Suzanne writes, Dear Rachel, My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years and live together most of the time. However the time that he doesn’t stay at my house, he is very distant and closed off emotionally. It’s become hard for me to cope with the constant “push me away” then “pull me close” behavior. Any relationship advice on what I can say to him?

Feeling safe and secure is fundamental to a healthy relationship. The emotional roller coaster that you feel is understandable. I would confront him about how his behavior is making you feel. And I advise the following:

· Ask him: Is there something bothering or confusing you about our relationship?

· Your actions make me feel that you are ambivalent about our relationship. Specifically, when you spend time away, it creates anxiety and affects me negatively because I sense you are pulling away from me.

· I don’t want to live with this emotional distance. I want to consistently feel close, secure and comfortable in our relationship. Are you open to working on this with me? If so, what do you suggest?

It is vital that you set a tone of what you will and will not tolerate and stick with it. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but people treat you the way you allow them to. If you start setting boundaries with him you may be pleased to see him accommodate your needs. If his behavior does not shift, you may have to make hard decisions. Unless you are willing to tolerate your current situation, it may be time to move on.

Thank you, Suzanne for sending in your question.

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