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Reader Questions

How to act when he says he wants to be left alone?

Marissa Asks

My boyfriend tells me he’s a ‘lone wolf’ & can be a solitary creature sometimes. I’ve figured out when those times are coming, he’ll get distant, won’t want to hang out or talk on the phone – he’ll text but it’ll be very vague or one word answers. I’m a sag, so I need to understand how to react when he gets like this. He won’t open up & talk about it right now which I understand he’s going through something that doesn’t have anything to do with me. I’ll text him questions like why was it a bad day, or how are you feeling, what’s on your mind & he won’t answer those. Do I continue to text him sweet things & try to talk to him or should I completely leave him be? I know he wants support but I don’t know how to act when he wants space cause all I want to do is be there for him. Will he come out of it & contact me?


My general feeling for these scenarios are for the most part everyone wants the help but are just convinced no can truly help where it will just end up draining them. A common example would be you offer help, I accept it, ends up you can’t help, you feel bad and now I have the original problem as well not wanting you be sad too.

Ultimately you need to just spend some time to really figure out what he wants/need. Asking him if he is okay is just making him more distant in my view. The same goes with the wanting him to talk about it route. I don’t know the guy so I can only really offer you a hypothetical example if it was me with that state of mind.

Let’s pretend I lost my job in life which meant I can’t support myself or even you. It’s daunting as I have tried almost everything. I don’t want to talk about it either because it’s something I should be able to do while not wanting to be a failure of sort. So imagine there I am stressed out and you literally for whatever reason can’t help me here where dragging you into it in any way even as a conversation just makes things worse emotionally. So I want to be left alone until I figure this out.

Pretend you are oblivious to all this. You can see how just asking how I am and such would make me just say leave me alone. So how would you approach this? Like there you kind of have to discover one way or another what the issue is. An example would be analyze what habits have changed. Example, did I normally always say dine out with you now stopped? Do I now feel uncomfortable in letting you treat me to things when normally I would be all for it? Like there you can put the pieces together which I say is the best way to do it.

More than likely he probably did ask you for help in some form before but it probably went over your head since a person like myself often asks say once. The other option is to build his confidence by thinking of something small that he can genuinely help you with. This will rebuild the trust where if you trust him with your issues and he can help you the then same can be true the other way around. Just make sure it is something genuine. Virtually no different than when people tell others about a personal struggle of their own that often opens the person up to say theirs.

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