By Sarah Drees

I had this friend back in college. Her boyfriend at the time told her he needed space.

So, she did something that I thought was absolutely ludicrous at the time. She looked him dead in the eye and said,

“Okay. Have all the space you need.”

and walked away.

My jaw hit the floor when she told me.

“You did what?!”

Less than 36 hours after that she gets a call,

“Baby, I was wrong! Please don’t leave me!”

What was this magic she had spun?

Somehow, she had convinced the man who was clearly preparing to leave her that, instead, she was leaving him.

It was genius!

It was impossible!

Wasn’t it?

Well… obviously not.

If you’ve arrived at this article, I’m going to guess that you likely fall into one of the below categories:

  1. Your boyfriend asked you to give him space and you think he might break up with you
  2. Your boyfriend broke up with you, you gnatted him and then he asked for space
  3. You’re trying out or thinking about trying out the No Contact Rule and are afraid that if you give your ex-boyfriend space, that he might not come back

Fear not! We are going to tackle the art of giving him “space” in-depth so you will leave here feeling confident that giving your boyfriend or ex-boyfriend space is nowhere near as scary as it seems and you may even find that you enjoy having the space.

But first, let’s talk about a few things:

  • What it means to give someone space
  • Some of the reasons why a guy might ask for space in the first place
  • And what to do if your boyfriend or ex-boyfriend asks for space

What is Space?

As I was preparing to write this article I literally wrote down on a piece of paper “What is Space?” This led me to several deeper thoughts such as “what is space,” “what is time,” “what is life.”

Wow, that got deep and scary fast. Once I got past those flashbacks from philosophy 101 and I was done questioning the meaning of my existence, I came up with the following:

Space is something that a person may need to disconnect and “refresh” in order to allow themselves to think about certain things and reflect upon something weighing on their mind.

I wrote the definitive eBook about giving people space, “The No Contact Rule Book.  Go pick up a copy!

More simply and bluntly put, he is looking to be left alone for a while.

For purposes of this article, we are going to roll with this understanding.

Before we move on, some of you are probably wondering “well, what if he didn’t say he needed space, but he said that he needed time? That is totally different right?” Well no, not really. For purposes of EBR and this article, think of a guy asking for space and a guy asking for time to be pretty much the same thing. He is looking to be left alone for a while.

Why Did He Ask For Space?

There are a number of specific reasons a guy may ask for space:

  • He’s really busy
  • He has a lot of stress from him family, school, work, etc. right now
  • He’s tired of arguing
  • He’s confused
  • He’s trying to regain control
  • etc.

The list really can go on and on and on. I would encourage you to try not and dwell on finding a specific reason why he may have asked for space, especially, if things seemed like they were going well before he asked for space. If you know why he asked for space because he told you; great! If not, try not to over-analyze it.

The important thing to understand, is that when guys get overwhelmed, they handle their emotions differently than women. As women, we tend to seek out friends and family for support or to vent to. Guys typically do not do this. Men are more likely to bottle things up inside.

Because of this, guys can carry around a lot on a daily basis. Extra emotions or a fight can be enough to cause a guy’s plate to overflow, causing him to try to remove or avoid something from his plate. In this case, if he’s asked for space, you are thing he is trying to remove.

Another thing that is important to understand about men is that they are naturally problem solvers. Men are more likely to retreat and want to “reappear” once they have come up with a solution. They don’t want to necessarily be seen as they are trying to work through things and come up with a solution.

What Should I Do If He Asks for Space?

Simple.

GIVE HIM SPACE.

Definitely give him space.

There are a number of more obvious reasons why giving him the space he has asked for makes the most sense, such as it is more respectful and the more mature thing to do.

However, I know that if you’ve arrived on this page, you probably already know this and so far, you are not convinced that giving him space will work and is the best thing to do. Everything in you is telling you to chase him.

You ask, “Will he come back if I stop chasing him?”

So, let’s start by taking a moment to explore what your other option is: Don’t give him space and continue to reach out at a normal or higher rate.

If you are considering this, you may be doing so because you are worried that giving him space will prevent him from coming back. You may feel that reaching out to him as if everything is “normal” may make him realize that he is making a mistake asking for space. Or, you may feel the need to convince him that you two belong together and that you can talk through whatever the issue is and space is not necessary. You may be wanting to show him that your love can conquer whatever it is that made him think that space was the only way to handle it.

I want to make this point really clear… so, I’m going to underline it AND bold it….

Continuing to try to talk to him, text him, or chase after him after he has asked for space is only going to push him further away.

We even have a word here at EBR for continuing to pester someone with texts, calls, emails, and anything else and this is called “gnatting.”

You can read about it here, in “Desperation 101- How To Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back Without Looking Desperate”  when you’ve finished reading this article. Basically, it’s texting or calling excessively.

Is it gnatting even if I text him like I normally would… nothing more?

YES!

He’s asked you to give him space (a complete disconnect) and you are giving him more than he wants. It’s annoying.

You know when a fly or a gnat is buzzing around and you can’t seem to get it to go away? That is how your ex boyfriend feels when you keep trying to force him to connect when he doesn’t want to.

