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“My Boyfriend Is Being Distant” – 7 Possible Reasons + What To Do

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You have no idea what you did to deserve it, but it’s clear that your boyfriend is showing less interest in your relationship.

He seems to be pulling away from you, and your natural instinct is to reach out to him and hold him tight.

You might be tempted to push him into telling you what’s wrong, but don’t. Whether or not your relationship is actually in trouble, you shouldn’t make a big fuss about it, especially since the problem might not have anything to do with you or your relationship.

Maybe your boyfriend has been acting distant lately, but does it necessarily mean that he’s considering leaving you? Absolutely not! Don’t jump to conclusions without having all the facts.

There are some things that you most definitely should do, though, and we’ll get to that, but let’s first figure out the reason(s) behind your boyfriend’s change in behavior.

Surely there’s something that’s causing him to act distant all of a sudden, so what could it be?

Speak to a certified relationship counselor about this issue. Why? Because they have the training and experience to help you deal with a boyfriend who is growing increasingly distant. You may want to try speaking to someone via for practical advice that is tailored to your exact circumstances.

7 Possible Reasons Why Your Boyfriend Is Being Distant

You might start doubting yourself when your boyfriend begins to act distant, even though everything seems to be going well in the relationship.

But don’t go into panic mode just yet! People can get emotionally distant even when the relationship seems to be going perfectly.

Sometimes it’s precisely because things are going so well. Your boyfriend might be scared of facing his emotions toward you now that your relationship has gotten serious. He may be scared of commitment to the point where he considers ending the relationship instead of taking it to the next level.

Of course, it could be something else entirely. There are many potential reasons why he is being distant right now. Let’s take a good look at some of the most common:

1. He is stressed out about other things in his life.

Don’t stress yourself out if there’s something else going on in your boyfriend’s life that could be causing him to act this way.

Often, men become distant in a relationship because their mind is occupied with something unrelated to the relationship in question.

Has he been under a lot of stress at his job?

Did one of his family members get sick?

Maybe you are aware of an issue in his life that requires his immediate attention. If so, this is probably why he’s been acting differently.

Whilst many women like discussing their problems with their loved ones, men often become distant in the attempt to deal with their problems alone. So, your boyfriend might simply be stressed out over something that has nothing to do with you.

What if you don’t know of any problems he might be dealing with? Well, to reiterate, men often try to deal with their problems alone to avoid seeming incompetent and weak, especially in the eyes of the women they love. So, your boyfriend could be dealing with something that he doesn’t want to talk to you about. And to avoid talking about it, he becomes distant.

For instance, maybe he has been having financial difficulties that he doesn’t want you to know about because he considers them embarrassing. 

2. He needs alone time.

As hard as it can be to understand, people sometimes need time away from their partners.

Your boyfriend has you in his life, but he probably also has a job, a family, friends, hobbies, and all sorts of other things going on as well. All of these aspects of his life require his time, attention, and energy, but he also needs some time just for himself.

Everyone needs alone time now and then, and all the different things he has going on can become overwhelming. Maybe you haven’t been acting needy, and you haven’t pushed your boyfriend to spend all of his free time with you, but he might still need some alone time.

Naturally, it would be rude if he just ghosts you and disappears for a while, so try talking to him about it. Maybe he needs more time for his hobbies or feels like he doesn’t have a life outside of the relationship. Perhaps he just wants to spend his Fridays alone in his room playing video games in his jammies and feel like a kid for a while.

The point is, he has a life outside of the relationship, and he’s entitled to it. Also, his habits have changed since he has gotten into a relationship with you, so his behavior changed too. Maybe he just needs to adjust to that and figure out how much time he wants to invest in this relationship without sacrificing his needs and responsibilities. Let him.

3. He isn’t sure about the relationship.

He might have doubts about the relationship and act distant because he’s reconsidering dating you. It’s not what you want to hear, but if that’s the case, you should be aware of it.

You’ll probably notice other changes in his behavior that imply this, other than being distant. He might start avoiding you to avoid confronting the problem and your reaction. Relationship doubts are normal, and “needing some time and space” can be just that. But sometimes it’s a phrase people use when they want to break up.

How can you know which one is it? Well, consider your relationship and how things have been lately. If you’re not a good match, he’s surely not the only one who has noticed that, even if you have strong feelings for him.

Don’t let your feelings cloud your judgment, and consider how he has been treating you. If he doesn’t feel the same way about you anymore, it’s going to reflect in his behavior toward you.

Does he still try to make you happy or does he act like he’s given up on the relationship already?

4. He wants to slow things down.

The answer to his behavior might simply be that things are moving too fast for him.

Did you discuss taking your relationship to the next level just before he started acting distant?

Maybe you haven’t talked about it, but your relationship has recently progressed into something more serious.

Even if your boyfriend isn’t afraid of commitment, this could scare him enough to pull away and become distant. Maybe things have become too intense, and you went from meeting each other to spending every waking hour together right away.

