How to deal with distance from new boyfriend and not self-sabotage?
November 23, 2016 6:00 AM   Subscribe

I feel my new guy pulling away a little - should I talk to him or leave it alone?

I have been seeing a guy in person for 1 month & we talked online for 1 month before that. At the beginning I expressed how important it is for me to date someone who will also plan dates 50/50 and he said 'no problem'. He immediately planned a date and then we took turns each time. We have now been on 6 dates total. He would always ask how my day was going in the first few weeks but that's 0 now. Aside from that he is still thoughtful in person.

On our last date, that lasted 11 1/2 hours, we talked a little about the future. I am hoping to travel for around 8 months & he said 'I thought you were going to get a job in the North (of our country)?' I said that I would love to do that in a couple of years, in fact we've discussed moving to the same city, but I want to do a bit more travelling & futhering my career via this avenue beforehand. He hinted that he would be open to coming with me but later I noticed his mood had changed perceptibly - when I asked him about it he said he was fine. At the end of the date, he told me how 'content' he is with me & how much he likes me. But he didn't plan for the next date, just said 'let's both keep an eye out for something fun to do.'

Almost 3 days had passed without any contact (unheard of for him) & I had an appointment at the hospital this week & he didn't contact me beforehand to wish me luck. Feeling that I wanted to talk to him afterward, I contacted him & asked to see him Sat evening. I told him about the appointment & he said he hoped I was doing okay. He also expressed enthusiasm about making plans for Sat - I have suggested cooking dinner at my place.

I said I'd like him to be my food sampler for a new dish (dangerous stuff! :)' but he has not replied to this a day later. I feel a little left out in the cold as usually we keep in touch throughout the day or every couple of days.

It is worth mentioning that he is going through a period of upheaval - his job contract ends next month & on top of that his employers aren't paying him properly. He told me this and seemed stressed about it when we last met and I thought this might explain why he hasn't been in touch, but when I asked how they things were he said 'pretty good'. It doesn't add up.

At the moment I'm starting to feel insecure. Things have been going well, but now I feel the carpet is going to be pulled from under me & I'm struggling to relax. How can I handle this?
posted by Kat_Dubs to Human Relations (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
My read on this is you told him you might be leaving town for a good chunk of time and maybe he initially felt like he could roll with it and now is not so sure? Not everyone can even think about the idea of an LDR. And maybe he's not so great at talking about those feelings (even if he is aware of them). I'd probably give it one more chance to just send a direct message "Hey dinner at my place on Saturday at 8 pm. Are you in or not?" and if he can't get on board with that, I'd let it go. And if he comes over, then you guys can talk, if not, it sounds like he's sort of trying to ghost on you. Sorry.

I don't know if either of you guys have family who are affected by American Thanksgiving, but that's also a drama instigator this week. Like you, I like the dating-effort to be at about 50/50 but that doesn't always, to my mind, need to be "I plan one, you plan one" but just that it generally balances out.
posted by jessamyn at 6:12 AM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


The answer to like 99.9% of relationship questions is talk to them.
posted by magnetsphere at 6:30 AM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Maybe magnetsphere but women have it drummed into them that they should play it cool and not rock the boat, especially for the first 1-2 months. It's hard to be like 'OHHAI why are you ignoring me ps. still on for dinner?'
posted by Kat_Dubs at 7:14 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


So? Do you want to be with someone who can't handle you bringing up a potential issue and talking about it like adults? Either way you get a pretty good answer as to how this relationship is going to go.
posted by magnetsphere at 7:19 AM on November 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'd probably give it one more chance to just send a direct message "Hey dinner at my place on Saturday at 8 pm. Are you in or not?" and if he can't get on board with that, I'd let it go. And if he comes over, then you guys can talk, if not, it sounds like he's sort of trying to ghost on you. Sorry.

I agree with this. Let his actions show you what's going on.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:28 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


He hinted that he would be open to coming with me but later I noticed his mood had changed perceptibly

And how did you respond to his hint? Would you like him to join you? If I put myself on a limb and the person didn't respond, I'd see that as rejection and pull away because the person is not as serious about the relationship as I am.

And then, really, who wants to invest in an LDR with someone who doesn't seem as into you as much as you are into them?
posted by unannihilated at 7:43 AM on November 23, 2016


> Maybe magnetsphere but women have it drummed into them that they should play it cool and not rock the boat,

As you're discovering, it's a pretty hard beat to dance to, so don't. You handle this by talking to him - if he is the kind of guy who thinks "rocking the boat" is "having a conversation about what's going on with the person you're dating," then that is information it's good to have sooner rather than later.
posted by rtha at 8:29 AM on November 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


I agree with Jessamyn but I also want you to remember to listen to your gut. Trust your gut.
The worst relationships I've been in, I was constantly allowing my emotions to override my gut instinct that the relationship was not secure. Do not ignore this. A good relationship on solid ground is one where you listen to your gut and your gut says, "we're good."
posted by aabbbiee at 8:59 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I also agree with Jessamyn and her advice.

Additionally, (and I'm not saying this is about sex, per say) but if he's never been to your place he may feel like your invitation to dinner is meaningful in a way that makes him feel uncomfortable, whether it's because he is now less enthusiastic about you/where this is going (for whatever reason) or because he is understandably stressed out by external factors (regardless of his "pretty good" comment).
posted by sm1tten at 5:01 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks all. Just as I was getting up the courage to talk to him about this, he seemed ok again & said his boiler had been broken all week (it is FREEZING here right now). So I'm thinking, ok, but now he's been quiet again athough the date is arranged for tomorrow. He has been to my place once btw & we slept together last time.

My gut is still feeling a little uneasy tho, I feel like his interest level has decreased. I guess the main change is that I don't feel as involved in his life during the week as I was. He previously said he doesn't want to place his burdens on me, but to me this is just bad communication.
posted by Kat_Dubs at 6:58 AM on November 25, 2016


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