He suddenly stopped wanting to be with me

I have been a friend with the guy for over a year. At first, I really didn’t consider him much, but quickly we began to see each other regularly then it turned into an everyday basis. We would talk and text all day, yet he told me his wasn’t ready for a serious relationship. However, he really treated me like a girlfriend; over the summer we took trips together, I met his family and he met mine. We were always together and I couldn’t have been happier.

Recently, within the last couple months, he has severely distanced himself; will NOT reply to texts or phone calls, and when I bring it up, he immediately becomes defensive and says that he has his own life too and he isn’t ignoring me. We will go for a week or more without talking and it is all very surface level now. I understand he isn’t ready for a serious relationship, but I am absolutely crushed that he is treating me like this out of the blue. I suspect he is lying to me about seeing another girl because I’ve noticed inconsistencies in stories or he just brushes things off when I ask.

I also find it funny that on the off chance that we do see each other, he is typically on his phone texting other people, namely one girl that I seem to see her name come up a lot on his phone.

Please help, I consider him one of my best friends and we were very close and I am miserable and extremely hurt by the entire situation. I just don’t know how to approach it without calling him out or getting him to actually tell the truth.

Thank you for the help.

Response:

There are several possibilities to explore.

First, it is possible that your friend has a dismissing style of attachment and likes to play games when it comes to love. Some people like to let others get close, only to push them away. They are uncomfortable with intimacy, so they play games rather than engage in a true romance (see dismissing attachment and ludus).

The fact that he has distanced himself from you, tells you he has his own life, and is probably seeing someone else, all fit the characteristics of someone with a dismissing style of attachment. Dismissing individuals can be warm and affectionate at first (see don’t be fooled), as long the relationship is laid-back and casual, but once the relationship becomes too intimate, then dismissing individuals disappear (and start a new relationship elsewhere.)

The other explanation is probably harder to hear. Maybe he is a decent and secure individual, but after getting to know you better, he lost interest. This seems less likely because secure individuals usually tell the truth. He probably would have found a polite way of telling you about his change of heart, rather than suddenly changing his behavior.

How do you deal with this situation?

You can tell him how you feel. Share your feelings with him. Tell him you are sad and confused. Tell him that you miss him. Express your feelings without making accusations (see talk about problems).

If he is a secure individual, he will most likely empathize with you and tell you what is really going on.

If he is a dismissing individual, he will probably react poorly. He may blame you, react hostility, or simply shut you out completely. Sharing feelings with a dismissing individual can make them very uncomfortable—it is way too intimate—something they try hard to avoid. When confronted with unwanted intimacy, dismissing individuals either withdraw or attack. Both responses provide them with what they want—some breathing room.

Sharing your feelings, regardless of the outcome, can help you gain closure. But, a relationship is probably not going to work out in the long run. If he wanted to be with you, you wouldn’t be looking for answers here.

We wish we had more encouraging advice to offer.

 dismissing attachment | ludus

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