“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.”
~ Mandy Hale
Many people go through different stages in their relationship. I would like to share a few tips about do’s and don’ts when your boyfriend says he loves you but does not make time for you.
There could be many different reasons your boyfriend or husband is being distant.
It could be anything from he feels too comfortable in your relationship to past relationship trauma. He could also have trouble opening up because of a past relationship, whether it was in his childhood or adult life. He could be seeking closeness but be emotionally distant as a result of a past relationship.
Here are a few things you should not do when you talk with your boyfriend.
- You should not accuse him or blame him because he is not the boyfriend you want. This could push him away and shut down communication.
- You should also not let his feelings affect how you feel about yourself. Just because your boyfriend has certain feelings about you or the relationship you should not let those affect what you think of yourself. You are a strong powerful woman.
Here are a few things that you should do when you talk with your boyfriend.
- You should let him know how you feel when he spends his time engaged in other activities such as playing video games, going out with friends, working, cleaning or doing chores. This will start an open and honest conversation between you and your boyfriend.
- Ask him questions about how he feels about the relationship and if you are demonstrating your love through his “love language.” Other questions you could ask are, “Is there anything else you want from me?” “Do you feel like we have stagnated or are in a rut?”
- Give him space to talk and be honest with you. Try to listen non judgmentally. The conversation will be less likely to escalate into a fight.
Another positive step is to focus on yourself instead of focusing on what is wrong with your relationship.
For example, you can engage in a meditation of self-reflection. You can go on a walk or do a workout. You can also spend time in nature and focus on how that is making you feel.
I hope these do’s and don’ts help you and your boyfriend develop an open, honest conversation.
Hollis Wall, MA, LMHCA – www.wallehollis.com
If you want something that you aren’t getting from your man, you have to ask for it.
Your man is not a mind-reader, and you don’t need to be one either.
Before you talk to him, though, it’s helpful to sit with yourself.
I mean really sit with yourself. Close your eyes, breathe, put a hand on your heart and on your belly. Feel your feelings.
What do you really want from him? What would feel good to you? What do you desire?
Find the truth. You may think you want something you don’t actually want, or you may think he “should” be doing something you don’t even want.
Once you figure out what you actually want, it’s time to communicate with your man.
Is this step hard for you? Most couples say they have trouble communicating.
Here’s some advice: communicating something important should be done with care and intention.
Imagine you are buying a special gift for a friend you really care about.
You take time to decide what to give her, figuring out cute or creative ways to wrap the gift, and you would find a good time and way to give it to her. Over lunch, or maybe somewhere where she will be surprised, like on her doorstep.
Use this same level of care and intentionality when you prepare to talk to your man.
What is the gift you will give him (telling him what you REALLY want from him)? How will you wrap it up? This is about how you package your request. It’s always better to use “I-statements”, speak in a kind and respectful way… wrap it up nicely! If you bring up what you want in a way that he reacts negatively to — you won’t get very far.
Respect his need for emotional safety, and package your request in gentle language.
Help him feel safe and nurtured, so that when you speak to him, he can hear you. Lastly, when and how will you give your gift?
Some men appreciate knowing ahead of time that you are going to ask about something important, so give them a heads up first. Be present with yourself and your man when you ask for what you want.
Healthy relationships are about a beautiful flow of giving and receiving.
This only works when each person owns what they truly want and asks for it. You are entitled to get your needs met, and so is your man. Relationships require effort to be maintained. You are worth the effort and so is your man.
Alison Harre, LMFT – www.alisonharrelmft.com
You are confused and even irritated that he does not want to spend more time together.
Relationships are often a dance between being a couple; bonding and connecting with one another and then separating to be individuals pursuing their own interests, creativity and friends.
Often one person has a need for closeness which may differ from their partner’s need for more space.
The one who needs closeness will be the one who will suffer when they find themselves alone more often than they prefer.
However, this may not represent how much love or caring there is between two people. It is more of an indication of different styles of togetherness.
It is important to pay attention as to whether your partner is distancing because he feels smothered, losing his identity in the relationship, or just recharging his own battery.
It is important to understand that your partner’s character traits may be the very thing you need to develop within yourself and the same could be true for him as well.
An example would be you may need to grow more comfortable being alone with yourself and developing your own interests while he may need to make more of a compromise to share himself with you.
Demanding more time is a recipe for resentment but a flirtatious, enticing invitation may be hard for him to resist.
Keep your relationship drama free; and remember the more fun and light hearted humor you share together, the better chance you will find your partner wanting to spend time together.
Terry Binkovitz, PhD, MFT – www.drterrybinkovitzphd.com
When a partner’s words do not match his actions, it may be a red flag.
Feeling overwhelmed with life is common, yet, a man who rarely has time for a partner may be problematic.
A continuous discrepancy between a person’s words and actions is likely a character flaw.
A deeply insecure person may want to keep a partner “on the line” for security purposes. More afraid of being alone than doing the right thing, he lacks true feelings, yet, convinces the partner otherwise. By keeping the partner in the relationship, he also prevents her from moving on. This ensures he will be the first to find another.
Telling a partner what she wants to hear is also a way to maintain emotional control of a partner.
Once she trusts him, he “pulls the rug.” This sudden rejection after a proclamation of love confuses the partner. She clamors to regain the love and approval that was abruptly yanked away. In order to save the relationship, she slowly sacrifices aspects of who she is in order to appease the person and avoid future ruptures.
Another possibility is the man is emotionally unavailable.
He may be out of touch with the uncomfortable emotions necessary to maintain closeness in a relationship such as, vulnerability, openness, and empathy. Hiding behind other responsibilities shields him from the emotional demands of a close relationship.
In this case, he may need help processing experiences of childhood shame in order to free himself up.
Accessing the deeper emotional capacities such as vulnerability, empathy, and accountability within the context of a relationship is imperative to its survival.
Using a partner’s actions as a barometer to accurately gage his intentions may be good idea. Separating actions from words may help a partner see a theme that otherwise may be camouflaged.
When the time comes to calmly confront a partner, the way he responds is also useful information.
- Does he continually deflect responsibility for his actions and attempt to distort the interaction in order to blame another?
- Does he continually frame himself as a “victim” in order to excuse his actions?
If these are common tendencies, he may be manipulative in ways even he does not understand. If this is the case, it is important to access counseling.
Erin Leonard, PhD, LCSW, LLC – www.drerinleonard.com
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