When Your Boyfriend Is Stressed and Distant

Written by: Shreya Manerkar – MA (Clinical Psychology)

Last updated date : March 02, 2023

Sharon is in a loving committed relationship. Things have been going great between her and her boyfriend. However, for the last few weeks, she has seen him act differently. She decides to google some information on, “how to comfort your boyfriend when he is stressed and distant”. Let us see what she finds out.

With the help of this article, we will discuss what is stress and how it can affect a relationship. We will also clear your doubts about why your boyfriend is stressed and distant. Finally, we will elaborate on ways in which you can comfort your boyfriend.

Let us start by defining some key terms:

  • Stress – In simple words, stress can cause emotional or physical strain on a person. This means that people find it hard to deal with difficult situations.
  • Being distant When a person is not behaving in the same way that they usually do. They are unable to focus on what they are doing because they are busy thinking of other things.

“Very practical suggestions” Peter

95 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use
$9.00 $12.00

25% discount


Chapter 1:

How Does Stress Affect Relationships?

People tend to hide their stress from others because they feel others can’t help them. When you see that your boyfriend is stressed and distant, it can be difficult to understand what is wrong. This is because you deeply care for your boyfriend and want to comfort him. Since they are distant it becomes difficult to provide support.

Worrying about your partner’s stress can also stress you out. When people are undergoing stress, they usually feel irritated. As a result of this, couples may get into arguments and misunderstandings.

Chapter 2:

What to Do When Your Boyfriend Is Stressed and Distant?

Life can be extremely stressful. Some days go by like a breeze, while other days can be extremely challenging. People cope with stress in different ways. They drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, avoid socializing, binge eat, or do not eat at all.

When someone close to us, like our boyfriend, is stressed and distant, it affects us as well. This is because they are an important part of your life. Here are some ways you can understand what to do when dealing with such a sensitive situation.

Communicate with Your Boyfriend

The best way to help your boyfriend is to have open and honest communication. A person who is experiencing stress usually does not want any advice. He needs a listening ear that understands him and validates his feelings.

When you communicate with your boyfriend, you may feel the need to “fix things”. However, being a good listener is important. Remember, just because your boyfriend is stressed and distant doesn’t mean he is not capable of handling the situation. All of us are different and handle stress differently. Hence, listen without judgment and provide support.

Show Care and Concern

When you see that your boyfriend is undergoing a stressful situation, you want to solve his problems. He may not want to discuss the reason for his stress. Therefore, it is important to show that you care for them in different ways.

You can make their favorite meal, clean up their workspace or rearrange their wardrobe. Another great idea is to pamper them by planning a shopping trip, going to a movie, or a relaxing spa.

Learn His Signs of Stress

Everyone reacts to stress differently and therefore it is important to recognize how his behavior changes. This will help you comfort your boyfriend when he is stressed and distant. Here are some things you can observe:

  • Change in eating habits
  • Difficulty focusing on work
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Changing in sleeping pattern
  • Irritation or anger.

Stay Strong for Your Partner

If you want to comfort your boyfriend during a difficult time, take care of yourself. We have all heard this announcement in an airplane “wear your oxygen mask before assisting others”.

This means that you need to take care of yourself before taking care of your partner. So, even if your partner is undergoing a tough time, you still need to take care of yourself. A good way to focus on yourself is to exercise, do yoga and meditate.

It may seem like a good idea to leave everything and be with your boyfriend. However, this is unhealthy for you and your partner.

Encourage Him to Socialize

Even though you may be his major support system, it is important not to be too dependent on each other. This extreme dependency is unhealthy for both of you. When your boyfriend is stressed and distant, he may avoid socializing. Not meeting people can make the stress worse.

Hence, as a partner, you must encourage him to go meet his friends and socialize with others. You should also encourage him to exercise, meditate and do yoga. Apart from you, your boyfriend needs to have his comfort zone and safe space.

Chapter 3:

How to Comfort Your Boyfriend?

When your boyfriend is stressed and distant, your first instinct will be to fix the problem. However, fixing the problem may not always be the solution. However, you can comfort your boyfriend when he is undergoing a tough situation. Here are some simple tips that you can use to provide support to your partner.

  • Ask him how you can help him
  • Tell him he is not alone
  • If he likes physical touch, hug him or put your hand around his shoulder
  • Encourage him to vent out his feelings
  • Pamper him with his favorite meal, chocolate, or a soothing tea
  • Spend time doing things that both of you enjoy
  • If possible, go on a short relaxing vacation
  • Do some form of exercise together. Join a fitness or dance class
  • If you don’t stay together, you can send a simple, meaningful, and caring message showing your support
  • Encourage him to talk about his problem and ask him questions in a non-threatening way
  • Keep your phones aside and spend distraction-free time together.

When Should You Seek Help?

When we see people close to us going through a tough time, it can make things difficult for us as well. It is even more challenging when it is your boyfriend.

Sometimes, you may feel helpless when you can’t change the situation. At other times, you try to take control of the situation and fix it. Irrespective of the outlook you choose, your boyfriend may see the situation differently. Therefore, if things don’t change, you can speak to a psychologist or enroll in our self-help course Low self-esteem, which will give your boyfriend the confidence  to deal with challenging situations.


"Very practical suggestions" Peter

95 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount