I've been with my boyfriend for about a year now, but for the last few weeks it seems he doesn't want to see me as much - let me rephrase that. He tells me not to come see him after work and things, but when I do, he seems glad I do.
Anyway, to the main point. For the last week or so, I have been telling him we should go to this movie, and on Thursday night, I invited him to come, but he said he didn't feel like it that night. My family were going to go to it but I said I wouldn't because I would go with my boyfriend another day. Today, I found out that he went to that movie with his friends (who happen to be my friends too) on Friday, because he thought I was busy that day. I don't see him nearly as much as I did when we first started going out. He still tells me he loves me and that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, but now I'm starting to doubt it because he didn't even ask me if I wanted to go that day or not.
My mother told me that my father did the same type of thing when they were dating, and she found another guy to go with for that night. My parents will celebrate their 20th anniversary next year.
So do you think I should find someone else, just to go to that movie with? He did apologize and say he would go to the movie again, with me, tomorrow, but he didn't think it was a big deal and it seems to me he only wants to go so I won't be so upset.
I don't think you're over-reacting at all, and I don't think it's just about the movie. It sounds like your boyfriend is starting to seriously pull away from you, and if you want to salvage the relationship, you should start focusing a lot more on your own life, family, and friends, and stop revolving so much of your attention and energy around him. Honestly, this doesn't sound good. It certainly doesn't sound like it's about to turn into a lifelong partnership unless things change dramatically...I don't mean to be harsh, but I don't think the things you describe are signs that he is committed to being with you in the long run, no matter what your mom says about her relationship with your dad. The first thing that came to mind reading your post was, uh oh, he sounds like he's pulling away big time. The second thing was, why is she still forcing herself on him and insisting on spending time together when he makes it clear that he doesn't want to do so? If he tells you that he doesn't want to hang out, you really should be respecting that. It should seriously concern you that he is all of a sudden telling you not to come see him...this is not something you should just brush under the rug and ignore, continuing on with him as if he wasn't acting differently toward you. No matter what else he is telling you, this is definitely something that demands a serious conversation. I really think you need to stop focusing on the movie and take a good hard look at the larger picture here: he tells you not to come see him, and you aren't seeing nearly as much of him as you used to. Sorry to say, but these are two huge red flags that go way beyond him flaking out on a movie, though that certainly seems characteristic of his general attitude toward your relationship of late.
I don't want to alarm you, but I strongly believe that you shouldn't let his reassurances obscure the fact that his other words and actions are indicating that he's withdrawing from you and the relationship. Guys can be really cowardly about being honest with you when it comes to telling you that they no longer want to spend their lives with you, especially if you are asking him for reassurance about such stuff or telling him that you love him, etc. and waiting for him to say the same things back. The fact that he keeps making the same promises about your future together as he always has shouldn't give you cause to ignore his other troubling behaviors. Again, I hate to be overly negative here, but I do want to help you see this situation clearly and be prepared so you can do everything in your power to avoid an unhappy ending before it's too late. I was completely unprepared when my ex started pulling away, in part because I truly thought he was the love of my life for every moment of the 3+ years we lived together, and also because he was telling me that he loved me and wanted to spend his life with me up until the very day he left, with just as much sincerity and affection as always.
So those reassurances in and of themselves aren't any guarantee that things aren't declining--I really think you need to be as honest and objective about this as possible and address these problems head-on. He really seems to be pulling away and demonstrating less and less interest in you and what you want/need than before...most of the time when this happens in their relationships, women make the mistake of chasing the man and clinging to him more tightly and suffocatingly than ever. That's completely the wrong move, which is why I cautioned you against proceeding like nothing is wrong and continuing to go see him as much ever despite the fact that he repeatedly asks you not to. The more you chase a guy who is pulling away, the faster and further he will run away from you in response. The path you are following seems destined to result in him fleeing the relationship for good before long, and so if you want to prevent that from happening, I really think you need to change your approach. Instead of pursuing him, let him do the chasing...pull away yourself and immerse yourself in your interests and relationships that don't involve him. The less you chase after him, the less inclined he will be to flee from you and avoid you...he might just tenatively come back to see why you aren't pursuing him like you always do. But if you run after him and make him feel smothered, you're pretty much signing the death certificate for your relationship before it even ends, unfortunately. There is a great book on dating called "Why Men Love (a word that rhymes with witches)" about how women who succeed in relationships preserve their independence, don't chase after guys, and know how to remain an appealing challenge even after their relationships are no longer in that honeymoon phase.
