There’s no worse feeling than having your boyfriend suddenly start acting distant and aloof around you. Things were fine, better than fine, and then BAM! It all changed. It’s enough to freak anyone out, but it may not be the end of the world. Before you start worrying that he’s no longer into you and a breakup is on the cards, take a deep breath and read on. We may be able to give you some insight on what’s happening.
Is being distant a sign of more serious trouble?
While it’s natural to jump to conclusions when your boyfriend seems distracted or less affectionate, you shouldn’t automatically assume the worst. Admittedly, it could be that there are serious issues in your relationship that may or may not be fixable. However, it’s just as likely that there’s a more benign reason for his distant behavior and things will sort themselves out naturally.
Of course, what’s really behind this change depends on the circumstances. Only you know your boyfriend and his usual personality. Noticing major shifts for no apparent reason can be alarming. Still, any concerns you have should be addressed directly with him. That’s the only way you can truly get to the bottom of what’s going on.
Why is my boyfriend acting distant?
- He’s extremely stressed or busy. Does he have a big project going on at work that’s really intense? Is someone in his family ill or going through a hard time? It’s possible that your boyfriend isn’t purposely being weird, he’s just distracted. His attention and energy are being diverted elsewhere at the moment. If that’s the case, try and be understanding.
- He feels depressed or anxious. Mental health issues affect all of us at some time. In fact, the CDC reports that more than 50% of American adults will be diagnosed with a disorder or illness in their lifetime. Your boyfriend could be dealing with this at the moment, leading to a change in his behavior. The best thing you can do is offer him your support. If his mental health is seriously suffering and not showing signs of improvement, encourage him to talk to his doctor and/or a psychologist who may be able to help.
- He worries things are moving too fast. On the flip side, maybe your boyfriend is being distant on purpose. If your relationship has been moving at warp-speed, he could be getting cold feet. He wants to pump the breaks just slightly and slow things down. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be with you, rather that he wants you to pace yourselves.
- He’s thinking through his feelings for you. If your relationship is still pretty new, he may still feel a little uncertain about you. He knows that he likes you, he’s just not sure how much. This might be the case especially if your feelings are intense and you’re quite vocal about them. It can be overwhelming, leading him to take a bit of time to work through his feelings before moving forward.
- He needs some space to do his own thing. While he adores you, he still needs time to himself. Whether he wants to go out with his friends or just sit around in his underwear watching football, he wants to do his own thing. This isn’t personal. He still enjoys being around you. He just needs to recharge on his own sometimes too.
- He met someone else. No one wants to think about this, but it’s certainly possible. Maybe his distant behavior is down to his interest in another woman. If he acts shady with his phone, stays late at “work” a lot, and seems less interested in sex with you, he may have met with someone else. Don’t immediately jump to conclusions and accuse him of cheating, but do some more digging. You shouldn’t stay with someone who betrays you in this way.
- He wants to end things but doesn’t know how to tell you. Maybe your relationship has simly run its course and he doesn’t know how to say it. He doesn’t want to seem like a jerk or be the one to break your heart. Instead, he pulls away and hopes that things will naturally fade away. It’s an immature and cowardly approach, but it happens.
- You said or did something to upset him. This is more temporary and fixable, but still important to deal with. Figure out what you did wrong, apologize to him, and then have hot make-up sex. Doesn’t that sound like a plan?
What to do about it
- Play it cool. Even though there’s a lot running through your mind and you’re worried and afraid of what could be happening, it’s important to not freak out. You won’t get the validation, attention, or reassurance that you’re looking for by letting your fears control how you react. Sure, your needs are valid, but displaying your neediness every time you are together might only make him even more distant.
- Don’t make it about yourself. You need to keep in mind that the reason he’s pulling away probably has nothing to do with you. So instead of going on the defensive, be open and leave room for a healthy conversation. He’ll be more likely to be honest about what’s going on if he doesn’t feel like he’s backed into a corner.
- Try to get to the bottom of the issue. If you feel your boyfriend getting distant, ignoring it and hoping it goes away might not be the best way to handle things. Communicate with him. Explain how you’re feeling without being accusatory and ask him why it’s happening. It could be something fixable or that he no longer cares about you like before. Either way, you’ll be in the know.
- Give him space to figure out what he wants. Sometimes all people want is time to themselves. Give him space to be alone even if it’s confusing and difficult for you. This is about his needs, and if you can be emotionally mature enough to give him that without spite, he’ll appreciate you even more when he gets back to normal.
- Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. I know it’s a tough spot to be in when someone who used to love you intensely is being cold and pulling away all of a sudden. But try not to let all that anxiety, worry, and negative emotions running around in your head get to you. Put all that aside when addressing what’s going on.
- Use the time to take a good look at yourself. How does your boyfriend pulling away make you feel? Is there something you’re doing that is responsible for the growing distance? Pause and examine yourself and the relationship—and if there’s anything that needs fixing, go to work on it.
- Add some spice to your dating life. It’s natural for the spark in a relationship to die down after a while, but the problem is if it just stays dead. Come up with interesting date ideas, switch things up in the bedroom, take some time away together. Just try to break out of the routine.
- Avoid chasing after him at all costs. You probably think that running after him or trying to force things with him will make your boyfriend stop being distant, but it’s more likely to have the opposite effect. You’re going to end up angry, frustrated, and hurt when he doesn’t respond the way you’re hoping. Give him time to breathe and focus on other things that make you happy.
- Be prepared for the worst. It’s possible that your boyfriend is distant because he doesn’t want to be in the relationship anymore. You should prepare yourself for that outcome, sit with it, and try to be fine with it. It might feel like the end of everything you know, but it isn’t. Love will always come calling. Remember that.