He Broke Up With Me And Told Me He Needs Time

"I Can't Believe I Actually Have a Chance of Getting Him Back!"

I have almost three associate degrees from the local Junior College.

Almost, because I am one of the world’s greatest procrastinators.

Along with being a procrastinator, I’m a perfectionist.

Ask Chris. I am always riding my deadlines down to the last minute, sometimes past that.

(Edit From Chris: It’s true, I had to email her to see when she was going to finish this article.)

I am one class short of my third degree, a Business Degree.

One of the most interesting and stressful classes I ever took was one on creative writing. And one of the most fun and most interesting conversations I have ever had was when I ran into my teacher. We sat down and had a glass of wine and talked about the millions of extension requests that she gets every semester.

There were people that gave her the old, “my dog ate it” routine. But the one she said she almost always would give extensions for was open writing assignments

“I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t know what I wanted to write.”

She said that she could always tell when people were lying.

Human nature responds to the collision of emotions and rational thought with something that is called cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is the reason I found myself interested in psychology in the first place.

If you don’t know what that is let me educate you.

Every single person on this planet has experienced this feeling. It’s that feeling when you hate someone but you still kind of understand the reasons behind their actions.

As I said, EVERY single person on this planet, that means you too.

Common sense says that you just thought about a time when you had conflicting emotions.

Why is it so common?

Every single person who has ever gone through puberty knows the feeling.

All of those things your parents tell you not to do as a child, that you danced along the edges when deciding what to do as an adult.

If a man has made a decision to call off a relationship with you, you can bet that, unless you are a horrible person that you know of, at some point he has questioned that decision.

So, think back to a time when you had to ask for more time.

Go ahead, I’ll give you a minute.

I bet it didn’t even take you twenty seconds to remember one of the times you had to ask for a reprieve.

Why? Because even the most brown-nosing straight A student has her off days and needs some more time.

There are few words more daunting after a breakup when you are hoping for an explanation and instead you get “I just need some time.”

I mean generally when a woman would say that it would have a hundred different meanings.

We are so complicated, us women.

But men…

men are so much more likely to be straightforward.

When a man asks for time, he usually means he wants time, space, and distance.

Most men want straight forward. Most men want black and white. Most men want to be as far away from drama even if they are the ones that caused it.

So, what does it mean when he says he needs time to… and… something else. Generally, when anyone makes a declarative statement and then follows it up with a qualifier, the qualifier usually holds a bit of truth to it.

Everyone has a set of basic human needs. It isn’t as big on the scale as physical needs, like food, water, sleep, and safety, but self-actualization is important. Feeling like you have some semblance of control over the things that happen to you falls somewhere in between esteem and safety. Sometimes that means taking a moment to yourself and taking a step back to look at your life.

Men back away from things for various reasons, because they are stressed, either because of something within the relationship or outside of it.

In every relationship, there is a dominant partner and a submissive partner.

Don’t get excited. I’m not talking  Fifty Shades type stuff.

I’m saying that one person gives in a little more than the other, makes sacrifices to keep the relationship going. In turn, they lose things. The power shifts to one side of the relationship.

There is a reason I spend so much time repeating myself when I say that a relationship is a partnership… a partnership… a PARTNERSHIP!!

Whew.

Breathe.

If you can’t tell I believe in this.

There’s always truth to the things we say, even the lies, at least some truth.

So, when your boyfriend says he needs to take some time to himself, you can bet your butt that any reason he gives after that has SOME truth to it and you can tell by WHAT he says.

Most people don’t know what they want in a relationship.

In my experience, feeling that unbalanced weight of the relationship shifts to one side triggers a fight or flight response.

So, in the interest of staying positive about things, we are going to assume that your ex actually needs time and it wasn’t just an excuse to break things off.

What did his reason he gave mean? And what does it mean for you?

He Needs Time To “Figure Himself Out”

If he says he needs time to “figure himself out” then it’s likely that, on some level, he has let his autonomy escape him. Feeling like you aren’t living up to your potential is scary! When we are on our own, it is easy to give your full focus to your goals and achieving them, becoming the person you want to be.

If your ex needs time to figure himself out, it likely means that he feels like he has lost sight of his goals and ideals. It isn’t uncommon for the line between couples’ goals to become a little blurred after the weight of decision making begins to shift back and forth.

My guess is that your ex has realized how out of focus the views he had before the relationship have become and he is trying to remedy that feeling.

In every relationship, making the other person happy starts to take precedent over the things we see as important. Then keeping the relationship from derailing takes precedent. No one wants to be the reason things didn’t work out, so focus shifts to efforts not to rock the boat.

Did your ex put in a lot of effort into making you happy at the beginning, possibly over his own desires?

Did he give in when tensions rose later in the relationship in order to keep the peace?