Please do not be a gnat. Our pros over at EBR will all tell you that gnatting will lower your chances of getting your ex to come back.

That’s right! Gnatting, not giving him space is what will hurt your chances of him coming back.

I polled 10 random guys today. I asked them the following question:

“Would you be more likely to want to get back with someone who

a) you asked for space from and this person gave it to you

or

b) you asked for space from and they texted and/or called you trying to “fix” the situation?”

The results are below:

a) 10 votes

b) 0 votes

That’s right! 100% of guys said that they would be more likely to want to get back together with the person that respected their request and gave them space!

Why Giving Him Space and the No Contact Rule is the Best Option

Giving him space and utilizing the No Contact Rule will allow your boyfriend or ex boyfriend the opportunity to “reset” any bad feelings that he may have towards you. If you haven’t broken up and your boyfriend says he needs space, he is probably feeling stressed or overwhelmed by something in the relationship. He may need time to retreat and come up with the solution, like we talked about at the top of this article.

If you have broken up and you gnatted causing your ex-boyfriend to ask for space, it is paramount that you give your ex-boyfriend space now and begin implementing the No Contact Rule.

So why not learn much more – Get Your Copy of My eBook The No Contact Rule Book

Anything else you do after he asks for space is really going to move you towards the “crazy psycho ex-girlfriend” territory and really, who wants to be her? NOT YOU!!!

In the meantime, focus on becoming ungettable and the best possible version of you.

If you are unsure what Ungettable means, here is a link to an article explaining the term. It is unique to the Ex Boyfriend Recovery Program, but the concept is pretty easy to follow.

A “Real Life” Example

Think about a dog for a minute.

Imagine that you are standing on an open road. You and the dog are looking directly at each other but there is some distance between you, say 10 feet. This may sound funny but I want you to take a moment and try to picture your ex-boyfriend as that dog. Now I want you to image that dog turning around and walking the other way… The dog is creating space between you and him, just like your ex boyfriend.

Now, your first instinct may be to panic, to run after the dog, or to call it back to you and maybe even offer it a treat. However, if you chase after the dog (your ex boyfriend), what is the dog likely to do? The dog is likely to run away further. The dog may even enjoy being chased by you. If you call the dog back to you and offer it a treat, it may or may not come but if it doesn’t the dog is going to know that walking away from you sure got your attention and he was rewarded, thus this will encourage the dog to do it again. You don’t want to go this route either.
So, if those options don’t work, let’s imagine what you should do. You’re back on the street and the dog is walking away from you. Imagine instead, that you stand there and do nothing. Or, better yet, you turn around and start walking the other way, away from the dog. Now, imagine that when the dog turns around to see if you are following him, he instead sees that you are out having the time of your life! Maybe you’re even giving his much beloved treats to another dog.

What do you think the dog is going to be inclined to do?

If you said come running back, you are right!

Now, let’s apply this example to ex. Your boyfriend asks for space. Instead of freaking out and chasing after him, you simply respect his space. In the meantime you go off and do some UG (Ungettable) things. When your ex boyfriend checks in on you (whether directly by texting you or indirectly through mutual friends or by looking at your social media) he will see that you are off having fun. Your boyfriend or ex-boyfriend will be much MORE LIKELY to come back simply because you respected his space and even made the most of it and had a little fun for yourself!

Space isn’t sounding too bad anymore, is it?

You Still Have Reservations?

Wow, you’re still not convinced, huh?

I could just tell you that giving him the space he asked for could not only turn out to be awesome, but that it could strengthen your bond with your ex.

I could tell you that it may even HELP your chances of him coming back!

I’m guessing that if you still are not convinced that you have some other concerns about giving your guy space, so let’s talk through some of the more common questions I see when giving girls advice on our EBR Support Group. 

Will Giving Him Space Make Him Fall Out of Love With Me?

No, we are talking about you giving him space for a short period of time (typically no more than your no contact period). People cannot fall out of love in a matter of weeks. Respecting his space will show maturity and independence which should only make you more attractive in his eyes.

What If He Meets Someone Else While I’m Giving Him Space?

Well, I don’t want to lie to you so it is possible that he could meet another girl while you are giving him space or in No Contact. However, it is highly likely that this person will be a rebound and it will be very short-lived. There are other methods EBR offers to help in these specific situations… so, don’t worry. It’s not hopeless.

How Long Should I Give Him Space For?

I have to admit, this is tricky to answer but I felt like this is probably a really common question so I wanted to take a stab although there is not a “one size fits all” answer here.

If you are still dating and your boyfriend had asked for space, I would recommend giving him space for at least a week or until he reaches out. If he does not respond positively to your reach out after 1 week, do not gnat but give him another week of space. Remember, in the meantime, try to have fun!

Now, if you are broken up you need to give your boyfriend space until your No Contact period is up. You may be thinking, “what if he reaches out before then; has he had enough space?” Stick to your No Contact period and follow the No Contact Rule Book.

Story Time….

