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 Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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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.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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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?

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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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?

What to Read Next

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

  1. Avatar

    Melissa

    November 15, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Hi guys at EBR!!

    Loved this article and I felt it was appropriate for me to drop my story too!

    My ex broke up with me 2 weeks ago. During that time we have had multiple contact from both of us. I want to get back with him and I decided keeping in contact and being at his beck and call was not going to help because he was getting the best of both worlds- there when he needed me and single when he wanted to be alone.

    So I decided to give him space and not reply to his most recent message. He seemed to get angry after a few hours that I didn’t reply so I just replied and say ‘sorry I am giving you space’.

    Did I do the right thing or is he now annoyed at me and going to run in the opposite direction? Do you also need to tell an ex you’re doing ‘no contact’? I felt because we’d been speaking every now and again me then going cold Turkey didn’t make a lot of sense so I felt I had to tell him I’m giving him space?

    I’m just looking for some advice moving forward!

    Thank you xx

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 19, 2020 at 7:24 pm

      Hey Melissa, so yes you did right, however I would have said it would have been more effective to just not reply to his angry message either, but for now you keep with your NC and focus on yourself for the rest of this time. Let him miss you

  2. Avatar

    Gabby

    November 15, 2020 at 2:12 am

    Hi team EBR

    I have been dating my guy for a year and half now it’s been on again off again so many times I can not count. Now he says he loves me and we are not together we are working on things and it’s his decision if and when we are together again. Will giving him space chance his mind ? He does contact me still almost every day but it’s not like it was when we were together. Do I still contact him if he does me? What is the best option in my Situation?

    Thank for listening I’m going crazy
    Gabby

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 23, 2020 at 6:25 pm

      Hi Gabby, so the first thing you need to realise that you should not be an “option” he either wants to be with you or he doesn’t! You need to make him think/realise you are not going to sit around and wait for him to choose to be with you again, and then drop you when he next feels like it! Read about being ungettable and work on yourself, show him how you are not waiting around for him to choose to be with you or not

  3. Avatar

    Summer

    November 6, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    Hey team EBR!!!
    So this is the guy I’ve been with for around 10 months and met twice because of quarantine and he also had broken up with me once 5 months ago on text. We were together after 2 months and then met for 2nd time. The issue is he’s not taking any strong step to make things official or completely committed and upon me asking him that what he really wants, he said he’s not confirmed right now. Actually he’s waiting for his brother to get married first and my family wants to see me settled in my life sooner so in this way it’s getting hard for me to make him convinced and I don’t want to pressurize him. So after being sad and crying on the phone I told him you really need some time once you’re confirmed about me you can tell me but it’s not necessary that I’ll be available. So my question is should I follow no contact rule or simply give him space (no calls & texts) ??
    And if I should give him space how much the duration should be, and should I remove him from social media as well?? Or I should give him a deadline in order to decide and tell me soon so I shouldn’t be wasting my time in thinking when he’ll contact again??

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 8, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      Hi Summer, so you need to firstly explain to your family that you being settled “soon” is not important to you and that you are focusing on being HAPPY. You need to give your ex some space, following a No Contact for a period of 30 days, work on yourself and do not watch his social media but there is no need to remove him off anything.

  4. Avatar

    Dora

    October 31, 2020 at 9:49 am

    Hi,
    This is quite a confusing story. My boyfriend and I have been together since high school, we’ve now been together for 4 years. On both of our ends it was expressed that even after 4 years we were truly happy in our relationship and our problems were close to none. We had a great bond and could sit around with just each other for hours and have the best time. Now, he’s moved away to start college. This is his first time ever being away from home and having no one he knows around him. It’s basically a whole 180. Long story short he’s realizing there are more interesting people in the world and that he has underlying personal problems that he says he didn’t see until I gave him space. So now I’m giving him space. Unfortunately when we first called I definitely think I gnatted him, but I’ve totally respected him asking for space and haven’t messaged him. He has reached out but he just said that he’s sorry for what’s happening and that he hasn’t forgotten about me and that he’s trying his best to figure everything out before he makes any rash decisions. He’s just at a very confused state. I’m worried if I keep giving him space he’ll forget about me because he’s in an environment with nothing reminding him of me and none of our friends to talk to about this. I really don’t understand how in the blink of an eye you can question your entire 4 year healthy relationship, just after we were talking about getting a place together and arranging a trip for this November. Do you think this is a phase and he’ll come back? We really were great together and this was all so sudden. From what he’s told friends he hasn’t been able to eat properly or sleep because he feels so distraught. But why is he still confused if putting space between us makes him feel like that? I know I don’t need him, but I really want him. We haven’t broken up, we’re just “having space” and I told him to reach out once he’s figured things out. I know I don’t need him but I really want him. Is it really true that I should seem like I’m living my best life by posting things on social media? I’ve been MIA on everything since he asked for space. My gut feeling is that it’ll all be fine, but I’m in desperate need of advice, thanks!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 31, 2020 at 10:10 pm

