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Is it is okay for me to ask him how much time he needs?


ShopLady
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Me and my boyfriend agreed to take some time apart. We had a falling out two weeks ago and we haven’t seen each other since. We have talked though. I originally asked for time and space. He needs it too. When I was ready I reached out to him and he asked for more time. Basically, he doesn’t really know what he wants and is asking for time to think about things. I’m okay with that. Just yesterday he said he needs more time, but I’m not going to wait forever. I told him to take as much time as he needs. But is it okay for me to ask him how much more time he needs, or just leave it alone? 

Time apart doesn’t always mean you broke up. Sometimes it’s good in a relationship and can actually strengthen it. What happened was that we never really established where things are at with us. I just assumed I was his girlfriend. I asked him a couple weeks ago what I am to him. He said I’m a “companion.” This really hurt me and I told him I wanted time and space, but I’m ready to talk and he isn’t. How much more time is honestly reasonable?

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3 minutes ago, ShopLady said:

I told him to take as much time as he needs. But is it okay for me to ask him how much more time he needs, or just leave it alone? 

I would never ask someone how much time they need away from me. Especially someone who has never established 'us' as a couple in the first place.

The guy didn't give you the answer you wanted in terms of your relationship status, and if I read your post correctly, that's what caused the problem. So instead of adding MORE of a demand for answers from this guy, I'd just move my focus forward on finding myself a better match.

If this guy ever comes back around, you can cross that bridge, but if he doesn't, then you will have already made great strides in moving on.

Head high, and try to grasp that most people are simply NOT our match. That's natural odds, not a reflection on you or your desirability.

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Normally I would say that when an established couple needs a cooling off period they agree on the time frame.  

But seeing that this situation is about your guy not being fully committed to you to begin I would be concerned that he is taking this time to determine whether he wants to be with you at all.  

Putting a time limit on it may feel like you are forcing his hand, but at the same you need to take care of yourself.  I would personally  just keep moving forward and not have any expectations of him. If he comes around fully committed entirely on his own, you can assess at that time whether you want to continue.

If you aren't comfortable with waiting and the unknown, you can tell him that you need to take care of yourself and limbo is not a place you are willing to sit in for very long.   Tell him in a calm. neutral way and if he still is unsure at a determined time then you will always care for him, but you need to continue moving fwd and you wish him well.

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14 minutes ago, ShopLady said:

How much more time is honestly reasonable?

In your case dont think any ammount of time is reasonable. He doesnt view you as a girlfriend. There is no magic that will just make him do that. And he will certanly not do that when you are apart. Sure, sometimes distance makes heart goes stronger, but in his case there is nothing to go strong. You are just somebody who is conviniently there, a companion. There are no higher feelings there. Time apart would only make him more distant. And you pressuring him will make him distant even more. I am sorry, dont think there is a reason for you to wait. You will need to learn to invest into people who will actually want to stay in your life. And not to chase after people who will never reciprocitate your feelings and efforts. In relationships, but also in life with friends, work, anything. 

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25 minutes ago, ShopLady said:

What happened was that we never really established where things are at with us. I just assumed I was his girlfriend. I asked him a couple weeks ago what I am to him. He said I’m a “companion.” This really hurt me and I told him I wanted time and space, but I’m ready to talk and he isn’t. How much more time is honestly reasonable?

He should be gone a long time ago, the moment he said he needs to think about it. His putting things off or refusing to deal with the situation (needing more time) is him avoiding a confrontation with you. He's trying to get away from you, from the looks of it. Let him go.

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I wonder if you're being truly honest with yourself about what this relationship is to him.

To say you're a companion, to learn this hurts you and to respond by saying he needs time away from you, is not loving.

Are you self-soothing yourself justifying by telling yourself this?

24 minutes ago, ShopLady said:

Time apart doesn’t always mean you broke up. Sometimes it’s good in a relationship and can actually strengthen it.

I don't agree   Maybe after an argument a few hours to think, yes. Weeks without seeing each other?  No.

I agree with @catfeeder Don't ask, don't wait around, do focus on moving forward for yourself.  If he contacts you,  you can address things then. 

Also, in the future, don't tell someone to take all the time they want... you clearly didn't mean it.

That statement is not for romantic relationships. That's what you say when someone has your cookware or something after a party and you don't feel like going to pick it up.

Your feelings aka you, do not deserve to be put on a shelf, for as long as he likes.

Recognize when you aren't being valued and remove the option....❤

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I know it’s best to just leave him alone and not wait around for him. I appreciate the good advice you all have given me. If he comes around, he does. If not, then he doesn’t. I simply asked him what he wanted and how he feels and he can’t even give me an answer. I feel I deserve to know this. 
 