If you see similarities in this scenario and your ex said he needs to figure himself out, then your next move should be to focus on how you can establish a more healthy relationship that takes into consideration what he wants.

He Needs Time To “Get His Life In Order”

If he says he needs time to “get his life in order” then it’s likely that he lost control of something in his life. Tell me you haven’t ever been in a situation in which your world felt like it was spiraling out of control. I bet you can’t.

They say time flies when you’re having fun. But being in a relationship kind of turns the rest of your life into a funnel.

Everything that happens, every choice that you make goes through a filter of, “How will this affect my relationship?”

I understand that line of thinking.

It’s what happens when you feel comfortable with someone. You think of the two of you as one unit.

But, suddenly it dawns on you that you are an us and you realize that if you ever weren’t an “us” your solo life would be out of control.

Realizing this makes a man feel like he needs to pull the things in his life into a pile and jump in the middle of it and flail around until he feels like it is his again.

If you find yourself in this situation. Your best bet is to get your own life in order. Why?

Well… the best part about this is that you have some serious power here.

Power you say?

Well, if he is truly struggling to feel like he didn’t lose a grasp on his life completely, then seeing that you were okay with not being in a codependent relationship will give him a reason to drop the fear that coming back will strip him of having his own life.

Dig in. Make your life your own. And when you get through No Contact and get the opportunity talk with your ex to rebuild even a casual relationship, show him that you have no intention of letting him sacrifice his interests.

He Needs Time To “Sort Things Out”

If he says he needs time to “sort things out” then it’s likely that he doesn’t even know what needs sorting. Usually, this means he has choices and he’s not sure what he wants to do about it.

Most men are afraid to be tied down. Having options means he has a way out if he wants one.

When someone says they need to sort things out, it is likely that they have found that they have options and they’re testing the waters.

Maybe he got an ego boost because girls were flirting with him.

Maybe someone else showed interest.

Maybe he got a taste of the single life.

And maybe he just saw other people who were happier or doing the couple thing differently.

Whatever triggered his decision, if you find yourself in this type of situation, your only option is to rise above it all. Do not give into the emotional drivers that make you want to jump up and down and say,

“I can be better! I can be whatever you want! I can make you happy!”

You don’t need to grovel. Besides… it wouldn’t work.

Every man needs to know that a woman who is PERFECTLY FINE on her own CHOOSES to be with him.

You have to be strong during No Contact.

Put every effort into being better at being solo.

It has the double perks of making him a little jealous and also making him feel like getting back together is in his best interest, like being with you is a privilege.

He Needs Time To “Work On Himself”

If he says he needs time to “work on himself” then it’s likely that he feels like he has let himself go on one if not all fronts.

If a man admits that he needs to work on himself, it is obvious that he finds something about himself unsatisfactory. But all men feel that way in some manner of speaking. All people do.

No one is 100% happy with themselves.

I have a friend who is a beautiful specimen of a man. Sure his face is not the American standard of beautiful, but he is a gorgeous and smart man.

You know what he asks me regularly?

He asks me if he should dye his hair.

He asks me if he should get a tan.

He asks me if he should focus on getting down to 4% body fat.

This beautiful and smart man doesn’t see how gorgeous he is… all he sees is his flaws.

I’m telling you… my friend isn’t just a 10 he’s a 14, and he will never see it.

This one, this situation, your only response is to move forward in your life.

Build yourself up. Read this article on getting on the right track and building confidence.

And then, when you get done with no contact, maintain your stature.

Don’t beg for him back. Compliment him on any progress he’s made, but the key is to not lay it on thick. And then withdraw.

Do you know what stakes a man puts on a woman?

What value he places on her?

I mean sure most of them look at women and find them attractive or not attractive, hot or not.

That’s at the beginning when they aren’t sure if they want to jump in just yet.

But when it comes to a relationship and whether or not to keep it, that decision doesn’t hang solely on whether or not he loves her.

It also balances on how having her in his life affects his life.

Chris calls this “becoming the Ungettable Girl.”

I am saying that every man wants to become someone they shouldn’t have access to.

Someone that’s cooler, hotter, and out of their league.

I think that if your ex is feeling like he’s lost control of any aspect of his life, then he is going over every decision he’s ever made. That means at some point he WILL review his decision to call things off. Usually, this will be after he’s had a moment to get a few of his other ducks in a row.

If, when he does, he sees that you are better than he thought you were, better that YOU thought you were, he’ll realize he made a mistake.

So, what I am I telling you to do?

Be a baddass.

Be the most baddass version of yourself that you can be, 100%, full-tilt.

Now, some of you are picturing the women you look up to.

But, check out this article, about women who grasped at their full potential. Some of them just did small things that had a large impact.

All I am saying is that you shouldn’t wait around or chase after him.