      Hi Dora, so yes you should be using social media to show your ex how you are doing with out him. Showing him that you are doing great and growing as a person yourself. IF you want to get him back then you are going to have to accept right now he’s experiencing “student” Life and he is going to want to be free to enjoy this time with new friends, if you go into a no contact and show him you are not going to be sitting around waiting for him to come back to you he is going to think about you and miss you

  5. Avatar

    Cap

    October 28, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Hi,
    My ex boyfriend that I dumped reached out to me after seven months of not seeing each other and me believing that we would never interact ever again. I thought I moved on, and I was seeing another guy, but my ex coming back reopened old wounds and I miss him again. He called me to get closure, but he added me on an app that we used to chat together on and I thought we would be talking again. I wanted to be honest and I told him I was seeing someone, and a day later I asked if we were going to be friends and he said that he needed space. I regret telling him that I was seeing someone especially since we decided to stop seeing each other. I don’t know if I want to get back together, I just wished we would be talking and chatting again like we used to.

  6. Avatar

    ana

    October 26, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Hi, my boyfriend and I have been together for almost 5 years, lived together for 2 and a half years. When Covid-19 came, our country was under a strict lockdown. WE WERE TOGETHER FOR 7 MONTHS in the house. I guess he grew tired. We gave up the apartment, in the meantime I went back to my parents’ home and decided to stay for a while until I study for my MA next school year.

    We were fine and doing well 1 month of being away but then I noticed he just makes up excuses to seem busy. One day I snapped and confronted him about it. We didnt talk for a day. I told him we needed to talk in person and so the next day he went to my house. He stayed the night and we discussed about us. He said I became quite toxic and he got tired because I always ranted my problems to him. I accepted my mistake and told him I was willing to work on it. We almost broke up, we were both crying but ended up hugging each other and decided for a cool-off. The next day, I totally forgot about our cool off and greeted him for our monthsary, he didnt greet me back so I snapped. I continued to gnat him that week… convincing him to come over and talk to “fix” things. NOW I TOTALLY REGRET THIS!!!!!

    I Wish I HONORED OUR 2 WEEKS NO CONTACT. Anyway, he decided to go with my plan and try to “communicate” and get things fixed. We were okay for a day, acted as couples in a LDR. Until that same night we got invited to a friends’ house (dont worry we were socially distanced) we both went to the gathering and lasted until 4am. At 5am he said he’ll take me home… On the way home he asked how I was and I instantly RANTED again without realizing. I KNOW IM UNCONTROLLABLE.

    Just minutes after, he then decided to say ” I want to break up. I don’t love you anymore” But honestly, I dont believe his words because he was just so kind to me before all these. So I BEGGED him not to break up and managed to make a 2 Month Cool Off / No Contact Deal.

    Here’s what he said:
    * I’ll give your things to your brother (they’re friends)
    * I’ll give you our first dog
    * When our other dog gets pregnant, I’ll let you have one baby
    * That he’s been thinking of breaking up with me for a while and he no longer sees me in his future ( NOTE THAT HIS CAREER IS NOT SO GOOD AT THE MOMENT AND I KNOW HE’S STRUGGLING) and this might just be because of the current situation. His actions were the complete opposite of this before our big fight

    On the second day of the No Contact Rule, I decided to just message him plainly telling him to just let our dog stay with him for awhile and that I’ll be the one to get my things when the time comes… just let it be for now.

    I didn’t expect any reply and yes, I didn’t get any but that’s fine for me.

    During the first 2 days of the No Contact Rule, I was miserable. I went to the beach for 2 days just to clear my head.