Let me leave you with a story, you’ll never guess who it is about…

No really, guess.

Okay fine, I’ll tell you, it is about me! The year was 2008 and I was in my first real High School relationship.

I know. Everybody say it with me…

So this guy, let’s call him “A.”

A and I had a great relationship that moved really quickly. We were in “love” after three weeks of dating. I know, it’s laughable now but this has an important lesson that came with it…

After about two months of being on a romantic high, A completely blindsided me and asked for “space.”

We were not fighting, we were perfect. I thought I was going to marry him and have his babies. I’m completely joking… only kind of, but not really…

Anyway, after A asked for space, I remember thinking that I must show him that space would only pull us apart and lessen our love; that I should show him that I was willing to fight for him and that this would prove to him that we were meant to be together.

I totally gnatted him for a week.

If you are still unclear on what gnatting is, you can read more about it here.

What was the result? He broke up with me a week later. I cried, and cried, and cried. But I DID NOT CONTACT HIM. I inadvertently began no contact and guess what, two weeks later he was BEGGING for me back.

Moral of the story is this: once I finally gave A the space that he was looking for, he was able to realize how much he missed me and how much our relationship meant to him. He began to wonder what I was doing and wanted to talk to me. Give the guy space and show him what he is missing out on.

A Quick Recap

So, something I have found in working with Ex Boyfriend Recovery is that, if we don’t do some kind of recap at the end of an article, our readers tend to pick on point that I made and forget the rest of the article altogether.

So, let’s look at what we discussed today.

  1. When a person asks for space, they are wanting a disconnect from the person they are asking for space from. The want time alone.
  2. There are plenty of reasons that your ex could be asking for space. The important thing is not to get hung up on the “Why?
  3. If he is asking for space, the absolutely BEST option is to GIVE IT TO THEM. Most of the time people don’t know what they want and when they get it they almost instantly realize that it is not what they really wanted.
  4. Then we talked about the reasons you might doubt that this will work… Well, you’re wrong. 9 times out of 10 it will work.

I also try to hook you guys up with a video that can help you moving forward.

For this topic today I think that THIS video is the perfect one for those of you in this situation.

Alright So, I’m going to do one more thing for you today.

I know… she has more?!

You’re probably wondering,

“What did I ever do to deserve such gifts?”

Well, you just clicked on the right article today, my friend.

I am going to open up the comments below for discussion. I want to hear about your situation with your asking you for space.

From there we can discuss your next action.

  1. How did he go about asking you for space or time to think?
  2. Did you breakup or have you not quite gotten there yet?
  3. What have you done since he asked for space?

436 thoughts on “Will He Come Back If I Give Him Space”

  1. Avatar

    Sophie

    October 10, 2019 at 8:43 am

    Hey , I and my boyfriend having been having little altercations here and there for a while now , we are in a long distance relationship and I really love , after a big fight he once asked for space , I panicked and didn’t give him that space now it’s like everything has gone worse and I really want to fix this , how do I do it , he doesn’t he is valued or important to me

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 11, 2019 at 7:52 pm

      Hi Sophie, so you need to tell him how he is important to you and how you are sorry for the argument recently but you are going to try to be better at communicating your feelings. You need to look at your situation and consider if it is worth the fallout. Being honest, but not accusing with your words is the best bet. As usually people go on the defensive quickly in relationships when something has upset their partner

  2. Avatar

    Jennifer Lopez

    September 17, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    I’m glad I read this! My boyfriend of over a year broke up with me after a fight I caused. I of course begged, and cried. The following day met up to get my shirt, and did the same thing. I asked if he loved me and he said he was angry and needed space, and that he didn’t love me. I finally said okay I’ll let him be, and went in for a kiss and he kissed me a few pecks and held me, and said he would need a few days and let me know. I’m giving him the space. It’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do, but I’m doing it. I’m hoping for the best!

  3. Avatar

    Sandy

    September 15, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Hi I’m so glad I found this article.

