Boyfriend wants to avoid me so we don't ''get bored of each other''
November 15, 2017 4:58 PM   Subscribe

Alright, so I've had a good thing going with someone, I'm 26, he's a bit younger, it's just that it's long distance - lasting for cca 2 months now. And we really have not much time for each other, but i've felt good more or less so far. I did not have a feeling I was being too clingy, of course i write to him sometimes. The thing is that he shares the room with a friend and we can barely talk relaxed. Today as I called him, he told me he ''needs to be alone a bit'' because ''his roommate is gone'0.' because i mentioned that we don't really talk a lot, je claimed he didn't want to hang up on me because of that. ''I don't want to talk to you too much because we'll get bored of each other then and i feel uncomfortable when i have nothing to say.''

Now what the hell does that mean, in the eyes of the outside observer? To me, that sounds like a very weird request. I feel like i was demanding and emotionally blackmailing him now without knowing that...
posted by Salicornia to Human Relations (27 answers total)
Now what the hell does that mean, in the eyes of the outside observer?

I think it means you need a new boyfriend, and your current one can't bring himself to say so.
posted by mhoye at 5:07 PM on November 15, 2017 [85 favorites]

Oh my god, you were NOT demanding, and in no conceivable way were you "emotional blackmailing him"! Women in relationships with men are taught that they're responsible for the health of the relationship, which usually means women capitulating to the man's needs at the cost of their own. This is all to say: you are allowed to have needs and to want to spend time with your boyfriend. That is a 100% completely reasonable and normal human desire to have in a relationship (especially long distance!).

The fact that he is worried about getting bored of you is I think a sign of his emotional immaturity. People don't just get bored of each other -- relationships require work and a conscious and continuous effort to engage with the other person. He's way more likely to get "bored" by NOT talking to you. I think he probably just didn't feel like you talking to you at that exact moment and was trying to come up with some excuse to say so but couldn't figure out how to use his words, like an adult.

This is a problem with HIM, and has nothing to do with you being "too demanding", "too clingy" or "emotional blackmailing".
posted by a strong female character at 5:09 PM on November 15, 2017 [44 favorites]

It means your boyfriend has not the first idea of how to be in a relationship. Or be a friend, really. You are not the problem.
posted by bonehead at 5:14 PM on November 15, 2017 [29 favorites]

Is he highly introverted? Alone time for introverts in a busy college or work/roommate situation could be highly valued as vital recharge time.

Is he one of those people who loathes talking on the phone? It's hideous and horrible and draining for me, to the point where I don't make important calls sometimes. Having a gf who likes to talk on the phone lots/sometimes/ever is... Not a good situation for me. Most of my 20 something friends use text/messaging services vs phones. Prevents the dreaded awkward silence on the phone. Super uncomfortable!

Of course he might just not be into you, but I hang out with/am so many awkward types that this sounds like uncomfortable-ness with the medium/phone anxiety pressure than disinterested in my opinion.
posted by Jacen at 5:18 PM on November 15, 2017 [16 favorites]

Now what the hell does that mean, in the eyes of the outside observer?

It means he's an introvert. And while some people are introverts in the sense that they get stressed out and frazzled after socializing with large groups, some other people are introverts in the sense that they need lots and lots of time where they are 100% completely alone with no interruptions or interaction. He sounds like he's one of the latter.

"Bored of each other" isn't the best language, but my read is that he's trying to ask for alone time. A lot of alone time. I'm assuming that "clingy" and "emotionally blackmailing" are your words, not his. I don't get huge mega jerk vibes from him based on your post. What I do get is the sense that you and he have very different needs in terms of how, when, where, and how much you interact. It's going to take a lot of hard work and compromise to find a happy medium. You'll want to think about whether you are both up for that.
posted by capricorn at 5:18 PM on November 15, 2017 [9 favorites]

My estimate would be he is insecure about himself and what he might have to offer a potential partner, and also has a pretty simplistic/naive view of how relationships work. I don't think you did anything wrong. It has only been a few months; I wouldn't waste time wondering about the hows and whys of this man. Instead, why not date someone who wants to spend time talking to you as much as you want to spend time talking with them?
posted by sevenofspades at 5:20 PM on November 15, 2017

To the people suggesting him being an introvert, I would have to point out that I am an introvert myself, to a greater extend than him. He has none of these issues while he hangs out with other people or travels places.
posted by Salicornia at 5:22 PM on November 15, 2017 [6 favorites]

it could be that your idea of the right amount of relationship contact simply differs from his. if that's the case, one of you will have to compromise in order to "fix" this, but in my experience it's a whole lot easier to just break up than to try and make it work. it's a deeply fundamental thing to differ on.

however, i'm not sure i would go so far as to reach this conclusion, or any of the other presented as wholly definitive conclusions above, based on this single example of his behavior.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:45 PM on November 15, 2017 [5 favorites]

If he can't manage to talk to you for ten minutes on the phone when - if I am interpreting your post correctly - he lives apart from you and you "don't have much time for one another", then how do you think he will manage if e.g. you start living together? Not very well, would be my guess. He obviously doesn't want this, so I'm afraid it's time to file him away and move on with your life and that will certainly give him the peace and quiet he so desperately seeks.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:03 PM on November 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

It means he’s not worth your time, since he seems to think you aren’t worth his.
posted by OmieWise at 6:12 PM on November 15, 2017 [14 favorites]