If you’re already acting like you’re a married couple, it’s only natural that he wants to pull away and take it slow. So, if the two of you have rushed into a serious relationship or you have been pressuring your boyfriend to take the next step, take a step back for now.

He probably isn’t thinking about ending the relationship just because things are moving too fast, but he definitely wants to slow them down, and that’s actually good for your relationship.

So, realize that you have plenty of time to get to know each other and grow your love. You don’t have to rush anything.

5. He is interested in somebody else.

The last thing you want to hear is that your boyfriend might be interested in someone else, but unfortunately, this is one possible explanation for his behavior.

He might be distant toward you because there’s someone else on his mind. While this can mean that he’s cheating on you, it can also mean that he is interested in someone else but hasn’t done anything about it yet.

Catching feelings for two different people can be confusing enough for him to start acting distant until he figures out what he really wants.

On the other hand, if he is also acting secretive and defensive, he might already be cheating on you.

Don’t panic just yet, though, because this is only one of the possible explanations, and if, other than being distant, he hasn’t given you a reason to think that he’s cheating, you shouldn’t assume that he is.

Someone might have caught his eye, but even if he’s thinking about someone else, he might just be confused and wish to make sense of his feelings alone.

6. He is afraid of losing his independence.

The reason some men fear commitment is actually because they fear losing their freedom and independence. Your man is not afraid of being in a serious relationship with you, but he is afraid of not being allowed to have a life outside of the relationship.

The thing is, men sometimes think that getting into a serious relationship means giving up their freedom to spend time with their friends and do other things they used to do when they were single.

While your boyfriend is losing his freedom to date other people once he’s in a committed relationship with you, he shouldn’t be losing any other freedom. Help him understand that by encouraging him to spend time with his friends and on his hobbies.

Your man might just need to be reassured that he’ll have a life outside of the relationship before he feels comfortable truly committing to you.

Letting him have his independence and freedom is going to help your relationship, even if he is actually afraid of commitment. Show him that you’re not a possessive girlfriend trying to tie him down, and focus on other aspects of your life just like he does.

7. You did something that caused him to pull back.

In the end, something you did might have caused him to act this way.

Have you been acting needy or possessive? Are you constantly afraid that he’ll leave you even though he keeps reassuring you that he’s here to stay? Do you have trouble trusting him?

It might be the reason he’s acting distant, so try talking to him about it.

If there’s no other possible explanation for his change in behavior and you’re not aware of what you did, try finding out. Let him know that you want to work on your relationship and that you’ll work on your issues.

Make him feel safe to open up about what’s bothering him. You can tell him that you can’t change the things that you’re not aware of, so he should let you know what it is that you’re doing that’s causing him to pull away.

It might be an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s better to find out now than let him get even more distant until he’s no longer interested in finding a solution together.

8 Things You Can Do When Your Boyfriend Is Being Distant

Now that you have an idea of what could be behind your boyfriend’s odd behavior, you are closer to finding a solution to it. While there’s no easy fix for things like this, there’s always something you can do.

Naturally, you are going to need to talk about this, and while you shouldn’t push someone who’s pulling away, it will be easier to solve the problem once you’ve identified it.

Let’s start from the start though, because the first thing you need to do when your boyfriend is acting distant is respect his wishes.

1. Let him have some time and space.

When a guy needs space, you have no other choice but to give him what he needs.

Again, don’t push someone who is pulling away! When he takes a step back, you need to take one too.

You probably don’t want to do this, and you’d rather spend even more time with him to try to fix the problem, but accept that you can’t force him into anything.

What’s more, you want the desire to reconnect to be something he feels naturally, and not be the result of you pressuring him into doing it.

Show emotional maturity by respecting his needs and letting him have the time and space he needs to figure out what he wants.

What if you lose him by doing so? There’s always a risk of losing him, but you’re certainly not increasing the odds by letting him have what he wants. In fact, you’re making the odds work in your favor by doing the best thing you can do in your situation!

Let your boyfriend do what he thinks is right in this situation, and don’t pressure him into doing anything that he’s not yet comfortable doing.

2. Slow things down.

Speaking of pressuring him, have you been bringing up commitment, moving in, or even getting married? Even if you didn’t pressure him into taking the next step, things might be moving too fast for him.

How long have you been together? If you’ve only recently met and jumped right into a committed relationship, he might feel the need to take a step back.

Maybe you’re already acting like a married couple or you instantly clicked so much that you’ve been spending every waking hour next to each other ever since. It might not even be such a bad idea to pull back a little if that’s the case.

All in all, when a man becomes distant, it can be because things are moving too fast, so try to slow them down. Go back to “just dating” for now even if you’ve made significant progress from “just dating” so far.