There’s something else, too. He and I arranged to meet in a couple of weeks at a concert out of state. This was before the incident. I also have to fly across the country to visit my daughter the day after the concert. I want to ask him if he still wants to meet up because that will determine where I fly out of. I’m not going to the concert if I have to be there by myself. 
 

 

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55 minutes ago, ShopLady said:

I told him to take as much time as he needs.  I just assumed I was his girlfriend. I asked him a couple weeks ago what I am to him. He said I’m a “companion.” 

Sorry this is happening. How long have you been dating? How old is he?

Step back and decide if you want to be someone's "companion" especially if you are physically involved.

 Don't let him decide your fate for you. Decide for yourself if his demotion to "companion" and nebulous situationship nonsense is something you want to put up with.

 

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23 minutes ago, ShopLady said:

I want to ask him if he still wants to meet up because that will determine where I fly out of. I’m not going to the concert if I have to be there by myself

I suggest you severe all contact for healthier boundaries and better healing. You are no longer together, so it shouldn't matter to you whether he's going or not.

You can, nonetheless, go to the concert alone if you feel like it.

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47 minutes ago, Lambert said:

Also, in the future, don't tell someone to take all the time they want... you clearly didn't mean it.

No, I didn’t mean it. However, I also don’t want to put a time frame on it because I thought that would push him away even further. Hopefully he’ll take a reasonable amount of time, I mean a few more days or a week at the longest. Not months. I’m not going to give him much time before I move on. 

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29 minutes ago, ShopLady said:I want to ask him if he still wants to meet up because that will determine where I fly out of. I’m not going to the concert if I have to be there by myself. 

I wouldn’t even want to go anymore. There’s no point when you know he doesn’t feel the same way about you, OP. 

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34 minutes ago, Lambert said:

Also, in the future, don't tell someone to take all the time they want... you clearly didn't mean it.

Good topic! Speaking only for myself, the only feasible answer to someone wanting time away IS  'all the time they need' because there's nothing we can say or do to change that outcome.

I mean, sure, we can tell them how long we're willing to wait--but wait for what? A reversal of feeling like you don't want to be around me? What's in that wait for me, denial? 

Telling someone that they are accountable to ME for the amount of time they want away from me is not only counter-productive--it's a false assumption.

Other than with legal marriages or domestic partnerships, and all relationships being voluntary, nobody is actually accountable to anyone else who doesn't WISH to be.

Any withdraw on that wish is it's own answer, and so it's on US to make our OWN choice as to whether we want to impose a limbo on OUR SELVES, or not.

In my case, not.

I'm never 'in' something without an equal 'in', but this doesn't mean I'll knee-jerk an instant bridge burn. It's not about saving face, which most people regret the moment they slam a door shut, but rather, it's about seeing beyond dis-illusion-ment and accepting accuracy.

If my terms aren't acceptable to another, then backpedaling to reduce my terms and accept whatever scraps are offered to keep someone in my life is its own problem. I'd rather walk away while be both still think highly of one another, and if our paths ever cross on higher ground in the future, then I'll be in a better mental and emotional place to grasp whatever new perspective this might offer.

Anything less than that is ...well, not what I want.

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37 minutes ago, ShopLady said:

I want to ask him if he still wants to meet up because that will determine where I fly out of. I’m not going to the concert if I have to be there by myself. 

I'd skip this. If I own my own ticket, I'd sell it or give it away. If he owns the tickets, then I'd scrap the idea and make my own plans without factoring him in.

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9 minutes ago, ShopLady said:

No, I didn’t mean it. However, I also don’t want to put a time frame on it because I thought that would push him away even further. Hopefully he’ll take a reasonable amount of time, I mean a few more days or a week at the longest. Not months. I’m not going to give him much time before I move on. 

I think that is a normal human reaction when we care about someone and don't want to 'lose' them.

However, in my experience it has the complete opposite effect.   

It makes one appear weak and even less attractive to the other person. 

Strength and willingness to walk away when presented with doubts from the other person is the only way to go.

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I am guessing that with such a question you asked of him is because you two have not been involved for too long? Which caused you to be a little concerned?

By sounds of it, you didn't like the companion word- as it wasn't actually being 'the girlfriend'.

Then you pulled away for a while... and now he wants more time 'apart'.

I wouldn't beg or expect much more.  If this guy can't speak up and say just how much this relationship means to him, he's not worth much.

Because, fine if someone 'needs some space' and guys are known to go to their 'man cave'..for a few hrs, a cpl days tops!  But much more time is enough of that behaviour.

 

I'd give it another week.. IF he does not make an attempt to reach out & deal with this, I'd send one last message & say, 'by your actions, I will take this as the end'.. and leave it.

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1 hour ago, catfeeder said:

I mean, sure, we can tell them how long we're willing to wait--but wait for what? A reversal of feeling like you don't want to be around me? What's in that wait for me, denial? 

