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Thread: Advice - Initiating a Period of "Space" & NC

  1. #1
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    Advice - Initiating a Period of "Space" & NC

    Hi all,

    I'm currently 6 days into a period of "space" with LDR girlfriend of 8 months. Our relationship had been fine up until the start of last month, when she started to show signs of stress and anxiety (panic attacks) triggered by what we believe is her profession as a special needs teacher. She is also a people pleaser and struggles with letting people down - therefore keeps a very hectic social diary that has recently not included alot of time for our relationship. She had become extremely distant, going days without speaking or texting. Whilst she knows I was there for her, I also knew that leaving her to reach out when she needed to was the best i could do - rather than smother her. I never initiated contact because of this.

    On Sunday it came to ahead that she was stressing over a number of things (2 Hen parties she need to arrange and a works assessment) and stated that she had no free weekends until after Christmas (this was 12th November). As we are a LDR, weekends are our only realistic time to see one another and therefore couldn't help but take this personally. I said I was disappointed, but best we'd talk over the phone (rather than text) the next day.

    When we spoke, she broke down in tears about how stressed she was, how much she had going on with her life and how she couldn't make time for everything / everyone. Whilst I tried to be supportive, I noted that not considering our relationship / seeing one another until after Christmas wasn't really acceptable. It also felt like she wasn't wanting to be attentive as she used to be. As we talked, it became clear that her inability to manage her feelings and time was creating a sense of guilt towards me. I therefore suggested I take a step back from our relationship; which was met with sadness and regret on her part. Talking it though, I offered her "space" for a few weeks rather than a break up, which she was her preference. She had stated she felt like she needed to cancel all her plans over the next 2 weekends to focus on her. I agreed and hope she would.

    I will say I didn't want to break-up, but felt it would help her in the short term to remove the pressures of our relationship. I'm not interested in dating anyone else, nore do I want to be single.

    I now find myself in a period of self inflicted No Contact, a weird paradox as a "dumper" who offered his girlfriend space that she hadn't asked for - but we both agreed would be good for her. I want to reach out to her to see how she's doing, but don't want to interfere. I'm not sure if breaking NC early is the right thing to do, baring in mind the purpose of this time was to take one less stress away from her. I am finding NC difficult, baring in mind I didn't suggest it and have now just assumed it formed part of giving her space.

    Should I wait to hear from her, regardless of the time frame? Or should I check in with her at the end of the 2 weeks?

    Thoughts would be greatly received.

  2. #2
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    No Contact is not a good idea when you're still a couple, OP. Relationship problems are generally not solved by not communicating.

    I could understand backing off and giving her space but if she's gone days without speaking to you, she was already taking space from the relationship. She is already growing more distant from you and now will have no time for you until after Christmas. That's still several weeks away. What's got her that busy every weekend until then? How often do you usually see each other? I gather you didn't have plans to spend the holidays together.

    Being busy is part of life. It's natural that under pressure, she might not be up to chatting all the time or need some time for herself. But instead of looking to you for support, she's turning away from you and drifting. My suggestion would be to keep communication open, but let her take most of the initiative and see what she does. Observe if she is motivated to reach out. If she is not, then I think you need to revisit the idea of parting ways.

    EDIT: Same girl? [Register to see the link] If so, it seems that you've been more invested and serious than her for a while now. I'm sorry to say it, but I think you might be looking at the end of the road for you two.

  3. #3
    This sounds like a really tough situation. You mention you're long distance - how far away from each other do you live?

    Her social calendar and work pressures are building up and anyone would find that stressful. But your relationship should be a source of stress-release, reassurance and support so everything else shouldn't be prioritised over this.

    Having a time out for you both to think about what you want from this relationship and what you're prepared to give is a good idea. But no contact isn't the way to go. Communication is so important and talking with your partner shouldn't really ever be an additional stress or another thing on your/her to-do list. For sure reach out and find out how she's going, gently see what she's feeling/thinking. It'll help you to know where you stand with her.

  4. #4
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    I think you should just break up with her now. She seems too fragile to be in a long-distance relationship. And it sounds like you're kind of fed up that she doesn't have any time for you.

    If you don't want to break up, then stop torturing her with radio silence and trying to give her even worse panic attacks. Just talk to her for a few minutes every day. It doesn't take much. But you should decide whether you're in or you're out.

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  6. #5
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    Originally Posted by MissCanuck
    No Contact is not a good idea when you're still a couple, OP. Relationship problems are generally not solved by not communicating.

    I could understand backing off and giving her space but if she's gone days without speaking to you, she was already taking space from the relationship. She is already growing more distant from you and now will have no time for you until after Christmas. That's still several weeks away. What's got her that busy every weekend until then? How often do you usually see each other? I gather you didn't have plans to spend the holidays together.

    Being busy is part of life. It's natural that under pressure, she might not be up to chatting all the time or need some time for herself. But instead of looking to you for support, she's turning away from you and drifting. My suggestion would be to keep communication open, but let her take most of the initiative and see what she does. Observe if she is motivated to reach out. If she is not, then I think you need to revisit the idea of parting ways.

    EDIT: Same girl? [Register to see the link] If so, it seems that you've been more invested and serious than her for a while now. I'm sorry to say it, but I think you might be looking at the end of the road for you two.
    Thanks Miss

    I would agree, NC isn't something I expected to happen but I've always waited for her to reach out before getting in touch. Communication is key and i'll admit we've lacked that over the last month, especially on her part. We see each other every three weeks or so and had planned to meet up on 1st December to introduce her to my sister. However, that would be 5 weeks from our last visit. We hadn't discussed the holidays as she's on a trip with family, but we are both off work until January so I expected to her after.

