Hot and Cold Boyfriend
Q: My boyfriend wanted to see me every day during the summer. He called or texted me daily, even calling me from work to say he loved me. But when I left for college he changed. He started being distant from me. He would say he was tired or make some other excuse. When I would come home on weekends, he would be busy or make some other excuse. I don't know what to do. When we talk, he says he wants to be together but he is scared the relationship is getting too serious. I tell him that I am not in a hurry either, that everything is fine. Then he starts all over again. The other day he looked at my text messages but he would not let me look at his. Could there be another girl? He says no but he has changed. What do I do? -- Lacey, 19
Dr. Susan: When the dating process begins, whether in high school or in the college years, things happen quickly. Feelings of closeness flare up, and just as readily cool down when another interesting love interest appears. It's rarely automatic for a high school romance to continue without change when one partner goes off to college. Your intuition about your boyfriend's sudden change is accurate. He's holding back and making all kinds of excuses why he can't see you, whereas before he couldn't get enough of you. The line "this is getting too serious" is a common code phrase meaning, "no thanks, I need to be free to date others now." You've got a very large field of opportunity at your college to meet new guys, and if I were you, I'd join as many groups as you have time for. You are going to have to forget your old boyfriend sooner or later, as he's simply not telling you the whole truth about his feelings and his actions.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.