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Distant Boyfriend

Question:

I have been seen this guy for over half a year now and on our first date he told me that he didn’t want a relationship because he is always very busy with his work. We started seeing each other once a week and now it’s once a month. He doesn’t call me as often as he used to. only if I disappear. I am the only one who tries to get us to meet again, and still every time I try to convince him to show up he tells me he’s coming, but he never does. He does not shows me any signs of not being interested anymore but he sure acts like it. Should I wait for him, or get rid of him?

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
  • Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
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  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Answer:

Your house probably contains a thermostat to help keep the heat in your house at a particular temperature. You set your thermostat to a particular level of heat and then it maintains that level of heat in the house. If the house gets colder then the set level the thermostat turns on the heat. If the house gets warmer than the set level the thermostat turns on the air conditioner. People often have something similar to a thermostat inside them that regulates the level of intimacy that they want. Your boyfriend seems to have his intimacy level set low for whatever reason. He told you this the first time you dated him. Because his intimacy level is set ‘low’ he avoids you most of the time. However, when you withdraw from him the level of intimacy he experiences in the relationship drops even lower than his set point. That is when the heat comes on and he becomes more active in his attempts to be close to you. As soon as things seem more stable with you again he reaches his intimacy set point again and shuts off until the next time. I won’t tell you what to do. But I will point out that things seem unlikely to change any time soon. If you can’t stand this situation then you either need to leave him (making a clean break and not responding to his inevitable attempts to keep you on the hook) or you need to get him to reset his intimacy thermostat; to want to work towards making your relationship more of a priority than he has made it. Talk to him about your concerns and see if he wants to make the relationship more of a priority. If he doesn’t think this is a good idea I’d say you’re best off leaving him.

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