    So I had a week off work due to stress, a number of things contributed to my stress (single mum of 2 boys, work full time with kids, have my own business, debts, problems with moving house and a relationship that isn’t where I want it to be) which peaked after falling out with my best friend and then with the bf the day after. (Back story, he has a very busy schedule which has caused us to only see each other once a week for about a year- Iv held on because the big job he has on ends in 2 weeks and I was giving it until then to see if his efforts changed- this in turn has caused me a lot of turmoil over the past few years as Iv always questioned why he hasn’t made even a little bit of time for us and we have argued multiple times about it) anyway after our argument last Friday in which his stress levels peaked too and he yelled at me, he made a fair bit more effort than usual and we spent Saturday night together and chilled in bed most the day (not done that in 2 years) then I saw him Monday and Tuesday (not forgetting I was off with stress) but then Wednesday, Thursday he pulled back and although we had a small few word convo by text both days, because my heads been in a bad place I was agitated at him. Friday comes and he asked me what I’m upto for the day, I assumed he wanted to see me, he then called me at 9 and said Iv got 1 thing to do and he will call me (I didn’t go to the gym or to yoga as I was supposed to as I didn’t want to be mid yoga and him call back) only it got to 12 and he hadn’t called and by this point I was really agitated so I called a few times which he ignored and then I asked him why he hadn’t called and he said he was with his mum (his mum lives with him due to her ill health but she seems to have him wrapped around her finger) I just said it’s a shame because me and him could have had a really nice day together to which he replied “what instead of spending it with my mother” so I replied and just simply said that Iv really needed him this week, Iv needed him to be there for me to lean on but the past 3 days he hasn’t been and because my heads not right(super emotional over everything) I can’t handle it. He proceeded to call me (now enroute to work) and shout at me about how I’m not the only one that’s stressed, I said I’m just fed up because I’m not included in his life to which he responded.. what life, I don’t have a life until this jobs done and no matter whether I spend no time or some time with you, you arnt happy so I just don’t see the point, I need to get this job done and when we didn’t talk (end of July we didn’t talk for 2 weeks- similar reasons) he was much more relaxed as he had one less thing to juggle. I said that’s fine then, I’ll give you a wide berth for a few weeks………. I regret this now. I feel like I was too demanding of him but I wasn’t aware he was stressed that much because he hadn’t told me and I still feel hurt that he chose to not see me Friday just gone.

    Iv been so close to messaging him and asking if we can talk but I also wonder if space will do us some good but right now I feel just as stressed as before I went off work (back in tomorrow) I just want a hug, like I have done since Wednesday and I’m really confused.

    My mum and friends think I need to just block him because he hasn’t made any time for me over the last 2 years and he has really brought my mood down, they don’t understand why I’m so hooked (neither am I if I’m honest) but he keeps giving me enough hope each week to keep me there.

    Help please

    Sandy

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 17, 2019 at 8:56 am

      Hi Sandy, I think completing a full No Contact first, and working on yourself to be the best version of you. You’ll find that your self confidence and self worth will increase and then you and look at your past relationship and how you feel about the way you’re being treated. IF you decide you still want him look at the texting articles to help you get back to talking with your ex. Sometimes they need time away from us to appreciate us too.

      As for not understanding why you’re hooked. Being in a relationship we become comfortable with patterns and familiarity, so when they breakup happens we have a withdrawal from our ex and the feelings we had from the relationship, even if it was toxic

  4. Avatar

    Aleah Howes

    September 15, 2019 at 4:38 am

    So I dated a guy for almost a year and he cheated. He ended up staying with the last girl he cheated on me with but I knew it was never going to last. About 8 months later he hits me up wanting to come clean and be honest with me. We’ve been good friends since but recently we were talking about getting back together. I can genuinely say that I’m going to marry this guy. There’s no other way to put it. The only problem is, everything has been going great and then all of a sudden, he says he has to think about everything and might want to start over with someone new. Told me he loves me and it has nothing to do with us but it hurts none the less. We both haven’t been talking to anyone else. Closed relationship without the title rn. I don’t understand. If you love someone why would you want to be with someone else? we aren’t dating but it was starting to get to that point. So I did message him and told him how I felt and he totally ignored me. So I’m trying to not message him but it hurts. So much. Any advice would be great.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 15, 2019 at 1:55 pm

      Hey Aleah, so whats going on here he has a grass is greener situation. He isn’t valuing you enough. Complete a NC and work on yourself, at this moment in time he think he can find and get better than what you can offer him. This is hurtful to hear I know. But you need to be the “Ungettable Girl” to get a man like this commit to you.

  5. Avatar

    Susan

    August 30, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Hi, everyone me & my boyfriend were high school sweethearts. I ended up divorcing my husband & started dating my boyfriend. We were head over heels for each other and 3 months later we moved in together. We both have kids. My family never accepted him and he didn’t accept my family. 4 years later he told me to move out, but he still loves me. I moved in with my parents. I am 40 years old and am devastated. We were still on speaking terms, until I started moving my stuff out, and he told me one of my family members stole his change jar. He said it was all my fault, because I allowed them in the house. Prior to me moving out I had been really ill & still am. I wasn’t able to pay my half of the bills. I allowed him to use my credit cards, and he racked up over $23,000 on them & said he would pay me back. Well now he won’t even sign the letter stating he owes me, until his change jar is found. I am literally sick to my stomach. We got in a hugh fight, and he hasn’t spoken to me in 2 days. I haven’t texted him or called him at all. I did not want to move. He said the reason he wanted me out was my family & my kids. When I did move he was texting me more & hanging out with me until this situation escalated. Before I even moved he was loving on me & acted like he didn’t want me to go. I am just so confused on if you love somebody why would you do this? Why would you want them out so bad? Yes we were arguing about money. We have had tougher times than this and made it through. I wish he would just say come home I miss you.

