12. Reading this made me cry, out of both happiness and sadness I guess. This article described my past relationship so well that after reading it I knew I had made the right decision. My ex boyfriend had become quite distant, and for some time I blamed myself for the break up that we eventually had after a three-year relationship But now I see that I really tried my best to do everything described in this text and I can't blame myself for everything.

    I talked to him about it directly. I tried to work on based on the information that he gave me. I gave him space. I focused on my own interests and life. I did my best! But it did not work out. He just grew more distant to the point that he was ignoring my calls, avoiding me and hurting me immensely at the same time by his actions. There was nothing else I could do at that point than to let him go. I felt really bad about for quite a while, thinking I did not do enough or that there was something wrong in how I behaved or how I am as a person. I guess the problem was that he had started to have second thoughts about being in a relationship with me, for reasons I don't know and he does not probably either, and since I did everything mentioned in this text and it still didn't make him change his distancing behaviour there was no other choice for me. If I had read this text while we were still together I would have done the same thing. So thank you for this text. It made me feel so much better and relieved, although of course I still feel quite sad about how it didn't work out. But if it were meant to be we would still be together, so this is just how things went and at least I know I did the best I could :) Let's hope each one of us finds a compatible and good relationship sometime in our lives.

    • I'm so glad this article helped you see that didn't do anything wrong, Susan. You did everything you could but as we all find out, in the end it's not about how much any one of us does or how much any one of us wants it to work. It has to come from him as much as you. It's his stuff, his issues; don't make these yours or live in that place of second-guessing, overthinking and shoulding on ourselves that only keeps us stuck.

      You are now free. Free of trying to make something work that was never going to work if you were the only one working at it. Free to be treated the way you deserve to be treated. Free of games, free of being ignored, free of being hurt. Be so glad you finally had the courage to let him go, Susan; the way you were living was no way for anyone, including you my beautiful friend, to live.

  13. hi Jane

    me and my boyfriend were friends before we take it to another level,but now he has changed,he doesn't want to talk,return my calls or phone,he's always busy that's what he keeps on saying,when I ask about his behavior he says he'll get back to me,we've only been dating for 6 months I asked him if he has second thoughts about us am I moving too fast?last time he said he doesn't wana to jump to bed with without solving his issues it has been six.months now I love him so much,I have 2 kids from my previous relationships,please forgive me my English is bad

    • I know this is hard, Belle, but you will never be able to have the relationship you so want with him until he does this work on himself with his issues. Choose to accept where he's at right now because there's nothing you can do to change that. Give him the space he's asking for knowing that you can't change him, you can't change where he's at, but in accepting the reality of what is, you can find peace and give yourself the dignity and self-respect you so deserve.

      Know that you're not losing anything here, Belle. No matter how much you love him, if he doesn't love you, if he doesn't want to be with you, what are you really losing? I know it hurts, I know it's painful, but see this as two people on two different pages who don't want the same thing - not as a rejection of your beautiful you! - and eventually, if you can put your emotions aside for a moment, you will begin to see that this isn't about you, it's about him. You deserve so much more than someone who says he'll get back to you! You deserve someone who wants to be with you without you having to convince him why!

  14. Hello! Great advise on here. I want to hear someone else's perspective from someone who isn't going to be biased. I've been in a relationship for about 7 months with a great guy. Before we started hanging out as friends (we knew each other before but I was in a relationship with one of his friends) I told him I was moving back to the west coast from the east coast. I am in recovery and had been pretty early on when we started hanging out. I made a rule no relationships or sec the first year of sobriety. But our bond and chemistry was undeniable and eventually I gave in. We have to hide the relationship because of "bro code" since he's dating his friends ex which had always kind of made me upset but I understand why. So we had the best relationship, very loving, really healthy. Then I had to go back to cali and booked a flight without talking to him first because it was already laid out previously and wet hadn't been dating long. I went and our relationship totally changed. He finally admitted he was very very upset I didn't ask him because if I had I could've moved in with him and helped him with his business and selling his house so we could move together. Then the reason I went out to the west coast blew up in my face (as he had warned me it would) so now he's even more upset.

    Then, I was catching up with an old friend from my college days over dinner (a guy. .. I have more guy friends than girl) and he freaked out and accused me of going on a date with another guy. My friend had been there for me through some pretty tough times and I consider him to be a good friend. We've never hooked up. So we decided to get a tattoo and I had no money so my friend paid for it as I just had my birthday the week before. Based on my bf's reaction to dinner I withheld the fact we got a tattoo together. The bf came to visit and acted all weird about the tattoo knowing my financial situation but didn't directly ask me about it. He did in a roundabout way give me a chance to tell him but I didn't. So a couple weeks after that he freaked out about it on Skype and broke up with me. Ultimately I was dishonest and he said he couldn't ever trust me because if I lied about something like that, I was capable of way worse. It was an old behavior from my drinking days that surfaced but I work so hard every day to not act like I used to. He told me in our breakup phone call he wanted to marry me but probably not anymore. He also asked me if I had cheated before and I was honest and said yes but that was when I was drunk. He ended up giving me another chance on a very tight watch (as much as can be had 3000 miles away). It was really tender and just not the same. We constantly fought and he questioned if I had ever been honest with him. I had never been so honest with anyone in my life besides the stupid tattoo situation which I did based on fear of him being mad and losing him.

    Then some crazy stuff went down at my old house where I lived with my ex and the neighbor got ahold of my ex while my current bf was present and proceeded to tell him I had guys spending the night when he was gone. I had a friend crash on the couch once while I locked my bedroom and slept. So my ex freaks out and assumes I cheated which I never cheated on him. My current bf who has been very withdrawn since the tattoo situation is hearing all this stuff and thinking I'm w terrible person. Then my bf gets news from his financial advisor the same day that he should never marry me (I guess he was still thinking about it). And now I'm facing some serious legal consequences from my drinking days and my bf really really thinks I'm a horrible person and that I haven't changed and never will which is so far from the truth. He hasn't initiated an I love you or I miss you in 2 months. I went to see him lat month and he was so resistant. He accused me of cheating and was very cold. There were moments of normalcy but I could still feel the withdrawal. So since he found out about my legal issues he hasn't texted or called. I called him the day after all this happened and left a message. Nothing. I see him posting more things on spud Facebook and instagram than usual so I know he's on his phone. I'm letting him be in his man cave but this had been so painful. I'm living my life which is highly unmanageable still but I'm taking care of my sick mother which is my priority so I'm trying to focus on that. All these things happened in the past, even the tattoo thing, and there's nothing I can do to change it. He needs to let go of it instead of punishing me. He won't tell me what's going on in his head so I'm leaving him alone and doing my thing. I'm curious as to if he's just really insecure and that's why he beats me up over the things in the past (most of which happened when he didn't really know me). I'm currently trying to figure out if he's an alpha male, a borderline sociopath, a narcissist, any of which are accompanied by deep insecurities.

    Sorry for so much personal detail I just really want to see if I'm overreacting to him not communicating for 4 days at all. I know my actions in the past have been questionable but that is truly not who I am today with a clear mind and the best intentions. The silence is making me feel crazy.

    • The thing about our pasts, Scarlett, is that no matter how much we know we've changed, no matter how much we're honest and upfront with someone about where we're at, trust still takes time in any relationship, no matter how open and honest both people are. And sometimes it's just too much for someone. And sometimes we still have a certain amount of work left to do on ourselves and we're not ready to take our recovery into a new love relationship.

      The silence can be crazymaking when we want something so badly and we feel like it's slipping away. But if he's not there, Scarlett, if he needs more time and some space to decide where he's at, the best thing you can do is give him that space. If the two of you are right for each other, you'll know because he'll be there. He'll come around on his own. Whether or not I or anyone else thinks that you're overreacting to him not communicating with you doesn't matter. You are both free to make your own choices and sometimes those choices include the choice for some space.

      I know it's easier to focus on him and to try to figure out what's going on with him and what label you can apply to him in order to understand what's going on with him, but if you take that time and energy and use it to focus on you, that's what you do have control over and that's what will make a difference. Why do you feel such a pull towards this guy? What does he have that you feel you need from him that you can't give yourself? Whenever we feel such strong feelings about someone, when it's more about needing them than about wanting someone only if they want us, too, it's always about something deeper within ourselves. What do you need? How can you be more loving and gentle with yourself?

      You only want someone who wants you, Scarlett; if he's not there, no matter how great you know it could be if only things were different with him or you, the reality of your relationship is what you have in front of you right now. Make your recovery about you, before any other relationship. You deserve the chance to heal, and grow and recover from whatever got you here in the first place. Don't allow this to be a distraction from getting the care you deserve to give yourself, my beautiful friend.

  15. Hi, this article is great it really helped me organise my thoughts. But it really hit home as well. I have been with my boyfriend for almost 6 years now and I do love him so much but he is so detached from the world now I don't no how to handle it. He sit all day long playing world of warcraft or other things on his computer and barely talks to me. I get pockets of affection from him now and again and these make me feel like I'm over reacting but I honestly don't feel loved even though I no he does love me. He told me that if I left him it would destroy him so now I feel trapped like I don't have that choice to make. We have had the same conversation for years now on him needing to open up but the way he talks makes me feel like I'm making it up in my head. I am dyslexic and things get confused and remembers in the wrong order so that I wonder weather I feel this way because of just being confused. What I do no is I cry regularly because of this and I have no idea what to do to help. I asked him to see a counceler and he said he would but admitted in an argument recently that he only told me he would to stop me asking. He is kind and in the past I wanted nothing more than to spend my life with him but now I just don't no what to do or think. I've tried making my own life and it does help but not enough. Please any advice would be great on how to talk to him or what I can do to improve my life. I have been deeply depressed in my past and he helped me through that and now I believe he might be depressed but I can't help in any way I don't feel strong enough and I feel so guilty about that too.

    • Remember Hannah, that each of us is ultimately responsible for our own lives, for our happiness, and for our own choices. It's not fair for anyone to tell someone else that they must stay with them or else it will destroy them. That's not yours to carry, Hannah. Don't let anyone, including him, put that kind of guilt trip on you. If he won't seek counseling, if he won't take steps to better his life and help him through this tough time he's going through, then he's the one making that decision, not you. I know you want to help him and you care about his well-being, but you run the risk of becoming an enabler by never allowing him to see the responsibility he alone carries for his own life. You are not here to rescue him.

      Don't sell yourself short with a label of dyslexia, my beautiful friend. Some of the most brilliant, creative people in the world were given such a label only to discover their brilliance when they found a life for themselves that reflected their own way of seeing! You're not confused; you know exactly what's going on, but he knows exactly what to say and do to cause you to question yourself and keep you with him even though this relationship serves him far more than it serves you. Listen to that tiny voice inside you that knows this to be true, Hannah. You know all this. You know this isn't right. But only you can do something about it. It begins with that first step of seeing the reality of the situation - of your relationship - in practical terms instead of with the emotionally laden feelings of guilt and helplessness. Once you see what is really there - what you are not getting from this relationship and the toll it's taking on you through the years, the excuses you're making for him and the crumbs you're settling for in these pockets of affection, you will know why it is you shed your tears.

      This is your beautiful life, Hannah. You have so much to offer, so much to give someone who sees in you what you have forgotten is there. Give him the space to live his own life, to take himself down with him if he wants, but not to take you down with him. You have your whole beautiful life ahead of you! Find that little girl inside you who is more than a label, who knows she can do anything and isn't the least bit confused here. Let her be your guide to show you all that you are, all that you are capable of, and all that you deserve. Find your true interests, what you really enjoy, meet some new people doing volunteer work for a cause you believe in or connect with others who've been dismissed with a label. Find your passions, your dreams buried deep down inside and just see what you can do when you believe in yourself! Talking isn't working with him, so move on to the living part, where your choices for your own life say so much more than your words alone. Find the people who support you, who encourage you, who believe in you. Let go of the ones who reinforce the negative beliefs you hold that keep you stuck. If you look around you, you will find so many opportunities to find yourself, to create the life you were born to live. But it begins with you, Hannah, and like him, you're the only one who can choose to make this happen. You are far more powerful than you believe, my beautiful friend!

      • Thankyou so much for replying, it's really made me think. I'm not going to give up on him yet but I will concentrate on myself and see if I can lead by example. Maybe if he sees that, it will make him realise he can improve his life too, without my help. I am an artist so I will concentrate on that for now. Thankyou again I really feel much better. X

  16. Been going with my Boyf for 9 months and he has never told me he's loves me face to face. He tolde once on the phone but that was 6 months ago. I do love him but feel I can't emotionally connect. He said he finds it herd to express himself. I'm finding it really hard. I do need some emotional closeness

    • If you adjust your focus for just a moment, Cass, and instead of focusing on the words "I love you", what if you focus on his actions? What do his actions - the way he treats you - tell you about how he feels about you? We all need that emotional closeness from someone we're in a relationship with, but you want this to come naturally from him because he feels this way about you and not because you're telling him he needs to say it or giving him an ultimatum. He may find it hard to express himself, but at some point, if you're both on the same page and want the same thing, this should get easier for him because he'll want to express how he feels to you in one way or another. Sometimes the words don't come easily, but if the actions are there, if the way he treats you clearly tell you that he does love you, that you're both on the same page, and want the same thing then that's what really matters. The words come at a different pace and time for everyone, but it's always the actions and the behavior that say so much more than words alone.

  17. Hi Jane,

    This article really hits close to home for me. I'm 23, and I've been with my boyfriend, 26, for about a year and things were really great in the beginning. He was sweet and attentive and we were really happy for the first half year or so. Personality wise, he's always been a bit passive and doesn't say what's on his mind alot but I was so happy I didn't give it much thought cuz he was treating me right. For whatever reason though, around the half year mark of our relationship, I started asking him where this was going, do you see us together for a while, etc, and I started asking more and more, to a point where he got annoyed and said like "i'm disappointed in you.. you don't believe in us". I know in hindsight now that it was my fault for pushing him past his comfort zone with all these "deep" questions but I felt like the longer I was with him the more comfortable I was with him and I just wanted to see where we stood.

    Fast forward to now, we've been arguing about everything the last few months and he just makes me feel so insecure now... He stopped using smiles faces and hearts in text, on our monthly anniversaries, he would just say happy __ month, with no heart or smiles, making me feel like it's a chore for him to say it. He's always been really stressed out at work lately, having started a new job with longer hours and more responsibilities, so he's been having less time to hang out with me. We don't live together and see each other once a week, and text everyday, no phone calls cuz he's not a phone person. We used to gchat everyday while we're both at work but when he started his new job it's been a lot less and I don't want to ping him to bother him in case he's really busy.

    Honestly, I'm not sure if he still wants to be with me anymore... We talked last night on the phone, and I asked him if he still wanted to be with me and he said "i don't know. we've been trying to make this work for a while, but it doesn't look it like it..." At the end of the conversation we both agreed we would try our best at the relationship but today, we barely texted. I was trying to keep my distance and give him his space so he wouldn't feel suffocated but lately I've been noticing he's been hanging out with his younger female cousin and her friends on facebook and I wonder if his attention is going elsewhere.... Maybe he wants that ego boost cuz we haven't been happy lately.

    I would love your thoughts on my situation. This is my first serious relationship and I feel like I ruined it by being insecure and asking him pressuring questions all the time... Should I give him his space and be a little distant? I really want us to work out... As my first serious relationship, I guess I'm just not sure at what point is it really time to let go if I'm not happy... I'm hoping by me being distant for a little bit, he'll come back to me but I know it's not healthy to cling :/

    Thank you so much Jane,

    Shell

    • It's always hard when there's changes in your relationship and you sense a distancing that you're not sure if you created by your need for answers, or if he's just needing some space. Don't blame yourself or look back with regrets, Shell. We all learn as we go along and we all would do some things differently if we could relive our pasts. But that's never the point, and we only do so much harm to our beautiful selves when we second-guess ourselves and beat ourselves up over the past like we do. What you do have is now, and your present situation and there is still so much you can do to see if the two of you might still be right for each other.

      The first thing I would do is give him some space. It's not about you being distant, it's about you living your own life and focusing on you and your interests so that what he does or doesn't do isn't taking up so much of your time and energy. When you let someone's actions affect your own security level and your self-esteem, it's inevitable that you end up blaming him, or feeling like the victim, or feeling desperate, or a whole host of other feelings that are not healthy for either of you. He doesn't deserve so much of your power! You don't have to let go, you can choose to live instead and go out with your friends, and spend time with the people who support you, and get involved in those activities and hobbies and organizations and classes, etc. that you are passionate about and make you feel good about yourself apart from him.

      It's never about playing any games, like playing hard to get, it's about living a life that makes you so confident and sure of yourself that he's the icing on the cake and not the whole cake - does that make sense? Because it sounds like you so want this to work that you've forgotten the most important thing; that if two people are on the same page and want the same thing with each other, it happens naturally over time, without anyone pressuring anyone; it just happens because both parties want it to. That's how you'll know, my beautiful friend, because if he's not there, if he doesn't want the same thing, you don't ever want to be with someone who doesn't feel the same way about you as you do about them; you want - and deserve! - the real thing!

      • Hi Jane, I need advice from an outside perspective. Long story short: Me & my fiancé have been together for 4 ½ years. I randomly asked him a question and he finally (after 4 years) told me how he has been feeling. He needs to find himself. He didn’t know why I wasn’t making him happy lately. It wasn’t me, another girl, or any fights we have had and he would be faithful while he is going through this. He was happiest in our worst year (lay-offs and financial issues). I asked if he was moving out (my home first) and he said if I wanted him too. I said if you need to find yourself. I will wait, but LC so you can clear your head. He says he wants to marry me but not right now and hopes to come back to me. He also says we will “get through this” but yet he isn’t sure what that means right now. He has been working out of town this year and never experienced that and while he was gone I was working on myself but he came back acting odd and I knew something was coming. The first out of town trips he was texting how “he loved me and couldn’t imagine walking through life without me” and “how I make him a better man” but this last trip something happened. He travels with usually one co-worker (different everytime). I know they were in a remote area so they went to the same bar every night to eat. He does not drink. Maybe he got a touch of coming and doing everything himself and hanging with a guy everyday. He said he(we) gets asked to hang at bars but he always says no cause he knew I wouldn’t go. He never asked me. I have no idea he wanted to hang out at bars since he doesn’t drink. If I hadn’t asked, not sure he would have told me. He spent every minute with me the first 3 years. I would say to “hang with his friends” and he preferred to be with me. He always asked what I wanted to do and wouldn’t tell me what he wanted. I think we have become stagnate and he sees that as we do nothing fun anymore. Usually when you get engaged you take care of the man and maybe I was too good to him. We had major fights in the beginning but while he was out of town I sat down and wrote out how I felt and realized our life was gonna to get better cause I was in a better place and now he is lost. The people we used to hang with have had marriages, moved and had families so it’s not my fault we aren’t as busy. Then with jobs being lost we didn’t have money to go constantly to concerts, movies and etc.
        I read your column and stepped back and giving him his space. It is hard when you have everything with someone and now you have to split it up or wait for them to figure it out. We didn’t speak for the first few days and over the past few days and that is when I stopped asking if he “changed his mind, moving out or was feeling better”. He comes and goes as he pleases now and we no longer text or talk on phone. I have just gone to being a friend. We do share the same bed cause our couch wasn’t comfy but I am not changing that. 5 days after this came out he is slowly becoming lovey, brushing up against me, silly quotes to make me laugh when he is home, acting concerned for my health or sayin’ things that he used to say to show he cared. He is doing it but not saying he loves me, or any physical affection. He is asking how I am and cleaning his garage instead of packing it. Sometimes will even hug me goodbye in the morning. He is started to say “going to side job or work now” and I respond very light with an “ok thanks, drive safe”. I do not want to push him out and will wait but am I doing the right thing. He does seem happier but I don’t want to ask. We have a couple of events we have tickets for coming up, do I ask if I am still going? Should I start separating our lives in case he decided moving out will work better? I am confused on if he can get back to the affection/intimacy if we go more weeks without it. Thank you for your time.

