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What to do when my boyfriend is doubting our future

Published on June 12, 2014 by sophie94

Me and my boyfriend have been dating for 18months now. At first it was long distance as he is South African I am from the UK. Then I went to live there for three months and he was returning to Dublin for the summer for cricket. We were going to build our life together and remain in Dublin after the summer. Before I even got to joining him there, he said he needed space and time to think what he wants. He doesn't know if he can see a future between us, he will admit our relationship is great, cant fault it and doesn't want me to change how I am or what I do. Currently we are broken up and we are sort of speaking but I just don't understand how can he not know if he sees us together after all these plans we have made?? What am I suppose to do? Is there anyway to make it better/easier for him to feel safe and secure with me again?


Hello Sophie,

I certainly understand the pain and confusion you're feeling about your boyfriend not knowing if he sees a future with you. You know you want to be with him and you can't understand why he doesn't feel the same. And after all the time, energy and emotion you've given to him this must feel completely awful. I'm happy to offer you two things to think about. And before you even read them I'm going to tell you they're both hard to do. They are both very important and helpful and will ultimately get you to a healthy and happy relationship. I also need to tell you they both require you to brave because you're going to need to act differently then you've probably done in the past.

First - You asked what you could do to make it better/easier for him to feel safe and secure with you again. I'm curious, did he say he doesn't feel safe and secure with you? Do you really know what his concerns are? This is the place to begin in your conversation with him.

And here's the beginning of the 'BRAVE part.' Listen to learn (only ask questions about how he feels and what he thinks) when you ask him what his concerns are. I know it's really hard to listen and not want to jump in and explain/adjust/argue with what he says because it's probably different then the way you are thinking and feeling. Having a conversation with him in this manner is the only way you'll truly know what's going on with him.

Second - Beginning of BRAVE part 2. It's important to look at your part in how this could happen. Did you clearly know what your expectations and boundaries were around this relationship? Did you clearly explain them to your boyfriend? Did you understand what his expectations and boundaries are? We often go into relationships without doing this and then all of a sudden boundaries and expectations come up that were never discussed and the relationship doesn't match them.

As I mentioned I understand how hard both of these suggestions are and because I understand you really want things to be different these are some steps to get you there.

I'd be happy to help you come up with a plan and then practice what you're going to say so you'll feel comfortable, confident and BRAVE going through these steps.

Let me know if you'd like my help through my email -

Wishing you all the best,

Christine Your Tango Expert

Dear Sophie, This is a tough situation and I can hear how much you care about your boyfriend. I was in a long distance situation for eight months prior to moving in with my now husband and it is very challenging and doable. I would agree with Christine and I'd also say that it is good that you both are looking at this situation fully as it is not something to jump into, especially with new countries and cultures involved. When I finally moved to Switzerland 2 years ago we had talked about, money, family, housework, travel, etc to be sure everything was up and on the table so there were very few surprises. Always adjustments to make, lots of them, when in a new country, but we discussed ALOT. The other thing I would offer is asking him what his concerns are and then being a big bucket to just listen and hear him. Don't argue, don't defend, just listen. And honestly, you DO want someone who is willing to be all in and 100% with you. If there is a glimmer of a doubt, unless spoken about, it may not be the best for you. I know that is probably not what you want to hear, but he has to know that you are the partner he wants to have by his side. Honor yourself, and know your self worth. The other thing I'd offer is to keep your thoughts positive, such as keeping a mantra like - We are great together. The power of the mind is mights. I know this is rough and thanks for reaching out. I hope this helps! Coach Suzanne Muller


Your boyfriend says he needs space to think about what he wants. It does not necessarily mean there is something about you that he doesn't want. Perhaps you need to have him clarify that. From what you wrote, it sounds to me like he wouldn't change anything about you, so it's not personal. It might feel personal because it involves you, but sometimes people get cold feet about the commitment they are considering and what that means to them. Sometimes they are doubting themselves and whether they are ready to meet the expectations that the commitment implies.

We all want to believe that there is only one "right" person for us and that when we meet them we will know it without a doubt, but for many people it's not like that. Timing can play a big part in whether we are ready to take the next step with that wonderful person that has showed up in our lives. If he needs space, he needs space. You can certainly ask him what are some of the fears and doubts he is having. If he is interested in working through them, I can help with EFT tapping (Emotional Freedom Techniques).

I understand how hard it can be when someone is not sure if they want to move forward in a relationship (when you are sure you want to) and from my experience in working with many people I recommend the following:

  1. Once you believe you have been honest about your love for him to him and have fully communicated that, then

  2. Let him have his space, usually men or women do not like to be crowded if they are deciding.

  3. Take this time to focus on you and love yourself deeper.

  4. Realize that if he can not commit to a great relationship with you, that is his issue and you should move on in your life. You deserve that.

I know I have made it successfully through this journey of self-love. Relationships are our biggest teachers!

I have created meditation CDs The Healing Journey Within: Meditations For Abundance and Love, Volumes I and II to help anyone on the journey of taking care of themselves and loving themselves (see link below). I also have a new book coming out in a few months: In Love With Me: The Girls Guide to Self-Love and Relationships. The meditation link is below. It is a great resource for anyone who wants to have healthier relationships because it all begins with us!

I wish you all the very best success!

Shannon Rios Paulsen, Life Coach