  6. Avatar

    C

    August 27, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Hi EBR Team,
    I was going out with a guy for about 2 weeks, before which we talked everyday twice a day for a month for hours on the phone. We met online and just clicked. We had the most amazing first few dates. Nearly 2 weeks in, we had a hiccup after which he said he was feeling distant and things may not be working out as hoped. I said to take time if he needed. No reply. 2 days later I asked outright if he needed time. No reply. I got upset and let my insecurities gnat him slightly. In my mind, if he’d just asked for space, it would have been easier. I later apologised for the gnatting ( which was apx 1 msg per day for about 5-7 days). The only sign I’ve gotten is he tried to call last wednesday. I msged him twice since letting him know I wasn’t angry and he could chat to me if he wanted. It’s been 4-5 days since. I originally thought I was being ghosted.
    Any thoughts on how to proceed? I’m thinking if he contacts it’s ok to answer and not do outright NC? I may have spooked him too much, but is it ok to expect a man to communicate when they need space? Should I just assume it?
    Any insights would be appreciated!
    Thanks!
    C

  7. Avatar

    Hannah Curnutt

    August 25, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    WOW! Thank you so much!! I truly needed this for answers! My boyfriend and I have dated for 9 months when he told me we should go on a break (WE. WERE. ON. A. BREAK.) abd I was ok with that. It was justifiable with his request and I was ok. But it hard to still talk while we were technically not BF/GF anymore. I asked him a week after our break I told him I needed a no contact for a while. We both still love each other and want to be with each other, and we have talked about marriage a lot! But this article really helped me see that this is ok for me to do, before we hurt each other in the future. I’m giving it a week before I break the no contact and hopefully we come back stronger than before. We will come back to talk about our break in 2 weeks (it will be a month). During this time I’m working on myself…talking time for my friends, my emotional well being, and not being afraid to have fun! I am on a social hiatus for 2 weeks now (I go on every now and then to check on my friends/ events) and that has been helping. This article helped me understand that taking a break and having a no contact rule is OK! I think this will make us stronger in the end! Thank you thank you thank you!

  8. Avatar

    Maggie

    August 23, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    I have been in a relationship with him for just over 2 years and he has had commitment issues due to his ex as he didn’t want her to know he is seeing someone in case she kept the kids from him. He was adamant they aren’t even friends and that they rarely text etc. On our first holiday together recently he was on his phone constantly and something just said, check it, so I did… I found flirty texts which someone in a relationship shouldn’t be sending his ex. I confronted him 3 days later and he said he was angry, I had no right to look at his phone and he needs space and doesn’t want to discuss it. It has been 4 days and I am in agony, I feel sick and all I want is to beg him to stay…
    I have stuck to the space he’s asked for but it’s killing me not knowing if he’ll stay or leave. Was he messaging her because he wants her back or was it innocent like he said? I don’t know what to do 🙁

  9. Avatar

    Kelly

    August 17, 2019 at 4:59 am

    I have been seeing a guy for about 4 months and everything has been perfect. We get along great, his friends love me and we always have fun together. We were never the type to text 24/7 or hang out all the time. We had a good together and alone balance that worked well for both of us. He hates his job and I know has been stressed about that. He also has never been in a serious relationship (we’re both almost 30). He started kind of withdrawing about a month ago and when I finally confronted him that we needed to talk our talk ended up in him telling me he knew he wasn’t giving me what I deserve, his heart isn’t in it right now, he wants me to be happy, thanked me for understanding about him needing space and that he would figure things out soon. And that’s how it ended. I started the NCR that night and it has been about a week and a half of no contact. I have felt so sure that he was going to reach out and have recently fell into a depression and am constantly anxious about the fact that he hasn’t. I am trying to keep busy and go out with friends but I am just sad about the situation. I don’t know if I should just totally give up on it or not or believe him that he said he would figure things out soon.

  10. Avatar

    Rhonda

    August 9, 2019 at 11:45 am

    I was dating a great guy for about a month, texting almost every day and having a great time on every one of our dates. We had a fantastic conversations in person and by text. He started to pull away after one of the dates, and when I reached out to him by text after 5 days, he responded that he wasn’t ready to move further with our ‘relationship’.
    He’s separated from his wife since just over a year and they were a couple for over 10 years. I thought maybe he has unresolved feelings and I know that they are still speaking and spending time with one another.
    I suggested we be friends and keep in touch, which he agreed to.
    Two weeks later, he texted me to see if I wanted to meet up the following week. When we saw each other, our dynamic was just like before, and seemed just as flirtatious, not platonic. During that evening, he even reiterated that he is no longer with his wife. We texted back and forth for a few days immediately after, then abruptly silence from him. I tried reaching out after a few days by text, to which he responded warmly, but it didn’t go anywhere.
    I haven’t heard from him for two weeks after the last text conversation, but he randomly liked one of my social media posts last week. He has never said ‘I need space’ but that was how I have interpreted his initial statement that he wasn’t ready to move forward with the relationship.
    I’m not sure if it’s better to reach out by text or phone to just see how he is doing and let him know that I am there – since we are supposed to be friends, or to just play it cool.

