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What Does It Mean When a Guy Says He’s Confused and He Needs Time to Think?

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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.

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They say life is a roller coaster ride, so I’m here, trying my bit (virtually of course) to make your ride worthwhile. Ups and downs are inevitable, but how you perceive things is what matters.I’m just your next-door neighbor, ripe from experiences of life, here to tell you what it really means to “live”! Take your drink, kick back and relax, we’re just getting started!

86 COMMENTS

  1. so I met this guy in February and like we hit it off GREAT. Everything was perfect we were so happy and like I would spend the night at his house every night whatever and 3 weeks into knowing eachother he left to his hometown for the weeek of spring break and during that week I told him I miss him and he was like “prove it” so I did ! I drove to his city and surprised him and like he loved it and I met the whole family and stayed there for 3 days. Anyways so he cane back to SA to start school again and everything was still great, he met my family, he spent my 21st with me…everything was perfect. Then slowly he started being really like quiet around me and all this stuff but we would still hangout and all that. Sooo I would ask him if everything is okay and he would always say yes anyways well it got bad we’re i just told him f**k this let’s end it and he was like no I don’t want too, I just don’t know why I’m not getting that fight to fight for you and I would tell him how much he meant to me and all that. Anyways so now he left to his hometown this past week and we’ve been kinda arguing and he says he wants us to be happy but he doesn’t know why he can’t seem to fight for me, so now I’m all lost and idk what to do now. I don’t wanna lose him, I honestly could see myself with this guy for a while.

    Now he’s in his hometown for another 2 weeks now and idk what to do. I’ve tried to end it and he tells me no he said he’s not ready to end it and he’s not done with me but that he just doesn’t know how to feel everything I’m feeling for him. We talked on the phone last night and idk like it went everywhere. He was honest with me saying he’s not feeling what I’m feeling but that he’s frustrated with himself and the fact that he can’t feel it. He says it’s not my fault at all. I told him just give it time and he just was like okay I will but then the way he was explaining himself just didn’t sound like happy. So I told him “fine you win, let’s end this” and he was like “no no!!! I’m just frustrated how I just can’t feel it, just give me time to think” but then he was saying how he should be missing me right now but he doesn’t even wanna come home yet. I couldn’t stop crying on the phone I didn’t know what to say. He says he tries to talk about with his family and it just frustrates him even more. Like he was screaming on the phone saying “f**k” and hitting his steering wheel because he says he’s frustrated on the fact that he can’t feel what I’m feeling. But I just don’t get that when I tell him “fine let’s end it” he tells me no. Like right away. Like I’ve had enough but it’s like I don’t get it. I’m so lost and it’s not making sense to me the way he answers is like “fine Ale you want that, I’ll do it for you”
    And even at that he screamed at me saying “I’m sorry!!! I’m fucking sorry that im not your person in this world!!”
    And I just started crying and hung up. I just need advice on what to do so that we can fix this but also give him his time. I want him to really think about this and start to miss me. I never did anything wrong to him, I treated him so well in so many ways. When he comes back we’re suppose to have a face to face talk on either to end it or to keep trying but I just don’t know what to do anymore. Should I even bother to text him. It’s been since last night and the phone dal ended pretty bad. He still hasn’t texted me today.

    I’m stuck on what to do. I want him to miss me and let it click in his head but I just need to know what to do on my part.

    • Both of you are confused or uncertain about what you want for the future of this relationship. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. You may want to speak with him somewhere that you feel comfortable. If he ignores you or treats you poorly, then you are aware of his feelings. Have a great day, Alejandra!

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