    I know, I totally made mistakes. I know I was selfish for begging but I desperately didn’t want him to go. At least, he gave me another chance: The No Contact Rule.

    * He asked what if he meets somebody during this period
    — Gosh I was just crying and I dont really remember what I responded. My mother thinks, this is just to push me away and to agree for the break up so that he can finally have his alone tome considering that on the first attempt of the No Contact Rule, I was an animal. So this was his last choice for peace and quiet. That he said things he didnt mean to. And that time will tell whatever he’s thinking about.

    * He said not to expect that we’ll be okay after 2 months of no Contact.
    — This is honestly what I’m worried about. He’s a man of his words. Family said he’ll miss me.. that I just improve myself for now and give him what he wants. But I’m really not that confident because the things he said during supposed “break up” just keeps echoin in my head.

    I need help on what I should do? How do I maintain our relationship even though we’re in NO CONTACT agreement and that he’s not sure if we’ll be okay even after this. I know men are hard to read so please help me.

    NOTE:
    He has belongings here in our house such as a refrigerator, a bed, and a table.

    How Do I correctly use social media and how do I make sure that we’ll be okay.

    I’m planning on giving him a handwritten “apology / better-me” letter after 1 and a half months during the no contact in hopes that this will help him think, I guess.

    Do you think, I still have a chance?

    Thank you so much! I BADLY NEED YOUR HELP! HOW DO I MAKE SURE THAT HE’LL BE BACK?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 28, 2020 at 4:41 am

      Hi Ana, so first off do not sent a hand written letter to your ex, it does not help and it will not give you the results you are hoping for! During your No Contact you need to spend the time focusing on yourself, not worrying about him or the relationship – you need to be happy without him in your life. This is an important factor in the program. Read articles about the Holy Trinity, and being Ungettable. Use this information to improve yourself, spend time with your family and friends where you can. I cannot really tell you if you have a chance or not, its more about you being willing to follow the program and work on yourself, to give yourself that chance of getting him back.

  7. Avatar

    Jasmine

    October 25, 2020 at 4:18 am

    hi my boyfriend and I broke up today. We’ve been dating for only two months and I’ve known him about a year I would say. He randomly said if our relationship felt rushed and I said no. But he said he feels like he’s not loving himself as much and that he wants to find himself and love himself before we get into something serious. He also said that he doesn’t want to leave me because he loves me and I’m perfect. I’ve told him he can stay and work on himself while with me but reading your article helped me so much, that guys heal differently. He also said that he still wants me to come over to he see him but for now let him heal for his mental health and once he’s stable enough he’ll come back to give me what I deserve. I’m in Mexico currently for two weeks for braces. And I get back home around nov 4th. He asked for me to stay at his house for the weekend or so. Should I stay for the weekend and then no contact rule? As I’m writing this it’s 11:19pm , I’ve been thinking to give his space tonight/ starting tmrw… is that best?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 25, 2020 at 10:11 am

      Hi Jasmine, yes you need to go into a No Contact for at least 30 days where you give him space and also make him wonder why you are not begging and pleading him to get back together. Do not go to his for the weekend, it is unlikely you are going to get back together and just end up having emotional conversations and having a “goodbye” moment. If he feels he needs to work on himself, then allow this and you do the same.

  8. Avatar

    Emma

    October 19, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Hi. It’s been a whirlwind of a 5 weeks. After the 2nd date we saw each other 2/3 times a week at least, then within 2 weeks seeing each other 4/5 times a week. Within 2 weeks he asked me to be his girlfriend and says he loves me. Within 3 weeks I met his family and his kids. We have an amazing connection in all ways and get on so well always laughing and smiling. He’s hinted on numerous occasions for me to move in. Last Sunday, we had a lovely afternoon/evening until I had a slight paranoia attack about him being on his phone, always on his phone and always got it on him. My ex was living a double life through his phone, hence being paranoid. I didn’t scream or shout at him. I just went quiet, distant and quite snappy. I apologised over and over later that night and said that’s not me, the paranoia took over. I went over to his after work on the Monday to make it up to him. He said that when someone upsets him, it takes a while for him to get over it. I thought we were OK by the Monday night as he said he loved me, and we seemed fine Tuesday morning. However, he went really distant after speaking to him in the morning, then went quiet direct and didn’t really want to speak to me.This isn’t him as he’s always so lovely and we spend ages on the phone. We briefly spoke Tuesday night before going to sleep, he didn’t want to be on the phone long. I asked if we were OK and he said yes of course. Wednesday morning, I received a message from him saying ‘He’s sorry, he needs time to think, as I did scare him the other evening and that he just wants an easy life’ I replied saying all I can is give him his space. However, he messaged me that night asking how I was and just had a general chat. I stupidly messaged him Thursday night, saying I miss you. He read it and not replied. It was my birthday the weekend. I did have a message from him later in the night, but a very basic ‘Happy bday hope you’ve had a good day x’ I replied the next morning, just saying ‘Thank you. Hope you’re OK and having a good weekend x’ Again it’s been read with no reply. I don’t understand if he needs time to think, why he’s sending my these random messages. I don’t want to lose him as we’re amazing together, but then I hate not knowing if we are together or not. I have a lot of things there and don’t know if I should go an get them or give him more time. Sorry for the essay!

