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AIBU?

To think hot and cold behaviour could drive a person mad?

40 replies

rockandcold · 27/01/2024 11:34

I've been with my boyfriend for 4 months. But since we met he is extremely hot and cold.

He's not very affectionate, I think that's just his personality though. He is extremely stoic and does not share his feelings easily. This leaves me feeling confused and unsure where I stand a lot of the time.

However, I'm really struggling with his hot and cold behaviour. One day he will be extremely hot, can't wait to see me, taking me out and treating me, joking and laughing with me, complimenting me, chatting about the future.

Then the next 2-3 days he will be very dry with me (over text - always fine in person), he will take hours to respond and won't really engage in the conversation even though he is online.

We are exclusive and he promises there is no one else in the picture. He's also friends with a family member of mine so definitely no girlfriend/wife.

During a cold spell I will then start to pull back, which is when he starts to heat up again. It's extremely exhausting but I really have feelings for him so finding it difficult to walk away.

Whenever I bring it up to him he says he doesn't understand and can I give him examples, he's busy etc. So then I feel a bit crazy and like it's in my head. He tells me to 'chill out' and 'relax'.

Sometimes our chats are so fun and then other days they are so strained and formal (this morning for example). I've actually taken to having to move our chat in to a locked folder on WhatsApp that I only check at certain intervals of the day as I'm so disappointed when I don't hear from him.

Here's our chat from this morning - so formal and strained -

Him - Morning 😁

Me - Morning, how’s things?

Him - All good needed that sleep. How was ur night?

Me - It was fine, I just watched griselda and had a few wines. Just heading out with dogs

Me - are you going a hill walk?

Him - Nah far too windy for it this weekend

Me - Yeah wouldn’t want you to get blown away would we

That was four hours ago and no response but he's been online. I just feel sick to my stomach when it goes like this but I can't bring it up again as it will just push him away further.

AIBU to think this chat was off? Is it all in my head?

OP posts:
rockandcold · 27/01/2024 12:35

Bump

OP posts:
FetchezLaVache · 27/01/2024 12:40

Cut your losses. It shouldn't be this hard only 4 months in. He's clearly training you to be grateful for crumbs of attention and affection. I don't think it'll get any better.

HippyCritical · 27/01/2024 13:09

What @FetchezLaVache said.

This is a pattern of behaviour and it will get worse if you stay in a relationship with him.

Do not hang on thinking the next good time will be the last bad time because it won't, the good times are a tool that he uses to keep you where he wants you so he can be himself during the bad times.

He wants you doubting yourself, wondering what you've done wrong, wondering what you can do now to make him happy again. There's nothing you can do to change his behaviour, he is fully in control of it.

I strongly recommend you get out now before you lose any more of yourself Flowers

ColdButSunny · 27/01/2024 13:13

In general I think hot and cold is a bad sign.

But I can't really see anything wrong with the conversation you posted?

UnctuousUnicorns · 27/01/2024 13:23

Perhaps he's just not very effusive in print or text? 🤷‍♀️ Sometimes text conversations with my DH (whom I've been with over 28 years) are like communicating with a robot. My dad's similar. They're both fine face to face. I think some men (maybe some women too) just don't do "flowery" conversations via text. I'd concern myself more with how he is in person.

marshmallowfinder · 27/01/2024 13:23

I completely disagree and think you're making way too much of this. He sounds perfectly nice and straightforward. Just busy doing other things. I would absolutely loathe to have to be in contact with my partner every few hours, especially if they can see I'm online! It sounds like you're incredibly clingy tbh. Don't overthink it.

ComtesseDeSpair · 27/01/2024 13:25

Some people love a good old game of message badminton; others are less good at it. I’m one of the latter and would struggle to be with someone who was the former. I’m sure I appear hot and cold at times: some days I’ll have a burst of energy and send / respond to a few messages, often at length; other days I’m just almost over overwhelmed by the prospect of having to engage and think “fuck it.” It doesn’t reflect how I actually feel about any of my friends. In a lot of ways it’s bizarre that in under two decades, we’ve reached a point where we expect to be in almost constant communication with people just because we can be, regardless of how they feel about it.