Be great and awesome on your own. He’ll see it, and he’ll realize that letting you go was the biggest mistake he’s ever made.

May 4, 2017

"I Can't Believe I Actually Have a Chance of Getting Him Back!"

With over 7 million women just like you coming to this site ever year, I’ve seen about every situation you could imagine. Most of the time, I can just ask a few questions about your situation and know in seconds the chances that you have of getting back together with him. I’ve compressed all of that wisdom into a single calculator What Are Your Chances of Getting Your ExBoyfriend Back.

Take 4 Minute QuizAnd Find Out Your Chances!

What Do You Think? (9)

  1. Sam - 0

    Sam

    My situation is unique . I’m a Canadian living and working England. I’ve been here for almost two years and my visit is about to run out and is not allowed to be renewed. I applied for my Italian citizenship as well as to law programs in England for this upcoming fall . I have recently wanted a change in my profession and decided to finally take the leap. It is important to note I have gotten accepted to my programs and my ex is aware of this.

    My ex broke up with me officially a few days ago . I get down sometimes as living here can get lonely . We recently went on a camping trip with his friends . The weather was terrible but I tried my best to get to know them all . I can be shy but I made an effort and truly got to know them . My ex put it in his head I had a terrible time , not being best friends with his friends is a problem for him . Fast forward a week he comes over saying he isn’t here to end it and he wants things to work . Next thing I know he’s dumping me . Against my best judgement I start begging him trying to convince him he’s making a mistake . The whole time he’s crying saying he’s crazy about me but it’s just not working . He feels like I’m here for him and not for me and he can’t handle the pressure . He is scared one day I’ll resent him . I constantly assure him that’s not true . He agreed to give it a chance , the next day he came over watched a movie, we were intimate with each other and I thought things would be better . Next thing I know the next week he is avoiding me . Yet he is still messaging me . Sometimes cold , other times sweet and jokingly like how we use to be . It’s important to mention a few days before camping we went to his family wedding where we had a great time and he told me he wants to marry me, getting very emotional while saying this.

    He came over at the end of the “trying to work on it ” week and brought his things to stay over. He even cooked me dinner. I simply stated to him that he needed to see me for things to work and I wanted them too. From that he decided to end it. He then proceeded to cry and tell me its hard but it is better for me. That he needed to figure things out. Through text he told me he is not in the right mind space to be with anyone right now. He needs time. He also said he FELL OUT FO LOVE and that its not me its him. ” if he could paint the perfect girl from him it would be me and that I am amazing”. He said it is all him, it is all in his head and it is something HE NEEDS TIME TO FIGURE IT OUT. That time may change things but he doesn’t know and doesn’t want to keep me hanging. He said that he was sorry and never meant to hurt me. And that if and when he figures this out and sees things differently I would be the first person he would contact.

    I just do not understand. It is all over the place. How could he tell me he wants to marry me and next week say he is out of love ? Oh apparently he has been for two months. It is important to note he got really depressed around them which is polar opposite of him, he is always care free. He said he couldn’t take the pressure of me being here for him , he knows how much I miss and love my family.

    I know I want him back. I know I want him as my forever. I am scared he will not contact me. If he doesn’t how am I even suppose to implement the no contact rule ? Isn’t the whole point to ignore him? He is also very stubborn and I am afraid he’ll decide it is easier to move on then to try and make things work.

    Reply
  2. Sam - 0

    Sam

    My situation is unique . I’m a Canadian living and working England. I’ve been here for almost two years and my visit is about to run out and is not allowed to be renewed. I applied for my Italian citizenship as well as to law programs in England for this upcoming fall . I have recently wanted a change in my profession and decided to finally take the leap. It is important to note I have gotten accepted to my programs and my ex is aware of this.

    My ex broke up with me officially a few days ago . I get down sometimes as living here can get lonely . We recently went on a camping trip with his friends . The weather was terrible but I tried my best to get to know them all . I can be shy but I made an effort and truly got to know them . My ex put it in his head I had a terrible time , not being best friends with his friends is a problem for him . Fast forward a week he comes over saying he isn’t here to end it and he wants things to work . Next thing I know he’s dumping me . Against my best judgement I start begging him trying to convince him he’s making a mistake . The whole time he’s crying saying he’s crazy about me but it’s just not working . He feels like I’m here for him and not for me and he can’t handle the pressure . He is scared one day I’ll resent him . I constantly assure him that’s not true . He agreed to give it a chance , the next day he came over watched a movie, we were intimate with each other and I thought things would be better . Next thing I know the next week he is avoiding me . Yet he is still messaging me . Sometimes cold , other times sweet and jokingly like how we use to be . It’s important to mention a few days before camping we went to his family wedding where we had a great time and he told me he wants to marry me, getting very emotional while saying this.

