What Is Your Relationship Status?

What’s going on between the two of you—are you hotter than ever or cooling down at a rapid pace? Don’t let it go on too long. Here’s how to get the answers you need.

By Maryann Hammers

n the beginning, he wooed and pursued, wined and dined, complimented and cuddled you. No wonder you fell for him.

But now his phone calls have diminished from a couple times a day to one or two a week. He used to fit you into his busy schedule; now you’re lucky to see him on a Saturday night. And
“Wait a minute—he chased me all over town for weeks, and now that I’m interested, he’s pulling back.”
when you get together, he seems standoffish and distant.

“I hate it when men use avoidance tactics, the silent treatment, or sudden unavailability as a way of communicating they’re not as interested as they were,” says Kathy, a Hagerstown, Maryland, marketing consultant. “I’m left wondering what they’re thinking and feeling, what I might have done wrong, and what to expect.”

Kathy is not alone in her bewilderment. “This happens to me all the time, and it still throws me for a loop,” says Kim, a Charlotte, North Carolina stockbroker. “It’s infuriating because it’s like, Wait a minute — he chased me all over town for weeks, and now that I’m interested, he’s pulling back.

If your man has cooled toward you and you’re wondering why, we have some answers.

It Never Really Was””
“I later realized my boyfriend never thought our relationship was as great as I thought it was,” Kathy says.

Women commonly make that mistake, says Lynn Turner, an Alexandria, VA, psychotherapist who leads seminars on relationships. “Some women say a relationship is going great, but they are unaware of what’s happening for the guy.”

The Chemistry Faded””
Lust is wonderful fun. But it also gets in the way of reason.

“Chemistry confuses the normal selection process,” Turner explains. “While chemistry is
This revelation does not happen overnight.
flowing, each partner sees only the best in the other. But chemistry does not last. Life’s predicaments emerge, and one of the partners begins to see the other as a real person.”

He Freaked””
Sometimes guys get scared.

“I had a client who always backed away from relationships after three months. He had 10 years of three-month relationships,” Turner says. “Relationships are hard work. Men like this may be afraid of that work, or their fear may come from past experiences where relationships were painful or abandoning.”

And it doesn’t help his fear factor if the woman starts to be demanding or smothering.

It Was A Bad Fit””
Maybe he decided that you and he are simply not meant for each other.

“This revelation does not happen overnight. Guys need to think this stuff out,” says Anthony, a Los Angeles sales manager. “I recently dated a girl for about three months. Every morning when the alarm clock went off, she pissed and moaned. My interpretation: ‘If I marry this chick, she will quit working the day after the ceremony and want a bigger house and new BMW.’ That turned me off.”

So what can you do when a relationship begins to fizzle? You can pack up your things and move on. You can try to ride it out in hopes that his interest in you will perk up.

But your best bet, Turner says, is to ask him what’s going on.

“Someone who gives an honest, non-fudging answer is someone worth putting your energy into,” she says. “The answer to lasting relationships is communication and being direct, honest, and vulnerable.”

Maryann Hammers is a freelance writer.
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