The uncertainty stage?

posted 2 months 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 # 16
    Member
    865 posts
    Busy bee

    I disagree with Sassy’s advice…feels too much like playing games. Maybe in the very beginning of a relationship it would make more sense but at six months in, I would not want to feel that I had to tiptoe around an issue that was making me uncomfortable for fear of chasing my SO away. I’m not saying OP should go into the convo guns blazing, but initiating a calm, unaggressive convo to take the temp of the relationship should not be a turn off if the guy is actually invested.

    Post # 17
    Member
    2298 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I think the advice to pull back is frequently misunderstood. It’s not really game playing, it’s more keeping the mindset that the romantic relationship (this early in) is merely just one facet of your happy life, not being obsessed with your relationship to the point where you are counting messages received and poring over texts searching for hidden meanings (OP, I am using hyperbole here, not accusing you of doing this).

     

    I do think having a conversation about this with him at this time is likely to backfire. It will be hard to ask for reassurance that the guy is still invested without coming across as somewhat needy. Especially if she brings up his reduced texting as exhibit A.

     

    Post # 18
    Member
    865 posts
    Busy bee

    Tatum :  I see what you’re saying, but to me, who cares if she comes across as “somewhat needy.” We all have insecurities and act needy from time to time. Six months in, if this guy is turned off enough to break up because she initiates one convo to check in with him about his feelings, then he wasn’t that invested in the first place imo. Like you shouldn’t rethink your whole relationship over that. It would be a different story if they’d been dating a few weeks, but I think 6 months is a significant enough chunk of time that OP should be able to be a bit vulnerable without fear of running him off. If she can’t do that, then maybe this isn’t the relationshp for her anyway.

    Post # 19
    Member
    164 posts
    Blushing bee

    emilyofnewmoon :  I totally agree. I think if you have to *pretend* you’re not bothered by something then you’re not being truthful to yourself or to the other person and you’ll become more anxious because you can’t be yourself. 

    Also, if 6 months in you can’t have a conversation about communication because it might scare the guy off….it’s the wrong guy. 

    This is the healthiest relationship I’ve had because we’ve talked about everything rather than hiding it. 

    Post # 20
    Member
    877 posts
    Busy bee

    emilyofnewmoon :  

    I hear what you are saying, and I’m sure you’re going to disagree with what I have to say, but I think what you are saying sounds very logical to us women, but for my part I have never had one of these conversations go well with a guy I have been dating. Your mileage may vary.

    In my experience, if a guy is pulling back – whether it’s because he is busy with work or other concerns in his life, whether it is just a natural slowing down that happens after the honeymoon phase, whether he is is struggling/in a bad place, or whether, worst case scenario, he is losing interest – then pulling back is what he needs to do. From what I understand, men are different from us in this regard. While we need to talk things out and get resolution, they prefer to retreat, get clarity, and then come back to the relationship and deal with whatever it is.

    The way I see it, it’s really not playing games to let him have the space that he needs. There’s a time and place for talking to him that will be more effective. Coming at a guy when he is taking a bit of space never goes well, in my experience. Perhaps you have an example that you would like to share? I’d also say the way you address it with a guy is important – criticising him for how he communicates or handles his stresses never goes well either in my experience. But she can certainly come at this from a place of how she feels (“I miss you,” “I miss our conversations”) would be to be vulnerable without criticising. If she can do it at a time when he is open to hearing her, that would be even better.

    If the guy is constantly being distant, blowing hot and cold, then I agree, she should have a conversation and reevaluate if this is the relationship for her. But in this case, they are still communicating (quite regularly I may say) and have plans to spend the holidays together. This doesn’t sound like a guy who is checked out of the relationship, maybe just one with a lot on his mind.

    Like I said, I think often as women, our intentions in having a conversation can be very good and pure, but it’s not always the most effective approach. You can say “well then it’s obviously not the right guy/relationship” and maybe you’ve had the experience where you’ve been able to address every concern you’ve ever had with your man, but this does not mean it’s true for all men or even most men. Hasn’t been my experience anyway. As I say, YMMV.

    Post # 21
    Member
    865 posts
    Busy bee

    indigobee well, I don’t really buy into the “men are different than women” when it comes to sweeping generalizations like this. I think it comes down to the personality of the individual. I’ve dated guys who would have responded negatively if I’d initiated a convo like the one I think OP should have with her Boyfriend or Best Friend. In fact I had an ex who was exactly that way…it was not a good relationship for either of us. I don’t think the fact that some men might be turned off is a reason not to have the convo. I wouldn’t want to be with those types of men, so that’s where I’m coming from with my advice.

