“You should never have to look for evidence that someone loves you. True love is crystal clear.”
~ Mandy Hale
Let me first say that women have great intuition, especially when it comes to relationships.
So, if you sense that your partner is pulling away, you need to trust your gut instinct and address your concerns in an open and honest manner.
Here are some useful tips on how to do that.
- Don’t panic. If you do, you will not be able to address the issue appropriately because you will be emotionally overreactive. This will cause your partner to get defensive, or disconnect altogether.
- Prepare yourself before you bring up your concerns to him. I usually suggest that you take time to write a short, concise letter that respectfully conveys your feelings, concerns, and observations of what you think is happening in the relationship.
- Ask him for a time to talk, and request that he give you 15 to 20 minutes of time. Select a quiet, private place to meet.
- Start the conversation by thanking him about his willingness to talk with you. Ask him to let you read the letter you wrote, and ask him not to interrupt. This is important so that you are able to fully express yourself, and will allow you to keep the conversation on track. Tell him that you would like him to respond to what you have said in the letter.
- When you are finished, welcome his feedback and continue the conversation if it is going well. If not, take a break and engage again once both of you are calm and rational.
- Be receptive to what he has to say, and respond to what he expresses.
- Work as a team to improve things if he tells you that he’s pulling away because of negative things that are going on in the relationship.
- Be gracious and hold on to your dignity if he confirms that he wants to break up.
- Take time to recover from your loss, and don’t jump into a rebound relationship. You need to grieve the loss of this one first.
Nelly Venturini, LMHC, NCC, CIRT – www.nellyventurini.com
Does it feel like he just isn’t that into you? Have things shifted since you first started dating?
It can be scary, talking about your relationship status. We often shy away, fearing vulnerability. Moreover, fearing rejection. We sit in our anxiety.
We hope, we pray, we talk to friends, trying to figure out what is happening in our relationship. When what we need to do is talk to the person.
It takes courage.
Remind yourself. You can do this! You deserve to know what is going on. If he’s still into you, this is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your relationship and improve your communication with each other. If he’s not. It’s better to know now, so you can move forward in your life and not be strung along.
Ask him when a good time to talk is.
Some people can get defensive if they feel like they are being blindsided or put on the spot. Others will want to jump right in. Give him the option. Pick a neutral comfortable place to talk. A space that feels non threatening to each of you. This can ease the stress of having a serious conversation. Tell him, “I notice you have seemed distant lately, I wanted to check-in and see how you are doing?”
If he says he’s fine, don’t push.
Whatever is going on for him, he is processing and not ready to talk yet. You can let him know that you’ve noticed a change in the amount of time you spend together, the quality of time, what you notice is different in the relationship.
Ask him if he has any ideas on what will help you get back on track.
Be open to what he has to say. If he agrees that he has been pulling away. Ask how you can support him. If he tells you he is breaking up. Then you know.
You have your answer, you are no longer sitting in limbo, stressing over what is going on. You are now in a space to mend your heart, learn your lessons and move forward.
Margaret Bell, MA, NCC – www.margaretbellcounseling.org
Relationship closeness has a way of waxing and waning. In a good relationship there is a normal ebb and flow.
- If you are secure in your relationship you don’t get too worried about it.
- If you’re insecure, these fluctuations become scary because you don’t know what they mean.
I don’t think grilling your partner is generally helpful to any relationship.
Taking the relationship temperature really should start with you.
- How do you feel about the quality of the current relationship?
- Do you feel satisfied or does it feel off?
If it feels off to you it could feel off to him too and it’s probably time for a conversation. If it’s off enough for you to be wondering if he’s breaking up with you, the conversation is long overdue.
Never rely on him to tell you about the quality of your relationship.
He can only tell you about how he is experiencing it. You have to rely on yourself to know how you feel about it.
- Do you feel generally satisfied and happy or do you have unvoiced complaints?
If you feel happy, the fluctuations in closeness will be less problematic for you. If you have complaints, you’re going to worry that he also has complaints and that will make you anxious about his level of commitment.
You have to communicate.
Worrying will get you nowhere. You really need to voice your complaints and listen to him to know if the relationship is in a healthy place. That there are complaints really isn’t the issue.
In any relationship at any given time there will be complaints. It’s how you manage them that is the real issue.
Unaddressed complaints tend to fester and grow. Problems don’t go away because you don’t talk about them. Silence is like sunlight to problems. It causes them to fester and grow.
Talking gives you both the opportunity to take the relationship temperature and decide what if anything is a constructive way to proceed. Silence is never your friend. Speak up, quit worrying and act!
Sally LeBoy, MS, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
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