        • * Addition to my story above.

          also, I have stopped making his coffee, dinner, packing his lunch. I still doing his laundry but I stopped folding it.

        • This living arrangement seems so awkward, ViXen. It sounds like you're living your life tiptoeing around him, not wanting to bother him too much, hoping that he'll be motivated to change - to want more - but not being comfortable enough to communicate easily with him. This doesn't sound like anyway for anyone to live! Giving someone space is hard enough to navigate when you're not living under the same roof, but it's that much more difficult when you're living like a married couple under the same roof but without the commitment. He's got it so good, he's got no reason to do anything different!

          I would ask yourself what you want here, ViXen. You're the one that this is really about. I know how easy it is to take his behavior personally, but his inability to commit to you isn't about you or anything you're lacking. This is about him and where he's at. You're not meant to live on the begging end like this, waiting for him to make a move and wondering when he's going to come around and what to do in the meantime. You are so much more powerful here than you realize!

          Decide what you want, my beautiful friend, define your own terms and what you're looking for in a relationship. Love and commitment are always about two people being on the same page as each other, both wanting the same thing and willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. You can't change him - and you don't want to be with anyone who doesn't want to be with you!

  18. I needed this article so bad right now. I really would appreciate your advice. I have been with this man for 6 months..well I have known him. We met online. It was a very slow process from day one. An email or two here a week. Then on to maybe one text a week. Then a call..literally a call in the second month. So we met..did the deed first time. Started to see each other as fwb during the week for the first 3 months. I went on vacation..it was 4 months of fwb at that time. He started texting me when are you going to be home every day. Previous to that it was only for a hook up. He text me the night before I was coming home and said let's go get something to eat..it doesn't have to be about sex. He worked really late that night but I did spend the night first time..no sex...but cuddled all night. The following weekend he asked me out..we went to a very nice dinner, drove around and had a blast. I spent the night again..same thing. He text me 2 days later and said what do you think about dating. I said I think that's awesome. He text back and said yes I want to start dating and yes I am happy about it. Went out the following weekend. Then nothing for 2 weekends..he bailed last minute. I politely text him and said I know you have other obligations but I just wish I felt like more of an option. He text me 2 days later and said I have been doing some thinking and I really think I want you to be my girlfriend. Saw him that afternoon for a few hours and then again this past weekend only a few hours.
    We haven't talked about being exclusive. But I did text him saying you have the right to date others if you wish but I am looking for more in the near future...if its you and I cool..if not...we will cross that bridge if that time comes. So I get a text 2 days later that says I want to see you before I leave (for 7 weeks). But we hurdle talk or text anymore and I feel like you maybe seeing someone else. I text back and said not at the moment...not really interested in anyone else. (Mind you its been 6 months). Now here is my issue.. when we are together we have a blast. We talk constantly...kiss...cuddle...all that good stuff. But its like I don't exist when we are a part. Never a call. Maybe text a few days but not a conversation by any means. I have never met his family or friends. Is this guy confused?? Wanting to take things extremely slow or what?? Here lately it feels as if we are returning to fwb. I am so confused...and drained.
    Now he has been in 3 ltr's.. he has a very stressful job...a son that he is constantly running here and there and there is an hour drive between us. I feel sometimes if its not his terms...he wants no part of it...a call a text or a date. It is weird. I have ran every possible scenario through my head. He is leaving in a week until Thanksgiving. I don't know if he will have a change of heart again or if I just need to cut ties now.
    But I will say...we do have a lot more communication now..than we ever had before...but still not enough. There are times I don't hear from him for 3 days. It usually is I really want to see you or I miss you. Never asks how is your day what are you up to. But then when we are together we talk about the whole week and what we have been up to. I know he hates the phone..he is on it constantly at work..but Geesh. He has never been to my place its always his.
    He told me he wants me to contact him more... so I have this week and he either doesn't respond to my text or if he answers my call he doesn't call me back. Help. Sorry its all over the place but this whole situation is.

    • You have to set your own terms, Stacey; if he's all over the place then you need to decide if this is working for you or not. I wrote a post about just this subject - friends with benefits - and how we can fool ourselves into believing that we're ok with such an arrangement when we're really not. Ask yourself what you're looking for, not what he's looking for, and then take back your own power. As much as it seems like this is about him, it's really about you, my beautiful friend; and you're the only one who change this by being true to your own beautiful self!

  19. So much potential is right!!! He's capable of sooo much! We are capable of so much! But he's an idiot! He can't talk to me and be emotional and I wonder are there woman out there that are like that? That don't need to be on a personal and emotional level with there man at some point!? I had a talk a few nights ago with my man and the thing that bothered me was when he said "I'm looking for a girlfriend, you're looking for a husband." So I asked him do you want to go seperate ways? And guess what? He says no! What!? After that comment aren't you kind of ready to go away. I was so hurt and also so ready to leave at that point that I could've broken it off but I didn't. He admits to being dumb and thinking I'll always be around, taking me for granted, but I'm not sure i can do this, keep this unhealthy and unsatisfying relationship going.

    • We all have our limits to just how long we can continue to "do this" as you say, Tiger. To "keep this unhealthy and unsatisfying relationship going". How insightful a comment he made when he clearly called out the fact that you are both on two different pages - him, looking for a girlfriend, and you, looking for a husband.

      And so at least you have this all clearly out in the open, and now you can decide what you want to do with this, because it's not going to come from him as he has little reason to do anything differently as long as he continues to have the mindset that you will always be around and he can always take you for granted.

      We are always surprised to discover just how powerful we are in light of such a mindset as this. That we can change it all with the simple word of "enough" when in our own time, we come to the same conclusion. A real relationship is based on two people who are on the same page, who want the same thing with each other and are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

      It seems so simple, but getting to that point where we fully understand what that means and refuse to settle for anything less than we deserve is always a much harder decision to make. Don't be too hard on yourself, Tiger; we've all been there to one degree or another.

  20. Thank you for this article Jane and i would like to hear you own views on this.I have been dating a man for four years now.In the second year of the relationship he went silent on me and when i pleaded with him to tel me the problem his answer was he was testing my love.i forgave him for that act and we continued with our relationship an again he went silent and now it is almost three month.This is the fourth year.Before he went silent i noticed on how rude he was,he would get mad at me for no reason at all and when i tied to find out his problem he be rude or not answer at all.After asking him so many times what was the problem,he later told me that he has not been happy in the relationship and he doe not know what is causing his unhappiness and that i am not to blame.I decided to focus on me since he was just keeping me in the dark.I found out that he already has another girl in his life though he doesn't know that i know.Before he went silent over the one year we had talked about our future and how or house will be and when to have a child and not even at one point did he seem he was not interested in all those plans.He cannot make me happy if he is not happy and if he would do something about it he would but he finding no solution.I am left heart broken on why he had to string me along on plans he never intended to achieve with me.when he called last night i asked to let me be and that this the end of me and him and he asked me not to make it a goodbye.i want to move because he clearly has moved on

    • Reread what you wrote here, Carol; you've done the right thing by letting him go. You never deserve to be the object of someone's rudeness, or anger or silence! If he isn't happy, that's his problem and these are his issues to sort out and not yours, my beautiful friend. It doesn't matter why, because there are too many possible reasons and none will make a difference in the way he's been with you. Look at this as a new beginning for you and your beautiful life that's been waiting for you to notice it. This is about you being given a change to find someone else to give your beautiful time and energy to who will be so much more than someone who isn't on the same page as you could ever give you! Let this other girl have him knowing that he takes himself with him, and so it can never be as wonderful with her as we sometimes believe it must be.

      This is about you, and not him. This is about you focusing now on yourself, on letting go and moving on at your own pace as you see this not as a rejection of any part of you, Carol, but as a gift that you are now free. It will get easier, you will come to see this more clearly as you focus on you, and there will come a time when you will back on this and see it for what it really was. You deserve so much more than what you were getting from him, my beautiful friend, let someone always prove that he is worthy of you before you give him any part of your beautiful self, Carol. You are worth nothing less than that!

  21. Hi Jane, I've been reading so many articles and this one was the one i connected with the most. Im soo confused right now and just need a little help :-(
    I'm in a very complicated, and now, emotionally draining situation. I've been friend's with this Guy that I am now seeing, for 5 years. We met when we worked together at an event. I was seeing someone at the time and he was engaged to another girl. We managed to maintain a friendship and just became email buddys. We never crossed the line or even met up - he was sometimes a good person to talk to about stuff in my life cos he was outside my friends cirle.
    He was with his ex for 9 years (married for 4) and they officially split at the beginning of the year after trying to make it work for the last 14 months. She cheated. We then started talking a little bit more and even hung out a couple of times. He chased me. I had never thought anything more because we always chatted and we just clicked. Never an awkward moment. We started seeing each other more and then about a month into seeing each other he mentioned how he wanted to move interstate etc, to which i was very supportive however when he brought it up more i pretty much told him that if thats what he wants then I dont want to persue anything further and get hurt. He wasnt happy with this but told me that he would respect my decision (I was in Singapore at the time on holidays) He called me back (it was 2am in the morning here) to tell me that he just couldnt let me go cos im the one person that makes him happy etc... I took a risk and thought ok, whats the worse that can happen, i'll get hurt and i'll just have to get back up and keep going-at least i wont have any regrets of not giving it a go. It was great after that ... we got closer and closer, and evolved a lot together. We were pretty unseperable, even while he was away for two weeks, every time he had WiFi he'd text, and he called me every single day without fail. He got back and things were great until 2 weeks ago when i noticed he was becoming very distant. At first i thought it was me, i thought it over and over then i spoke to him about it. He's always been great with communications, always picked up on everything and talked about it. I've never been with anyone like that before. No problem was ever too much to talk about. But when i brought it up with him he said he's just been busy cos he's come out of something and pretty much been told to start fresh (property, finance, just general life plans) which i understand .. He's even told me i've been nothing but supportive. But now i feel he's pulled away sooo much that he might have even emotionally disconnected, I never get messages from him during the day that makes me smile.. even if he had nothing to say, i would get a little kiss emoticon or something, but now he talks to me like im just.. a friend. There's no affection whatsoever. We still talk every night, not 3 hours like we used to before (yes we used to talk for hours and hours on the phone from day one).
    The last conversation i had with him about how i feel he's been distant and something is just not right, was 6 days ago, where for the first time i didnt get reassurance for the whole "us" thing. He said "i can promise you today and tomorrow but i dont even know wht i want in the future". He's made everything about "us" and "we" and now all of a sudden...its changed. I've been soooo worried cos i've falled for this guy and i feel i may have lost him.
    I know we cant go back to being friends. I cant.

    I apologise for the essay, i just feel so confused :-(

    • I should add, I even gave him an out 6 days ago but he didnt take it.. instead he told me that he cant promise anything but he enjoys what we have. So he wont let me go but wont necessarily commit/so any type of assurance.

      We've also kept our relationship on the low side cos coming from ethnic families/communities, he said he didnt want ppl pointing their fingers and labelling me as the "home wrecker". After all ppl done know what happened with his ex and him, yet are very quick to make judgements. He didnt tell his family either cos he felt it was too soon after his seperation.

      How can someone change all of a sudden like that? I dont understand

      • You don't have to understand, Sha; in fact, we always drive ourselves crazy trying to! So decide for yourself; are you ok with what you have if he can't promise
        anything? That's what this is about. He's let you know where he stands; now it's up to you to decide if you can live with these terms, without any type of assurance. You're the only one who can answer that.

    • You can't possibly begin to understand what's going on with him or why he's suddenly pulling back like this and becoming distant, Sha; but what you can do is believe him when he says he doesn't even know what he wants in the future. That's pretty clear. Don't take any of this personally; you haven't done anything "wrong", there isn't anything you could have done differently, this is simply about him and where he's at right now.

      I know it's so hard to hear this, to actually believe that it could be like this after all you've been through together, after all you've shared, all you've had together, after all the time and energy and your beautiful you that you've invested in him and this relationship; I know it's so hard to understand and you so want to because it doesn't make any sense from where you stand! But this is about the reality of what is, and not the fantasy of what it could or should be or what you so want it to be. This is about him telling you by his actions and behavior that have changed and now by his words, that he doesn't know what he wants.

      The most loving and self-respecting thing you can do for yourself here, Sha, is to decide for yourself whether you can live with his terms the way they are. If you need more than he's able to give you, if he's asking you for space here - and it sounds like he is - then give it him, knowing that he has to be in this as much as you for it to be all that it can be. You only have to end it yourself if that's what you want to do. You don't have to be friends, you don't have to do anything except focus on you and living your own beautiful life in your own beautiful way that honors and respects you. You don't have to communicate any of this with him either; your actions will speak so much louder than your words.

      Know that you haven't lost anything if he's not there, Sha. Someone has to be on your page, wanting the same thing as you do - with you - to be there, to really be with you at all. And as hard as it is to let go of something that had so much potential, know that you come first. Whatever's going on with him is his to figure out. This is about you, my beautiful friend; and you deserve someone who is on the same page as you are, who wants what you want and is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. If it's him, you'll be the first to know when he figures out what he wants and then you can decide where you are and make your own decision. And if it's not, know that you've been given a chance to be with someone who is; that's the very least you deserve!

      • Aww thank you Jane :-)

        Yes it is extremely hard but you're right, I know what I want and need from a partner and I just need to let it go, for my own sake. I will put myself first again and do things for me.

        I am fortunate enough to have a very good support network (best friend, brother & sister in law) so really, I just need to learn the art of loving myself and accepting how things have, sadly, turned out.

        Your aticles are great however and I do enjoy the read :-)

        Thank you Jane

        • You're so welcome, Sha; I'm so glad this resonated with you.:-)

          Remember that you're doing the choosing. Accept what is, not what you wish it could be and you will find your peace in that acceptance. Nothing is ever personal; it's always about someone else and what's going on for them. You have so much to offer someone who is truly deserving of you!

  22. Jane,
    Ive been with this guy for the last year and a half, he is the only one ive ever been with. I was his first everything, kiss, gf, u name it. Ive known him for 5 years. It took him 4 years to finally talk to me. We are getting married, well, he hasnt proposed, but we are making those plans, housing, planning the wedding, he says he sees us married in a year. Well, the past 2 days he has been cold and distant and irritable with me. He can be downright rude at times and just uses the excuse, the truth hurts, or Im just trying to bring u back to reality. When I bring it up to him that he is upsetting me, he tells me that ik he is bull headed and stubborn and that i ought to know it will blow over. He has promised to always tell me if something is bothering him,( i suffer from some serious abandonment issues from my child hood and such. I always take things personally and assume im the cause for someones problems) well, I asked him multiple, and I mean multiple times in the past 2 days what was wrong, he told me the first day, we fought, made up, everything seemed fine, till yesterday. Again, cold, distant. He came to my house last night for about maybe 2 hrs. The entire time he barely said 15 words to me. he just watched tv and wouldnt really answer my questions about his day or work, at first he was a little lovey, then towards the end of the time together he just seemed to drift farther from me, I felt like crying because it hurt, but i didnt wanna make him feel bad or feel like i was giving him a guilt trip so i didnt. well he put his boots and hoodie and hat on and said he had to go, leaned down to the couch pecked me on the lips, said love you, opened the door, I stood up and hugged him and looked at him and said, r u sure ur okay? He grabbed my hips and pushed me(not hard or aggressively) away from him, putting a good 9 inches between us and said, Jerrica! Stop! Its getting old! Im serious! Right before I could burst into tears(THAT HURT MY HEART!) I was able to squeeze out an ok. he pecked me on the lips really super fast, like i couldnt even respond, and he walked out the door. When he got home, he told me he was home. then 45 minutes later he texted me good night babe. I said good night ethan. No I love yous, nothin. Now this may not seem so bad to u, but this is a complete 180 from how things usually are. He is usually sweet and romantic and loving. I mean, he definitely has an insensitive side, but im just getting worried. I dont want to bring it back up and upset him again. I love him with all my heart and know I have a future with this man, but after being burned in the past, I cant help but be terrified when he acts cold. Jane, I have given this man everything I have. Ive changed my lifestyle(all good changes that needed to happen) and my dreams and made myself a better healthier person for him and myself and Ive moved away from family to be closer to him. If I lose him, I have no idea what id do. I literally would be lost. he is my best friend. Ive got nothing to give to another if me n him dont work out! Im scared. I finally let go and trusted him fully, and now Im in this spot where if something happens, Ill get hurt so badly. Y is he acting so cold Jane? How do I handle this? Do I just ignore his weird behavior? Act like I dont notice when he acts upset? That just isnt me tho........ :/ help!

    • You shift the focus to you, Jerrica; you take him down from the pedestal you've put him on and you do whatever you need to do to bring your own beautiful self up to his level in your mind. You are his equal! You have just as much to offer as him! No matter where you've been, no matter what your story is, no matter how huge your abandoment issues from your childhood feel to you. We all have our issues, we all have baggage in our past that influences the future no matter how much we try to hide it. He's human, too, Jerrica; no matter how much he's inspired you to make those positive changes you've made, you're the one who made them, not him!

      While on the one hand I want to say that you always want to be with someone who you feel comfortable talking about everything about, that you never want to be with someone who you have to worry about upsetting by sharing your heart, and that you never want to have that feeling of walking on eggshells so that you feel like they hold all the power and make all the decisions while you are just there because you're lucky that someone chose you. All of that is so true, Jerrica, but on the other hand, it also sounds like he has become so much of your life and focus that you notice every little nuance that seems different, Don't make him your world, Jerrica. He doesn't deserve that place and it's also too much responsibility to put on anyone in our lives.

