The uncertainty stage?

posted 1 month ago in Relationships
  • poll: What should I do?
    Lean back and wait for him to initiate; don’t discuss relationship concerns : (5 votes)
    16 %
    Try to increase communication; don’t discuss relationship concerns : (2 votes)
    6 %
    Wait until you meet and ask about the relationship : (17 votes)
    53 %
    Ask about the relationship the next time you two talk : (8 votes)
    25 %
  • Post # 2
    717 posts
    Busy bee

    On the surface, talking 4-5x a week for a solid hour each time sounds like plenty of communication to me, and it’s definitely natural for the crazed obsessive “madly in love” phase of a relationship to settle a bit around the 6m mark as things get more routine, which could explain the decrease in texting. But if your gut is telling you something is off, no one here can tell you that you’re certainly wrong. I support your idea of asking him how he’s feeling about the relationship next time you see him. Hopefully he’ll give you the reassurance you’re looking for so you can feel more secure. 

    Post # 3
    656 posts
    Busy bee

    I would wait until you see him in person and have a conversation if you are uncomfortable. 

    Obviously I cannot know what is going on— but I will say that quite healthy relationships often change over time. My spuose and I used to chat by email/text much more often in our very early days and now we both travel a great deal and live apart half the week for long stretches of time for work, and often go days without talking then. BUT our relationship is very strong, it’s just that we no longer need that assurance. We know how we feel about each other. It’s not uncommon (i think) for some of the flirting/texting to slow when you aren’t in the early stages of showing interest and trying to impress but are instead building solid questions. 

    Now that doesn’t mean that’s what is happening– it could also be that he is pulling back. To assess that, you have to communicate. But that is easier and often better to do in person, when it is more possible to effectively read what each other is saying. 

    Post # 4
    530 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    oranges007 :  Sounds as simple as it is…he is stressed. I wouldn’t dive into the relationship talk in person until you talk to him about how he is doing. My Darling Husband and I tend to let work get the best of us and at dinner time we just let it out, we have a heart to heart and listen to each other and how stressed out we are and it seems to put both of us at ease talking through it. 

    If you dive into “how do you feel about our relationship” once you see him I think it’s going to be unfair and you may blindside him. With him already mentioning how stressed he is you may not get the reaction you want. 

    Post # 5
    466 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2019 - York, ME

    I think you should definitley check in with him, but not because I think things are necessarily wrong! As you already know, LDRs take a lot of work, and you need to lean so heavily on your open communication to keep a LDR heathy.  You should be able to get reassurance from him, and also manage expectations on how you’ll communicate when you’re away from each other so that you both feel fulfilled.  

    Post # 6
    95 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: May 2019

    I went back through your older posts bc you also started the how soon did you have sex thread with “they say” as well- basically pontificating that there’s one right time to have sex and if you don’t your emotional bond isn’t as good. Which I had issue with.

    anyway, a lot of your posts include reference to what “they” or “common wisdom” or various articles/ books tell you to do in a relationship or how to optimize things. You also brought up a bit about holding people you were dating to commitment goals, and how now that your career is settled you feel you need to catch up on relationship goals.

    i bring this up bc I really don’t think relationships and people can be optomized like this- that you can say “well the “experts” say if a man texts less to also create distance”- relationships and people are all different. We’re all beautiful snowflakes, and there is no “one size fits all”. For me if my partner is feeling stressed, that’s not a time I’m going to go cold on him and hold back on love and compassion as a way to punish him or train him like a dolphin or something. And if you’re only 4 months into an exclusive LDR relationship, pulling away on both sides could just be the end of things. It’s definitely not healthy to keep score to make sure your communications are 50/50.

    what if as an experiment, you just adopted a philosophy up until the time you see him next that when you think “oh it would be nice if he texted right now”, you text him? You don’t worry if it’s equal or not for a few weeks and see if you throwing in the extra effort makes a difference in your connection. Then talk to him when you see him.

    But in the meantime explore where this need to be divided down the middle, or to keep track of his affection level. Being in a relationship isn’t a war where each of you withholds love and commitment until the other person proves they have contributed an equal amount. You have to each take risks reaching out in turn.

    Post # 8
    871 posts
    Busy bee

    oranges007 :  

    I definitely understand how you feel, definitely. I’ve had these same thoughts myself many times, so I’ll give you my own thoughts on this.

    Firstly, I’m going to go against the grain a bit and say that, if things feel a bit distant and off for you, there is likely a reason for that. If you feel as if his communication has dropped off a bit, it’s probably because it has dropped off a bit. 

