I'm 17 and currently dating my first boyfriend who I've been with for 10 months, he's 18. In the beginning of our relationship he'd call me gorgeous and and those cute pet names and would constantly want to talk to me. We'd go out to breakfast/dinner and he'd come over to my place and hangout with my family and I. For the past month or two, the "romance" seems to have gone away. We don't talk nearly as often as before sometime 4 or 5 days before I receive a single text from him and it almost seems as if he's uninterested in talking to me or me at all. And when we do talk, it's not much more than a comment about his or my day and then he doesn't reply. The last time I was with him we barely talked and it seemed as though I was more of his friend than girlfriend. Didn't hold hands on our walk. His hand wasn't resting on my thigh in the car.
He works 50+ hours a week as a security guard and I get that it takes a major toll on him, mentally and physically, but I feel that I've been pushed to the side lately and it hurts. What really gets to me is that he has time to update his social media status and scroll through Facebook to like a few posts and share a few videos/photos but won't even send me a single text. I don't know what to do and I don't know how to confront him about it. And this is my first relationship and I'm not sure what to do or what this means but I'd grateful if I could have some advice on how to handle this situation.
The 9/10 months point is a common make-or-break point (following the genuine version at 3-4 months), usually caused by the man relaxing/becoming bored/taking for granted as prematurely ends the Honeymoon Period, the woman feeling it and bringing it to his attention (not in the best way, thanks to hurt feelings and sense of insult), that denting the man's ego (sparking rebellion and resistance), and starting a negative loop going round, down, round, down....splat!
No need to panic, because you're not there yet, but you do have one foot on its path. Taking it off now is therefore easy...
When the challenge of how the relationship grows, develops, cements and branching-ly transforms isn't a joy open to you because you're not nearly at settling-down and making-babies stage, it's left to the challenge of the chase and re-chase and excitement of intrigue to provide incentive to keep on trucking together. Men, especially, love challenge and intrigue. You possibly haven't been keeping him enough on his toes.
(Keeping them stimulated and slightly on their toes requires a fine balance...never too much, never too little. But what defines those quantums is whether anything else in life is keeping them on their toes (or in this guy's case - isn't).)
You see this with domesticated cats (that still have the primal hunting-chasing instinct) whenever you play 'scrabbly hand-mouse'. If your hand scurries around on the floor in front of the cat in an unpredictable and exciting way, the cat is RAPT. Everything else ceases to matter or exist. It tries to work out the pattern of movement before and in order to then pounce with claws and teeth. If you then immediately make your hand play dead (as if from a heart-attack or deliberately freezing), the cat reverts to licking your hand a few times (to see if it can re-rouse or resuscitate the mouse). If not, it then COMPLETELY loses interest and wanders off (and onto Facebook, etc., LOL).
Breakfast/dinner..hanging out with the ol' folks round the telly or fireplace... (does that include cocoa and comfy slippers as well?
Saying that, did he EVER talk to you over the phone, i.e. properly, or has he always a bit lazily sent only texts (with you letting him)? If this solely and infrequently texting situation is a new development (or, in fact, even if it isn't) then there's a very simple way of dealing with that: don't answer them (make some excuse)... or take so long to answer them that it frustrates as well as forces him out of impatience to try to work out why (where are you, who are you with - eek?!).
I mean, if you had pre-paid for a restaurant meal and the waiter served up a few crumbs, then, leaving aside what you might or might not say - would you smilingly pick up your knife and fork and start tucking in, as well as pay the full bill? So why do it with him? Doesn't that say, That'll do me when it comes to making me happy and well-fed?
Don't confront. That's what 'boring' married couples do, which will just exacerbate the whole problem. Any aggro at this stage has to be FUN. Zip your lip and let your actions do your speaking for you.
Question: Does he happen to send this one-off text in the evening, at a time when it's too early for you to be coming home from being out yet equally too late in the evening for you to be only just then getting ready to go out?... say the 7-9pm slot? I ask because this 'gets one reply then doesn't answer it' does smack heavily of him just checking, going by the action of you responding at all or responding in timely fashion, that his 'property' is safe from other men on the prowl so that he can get on with having fun with the lads or taking it easy by himself, WHEREAS, if he were left in the dark about where you might be or with whom (imagination running riot), he would start to in turn use ALL available contact methods for tracking you down, including the ones that normally feel like too much, unnecessary effort. If this then became a habit, with him getting the 'reading' he'd been after only once he'd actually rung, so too would his deciding to BEGIN with rather than end with the more sure-fire method of ringing each time. If you varied the pattern and were subtly vague, cagey and non-committal about why your delay in responding, he would have to cease taking you so much for granted and believing you were constantly safe from all other 'predators'.
Don't have to hold hands/place hand on thigh (because she's perfectly happy and accepting enough already) is as Don't have to *does*. You're too easily pleased, too grateful, light up and flash across your board with the slightest button-press, perhaps often even PRE-PAYING the restaurant bill before you get any fare. He either thinks you're happy with your crumbs or has become bored and apathetic.
And he'd be especially susceptible to this laziness AND need for challenge and excitement as opposed to still working to keep you his and not wandering off into the arms of another, with his working long and tiring hours at what is a VERY uneventful job 99% of the time. In fact, uneventful, watching "boring telly" (CCTV) and the clock, equals tired and lethargic all on its own.
What you're all-in-all doing wrong is, you're like an audience who applauds in all the right places just because you're grateful the act actually turned up to begin with, not because they've performed and entertained impressively. Think and behave more like Simon Cowell on X Factor or Britain's Got Talent. He doesn't stand to ovation or show excitement in his reactions unless warranted by anyone's standards...and even then he tries not to so as to motivate the contestant into trying harder and harder to impress him or keep him at least pleased and hopeful. Until time and consistent proof has become the indisputable norm, the contestants, basically, are like sales staff: only ever as good as their last sale (and run of bad or no sales equals, you're out!). Once they have that concretely sound track record, THEN is where he begins treating them like something between royalty and his special pet. Read this paragraph again.
However, you can't go from complacent to suddenly slightly unpredictable and intriguing in one fell swoop or he'll be taken BEYOND sense of intrigue and into threatened and insecure territory (as creates acting-out), meaning, the negative weight would be added to the loop *anyway*. So take it in tiny little steps so that it mostly bypasses his conscious radar (yet not his subconscious one), plus so that if something doesn't work you can easily and instantly eliminate it from your little bag of tricks and try the next.
If you want the disinterested cat to turn around again and be re-intrigued and excited, *re-energised*, re-ready to WORK for his perks, you don't tend to have to say a THING; instead just make a quiet little, rapid pitter-patter sound with your hand again.
...And then things might well go back to being [sorry - can't resist - no rotten tomatoes, please!] purr-fect again.