Homecoming was a disaster. How can I get close to my boyfriend again?

Our elder has some communication strategies.

Dear EWC

My boyfriend and I went to homecoming dance. I love dancing but he doesn’t know how to dance. During the dance he would get frustrated or angry at himself because he didn’t know how to dance. I was dancing with my friends that were girls and he just walked away and I followed him and he told me the truth that he was angry at himself. I wanted him to enjoy the dance with me because he was homeschooled most of his life but he was really distant with me. He’s going through some family problems that are really serious and I don’t know what to do help because my family is also having problems. We slept on the phone together last night and he was crying but I didn’t know, he didn’t tell me. He is becoming distant to the point where he doesn’t tell me anything any more. Please help me; I’ve been crying all morning. I don’t know what to do any more!

RandyP replies

I am sorry to hear about the current situation with your relationship and with your family problems. It is clear that your boyfriend means a lot to you.  I hope my comments will help.

I think it is wonderful of your boyfriend to agree to come to the homecoming dance and to actually try to dance even though he did not know how to dance. That showed courage by him to participate in something that was important to you and completely out of his comfort zone.  It also probably increased his level of discomfort and social pressure. While it is not relevant to resolving your current situation — since you like to dance and if he is willing to try again, offer to teach him in private how to dance. 

Has he had much experience in social group settings? I am not an expert, but he may have been affected by the pressure of the setting. Do you think, even though he agreed to do so, that he resented being placed in a situation that was beyond what he expected? His family problems may have also increased the pressure that he is feeling which then led to his comments about the relationship. Finally, he may not be comfortable with talking about what his bothering him. Some individuals are not comfortable about talking about everything. However, I think this is a situation where he should work to be more open with you, and I believe you may need to discuss this with him to gain his trust.

Respect, trust, and love are important for any strong relationship. However, I think that what can maintain these traits in a relationship through the good and the bad is effective and timely communications. I think my spouse and I do quite well with this, and I definitely am a better communicator than during my first marriage. You said that he didn’t tell you that he was crying and that he has reached a point where “he doesn’t tell me anything any more”. I recommend trying to get him to open up about why he doesn’t tell you anything, which is making the two of you more distant. It is important that you listen respectfully even if there is disagreement, and you should feel free to respond in a respectful way. Your goal doesn’t need to be to solve something right away. He may just appreciate being heard.

It really sounds like both of you care a lot for the other. Hiding concerns or holding back concerns isn’t necessarily protecting the relationship. Communicate and do so with respect and care. Good luck!

Letter #: 415780
Category: Dating/Relationship

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