K.C. wrote: “The guy I’ve been seeing for a couple months has been acting more distant lately. He doesn’t initiate seeing each other anymore and doesn’t respond to my texts or calls as quickly as he used to. We used to have really hot sex and talk all night, spending the whole weekend together, but lately he’s been acting insecure and I wonder if he’s just going through something because he lost his job recently. My best friend said she thinks he needs me to be direct and forceful, and she suggested I show up at his place to surprise him and tell him how much I love him. What do you think?”
Liz says: Is it possible he’s depressed? Depression can turn someone into a hermit, becoming less social and more isolated. If his job was intricately tied to his identity or his self-esteem took a hit from the loss, he may be retreating inward, which is something men more often do than women. Boys are not taught how to handle and express their emotions in a healthy, productive way as much as girls are, and our culture’s oppressive attitude toward male emotional expression is something in dire need of fixing. Plus, a lot of men believe their self-worth is tied to how many zeros are on their paychecks, so if his job loss meant a major shift in spending abilities, he might be nursing a wounded ego.
Your friend is correct that you have to be the one to be direct and express concern. If he shows signs of battling depression, let him know you are there for him. In addition to turning inward, depression also causes sufferers to lose their sex drive and lose interest in hobbies that previously excited them.
If he’s still hanging out with his bros and seems fine, then there’s another potential explanation here. It’s possible he has simply lost interest in you and has taken the Chump Expressway to avoid being honest with you. If that’s the case, then he lacks maturity and integrity and you should let him know you deserve better, then look for better.
I’ve never simply blown off a guy I was dating. It didn’t matter if he was a boyfriend or just a guy I didn’t want to go on date number two with, I always had the decency to let him know how I felt. Backing away without explanation when you no longer want to see someone is childish and disrespectful. There are few situations where blowing someone off could be excused, like being in a coma or abducted, for example.
You should also prepare yourself for the possibility he’s already seeing someone else. Whatever is going on with him, if he refuses to let you back in and doesn’t respond to any of your attempts to reach out, you have to decide to move on. You can’t force yourself to be in someone’s life if they don’t want you there.