This doesn’t mean that you’re suddenly in a less committed relationship, but it means that you should have a more casual attitude toward your boyfriend. If you have already made plans for your future, switching your mindset to “we’re just dating” can help you ease the pressure and be okay with slowing things down. 

3. Encourage him to have a life outside of the relationship.

As already mentioned, men fear being trapped in a relationship, and to them, this means not getting to see their friends or engage in other activities that matter to them. So, in light of this fact, start encouraging your boyfriend to have a life outside of the relationship.

Surely you don’t mind that he spends time with his friends, but maybe you’ve prevented him from doing so on several different occasions. Maybe you thought that watching a movie with you was more important than playing video games with the guys, but was it more important to him?

He might feel like you’re not letting him have a life outside of the relationship, and this is what makes men run for the hills. So, encourage him to live his life and don’t ask him to spend all of his free time with you.

Be the kind of girlfriend that lets him go out with his friends without texting or calling all night to check up on him. Let him have time for things he enjoys doing, even if you don’t understand why he enjoys doing them. If he’d rather spend Friday night watching sports with his friends instead of going to a restaurant with you, that should be okay.

Instead of getting mad at him, do your thing while he does his. It’s so simple, and yet it can do wonders for your relationship.

4. Have a life outside of the relationship and live it.

Just like your man needs a life outside of the relationship, so do you. When you encourage him to go out with his friends, don’t just sit there wishing he was there next to you. Live your life while he lives his.

Focus on yourself and try to make yourself happy. If you expect him to make you happy, you’re putting a tremendous burden on him. Yes, your partner should make you happy, but your happiness shouldn’t depend on him. You should feel like a complete person without him and find fulfillment outside of your love life.

Surely you have friends, family, a job, and hobbies just like he does. So, don’t neglect those things just because you’re head over heels in love. It can be tempting to obsess over your love life, but having something else to focus on is good for you and can ease the pressure on your relationship.

Don’t let your entire life revolve around your love life. Again, when your boyfriend is out there doing his thing, you should be doing yours.

5. Talk about it and be supportive.

If the problem doesn’t go away on its own, it will have to come up in a conversation eventually.

If you gave your boyfriend the time, space, and freedom he needs, and are trying to move at a pace he is comfortable with, but things aren’t getting better, you have no choice but to talk about it.

Try to be supportive instead of overbearing and let him know that you’re there for him if he needs your help. Let him know that he can tell you anything and that you can work on it together.

He may find it hard to open up and express his thoughts and feelings for a number of reasons. You might be met with some resistance when you try to broach the topic of him becoming distant.

Make him feel safe and able to tell you what’s bothering him, even if it’s something you have been doing. You can do this by showing him that you’re open to working on yourself and by not taking an aggressive or defensive approach.

Try to be understanding and get him to open up to you so that you could find a solution together.

6. Don’t nag him or obsess over it.

While there’s nothing wrong with bringing up this issue, there’s a difference between talking about it and just nagging him to tell you the problem.

If you have tried to have a serious conversation with him, but he keeps avoiding it and doesn’t want to give you a straightforward answer, there’s no point in pushing him.

Don’t nag him into telling you because you could do the opposite of what you want and push him even further away from you. To avoid nagging him, try not to obsess over it in the first place.

Maybe he can’t give you the answer because he doesn’t know what that answer is yet. Give him time to figure out his feelings on his own and focus on yourself. Don’t chase him; let him come to you when he’s ready.

7. Talk about your relationship goals.

Maybe he doesn’t want to tell you why he’s being distant, but you certainly have a right to know where you stand with him. Talk about your relationship and figure out whether he’s willing to work on it or is considering ending it. After all, that’s the real question you want an answer to.

Unfortunately, though, you have to be prepared that there aren’t always simple answers when it comes to love. It would certainly be fair of him to tell you if he’s having doubts about the relationship, but he might not do that. He might not be sure of what he wants to begin with.

Give him time to find out, but don’t wait for him forever. If you can’t have a conversation about where your relationship’s going right now, you can’t postpone it forever.

8. Seek the help of a professional.

As you have already learned, the biggest problem with someone being distant in a relationship is that that they might not have the answers you’re looking for, even if they’re willing to give you them.

As long as both of you still want to save your relationship, it can be saved, and there are people that can help you with that. You can talk to a professional right now or try the above-mentioned ways to deal with this problem alone.

Even if the reason your boyfriend’s being distant has nothing to do with you and your relationship, encourage him to seek help in resolving the issue. Whether or not the issue is related to you, if you’re both willing to work on it, you can find a solution together. You might just need a little help.

Let an experienced relationship expert help you with that so that you can go back to being happily in love.

On the other hand, if your boyfriend just gets more and more distant until he makes himself disappear, you’ll have to accept that and move on.

It’s not too late. So try to identify the problem and seek the help of a professional in resolving it.

Relationship Hero is a website where you can connect with a certified relationship counselor via phone, video, or instant message.

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About The Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.