      Whenever you feel that you would be lost without someone is a good indicator that you need to fill your life with other things as well. I remember that feeling all too well myself, but it's so much healthier for both of you - and this relationship - to have him be just part of your life, than your whole life. It keeps things in balance, it keeps you from giving too much of yourself and it reminds him that you have a life as well so that you never run the risk of being taken for granted. It also helps you see the relationship for what it is when you can view it from a few steps back rather than an extension of yourself that you're always afraid of losing. Then you can decide if these things you describe about him are dealbreakers, or if you are ok with living with someone like this for the rest of your life. We all have our moods, our imperfections, our issues, but it's about whether or not you can live with someone else's that determines whether you are truly compatible or not. And that's something you'll only be able to determine if you take him down from that high place you've put him and lift yourself up from where you've been keeping yourself.

      You don't have to talk to him about all this, your actions will always so much more than your words. When you love yourself and choose yourself before anyone else, you'll see all of this more clearly for yourself, too, Jerrica. Don't defer so much to him, and don't give him - or anyone else! - so much of your power. When you love like you do, when you give so much of yourself so freely to someone because you feel so unloveable and so unworthy of being loved, you can forget that you're the one doing the choosing here, my beautiful friend. Is he worth it? Does he deserve you? Those are the questions you want to ask yourself. Is he worthy of you?

  23. Hello, Jane I really hope you can help me. First of all I am married and he has an on again off again gf so please just don't give me advice about not cheating cause never have had any intentions of it and won't. It is a simply about the heart thing that is all that has really worried me. Ok I met this guy on line we became friends only of course cause I have high morals have never cheated never intend to I made that clear to him quite early on, though I will admit I was attracted to him when he started chatting with me and that is really rare for me. Anyway we were basically talking to each other like friends (We have known each other about 12 months little longer now) but talked quite a bit. He did start out innocent flirting and i would just respond back in a friend type of way not really flirt. Then as it progressed we moved our chat to another chat system where we could talk more, but still talked sometimes on the other site. It was a friendship site, I had made female friends there as well, but I had pics of me and family pics and such. He would always comment on my pics and sometimes my family and friend pics. As time went on he did flirt more aggressively and I would just mainly respond back kinda like in joking ways back to him, cause I really did start liking him and was just trying to gt to know him. We finally talked one night and agreed we were only going to be friends of course cause I am married. He is single. I did ask if he had gf once he said no Then one night a lady comment on one my pics I asked her if I knew her and she said no but you know my bf and she said his name. (She had followed me from seeing my name on his list) So I asked him abt it, at first he said she wa an old friend that stalks him then he admitted she was an on/off gf and it was complicated cause that she had cheated on him in past and that she still does and the way their work schedules are they dnt get see each other much anyway.
    Heb said after he explained all that to em can we not talk about her anymore. It was lot longer than i have typed here. I said that is fine you should told me cause I am married woman anyway, and that is your business anyway. After that we kept talking as friends sharing, talking about all types things getting little closer as friends. One night out of blue he just typed to me I love ya. I didnt' say anything then I just change subject he has never said it anymore. Of course I dnt want to go with this man or cheat would never do to my husband he is too far away in another state anyway. The guy was always saying things like you are special not like the women I am use to. You are grounded that is one of the things I like about you. You have that energy you turn me on so much, you're lovely, so charming He did say several times he would never want to ruin my life that he knew i had good life, I said you're not. He has turned his cam on few time for me to see him, but I have not turned mine on and he has not asked me to. But he seen many pics of me on that site and in emails. Normal pics of course. (After the gf made the comment on the site it was nice comment btw) but it was her way of letting us know she knew we were friends. He just deleted his profile. We still talk on the other chat program. What am asking you is I am just curious is all do yo think this man really cares about me? I am not cheating or leaving my husband, but I simply want to know for my heart is all I will only ever remain his friend I am sure he probably knows this too even though he knows I care. Do you think he did really fall in love with me, cause now we still talk and he said he wants still talk but have noticed he is maybe a tad distant from before but not really different I mean he has same personality towards me and all. The small distance does bother me cause I want us to always keep that good close friendship it is a simple break from life sometimes he even said same. Do you think he started to love me and/or got confused cause sometimes he really opens up about a lot of things to me and then other times not quite as much seems be his personality tho. I even encouraged him to find better gf that he deserved better he did not really want talk abt it much. He says I am so nice so sweet and I want be a good friend to him I think he needs one. Can you help me figure out his mind though? Sorry this is so long.. Thank you so very much!

    • You may want to be a good friend to him, Lexii, but the fact is that you are married and he is single. Regardless of how comfortable you are with having a friendship or whatever you want to call your interactions with him, someone who would involve himself with a married woman when he himself is single -and available - has his own issues. So what he is thinking or what his intentions are need to be considered in the context of the reality of this scenario, and not in the context of what might be or could be.

      As much as you may be curious about what he is feeling or why he has behaved the way he has, the reality is that he is single and available to someone who is also available to him, and regardless of what your own comfort level with this whole setup, it doesn't sound like he shares that same comfort level. Try to look at this from his point of view. We all make our own choices and eventually come to see what we are worth and deserve and make our choices based on that assessment, so whatever he may have led you to believe - and he may not have even known what was going on with his own feelings - what you do know is that he is putting some distance between the two of you now. He is showing you where he is at.

      It might not be enough of an answer to satisfy your curiosity, but it's always someone's actions that tell you where they stand. Trying to read between the lines of anything else only leaves you putting far too much energy into something that has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with him. Focus on you and creating a life that makes you happy and brings you peace and joy instead!

  24. Sorry Jane that was a mis type I and the guy have known each other about almost 3 months not 12

  25. Hello Jane;
    Like so many women ahead of me, your piece came to me at just the right time. Reading this confirmed for me that the choice I made to take the final step in ending my relationship of 8 1/2 years was the healthiest thing I could do for the both of us. Your piece hit home. I have been in a unhealthy relationship due to my own issues of abandonment throughout my personal life. I knew in the first year that he was wrong for me when I found that his idea of a committed relationship included his inability to be honest and faithful. I kept taking him back and for the first time in 8 years I said out loud to him "we have not had 1 full year in 8 years that you did not stray in one manner or another". Hearing myself say that brought a sense of shame, disgust for myself but at the same time it was what I needed to finally say "enough". I have been so afraid to be left alone again that I kept telling myself being lonely and losing all site of myself was better than not having him in my life at all.

    His looks, his soft side, his voice...those were all things I kept telling myself I did not want to do without. The tears, the begging him to be loyal, my holding on to him kept both of us from being truly happy. The short moments we shared when he was "in with both feet" stopped being enough. In the end I realized neither of us were helping each other move on.
    I am a single mom of 3 girls from 2 different marriages, both spouses who were also disloyal. I brought that into this relationship and also saw that I created in my own daughters a sense of belief that you stay in a bad situation when they should learn that letting go is healthier.
    I just turned 49 and this year as of last night I decided to make it about rebuilding myself and showing my daughers while they are still young that sadness passes and being alone is not the same as being lonely. That we all have heartaches and dreams that won't quite go the way we painted them but that we can still dream
    Thank you for this site and for giving me a chance to share and to tell all you women. We are Beautiful and deserve to see that in ourselves and to love ourselves.

    • Thank you for sharing your story so honestly here, Donna, and for your eloquent way of describing what you've gone through and how you've come to see what you're truly worth.

      It's never easy, it's always so hard to give up those tiny crumbs that can feel like so much when you feel like this is better than the alternative of being alone. But it's only when we take that first step, that we come to see a strength we didn't know we had, a power that we never knew existed within us, and a realization that we are now open to whatever new love is awaiting us.

      Thank you for your beautiful words, and welcome! "We are Beautiful and deserve to see that in ourselves and to love ourselves." Exactly, my beautiful friend.

  26. Hi Jane,

    Like everyone else, this article spoke to me. I have always had issues with abandonment and loneliness, but it has increased lately due to my difficult relationship.

    I moved to a brand new city for a fresh start and met someone unexpectedly. At the time, she was in a long term relationship. We were friends, and became close as the months went by. Eventually, she confessed she was deeply unhappy in her 6 year relationship - there was no physical aspects of it anymore - and she was considering moving on. I tried to stay in friend mode even though I had feelings and explained that you should never stay in something that doesn't make you happy, especially if she's tried for so long. (sometimes I wish I could follow my own advice). She later confessed to me she had feelings for me. She warned me that it's going to be a difficult process because they share a life together and she wants to be sensitive in the matter.

    Fast forward 7 months later and she has finally moved out from her ex. She had to get a different job in order to support herself financially, she had to move, and also is esentially dealing with a divorce. All of these things, I believe, has culminated in her becoming distant. We go for weeks at a time without seeing each other and when we do she is always in a bad mood or on edge. I don't feel a deep connection with her anymore and there are times where it's almost as if she's a friend rather than a girlfriend. Unfortunately we've had many issues in our short relationship, mostly involving her ex. She wants to remain good friends with her ex and they still spend time together. This has been a sore subject for me because I find it difficult to deal with and I'm still very much a secret (no one in her life, minus a few select friends, knows about me). She did this as to not be harshly judged by people because she was remaining in a house with someone she had broken up with. And she also did this to spare her exes feelings. Part of me finds this respectable, but part of me feels like I'm being treated unfairly.

    Now that she is more and more distant, I am finding that almost everyday I wonder if I should stay. I love her and want to support her if her distance is due to stress because of so many different aspects. But I also worry that she has realized this was a mistake and I'm going to continue to be pushed away. I've expressed to her I feel she is distant and she admits that she feels "weird" but that it will pass because she's dealing with life circumstances. But our complicated history has me worried that it might be more.

    • Then take back your own power here, Brittany, and decide what you want to do with this situation. You're not going to change her. What you're dealing with - and her choices on how she wants to handle her ex - are all things that you're not going to change, these are her terms of the relationship right now. But what you can do, is make your own choices. Set a time limit for yourself on how long you're willing to experience this type of distance, if that's what you need to do to feel more equal in this relationship.

      You're the one who decides what you are willing to put up with and for how long; you're the one who makes your own decision based on what someone is worth to you. You're not on the begging end, my beautiful friend; you're the one doing the choosing. If it doesn't feel like that, do what you need to do to change that, whether it's coming to terms of what you're willing to accept for what you receive in return, or whether you need to make a more significant change. This is your life; you decide how you want to live it!

  27. So I have been in a relationship for 8 1/2 years. We used to fight over definition of quality time before I gave up & just let him do his thing & got mg own hobbies/games to play. That was few years ago. Now last month he says that he feels different about me. Still loves me but he doesn't want to regret not saying anything. Mentioned how we're more like roommates because we do separate things in evening and hardly ever have sex. We have lived together for 4 years but have separate rooms. He goes to bed later than me & I have to be up earlier than him so it works out that way. We have a 4 yr old dog who is like our child. I think we changed when we got him. We probably spent more time on puppy training & felt like we had no time to work out or have sex because we didn't want to leave him alone. His brother lives in upstairs of our house. I have been making effort to be less obsessed with my tv shows and spending more time with him even though he plays a lot of computer games. He's always need like that but he used to make time to be intimate. Recently I accidentally saw he was watching porn before he goes to bed. Told him I felt hurt. I want to get back what we had. I cannot imagine my life without him or our dog. I don't want to force him to pull away but I feel like if I do nothing then we're back to where we started when he said he feels different about me. I don't see any drastic changes from when we didn't live together. We've gone through a lot of ups and downs. I don't know what he wants from me now &afraid to push or find out. We used to cuddle more & watch more movies together before our dog & before his brother lived with us. It's like walking on egg shells. I don't know how to make him happy and still be happy. I have lost my appetite & cry a lot. Very scared to lose him & our dog & our home. I love my little family & was shocked to know how he felt. Sometimes I think we're making progress but then feel like we're not in other ways...

    • I know this is all hard to go through, Sarah; but if he's feeling differently about you, please don't take any of this personally. It's not about you; it's clearly about him. I know the thought of losing him and your little family has such an effect. Of course you're not eating and crying alot. How could you not when this has become your life? But know that you haven't done anything wrong here. Sometimes, people grow apart and you don't even know it, believing it's just comfortable until someone says something. And then yes, you both have a chance to make some changes, to see what you can both do. But this isn't all yours to carry, my beautiful friend. If he's not willing to work on this, if he's not there, you can't make him be there. Don't let him bring you down. Do what you need to do to get through this. If he won't talk about it, then live your own life. Get your needs met by finding support for you in being around other people or engaging in other activities and things that make you happy. Don't beat yourself up, don't be hard on yourself. It always takes two! Give him some space, fill that space with focusing on you and what makes you happy. Don't overthink. Don't go down to his level. Just be your beautiful, confident, radiant, self, Sarah. She's still there.

      Relationships don't have to look a certain way to be happy ones. You weren't the only one to agree to a dog and his brother living with you. Don't make this all yours. If he doesn't want to be with you anymore, you don't want to be with someone who feels this way! No matter how much you want to hold onto this, you don't want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with you, as much as that hurts. You want to be with someone who's on the same page and wants the same thing with you! Sometimes we can believe we are happy and that we're better off doing more of the same only because we have so much time and energy invested in such a long relationship. You deserve to be happy, too, Sarah. Remember that. You can only do so much; the rest is up to him.

  28. Sarah, maybe "text Romance back is for couples like you". Perhapse you just need to look good and use some flirting techniques to get it back. And then again ask your bf to ne realistic. After 8 years you are probably not in thé same age group. Your hormones are not the same. People do not want as much sex when they get older. They may think it's a problem, but it is just the reality. You still may enjoy great intimate life if you try, but it may be different from what you experienced in your youth. Relationships may need to focus on different things.

  29. hey..
    can u pls help me with my problem..
    i am in a relationship with this guy from past 8.6 years.. initially everything was fab, we loved each other.. he was madly in love with me, he use to travel my city in every 6 to 4 months.. and we were always connected over call, text.. with saying "love u" he never hang up our call... but all of sudden things have changed... since we have celebrated our 7th year anniversary, after tht he changed... we broke up like 1000 times... then again we patch up.... this is what going on.. break up--patch up... he hurt me alot alot.....now he shouts at me...even a small fight make me go for break up i tried everything to make things go right.. i have talked to him.. he said i know i changed but i dont know the reason... may be in future i'll be okay... next day he says he loves me...then again 2 days later in any argument he'll say i want to break up.... i mean i don't understand what is the matter with him... why he hurt me so much.. what should i do... i miss him... :(

    • If you're getting this type of back and forth behavior from him, Shikha, you have to decide for yourself what you want to do with it. You can't be the only one trying to make a relationship work; it always takes two. Whatever has changed, whatever has caused him to start behaving like this with you, it's about him. You can't fix it on your own. It's coming from him, so he has to be the one who wants to make it better and figure out for himself why he's changed.

      It's not your responsibility - nor is it healthy for you and your self-esteem - to "make things go right". He's showing you his terms for your relationship, now it's up to you to decide if you're willing to accept him terms, or if you need to take a step back and live your own life, focusing on you and what you deserve in your life. Of course you miss him, it's so hard when someone turns like this. But don't take it personally! It's not about you.

      It doesn't sound like he understands it, so don't spend your own beautiful time and energy trying to figure him out either. Accept the reality of what is right now - that this is where he's at and how he's choosing to be right now - and then live your own life with enough space for yourself and your own interests and hobbies and people that love you and support you so that you can still be your beautiful confident self.

      Only time will tell what's going on with him and what the future holds for the two of you; but you can choose how you want to live your own life, regardless of what he does or doesn't do.

  30. Hello,
    I just read your article and found it helpful. So the man I have been seeing made it official last month. We told each other we love each other and everything. We ran into a snag over Christmas. He couldn't come to see me and has been in a funk. We talked yesterday and he told me he just doesn't know whats going on in his life emotionally and legally. I told him I was there for him yesterday and he told me he loves me. I haven't heard from him tonight and am assuming the worst because that's where my mind goes. Please email me for more specifics, but I'm not sure as to whats going on and am scared for him and myself. I know thats not what he needs is my fear. I'ved texted him once tonight with no answer. They don't tell you they love unless they mean it, right? I don't throw this word around but I feel it for him.

    • That's where so many of our minds go, WD, but there's always a reason. We know something's not quite right, even if we can't always put a finger on it. Trust yourself, trust what you're feeling here. No, unfortunately, people can and do tell us they love us even as they mean something completely different than our definition of love. If either of you need professional or legal help, do the most loving thing you can do for both of you and make sure you get it. You can't make anyone else get help, but you can get that help for yourself. Remember that real love is never about fear, only love. Life will always have its ups and downs, it's about making sure you're compatible enough with someone - and on the same page - to withstand those ups and downs together.

  31. Amy Beckle says:

    I love this article, I am so glad to have stumbled upon it because I am at a loss about what to do. I have been dating this guy for only two short months. Luckily it hasn't been much longer, although I did enjoy the times we spent together. I am so confused and not sure what to do I just want to do the right thing for Me.

    We never talked about being in a relationship, although we have become intimate. I was over at his place tonight and I noticed that my hairbrush was gone because I wanted to take it back. I also noticed that there were travel size bottles of shampoos. I didn't give it much thought at the time and didn't want to ask him what had happened to my hairbrush. Usually, when we walk into the elevator he would hold me and kiss me but tonight he just stood there with his hands in his pockets and smiled at me. Overall, he was distant and unemotional. It was also the first time I have seen him in two weeks whereas before I would see him at least once a week, usually twice.

    I have pretty much convinced myself that he is seeing someone else and am ready to move on ASAP/ let it go ASAP. I am just wondering what to do next. Should I call and ask about my hairbrush? Because I honestly do not care for it anymore. Should I tell him that I don't think we should see each other anymore or just ignore him and do the fade out? Any advice will be greatly helpful and truly appreciated. Thank you so much for reading.

    • Go about this in a way that you can live with, Amy, in such a way that leaves your dignity and self-esteem intact, and leaves you without regrets. I would let it go, personally, - and I have my own story about an item that disappeared once so I can relate to your story :) - but do whatever gives you the greatest amount of peace and calm and leaves you without regretting what you did or didn't do.

      As you say, at least it's only been two short months - so many of us stay for so much longer believing something will change only to find that the only thing that changes is our lower self-esteem, our diminishing sense of confidence and our inability to see the reality of what's really going on.

      This isn't about him, this is about you and what you can live with. Be true to yourself, handle this the way you're most comfortable handling it, and know that he'll figure it out - he already has from the sounds of it - regardless of what you say or don't say. He knows.