If the “hot and cold” is confined to message conversations and in person he’s eager to see you and doing all the right things, perhaps you need to reevaluate your approach to messaging.

bloodyeffinnora · 27/01/2024 13:28

yeh he's left your conversation hanging on purpose ( especially as he's still online).
You could try mirroring his style/amount of messaging, but then you're just playing games. I would just get rid of him as he doesn't suit you.

Ikeawarrior · 27/01/2024 13:35

I don't really see the issue with the conversation that you've posted. What kind of conversation would you like instead? It's hard to tell from what you've posted what's wrong. Is it that he's not always super excited to see you and talk to you?

There is nothing wrong with walking away if he isn't giving you want you want and need. But I think you need to have a clear idea of what you want and need.

UnctuousUnicorns · 27/01/2024 13:37

"yeh he's left your conversation hanging on purpose ( especially as he's still online)"

Dear me, I regularly "chat" via Messenger with someone in the States. We frequently leave conversations mid air if one of us gets called away or distracted, or say, I fall asleep because it's quarter to one in the morning here. The chat often doesn't resume for days or even weeks, neither of us are offended or bothered.

I think some people really do need to stop treating text conversations as if they're just the same as face to face talking - they're really not. If someone walked away from me mid sentence, or put the phone on me abruptly without saying "Bye", I'd have a problem. But not texting or online messaging. 🤷‍♀️

KreedKafer · 27/01/2024 13:42

I think the chat you’ve shared is perfectly normal and fine. He doesn’t have any more news to share. You don’t need to make small talk with your partner, surely? I would message someone if I had something I wanted to tell them or ask them, or if I’d seen something I knew they would find funny or something like that. He sent you a good morning and a smile, which doesn’t seem ‘cold’ to me at all. His responses aren’t cold or unpleasant. He just doesn’t have anything he feels he needs to say. Before my DP and lived together, we would really not have texted each other with small talky things like “what you doing today”.

I always find it remarkable on Mumsnet when people immediately tell posters that a man isn’t interested or is ‘pulling back’ because he doesn’t text in the same style that they do. I’m a woman and I would have literally nothing to say in response to your last message in that exchange you shared, so I probably wouldn’t have replied either. It wouldn’t mean I wasn’t interested.

BoohooWoohoo · 27/01/2024 13:46

Things shouldn’t be this hard. It sounds like the best case scenario is that you’re incompatible and the worst case scenario is that he uses hot and cold behaviour to control. Not talking to you for a few hours isn’t hot and cold behaviour though. Life goes on and it’s ok for text messages to be different to phone calls or face to face in that you don’t have to say you’re going off to do ABC. If someone doesn’t reply for a few minutes then I assume that they are busy and get on with the rest of my day.

BoohooWoohoo · 27/01/2024 13:48

If you want to him to end chats with a bye or whatever then tell him. You’re getting to know each other and this kind of little thing is ok to share.

UnctuousUnicorns · 27/01/2024 13:49

Sample text convo with my DH:

Me: Blah blah Blah etc.
DH: Yeah.
Me: Bleh bleh bleh bleh etc?
DH: Will do.
Me: Blah blah blah etc.
DH: 👍

(End of conversation)

You get the picture. 😅

Tatumm · 27/01/2024 13:51

It’s early days and perhaps you are fundamentally incompatible. Or maybe he’s less keen or has more in his life. I think it would be helpful to talk about it without ascribing any blame - be factual and really clear about what your communication expectations are. Be prepared to end things if he isn’t able to meet them.

redheadsaregreat · 27/01/2024 13:57

bloodyeffinnora · 27/01/2024 13:28

yeh he's left your conversation hanging on purpose ( especially as he's still online).
You could try mirroring his style/amount of messaging, but then you're just playing games. I would just get rid of him as he doesn't suit you.

I think it's really normal for text conversations to just end. Especially with men who seem to often just respond when there's something to say. I'm a woman and I do this every day. Most of my chats end with one or other of us just stopping.

He started the chat
He used cute emoji
He asked how OP is

Absolutely nothing in this conversation seems off to me at all.

redheadsaregreat · 27/01/2024 13:59

OP the chat isn't formal or restrained. He messaged you first and used a cute emoji. How is this not friendly and light?

THisbackwithavengeance · 27/01/2024 14:06

Can I be frank?

You sound like very, very hard work OP.

I have read the text exchange you post several times trying to understand exactly what you object to. It sounds pretty normal to me, couldn't see any red flags or coldness; I'm really not sure why you have described him as blowing hot & cold?

