Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Reader question: Has my boyfriend stopped caring?

Q: Hi Haley! I have a boyfriend but how can I tell that he really loves me? He used to do all these sweet things and just recently, it stopped. I may have been too clingy or he may have been so used to his other girlfriends taking care of him, idk...


A: Unfortunately, Anon, we (as women) have to remember that men are VERY different in how they express emotions. It is a proven fact. One of the things that goes along with this is that men simply are not as romantically affectionate as women are, generally speaking.

Another thing to consider is that after a while, both parties get "comfortable" in a relationship. This doesn't necessarily mean a loss of interest, but it does usually indicate a loss of the anxiety associated with losing someone or "keeping them on their toes". The sweet things slow down and the all-day text-a-thons are few and far between. In all honesty, this comfort can be kind of a good thing as long as it doesn't go too far, as it can signify that true love is forming over an infatuation.

Now that we've gotten those out of the way, let's explore the possibility of him actually having lost interest, why, and what you can do about it.

First off, evaluate your own actions and give yourself an honest assessment. Do not overanalyze. If you were truly clingy, you would know and he most likely would have said something. Consider if you have been too nice or too giving to him. I have mentioned in other posts that this behavior is not good. Giving is fine, over-giving is not.

Next, evaluate his actions. Is he blatantly showing a lack of interest, or has he just been busy lately? There's a difference.

If you honestly believe that he's lost interest, it's probably because his own lack of maturity/ability to commit/etc. If he hasn't said anything to you, I am going to assume you're not THAT bad, haha. I am not going to jump to conclusions about his actions, but do you think it's possible that he's cheating or doing something close to it? That's looking in deep and also a WHOLE 'nother can of worms; I digress...

If I were you, I would approach him about it, politely, simply by saying that you feel "distant" from him lately. Say whatever you want to say, really, but make it as non-confrontational as possible. Note your feelings on his reaction to that conversation, as hesitation on his part means something's up. You might wanna keep me updated on this situation...

Best of luck!

--Dr. O.

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