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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5838
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My guy and I have been dating for about 15 months. Things started

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My guy and I have been dating for about 15 months. Things started off great: he was attentive, kind, and our communication level was excellent. Within the last 6 weeks, he's pulled back, stating that he needs to be "selfish" right now & just have date night once a week. He says he absolutely does not want to break up with me, but needs to take time for himself. While I can understand this, what confuses me is his current lack of communication & efforts to connect. I feel conflicted between allowing him his needed space and feeling neglected. (He had been in a long-term relationship before me, where he ended up giving a LOT to her & she cheated on him and used him for his money.) I don't know how to figure this whole situation out...
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your boyfriend may either be dealing with something he is not talking to you about, or he has never resolved the issues he had from his previous relationship and it has made him fearful of being hurt again. That could be his motivation for needing time to himself.

It may help to talk to him about the possibility that he still has unresolved issues from his past relationship. First check to see how he reacts when you ask him about it. Does he deny it quickly or seem ok with it? You can tell by what he says if this is an issue. And if it seems to be, encourage him to express his feelings to you. He needs to know the same thing will not happen in your relationship. Or he can talk to a therapist to help him work through it.

However, if his past does not seem to be the issue, then you might want to consider talking to him about your feelings. You are half of the relationship and while it is kind of you to allow him time alone, it does put you in a bad position. You do not need time alone and are stuck with not knowing what this means to your relationship and what the future holds if this becomes a more frequent need of his. You deserve an answer as to what he needs this time for and where that leaves you while he is taking time on his own.

When you do talk to him, be sure to do it face to face. You both need to be able to gauge each others reactions and you also need time to talk everything out. Be open and honest with him without accusing. At this point, there is no way to know why he needs this time to himself so until you know different, assume he is hurt in some way emotionally.

I hope this has helped you,
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