    I also sympathise with you saying that you’re not sure if you should pick up the slack with the communication, or give him his space. After all, we hear all the time (and I think virtually every guy I know has told me) that men retreat when they are stressed, and going after them can backfire. It’s confusing – because you want to keep the connection strong and healthy, but you don’t want to crowd him or go after him if he has gone into his man cave, and I just want to acknowledge that confusion.

    I have made mistakes dealing with situations like this, and here is how I wish I had handled them:

    1) Firstly, calm down. If you’re anything like me, I panic, and that doesn’t help anyone. Just try to remain cool and calm.

    2) Respond warmly when he reaches out. If you’re already talking 4 or 5 times a week for an hour, I’d say that’s a fair amount, but I think you’re concerned about the lack of texts in between. Respond positively when he contacts you, ask him how things are going, express concern, be positive.

    3) You can initiate yourself as well, but I wouldn’t do it more than 50% of the time. That way, you strike a nice balance between being connected and showing an interest, and giving him his space.

    4) Talk to him about the communication stuff in person, if you can wait that long. Christmas is right around the corner, and you can use your time together to have a calm conversation about how much communication is good and how you both feel about that.

    Finally, as you remain calm and do these things, watch how he responds. See how he behaves over Christmas. If he is truly different or rethinking the relationship, it will become clear. Keeping your cool will allow you to see things more clearly.

    Post # 9
    5124 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: January 2017

    It’s only been 6 months, and now you’re long distance. How long is it going to continue being long distance? Are you planning on living closer to one another in the near future?

    Post # 11
    11140 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    oranges007 :  

    Bee, in the first blush of infatuation, constant texting and calling is natural.  As a relationship settles, Real Life comes back into focus and the relationship calms down.  Hopefully, it will now start moving toward getting to know each other in a more real way and developing a genuine bond.

    It is 110% normal for guys to pull back after pursuing you madly.  He needs to get his balance back.  He wants to focus on work and his buddies.  *Normal*.

    It can be make it or break it, depending on how you handle it.  Bees tend to tell you what to do based on what would make a *woman* feel better, ie you text him more, sit down and ask him what’s going on; forget all that.

    What you have to do is way harder.  You have to do—nothing.  Leave him be.  When you do hear from him, be happy and upbeat.  Never get passive aggressive and pissy because he didn’t text. 

    Focus on your own interests for awhile. Basically, what you’re doing is letting him know that it’s safe to come back.  He will not be punished.  Men have a lot of fears about being controlled.  He also doesn’t want to deal with female upset.

    If you grant him this space, without making any kind of issue of it (you didn’t even notice, actually), when he returns, he will likely feel much more attached to you and trusting of you. 

    Post # 12
    1662 posts
    Bumble bee

    Every time I have experienced the honeymoon stage I have wryly commented “good thing this stage fades, or the economy would collapse”. I would get texts from my partner about how he couldn’t focus on work because he was thinking of me all day. And when it evitably stopped, I would think “good – don’t want him getting fired”. 

    It’s normal for the can’t get enough of you stage to end. *However*, this is also a stage in which a lot of relationships end! What buoys you thorough is that as the infatuation fades, the comfort and intimacy should rise to replace it. It’s like, your adult dog is admittedly not as cute as an adorable wobbly puppy, but it also doesn’t eat your shoes or pee on the carpet, so it nets out to about the same happiness. 

    You could be picking up on the fac that maybe you don’t have as much of the latter as you should? It’s hard for us to say. But I agree with the advice to just sort of take it easy. 

    Post # 13
    871 posts
    Busy bee

    sassy411 :  

    This is possibly the best early relationship/dating advice I’ve read on the boards!

    Post # 14
    164 posts
    Blushing bee

    oranges007 :  I have been here many times before with previous boyfriends and it drove me insane. 

    With my current boyfriend I’ve been honest and straight forward with him since we met. We also were LDR for 6 months and on some days because we were both so busy we would only get to message when we woke up and when we went to bed. But, I knew that despite that we were both very much interested. 

    It’s hard to explain but in this relationship I don’t feel like playing games or ever sit and overthink anything. If I want to message him I do. Previously in other relationships I’ve played games and so has the other person and it’s ended in disaster. 

    Be honest with him and yourself. Are you overthinking a little, are you actually more invested than he is or are your ideas of communication different?  

    Talk it through – honesty is definitely best in this situation xx 

    Post # 15
    11140 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    indigobee :  

    Thank you, Bee.

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