  11. Avatar

    Olivia

    July 22, 2019 at 1:08 am

    So my boyfriend and I dated for 3.5 years. I met him on a cruise with my family and we clicked almost instantly. After time with family, we would both end up ditching them to hang out. We’d talk until 4 or 5 in the morning, just enjoying each others company. It was incredible. We were long distance (3 hours) for 2.5 years and then 7 hours for the last year as I had to move for my education. As I was getting ready to move last year, i was considering breaking it off because of lack of progression. Then, he brought up moving in together. He traveled to look for apartments and even seemed excited as we talked about the things we would need to purchase. Through the course of the last year, we’ve had more disagreements and I know it was weighing on him. I also know he’s not happy with where he’s at in his life, especially cause I have mine together (I’m a second year med student after years of working to get there). A couple days after I moved in (he was supposed to move a month later to give him time to work and signed the lease), he told me he had been debating for the last month if he should actually move because of 2 things: his entire life is back home and our disagreements. After a few weeks of great communication and interaction via phone, he broke up with me. He said he needed to figure out what he wants. He continued to tell me he loved me as he was also saying that he wasnt sure he couldn’t live without me. He was so conflicting and I really dont know what to believe. I asked him for a break instead and he said that implies that hes actually coming back. This man was my life and I’m still so devastated. We’ve been done a week and I did text him briefly once because I was drunk. To my surprise, he did respond, but I’m not confident that he’ll come back at all. How can I compete with his friends, family, and comfort back home? No one saw this coming. Not me, his parents, sisters, or friends. I’ve blocked his accounts on social media (he was shocked) and I intend not to reach out. How does the no contact work if he’s 7.5 hours away? Im worried he wont miss me and it’ll push him further away. I’m just baffled and heartbroken. I wish I knew why he needed space. Advice?

  12. Avatar

    Ananda

    July 15, 2019 at 8:03 am

    So there’s this guy that I’ve been friends with for a couple of years. He was in a long term relationship, over 10 years, and I’ve been married for 12.

    He admitted to me before Christmas last year that he was struggling with depression, with some friends and his relationship, then he lost his job after Christmas. Due to mutual friendships and interests we started to spend a lot more time together, messaging and seeing each other pretty much every day.

    Took until March for us to realise we both wanted more. Neither of us had been happy in our long term relationships for a good while, so we did the right thing by our respective partners so that we could be together.
    It was a stressful time, he’d started his new job the month before, and he got kicked out of home, we started looking for somewhere for us to live, and I was in and out of hospital. Despite all that, and both of our mental health challenges which the other was aware of, we were both so committed, and everything just felt so right, so perfect. So many people commented on how happy we were together, how it just seemed right, and we noticed too.

    After me being in hospital for a week and having major surgery, and me being a little upset that he hadn’t come to visit the day I got out, we had a bit of a disagreement by text and I kept on nagging him about it whilst he was at work overnight. He came around the following day and told me he didn’t think it would work out, over the course of the next couple of days I was given about 7 different reasons/excuses, none of which we couldn’t have dealt with if he’d just spoken to me.

    We’d only properly been together for a month. It’s now been 2.5 months since we split, and I’m still devastated. We didn’t speak or see each other for the best part of 3 weeks, then I bumped into him, we had a catch up and agreed we wanted to stay friends (even though I wanted him back) and stay civil for the sake of our mutual friends. He hasn’t once instigated contact in this time, I’ve tried to keep things light if we have bumped into each other, he’s OK to my face but then will ignore me by message, bar two occasions. Then we had a bit of a spat four weeks ago when out with friends when it became apparent that an emotionally manipulative friend, who we’d managed to distance from him previously, got her claws back in to him even stronger than before. He’s now in a worse position mentally than he was before.

    I’ve now heard rumours he’s considering going back to his ex, who he has nothing in common with, and she has dictated that there will be rules to him going back, no late nights out, and no speaking to me.

    We saw each other yesterday for the first time since the spat last month. I’d finally gone NC for 4 weeks. The manipulative friend wasn’t around, we were with a big group of friends, he instigated a couple of conversations with me, and things felt comfortable for the first time in since the end of April.

    Despite everything I still love him. So much. A friend of ours has told me he feels guilty for how he’s handled things and treated me, but he won’t instigate any communication or a conversation one to one. Where do I go from here!?

  13. Avatar

    Becca Cleary

    July 13, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Hi Chris.

    Me and my boyfriend met in college and we’re dating for a year and 3 months. We just graduated college and he lives in a different state from me. He’s close enough to drive but we were only able to see each other on the weekend. The real world hit us hard, each of us starting a job. I have always been the one to talk about the future and plan on going wherever he needs to be. Recently, this stressed him out because he didn’t know what he wanted in the future. He broke up with me 2 weeks ago and said he needed to focus on himself and basically saying he doesn’t deserve me and that he will never love me as much as i love him. I know he cares for me and there is love, and he knows i give him the world. I tried no contact for a week but then i tried to reach out. He told me it was too hard to talk about our days and he needed room. Then i heard from a friend that felt so lonely and that he feels horrible because he knows how upset he made me and that he wishes i didn’t question myself or my worth. I decided to write him a letter and go give it to him. He was so mad i showed up, which is understandable, but i was trying to fight for him. The letter told him i understand we need space and i believe our old relationship is gone but that down the road i think we belong together and that we have a new love to start. He told me he needs distance and he wants me to not wait around for him and that i need to move on because he hates what he’s put me through and it’s not fair. I don’t understand why he won’t try, he knows how much i love him and i tell him he hasn’t destroyed me like he thinks he did and that he was a great boyfriend. I am going to start the 30 day no contact but it’s killing me to think i can’t fight for him. I’ve always been one for grand gestures and i would give him the world. I have to respect his wishes for space but i feel like I’m letting him get away but giving him space. Is there anyway i can try and win him back after the 30 days?