    That's my concern, she's not looking to me for support - merely shutting me out. She's not been forthcoming in reaching out thus far and I'm not expecting that to change. The offer of "space" on my part was a compromise, rather than my original plan which was to break up all together. I didn't want to break up with her, however her lack of investment of time in the relationship was starting to strain on me. I also felt the relationship was causing her additional stress, so me stepping away would somehow help her.

    It is the same girl; and yes I believe I'm more emotionally invested in her. I think you're right, i fear it is the end of the road for us now.

  7. #6
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    Originally Posted by Leigh2015
    This sounds like a really tough situation. You mention you're long distance - how far away from each other do you live?

    Her social calendar and work pressures are building up and anyone would find that stressful. But your relationship should be a source of stress-release, reassurance and support so everything else shouldn't be prioritised over this.

    Having a time out for you both to think about what you want from this relationship and what you're prepared to give is a good idea. But no contact isn't the way to go. Communication is so important and talking with your partner shouldn't really ever be an additional stress or another thing on your/her to-do list. For sure reach out and find out how she's going, gently see what she's feeling/thinking. It'll help you to know where you stand with her.
    Hey Leigh,

    We live about 2:15hr drive away, about 130miles. It's not insurmountable, but she doesn't drive and a train journey to mine is around 3hrs for her. That said, I'm lucky enough to have my car and fuel paid for via work so I've offered to visit her more regularly. The frustration from my perspective is that we both have active social lives and finding time to visit for the whole weekend is difficult. But more concerning for me is that she's not making time for "us" nor considering the implications it has on me.

    I 100% agree, the relationship should be a release / support mechanism. I stressed this to her, as I felt it's not being prioritised as an important part of her life.

    I'm now thinking that NC isn't the way to go, as I've been all for communication (even when it's lacking on her part). She's not particularly responsive over texts and currently has a phobia of her phone which is causing her anxiety in some cases.

    I think I'm going to call her later today and, as you put it, gently see how she's feeling. Thanks

  8. #7
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    Originally Posted by DanZee
    I think you should just break up with her now. She seems too fragile to be in a long-distance relationship. And it sounds like you're kind of fed up that she doesn't have any time for you.

    If you don't want to break up, then stop torturing her with radio silence and trying to give her even worse panic attacks. Just talk to her for a few minutes every day. It doesn't take much. But you should decide whether you're in or you're out.
    Hey Danzee,

    Yes, I'm certainly fed up that she's not making any time for the relationship and it feels like an after thought. Long Distance isn't new to her, however her need to please people means she's trying to do too much.

    The radio silence is two-way, however I get what your saying. I want to be in and I'm not one to shy away from talking, however this past month I've let her come to me when she's ready because I didn't want to put additional pressure on her.

  9. #8
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    Sorry this is happening. How did you meet? How did it become or why is it a LDR? Unfortunately LDRs are stressful in themselves. It sounds like she wants to end it and is using the "busy", "confused", "stressed" exit plan.

    Is there someone else locally? Does needing "space" even make sense to you when because of the LDR you barely see each other anyway? Do not contact her. Let her reach out. But consider this to be a breakup, not temporary "space".
    Originally Posted by askltk
    LDR girlfriend of 8 months. weekends are our only realistic time to see one another. When we spoke, she broke down in tears about how stressed she was, how much she had going on with her life and how she couldn't make time for everything / everyone.

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by askltk
    Yes, I'm certainly fed up that she's not making any time for the relationship and it feels like an after thought. Long Distance isn't new to her, however her need to please people means she's trying to do too much.
    But somehow, you're not one of those people on her list.

    I think she is strongly considering ending the relationship but hasn't quite had the courage to do it yet. She seems to know intellectually that she "should" be more engaged with you, but her interest level just isn't there anymore. She might not be ready to call it a day altogether but her behaviour isn't that of someone whose heart is still in it. A woman who is really into you isn't going to want space from you, to this extent.

    That's my take on this, for what it's worth.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by MissCanuck
    But somehow, you're not one of those people on her list.

    I think she is strongly considering ending the relationship but hasn't quite had the courage to do it yet. She seems to know intellectually that she "should" be more engaged with you, but her interest level just isn't there anymore. She might not be ready to call it a day altogether but her behaviour isn't that of someone whose heart is still in it. A woman who is really into you isn't going to want space from you, to this extent.

    That's my take on this, for what it's worth.
    Thanks again Miss.

    I agree with you, I should be one of those priorities. The problem is whilst she intellectually knows she should be more engaged, emotionally she doesn't feel like she can...

    Following the advice on here, I spoke to her earlier today. It turns out that she's had an exceptionally difficult week, resulting in multiple panic attacks, a monumental row with her sister and what now seems to be an intervention from her parents and friends. From what she told me, she had a break down on Friday which resulted in her trashing a room and throwing her phone at her sister. Apparently it's bought to the surface alot of things that pre-date our relationship that has bought her negativity. The crux of it is, she's admitted she's not well mentally and has no idea how to deal with it.

    She said she's on the verge of hitting rock bottom and doesn't want to drag anyone else with her, including me. This is something she needs to her own, which I wholeheartedly agree with - the only person who can fix her is herself. She's even said that she's hasn't got a positive outlook on life


    Ultimately, we've agreed to end it now and for her to seek help. There's nothing more I can do or say to make her situation better. I feel like my actions have been the catalyst somewhat, but we both agreed that I was right first off that she needed space. The guilt weighs heavy today, but even she admitted it was something she needed to hear.
    Last edited by askltk; 11-18-2018 at 12:38 PM.

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