I think a lot of women are sabotaging their own relationships with the constant microanalysis of every word and text. At 4 months in, you are at the very start of your journey and it shouldn't be this hard.

rockandcold · 27/01/2024 14:07

THisbackwithavengeance · 27/01/2024 14:06

Can I be frank?

You sound like very, very hard work OP.

I have read the text exchange you post several times trying to understand exactly what you object to. It sounds pretty normal to me, couldn't see any red flags or coldness; I'm really not sure why you have described him as blowing hot & cold?

I think a lot of women are sabotaging their own relationships with the constant microanalysis of every word and text. At 4 months in, you are at the very start of your journey and it shouldn't be this hard.

God maybe I am. I do have a tendency to overanalyse and I worry if we're not having constant fun bantery texts that he will lose interest in me.

Maybe I need to take a step back and look at my own behaviour and issues. I'm glad I posted and got some fair opinions.

OP posts:
HippyCritical · 27/01/2024 14:15

Is it just about the messaging though @rockandcold ? That message might seem okay to many of us but his behaviour in your whole relationship (not just texting) is making you feel confused, unsure, exhausted, crazy, sick.

Hot and cold behaviour is designed to have you doubting yourself. Rather than discuss what you're concerned about he tells you to chill out and relax.

Please be careful about how much you share with him about feeling anxious, it will be more for him to use against you when he wants you to feel even worse.

I really hope I'm wrong but I recognise the pattern of behaviour all too well. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time Flowers

WavingCatsandDogs · 27/01/2024 14:27

Stop analysing. I know it's hard as I do this too.

You seem to be expecting this to fail and almost self sabotaging.

You say he's fine in person, it's the texts. Is that right? Is he lovely when you see him?

Texts are notoriously difficult. Accept he's not going to gush during texts, try and step back and enjoy it for what it is.

WavingCatsandDogs · 27/01/2024 14:29

It looks like you left the chat hanging after the blown away comment?

Bunnyhair · 27/01/2024 14:35

I don’t think this sounds hot and cold. The text message exchange sounded utterly normal to me. Being online doesn’t mean someone is available for conversation, and not everyone fancies having long open-ended text chats. If you say he’s fine in person, and the texts you quoted are an example of his being ‘cold’ then I think you are very insecure and reading a lot into this.

UnctuousUnicorns · 27/01/2024 14:41

rockandcold · 27/01/2024 14:07

God maybe I am. I do have a tendency to overanalyse and I worry if we're not having constant fun bantery texts that he will lose interest in me.

Maybe I need to take a step back and look at my own behaviour and issues. I'm glad I posted and got some fair opinions.

I think those of us who are old enough to remember the days before mobile phones became ubiquitous, are more relaxed about this sort of thing. Nearly thirty years ago, I was working in London, staying in clients' homes. I didn't have a mobile phone, I couldn't just nip out to a phone box to chat to my then boyfriend (now DH), and I certainly couldn't use my client's phone to do so! So it was several days before we chatted, usually on a day off. I really don't understand, or envy, this constant "need" to be in touch every minute of the day.

Bunnyhair · 27/01/2024 14:45

HippyCritical · 27/01/2024 14:15

Is it just about the messaging though @rockandcold ? That message might seem okay to many of us but his behaviour in your whole relationship (not just texting) is making you feel confused, unsure, exhausted, crazy, sick.

Hot and cold behaviour is designed to have you doubting yourself. Rather than discuss what you're concerned about he tells you to chill out and relax.

Please be careful about how much you share with him about feeling anxious, it will be more for him to use against you when he wants you to feel even worse.

I really hope I'm wrong but I recognise the pattern of behaviour all too well. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time Flowers

I don’t agree with this at all. The OP may feel anxious because he’s not communicating the way she wants him to, but that doesn’t mean (a) her way of communicating is the only right one (b) that it is his intention for her to feel anxious.

It may mean they are not compatible in terms of need for contact and availability, particularly so early on in a relationship. She needs the reassurance of frequent contact and quick responses, and he doesn’t need that from her and may feel a bit pressured and controlled if every time he’s online she assumes he’s available for chats, and he can’t do anything else for fear she’ll interpret that as ignoring her or playing games. Sometimes people are doing other stuff.

I find this sort of thinking quite paranoid and codependent.

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