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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3778
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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A couple of months ago my boyfriend told me he was panicking

Customer Question

A couple of months ago my boyfriend told me he was panicking about commitment, he said he's never been in a relationship before where he can imagine being with that person forever until now and it's freaking him out feeling like his life is set out for him. We've always had a very relaxed relationship with not a lot of pressure but we were discussing moving in together which I think brought all this on. When he said it he said he needed space and time to think about it and I said that's fine but you haven't handled the situation very well (as he'd just ignored me for a few days with no explanation) so when you do come back you've got making up to do. A few days later he text me and we got back to talking etc but he wasn't really putting any effort in so I was still quite unsure of his feelings, then he said nothing had changed and he still needed time, again I tried to be supportive even though I was upset and said take the time, make it up to me when you're ready. Same thing happened again, he got in touch a couple of days later saying he'd been an idiot and was sorry then a couple of days after that flaked out again. Now it's been a pattern where every week for 2 months or so he makes a small effort to get in touch, things go really well for a few days so I get my hopes up and then he backs off again and then gets in touch and does it all over again. I've been really emotional about it so last week I wrote down everything I was feeling and let him read it and then I left and blocked all communication with him to break the habit of speaking, getting on track and then being let down again. I haven't heard from him since, I do really want to reach out to him but I feel like it has to come from him? I just don't want him to think I've given up on him but at the same time I can't sit back and take it any longer because I'm turning into an emotional wreck over it. Should I try to speak to him one last time or wait for him to make the first move?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 2 years ago.
I think both of you are giving each other confusing signals. He came to you with openness and honesty about his fears and you did a great job supporting where he was. The idea of having him make things up to you after sharing those tough feelings could have put a lot of pressure on him. So this pattern developed and you both played into it. He would come back because he really loves you and then freak again. Then you blocked communication, but are worried you haven't heard from the cycle continues.I hear two people that really love one another and both are struggling to get it all straight. I would reach out to him and let him know that you understand his feelings, you desire to be with him and know that this space is what he needs. And, you also get to put out what you need and want...such as...I love you and want to be with only come to me if you know that is what you want as the in and out is just too painful. This way, you have your boundary and he can be aware and structure what he wants as well. If he does come back, even being playful about making it up to you can feel like pressure to him. I think you won't feel rest unless you reach back out and let him know again what you feel and what you want and what will work for you.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 2 years ago.
It's not about who makes the first's just about being open with what you want and need...on both sides. Try not to get stuck in the pattern.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 2 years ago.
Let me know how else I can support you. If all good for now please take a moment to click on the rating tab to rate my support so that I may be credited for my time. Thanks so much in advance.