Is Your Boyfriend Acting Distant? How To Know When It’s Over

Updated April 8, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Many people feel insecure and worried when their boyfriends act distant and uncaring. If you’ve recently felt a chasm growing between you and your partner, it can be helpful to understand why he could be acting that way and how you tell the relationship is over. Read on to explore what to do when your boyfriend is distant and how therapy can help you work through the problems or heal after a breakup. 

Are you wondering if your relationship is over?

Why emotional distance could mean the end of a relationship

Most successful, healthy relationships are built on a foundation of communication and emotional connections. If you used to have a physical and emotional bond and healthy intimacy in your relationship, but your boyfriend has been acting distant, it could potentially signal more substantial problems. 

Discover the reason for his distance

It can be essential to avoid jumping to conclusions about why your boyfriend is distant. Talking to him directly will be the most useful and effective way to discover the reasons he could be acting indifferent in the relationship. Express your concerns and how you feel. If he shows no interest or willingness to repair the emotional intimacy between you, it may be time to consider that he isn’t engaged in the relationship, and you should let go. 

Common reasons your boyfriend may be distant;

  • He may be stressed about things in other areas of his life, like work or family, that are occupying his mind. 
  • Your boyfriend might need space to evaluate his feelings and commitment to the relationship. 
  • He could be worried about a friend or family member in trouble. 
  • Your boyfriend could be giving his time and attention to other people, romantically or not. 
  • He may feel overwhelmed if the relationship is getting serious. 

How to recognize when the relationship can’t be saved

While you may not want the relationship to end, it can be helpful to know how to recognize when it can’t be saved, and you would be better off ending it rather than continuing to feel ignored and unimportant to your partner. 

When you talk to him, he may agree and want out

If you talk to your boyfriend about your concerns, you need to be prepared for the possibility that he may agree that the relationship is strained and wants to end it. While it will hurt in the short term, ultimately, it could be better than staying in an unsatisfying relationship. 

He no longer shows any jealousy if someone flirts with you

While you certainly don’t want your boyfriend to exhibit overly jealous behavior, it can be concerning if he no longer shows any interest or jealousy when other people demonstrate a romantic or sexual interest in you.

He makes time for his friends, but not for you

If he seems to make time for his friends but consistently lets time with you take a lower priority, it may be time to recognize that he doesn’t consider the relationship as important as his other activities. 

Other aspects of his personality have changed, and you don’t know him anymore

You may notice that being distant isn’t the only facet of his behavior that’s changed. If he’s acting differently, he may be trying to reshape who he is or focusing on something he hasn’t told you about, such as fitting in with a new group of friends. 

He has no interest in fixing issues between you

If you repeatedly try to reconnect and he doesn’t seem engaged in fixing the relationship, knowing when it’s time to let go can be helpful. Successful romantic connections require active effort from both partners, and his disengagement could be a sign that you’re in a one-sided relationship

“Some couples become so exhausted by fighting that they simply stop, but that doesn’t mean that all is well—far from it. In these cases, they often stop sharing things with each other altogether, and have zero ability to bring up any sort of disagreement because they know that it will just spiral out of control.” — Psychology Today

His behavior has become mean

You may notice that your boyfriend acts mean or actively tries to hurt your feelings. If that behavior is out of character for him and you haven’t done anything to upset him directly, he may be intentionally trying to push you away. 

He doesn’t include you in his future plans

If he talks about his future plans and none of them include you, it could indicate that he’s already disengaged from the relationship. Building a healthy future together can be extremely difficult when you don’t feel like he sees you as part of his life.

You don’t talk about important things—or much of anything

While you may have previously had healthy physical and emotional intimacy in your relationship, things might feel strained recently. You don’t seem to talk about essential experiences or even your day-to-day lives anymore. You may have also noticed that your sex life has faded, or it may be the only part of your relationship that still works. 

He doesn’t show his love anymore

Your boyfriend may have had unique ways to express himself and show his love, but he doesn’t seem to do those things anymore. Some men may shut down emotionally when stressed out, but his behavior seems to occur even when he isn’t stressed. 

It feels like he wants you to break up with him

His behavior may make you feel that your boyfriend wants you to break up with him, taking the responsibility for ending the relationship off his shoulders. Sabotaging the relationship may seem like an easier way to end things than being honest. 

Other signs the relationship isn’t working

  • Interacting with him and the relationship generally makes you feel exhausted. 
  • You’re always the one who apologizes after conflicts and the only one who makes an effort to fix things. 
  • It doesn’t feel like you share a meaningful emotional connection. 
  • Your boyfriend never makes sacrifices to meet your needs. 
  • You don’t spend time together. 
  • You don’t feel like a priority in this life, and he doesn’t seem to value time with you. 
  • Your major values and belief systems don’t align. 
  • You want different things in life. 
  • You don’t like who you are around him.

Are you wondering if your relationship is over?

Healthy ways to end a relationship

Even when things haven’t been good between you, ending a relationship can be difficult and painful. Try these tips for breaking up without causing more pain than necessary. 

  • Have a face-to-face conversation. Don’t break up with someone over text. 
  • Be honest about what isn’t working in the relationship, but don’t be overly detailed. 
  • Avoid responding to any arguments he may make. 
  • Make a clean break and go no-contact for a while to give you both time to adjust. 
  • Understand and acknowledge that the breakup may cause pain on both sides. 
  • Don’t shame or blame your boyfriend for things going wrong. 
  • Allow yourself the time and space to grieve the breakup. 

How therapy can help you move on after a breakup

If you and your boyfriend can’t make the relationship work, consider working with a licensed relationship therapist online through a virtual therapy platform like Regain. Therapy can help you heal after the breakup and develop the relationship and communication skills to improve things with your next boyfriend. Parents or guardians seeking support for their kids through the turbulent teen dating years can find online therapy for kids from 12 to 19 at TeenCounseling. 

Many people think finding a good therapist is complicated, but that idea may be centered around finding an in-person mental healthcare provider. Studies show that online and in-person therapy provide similar outcomes. Teletherapy platforms offer access to a much more comprehensive selection of licensed therapists, making it easier for you to find someone who makes you feel comfortable and works well with your personality and needs. If you think couples therapy could save the relationship and your boyfriend is willing to try, studies show that online and in-person couples therapy are also equally effective


It can be challenging to know what to do when your boyfriend is acting distant, and you aren’t sure the relationship can be saved. The information in this article may offer insight into reasons your boyfriend may be remote, how to know when the relationship is over, and how therapy can help you heal after a breakup.

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