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How do I talk to him?
My boyfriend and I have been going through a difficult period in our relationship. We’ve been together for a year, and a little while ago had a big conversation about the direction of our relationship and what we want. Things were rocky for a while, and although we addressed it a little, I don’t feel like we’ve resolved the big issues.
We haven’t had a conversation about it since June, and I was away for a few weeks in July. We’ve spent plenty of time together since I’ve been back — just got home from a camping trip where we hiked and he took me to the beach (which I love), and he bought me some lovely earrings. However, I feel a distance between us that I can’t explain, which makes me feel anxious and sad, even when we’re together. I feel like he is holding back from me, almost avoiding conversations that could turn emotional, and is not as physically affectionate anymore (we used to hold hands continuously, and cuddle all night, and now it almost seems like he has to remind himself to do those things).
I don’t know if that’s just the nature of relationships once you settle into them, or if it’s because he is pulling away (however subconsciously). But more importantly, I don’t really know how to bring it up with him. It’s not like there are specific, concrete things that he is doing differently. Rather, it’s my read on the situation and his behaviors, and my own feelings of sadness and distance.
How can I bring this up with him, or even breach the topic with him, without him feeling like I’m attacking him, or making him feel somehow guilty? Is there a way to ask him what’s going on with him or what he is feeling, or should I frame it around what I’m feeling and noticing? Should I bring it up casually while we’re hanging out, or should I ask him if we can sit down and have a conversation about it?
Any insight, especially from those in longer term relationships, would be greatly appreciated.
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