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Should I give him some space to come to me?

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  • #378879
    hopeful80
    Participant

    I need some objective opinions and guidance please!

    I met my current boyfriend in December online. And we met in person a month later due to COVID restrictions. Since then, we’ve consistently been seeing each other – weekends, a couple times during the week. Covid has accelerated our level of comfort as we spent a lot of time indoors talking and getting to know each other in our sweatpants. The desire and interest were there straight away and we naturally clicked. We were spending more time together, I was leaving stuff at his house (shampoo, face wash, pajamas), he always welcomed it. But a month ago, I found that he was receiving nude photos from an unsaved number. He said he rarely engaged in the two weeks since he’d “met” her…she had seen his pic, asked a mutual acquaintance for his number and straight away sent a nude. Of course he wasn’t going to say no. What guy would. He has since blocked her number and has had no contact. But the red flag was that he said he didn’t even consider how I would feel if I’d found them.

    Since then, I’ve needed more affirmation from him. I’ve talked about this woman three times and asked additional questions. While he acknowledges he has created this environment, he still gets annoyed that I bring it up. But I feel like I am within my rights. I do all of the cooking, tidying up, watch his dog when he’s going to have a long work day, plan dates. He show gratitude which is nice, but rarely does anything nice for me. But lately I feel like he’s bored and taking me for granted…he doesn’t plan dates, he doesn’t call me pet names anymore, he’s rarely affectionate. Have we achieved a level of comfort that he feels like he no longer has to try or has he lost interest because I’ve needed some more affirmation and am coming across as insecure? Would leaving him some space to come to me be worth a try?

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by hopeful80.
    #378889
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear hopeful80,

    I do all of the cooking, tidying up, watch his dog when he’s going to have a long work day, plan dates.

    Does it mean you’ve moved to his place? If so, I think it’s way too early, because you’ve met him only in December, and now you’re already cleaning his flat and cooking for him, while he doesn’t show much appreciation for you any more. Regardless of the woman who sent him her nude photos, it seems to me you’re moving too fast.

    While he acknowledges he has created this environment

    In your eyes, what is he guilty of what exactly? Not deleting and blocking her as soon as she sent her first nude photo? You yourself said “what guy would say no” to receiving a nude female photo. Perhaps he was startled but it also flattered him a little, so he didn’t block her immediately. It could also be that after just 3 months of relationship – even though the two of you spent quite a lot of time together – he still wasn’t sure if he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, so perhaps he was open to at least in theory receiving other “offers”.

    It might not have even been conscious in him, but just something in the back of his mind. And when you started accusing him of why he didn’t block her immediately, or why he engaged with her even for a moment, he might have felt that you’re expecting a level of commitment from him that he’s still unsure of. He might feel pressured into something he’s not yet ready for, or didn’t have enough time to decide.

    As a result, he’s now not that affectionate any more, he doesn’t call you pet names, and he seems bored with you. There’s a resistance within him, I believe because he doesn’t know if he wants to go deeper into the relationship. This uncertainty might have been there before, but your reaction to those nude pictures might have exacerbated it.

    Do you think this is a possible explanation of his behavior? Have you experienced in your past relationships that you’re often the one who is pushing for greater intimacy and closeness, while your partner is somewhat reserved and wants to back off?

     

    #378890
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi Hopeful80,

    I do agree with TeaK that it seems like you are moving way too fast. You only met him in December, but thanks to the pandemic, y’all met indoors and got comfy. But had that not happened, say these were normal times, would you have spent time together like this? In his house? Taking care of him? I guess not. Y’all probably would have been just spending a few nights at each other’s houses maybe a couple times a week. So just because you are “comfortable enough to hang out in PJs” does not mean the relationship has built up to that level. It always takes time.

    From what you describe in his behavior, although he “says” thank you, it does not seem like he “shows” gratitude. To me, that just shows that he is enjoying you being his “mama”. Cooking, cleaning up after him, looking after his dog… This lack of appreciation could mean that he is simply enjoying your attention and care and may not be very deep into the relationship. At least not as deep as you.

    About this nude photo, to be honest, I do not agree with this notion of “What guy would” or “Boys will be boys”. No. If he is committed to you, it is his duty to inform this girl that he is in a relationship and not available. You could give him the benefit of doubt and say that it did not occur to him, maybe because y’all are relatively new. But I think it would be better if both of y’all gain some clarity on where you guys stand with each other. It is not always the case that both are equally committed or are on equal footing. And that is not necessarily a bad thing too. This can always change, and the relationship can always grow.

    I also think that he might be acting distant because he may be disturbed with you bringing the topic up again and again. Maybe once y’all talk, he will get back to his original self.

    Hope this helps…

     

     

     

    #378895
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear anonymous03,

    I agree with you that “boys will be boys” is not an excuse, and if the guy is in a committed relationship, he shouldn’t allow such messages and such offers coming from other women. His allowing it for a while – until hopeful80 saw it – shows something about him and the way he saw their relationship (perhaps not very committed on his part). There might be other reasons for his behavior, e.g. him believing that really, as a guy, he has the right to behave like that and his girlfriend shouldn’t give him a hard time about it.