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    Louise

    October 5, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    My boyfriend broke up with me. He said that he feels like he needs time to be single for a while. He said he does have feelings for me, but can’t give me the relationship that he knows I want. He wants to remain friends and he said maybe his feelings towards me may change, maybe not. That is the gamble that I am taking. Does this sound salvageable? He broke up with me, but wants to spend timw with me. Do I still give him space? Am I wasting my time? Am I permanently friend zoned?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 16, 2020 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Louise, so unless he meets someone else you do not allow yourself to fall into that friendzone! You need to show him that you are working on yourself – using social media not telling him directly. Follow the rules of No Contact for at least 30 days and then go on to reach out using the texts that Chris suggests in his articles. If by the time you start reaching out you find out he is seeing someone else you need to also read about the being there method

  10. Avatar

    Pragya

    October 5, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    Hi
    We are in a long distance relationship since 6 months and now the real life problem starts.
    Ye runs a restaurant which keeps him busy and plus the time difference of 3 and half hrs.
    We are not sure when we will be able to meet since the boundaries are closed..
    He said he needs space since he have a hectic schedule and this type of intimate relationship is hindering him.
    This is killing me

  11. Avatar

    Ezi

    September 4, 2020 at 6:41 am

    Such a great article! My boyfriend told me that he has nothing against me and that he’ll be bad company if he were to be with me and he said he wanted to be in his closed vacuum I assumed that was space I said ‘ OK, I understand, I’ll hear from you when you’re okay.’ after a week I woke up to his text saying ‘ Queen, I’d thought I’d say hi.’ I responded with “hey there” and he never responded again. It’s been 3 days since that “hey, hi” mini greeting. I’m actually well focusing on myself and baby that is his growing inside of me the no contact rule is not only about getting him back, to me it’s also about finding myself and focusing on things that also matter in my life and enjoying myself as a whole it’s a miracle honestly. Space is healthy!

  12. Avatar

    Helpless

    September 1, 2020 at 3:23 am

    My bf and I had a big fight over the weekend regarding my “insecurities and controlling-ness” as he wanted to do something without me and I got mad. We actually broken up once over this issue 2 years ago, but we managed to work things out. The other time, I went into NC immediately after he broke up with me and he texted me the next day to fix things. This time.. things seem worse.. on Saturday (the day of the fight), he was so mad he said he wanted to break up or either take a 2 week break to reflect and figure things out. On Sunday, I tried my luck to reach out to him with small talk and he asked me why I am taking things lightly, that he really needs the 2 week space to reflect and that he can’t compromise. Today is then.. day 2/3 of the 2 weeks. I know I shouldn’t be counting down and that I should be working on myself, but I’m so scared because we practically spent 24/7 together before this break. I’m worried he will give up. I don’t know what to do.