  14. Avatar

    Tammy Leonard

    July 3, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    I have been dating a guy for 4 months. Until 6 weeks ago everything was blissfully perfect. Then an incident happened with family that deeply affected him, there have been a few other issues since which appear to have all added. Add in the fact that I’m overly insecure due to an abusive previous relationship, I took his distancing to be from me rather than because he was stressed. He asked for space but we continued to text, initially it was just cooling the insecurity. Forward to last weekend, the stresses become too much and we had a very heated argument.
    He said he wanted to call time on our relationship but, after speaking and discussing things he said he needed time to reassess and would contact me.
    That afternoon he text to tell me about another incident which has caused his anger and resentment for others to grow. He doesn’t want to discuss us and apart from a phone call today he made there has been no contact.
    I have to add that he suffers from depression but hasn’t been taking his antidepressants so I feel his behaviour and his reaction to the stress is as a result of this but I have agreed to give him his space.
    I’m worried now though that he won’t come back. As he was already on the verge of breaking up with me, will the break just highlight to him that life without me is less stressful. I’m struggling to move forward without looking at his social media and re-reading previous texts. I feel so hopeless but have so far resisted contacting him

  15. Avatar

    Ali

    June 29, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    So my boyfriend and I had been together for a little over 2 years. After 4 months of dating he moved and we decided to do long distance for about 8 months & I would visit once a month. I moved to be with him after a year & now we live together. He started a new career with a couple different companies and some times the stresses would reflect in our relationship. He asked for “space” and I did the best I could for 2 months considering I live with him. But we never got back to our old ways and the relationship was lacking affection and intimacy, which was really starting to get to me. I brought it up not too long ago and he just said I feel like we’re growing apart, we agreed to try to work on it but when I would try to be intimate I would get turned down. Then we got into a fight on my birthday and he dumped me. Gave him some space for a couple days and then we agreed to take a break. I opted to move out for a month against his wishes which was another fight. He said he thinks me moving out will only make things worse, I just think he doesn’t want to be stuck with the rent by himself. Anyways, I’m moving out in a couple of days and my question is, given the situation and given that we have most of friends in common, when he does contact me, do I just ignore him? For the whole month? We’ve been broken up for 2 weeks now living together and are still able to get along and he will still reach out to me when I’m not around. I want to keep contact minimal but is complete radio silence more effective or too harsh?

  16. Avatar

    Maddy

    June 23, 2019 at 11:32 am

    well,
    My boyfriend and i met in college and we got together in Jan this year and things were just amazing! last month, we were on summer break and he had to go to his native. in this one month period, he didn’t have much time to talk to me or text me since there were 3 weddings in his family. Due to this, there were times I did lose my patience but tried to understand his situation and held on. but one or 2 times, i did confront him about this and he would apologize and then we would go back to being normal almost immediately. He is basically a person who wouldn’t talk much, and only througha series of questioning would he tell me if there’s something going on that i needed to know. the relationship works pretty well. He is also a person with various incidents in his life since childhood and would blame himself. he has been living with guilt for about 5 to 6 years of his life, not constantly, but occasionally, his guilt would reach the surface. about 2 weeks ago, he wanted a break from the relationship as he did not know whether he was in a proper mental state to proceed in one at the moment, but he asked me not to wait and didn’t know if he’d be back. ( he had made promises about the future plenty of times and they weren’t made due to mere excitement of getting someone). He also told me not to have any contact with him whatsoever,until he approaches me. I totally understood the pat where he needed the break (i agreed) but was shattered about the part where he told me not to wait. i did tell him to take his time, but i would break if he didn’t return. yes, i did cry…or weep, rather. I did go on without talking to him for about 10 days, but my emotions got the best of me and called him. He only said, “for now, maintain some distance, i really dont know what to say or don’t have anything to say”. All I wanted to hear was a word of hope about him getting back. Now i happened to read various blogs in this website about the no contact rule, and i have just one question, is it ok to follow this when the ex boyfriend also is sort of following this too?

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      June 23, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      HI Maddy…yes, I think what is important is you follow NC for helping yourself in terms of the recovery and healing process. Consider my Program as it will give you a comprehensive way of getting through all this.

