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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Extensive experience fostering family relationships through consultation / counseling.
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hi there i have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for

Customer Question

hi there i have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 3 years. we live together. he is 27 and I am 31. We have known each other for 7 years. We have had a wonderful relationship- very compatible and very happy together. We have not argued often. Recently I have felt that my boyfriend is distant- at times he is ambivalent but then when I pull away he leaves notes around the house and gifts to say he loves me. He is not calling often though or messaging me any nice messages. He is not very romantic lately and isalmost quite clinic in his approach to the relationship and intimacy. He has said to me that he is not feeling very happy at the moment but can not distinguish whether it is to do with his own issues or me. He says that he also feels that can not make me happy. Previously he has always been loving and affectionate. He has told me that he does not know how he feels about me or the relationship or whether he still wants the realtionship but yet he says that he still loves me and is extremely attracted to me. He just says to everything "I don't know". This has only recently happened in the last few days. Prior to that all was perfect and he said that he adored me and his love for me was getting stronger...???? I am really confused and he is not really trying at all. I respect he needs time to think things through but I am not sure that love should really have to be thought about....I believe it either exists or it does not....for me the feelings are still there. In the last couple of days he has said hurtful things like..."I have been thinking that if you were not around I would be ok and I would not really be devastated." But at the same time when I talk about breaking up or him leaving he says no. I am really heartbroken and devastated and do not really want to accept this type of behaviour in my life. I want him but not this behaviour. I feel unappreciated and almost like he is too comfortable. What do I do and how do I make him realize that life without me would be not so good...????
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jennifer replied 6 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using!

I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. The statement about not being devastated if you weren't there is particularly hurtful and must have been hard to hear. He's being honest with you, I'll give him that. It's a shame he can't be more sensitive with the expression of his honesty, though!

I wish I could tell you there is a way to make him realize he can't live without you. It sounds as though he has some issues of his own to resolve as well as things for you to work on as a couple since he's unsure whether it's him or the relationship. Would he be open to counseling?? I ask because both individual and couples counseling could be very beneficial. Counseling is a safe place to share feelings and work toward your goals as a couple with the guidance of a professional.

I want to address your statement about love either being there or not. Relationships evolve over time and the feelings involved often change -- there are "highs" and "lows" and each relationship will go through periods where they feel very close to one another and other times when there seems to be some distance. When you recognize that distance, it's time to put yourself back in the game. Spend quality time with one another, do sweet things and find romance once again. With that said, you BOTH have to want to do this in order for it to work.

I'd encourage you to revisit this conversation in a non-threatening way. Not too frequently (you don't want the pressure to push him away and too much serious talk can be overwhelming). Suggest working on your relationship together. If he's open to having that process facilitated by a counselor, all the better. If not, the two of you can come up with a plan to help you get back to where you once were. Ideas might include date nights, planning a trip together, and showing more affection.

If he continues to tell you "I don't know" in response to your questions, it may be time to move on. You deserve someone who is unwavering in their love for you.

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