What to do when a boyfriend pulls away inside a relationship?

LittleGirlBigAppetite asks: I met a guy on Tinder 3 months ago and we have been dating for the past 2 months now. He is doing his Masters in Business Administration and stays 2 hours away from me in a hostel. During the first month we used to meet and go for lunch and movie dates. But the past month hasn’t been exciting at all. Whenever I ask him to meet up he says he cant due to his college schedule. Our relationship has now completely turned into a boring, virtual one. I even told him that this is bothering me and we should end it if this is how things are going to be but he said that he does not want to end things so soon. I like him a lot and it makes me wonder if he’s really into me or not. If yes, then why not spend at least one day in two weeks together? If no, then why not just end it? I am not asking for much, just the bare minimum as I understand that we both have busy college schedules. I really need your advice as to what to do next?

Hi LittleGirlBigAppetite –



This is an awfully common problem, and it’s always a painful one. And I do relate.


When my human friend Handsome first brought me home from the pound, I was all he thought about. Making sure I was safe and warm, making sure I wasn’t peeing or chewing on something in his house, making sure he had the right equipment for me and I was getting the right healthcare.   Every conversation he had was about me, at least in part.


And then, after a while, that changed.   He still liked me – he actually liked me better – but he wasn’t as worried about me. He trusted that I’d be okay in most situations. And when he talked with people, I wasn’t the novelty subject anymore – he might be talking about a girl or work or politics or something instead.   It really annoyed me – I’d gotten to be a better companion, but I seemed to matter less!


Now this might be all that’s happening to you. Your boyfriend might have put so much effort into getting your relationship going that you thought that’s what he’d always be like, and now he’s relaxing a bit, believing he did his job and you’re his and he’s yours and all is good.


And if so, he’s about half-right.


I mean, you didn’t dump him right away, you wrote me instead, right?!


But of course there could be something else wrong – he could be losing interest, he could be actually bothered by something about you, or he could be thinking about someone else.


Or he could just be busy with his studies.


ANY of these are possible, and it might even be a mixture of more than one.


My advice is to, without ‘nagging,’ make this treatment of you so difficult as to be nearly impossible for him!


How? Well, let me tell you one story about me. Handsome was working on a really big project, one that kept him away from home nearly twenty hours a day for a few weeks. I filled my time just chasing animals in the back yard, and got used to him not being around, though of course I was disappointed and lonely. Then he finished that work, and had his first day at home. I was so happy. But what did he do? He pulled out four weeks worth of mail, and sat in the middle of our living room doing paperwork… for hours! Even though he was home, he was still ignoring me!


So I came up with an idea. He had this white couch, which I was forbidden to be on. I waited till he was deep into his paperwork and then, staring at him, waited till he looked up at me, and slowly climbed onto it. There was no way he could keep ignoring me – I was breaking his biggest rule. He got up, yelled at me to get off… and suddenly he ‘got it.’ Took me out into the yard and played catch with me for a half hour. It was great.


So I don’t want you to leave this guy, or to yell at him. All I want you to do is to let him know that you’re bored with being ignored, and considering doing some other things. Maybe that’s just going out with some friends, maybe it’s visiting your family, and maybe it’s going out for a romantic candlelit dinner and a drive along the beach with his best friend! He won’t know! I’m thinking just a text like “I know you’re very busy, so I’m making plans for the weekend without you. Let me know when you’d like to meet up next.” And see what he does.


Maybe he’ll say “Whew! I’m so glad. Yeah I have three exams next week, and I don’t want you feeling left alone.” If that’s the case, then you might ask him about doing something after the exams, and all might be fine.


Or maybe he’ll say “Fine! Do what you want!” In that case, you know he’s uptight about things and there’s something you two need to talk about.


Or maybe he’ll be like Handsome and say “Oh no! I’m so sorry! I’ve been completely ignoring you! Are there any nights you’re still free? I really want to see you!” And that would, of course, be just glorious.


The important part here is that you acknowledge that he’s busy. That might be nonsense, and it might be really serious. We don’t know.


But here’s the big deal – even if he is really busy with his studies, he has a girlfriend; a wonderful incredible girlfriend. And if he wants to keep her, he needs to understand how to make her feel cared for and wanted.


So, if the whole problem is that he just doesn’t understand that yet, then I think it’s time for him to get schooled in a different way than he’s used to. And to learn something just as important as anything in his classes – how to treat you.


So stay kind, stay positive, but climb on that couch. And I really hope you find it works out to your greatest advantage!


Best of Luck!



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Antwi - November 13, 2017 Reply

You’re right, and I will add, examine to see if there might be something wrong somewhere. If you think you don’t see any thing wrong, sit him down to let him know how and what you are feeling, and I believe, if it’s real interest he has for you, everything will work out well for you.

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