      • Amy Beckle says:

        Hi Jane, thanks so much for your caring timely response. You don't even know how much I appreciate it! Today, I sent him a text message asking him if he knew the whereabouts of my hair brush, and he ignored me the whole entire day. But, as he was paying me no attention I was preparing to end it with him for good as soon as he got off work. I also texted him in advance saying that I needed to speak to him at a specific time. He texted me when it was that time to tell me that tonight was not a good night. I did get him on the phone eventually and the whole thing went pretty smooth. I told him that I didn't think we should see each other anymore and that we weren't right for one another. He then rebutted saying that were weren't seeing each other and that we were just friends. I told him I "didn't want to be his friend anymore take care and good bye". He can take that hair brush and shove it in his for all I care. Just don't understand how a guy can be intimate with someone they do not even like.

        I then got a last minute invitation from this guy I have been talking to. He invited me to a show with his friend and his friend's girlfriend. Needless to say, I had a wonderful, magical time. He held my hands, he held Me and hugged Me close. He even let me hold onto him as we were walking down the street and we kissed! I felt whole, clearheaded and most importantly, Happy. It was amazing to connect with his friends as well. Something I did not have with the previous guy. I never met any of his friends, I felt insecure, self conscious and uncomfortable around him, and had anxiety. The previous guy never held my hand, or hugged me in public, he did not even let me hold him close to me. I am so glad I ended that toxic, as you said Jane, relationship. It seems like you and Mr. Golf were pretty serious so I am wondering if you ever spoke to him again after you left the airport?

        • Thanks for sharing, Amy; how wonderful that you were able to see the difference between someone who truly wants to be with you and someone who isn't there! Those are the moments that are available to us so many more times than we see them if we can only let go of the other things - and the other people - that we hold on so tightly to. And yes, as for that guy you read about, I did hear from him again; right around the time my husband asked me to marry him, of course! And as much as I had always imagined how wonderful it would have been to hear from him, there was nothing there for me when I got the surprise email from him, since I had come to know what real love was really like. As you say, when you can see the real-life difference between the two, you wonder why we hang on as long as we do. Please keep us posted, Amy; I'd love to hear how things go!

          • Amy Beckle says:

            Hello Jane. I really enjoy rereading your blog every now and then, it is always a good reminder to stay true to myself. Things have taken a different turn for me since my last post. Well, sure enough he contacted me a month later. He has since asked me to be his girlfriend, professed his love for me, and mentioned wanting to marry me. Although I am happy, there is a part of me that wonders whether or not he settled for me. I wonder because, prior to contacting me again after our short break, his ex girlfriend left him for the third time. During those two months when I first started seeing him, he was simply using me to fill in the loneliness left by his ex. In the back of my mind, I wonder if he would leave me for her should she ever come back into his life. Thanks so much Jane, for reading my post.

  32. I love this article! I found it very useful. I met this guy through a friend! he liked me so much and we started dating! Then suddenly he backed off because he obviously made it clear that what he wants is to get physical to continue the relation. I told him until I get any commitment or until I am sure that you are the one I cant promise you that, and after there was no communication until two months when I started again texting him and he was so happy to hear from me and after he initiated the meet up.. but that night he texted me saying: Baby I got to tell you that I like you very much and I like to be with you also, but I'm like one step forward and one backward don't know baby, you are too sexy for me and I'm a horny mother f*****, Best thing is to keep distance. I replied saying that "you are charming and you have everything and you can get any woman you want... I like you very much and I want to be with you but I am not like that.. It is your life at the end and I can't force you to be with me, So I respect your decision" . He replied: Baby You have to break the ice". Tell me dear Jane, what best to do in this situation? I know he is attracted to me!!! I like him and I don't want to lose him, is there anything I can do to save the relationship?

    • Thanks, Sahar; I'm glad you found it helpful. Remember that while it might be flattering at first to have someone talk to you like this, and make you feel so wanted, you want to ask yourself if you're really on the same page here. It sounds like he's looking for something much more physical than you are, and you - for good reason! - are looking for something more than that to continue the relationship.

      You can never lose someone who's truly right for you by slowing things down, and in fact, that's exactly what you want to do so that you can really get to know him better before deciding if he's worthy of you and if he really is someone you want in your life in the first place.

      A real relationship is about two people who are on the same page and want the same level of commitment - and are willing to do what it takes to make that happen, including respecting and honoring each other's boundaries. If you're both not on the same page here, ask yourself why you want to save a relationship that doesn't have that. You know!

  33. Hi Jane, I love this article!
    Just like the rest of the responses I too feel like i'm always catering to a man who's emotional disconnect especially when he runs his own business and when it's a bad day in the office (which is almost everyday now for the past month) he just doesn't want to talk about it. Or anything. Not even be intimate. Only when it's convenient for him of course. I'm tired of always being the one to carry " us . " Sure it started out great then rock then great for the past 5 years. I just am lost now. I almost feel mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I'm sure there isn't anyone else. He's just super distant when it comes to his business and making money. I never hound him and force him to open up to me, i just let him know i'm always here if you need me to listen. Still he brings that home and he's Mr. Grumpy. Everything is all wrong for him, oh and he's a narcissist too. I am trying to help both of us out, the other day we were walking together and usually we walk together side by side and holding hands, but nothing that day. :-(

    • I'm glad you enjoyed this article, Jules. I so hear what you're saying; it's hard to accept how much things can change and how long it can go on for, especially when we know it could be so different if we weren't the only ones trying to sustain the relationship. It can be lonelier than being alone. It sounds like at least you do know exactly what you have with him; you know what he's capable of emotionally and what he isn't, so even if it isn't the way you want it, you know the reality. I'm sure you're tired of being the one to carry the both of you, but we do what we do for a reason. We stay with who we stay with because we'd rather be with them on their terms, than without them. And there's no right or wrong about what we choose; we all have our reasons.

      Make sure you get enough support for you, Jules. If he's not able to meet your needs emotionally, find people who you can connect with and create your own beautiful life full of what you need, so that what he does or doesn't do - his moods - don't affect you so much. You'll know if you need to do anything different; trust yourself. Sometimes when we've invested so many years in someone or in a relationship, we think we can't do something different, but it's always your choice. When you can step back just a little, get the support you need for you, start to live a little more for you than for "us", see if this becomes any clearer for you. We all have our reasons, but we also have our answers deep inside of us once we're ready to find them.

  34. Dear Jane,

    I just found this and it has helped so much. Now... to put it into practice.

    I met the guy of my dreams 9 months ago today. We've both been through some very difficult relationships - both been left and cheated on, etc. We thought we'd finally found each other. I always joked about us being old together and that I would have to be the one to die first in old age because I would miss him too much. The whole relationship was so lovely. We always held hands. We spoke every day throughout the day, all day. He always said he loved me, xoxo's, bought me little love tokens, etc. It was sweet. 5 weeks ago, his father who'd been suffering from lung cancer (whom he had a very severed relationship with due to abandonment when he was a kid, but my ex was trying his best to be there)took a turn for the worst. I suggested that he go over there as quickly as possible, as he might not have a chance to say goodbye otherwise. He did and he helped his father the last week of his life. He saw his dad suffer a great deal, but he never got what he wanted, that resolution. His dad. He called me throughout, with updates, to unload, etc. He wanted to come home for a couple of days (his dad lives in another state) for some 'normalcy' before heading back to deal with the aftermath. He really wanted to come straight to me before he headed to his own house. He asked me to go with him and his son to the funeral, etc. for support and I went, in a heartbeat. It was difficult. I saw him start to shut down. His relationship with his step and half brothers is chaotic, but family nonetheless. After the funeral we headed back home, where Christmas awaited us 3 days from then. It was more chaos, it was busy, it was a whirlwind of having to do last minute shopping, wrapping, hosting dinner, etc. 3 days after Christmas he decided very impulsively to quit smoking. He warned that he'd probably be a not so nice person for the next few weeks. Between Christmas and New Year's he became more distant, detached, numb, sad...A couple days later I noticed that our online communication was a little different, not as warm, etc. That night I asked him if everything was ok, if he wanted space to himself that weekend, I was more than happy not to go to his place for the weekend if he just wanted to be by himself. He said he had a lot things in his head, a lot of things were coming up. I had him call me to clarify a few other cryptic things he said in text and he just said it, with no hesitation...I don't think my heart feels as strongly as yours does for mine. I've tried so hard to feel 'passionately in love' with you but that should just happen on its own. (I WAS IN SHOCK) He doesn't feel 'in love' with me. He thinks I'm amazing, caring, supportive, the most amazing woman he's ever met but he can't feel that 'passionately in love' piece that he once felt. (Who does after nine months???) I asked how long he'd been feeling this way and he said 4-5 weeks (basically 1 week before his dad took a turn for the worst.) That was that. He's shut the door. The person I once knew is gone. What I'm hearing does not match what he was like. At all. He bought me a vintage typewriter for Christmas (I'd once said it would be fun to have so that I could type him love letters) that he carefully researched. 4 weeks prior had bought me a sterling silver antique spoon that was stamped "I love you more than coffee". 5 weeks prior had said in a text "When are you coming over? Feels like I haven't seen you in forever. I had a bad dream that you broke up with me and I woke up all sad." See what I mean??? I just doesn't make sense. But he just turned that switch off. He told his neighbor that he thought I was amazing but didn't want to screw up my life. He also said that I could be the perfect woman for him but he honestly didn't feel 'in love' and no once could force him to feel that. I'm so confused. I'm so HURT and SHOCKED. I miss him like crazy.

    • Amy Beckle says:

      This is such a sad story and I'm so sorry you're going through this. I had a boyfriend of seven years tell me that even though he loved me he just wasn't "in love" with me. It was the biggest shock of my life but I had to pick up the pieces and move on. It took me a couple years to realize that it was not my fault he didn't love me, and that I had done everything I could to be the best girlfriend that I could be. Sometimes, people just don't like peaches. Even if it is the sweetest, juiciest most ripe peach, they still wouldn't like it. It sounds like there are many stressful events going on in his life at one time. His father passing away, he quit smoking, and dealing with his step siblings, all of these can definitely contribute to his un yearning for love. It just doesn't seem like he is in the right state of mind for love.

      And he is right that you can't force him to feel anything he does not feel. Just like no one can force you to feel love for someone you do not love. It by far, does not mean that there is no one out there that will develop these feelings for you. I find that every relationship is a life lesson in disguise, because we learn so much from them. From what we realize about what we do or do not want in a relationship to what like or do not like in a partner. Even the most trivial things, become important. We are all so unique and it takes someone really special to love us the way we are. Someone also unique in their own way. Most importantly, you have to stay strong, happy, and confident while being true to yourself.

    • I so feel your pain, Jeannette. Of course you're hurt and shocked and confused. Of course you miss him like crazy. It sounds like something really triggered him with his dad; it's so clearly about him and not about you. I hope you see that, because for him to turn like this from all the things you've described, it sounds like there was so much more going on here than you - and probably even he - realized. This goes deep, and he's got some real things to sort out for himself. You haven't changed, you didn't do anything wrong or to cause this, so don't blame yourself for any of it. In this new time and space he has to himself, he can figure this out and do what he needs to do to sort through this if he chooses to.

      The most important piece of this is you. What do you need to do to get through this? Listen to yourself and what you need first and foremost. Be so gentle and kind to yourself here. Surround yourself with loving family and friends who love and support you through this. And whatever you need to do with him to get through this, there is no right or wrong here. Put yourself first, and keep asking what you need. Listen to your heart, trust your instincts and you'll find the answers. Let the tears flow, find the healing that comes from those tears, from being with each and every emotion that you have. Comfort yourself by knowing that if the two of you are meant to be together, you will be. You can't change him, you can't change what's gone on with him, but you can know that if he figures this out, you'll be the first to know. In the meantime, take it one day at a time, it will get easier, you will come to understand this more in time, but for now, you've got someone who needs you to take care of her and make her a priority; you!

  35. Cuddlybuffgirl says:

    Another beautiful true article. You may be sad at first, that is natural. But you will feel empowered since you stood your ground and kept your boundaries up and didn't put up with x or y behavior. Best way to raise your confidence.
    IF he was ready, he would not be treating you badly. He is not worthy of your love, that simple. IF he believes he is not worthy, he may be sabotaging subconsciously or consciously. Either way, NEVER play shrink to him. He has his own path to walk and he has chosen to mistreat a beautiful woman. NEEEXT!!!

  36. Melinda Rose says:

    Hi Jane,

    Felt I had to write here as I am feeling so confused about a guy I have been seeing since May 2013. I met him at college. I didn't fancy him at all at first and in fact thought his behavior was creepy, like he touched me a lot and I barely knew him etc. we became good friends on Facebook and eventually he wore me down. Pursued me relentlessly and until I agreed to a FWB relationship. He texted me all the time in those days and sent me lots of emails, usually sexual themed which put me off a bit, but I liked him, so I didn't want to give up. We exchanged pictures etc...from about September, we met weekly for meals and drinks, each time he was very affectionate, telling me he wanted me, wanted to be with me, would wait for me as i didn't want to rush things... he said he understood and loved me. Said I love you every week we met. It was great. I felt I found someone who really understood me and would be there for me. I told him how I felt and that I loved him too. I gave him money and gifts because I loved him and he doesn't work, so I wanted to help.

    Fast forward to Xmas. All the texting stopped. All the emails stopped. I emailed him and asked him if he was ok etc..he said "not in the mood to talk right now. Going to say goodnight"...no kisses like usual and no smile emoticons. That hurt. I backed off and have him some space. I emailed again telling him I was giving him a bit of space and that when he was ready to talk again, contact me.

    New Year. I find out he has been seeing another girl on Facebook. This girl is a friend of his that he lied to me in the past, about seeing. I'd asked him if he had feelings for her and he denied it. Said he only fancied an wanted to be with me. I texted him asking him why he lied. He denied lying! He said I went cold on him at Xmas..I was stunned as he was the distant one. Last week he texted me wanting to meet as "friends" I agreed...the day were meant to meet. He stands me up. I was waiting an hour. No show. No text either. I cried and cried. At least I thought we could be friends. Seems he is not bothered. I'm so sad.. Melinda Xx

  37. Melinda Rose says:

    P.s I meant to add. I didn't sleep with him. We kissed and cuddled, but there was no sex apart from cyber sex. He kept on at me to sleep with him, but I didn't.

  38. I thinkk its jyst plain hard. Relationships shldnt mke u feel
    awkward. To me in most cases evryrhng is workable. Jmping
    Fm relationship to relationship personal issues aren't
    Resolved. An to just poof whn uve bn wth someone is just
    Ego, selfish. One day thy wl see. Usually thyre patterns repeat.
    Do wht is best for you how u handle the split. Dnt u hve
    Regrets. Sad confusing mad alone ull feel. Im thre i knw.
    m
    tx

  39. Hi jane.i really loved ur article.pls help me here, ma boyfriend of two years said he needed space because he's not happy anymore because of me being sulky(which I regret n think it pushed him away) how do I make things better and what do I do cause I dnt want to lose him

    • Don't let anyone blame you for their own issues, Sissy. You aren't responsible for anyone's happiness except your own. We all have so many different emotions; it's part of what makes us human, so if he has a problem with how you are, there isn't anything wrong with you, the two of you may just not be compatible or on the same page. Rather than focusing on what you can do to make things better, ask yourself if you want someone who doesn't accept you for who you are, and blames you for his own happiness rather than taking responsibility for himself. This isn't personal even though he's made it seem that way; someone who's truly right for you will accept you for who you are and know that none of us is perfect!

  40. I love your article, its really nice, and very insightful.. There'z this guy I've been seeing for the past couple of months, at first everything was beautiful, he called and texted all the time, like everyday, and then one day he calls and says we're too close, that maybe we need a break, I stoped contacting him, and then he called to apologize, that he was wrong, n asked for forgiveness, I did, but then , there was a shift in our communication, he stopped texting and calling as freqent as he used to, then about 2 weeks ago, he told ♏ε̲̣̣̣̥ that he did like ♏ε̲̣̣̣̥ a lot, but that it started to feel as if he had to leave up to my expectations, plus I was being too open with him, and I caused him to distance himself cos according to him, wen a girl is too open, it drives the guy away, we got into a small argument, afterwhich I ended the chat cos he was becoming rude.. Anyways, he called bout 4days later and came over to my place to apologize, again I forgave, but this time around I told him he was going to have to prove his worth in my life, he promised, but now, he hasn't called since that day, he texts though, but it doesn't feel the same, plus I av a feeling that its just gonna go through the same cycle again, and I don't want that. I think I really do him, but at this point I don't knw what to do, I don't want to go any deeper and have him repeat the same things he did again

  41. Hi Jane ,

    I love your article , I have met this guy through friends and he lives in different country . The moment he contacted me I said am 38 years old , divorced and I have no time for wasters am ready for serious relationship that ends to marriage eventually . I was honset from the star and that's who iam . He accepted my terms and we kept touch in regular basis by calling each other on Skype and texting , we had an intensive 3 months contact , I felt he is the one we were so compatible on everything I really liked him we discussed the possibility of marriage and meet up . Sometimes he wouldnt be available but once we are in contact i did told him to pay attention to keep our communication constant so we dont lose the connection we have and he agreed . I know for fact we all adults and have our lifes in different country but when i sensed the agrreable side i was comfortable .What I felt a bout him was he had an easy life compared to me so I felt he might be spoiled but I disregarded this and Since last week I didn't hear from not even one text until yesterday after a friend of mine told me to text him and send a nice text and he replied back saying he is really busy and his phone acting up ! No miss u too or love you as his usual . I promised my self I will not let any man exhaust my emotions and drain it but I gave my hear to him I really did and the worse part I have been through a lot especially with my divorce and he knew that I believed his words and his promises the fact he said he Will not Let me Down and I fall for it like an idiot ! . Part of my heart says he is just a liar but why he bothers him self by meeting someone who lives in different country , there loads of girls in his place ! He is 40 years old guy who didn't get married I asked him before he replied he didn't find the right and iam the right one coz we fit so well . I cried and cried what have I said that made him think now iam not the one am successful , beautiful and independent . I have strong sense of family values that I thought he values it . Am so disappointed with my self that I let someone enter my heart how can I protect my self and keep bridges coz I tried before with somone and we broke up coz he felt iam not emotionally there but when I did became emotionally available I get the rejection . Am so confused . Mariam

    • Don't be so hard on yourself here, Mariam. We all do the best we can with what we know at the time, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. There are no guarantees in love, and as much as we want to believe someone is on our page and looking for the same thing we are, sometimes people change. Sometimes they get scared, sometimes they think they're there only to discover it's too uncomfortable and they back out. Or sometimes as much as they want to try, they just can't do it.

