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Author Topic: Boyfriend has done a complete 180 and not might be who I thought - what do I do?

June 14, 2019, 08:51:11 PM
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My boyfriend and I have been dating for about 7 weeks now. We had already known each other for a while before we discovered our mutual feelings, so we had a solid friendship already – we had already spent a lot of time talking about past relationships, our neuroses and other personal things and had a high comfort level with each other. Our feelings were very intense from the start and we were immediately all over each other – affectionate and lovey dovey both together and over text and we just couldn’t stay away from each other. I’d experienced the high that comes with a new relationship but absolutely nothing like this - he was so passionate and excited about me and as an affectionate person I was absolutely eating it up.

Over the past week and a half or so it’s died down abruptly and considerably. 2 weeks ago he told me he sleeps so much better when he’s able to hold me – the last time we slept together (the first time we were able to since he told me that) he didn’t even drape an arm over me. A week ago we’d hang out and he’d have his arm around me the entire time – the past few times we’ve hung out he’s not initiated any affection whatsoever. We don’t get to see each other terribly often, and he’s cancelled plans to hang out a couple times saying he needed some solo time (which was disappointing but understandable). The pet names stopped; the messaging first stopped. It all just kind of stopped. Hanging out feels like hanging out with a friend. I knew the intensity would calm down eventually, but boy did it do that in a hurry.

I was starting to get a little bit anxious that something was up, so we had a conversation yesterday. I told him that I don’t necessarily have a problem with the new level of affection and that I respect and relate to his need for alone time, but just that the abruptness of how things slowed down was alarming and I was hoping he could be honest with me if there was something he wanted to talk about. He opened up and said that he’s naturally a loner and is used to spending a lot of time alone, so once the euphoria wears off he quickly diverts back to how he was before. He also explained that he’s not a naturally affectionate person and that the way we had been was a bit overwhelming for him (which is strange for me because I was following his lead as far as that goes – I thought he genuinely was just like that). He said he’s in his own head so much that he just doesn’t always really think about giving affection. He also mentioned that this did cause problems in his previous long-term relationship. Having known him previously I do believe that this may just be the way he is, but it's so hard to comprehend how someone would lose their instinct to give any affection so fast.

I thanked him for opening up and giving me the opportunity to learn about him – I told him I didn’t need him to change himself for me, but I am an affectionate person and do really desire it to some degree when in relationships. He said he would try to find it in him to be more affectionate and also added that he goes through cycles where he’ll feel like being more exuberantly affectionate. We reaffirmed that he still feels good about our relationship.

I wish I felt better, but now I just have tons of questions and uncertainty. It was so hard to go from 100 mph to basically 0 and I’m finding myself feeling touch starved when I’m around him – I try to initiate but he doesn’t react. I can’t help but feel like I was lied to when he told me all of the wonderful things he feels about me. He made himself out to be a very passionate, romantic person (he called himself a “walking rom com”) and has now essentially said the opposite. I’m worried I’m going to spend the relationship pining after the person I thought I was getting, and if he truly does cycle through varying degrees of being affectionate, am I going to spend the good times worrying about when it stops? Am I expected to just be ok if he needs to disappear for a while and be alone except for when he feels like having me around? Why have a girlfriend if you just want to be alone? Is this all normal? Will my needs be met? And most of all, does he actually care or have any shred of enthusiasm about me that he seemed to have just a couple weeks ago?

I know I need to evaluate if this is something that I really want. I’ve invested so much emotionally into this relationship in a short period of time and I really genuinely like him and enjoy being around him, so I would like for this to work out. My questions for you all are these:
  • Is his behavior normal?
    If you have dated someone like this, how did you navigate it?
    How much time would you give for things to improve before you give a serious thought to ending the relationship?
    Am I overreacting?
    How else would you recommend I proceed?

Tl;dr My boyfriend and I’s relationship started out intense and passionate and that abruptly stopped. I kindly asked him about it and he confessed he’s actually a loner and not naturally affectionate despite claiming/portraying himself to be otherwise. I feel lied to and am wondering how to proceed since I genuinely like him and would like to make this work if I can.


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