So you're long distance, you hardly ever see your boyfriend and when you have the chance he doesn't want to, you barely talk but you do write to him. Congratulations, you have a lovely penpal! I'd break up with him but I don't think he'd notice. I'd fade out but he's done that already, so, just.. move on. I'd be surprised if you hear from him again. He might write though...
posted by Jubey at 6:31 PM on November 15, 2017 [11 favorites]

If he's no good at talking on the phone and you live a distance from each other then this is not really the set up for a successful relationship between the two of you.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:34 PM on November 15, 2017 [16 favorites]

This, plus your last question about him? Run.
posted by saucysault at 6:44 PM on November 15, 2017 [12 favorites]

Disengage and step away. Find a more mature partner.
posted by Miko at 7:11 PM on November 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

so I've had a good thing going with someone

Respectfully, neither this nor your previous question describes a good thing going with someone. Be kinder to yourself than this. Surround yourself with people who are kinder to yourself than this, and who think there's no way they'll have discovered everything fascinating and loveable about you in mere months.
posted by sadmadglad at 7:16 PM on November 15, 2017 [19 favorites]

He sounds like someone who isn't ready to be in a real relationship or, perhaps, he's not ready to be in a relationship with you. From your question, it seems you barely see each other or talk as is, so the fact that he isn't willing to speak with you when he does have free time makes me think this isn't a good match, whatever the underlying reason is.

Taking into account your previous question too, yes, you should dump this guy and find someone who doesn't raise so many red flags.
posted by AppleTurnover at 7:36 PM on November 15, 2017

Have your friends met him? What do they think about him?
Yeah, that was rude of him.
And yeah, sometimes it's hard to parse subtleties over the phone or on the computer.
But that doesn't mean you take up 49 percent of the air in this relationship.
This stranger on the net says this: enjoy him. When it's comfortable for you to enjoy him. But don't let him bring you down. Cast a wider net. He will do more heavy lifting in the relationship -- because that is what you expect from him -- or you can fade out and spend your precious time with someone who is more... available on your terms.

You only get what you ask for.
posted by TrishaU at 8:10 PM on November 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Two months into a relationship and you’ve already come to AskMe twice.

This. Is. Not. Working.
posted by Kwadeng at 8:11 PM on November 15, 2017 [17 favorites]

Introvert? Introvert my foot.

Find someone who can't wait to spend time with you.
posted by onecircleaday at 9:22 PM on November 15, 2017 [5 favorites]

I just wanted to say that is could be nothing.... but it doesn't look good. I wouldn't necessarily write him off without a conversation.
posted by xammerboy at 10:31 PM on November 15, 2017

You have maybe a pen pal. If he writes back.
posted by bendy at 12:48 AM on November 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is the same guy about the question regarding his mean behaviour when he's drunk? And you've confronted him about it (good!) and now this is how he behaves? It sounds like he's starting to realise that if he wants to be with you, he's gonna have to put in more effort and well, sorry he's not up for it. And rather than do the right thing and break up with you, he's just gonna be a shitty boyfriend and see how much he can get away with.

You deserver way better.
posted by like_neon at 5:15 AM on November 16, 2017 [7 favorites]

''I don't want to talk to you too much....''

Oh dude; you have an opportunity here for probably the greatest breakup line of all time with your response of,

"I am going to make this SO easy for you..." with a hair toss or whatever else floats your boat as you exit, never to return.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:35 AM on November 16, 2017 [7 favorites]

This, coupled with your last post has me really concerned for you. This is gaslighting behavior, taking a totally normal reaction or behavior and making it seem like you are the unreasonable one. There are ways to ask for space. This is not one of them.

It is reasonable for him to say he wants some alone time, but to frame it as though you want too much contact makes his emotional needs your problem/issue on top of your own.

In your last question he accused you of not caring enough about him, and lamented nobody loves him, and then refused to cop to it when you confronted him. This is a pattern that suggests emotional abuse. He is testing your boundaries and seeing how much you will capitulate your own needs to him.

You should run, fast and far, but if you can't do that now (you really, really should, though), please do not isolate yourself, please talk to friends about this and make sure you don't lose perspective or lose sight of your own needs and personhood.

Good luck, please look out for yourself. You deserve love and care.
posted by pazazygeek at 8:12 AM on November 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

It means he’s not worth your time, since he seems to think you aren’t worth his.

He would rather be alone than be with you. Give him what he wants. Leave.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:14 AM on November 16, 2017

I've been in long distance relationships before, and I know it's nice to have a special someone out there, but this doesn't sound worth the effort or emotional turmoil at all. I believe that if you don't end this relationship soon, you'll regret not ending it sooner later.

It's still early on, you've not invested all that much time in each other, and he's really given you the perfect out. There is no need for you to stick around in a relationship with a guy who sends you nasty drunk texts and also doesn't want to talk to you as much as you want to talk to him.

I'll tell you, when you're in a relationship with a guy who keeps bringing up the fact that he is miserable and he knows you're just going to leave him or cheat on him, etc... you know what, he's right, because eventually you probably are going to leave him because eventually you're going to want more from a relationship than he is ever going to give you.
posted by wondermouse at 3:24 PM on November 16, 2017

It could be social anxiety and insecurity and him trying to manipulate you into saying “I don’t care, you’re mine anyway.” Not to add to your burdens but just to be realistic.
posted by karmachameleon at 8:43 PM on November 16, 2017

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