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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My boyfriend (22) and I (23) have been going through a hard

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My boyfriend (22) and I (23) have been going through a hard time. One of his best friends got in an accident that left him paralyzed a week ago. At first, he was very tentative to talking with me and called a lot, expressed that he loved me often, and even tried to see me a couple of times (one time with his family). We've been dating for over a year and I feel at times I've made the mistake of becoming too clingy or needy, as well as overly emotional. He hasn't asked for space, but he has stopped calling or texting me as often. The past few times, I've had to ask him to call when he got the chance. He hasn't asked to see me in 5 days or made plans. I know his friend is moving out of state at the end of the week and I understand that he needs to give him all his attention at the hospital, and I've told him I understood.

However, I'm worried that he doesn't seem to be interested in pursuing our relationship anymore. I understand that he's going through a rough time and can't give me a lot of attention, and I've only been supportive of him and understanding. I miss him though, and feel like he's not being very appreciative of me (I surprised him with a water gun fight 5 days ago, to relieve stress, which I feel he was happy about). I don't want to address my concerns because I know he is already extremely stressed.

Should I just give him all the space he needs and keep from contacting him unless he does? I don't want to lose him obviously, but even in the past, he seemed to be unconcerned with our relationship at times. I'm worried I've let him take me for granted and that he doesn't value me as much as I do him. How should I deal with this situation?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your boyfriend might need some time to deal with the trauma to his best friend and to sort out some of his feelings. But that does not mean you cannot stay in contact with him.

The surprise you gave him with the water gun fight might be just the thing he needs not only to reconnect with you, but to relieve his stress and to see that you are addressing your issues with being too needy with him. The more you can show him that you want to do things for him and that you can focus on his needs right now, the more he will want to be with you. So try to give him a few days on his own here and there, then contact him with something fun to do. Things that allow him to escape his problems and let him laugh or enjoy himself are ideal. A movie, a nice dinner, seeing a comedy show or even just relaxing with nothing to worry about all are ideas that you can use to connect to him and help him see that you care.

If you find after you try these things (and his stress has been resolved) that he still seems to not value you as much as you do him, then it may be time to address it by talking it through. There is nothing wrong with telling him what you feel and asking him his feelings about it. You deserve to know where he stands with the relationship and if he feels it is important to him. It could be that he just doesn't show his feelings easily or that he gets distracted by worries or issues. So checking in with him and getting some answers will help you know where things stand.

I hope this helps you,


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