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    Ann

    August 30, 2020 at 5:40 am

    So not officially my boyfriend, but it felt like we were in a sort of relationship. We started off as friends with benefits, which never ends well, but somehow we would text everyday even twice in one day. If I was busy I would tell him that I will be and that he won’t hear from me. He would then text me when I clearly said I would be busy. It was on and off for a month because we got into little arguments, but then got together again. We haven’t talked in a week. The reason being is he had planned a day for us to spend together. Our parents not knowing of us being together sort of got me nervous. But, we had this plan for over a week and when it was two days before this day would happen I just said to him how nervous I was. That is when everything changed. He started saying that we were at different points in our lives, I’m a little older than him, and that maybe we should be just plain old friends. The thing is that I am assuming that this day he planned was special because why would he get so upset? I ended it with telling him I didn’t want to be friends and we haven’t talked since. Though usually we do talk after an argument, but he refuses to and has since blocked me. His mom and me are close and she knows how hard this has been on me and even tried talking to him. He claims he needs time and space. It is a week and nothing. What he has told me about how he couldn’t see himself being with another girl and made an effort to want to spend the day with me makes me think he really cares, but now not wanting to talk to me is freaking me out. I am so used to talking to him everyday and now don’t know if he is with another girl or even if he still cares.

  14. Avatar

    Liya

    August 28, 2020 at 6:38 am

    My boyfriend and I had a small argument and then He disappeared for two weeks no contact at all and them called me as if every thing was normal but he was still distant and no answers then said he had stuff on his mind he needed space and time a few days and it’s been almost two months. I have tried to say if it over tell me so I can close the day. Waiting is very hard. He said in that time during two calls he still loves me, the last call was 17 days ago. He doesn’t answer my calls or anyone’s and we were so in love and had future plans together.

  15. Avatar

    Sabah

    August 26, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    My boyfriend kept saying he’s busy randomly we had not argued and then he just disappeared for a few days I’d still call and he’d answer after a few days just to say he’s busy. It has now been 4 weeks and I’m ready to try no contact as we have not broken up but guess he needs space?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 27, 2020 at 1:50 pm

      It sounds as if he is lacking effort to keep in touch with you so yes, follow at least 21 days no contact and see if he gets in touch with you

  16. Avatar

    Mia

    August 25, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    My ex and I broke up this past Saturday due to him being too stressed out to handle a relationship. He continued to say “I’m not able to communicate right now” or “you deserve someone you can talk to and be there for you and that’s not me right now.” He also mentioned wanting to see me happy and knowing that he wasn’t doing a good job at all at the moment. He’s requested space back in June and I would try and do it but cave in a few days later and check on him, sometimes he’d respond other times he wouldn’t. It would be short and to the point responses but he’d always say that he was busy or just too upset to communicate. It’s been hard ever since the pandemic started (we started dating 2 days before our state closed) but we managed it up until his family members started to get sick…I feel selfish for wanting his attention because he’s dealing with so much emotionally that he’s literally shut down and is fallen into a pretty bad depressive state. So much so that he changed his day shift to a graveyard shift to get away from people. It makes me sad because this isn’t how he is as a person and him pushing me away and ending the relationship out of desperation for his own emotions as well as mine and my feelings is heartbreaking. He just kept saying he was sorry and that he really wants me to just be happy even if that’s with someone who’s currently level headed. I’m afraid of the no contact rule because I worry that I won’t hear from him but I dont want to get blocked as the only social media he currently uses is his phone number so if I lose that I lose everything. Like he and I had big plans this upcoming winter, I’m moving to his city and starting grad school now I don’t know if that’s a good idea. I want to work through this together but he doesn’t want help and he wants to be alone. What should I do?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 10, 2020 at 7:46 pm

      Hey Mia, No Contact is definitely the way forward. Keep working on yourself during this time and plan your reach out texts from what Chris has put together in his articles and videos to help you

  17. Avatar

    Maria

    August 8, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    Hey Shaunna.
    So my boyfriend and I have been together for two years. In the beginning of the pandemic he broke up with me and I went no contact for two months and then got back together. Its been two months of alot of love until the past 3 weeks.

    Week 1. Out of the blue he tells me he needed to be alone and I said ok. I gave him three days until my anxiety got the best of me and i called to pick a fight and broke up with him (this was my fear of abandonment getting the best of me and making things worse). He called me back that night and I didnt return his call until the next day, where we had a two hour fight over the phone and ended the conversation with both of us worn out but saying we wanted to be together but on good terms. We spoke again the next day in a calm manner. Spent the weekend together.