  17. Avatar

    Britney

    June 20, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Hello!
    I was with my ex-boyfriend, Andrew for 4 years.
    He broke up with me on 12/24/2018 for a mi-rad of reasons, which some were true some weren’t.
    We have been FWB’s since 02/2019.
    He knows how I feel and says he feels the same.
    He is having issues making a decision to commit to me or not because he is extremely worried about my family causing unnecessary drama (I have a toxic family).
    He’s stressed himself out about it so bad that it began causing him stomach/bowl issues.
    We’ve seen each other almost every weekend and talk every day all day until this Monday when he asked for space to clear his head.
    He also stated that he isn’t changing his mind about me or us he just needs space but that we can still talk.
    He says he feels pressured.
    He also said that he is still stuck on how I used to be even though he knows I’m not the same.
    I totally understand where he is coming from.
    I said I accept your request for space. He then texted me yesterday telling me that he is okay but had a health issue almost happen.
    I replied with I’m glad you are okay, thank you for sharing that with me. That’s random that that happened.
    He replied with yea idk what was up with that.
    End of conversation.I know that I can come across as “needy” or “clingy” by texting all day every day but he did it to me too and initiated it most of the time BUT I am working on changing this.
    Anyways, I am giving him space BUT am I able to text him sometimes during this because he said that we could still talk, or no? I don’t want him to think that I don’t want to talk to him by not initiating because my not texting is not my “normal” but I also want to honor his space. I’m so not used to focusing on myself, which I am working on as well but man…I’m just frazzled.
    Do I give him complete space or no? When & do I reach out?
    I can’t tell if there may be someone else but I don’t know for sure but when we aren’t together he is with his daughter or at work, he works A LOT.

  18. Avatar

    Bailie

    June 18, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Hello Chris!
    I’ve been reading every single article of yours and they really spoke out to me. I’m writing this because I’m still on be fence!

    So me and a guy I was talking to for 5 months recently told me he needed space a week ago due to us arguing all the time, me getting frustrated and not understanding and made him feel alone and kept pushing him away because I was scared. In the beginning he knew he liked him, tried to go for me right away, tried to kiss me but I told him I needed to take things slow so we did. After a month I really started to like him but I still had my walls up because I was scared of getting hurt again. But In the end I ended up just hurting him. He wanted me to meet his parents as I would be the first one go on vacation but I did no. We got in a huge argument and then he told me he needed space and time because he needed to work on himself and grow as a person, and focus in school- he also told me he wanted to stay friends and that would never change. I wouldn’t accept it at first so the first couple days I “gnatted” him, called him a lot, texted whenever he would text me. But after I read this I stopped it all.
    He’s tried reaching out twice in the last two days but I’m on vacation and been posting me having fun and now he won’t even look at social media.
    He’s been going out with friends more especially this girl even though he said she has a boyfriend of two years now (he’s never lied to me before) and even promised me that he doesn’t want anything with any other girl including Me. And that he doesn’t know if me and him will ever get back together and said he doesn’t think so.

    I’m worried if I even have a chance with him again, I’m worried that I pushed him too far, and I don’t even know if I should text him or continue to ignore him and give him his space which I started two days ago, I’m worried this will just push him away further and find someone else or get so mad he doesn’t want to even be my friend.

    Please give me some advice. It’s been dwelling.

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      June 19, 2019 at 12:42 am

      Hi Bailie….I would continue to give him some space, then reach out to him in the method I teach in my Program – EBR Pro Bundle which is the complete Package.

  19. Avatar

    Anonymous

    June 17, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Hi, I have been through the no contact rule with my ex we have since met up for coffee. The following week he texted me that he misses me and I responded. He told me that he is very unhappy and then I didn’t hear from him for another week. I reached out to him and briefly spoke on the phone where he said he needs more time to think but wouldn’t tell me about what. I followed up with a text stating that I can no longer wait for him to think as i want him to be happy and I want to support him but he chose to let me go and that I just need to move on as him saying he misses me gave me a false sense of hope. He replied saying that he has been unhappy since we broke up and needs time to think and figure out why he’s unhappy and if it is because we are not together anymore. I then replied that he take all the time he needs to figure his things out but I cannot guarantee that I’ll still be here when he does figure his stuff out. I did not receive a reply and I fully intend on giving him time and space but do you think I ruined my chance with him by stating that I can’t continue to wait?

  20. Avatar

    Ely

    June 17, 2019 at 12:08 am

    Hi,
    Me and my boyfriend turned 8 months few days ago, the relationship is like a whirlwind, we were arguing lately for some changes i noticed to him.He was so sweet before but everytime i will talk to him it will turn to an argument. The last fight was about only a good night kiss, he said good night before we go to bed and didnt even give me a kiss like we used to. I confronted him and turned into a big fight. In the morning he left and didnt text me the whole time, so i texted him first and he replied that he needs to think things and that he will think if he still needs me in hid life or not , he asked for a week of no contacting him.Do you think he got bored because we spent a lot time together? Will he comeback? I heard that his ex is in town and im kind overthinking things. I miss him already but i still not contact him, sometimes im tempt to message him but i didnt. Please some advice about it. Thank you

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      June 17, 2019 at 3:41 am

      Hi Ely….just some time and space apart can help you both get centered.

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