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Thread: what to do while my boyfriend needs "time"? (sorry if duplicate)

  1. #11
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    This is what I can't help but see here. By which I mean not only obvious differences, but that he is, right now, at a stage in life where he deals with emotional conflict by imploding, going distant, hoping clarity comes when the dust settles as opposed to settling the dust himself. Not uncommon in a man of his age—I was very much there, at that age—but I think it's really worth looking at this moment with clear eyes.

    I'd give it another day or so, but don't bend too far and don't tread too far down that path where you're patiently teaching him how to "man up" during these moments. Never goes well, that, for either party.

    I'm really sorry about all this. Know it hurts, know it's hard.

    Thank you for the insight from a man's perspective. Would you say my "no-contact" perspective is hurting the situation more than helping? I feel as though I'm not ready to talk to him, but I am unsure who will "cave" first and initiate the next step in this situation..

  2. #12
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    It has nothing to do with who will "cave". Instead, no contact gives him the chance to experience life without you in it. He may find there's a huge void where you used to be, a void he dislikes and will want to resolve with you. Or he may find he doesn't miss you at all...OR, you may find you don't miss him.

    He can't figure any of that out if you don't go away.

    Give him space. For real.

  3. #13
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    It has nothing to do with who will "cave". Instead, no contact gives him the chance to experience life without you in it. He may find there's a huge void where you used to be, a void he dislikes and will want to resolve with you. Or he may find he doesn't miss you at all...OR, you may find you don't miss him.

    He can't figure any of that out if you don't go away.

    Give him space. For real.
    Thank you for answering. I guess my dilemma comes with, how long do I go away? I know there is no real answer to that.. I feel like I'm just running in circles in my mind on the best course of action.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by margotann3
    Thank you for answering. I guess my dilemma comes with, how long do I go away? I know there is no real answer to that.. I feel like I'm just running in circles in my mind on the best course of action.
    In a perfect world, you prove to the both of yourselves that you can handle time apart, as well as the unknown. I know it's never pleasant to feel like you are left hanging. I suppose it's a choice on how you want to view it.

    Two things are going on and only you two know the answer. He's either using this time to break up with you slowly and get accustomed to your absence. . .which is really unfair. Or, his intentions are to reconcile with the better understanding of himself and the relationship.

    Personally, there have been times I could handle the time apart and have used to it my advantage.
    Having said that, there was that time I felt like I die over the anxiety and panic I felt in his absence.

    Looking back, these experiences were entirely different and entirely different people. One I trusted, the other I did not.

    I one case I trusted myself and what I could handle. The other time, not so much.

    In the end, I think it's entirely fair to place an end date on the waiting/space plan. Not just a couple days but a week or more. If there is still no clarity after that amount of time, you pretty much have your answer anyway.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    Am going through my own version of this:

    Have concluded that what he does or needs is secondary to my needs, as it should be. If I find I need or want to date, then I will. If I find that I don't, then I won't. Not because of him, but because I am doing what I want to do.

    There is no law that says when single we must be in pursuit of a relationship, a dating partner, or a roll in the hay. If its a dated social event, and I am not in a dating posture and leaving my man/ex in his own space, I will grab a friend or go alone. Lots to gain from those options.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I like IAmFCA's take, far more than trying to harness some "man's perspective" out of me.

    I can tell you that, at right around 26, I hit the existential skids pretty hard. Was in a good relationship at the time, with a woman I loved and who loved me. She probably had more understanding and compassion for what I was going through than I did—and that, that self-understanding and self-compassion, was what I was seeking. I hoped it would come in a week, or two, or a month. It took a lot longer, much longer. What I just articulated pretty clearly I was nowhere near able to articulate then.

    She handled all that with such grace. She waited, patiently, doing her thing, finding comfort in that understanding and compassion. And then she stopped waiting, understanding herself, her needs, tapping into her self-compassion. We kind of faded out, softly, crushingly. We ended up getting back together after a few months apart, and had a pretty great year, but whatever it was in my that needed untangling just needed more time. There was no person, and no amount of love, that could speed that up. She knew all that before I did.

    But that's just me. You're you, he's him.

    I don't think this is about "contact" vs "no contact," but just holding this space for as long as you can, authentically. If my girlfriend surprised me tonight by saying she needed space to "see where she stands" I'm sure I'd be devastated. I'm also pretty sure I'd give her that space without looking to fill it—with her or with another person—for as long as I could. I'd do that not just for her, but for me—an extension of the same vulnerability I try to extend her every day.