I tried to tell him how long I was willing to wait and he got upset. That’s why I decided to back off and tell him to take the time he needs. 

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1 minute ago, ShopLady said:

I tried to tell him how long I was willing to wait and he got upset. That’s why I decided to back off and tell him to take the time he needs. 

Are you in the habit of disregarding or minimizing your own needs in order to placate others or to try to keep them from getting "mad" at you?

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35 minutes ago, SooSad33 said:

I am guessing that with such a question you asked of him is because you two have not been involved for too long? Which caused you to be a little concerned?

By sounds of it, you didn't like the companion word- as it wasn't actually being 'the girlfriend'.

Then you pulled away for a while... and now he wants more time 'apart'.

I wouldn't beg or expect much more.  If this guy can't speak up and say just how much this relationship means to him, he's not worth much.

Because, fine if someone 'needs some space' and guys are known to go to their 'man cave'..for a few hrs, a cpl days tops!  But much more time is enough of that behaviour.

 

I'd give it another week.. IF he does not make an attempt to reach out & deal with this, I'd send one last message & say, 'by your actions, I will take this as the end'.. and leave it.

This has been going on for almost 2 weeks now. I think waiting one more week is all I’m willing to give him. We haven’t been together long and he is being a bit immature, I think. 
 

I asked him what he wanted and how he felt and he has yet to reach out to me. He doesn’t know what he wants, and in some ways, that’s okay. But he should at least tell me that. Although, he doesn’t have to because it’s clear by this time apart that he doesn’t know. 

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1 hour ago, catfeeder said:

I'd skip this. If I own my own ticket, I'd sell it or give it away. If he owns the tickets, then I'd scrap the idea and make my own plans without factoring him in.

I’d like to go to the concert, but I agree it’s not the best idea if we haven’t talked by then. It can make it very awkward for both of us. I don’t really want to be alone at the concert and none of my friends can make it. 

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4 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Are you in the habit of disregarding or minimizing your own needs in order to placate others or to try to keep them from getting "mad" at you?

No, I just felt he would distance himself further if I put a time limit on it. 

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1 hour ago, MissCanuck said:

I wouldn’t even want to go anymore. There’s no point when you know he doesn’t feel the same way about you, OP. 

I want to go, but don’t because of this. It’s best I not. Not unless we’ve managed to talk about stuff by then.

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We have talked since this happened. Briefly and only over text. Just to check in with each other. I have expressed to him a couple of times that I want him to really think about what he wants. Do you think it’s best that we not communicate until and unless he comes around? Or is it okay just to send a quick text like “how are you?” Or “how is your day going?” We didn’t go no contact. How much contact is acceptable in this situation and how often? 

I don’t want to push him away more, but I also don’t want him thinking that by not contacting him at all, I’ve moved on so why bother reaching out? I really haven’t encountered the “needing space” thing before in relationships, so I want to do this right because I do want him to come around. 

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23 minutes ago, ShopLady said:

No, I just felt he would distance himself further if I put a time limit on it. 

 

11 minutes ago, ShopLady said:

 

I don’t want to push him away more, but I also don’t want him thinking that by not contacting him at all, I’ve moved on so why bother reaching out?

If he felt the same way you do he wouldn't take the chance of YOU distancing yourself and moving on.  He'd want to make sure you knew he wants to be with you.

Instead he's not communicating other than some inane "check ins".  Which is something you do when you have a friend you're not super close to but still care about. Or a "companion" who you like just fine but don't see as a romantic partner you're committed to.

I used to date a man who, after about 8 months, told me he "liked" me just fine but if he didn't see me he didn't really miss me all that much.  And this was someone I traveled with and met his parents and siblings and spent every single weekend with (although I did all the driving to spend the weekends with him, he lived about an hour and a half away by car).  We too never established we were in a committed relationship.  After that conversation I realized I was wasting my time trying to get him to fall in love with me, so I chose to stop seeing him.

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3 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Instead he's not communicating other than some inane "check ins".  Which is something you do when you have a friend you're not super close to but still care about. Or a "companion" who you like just fine but don't see as a romantic partner you're committed to.

When he does communicate, he says things like he’s taking some time to think about things. He sent me a message the other day saying that he is doing some soul searching. I think my asking him those questions about what he wants and how he feels scared him a bit because I don’t think he has ever had to really confront them before. 
 

On the other hand, we have been together only a short time (about 7 months). That’s why I’m only giving him another week or so to reach out. I want him to understand that unless he talks to me, I’m pretty well done. 
 

The fact that he’s “thinking about things” might be a good sign, it could be a bad one. I told him yesterday to reach out when he feels ready to talk. The ball is in his court. I think I have told him all I can. 

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