      The most important thing for you to remember here is that it's not about you. It's about him. Don't take any of this personally. There's a push and pull type of energy that often occurs with someone who isn't emotionally available. When you're not emotionally there, he becomes invested and claims to want more from you. But when you become closer and more emotionally available with him, he pulls back and distances himself. Of course it's confusing, but it helps to know that this is the result of his issues and he needs to be the one to work on this if he wants it to work. You can't do this for him or for anyone else. When we look closer at why we are attracted to someone like this, we find out more about ourselves and what we want and what we don't.

      The most important thing though, is to not be so disappointed with yourself, Mariam, but accept that you, too, are human and not perfect and the point here is to be yourself and let someone else be himself and find out through the gradual getting to know each other whether the two of you are compatible in the ways that really matter. Slow things down to your comfort level and make sure you can see each other in person before you decide if he's truly compatible with you. Sometimes, these types of men thrive in long-distance relationships because it allows them to keep a distance that's more suited to their comfort level. It's never about you.

      • Thank you so much Jane

        I understand its not me its him , this is the third week I didn't hear from him and honestly as much as I want to hear an explanation , I feel now I really don't care .
        I feel so stupid , I have been through a lot and I thought I would protect my self but I couldn't . I deserve more than this , why he couldn't give me the respect I deserve ? I can take an answer no matter what .
        am moving on that is the best I can do for my self

        Thank you so much for the encouraging wards and your support .

        • You're so welcome, Mariam. I'm glad you're seeing this more clearly; all in our own time we come to see what it's really about, and more importantly, that it's never about us the way we think it is. You can't do it all, you can't change the way he treats you no matter how much we believe it "should" be different. It has to come from him.

          • Thank you Jane ,

            I deleted him form my contacts and soon from my life , but I had to send one last message to him

            and say my last words . I know he will not contact me for a reason I will never know , its his lost , I wish he will realize the pain he created , all I want to say to my self that I really want to forget about him and find peace and love with someone else .
            coz I deserve it .

            Jane again thank you and keep this blog full of promising and inspiring words

            • You always know, Mariam. And so does he. And you absolutely deserve nothing less than exactly that peace and love and happiness with someone who wants what you want with you. We're not here to change anyone or to try to convince anyone of our worth. We're here to stand, to be, to live, to love, and to accept where we are and where others are and if we're not compatible in the ways that matter, we're not compatible. If we're not on the same page, we're not on the same page. Real love is never as complicated as we think it is, but it always begins with that acceptance of ourselves and with others. Thank you, Mariam; you're seeing this.

  42. HELP! HELP! HELP! I love your post though. I have a guy I like so very much I think am so much in love with him. I met him some couple of months back, I had a crush on him, along the line I told him about it. We started talking! It w as so cool! I felt so loved and my feelings grew deeper! He gave me most of dthe attention not all though...lol. After a little while, we started having issues,I wasn't comfortable with the situation so I spoke to him about it as yur 1st rule says. At first he said 'nothing' I wasn't happy with the response so I pressured him more until he opened up saying he thinks am quite dramatic! I explained to him that am not dramatic I just bring up issues so I won't be the boring kinda girlfriend. I think he understood. But after then, his calls reduced, messages reduced, the care just stopped. I went to see him and we ironed issues out....... Everything was cool then afterwards the same coldness started again. I try to spice things up in the relationship, I reach out to him, I try to make it work n all. When I noticed the coldness I was so upset I didn't speak to him, gave him space expecting him to come back but he didn't. During the time I gave him space, I was occupied with my own interest and all but I was hurting inside...so I kept things like this on my status "never assume someone likes you by their sweetness. Sometimes you are just an option when they are bored, cos they'lld never miss you" another was about God providing somone who won't be a temporary lover like some people. When I couldn't take it anymore I called him twice, he didn't pick up. Then I sent him a message saying hi, he started with the attitude and cold shoulders. I asked why the attitude and cold shoulders he said he isn't giving any of that. That we haven't spoken in a while and the next thing I was talking about is attitude. I told him I was just concerned and al. After some mintues I told him I missed him and I have being ill and very busy, he replied saying he saw all my subs on my pm...that did I really miss him? I tried explaining it wasn't for him that they were really nice quotes I liked and I apologized. He said it was ok. I tried asking if we were cool, he read my message and didn't reply. Am really confused. I really like this guy and he really likes me too. But I don't want to loose him. Help help help what do I do. Am really hurting inside. I hardly like guys and all. Please give me the best of advice because this is a very crucial matter. My heart is bleeding. Thank you

    • Remember that you only want to be with someone who wants to be with you, MzzBankz. We're not here to make someone love us or pressure them into being with us. You only want someone who's on the same page as you are, who is looking for the same level of commitment in a relationship as you are, and is willing to do what it takes to make that happen. If he's not there, and it doesn't sound like he is, you can't make him get there. You can't change him. You can't make him love you or want to be with you.

      Love is never complicated when it's between two people who want to be with each other in the same way. Watch what he does and how he treats you. Listen to what he's saying when he pulls away or doesn't respond. You can never be truly happy with someone who you have to try to get to behave differently then they are. You say you don't want to lose him, but it's not in your control whether or not he wants to be lost.

      This can't be one-sided, he has to want this as much as you do. Let him come to you, let him reach out to you so you see what's really there, and not just him responding to you doing all the initiating. That's how you find out what's really there, by what he does on his own time, when he doesn't feel pressured to respond. Accept where he's at and then decide if it's what you really want by his actions. It might hurt right now, but it's so much better to find out that someone isn't on the same page as you earlier than later when your heart is that much more invested, and you've lost that much more of yourself trying to make someone love you or want to be with you.

    • Thank you so much Jane , this is the third week he didn't call or text so I know its not me but I feel sad that I let someone to come closer , being my self always place me in situation like this how I can protect my self from getting hurt and how I will know next time if I like someone so much he wouldn't hurt me ? Jane he ruined my self steam , I don't know what to say and how to act if I met someone , I keep reminding my self why he expressed all these emotions to me if he is not ready ! was I an easy target for bad guys like him . I know I need to move on I just want to protect my self that all .

      THANK YOU SO MUCH

  43. sad@themoment says:

    Hi Jane, I loved reading this article. And I am defintiely going through the distant phase right now. Let me try and make this story short... I met this guy Jan 2, and every since then we've been communicating all the time via phone, we ride to work together and even ride home together (public transportation) before we've met i've been without dating for 9months. When we first met I just knew/felt that there could really be potential between he and i. Beside his good looks, I felt so comfortable around him and for the first time in a long time he made me smile and laughed and i just felt as if I knew him for a very long time and to top it all off he is such a gentleman. So weeks go past he's planning trips for us to take and he's talking the future, everytime he stated the future it was always (us) (we) So i took that as a sign that maybe he could be the one. I am a very strong believe that a guy knows from the very first time he meet a female what he has planed for her; rather it's short or long term. So fastforward, by me feeling so strong about him I decided that I would go ahead and become intimate with him that took place (Feb 2) and after we became intimate he was still the same person very affectionate wanting to be around me and still planning our future. So now it's (Feb 11th) it's like he did a total 360 on me. It caught me off guard; and I wasnt quite sure how to handle it. So i called tried to talk to him about how i was feeling and i let him know that the way he was starting to treat me was not right and I dont deserve to be treated like that. Jane not one time did he apologize and denied his actions towards me; he acted as if the way he was now treating me was ok. So after I saw that we were not getting anywhere over the phone I just decided that i would text him, but what i texted him was pretty much letting him know that I dont appreciate the way he's treating me, and that he doesnt have to worry about me calling him anymore because i was going to back off etc.... With all that saying; I cried my eyes out this morning, because i just cant get over how things changed; and now i'm regretting being intimate with him.

    • We all have regrets, Sad; we all do the best with what we know at the time based on what we believe to be true, and sometimes, we find out the all too hard-way that what we thought was, wasn't. You're so not alone here. Don't beat yourself up here. You're human. You're not here to figure him out, to convince him why he should want to be with you, or to try to prove your worth. If he's on your page, he's on your page. If he's not, he's not. I know how hard it is not to take this all so personally, but it's not personal. If something's changed, it's because of something that has to do with him and not with you. You're still the same beautiful woman you've always been, with or without this experience. Sometimes, we just have to go through this to find out what's really there. And it does get better from here.

  44. Your site has helped me so much. I have been divorced for 10 years now. Seems like I always get mixed up with the wrong guys. I have several men that ask me out all the time but I seem to focus on the ones that aren't right for me for some reason or another. They seem to be emotional unavailable. The last one was someone that I didn't expect to fall for. He was one of my managers at work. I had worked with him for 5 years or more but he recently has been going through a long drawn out divorce. He is younger than me as well. I was surprised when I found out his age because he seemed much older, closer to my age. He was constantly telling me he liked older women. I never thought much about it until we started talking about our divorces and we became close. We started emailing each other because our work doesn't allow relationships like ours. He was always a gentleman with morals, standards, ethics and all the stuff I admired in a man. He said he admired that in me as well. We kissed a couple of time but that is as far as it went. He said he wanted to get all of his drama out of the way before he could move forward. I respected him for that. He went to court last week and he has been so different, His court date was continued and his kids were appointed a court attorney. They had a big fight and I guess it involved the kids.The week before that he was off work and emailing me everyday about something. He wished me happy birthday and told me he was taking off to take care of things. He thought his divorce would be final when he went to court. He was the one making all the effort to reach out to me. The last day we worked together before he took off, he told me he wished he could celebrate my birthday with me that Friday. He was very attentive to me even with a several people around. Before that he would grab my hand and hold it if no one was looking. Somehow my feelings for him crept up on me. I thought everything was great between us. After he went to court he emailed me and told me what had happened. I could tell he was upset. I told him that I was cool and I was in no hurry because there was no one else I was interested in at the moment. Then out of the blue he wrote me back and said that he wanted to keep it as just friends for right now. I was blown away. He was the one that emailed me and made the effort to show he was interested. I was just doing my job at work and taking my cues from him. I was trying to separate my feelings from work. Now the problem is that since then either he is different or either I am. I feel it is tense but it may be me. He still puts his hand around my shoulder and squeezes it from time to time and it is confusing to me. I has missed work a few times to avoid seeing him when I know he is on duty for the night. Today I told him I wasn't feeling well and I left early. It's hard to look at him because it hurts me. I have no idea what he is feeling or what he wants from me if anything now. He confuses me with his mixed signals. I have a business that is seasonal and I cut back my hours from work from March to July. It may be better for me to just have less contact until either I can get past this or he can figure out what he wants. My heart is broken right now.

    • It's those mixed signals that keep us hooked, Jackie. It's so hard when you want it to be so different, when it doesn't seem to make any sense, and yet it has to come from him if it's going to be what you want it to be. You can't do this alone. You can't be the only one who wants this to work. Since you see him at work, this makes is especially difficult. But you can do something here, Jackie. He may be sending you mixed signals, but you don't have to receive them. You can decide what you want to do with the reality of what his actions are showing you. The on again and off again is only that way if you participate. You can decide how involved you want to be.

      It doesn't have to be so cut and dry. You can choose to live your life, to find the people and things that fill your cup so full of love and life and the things that make you excited and passionate about living so that what he does or doesn't do doesn't matter so much. He's going to do what he wants to do - he's clearly shown you that. You can do that, too. When you focus on you, when you're out there living your own life for you, it will all be more in balance. You choose the way you want this to go within the reality of what is going on right now, Jackie.

      If he's right for you, you'll know. You'll be on the same page, his actions will be consistent, and you won't be left second-guessing what's really going on. A real relationship is always about two people who want the same thing and do what it takes to make that happen. Don't take this personally. It's not. You didn't do anything. If he's not sure, you can be sure. You can take your own power back and decide your own terms and how you want this to go. And if you want to wait and see, keep living. Don't stop. It's in the living of your own full life that you find what you're really looking for, and you find that everything else falls into place. You can do this, because you're worth it!

  45. Thank you, Jane. You make so much sense. He did tell me that he is having issues with his 10 year old son because of the divorce and I do respect him for being a father first and foremost. I just don't know how long I can take the waiting and or hoping that he will be ready to move forward. It is hard working with him and I get depressed about it after I have had a few nights at work with him. It is awkward to me. He looks at me and touches me gently, but respectfully, when he passes me sometimes. He told me that he is very stressed right now with everything going on. I just know I may not be able to be his friend (for now) as he suggested. My emotions are way too sensitive and I need to do exactly as you say and take my power back. I have to keep living and not let this control me. If it is meant to be it will be and if not then I need to move my thoughts in another direction. The stabbing pain in my gut I feel when I know I have to work with him that night is the hardest thing right now aside from the mixed signals. It's just really really hard. Thank you for the reply.

  46. Bernadette Jury says:

    This is such a great article! Maybe you can help me
    I have been with my partner for nearly three years - when we first started he told me he loved me after three weeks! At the time I couldn't return the feelings but as time got on I felt the same. He always said that he wants to marry me we have looked at engagement rings (not that I need one), I have met his family and we are meant to be going to Europe together at the end of this year. I really liked/loved this man for the first 1.5 years but about 9 months ago I realized that I was in love with this man

    He is funny, blunt, adventurous, genuine and has the best intentions at hears but he has his moments where he can be controlling, selfish and not listen.
    In the past I have asked for space because I felt we were not on the same page in what we were wanting - but we worked through it. The last six months we have been having a few petty arguments - I have been stressed and annoyed and have my own trust issues and I must admit he has been quite patient in that aspect.

    I went up to see his family for New Years and we had a beautiful time - while we were up there we just connected and had an amazing new years. Once we got back home things were really good and he asked to have a chat with my mother about our future ( I didn't hear what was said - but mum said it is the most serious he has ever been). Fast forward a week every time he came over he was anxious and couldn't sit still, he wont be affectionate and has just done a flip of behavior. This continued for another week and then he pulls me aside and says he would like some space. He outlined a few things that I needed to work on (my negativity, stress etc) and he said that he needed to sort himself out (but he wont tell me what) he says that something is missing and he needs to sort it out.

    It has been two months and all he is doing is hanging out with friends (one an ex- girlfriend that are just friends but they are on the same sports team) and saying he doesn't want to break up.
    Last week we went on a date and the whole time he was texting on his phone! - I don't know/understand what this quick turn around was but I am so confused and feel rejected..this is so random and I don't know what to do.

    Every time I bring up us he gets frustrated because we have gone over this a thousand times - He just needs space to figure out his own stuff - he says that a few months of a rocky relationship shouldn't change your feelings towards each other. Then in another breath he still says he wants to marry me but he just needs to be by himself to sort things out.

    We are still together and exclusive - Do I trust this and let him hang out with whoever he wants? I don't want to break up but at the same time I will not be treated like this -any advice would be appreciated

  47. My boyfriend stopped talking to me 3 weeks ago. He is the kind that will be sweet and loving one moment and very cold and distance the next one. I have tried texting him to ask what's wrong and nothing yet. He is quiet and ignorant of every text i have politely sent him. Now i think it's time to forget this good for nothing man. The kind that will rarely tell me i love you... I think he is a coward. Thanks for such an encouraging and enlightening content.

    • You're so welcome, Ester; I'm so glad this resonated with you. It always comes down to what you can live with and what you can't and what being with someone in the reality of what they are, is worth to you. It's always your decision. When we accept this - and when we realize that it's always our choice to hang on or let go - this all becomes so much easier.

  48. Thanks for this article, best i've read! :)
    I was hoping you could give me some advice. I've been with my boyfriend for four months now, but those four months have been wonderful! The odd fight or two, but nothing really bad. We got serious really early on in the relationship and spent the majority of our our time together.
    However, for the last 3 weeks he doesn't seem to want to spend time together, he's says things like "i'm busy doing stuff" never giving an exclamation. So last week i calmly asked him if he was still interested in me and he responded saying he was interested but he was having family problems.
    So now it's been a week later, and there's no communication at all. He doesn't call me or want to spend time with me. Yet he said he doesn't want to break up. I don't know how to handle this situation. Or for how long he needs space and if i should talk to him about it again?
    I'm very confused on what i should do in this situation.
    Hope you can offer some advice.

    Thank you! :)

    • I'm so glad you enjoyed this article, Sarah. It sounds like he's not there right now, whether it's because of his family problems or something else, if someone really wants to be with you, he'll find some way to communicate with you, no matter what's going on with him. You've asked him what's going on, you've asked him whether he wants to break up. Of course he doesn't want to; he knows how good he has it with you!

      So this becomes about you. You can't change him, you can't make him communicate with you, but you can decide what you want to do. What you can live with and what you can't. What do you need? Whether you decide to wait it out or not, shift the focus from him to you.

      Live your own life. Don't make him the center of your universe. Give him some space to be himself. Be your own true self. Be authentic. Keep living your own life. Fill your life with your own friends, your own hobbies, your own activities. Don't keep asking him what's going on, don't try to manipulate or play games with him. Be honest and be yourself. Be real. And most of all, keep your options open and adopt the mindset that you're the one who's worth being someone's priority!

      It's only when you live your life this way, Sarah, that you discover that what he does or doesn't do won't matter as much as you do, and if he's ready to communicate more with you, you'll have given him the best chance to come to do this on his own. That's what this is all about; living your own beautiful life in such a way so that that you won't be looking to him to decide what he wants to do with you; what matters above all else is your own happiness. You deserve nothing less!

  49. Thank you so much Jane! Great advice! :D

  50. Dear Jane,
    me and my Fiance have been together for 3 years now, going on 4. we have had our trust issues way in the past. however now we are focusing on making our relationship stronger. he just was recently in a wreck and suffered very little brain damage. Nothing serious, only thing is the doctor said it could change him... Well, it has indeed. He has become very a angry and distant towards me. I feel as if i am the only one in the relationship working on things. I feel invisible to him and its hurting more and more each day. I'm not quite sure what to do at this point. We split up for a about a month before the wreck and then the accident brought us closer. However, that was about a month ago too, and things have changed from him being the sweetest and most caring he's ever been to really distant and i feel almost not loved anymore. Any advice would be great.

    Thank you!

    • Can he get some medical help to see if the accident might be somehow causing this change in emotions? That would be where I would start, Meghan, and then the rest is up to you. See if you can talk to his doctor yourself to find out more about what's happened, to understand where you go from here. If this is who he's become, then you have to decide what you can live with and what you can't. But being with someone who you don't feel loves you is a difficult way to live. You deserve to be loved, Meghan, and being with someone who's angry and distant will eventually take its toll on your self-esteem and self-confidence. Have you tried to tried talking to him about all this? You can't do this along; he has to want to, too. But if this is something physical with his brain, than he's going to need some professional help to do that. You can't do this for him.

  51. DIONE NGWESSE says:

    Am into a similar situation where i had a new relationship some few weeks ago i was fine with my boyfriend but all a off sudden he kept silent on me i tried calling but he wont pick send text ,messages but he wont reply i felt so fine after reading this article i think i have equally decided to be myself but it not quiet easy for me because everything suprised me

  52. HI I would really like your advice my boyfriend and I have been together for almost 7 years. and now I we both are feeling disconnected. when we talk its very short. it not about much at all and he says he feels like were together just to be together because we have been together for so long. we don't want to give up yet what should I do?