    He came over at the end of the “trying to work on it ” week and brought his things to stay over. He even cooked me dinner. I simply stated to him that he needed to see me for things to work and I wanted them too. From that he decided to end it. He then proceeded to cry and tell me its hard but it is better for me. That he needed to figure things out. Through text he told me he is not in the right mind space to be with anyone right now. He needs time. He also said he FELL OUT FO LOVE and that its not me its him. ” if he could paint the perfect girl from him it would be me and that I am amazing”. He said it is all him, it is all in his head and it is something HE NEEDS TIME TO FIGURE IT OUT. That time may change things but he doesn’t know and doesn’t want to keep me hanging. He said that he was sorry and never meant to hurt me. And that if and when he figures this out and sees things differently I would be the first person he would contact.

    I just do not understand. It is all over the place. How could he tell me he wants to marry me and next week say he is out of love ? Oh apparently he has been for two months. It is important to note he got really depressed around them which is polar opposite of him, he is always care free. He said he couldn’t take the pressure of me being here for him , he knows how much I miss and love my family.

    I know I want him back. I know I want him as my forever. I am scared he will not contact me. If he doesn’t how am I even suppose to implement the no contact rule ? Isn’t the whole point to ignore him? He is also very stubborn and I am afraid he’ll decide it is easier to move on then to try and make things work.

    Reply
  3. Rebecca - 0

    Rebecca

    WHOA. You have no idea how much I needed to read this. Like Ru Paul always says, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an Amen?” I think that while we, as ladies, are working to improve ourselves, we forget that maybe sometimes guys may be struggling with this as well! Sure, it kind of sucks to split in this way, but the best thing to do is keep moving forward. Great read!

    Reply
  4. Rachel - 0

    Rachel

    Hi! My boyfriend and I broke up on May 3rd through text ( harsh I know) because he said he hates it when we fight (which was only once since we got back together from our previous downfall in October) I stop talking. I decided to approach him calmly and asked if we could have a respectful and calm discussion about It in person so he agreed. I stopped talking to him until that day where he showed up right on time. The whole time he cried and told me he loves me and that it’s both our faults and that he just needs some time to be alone and get his life together. He said he just isn’t feeling this relationship anymore. Before he’d said this I spoke about how I’d taken what he’d said into consideration and that I was and will be working on that if he’d be willing to give me the chance, but If not I’d leave him alone. He said he didn’t want me to leave him alone and he still wanted to be friends, however I told him I don’t know if I can do that because I want him as a boyfriend considering we’ve dated for 3 years and I invested my everything into him. He said he’d respect that and of course I broke down crying because it was just so sudden. Like it was really over. He hugged me and kissed me several times on the head and held my hands and told me he still cares about me so much but he has to do this for himself right now and that it was killing him to do this. I find whenever his life gets too stressful he tends to push people away. He said he’d reconsider getting back with me but not because he wanted to at the present moment but because he didn’t want to see me in pain. I told him he had no obligation to stay with me because he didn’t want me sad. Eventually we agreed mutually to break up and it was the calmest break up we’ve had out of the 3 ( the first time was something foolish and we both worked on it and overcame It and same with the second time and we haven’t had that issue since). The last thing that happened was I got out of the car and told him I had a friend to meet and he said “Rachel…please let me hug you one last time” so I did and he drug it out for a very long time so eventually I had to let go because I know it was just hurting the both of us. When I got out of the car he started crying like I could hear him as I was walking away and it killed me so badly. The last thing that happened was I told him I missed him and he said he missed me too and even though I wanted to bombard him with texts, I stopped contact. It’s technically been 2 and a half days and I’ve accepted that no contact may not get him back, however I’m using it as more of a method to heal myself and evaluate everything and try to fix my communication skills whether it be for him IF HE comes back (which he usually does though I don’t have high hopes) or someone in the future. However, last time I initiated no contact (it worked) he said it actually pushed him away ( he didn’t know he just thought I was ignoring him to be rude) and if I hadn’t have broke It within the 16 days he probably would’ve just let me go. Would it be okay if I just don’t initiate contact first but keep the conversations brief and friendly If he were to contact me? Because I do want him back since this break up was clearly something neither of us truly wanted however I’m not going to be the one who pushes it on him. Both parties need to be willing but I don’t want to push him away. Sorry if this was long I’m just trying to give you the best insight.

    Reply
    • EBR Team Member: Ashley - 4

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      hi Rachel,

      you’re and off plus it’s so obvious he wants to friendzone you.. so it would really be better to do at least 30 days

  5. Fredericko - 0

    Fredericko

    Awesome article Ashley! Very insightful

    Reply
    • EBR Team Member: Ashley - 5

      EBR Team Member: Ashley

      Thanks, Fred! You know I believe in our ladies more than anything. They have more potential than they will ever know. Soon enough their exes will realize it too.

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