Men process and deal with a lot of things differently than women, due to the way that society has given them acceptable modes of processing. While women are encouraged to feel their emotions fully, men have often been taught to repress how they feel, whether those feelings are good or bad. If things in a man’s life are stressful, it may result in him withdrawing and seeming distance in other areas of his life, from familial relationships to romantic ones.
If you find yourself dealing with a boyfriend who seems more distant than usual, it may mean that there’s something heavy or stressful going on in his life. On the other hand, it may also mean that he’s considering your relationship and where it’s going. Where women would rather talk about those types of things, men tend to be more withdrawn. So what should you do when your partner becomes distant
1. Find the root cause
Figuring out what it is that’s making him distant will help you figure out how to move forward. This may be hard when he’s distant, but do you best to open up communication. Listen to him when he does talk to see if you can figure out what’s going on in his life that can be causing this significant emotional change. He may be stressed about something at work, or there could be something going on with his family that is taking up his emotional energy. Once you know the cause of why he is distant, you’ll be better able to support him through it.
2. Give him space
Even if this may be difficult when all you want to do is reassure him or be with him, giving him space may be just the thing that he needs to work out what’s going on in his head and come back from being distant. If he’s worried about your relationship, allowing him the space to process this fear can make it easier for him to work through it and come to the conclusion that he really does want to be with you. Either way, giving him space rather than smothering him is a good way to be supportive, even if it feels like you’re not doing enough. He’ll notice that you’re willing to allow him the space that he needs to be on his own.
3. Stay happy
Even if the distance is worrying, it’s important to stay positive, especially if he’s going through a major life changing event or something equally as stressful. When he does come to you, he’ll want your relationship to be something positive that helps him work through his feelings, not another thing to be stressed over. When you stay positive, calm and happy, you’ll be showing him that you are a safe space for him to return to when the rest of the world is too stressful to bare. In fact, this may coax him out of being distant because he’ll know that he’s safe with you
Let him know that you’re there for him. You don’t want to give him space without also acknowledging that you’re there for him if he needs it. Letting him know that you love him and that you’ll be there when he’s ready to talk will mean the world to him. He may or may not take you up on that offer, but men need the same reassurances that women do when it comes to relationships. Even if he’s distant, he still needs to feel like you’re supporting him. Communication is important, and letting him know that you’ve got his back may be just enough to draw him back in.
5. Arrange quiet time
When he does want to get together, try to arrange some time for the two of you to just spend an evening alone without any distractions. Don’t go out to a movie or to a bar. Instead, stay in and cook dinner and just enjoy one another’s company. It may be just the respite that he needs to help him open up and start talking about what’s going on in his life. Make the invitation clear that he can talk if he wants to without making it an expectation for the evening. Nine times out of ten, he’ll feel comfortable enough to begin confiding in you and the distance will be over.
A distant boyfriend doesn’t always mean disaster or doom for a relationship. In fact, it often just means that he’s going through something and hasn’t ever known how to be open about his feelings. The best thing to do is to be supportive while also establishing some boundaries of your own. After all, the best kinds of relationship are all about communication and being supportive of one another. If you’ve got his back during a tumultuous time in his life, then he’s going to have yours, too.