‘Monkey Branching’ Behaviour Is Driving Me Nuts – Help Me Love Doctor

Why not send former Kingston-resident Love Doctor your relationship queries? Use the form to submit your question(s).

Question: 

My boyfriend of two years keeps making excuses and seems too busy to see me, which is really upsetting.

My friends say that he is simply not worth it and that he probably has another woman to constantly show so little interest in me. What’s your advice?

Dunchie, Jamaica

  

Love Doctor’s Answer:

Love Doctor MontiIt sounds as though your boyfriend has started ‘monkey branching’ you, which is the unethical and unacceptable practice of preparing a new relationship while already in a partnership.

There are numerous signs to check out if ‘monkey branching’, as your friends suggest, is the reason for your man making all of these excuses to not spend time with you.

If you want to catch him out then look for the main giveaway signs of someone who pretends to be single in order to flirt.

These include using being vague about where they are and what they are up to, using his social media channels more than usual, suddenly being secretive and the biggie of either going out with his friends a lot more than he used to or claiming that he is going out with his friends.

Even if he has actually been going out with his friends, if he seems so disinterested in you then he could be utilising that time with friends to try to find your replacement for him to date.
At the end of the day, you are clearly upset with your feelings hurt. Your friends are trying to soften the blow that this relationship seems on the ropes, but you cannot let it drift any longer.

My advice is to either confront him over the phone or tell him those dreaded words of “we need to talk” and then discuss this matter face-to-face, when you have the opportunity to read his body language and will be able to determine whether he is being genuine or untruthful.

Explain to him that his recent actions have made you feel insecure and knocked your self confidence. If he has been deceitful to you it will show in his body language and/or words, if has genuine reasons for not seeing you then he will apologise and start making a concerted effort to be a loving couple.

  

If you believe from his words, either via the phone or in person, that he is simply buying time to find someone else then I urge you to start keeping him at arm’s length and avoid spending time with him.

If that is the case then your friends are absolutely right, he is not worth it if he lacks love and respect for you.

Should he wish to try to get things back on track, and that you trust him, then you need to sort out an agreed plan of action whereby you are both in control of making the relationship work. Being supportive towards each other and communicating is the key to any solid partnership.

However, should you fear the worse or he is happy to make excuses and treat you with disdain then you need to take some action. As you will probably not wish to break off all contact with him then it is up to you whether you want to remain friends with him or dump it.

Maybe keep him as a ‘screen boyfriend’ until you are ready to get back out there and find someone worthy of your genuine love, affection and attention.

However, as a ‘screen boyfriend’ you must avoid meeting him or have any physical contact. You do not deserve to have your emotions played with, and meeting in person means it can be easy to succumb to temptation.

If neither dumping him or having him as a ‘screen boyfriend’ will work, then end any drama by stopping conversations with him. Just put one word answers to his messages, he will soon get bored of that but if he has been ‘monkey branching’ you then that is what he deserves.

When he realises that he has lost your attention no doubt he will try to patch things up and want to see you. Then the choice is whether to ignore him and let him disappear from your life, or offer him an open invitation to social gatherings where he is welcome to drop by.

I know that is easier said than done but you must accept that because of his lack of his recent interest in you as a couple, then maybe the honeymoon period has ended as far as he is concerned.

  

From the information you have relayed it appears that he does not want to take things to the next level with you. Therefore your focus should be on a future with that someone special who will also long-term love and romance.

I reiterate that you must acknowledge the facts, and act according to whatever response you get from him following direct confrontation.

My advice is to focus elsewhere on finding a meaningful relationship, unless he has extremely strong reasons for not spending time with you. The good news is that Cupid can often strike when you least expect it, so a new year could mean a new you and new relationship.

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