    • Go back to the beginning of your relationship and remember what brought the two of you together in the first place, Kesha. Do those things, go to those places, appreciate each other for the very things that you were so excited to find out about each other when you first met. Try not to talk about it as much as you enjoy each other's company and do things together.

      If you're both still on the same page, want the same thing with each other, and are both willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen, then know that you're going to make this work - together. But you can't be the only one who wants to make this work; it has to come from both of you if it's going to be at all.

  53. Thank you for writing this. There seems to be a lack of advice for people dealing with an emotionally distant partner. I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years. He shows his love through affection but there is no verbal communication of his feelings for me. He never compliments me, rarely tells me he loves me or misses me, didn't say congrats or anything on my graduation, played video games on my last birthday, yet it is so hard to walk away. We live together and I am planning to break up next weekend.

    • You're so welcome, Jane. It's always about what you can live with and what you can't; and it sounds like you've come to terms with what you can't. It is never easy to walk away from what you don't want to, when you only want it to be different, not over. Some men aren't verbal but say so much with their actions. What matters most of all is whether the two of you are on the same page and want the same thing and are willing to do what it takes to make that happen. Without that, it becomes a question of what you really have.

  54. Is he intimidated by me or not interested?

    He had to ask his friend to ask me out for dinner or ask if I am available ..he couldn’t approach me..

    he took a while to open up by text some days more than others
    he cancelled one date I think because he was nervous but he straight away arranged another

    once he has to be drunk to call me even though I don’t think he was because he remembered out time frame of conversation

    he said to me he used to find me so intimidating but now I am a bit a more approachable

    he said he has to keep me on my toes otherwise he thinks I would find him boring

    he has questioned how on earth I am single and why am I single god knows how many times

    we went out on a date and he was quite shy I had to make the move to hug him and it took him a while to even touch me..he could barely look at my face half the time

    I didn’t thank him for the date or anything but he suggested another one (I think he felt I didn’t enjoy it because he said we do another one but a better date, one where we are not ina cinema)

    He messaged me the next day as normal

    Day after he didn’t message me at all… when he normally always messages..but he txted me late that evening saying this : 'hello my diamond, how are you, I feel like I haven't spoken to you in ages'and I responded with 'hello my dear, I am good how are you, your busy at work silly'. he replied with 'yeah I am good, yeah it has been crazy busy, sorry but you have neglected me'. I replied with ' no I haven't, I've been busy, but you have been free.

    I feel that is his way to make me now do all the effort

    So here and there I initiate contact. Although he runs a business he makes time to message here and then..

    When I see him at the restaurant he gives us free stuff and he sits with us for a bit..he talks to my friends so normally but with me is a bit shy and reserved at times ..he is a lot more flirty by text but in person he is different… he said he used to have no courage to talk to girls but slowly he has been on a few dates otherwise pure relationships and he mentioned they all been ugly.

    When we did go on a date he was like omg you just look so nice ‘why do you look so nice we just going cinema’

    I talk to him about work and he will say wow you make me feel dumb sometimes

    When I see him at his restaurant.all his friends wink at him when he sits around me but he gets all shy and stuff. he wanted me to come out with him and he wanted me to come out with his friends..but he didn't ask me directly so I didn't.. but when I got home he was like I really wanted you to come and I said well why didn't you just ask me and he said well I just felt you didn't want to come with me

    and if I say yeah we will go next time he would say there might not be a next time

    When I do look at him he has such a huge grin on his face and whenever I want him over he comes in a second. I can see him looking as well.

    He makes the effort to come say hello and bye which he doesn’t do for others and if my friend need him he rushes to help them even when he is working

    My uncles and family came to the restaurant though and he did make effort with them when he didn’t have to..it was a very very very busy night but he made time to get to know them

    When I came down with my sister he wanted to know if I told her we are talking and I said no at first and he got a bit iffy and I said joking she knows and he was happy about it

    He told people that me and him are talking

    And his friends say I should make effort and come see him at his resturant and I don’t

    Infact he has made all the effort and I think I have only flirted back by text!

    Can you please share your opinion? Do you think he has fear of rejection that he has backed of a little despite him being busy at his work. he has told me that he has more or less given up on women because they all have expected so much from him and never understood his business and demanded things.

    your article is amazing

  55. carolinada says:

    Hello dear Jane!
    Thank you for such an amazing blog! Especially for this article. I learned from it a lot.
    I want to tell you what happened with me. And I really need your advice.

    I broke up with my boyfriend. I left the States because of him. I am originally from Europe. He was so sweet and kind at first. We moved in together. I supported him when he lost his job and had family issues.

    One day I found his mom's texts about me. They were extremely bad. He was obviously defending his mother. He said he tried talking with her and she said that we'll talk about it one day. He never resolved this situation and her words were burning me from the inside for 2 months. He was a mommy's boy. Asking advice everytime we had issues. I didn't have any family in the USA. I was completely alone. Hiding the truth about my life from my family in Europe even we are so freaking close. I didnt make friends much because I was working 14 hours a day to pay for house and needs. As I said he lost his job, so I helped him to find a new one. Motivated him to lose shit load of weight. And then he started turning from kind, sweet person who I fall in love with....to a monster. Abbusive monster. Because of stresa I started having insane panick attacks.

    I remember how I was holding his leg and I couldn't breathe. I was running out of the air and begging him to stay. He just pushed me away and left me on the floor. His friend came in the room and screamt : dude. Just let her die. Let's go. And then they left.

    My story is so long....how much I was trying to save our relationships. I believed him when he was good to me. When he was bad, I couldn't stop taking pills. I lost about 30 pounds. And was so weak that I told my family what was going on with me. They bought me a ticket home.

    I left him eventually. I went to back in Europe and healing my wounds at home. I am better. My mom and dad, my friends are here for me.

    Of course, he swears he'll come to live with me here. He wants babies from me cause I am the love of his love. He will propose me. And etc

    I just don't understand. Memories run in my mind. Who did I live with for 9 months? ?? How his heart became so cold and cruel? How can you say that you love me and do those things?

    He left me when I was sick so many times. Betrayed. Almost cheated.
    Now I told him I'm done. He still said he'll come to me. I blocked him everywhere was possible.

    I want to call him every second but I'm holding on. I don't know why I don't want him to move on. I'm moving on. Getting healthy. Meeting new guys and doing lots of sports. So happy without him.

    But a thought that he will move on and be happy and say those lies to someone else infect my soul. Also I told him that I might go to live in spain for a year. He got so mad at me. He hanged up. Seems like he doesn't wannt me to get happy.

    So basically the question is how to forget him in my case? How to stop having those flashback which run in my mind? Flashbacks of betrayal?

    • I'm so glad this article has helped you, Carolinada. You deserve so much more than what you've been through! We don't forget, but we make a conscious decision to move on. It's more of a dance, a two-steps forward one-step back process where we accept that we did the best with what we could, with what we knew at the time. And we find our peace in accepting what we can't change, in forgiving ourselves for what we couldn't have known, and by practicing self-compassion every day. It's because we hold ourselves to such high standards and we feel so deeply that we should have known better or whatever other "shoulds" we've attached to ourselves that we have such a hard time moving on.

      Write a letter to him that you don't send - this if for you and your healing, not him - where you put everything down in writing that you want to say to him. Get it all out and allow yourself to release all the feelings, all the "shoulds", all the things you feel like you need to say. It's when we don't run from our deepest feelings but instead embrace and accept them and allow them to heal us that we find the strength to let go of what's in the past and move on with a new resolve to take our power back and live again.

      You can do this! A post I wrote about this subject of getting closure that may be helpful as well. Most of all, know that you're not alone, that there's nothing wrong with you, and that this is what we sometimes need to learn to grow, to see, so that we can move on from here to see what we might have otherwise have missed. When all is said and done, I believe there's a reason for everything, regardless of where it comes from, and it's only in going through that we get to the other side.

  56. This article is SO spot on. I was going crazy not knowing what to do. My boyfriend has started to put distance between us, which in turn made me very insecure. And just like you mentioned in the article, instead of taking a step back and analyze the situation, I started pushing for more, which he reluctantly did. It feels worse than ever when he just makes an effort because I want him to, not because he feels it from the heart. I guess part of it is my fault, since when we weren't exclusive I snooped and found out he had made a profile at a dating website, it broke my heart and told him that I could no longer see him because he obviously wasn't into me as much as I was into him, but instead of letting me go, he started to freak out, erased all his dating profiles and promised to be exclusive, which so far he has, but it left me feeling insecure and always second guessing everything, I guess that didn't help the situation. Soon after that incident things were going well for a week or two, but now we're back at where we started, he's putting distance between us, I almost feel like he's punishing me for my insecurities, which in turn only makes everything worse. I guess I'm at an awful point in this relationship.

    The worst part is that talking to him about it won't work, he's very reserved and doesn't like to talk about feelings much, or anything that has to do with deep conversations. It was something that I never liked about him, and lo and behold, it is exactly what's causing friction between us. To be honest, at this point I doubt things will get better. I am now paranoid all the time about all the time he spends online never talking to me, now he's decided that while he's at work he won't chat with me, which yeah, would make perfect sense if it weren't for the fact that he's always logging in to the chat to talk to who knows who, but surely it isn't with me because now he makes it clear before leaving for work that he will NOT be texting me or talking to me while he's at work, yet he's always on the chat. Don't get me wrong, it's ok to talk to others apart from me, what hurts me is that he will intentionally not talk to me specifically. He may think that he's setting boundaries, but he has no idea how painful that was for me.

    It's what made me come and read your article, because I've been trying to think by myself and analyze to see if this has a future, but everything, absolutely everything points at a huge NO. After getting to that conclusion, I don't know how to get out without suffering any further. I think option 2 and 3 seem what would work best for me. Communication with him is impossible and I don't even want to go down that road because I know it'll only lead to him "compromising" more in order for me not to leave him, but at the end, doing it grudgingly and that's not what I want. I want a boyfriend who will just love me for me, I don't want to nag him to love me because that only leaves me feeling broken inside and more alone. I remember a phrase by Robin Williams that said [paraphrasing] "I used to fear being alone for the rest of my life. Now that I have learned so much I know that the worst thing is spending the rest of your life with someone who makes you feel alone.", and that's exactly how I feel right now. Might as well just end it for my sanity's sake.

    Thanks for the advice, you have no idea how many things I read before bumping into this eye opening article.

    • I'm so glad you found this article and that it resonated so much with where you're at right now and what you needed, Malena. Welcome! It sounds like you've already known your own answer to your situation - and that you've simply had it confirmed for you. That is one of my favorite quotes as well, and you may also find the article I wrote about the worst kind of alone helpful to you, too. Trust yourself, ultimately, you know.

  57. Alexandria says:

    I have had an on again off again relationship with my boyfriend for the last 8 years. There were times that we took a year break from each other and pursued relationships with other people but we always ended coming back to each other. We also have a 4 year old son together which makes our relationship even more complicated. Through out our relationship I have always been vocal about not feeling an emotional connection with him as he can be incredibly closed off at times. I've explained to him time and again how important it is for him to spend time with me and his son but he selectively comes around when he feels like it. To make matters worse, his job requires him to be gone forlong periods of time to work in other states. While he is away he will sometimes call and talk about how much he misses us and that he can't wait to see us but when he gets home it is a completely different story.
    The last time he cam he spent the day with us but would not stay overnight because he doesn't like sleeping in the bed with me. Over the year he has made excuses about not coming over because my house is too hot or I live too far and now he simply doesn't like to sleep in the same bed. I have made changes to try and fix his complaints but now I'm thinking he just isn't invested in this relationship anymore. I've told him that I have not been happy and that I felt emotionally I feel neglected and he will step up for the next day or two but then go right back to ignoring me. He will go for weeks without calling and I don't even feel like I am in a relationship with him. I feel like I'm talking to a wall and have tried to break it off several times but he always talks me into giving him another chance and if I just wait around for a couple more months (which has turned into years) he would be at a point in his life where he will be ableto fully commit to us. He tells me we will have the house, have more kids, and be able to do all the things he wants for his life but I don't feel included. I feel extremely neglected and feel like I'm holding onto this relationship out of comfort. I don't know what else to do at this point. It's been over a week since we last spoke and I don't want to call him. I'm tired of always being the one to initiate conversations between us. Should I finally throw in the towel after 8 uears?

    • 8 years is a long time to continue on with this pattern that's come to define your relationship, Alexandria. And of course it's that much more complicated when you have a sweet little boy involved. You can't make him want to be with you, but you can talk to him about the effect this is having on his son. Is counseling on option for either you or him? If not, take care of yourself and get the support you need for you. Whenever someone makes excuses and comes up with reasons why he can't do something, you're right that he's not invested.

      It sounds like you're finding out what his comfort level is with family life and this is as much as he has to give. He has to want to change this, but he clearly doesn't want to badly enough. You can't fix it for him - it has to come from him. You have to decide for yourself what is best for you and your son, and while that's not any easy decision, it sounds like living in limbo like this for this long is taking its toll on you. Do what gives you the greatest sense of peace and calm, do what leaves you with the least amount of regret. This is clearly his life being lived on his terms; the question is, what are your terms? Find those, and the answers will become clearer.

  58. Hi Jane, what a beautiful article. I was up all night wondering why has things changed all of a sudden between me and my boyfriend. I am in my late 30's and have 2 kids & he is in his mid 30's with no kids. Me and him are both divorced. We have been dating for the past 6 months and it has been a great 6 months until lately. Let me give you a little history of how our relationship has been going. He says he loves me & he's in love with me. He says I make him feel like a man ( when he said that I really did not understand what he meant) He gave me a key to his apartment and told me you have access to my world. He has never forgot our anniversary & we always do something special for each other on that day. We always are thinking of each other... for example one day he came home with something I told him I liked a couple of weeks ago & on that very same day I came home with something he told me he liked as well. He told his parents about me.. which he said he has not told his parents about any other woman he has been with since his divorce & since he told his parents about me, we speak on a regular basis. He told me when I speak about coming to his house, he says to please say, "our house" or "our place". He tells me no other woman has done for him the way I do for him & it could be something so small like cleaning up his apartment..buying him a card expressing how I feel about him...ironing his clothes for work....doing a little bit of grocery shopping for him..listening to him rambling about what happen at his job....changing a light bulb that blew out or just replacing things like if he is running low on paper towels or his body soap. He tells me "where have you been all my life & what took you so long to come into my life". Just the other day out of the blue he started looking & staring at me & just smiling. He told me he cannot picture his life without me. He tells me I'm beautiful. But why does he seem so distant lately, I'm so so confused. He try's to do things for me which I have a hard time with... And ask questions like why you will not let me take care of you... Why you will not let me do for you. Just the other day I found out that he did not tell his parents my age & that it had 2 kids. I was a little disappointed & expressed to him how I felt about that and he turns around and calls me with his mother on 3way telling me she knows I have 2 kids and my age. I love him so much I just think maybe we are going to fast. He tells me I have access to his world such as having a key to his place and he feels like he does not have the same.. meaning he feels like I'm a mystery to him because he has not met my kids yet or because he says he calls me more than I call him. He also feels like I hide a lot of what's going on with me. He says he wants to know everything about me and I do sometimes hold back because we are still getting to know each other and just don't want to rush it. He wants me around him all the time but I can't because of my children. We made a pack that when my kids go away this summer he wanted me to stay with him for the whole summer.. I agreed but went back to my place for a couple of days. So Jane is it me, could it be me pushing him away and that's why he seems so distant and not calling me like he use too. What should I do going forward. It was all so good in the beginning but now he just seems so distant. Thank you so much for reading my comment & thanks so much for your time.

    • Thank you, Mel; I'm glad you found this helpful. It could be you, as in you may have some beliefs about men that stem from your own early beginnings as well as your previous marriage that may be affecting how you see him and how much you allow him in as a protective measure for what you may have been through. But on the other hand, whenever we feel something "different" or that someone is acting distant, there's usually something there to explore further. Whether it's you or him or the dynamic of both of you, there's some reason you're picking up on this or that he's doing something different. After 6 months, and from the way you describe your relationship and him, it sounds reasonable that you could talk to him about what you're picking up on and check in with him to see what he says. Based on his response, you'll know more either way. Sometimes we can push someone away out of our own fears of being rejected or repeating a pattern of the past, but if you take things slow like it sounds like you're doing, that's the best way to really get to know someone better and find out the most important part of all of this; how compatible the two of you are. Two people on the same page who want the same thing with each other and are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen, is how a relationship works. If that's what you've got, you can get through anything together. And you want someone you can talk to, who you can be open with, who you can be vulnerable with. It takes time to know if this is that someone, but there's nothing wrong with taking your time to find that out. Don't lose anymore sleep over him, Mel. Whenever you don't know what to do or whether to talk about something, choose to do what brings you the most peace of mind and leaves you with the least amount of regrets. That's the most important part of all! You!

  59. Thank you for this honest post. It made me cry because it spoke to me so well. I have been in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend for over 2 and half years now. We are separated by two continents and because we wanted this relationship to work more than anything, we made it happen until this day even though we had to be separated for over a year of our relationship. This semester I came to live with him in the country for a study abroad program in the same city that he lives in. During the 6 months, We had some ups and downs but they all were temporary and we were ableto get back together. But lately for about 5 days he has been emotionally and physically distant towards me. It almost feels like he is a completely different person. He wants to spend time alone or with his friends rather than with me. I just was incredibly upset over his actions because I am to leave the country and go back to the states in 3 days. When I sat down to talk with him, he said that he just needs some time alone.. to do whatever he wants and not have the obligations that comes with a relationship.. He said he loves me that his feelings have not changed but he is not sure if he can continue the relationship for another arduous 6 months when the future cannot be predicted.. We broke up tonight... Everything happend so fast. Im in a denial state keep thinking this will pass soon.. but I feel so bad for feeling weak.. being too dependent on him for my emotions.. he is my first boyfriend and my first love and I can never see myself with anyone else. But on the other hand, I wonder if this really is the end..It hurts so much to think I iill never see or talk to him again... :'(

    • I know this is so hard for you right now, Jenn. Comfort yourself by knowing that if someone is truly right for you, and the two of you are meant to be together, he'll get there. A real relationship always requires two people on the same page who want the same thing with each other and are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. If you don't have that, you don't have anything.

      Take time for you now, take it slow, allow yourself to cry all those healing tears, to mourn, to grieve, to feel every emotion that comes up for you. Write it all out - everything you're feeling and all that you want to say to him and to yourself, journal as much as you can. It's how you get it out and feel it. Find your favorite songs that bring out more emotion in you. We get to the other side by going through, not by running away.

