When you find yourself in a serious relationship, there are some phrases and words that can cut you like a knife. When you are certain that you have found Mr. Right, hearing him tell you that he needs space can crush your soul and leave you flailing. When he says he is feeling confused, that leaves you wondering what you have done wrong, and how he could possibly have to make a choice about being together. If you are sure, he should be too, right? What’s there to think about?
If you are the unlucky recipient of that phrase, then there are a few things you should do to keep your sanity. Although you may be halfway through a box of Kleenex, digging into a tub of ice cream, or just finished from some serious butt-kicking cardio to take the edge off right now, pay attention. If you have any hopes that he’ll come back, then you need to take care of these things while he’s gone.
1. Most women immediately take this on themselves and think they must not be good enough for him, or what he really wants. Do not do that! His confusion is his and is not anything you can help. Besides, you do not even know that you are what he is confused about. Maybe it is something completely different and he just needs a little time to work it out by himself.
2. Relationships require vulnerability and, let’s face it, that is not a guy’s strong suite. Sometimes it is natural for a guy to pull back a little bit and set some boundaries. He may just need to ground himself so that he can be sure he is making the right decisions. We all need to ground here and there, so give him the opportunity.
3. Relationships are a balancing act no matter who you talk to. When he pulls back, sometimes it is best to also pull back so that when he comes in, it will be because he wanted to be drawn in by you. When it is completely his choice, he will feel so much more confident about it that you will see a whole other side of him. A more confident side.
4. Stop, think, evaluate, and proceed. This is a common decision making strategy. He may be thinking and evaluating where he wants your relationship to go. No matter what his decision, it is a good thing that he stopped and thought about it before being brash and rushing into something artificially. This could simply be his way of contemplating proposing like his mother keeps hinting at.
5. Consider your response. Him telling you that he needs space is definitely going to cause a reaction from you. Your job, away from him, is to look at those emotions, figure out what they are, and determine why you felt them. For example, if you felt panicked, it could be because you don’t want to be single again instead of being head over heels in love with him. Figure out those emotions while he is not around to cloud your judgment and influence your decisions.
6. Take a breath and stop thinking so hard because you will break your own heart. There is no way for you to know exactly what is on his mind until he tells you. And, since we are not telepathic, unfortunately, and have learned from experience, we all know that men have a way of projecting something on the complete opposite side of the scale from what they are actually thinking.
7. If you love something, set it free. Every sappy movie ever has featured at least one moment of returning the animal to the wild, breaking up with someone to give them a better shot at something, or a scenario equally as emotional. The fact of the matter is, squeezing too hard here will do nothing but drive him away. You have to let him take this moment and do so fully. Do not call and text him ten times a day trying to figure out what’s going on. He asked you honestly for space, give it to him. If he comes back to you, you will be stronger than ever together.
The most important things to remember if you find yourself in this situation are to keep breathing, don’t blame yourself for something you have no control over, and most of all, wait until he tells you what is going on before you make assumptions and judgements.
In the movies, the girl would always say that the guy obviously doesn’t love her if he has to think about it, but real life isn’t that way. You can find a lot of people to love, but having your mind and heart committed is what makes a lasting relationship.