By Bonny Albo. Dating Expert
Bonny Albo is a writer and speaker with more than two decades of experience using the Internet as a means to meet people. She's published thousands of articles about dating and mating, is a recognized media expert on the topics of dating and relationships, and is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists. Read more
Summer asks: After two years I think my current relationship is coming to an end, even though my partner swears he loves me and can't live without me. Normally, he's attentive and we spend a lot of time together. Yet lately things have changed.
For instance: Today was a day off for him and he said he'd call so we could get together but hasn't. This is new for him, as we always talk on his days off. Then my birthday was supposed to be something spectacular and told me several times he had a wonderful surprise planned. That, like so many of his other wonderful surprises has yet to materialize.
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Then one day he stopped making contact with me. After a week of not talking I called to see if things were okay. He made it seem like I was imagining there was anything wrong, yet for the past year hardly a day would go by without some kind of contact.
I am worried if I confront him, he'll just come up with more excuses, tell me I'm imagining things, and that everything is fine. And yet - it's not fine. What should I do?
Before I delve into this, I want to say that this advice applies to both folks in brand-new relationships (or even as they explore whether they want to date one another), as well as people in long term partnerships, marriages, and any other committed romantic interaction.
So while I haven't a clue how long you and your guy have been dating, I'll hazard it won't matter with what you do from here.
First, I'd like to suggest that you take a break from worrying about what your boyfriend is, or isn't doing. Instead, I want you to start looking at the things you've been neglecting while in this relationship. Friends, family, perhaps your own self-care. I'm sure there's something. Even if you're adamant you've been the same as always, I want you to find a handful of things (yes, a handful) that you can do over the next week, that will help you feel more centered and connected - with yourself.
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Get a manicure or a massage, take a hike
somewhere soul-fueling, have coffee a dear friend, go out dancing. the options are limitless. Celebrate your life as if it were your birthday -- every. single. day.
Back already? Really? I want you to take a week to do those things, and just them. No need to ignore your boyfriend, however avoid going out of your way to interact with him either. If he calls, great. If you've got plans, wonderful! Don't cancel any of these plans I've just walked you through though. They're your priority.
When you start taking care of your own needs again, something interesting will happen. You'll feel better, more rested, and happy. Your guy acting differently won't matter as much, and you might even forget what the issue was altogether. No? Well, that's okay too. I still urge you to look and see if anything has shifted in your relationship now that you're doing you again. You've been busy, focused, and feeling great. I'll bet that this has intrigued your guy, and suddenly he's more present and contacting you again, curious and attracted to your positive mindset. It's so much easier to love someone who obviously loves themselves .
Now, there's still the issue with him saying one thing and not doing another. I'd say this is far from intentional on his part, he's either stressed, busy, or has every intention of doing something, it just has yet to pan out. Regardless, I want you to wait two weeks, and let him show you he can follow through. Zero nagging, complaining, reminding or asking questions. If a few days before your birthday he still hasn't said something along the lines of, "I want to spend your birthday with you," ask him outright. "So I'd like to do something special for my birthday, do we have plans, or shall I get a few friends together?" Leave it at that, and wait. Focus on meeting your own needs, and get that self-care to a roaringly-high level.
If he follows through - great! This was likely just the natural ebb and flow of things. If he doesn't, it's time for a small, informal chat. No, "We need to talk", but more, "I was really looking forward to that big surprise you had planned for my birthday. " and then pause. Let him answer.
From there, because you've been nurturing yourself, and because you've given him time to make it right, you should know pretty quickly what to do next. In your heart-of-hearts, it'll be clear. Either it's time to say goodbye, or you've found a new, healthy way to communicate about difficult subjects in your relationship.