      There's no rejection here, no matter how much it feels like it. It's not about you, it's about him; don't take any of his behavior personally. It never, ever is!

  60. Latinagirl@47 says:

    I just want to say, that after reading some of the relationship issues posted this has made me realize how weak and desperate I become in a 6 years toxic relationship. The support and guidance provided is the best I've reads. Thank you very much.

    • You're so very welcome, Latinagirl. I'm so glad this resonated with you and helped you see things more clearly! You're not alone, and this kind of awareness and recognition of the patterns we can allow ourselves to fall into is the very first step to changing it. Just realizing this as you have, is huge!

  61. Hi Jane, I love this article and have a question about what I should do. I managed to land the most amazing guy 3 months ago. We went on a 3 week oversea holiday recently and since we got back he's been a bit distant. I understood and tried to keep my distance too. He also is applying for a job overseas :( which has meant we've had a few conversations which were probably too intense for only being together 3 months. He got even more distant (I think also because of the interview stress) and I got more needy (because I know I said more than I should about my feelings for him). We had a chat yesterday where I said I think we need to take a step back and just have fun and see where it goes and he agreed. He was finding out about the job yesterday and said he'd let me know but hasn't. Not sure what I should do now...wait for him to contact me (while getting back to my usual awesome self) or be friendly so he knows that I'm not all emotional and crazy any more?

    • Don't be too hard on yourself, Emily. It makes sense that you probably wanted to have some more intense conversations considering he's applying for a job overseas, but it sounds like he wasn't ready for them. Don't take it personally; he's going to do what he wants to do for him, and it won't have anything to do with you. It sounds like he may be wanting some space, even though he agreed with you to just go with the flow. There's nothing wrong with checking in with him to see about the job in a friendly way, but on the other hand,if you wait for him to contact you, you'll know more about where he really stands and how much space he wants in your relationship.

      Remember that if you're not on the same page and looking for the same with each other, it's not going to be the relationship you want it to be. You can't "mess up" something where you're both there looking for the same thing. Give it some time and you'll know more, but in the meantime, do what brings you a sense of peace and calm, and leaves you with the least amount of regrets. Either way, it won't change the way he feels about you; it may only bring it out in the open that much faster. Keep in mind that someone who would apply for a job overseas is someone who probably isn't looking to settle down and become involved in a committed relationship. I hope this helps!

      • Thanks so much for your reply Jane! We actually ended up having a big talk the other night and have decided to slow things down a bit. I think we both got a bit overwhelmed and I now feel so much more relaxed. I get the sense he's really a guy that like to be in control and would give me a lot if I'd just let him and stop trying to control everything myself.
        He applied for the job prior to meeting me and he has said that he wants to stay together and see what happens. Even though he gave back the key to my apartment I feel so much more positive about things. I will let him lead me (never done that before) and all I have to do is be me!

  62. Loved this article. I have been dating a guy whose job takes him away two weeks at a time, then home for five days. We have only been dating for a couple of months, but we got intense and serious pretty quickly. He has been as intense at expressing his feelings as I have, showering me with gifts (which I believe is his way of showing his love), and wanting to see me and be with me as much as I have him. This past weekend we took a five hour car trip to see his daughter, and something seems different and off. He was very quiet in the car, there and back, only speaking when I initiated the coversation, and he kept the radio turned up. He didn't hold my hand or rub my arm, or do any of the things he normally did to show me affection. Since I have been home, his texts have slowed way down. I'm not an overly needy person, but I do need affection through physical touch and conversation, and it seems like he changed overnight. I brought it up to him, asking if everything was ok, and it seemed to irritate him. He said "I'm untrainable; you better throw me away!" And then said he was joking. This is the first man I have dated who actually has his life together, and has given more than he has taken from me. I don't want to lose him, but today I'm feeling very anxious and somewhat rejected. How do I know if he's just gotten comfortable with me and doesn't feel the need to be as affectionate, or if he's having second thoughts?

    • It sounds like that extended weekend with him to see his daughter may have made your relationship that much more real to him, Amy, so he may be stepping back to regain a level of comfort that feels better to him. Your question probably added to this discomfort he was feeling and as a result, he felt he needed to put out there what sounds like a defense mechanism to keep you from coming any closer. That would be a red flag to me, because even if someone's joking, there's almost always something of the truth to what they're feeling within that type of response.

      The best thing you can do is take the focus off him and put it on you, to allow some space to open up to see what he does with it. Does he fill in the space by reaching out to you and initiating more with you, or does he keep the space, showing you that more space is what he's most comfortable with. Time will tell, but by focusing more on you and your own life and friends and interests outside of him, it makes it easier for him to show you what he's really about without it mattering so much.

      You're still in the very beginning stages of getting to know each other, so he shouldn't be comfortable to the point that he drops the affection like you're describing; this is still very much the "honeymoon" stage of dating! So much intensity in the beginning (and especially the showering of gifts) are often a sign of someone who comes on strong only to disappear once everything gets too real for them and requires more of a commitment level than they're comfortable with, so that may be what's going on here.

      If you can slow things down and really take your time to get to know him better, how he responds will reveal more of what page he's on and what type of relationship he's really looking for and capable of. You don't want someone you have to train, Amy, you want someone who's compatible with you simply by being himself.

  63. Jane,
    I found this article while searching for advice for a situation I'm in with this guy, and this article helped a lot, but i was wondering if you could give me some more advice.
    I've been talking to this guy for two months now, and ambiguously dating him for about a month. In the beginning we'd talk and text everyday (with him intiating the majority of the conversations) and he'd always try and make plans with me and he was always so nice. We started seeing each other more, and our texts became more flirty and then after what seemed like a successful date, he talked about the next time a lot and used tons of smiley and winky faces and it seemed like he was truly into me. Suddenly though he stopped. He wouldn't text me, sometimes wouldn't respond to my texts, and if he did respond it'd be very brief. I took it normally at first, I texted him first cause it wasn't uncommon for me to do so, but he kept it up. I became hurt and confused and I had no idea what was going on. But then one day he asked if he could call me to tell me about his day at work and he did and it was all perfectly normal. And I was sitting there asking myself, what am I worrying about? But right after it went all weird again. I made plans with him and we hung out and it was fine but everytime we're not together it feels that he's slowly drifting away and it hurts me a lot because I thought he truly liked me and I grew kinda emotionally dependent on him and now I'm questioning if anything was truly happening in the first place or not. I don't know what I did wrong or what I can do to fix it.

    • It's not yours to fix, Lin; he has to want this, too. Don't become emotionally dependent on him; take a step back because he can't clearly give you the consistency you're looking for and this back and forth pattern is only going to make you more insecure. Let some space naturally occur between the two of you by putting the focus back on you and your life; the one that you fill so full with your own interests and hobbies and events and activities and with the people who love and support you so that what he does or doesn't do doesn't make or break you. If you're not on the same page, nothing else really matters. But as long as you're hanging onto whether or not he's responsive to you. you're going to find yourself putting him on a pedestal that no one deserves to be put on.

  64. Thanks for this really lovely piece!

    I'm 21 guy in a year long homosexual relationship, this article has really encapsulated how I feel! I can't thank you enough. I appreciate how the article doesn't place blame on either party but encourages you to maintain your self worth.

    Over the last few moths things have been a little rocky with my boyfriend, I just feel like I'm asking him to give me something that he's not capable of doing. In the beginning he was the perfect guy for me in every away but I feel like with time he's become a much more cold person and I'm not sure that is going to change. At the same time, I think he gives me the minimum amount of attention to keep me unsure if that is right. Is being happy 60% of the time enough?

    I guess my comment really answers it's self. I'm sad to loose a great guy but I feel like maybe I need this to grow? Does that sounds right? Today I got a text saying "I'll talk to you soon" and I wondering if you had any advice about how I can direct the conversation to say how much I've enjoyed our time but I feel it's no longer working?

    Thanks again for the great blog! It's really put a smile on my face!

    Sam

    • Welcome, Sam. I'm so glad you're enjoying my blog. :) The questions you ask always come down to what you can live with, and what you can't. What % of your life you want to spend happy is entirely up to you.

      I posted a question awhile back that you may find yourself relating to, about what expectations are reasonable, from someone who was asking the same things as you. I do believe we either grow and learn, or we stay right where we are and keep repeating our same patterns until we discover the truths about being free and happy and living the lives we're meant to live.

      A gentle, yet direct, approach is one I'm always in favor of, Sam, one where you use "I" statements, and own your own opinions and choices. The "Non-violent Communication" series of books, lectures, and articles is one I always recommend for setting boundaries and resolving conflicts - and anywhere else where you want to be more comfortable asserting yourself in a non-confrontational way. Hope that helps!

      • Thanks for the advice, i had the honest conversation and we both discussed how things are just different. He tried to explain that it was unfair on me but i wanted this to be a mutual understanding that things have changed. I guess we were both worried about the other thinking this was out of the blue! Naturally now i am questioning my decision, i know it's the right one at least for now.
        I think our problem was a lack of time for each other with exams and work, coupled with living in different cities the fun just wasn't in the relationship it was very serious and honestly dull as a consequence. In september / october i more to London where he lives and maybe the circumstances will be different but i fear i maybe using this as hope or some excuse when maybe the underlying foundation ins't correct. We've agreed to take the next few months without talking to each other in the hopes of coming just friends when the time comes.
        I think we both want that energy and spark that we had when we first met. He did say "why should be be together when other people can make us happy", which i know is true but makes me feel a little expendable.
        I think i'm more worried about falling into the trap of missing him when i know that he just wants to be with other people. I guess it's time to learn to love myself a little more and readjust my priorities as he did a while ago.
        Thanks Jane, you've been a real lifesaver :)

  65. Hi Jane
    Great article, very useful. Sometimes friends/ family give conflicting advice!
    I met a guy online 3 months ago, due to distance and various other factors we have only gone on 3 dates but they were days spent together just getting to know. Then I went on holiday and so did he but we were in touch every day. Then I checked his twitter page and I saw a message to girl which I considered flirty and inappropriate if he was wanting me to be his girlfriend, which was very much the impression I was getting. I decided to wait until he got back and ask him in person, my gut told me it was probably innocent and nothing bad but it still bothered me and I struggled to be normal with him. Then he made a comment that my life was sorted now I had met him so then I had to ask! He claimed it was completely innocent and I believed him. Then he went quiet for a few days so I knew it had bothered him, when I asked he said it was playing on his mind and we would need to discuss it. Apart from that he was fine and I heard regularly although I was annoyed he was making me feel bad of asking about it and also making an issue of it himself. He got back last week and I assumed we would meet up at the weekend (as it's a month since we last saw each other) he said he would need to see friends and family but should be ok, slightly lacklustre, then fri night we agreed to sat as he said he would always make time for me, but he went out with friends and got very drunk so asked to rearrange, I said fine as wasn't feeling great either but on reflection I should have ignored him. He got in touch the next day and I replied the following day in a normal way as I want to avoid text message exchanges but he's not replied since so I don't know what to do. I will wait for him to contact but it seems such a shame when it never really got of the ground.
    Thanks :)

    • Glad you found some help here, Laurie. We can always look back at things we could have/should have done differently, but all it really gets us to is the same conclusion that is always true; to get "off the ground" requires two people who both want it to. Two people who are both on the same page, who want the same thing with each other, who are willing to do what it takes to make that happen to get to know each other better. If you don't have that, you have nothing really, at least not what matters if it's a real relationship you're looking for. So don't look back, look at the beautiful you who's figuring this all out slowly but surely. We all learn like this, we all discover the truth that we can't be the only one making something work, that it's never as personal as we believe it to be. Yes, our friends and family all have their share of well-meaning conflicting advice to offer, but in the end, it's our own gut instinct and what we can personally live with and what we can't, that gives us the best advice of all; our own. :)

  66. Niluhtri says:

    Hi Jane,

    I have been dating with a guy who is 10 years younger than me. I am a single mother with 2 boys.

    For the first six months, we had a good time. He gave me all his attentions and care. Almost two months ago, I felt the distant from him. At that time, he said that he was busy and thought wanted to break up too but afraid to hurt my feelings. Then we broke up. But the for last 1.5 months, we still texted each other and sometimes we went out for a dinner.

    Two weeks ago, we went out for a dinner. After a dinner, we had a chat. He said he wanted to be sure about the relationship. He said he wanted to move on. I was surprised but I said okay and respect his decision. The next day, he sent me a text saying that he was sad and I said the same thing. And the next day, he said we should let it keep going. I agreed.

    For the first week after we were back together. He sent me texts few times at least at night (he was not back as before we broke up). Last weekend, we spent time together. I felt the distant emotionally and intimacy. I did not ask him, I thought i was too harsh.

    Now, I am confused. What I have to do. Should I take the 2nd step as you suggested above. Im trying to let go and let my self busy with something else. But Im not ready to send him a text to cut off the relaionship.

    Please give me some advices.

    Thank you

    • Hi Niluhtri,

      Wow...I can see how you are confused about this one. It sounds to me that the guy you have been dating is very confused about what he wants since he keeps coming and going and changing his mind. I think you need to figure out what it is that you want and don't settle for less. What is it that you get out of the relationship? What does he offer you and your boys? If in fact you do want to be in a loving committed relationship then you want someone who wants the same or it will just be frustrating. I wish you the best and hope this helps.

      • Niluhtri says:

        Yeah I know. Right now, he is on vacation for 5 days and no texts or calls from him yet. Im confused. Emotionally, I do not want to break up. I like his company. The other side, I do not like in limbo and i cant stop thinking about him. I think I am not ready to breakup.

        My brother suggested me to send text to him and ask what he really wants.

        Any suggestions for me?

        • I know it is hard to let someone go. I feel like i am in the same boat as you...I have not seen this guy who I was dating for a few weeks now and I wonder what he really wants. The last time we went on a date, he said he wanted to see me soon and now, here it is three weeks later and I haven't seen him or even heard his voice. I think if he really was into me or if your guy was really into you, they would at least want to know how we are doing and care enough to at least send a text or call to say hi. I think actions speak way louder than words. Be strong with me here, and resist the urge to call or text him. His not communicating is speaking volumes. If he does miss you and want to see you, he knows where to find you. What do you think?

      • "What is it that you get out of the relationship? What does he offer you and your boys? If in fact you do want to be in a loving committed relationship then you want someone who wants the same or it will just be frustrating." - Great questions to ask, Kate; it's our answers that reveal what's really there, and what's not.

    • Absolutely, Niluhtri! You can never go wrong with shifting the focus to yourself, to putting the energy spent on wondering why someone is behaving the way they are, back on you. If he's on the same page as you, he'll show you this by his actions. Let his behavior tell you more than his words ever can. It's always how you know.

  67. Niluhtri says:

    Thanks Kate. So I shouldnt text or call him? I was thinking to send him an email to ask what he really wants in this relationship and send it once he is back from his vacation. Im also thinking to stop all the contacts with him. If he sends me texts, I wont reply. What do you think?

    • Hi Niluhtri,

      Right now, I think you will feel much better if you shift the focus on you and your boys and how you can make your lives better...more fun and interesting:) It's summertime! So many fun things to do:)....and the nice thing is you can do them without a guy who just may or may not be interested in a relationship with you.

      • Niluhtri says:

        Hi Kate and Jane,

        Thanks Kate and Jane. He sent me texts today asked about my project. He came back from holiday yesterday. His texts were nothing special, he didn't mention whether he missed me and I didn't ask either. Do you think I should send him texts to find out the status about our relationship? I' need a certainty but also confused to do it.

  68. Niluhtri says:

    Jane,

    Please give advices what I have to do right now. Should I send him email asking what he wants or leave him alone with uncertainty including no reply his texts and calls when he does that.

    Thank you

    • Don't play games with him, Niluhtri. If it's not clear enough to you by his lack of contact and other behaviors, do what brings you the most peace and happiness and least amount of regrets. Only you can know what you can and can't live with. Do what you need to do for you.

      • Well said, Jane..."Only you can know what you can and can't live with. Do what you need to do for you." i agree:)

  69. Jane,
    I really like ur article. I ve been in a relationship for some months now, I'm older than him wit 2yrs, we usually stay in d same place, but we dnt stay close anylonger. And just some weeks of being apart, I started noticing d distance. He doesn't call frequently. We only chat once in a while and there is always nothing to gist about, so most times the chats end quickly. Now he does not even bother if we dnt talk for days. He doesn't reply my messages and does not even give a reason for it. I'm not the complaining type but this is really making me tired. Maybe he does not want the relationship anymore

    • Go with your gut instinct here, Gold. When someone is content with chatting only once in a while - and it ends quickly, when someone doesn't reply to your messages and doesn't even give a reason for it, you can know that this isn't someone who's interested in you the way someone would be if he were on the same page and wanted the same thing with you. Don't take it personally; it's always a blessing in disguise in the long run no matter how "rejected" we may feel at the time.

  70. Jane,
    i really like this article. but i guess i'm still confused right now if what I'm going to do. I've been in a relationship for 6 months now. On last Saturday we had a fought because of me, and then suddenly he turned out so cold to me. He didn't even text me, but he answered me when i called him. I asked him if he still love me, he only said "yes". i confronted him if there's another girl? he said no. i asked him again if he still want to continue our relationship, he said, "i don't know :3 ". I asked, are you falling out of love from me ? he said, maybe, like that. :( are you sick and tired of me? he said, yes. because of your behavior. HELP me, what I'm going to do ? I want to give him space, but I'm afraid of what will be the result of giving him this. I'm afraid maybe he will find someone new. I just want to save our relationship, my friend says,that you must fight for it, give all your best to bring back your happy relationship and if didn't work you must give up and move on. :( please help me.

    (sorry for the wrong grammar. it is my second language)

  71. Hi Jane,
    I have been with my boyfriend for over just a month. I jumped from the past relationship into the current one. In the past relationship, my ex does not love me and treated me poor. I was then not happy but did not take the step to leaving him. Then the current boyfriend appeared and he cared for me, showered me with understandings and kindness, which are all what I lack at that time. He was my ex's friend. I initiate the move and left my ex to be with him. However, after not about a week, I can feel that his passions fades away, he does not show not much care nor texted with me like before. Unlike before, he does not ask me out for supper. I told him about this, and he admits that his passion went away. However, he promised he will try to prevent the love from going this way. However, time passed and I did not see any change. Could you please suggest me what I should do with this relationship. I put so much hope in him and all I get is hopeless. Thank you so much!

  72. Niluhtri says:

    Hi Jane,

    I would like to share what has happened with my relationship that I shared above.

    Finally, two days ago, I sent him a text that I had felt his distant since we were back together. I told him that it seemed we were not on the same page. Then, he said that he had no feelings to me and had been trying to puss away that feelings but he could not do it. He had to hear his heart. His heart was not in it.