    There would be some kind of limit to it, of course. But my spirit would tell me when that was, and I'm pretty tuned into my own spirit, even when it's pushing me to make a choice I dread having to make. So make this a time to listen to yours, just as he's listening to his, best he can.

  8. #17
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I like IAmFCA's take, far more than trying to harness some "man's perspective" out of me.

    I can tell you that, at right around 26, I hit the existential skids pretty hard. Was in a good relationship at the time, with a woman I loved and who loved me. She probably had more understanding and compassion for what I was going through than I did—and that, that self-understanding and self-compassion, was what I was seeking. I hoped it would come in a week, or two, or a month. It took a lot longer, much longer. What I just articulated pretty clearly I was nowhere near able to articulate then.

    She handled all that with such grace. She waited, patiently, doing her thing, finding comfort in that understanding and compassion. And then she stopped waiting, understanding herself, her needs, tapping into her self-compassion. We kind of faded out, softly, crushingly. We ended up getting back together after a few months apart, and had a pretty great year, but whatever it was in my that needed untangling just needed more time. There was no person, and no amount of love, that could speed that up. She knew all that before I did.

    But that's just me. You're you, he's him.

    I don't think this is about "contact" vs "no contact," but just holding this space for as long as you can, authentically. If my girlfriend surprised me tonight by saying she needed space to "see where she stands" I'm sure I'd be devastated. I'm also pretty sure I'd give her that space without looking to fill it—with her or with another person—for as long as I could. I'd do that not just for her, but for me—an extension of the same vulnerability I try to extend her every day.

    There would be some kind of limit to it, of course. But my spirit would tell me when that was, and I'm pretty tuned into my own spirit, even when it's pushing me to make a choice I dread having to make. So make this a time to listen to yours, just as he's listening to his, best he can.
    This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story and your way of describing it. It is on point

    I kept hearing other people's voices in my head, like ENA voices. We talk like relationships are transactions, like we are all hard-a$$es holding other people accountable. "Don't let him string you along!" "You should date! You're single now!" etc etc. Sure, these can be applicable, in a way. Not really, though. We are not trapped; we have choices. The most applicable thing is to do what YOU want to do, and if that is to take a little time to reflect, then do that. No pressure.

    Do not react. DO listen to your inner voice, your kindest one and your fearful one. Tell your fearful one you will be okay. Let your kindest one govern you. Your needs include knowing what this relationship means to you, and resolving it as appropriate when you're ready to do that. You will be okay however that evolves, if you follow your inner guide.

  9. #18
    Gold Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
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    Well, his love level for you must be at a dangerously low level for him to leave you like that.

    Breakups are a bad omen. We call them breakups because they are broken.

  10. #19
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    I find myself looking through the responses and taking comfort in all of the support and words. I don’t know what’s going to happen here, and I’m not entirely sure I know what I want to happen, either. But I understand that I should use this time to reflect on my wants and needs as well. I sincerely thank everyone for responding to this thread.

  11. #20
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    My heart goes out to you. In your shoes I'd like tell him that I adore him and can envision the two of us together in the future, and that's why I'm walking away while we both still think highly of one another--to preserve that potential if it exists. He gets to take as long as he wants to work out his stuff, but I know myself well enough to know that I don't tolerate limbo very well, and I certainly have no desire to hang on to someone who's ambivalent about me. If he ever reaches a clear degree of certainty that I'm the one for him, and he wants a committed relationship with me, he can let me know. If I'm still available then, maybe we can meet to catch up. Otherwise, I wish him the best.

    This would free me to grieve, to heal and to move my focus forward to create the kind of future for myself that I want and deserve. It would prevent me from the high-anxiety place of hovering on the periphery while the guy feels pressured to answer what he may not be ready to answer for a very long time. I'd rather take myself out of the picture to have no influence over that choice, because that's the only way either of us can trust the outcome.

    If I didn't cut the cord, I'd picture myself living in doubt that any choice he might make in my favor would be under the duress of a calendar, and I'd always wonder when the next shoe would drop. That's a high stress way to live, and it wouldn't be for me. I'd rather walk away with full liberation to nurse my own wounds and trust that if the two of us are really a mean-to-be deal, he'll have no trouble coming to that conclusion with reflection on his own. If not, then there wasn't anything for me to stick around for, anyway.

    Head high.

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