    Anyway, there are more possible causes and I agree that the best would be to have an honest talk about it.

    Dear hopeful80, now that I think about it, you seeing some red flags could be justified, so I think the best would be to talk openly about it and see where he stands on those issues and what his expectations are about the relationship.

     

    #378922
    anita
    Participant

    Dear hopeful80:

    You shared that you met your current boyfriend online in December 2020 and in person, in January 2021. Since then you spent time with him on weekends and a couple of times during the week: “Covid has accelerated our level of comfort as we spent a lot of time indoors talking and getting to know each other in our sweatpants”. In March 2021, you found out that another woman sent him nude photos of herself, and “he wasn’t going to say no. What guy would”. He has since blocked her and got annoyed when you brought her up three times.

    You feel that you are within your rights to bring up the topic and seek affirmations from him because you “do all the cooking, tidying up, watch his dog when he’s going to have a long work day, plan dates” while he “rarely does anything nice” for you.  Lately, you feel like he is bored and taking you for granted: he doesn’t plan dates, doesn’t call you pet names and is rarely affectionate.

    More than two years ago, on December 2018, you shared about a previous long-distance (4.5 hours flight away from each other) relationship of six months, having seen each other once a month. He (37)  visited you in Nov 2018 and told you that he was “confused, scared and worried” about the long-distance factor, so you offered to travel more frequently, and he rejected your offer, saying it would be too expensive, then ghosted you for a month, and you “went into panic mode!”, calling him and sending him texts and messages. In December he apologized and told you for the first time, that he was addicted to alcohol and that he ghosted you so to protect you from himself. At that time, you thought of yourself as his “strongest support system”. Next, you asked him about a NYE visit that was planned earlier and he ghosted you again. A week later, you found out that he was on a dating app.

    I am wondering, do you see any commonality between the two stories?

    anita

    #378929
    hopeful80
    Participant

    Hi TeaK!

    No, I have not moved into his place. Agreed that it would be way too soon. I only meant when I am there I cook, clean (after making a mess in the kitchen). We had decided to date exclusively when I found the photos of another woman. To me, if he is engaging and not shutting it down it’s cheating. I’ve spoken to him about it and explained that I didn’t feel like he was honoring our relationship or me while he was flirting with another woman via text. He agreed that if it were the other way around, it would be unacceptable and that he wouldn’t stand for it either. We have each gained some clarity and I’d like to move on from it.

    Your line of thinking makes total sense and I think that I have exaggerated my place in his life in my own head and perhaps taking some pause and a few steps back might not be a bad idea.

    I love this forum so much because of the objectivity and the support.

    THANK YOU!

    #378931
    hopeful80
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I am so happy to hear from you! Thank you for calling out my experience in 2018. I’ve thought alot of about this and I am seeing that I am reaching far more than the other person, always, willing to do more. I often times wonder if it’s for external validation and people pleasing. I’m aware of this and have been doing some inner work to break of the habit.

    #378932
    hopeful80
    Participant

    Hi Anonymous03,

    Ain’t nobody got time to be his mama. 🙂 Thank you for your input, I think you’re absolutely right that we are probably not as deep into this relationship as I thought. If it weren’t for Covid, we’d see eachother much less and wouldn’t spend that much time in his home or mine.

    Going to have an open an honest conversation and see where that leads us. Thank you!

    #378934
    anita
    Participant

    Dear hopeful80:

    You are very welcome. It’s a good idea to learn from experience, and past threads give us that opportunity. Better not reach out to anyone far more than he or she reaches out to you, in any kind of personal relationship. I hope the honest conversation you are planning on having with him, will be indeed honest and productive. You are welcome to post about it, and/ or about anything else, anytime.

    anita

    #378943
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear hopeful80,

    you’re welcome! Good that you discussed the nude photos incident and that he’s on the same page with you – realizing it’s not really acceptable in a committed relationship. You said that after this bit was cleared, you two decided to date exclusively. But then, you started needing more reassurance and asked him 3 more times about this woman. He’s annoyed with that, and probably that’s why his behavior changed and he’s not that enthusiastic about you any more. Is that right?

    It could be that after the incident, your anxious attachment style became more pronounced and you started demanding constant affirmation and “proofs” of love. Perhaps you’ve become clingy and insecure, fearing that he might leave you. This could be driving him away, even if he otherwise doesn’t have a problem with intimacy (i.e. if his attachment style isn’t avoidant). You said in relation to that:

    I am seeing that I am reaching far more than the other person, always, willing to do more. I often times wonder if it’s for external validation and people pleasing.

    It could be also the fear of abandonment, which is at the core of the anxious attachment style. Your anxiety could also be caused by the belief that you’re unlovable, or not good enough, and therefore in danger of being abandoned by the person you love. That might be the reason of your insecurity.

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