My boyfriend left me to go for six months and volunteer/travel in Ecuador and around South America. Before he left, we both could not stop crying because we knew that this would be so hard on both of us.
We decided to Skype but I never get a smile from him or anything. I’m just worried that he is leaving me behind for the friends he has made on the trip. He used to say, “I miss you, my favorite person.” Or “I wanna talk to you, I miss your face, I miss everything, I love you.” But now I get absolutely nothing; we talk as if we’re only friends or even acquaintances, and I am just worried that he doesn’t miss me or doesn’t care about me anymore, or that he’ll come home and break up with me because he’s happy on his own. I am really scared because this guy is the love of my life; we have been together for over two-and-a-half years and I am just so scared. I hate feeling left behind. He never tells me he misses me unless I say it to him first.
Please help me! Why don’t guys express their emotions? I understand he is probably very distracted by all the new people and sights but why is he pushing me into the background?
Thanks for your question. Just so you know, in these types of situations, it’s often harder on the person being left behind rather than the one who is off exploring. And that’s what we see going on here. Every day he’s meeting new people, exploring new places, absorbing new lessons, and expanding his world. In the meantime, you’re at home living your same day-to-day life, wondering why he’s not reaching out to you more.
He’s not, for this simple reason: He’s so excited with his life right now that he’s not thinking about you as much. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for you anymore, it just means he’s not able to balance it all right now. If you start demanding more from him he may grow resentful. This is his time to spread his wings and see the world. If it were you traveling, you might feel the same way. (Although we think you might be more sensitive to how he’s feeling.) And that’s the issue we see. He’s not being that understanding of what you’re going through. (This is why some couples choose to break up temporarily in these types of situations. Because it’s hard for both people.) It shows his inability to juggle the complexities of his life. Or his unwillingness.
As per expressing his emotions, or not expressing his emotions. Yes, guys might be able to lock their emotions away more easily, but there are many guys who are actually quite good at expressing how they feel. Is he generally a pretty closed person, and someone who’s not comfortable expressing himself? (Fill us in please in comments’ section below post.)
We think this is a situation Cygalle, where you’re going to have to be patient and just wait-and-see. You knew this was going to be hard, you just didn’t know how hard. Well, now you know. You have two choices: 1. Sit around and worry for the next six months. 2. Support him on his journey as best you can…..But in the meantime you need to continue moving forward in your own life. Six months feels like forever, but it’s a very short time in the big scheme of things. You can make it through.
Are you meeting up with him at any point in his travels? (Just a thought. Maybe you could suggest it. Or hint at it. Ideally he would suggest it.)
There are no guarantees that this will all work out, but you can’t go by how you’re feeling right now. Basically, for the next six months your relationship is on hold. After this trip is over, then you can better assess the relationship. Let us know if you have any follow-up questions. Ask away. And let us know your thoughts on what we’ve said.
Hang in there,
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