    When I met my husband I was carrying a lot of baggage from my last relationship with my emotionally unavailable ex who was forever “pulling back” only to reel me back in when he feared I’d had enough and might leave. I projected some of my insecurities from that relationship onto my husband in the first year of our relationship. One of the things that made me feel safe with my husband is that I could tell him I was feeling insecure and he wouldn’t react defensively; he’d hear me out and then we’d have a normal convo about whatever it was that caused my insecurity. I wouldn’t do this all the time of course but a couple times over the course of that first year? Definitely. I never had to stifle those feelings or pretend to be a cool girl out of fear of running him off.

    Any time I checked in with my husband he was more than happy to reassure me that he was committed. I’m sure I did seem needy here and there but it wasnt a turn off for him. He was invested and wanted to make me feel secure. And so I did become very secure and after awhile it no longer freaked me out if he needed to cancel plans or I didn’t hear from him as often for a week or two. That kind of security is what I need in a partner. It might not be what everyone needs, but if this is resonating with the OP then I think she needs a partner she can be vulnerable with in that way without him being turned off. 

    Post # 23
    Member
    865 posts
    Busy bee

    oranges007 :  Does he ever ask about your day? I may be reading between the lines but wondering if maybe at 6 months in you’re feeling on some level that the relationship is lacking some depth of connection?

    Post # 24
    Member
    5194 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: January 2017

    oranges007 :  feel things out when you see him during the holidays and see how things go. Talking about these things over the phone isn’t the best way. Face to face is ideal.

    Post # 26
    Member
    877 posts
    Busy bee

    oranges007 :  

    Him not asking about your life/your day as much can be frustrating. I’ve felt that way myself in the past. 

    To me, it sounds like the two of you may not have built as much of a solid connection because of your relationship being long distance and not having enough time together in person. It’s natural I think when there hasn’t been a lot of in-person time together for the relationship to feel more superficial. 

    From what I understand, LDRs work best when the couple already has a pretty solid relationship. I hope you get the clarity you are looking for.

    Post # 27
    Member
    865 posts
    Busy bee

    Maybe I missed it in an update, but how much time have you two actualliy spent together in person? Like how often do you see each other?

    LDRs can work even if they start out that way (my cousin is happily married to a guy she met long distance and continued to date long distance for over a year…til she moved to be with him)….but it definitely presents challenges. I would see how the next visit goes since it’s right around the corner. I think this could be a make or break point in the relationship. 

    In general, the fact that he asks about you way less than you ask about him is concerning. To me that indicates either a lack of interest or self-centeredness, neither of which bode well. OR he could I suppose just be super busy and absent minded and everything will fall into place when you see him in a couple weeks. 

    Post # 29
    Member
    11187 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    emilyofnewmoon :  

    Six months may be *enough* for one couple and way too soon for another.

    Remember, we’re counting in LDR months.

    Women tend to consider only what would make *them* feel better, which is often in direct conflict with what makes guys feel better.

    And why is everyone always caterwauling on about *pretending* and *game playing *?  Is there a good reason why a woman should not invest more in her own life, her own interests?  It’s the best tonic for the perpetual upset that invariably results from tying to decode men using a women’s decoder ring.

    Don’t *pretend* to be busy.  *Get* busy.  Whatever magic words you’re hoping to hear from your man are a temporary salve.  Tomorrow’s another day, rich with opportunities to ramp yourself up.

    Or, you can build a full and active life in which a burgeoning relationship is but one part.  Women are too prone to call seeing someone a *relationship* much to soon and make it the linchpin of their entire lives.  That way, the slightest hiccup can send you into into a straight jacket.

    Guys are actually pretty good models for this.  They fall crazy in love, too.  Yet, they stay focused on their careers, their sports teams, and they buddies.  Notice that, even as they’re drive you crazy with it.

    Yet, the same guy would take on a grizzly for you any time.  

     

    Post # 30
    Member
    865 posts
    Busy bee

    sassy411 :  Your post is littered with sweeping generalizations about men and women that I think are completely unfounded. Women only care about what would make *them* feel better? Really? Men are too focused on sports to worry about their relationship? My sports-averse husband who loves to talk about his feelings would be very amused by this characterization. Where are you getting this sexist drivel from?

    In general though, I agree with you that it’s a good idea for all individuals to cultivate a rich life with hobbies and interests outside of their relationship. Any person whose overall happiness depends on their relationship is not in a healthy mindset. You can cultivate a rich, independent life for yourself though and still be alarmed when it seems like your SO is pulling back or that the dynamic of the relationship has shifted in a negative way. 

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