Moises: When love starts to freeze

·4 min read

C: Hi, Singlestalk. I’m in a six-year relationship. We started back when we were in college. A lot of our batchmates thought we’d end up together. But it seems like this isn’t happening. This year, she’s becoming colder and colder. She no longer laughs at my jokes. It would take days before I’d get a response from her. She’s disengaged when I speak to her. But every time I ask if she’s okay, she says she’s fine, just thinking about so many things and is needing more space. It has been four months now. Should I already ask her if she wants us to break up? I promised that I won’t leave her. I’m at a loss if I should hold on or let go.

DJ: Do you want to build a snowman? Seriously, this feels like a dagger through one’s heart. It appears that she needs something only you can provide—your absence. There are several possible reasons for this emotional frost. She might be overwhelmed and exhausted with work, and you’re like the Monday of her life. You promised not to leave her. What if she’s just testing you? She’s trying to appear distant or withdrawn to see if you truly meant what you said. But doing this for four months and counting, to me, is already atypical. Yeah, it’s possible that she’s considering breaking up with you. I’ve seen a couple of relationships having a time lag from when someone is considering a breakup up until it’s effectuated. And in between is drama.

Going cold is at times an unavoidable consequence of familiarity. It’s a symptom of disavowed emotional distress. Well, you already asked what’s happening and she said she needs space. Hopefully she isn’t asking for the universe! Did you tell her how you’re feeling about the whole situation? Does she at least make an effort to understand? If she’s struggling with her mental health, you can still make her aware of the impact of how she’s treating you. The bad thing is you don’t have complete control. The good thing is you have the choice how to move this and your life forward. My opinion? If you keep on giving in, she might get the impression that what’s she’s doing is okay. And the situation can worsen unless you take a stand.

Through time I realize niceness isn’t always attractive. I don’t know with you but stonewalling in fact has an effect on me. To sooth the anxiety, the instinct is to chase the person. Per experience, however, this rarely yields the desired result. You’ll end up trying too hard to show her more love and risk becoming more and more solely focused on her. Are you giving her power over your feelings? You know her better. You can best assess whether the relationship is still worth saving or you’re trying to patch a hole in the Titanic.

Is she still a good fit for you? Having a partner who constantly leaves you feeling like a weakling isn’t healthy. Is she still making you a better person? How is your situation affecting your career or your relationships with other people? If you’re still generally okay in spite of all these, you can hang on a little longer. But if you’re already feeling negatively about a whole lot of stuff, ending a bad relationship can lead you to finding the one that’s good for you. Assess if what’s happening is already becoming like a place holder that’s limiting your chances at being happy. A sassy attitude is one thing but someone who does not care about the feelings of others will find it hard to sustain a healthy relationship for very long. Love even if it hurts but don’t forget to love yourself too. It’s essential for you to stay loving.

Man, I would not even think for now about marrying her. Make time to have an honest conversation. But if she continues to dismiss your feelings, pull away. That’s my suggestion. If she acts like she can live without you, help her do it. Let her drift. She will come back if she loves you. Otherwise, chalk it up as a lesson learned. At least you know where you stand.