Communication is one of the most important parts of a relationship. It’s the basis in which almost all relationships are built, and it can be troubling when it feels like communication is breaking down. If you and your partner don’t live together, it’s always important to keep open pathways of communication – especially if you’re long distance.
There can be times with that communication seems to break down, however. Say you’re in a relationship, and your boyfriend begins to ignore you – missing your calls, your text messages go unanswered, you can’t seem to get together to hang out. Figuring out what to do when he’s avoiding you can be tough, but here are a few suggestions
1. Figure out the cause
Is he seeing his parents? Is there an important interview that he needs to be are? Are his friends coming into town? You want to make sure you listen when your partner tells you that there are important things going on in his life so you can make sure not to worry if he misses your calls or texts! Read back through your message log and you may be able to find that he mentioned old college friends coming into town, or dinner with his parents. The cause could be something completely innocuous. However, if the cause seems a bit more dire than that…
2. Give him space
If the cause happens to be a recent argument, it’s probably a good head to let him have the space that he needs to work things out in his head. Men show emotions differently than women do, and a lot of men need time to cool off after an argument. It’s good to take a moment and step back from the argument and remember why the both of you are together. If you’ve both recently had a fight or disagreement, give him some space to get his head together. You don’t want to push him into talking, because it might just start another argument all over again. Give him time to cool off.
If you can’t figure out the cause of his avoidance, you can try communicating with him in a way that doesn’t require immediate response. Sending a text message or an email are good choices. A phone call may feel too urgent, and he has the option of just not listening to the voice mail. So send him a text or an email that communicates your feelings, as well as clearly illustrates that you want to understand his. Most likely, he’ll see the email or the text message and it will give him time to formulate a response rather than feeling cornered into responding right away, the way an phone call might do
4. Focus on you
After you’ve reached out to him and assessed the situation, there’s not much more you can do but focus on yourself. While it may be hurtful that he’s ignoring you if you can’t figure out the reason for his avoidance, it’s not worth it to dwell on all the possibilities or let yourself get worked up over the outcome. If he wants to talk to you, he will, and the only thing you can do after you’ve reached out to him is to wait. This is a good time to also reflect on your relationship together, and see if he has a habit of avoiding you for no real reason. If so …
If your boyfriend has a habit of ignoring you, it might be time to reassess your relationship. What do you want out of this relationship, and is he meeting your needs (so long as they’re reasonable)? If not, it may be time to sit him down and have a conversation about the expectations that you have for a relationship. Sometimes, two people just don’t worry out! As sad as that is to think about, it’s the truth, and you may find that you’ll be much happier with a boyfriend who is more open to communication, and he’ll be happier with a girlfriend who has different expectations. On the other hand, really sitting down and assessing what you want out of a relationship may even help strengthen the bond that you two have, and to help you figure out the expectations each of you have for one another.
When your boyfriend starts ignoring you or avoiding you, it can feel pretty upsetting, but there’s usually an explanation for that kind of behavior. Whether or not the explanation is a good enough reason is another matter entirely. After all, if he’s avoiding you because he’s cheating on you, then there’s no reason to hang around him at all! But, a good chunk of the time there’s a reasonable explanation, whether it be miscommunication about relationship expectations, or simply needing time to himself.