I would strongly suggest reading this but most importantly, I think you really need to sit him down ASAP and talk to him as honestly and candidly as possible about how you've noticed he's acting differently and tell him that you want to know why and if there is anything you can do to make him feel more comfortable and happy within the relationship. Hopefully he will be willing to talk and work things out, but even if he tells you he wants out, it was inevitable that he would decide that, and it's better that you know now rather than having him draw it out and prolonging your uncertainty and unhappiness. You deserve some honest, straightforward answers and explanations, and you have every right to be disconcerted and disturbed by his behavior of late. Please don't just keep on like everything is fine and great when it's clearly not, in his view...you need to face the reality of the situation and fight for your relationship if you want it to continue. I wish you all the best of luck, and hope some of this helped without coming across as overly pessimistic. I really don't mean to be negative, just hoping to help someone else realize the writing on the wall before it's too late, and avoid making the same mistakes I made in losing a relationship I might have been able to save if I had recognized the danger signs and took action decisively and quickly enough.
I agree with EVERYTHING Eaglesgirl said, except I'd go even farther. I wouldn't have that "talk" with him. Talk is cheap, at this point and action is needed. You can't talk him into understanding you and talk won't change him, but you can change your actions and watch to see if your changes result in changes in him. What EG is suggesting is very scary and you probably don't want to even try it. But the truth is, your BF knows he has you 100% right now. He knows just how far you will bend over for him. You aren't offering him any kind of emotional or mental challenge anymore. MEN NEED THIS CHALLENCE. Especially during the dating period. When he pulls away, so do you. Men fall in love, in the spaces. Then equate missing with yearning. Have a life of your own, it makes your life better, you more interesting and you more of a "catch". Please understand me, this isn't about pretending to have a life, to manuplate your BF, this is about really developing and keeping a life, seperate from the loves of you life.
He still tells me he loves me and that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, but now I'm starting to doubt it because he didn't even ask me if I wanted to go that day or not.
I also agree with what eaglesgirl said. My ex took me weding ring shopping, and was telling me he loved me, he was honored to be with me, felt so lucky to have found me, right up until the day he left me. Words alone don't mean spit. To be blunt, men lie. A lot. Most of them will say whatever they think they have to just to make things easier and more convenient for themselvesl. The truth is, he's requesting space, and making space for himself, and once the "space" stuff starts, that spells trouble. I'm not sure talking to him will get you anywhere, because he'd probably just lie and tell you everything's fine, he's just been busy, under stress, blah blah blah, anything in the world to avoid telling you the truth, that he just doesn't want to be in the relationship anymore. I'd say just trust your instincts. You know what you want from a relationship. If you're not getting it from him, then maybe it's time to move on and find someone who will give you what you need and what and deserve from a romantic relationship. I do think it's a good idea to just let him know that you are feeling things have changed. Even alter your behavior a little, try to be a little more understanding, patient, supportive, etc. But if he doesn't respond, then there may be trouble.
Thanks for the replies. ibeeshell; Oh no I'm not sleeping with him, and he seems happy when he's with me, but when I ring him or something, he says he's probably going to be busy. What makes it harder is that he's my first love, my first relationship. It doesn't help that he was my best friend before we started going out, and he still is at the moment, so there's not really many other people in my life I can have deep conversations with like I did with him. Most of my other friends seem 'superficial', they don't really talk about much more than how their weekend was.
I just got a new job, I start Monday, and I'll probably only be able to see him for about half an hour a week at the most.. If that's not space, I don't know what is
Bekki if I had decided to never let go of my first love I would not have been single when Mr. Ruth came along. Not just a wonderful guy that I love, he's my best friend, talks about politics even, and WANTS to be with me and make me laugh!!
What a concept!!
You don't know what's around that corner up ahead in life - the thing is, the corner won't come to you, you have to go to it!!
(In answer to your original question I would find someone to see the movie with. He knew you wanted to see it and didn't have the courtesy to wait to see it himself until you could be there.)
You're wise to recognize the beginnings of red flags waving. And yes, even a man we love can be the reason for them. Love doesn't even begin to be enough for a successful relationship. The best way to understand this is when you do finally meet that guy. Until then - you're flying on faith I'd say...
Thanks for answering my question Bekki. It sounds to me as if he is cooling things off slowly. Probably looking for another as he is letting you down slowly. Maybe you need to beat him to the punch line, my dear!
With the new job, comes new friends and new experiences!!! I'm not sure about your age, but don't be too quick to dismiss those superficial friends and their lighter conversations! Sometimes when work, relationships and life in general gets stressful, the light hearted friends are the best stress reducers!
AND Ruth, no matter how many times I read your "Mr. Ruth" saying, I still crack up!!!
Hang in there Bekki, better things are in store for you!