    I told him then we could not together anymore. It hurt me a lot and felt so down when someone just turned you down. He said he really wanted us to be friends. I told him that I could not be his friend right now, I need time to heal. He said sorry but I did not send any responds. I am not sure when I can be friends again with him. Now, Iam thinking I am better not to be friend with him. I just cant. Its better to stay no contact with him.

    I am sad and hurt but feeling peaceful after got a certainty about our relationship. Still crying last night but I am sure I can go through this.

    Thank you so much Jane and all beautiful women in this site for all the supports. I really like this website which I can share anything about my feelings.

  73. I dated a man for 5 years and when we were just planning to marry each other he damped me. According to what he told me, his parents ask him to leave me. They did not want me for him or even to meet me and i was very hurt. As i was to learn from him, after four years, they found him a girl and he went ahead and married her. Now it is almost five years since their wedding and they have no children. This man never left my life and has always sent me emails asking about my life, if i am dating, what i am doing with my life and he never told me he got married until recently. All this time he wanted me back he was married to someone else. . They live in a different country and we haven't met since he damped me for her. Now he is seriously depressed about not having children and he is asking me to have them instead while he remain married to that girl yet he says he does not love her and even say very negative things about her to me. I told him to go back to that wife of his even though i know i never stopped loving him. I am not married yet and it has been so hard to meet someone i could connect with the way i did with him but she took that place. It feels unfair but i cannot take him back or have his kids. Sharing makes me alleviate the pain i feel. Thanks for writing a good article.

  74. Hi jane,
    thank u so much for this post. Everything is so clear to me now. Until like yesterday i was so depressed and confused because i didn't know what to do Anymore. For the past 7 months my husband and i were fighting on and off and i was always the 1 trying to talk back to him because we have just had our second baby and i thought the atmosphere of not speaking to one another was not good for the children. He Never comes to me to apoligize or says lets talk it out. He prefers not to speak to me. When we do speak he calls me by some silly names which at first didn't bother me but now i have told him to stop calling me those names ( lazy or ur dont know anything, are most used) he has understood. And when i have to remind him of the name calling he keeps saying he is joking. But i have told him that i dont find his jokes funny. I really don't know what is on his mind. I had thought of him having an affair which may be true, but even to that i have stopped thinking about because i need to stay happy for the children and i think i have just stopped caring. Right now i just want to keep a happy home for the sake of my kids who are very small and just need both their parents right now. So thank u very very much for ur advice. I will give him his space from now on and i know that maybe one day he will think about the way he has treated me and hopefully he will not start again. I guess if he sees i am not bothered it will bother him even more which is not my intention but just to make him understand.

    • My heart goes out to you, Ginger. I'm so glad this helped give you a fresh perspective. It's always in the clarity you speak of that we find our way to see the reality of what is, of what we need to do, of what becomes the most loving thing we can do for ourselves and for everyone else involved - especially the innocent sweet little children. Be so proud of yourself for finding the strength in this midst of this to be able to detach from what you can't change in someone else, but finding a way to do what you always know in your heart is right for you and the ones you love.

  75. A man my age (75) fell in love with me and was effuse in his compliments. I felt reborn, it was wonderful.
    He is a very busy professional, but at that time he always managed to see me.
    Now that has changed. The loving, indeed passionate emails and phone calls have ceased.
    Is it really possible for what seemed honest and sincere behaviour to just stop.
    I asked him when we could next meet. He told me to stop 'pressurising' him. I'm beside myself with grief.
    Have you any advice to a broken heart? Don't say I'll meet someone else, our society is very ageist
    and it just won't happen.

  76. i had the same experience recently.i have asked several times that if he is tired of this relationship or if there is any one else he wants to be with . i just texted him about it and all he said after a long time was that :
    he hasn't been in the mood recently and thati'm the one who always feels disconnected and neglected !
    i was kinda feeling better by his texts but the last one was " u shud relax, with or without me ! "
    then i said "ok i will be fine with or without u.gud night! "
    since this is the deepest relationship i have ever had so far ,i don't know what to think or do ?
    am i being pushy ? i try not to be. i don't call unless he calls ,i don't text him unless he texts first.
    i just don't know where we are standing anymore .
    although it is difficult to know u have to finish,i still wanna know whether i shud go or stay !

    • Make your decision based on what you can and can't live with, Ellie. Do what brings your the greatest amount of peace and happiness and leaves you with the least amount of regrets. It sounds like he doesn't want you to wait around for him or to be dependent on him for your happiness, which gives you an idea of where he's at. Don't do this for anyone else except yourself, but when you choose yourself, when you focus on creating your own life and doing the things that make you happy with or without someone else, you will discover just how strong and powerful you are, and just how much you deserve someone who is on the same page as you. When we ask someone if they're tired of us or the relationship, or if they want to be with someone else, that tells you more about what you think about yourself and how little you value yourself than anything about them. Find out who you are and all that you have to offer for yourself, and you'll never find yourself thinking like this again. You'll know you're the prize!

  77. Hi Jane,
    Thank you for your article (and reply's to other commentators). It is very well thought out and helpful to my situation. I would like to share my story with you in hopes that you can give me advice and maybe a push in the right direction. My boyfriend of three years has been distant for some time now. The signs were on the wall I just didn't want to see them until now. I'm not sure when, but probably 6 months ago he starting becoming distant with me. We still saw each other all the time, shared our daily adventures, made more adventures with each other, text/email/phoned throughout the day and generally enjoyed each other (or so I thought). That was all good but things were becoming physically distant. He stopped holding my hand, kissing me and eventually we stopped having sex. At first I ignored it and figured we were just slowing down on the physical part but then it started making me sad. I brought it up a couple of times but never really got a response from him. It got to be too much for me so a couple of days ago, with the help of alcohol, I picked a fight with him about it. This lead to a very long conversation about our relationship and how we are feeling towards each other. We were not on the same page. I love him and he said he loved me but he wasn't in love with me. He said his feeling towards me were just friendship. This is why he hadn't been physical and was being distant. I asked him if he wanted to break up and he said he didn't know. So I said I would give time to think. Sorry, this is not a short story so I would like to give you a little background. He never was open about his emotions, a typical guy's guy. But the little that I have learned is that he is scared to commit because his parents divorced when he was a teenager, after 27 years of marriage. I feel that this left a huge impact on his life and he never intended to open himself up to anyone. He has told me that he would rather be alone than be with the wrong person. I've know that for some time but felt that I could change him given enough time. You mention feeling like the relationship has so much potential and that's exactly how I felt. In our last conversation when I asked what he wanted, he said he was willing to "work things out" by being more honest and open. Also, I have suggested he get help, someone to talk to about his feeling (something that I don't think he will do but feel that it would be a good thing for him.) I'm at this point where I love him and it's so hard to walk away from a long relationship but also feel that I deserve to be with someone that loves me back in all the ways I want. I don't know if it's worth trying to change things, "work things out" to get back to a better place or to walk away. Walking away is not so easy to do. He's my best friend and our lives are so intertwined. I know I'm strong but whenever I think about breaking up I just want to hole up and cry and he actually cried too when I suggested we break up. Please help! Thank you, Tanya

  78. My boyfriend and I have been together for a year now and today he tells me that he feels like he is being distanced away. He says that I am the one he wants to be with for the rest of our lives. But yesterday he says that everything was OK. I am so confused. I love your article I think it is the best one I have read in a long time. I don't know what to do anymore. Can you please help me? Thank you, Sabrina

    • Thank you, Sabrina. If you've done the three things I suggest here, then it comes down to what you can live with and what you can't. You can't change anyone else or make them behave differently, you can only live your own life in a way that you can live with and allow him to do the same. It sounds like he's confused, too, and what you're picking up on is his confusion. When you give someone space to be themselves, you discover where they stand by whether they keep the space between you or pick up the slack on their own. People will always do what works for them; what we can do is decide what works for us and what terms we can live with, and what ones we can't.

  79. i've been in a relationship for almost 9years, my boyfriend and I see each other atleast three times a week, because we stay far apart. I've been having some issues with him seeing girls (cheating) behind my back. Last year I found out about a girl, who's believed to be his ex, he apologised about it and said she's nothing to him. Early this year I found a girl's items under his bed, I asked about those stuff, and he said he's sorry, he has no excuse about that, he wants to be with me. I forgave him and moved on with him. Last month I decided to go to his place unannounced or without telling him that i'm coming, I then found a girl in his room, but he was not there, he was at work. I then greet the girl, to my surprise, the girl knew my name. We then, me and her decided to go and fetch him at work so that he can explain what's going on. I asked her to go and fetch him, she did that. When he gets home, he told the girl to pack her bags and leave, the girl asked, what does that suppose to mean? He said it means nothing, and she must pack and go. The girl left. I asked why would he do such thing, he told me how sorry he was and that he wants to be with me. I never broke up with him, I just left. We were communicating through the phone. He was always calling, checking up in me. But now everything has changed, he doesn' t call me, we don't talk like we used to, he has distanced himself from me. And blaming me for his behaviour.

  80. Hi Jane,
    I love this article and it has definitely got me thinking about some things! however my situation is a bit different.
    I have been hanging out with this guy for nearly 2 months. Very full on from the start, he made all the first moves and I held back. Our first date consisted of him pulling out a padlock and taking me to a bridge and locking into onto the bridge. Everything has been going fine- calling, texting, catching up etc. we went out to dinner 2 weeks ago and at the table he said "so my ex is moving to another state with my son and i think after i finish study i'll move there as well" i was in shock and went silent! he asked if i was ok and i said yes and it got dropped and the night went normally and really well. Whenever im with him he always makes random comments like "I really like you" and "dont worry im not going anywhere i really like you" which was always comforting. He invited me over to his last weekend for some drinks to meet his mates and his sister. I didnt end up going because all of a sudden I didnt hear anything from him in 4 days! i didnt get a time to get there or even a text or call when i didnt show! i called him the next day and asked what was going on because i hadnt heard from him and pretty much said i was upset and we agreed to catch up the next day and talk about it. the next day came and we talked and along the way the moving to another state got brought up and his comment was "i really like you but its to soon to say anything yet" and i said "well we need to establish something first otherwise theres no point in talking about this- what actually is this between us?" and he said "well i still feel like my divorce is fresh and i want to take things slow" (coming from someone who was full on) and i said "well is this a mess around then or not" and he said "well put it this way, i didnt think in a million years I would be hanging out with someone or enjoy someones company and start liking them again " and i said " as long as we're establishing that im not messing you around and your not messing me around" and he didnt say anything. we then talked about the moving and we said that its to soon to say anythign and we'll keep going how we're going and if it comes to it then we'll talk about it more seriously. that was on monday.. its now saturday and i havent heard from him at all this week except for wednesday when i got a drunken call from him asking what i was up to. no texting, no calling, no asking to catch up.
    what is going on!!? i was thinking well maybe he just said that to keep me happy and he's now trying to distance himself but then on the other hand why was he still bringin up moving to me (something serious) if that was the case? why bother if you were just messing around?
    As you can tell im in a whirlwind of confusing thoughts! please help with your opinion on the matter
    Thank you in advance!

  81. Great article Jane! Thank you!

  82. For the last 6 months, I have been dating a man that has been very consistent about his interest in me. He has told me repeatedly that he was serious about me, invested, etc. He has made plans with me, introduced me to friends and family, and so on.

    About a month ago, he seemed to become even more caring and interested. After returning from vacation, he was excited to see me. He brought me several very sweet gifts and held me in his arms for hours. I felt very loved and connected to him at the time.

    Suddenly, he put up walls and became emotionally distant. He hates his job. He talked about how he was fixated on relocating to a new place. He said he didn't want to be "accountable for my unhappiness" if the move was something that I didn't like, so he hesitated to invite me to join him. He also told me he wouldn't commit to anything right now, but that he wanted to "keep what we have and figure things out when the time comes."

    Since then, things have been a bit off. He has said some pessimistic things about relationships in general. When I disagree with him, he seems almost pleased with my responses. I wonder if he is subconsciously testing me. I don't know what to do. I worry that I am dishonoring myself by remaining in a relationship with so much uncertainty. I feel very blindsided... all of this came from a man that had consistently opened up his heart to me.

    Is it worthwhile to continue the relationship or will I only be prolonging heartbreak? I am willing to be patient with him while he deals with his own issues. I just want to know if this is the right decision. I am worried that he has hardened his heart towards me and this relationship has become a lost cause.

  83. scared&confused says:

    Hi Jane, I love your article. I have yup day it's the only thing that has made me feel somewhat better.. I don't know if you will be able to help me or not, but I have faith and hope that you can. My ex and I were together for 2 1/2 years. We had our up and downs, but I fell deeply in love with him, abd he said he did as well. He told me that he loved me first.. and a little while later he gave me a promise ring and asked me to be his forever.. we had a great relationship.. there were times he was distant, abd I did the steps mentioned in your article above. We've had issues with his friends coming between our relationship, which has caused arguments for us. But I knew that as long as we communicated, we could get through it all. This two and a half years had a lot of obstacles that were thrown at us, but it seemed like we managed to get passed them. We even went on vacation together , but once we got back he began being distant again. Then suddenly while pot with his friend, he called me and told me he wanted a break.. no real explanation, other than he was tired of the fights. Then two days after, he apologized for everything and said he didn't want a break. So we went from there.. (that was in July of this year) later in September out happened again, but this time he said to break up.. it just turned into a screaming match outside my house.. he was saying things about how he didn't want me anymore, and didn't want to try in our relationship anymoreand upset me so much with what he was saying, that I threw my ring into the road. He just kept saying things that you're me to pieces inside.. yet the day before he was saying about how much he loved me, etc. He picked up the ring and put it on his chain I gave him, said he'd always love me and I told him he didn't of his feelings could change like that in a matter of a day.. I was crying my eyes out and he just got in his car and left.. A few days went by and he apologized again.. and we got back together.. things were ok, and staying to get better, but he apparently lost the ring when I asked for it back. He said he wish he had it but he lost it at work when his chain broke. We talked things out and moved on. Things had gotten good, then I caught him out talking to someone who nearly destroyed our relationship before on many different occasions. (Friend he was with when he said he wanted a break?) We had a fight about that, but eventually that night we got it figured out and talked about it, then we were fine again. After that wet had stayed talking about moving in with each other again and he started talking about our life together and how he plans to marry me and have a family with me. We even had plans to move to Florida in June 2015. On November 4th 2014, he told me home much he dearly loved me, and I asked him to be sure where he wants our relationship to go, and he said again that he wants to marry me. That no matter what happens he won't let us break up, because pour relationship means top much to him and he never wants to be without me. I told him I wanted all the same things too, and said how happy I was with him. Our night was great. The next day he didn't talk to me all day until later that evening, despite me texting him, and when he finally did talk to me, he said he didn't know if he wants our relationship. I asked him what was wrong and reminded him of he had said the night before, and asked him if wet could just have a day to ourselves with no distractions to talk and figure everything out. I mean EVERYTHING that had occurred in our relationship, so wet could try and figure out what was or had happened, and then go from there. We both agreed on Friday November 7th to do so. Then he stopped texting me for a bit, again despite me trying to text him, and then finally he said he was feeling depressed (he suffers from depression) so, I asked him if I could come over and cheer him up. He said yes and I told him I was leaving in 5 minutes. Just as I was walking out my door,he calls me and tells me not to come. I asked him why and he suddenly says because he doesn't want to see me, and then went on to tell me about how if didn't know if he can do this anymore by being in a relationship with me, how he doesn't know if he loves or wants me anymore. And that he doesn't see a point in trying to fix things. So of course I'm in tears, confused and hurt and trying to figure out what he's doing, and what's going on, why it's all so sudden... But he gives me nothing.. he just keeps saying he didn't know anymore and we broke up that night.. wet didn't talk for a few days and then he slowly started talking to me. He told me that it was hurting him a lot with what happened and that he still loved and misses me.. and said he wanted for us to talk about what hastened because he wanted to explain to me what happened and apologize.. things were really tense abd Ricky and we were only texting every now and then... Then a death in my family occurred with someone I was very very close to, abd I Todd him about it.. he then didn't that whole night talking to me about it and trying to cheer me up abd help me.. I asked him why he was doing ask this abd he said it's because he's still in love with me.. abd he doesn't want me to go through it alone... The next day after that he had a friend end up being arrested, abd he told me all about it, he was fully engaged in a conversation with me.. talking to me about what happened and how he's actively looking for a new job at the moment.. it was all good, and he said to me that bee really wanted us yup talk to figure out what happened and to figure out where we go from here because he still loves me.. the next day rolls around and he sends me a text randomly asking when I'm coming to pick up my stuff.. I called him and said I thought you wanted to talk first to see where we go from here. And he said he doesn't see the point in talking, because he thinks nothing will change.. I told him that I know what has changed, and that I would like to talk in person and he said just to mention it on the phone and then we would talk more in depth later. I apologized for how things had gone in the past, and mentioned his friendsand said about how I should have just let him realize and make the decisions about his friends himself, because I know that he wants to have done sort of freedom, and he sometimes likes to be around his friends. I said I was sorry, and that I knew now that there were better ways that wet could have felt with things on the past. He then completely went weird and suddenly got so mad at me. When I asked him why he was mad, he said it was because I was apologizing! I asked him why that made him mad, abd he just kept saying over abd over that he was mad because I apologized to him. But he got so mad and suddenly blew up, like me just snapped. To the point where he hung up the phone and started saying harsh things again then he just came out and said I love you, but I have nothing for you anymore because you just apologized. I told him that relationships are two way things, where both partners need to figure out their wings and do what needs to be done to make them right. He just was so mad that he wouldn't even talk to me, unless he was saying harsh things or telling me to just come and get my stuff, and he won't even be giving it to me, he would have his friend do it (different one, his sisters boyfriend).. then be just said not to call him or talk to him again. All because I apologized to him, and told him, that I take responsibility for what I did wrong, and that there was more I realized. I really really don't understand why he just suddenly snapped? This happens on the 15th of November, and I haven't talked to him since.. I just don't know what I did wrong? what I should do now? What's going to happen? Or why he got mad? I just don't get it. I don't get why he's saying how much he loves me and planning on marrying me, and telling his friends and family about how he is going to marry me, and looking at apartments and engagement rings with me and all that, then literally the next day he goes completely opposite? Can you help me any? I know it's a long story, and I'm sorry it is, but I just don't know what's going on.. I love him more than anything, and I know that he loves me too. I know he cares deeply for me the way I do for him. But I don't get why this suddenly happened. I want to be with him.. but I just don't know what to do.. he just says that he's not good enough for me, and thinks I deserve better, but I tell him that I want him and only him.. and he says the same.. I'm just.. stuck.. and lost on this whole thing.. Please help me Jane...

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