    Week 2. Things seemed fine until he called me up to tell me was organizing a trip with his buddies and I just got angry again and picked a fight threatening that he might not have a girlfriend when he was back, that he was being selfish, that everything is about him and his needs and i feel alone. He hung up on me. For the next three days i didnt hear from him, that sunday was our 2 year anniversary… So i called him and invited him for coffee at a neutral place to talk. He came, but he was so angry at me he could barely look at me in the eyes. Said he was having doubts about us. So i told him i was tired as well of breaking up and getting back together, and that i had doubts myself. I was calm and collected during this honest unconfortable talk. He told me he doesnt feel free with me and i told him i dont feel free with him either, maybe we are just addicted to each other. I even offered friendship to which he said it might be best not to make harsh decisions as of now but that he needed time to process this conversation and that we should keep talking. So I told him I gave him the blessing to go with his buddies and that I would try to take it well. No kissing, nothing. Cold, uncomfortable, but peaceful encounter

    Week 3. Its been 6 days since that talk, Ive completely backed off, no texts, no calls, zero initiation from me and I havent heard from him, hes on that trip with his buddies. Im managing my fears and anxieties to the best of my abilities without making things worse, self care, friends, hobbies, work, etc. I know i made things worse by fighting, threatening, thats my part which im owning.

    Im confused. Because we didnt officially break up, I even offered friendship on peaceful terms, he said he needed time to process things and never specified how long he just said it was best not to make such heavy decisions that day we talked and to keep talking. My mind keeps playing the worse case scenario, that hes already broken up with me but keeping me hanging and at the same time. I know I have no control over the outcome except for patience and acceptance, all i know is I cannot let my fear and anxiety make things worse again. I know this is also an opportunity to ask myself what I want and that I also have the power to choose to walk away from this painful situation which I have also co created for myself by not being able to respect the original request for space. Help!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 8, 2020 at 11:01 pm

      Hey Maria, so based on what you have said I would say that you are broken up as he said he needed time to decide what he wanted. I then would say that you need to follow a No Contact again and start living your life in the mean time. You need to do things with friends and even casually date if you feel up to it. I would work the Ungettable information and let him feel that he is going to lose you, while he is away do not reach out to him at all. If he reaches out to you thats not a bad thing, but dont reply. Let him think about you, and why you’re not answering him

  18. Avatar

    Alisha

    August 7, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    Hi,

    So I have been with my boyfriend for … 6/7 months now and we started off amazing. He liked me more and I eventually liked him… we got really close and then covid happened. But we were fine and used to long distant as he’s in London and I’m in 2 hours away. It’s been hard due to covid but we always Spoke loads and on the phone every night. Until recently he’s just been so so so busy he forgets or falls asleep and doesn’t say anything. I picked it up a few times and he was sorry but now it’s like he’s not changing. I just feel like no matter how busy you are you should make a 1 minutes time at least for people you love.
    Anyway.. our parents know about each other and we have had extra pressure to get married etc (I’m Muslim btw so it’s not favourable to date long)… but we both spoke in a way where we want to get married and we chose each other etc from the start.

    So.. recently he’s been distant but still saying I love you etc but I feel like I’ve been carrying the weight.
    So There’s been times in the past two weeks where ives cried and not known what’s going on… called loads and texted loads (I know I shouldn’t but he never reached out!).
    And when he did eventually reach out.. he’d be like “I don’t want to talk when we’re both upset. I want to give you my proper time etc and not hurt you. It’s hurts me when I hurt you…”

    Now.. randomly he blocked me on insta two days ago and I got abit crazy and called/texted him and now he eventually said “I need some space. I’m going through a lot

    Now it happened again and he blocked me on insta .. and today he not doing well at the moment and he needs some space.

    What do I do!? Is that weird? Isit weird he blocked me off insta? He doesn’t want this does he. I just feel like it’s a coward way out of breaking up.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 25, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      Hey Alisha, his reasons for blocking you on insta is odd unless you are contacting him through that. You need to allow him some time and space, if your family try to pressure you explain that things are not that simple at the moment and walk away from the conversation. Read about following a NO Contact and I would also suggest that you do this for 45 days as he keeps blocking you

  19. Avatar

    Ana

    August 5, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    My boyfriend and i have been dating for closer to a year now. It was a really weird start because he wanted to be in a relationship but I was kind of hesitant. We then decided to give it a shot and it was great. After COVID happened, we both delt with it in very different ways. He was really relaxed and I was getting more and more rigid. We then started to fight a little more often than most at that time. He broke up with me this weekend – but said in two months we could reevaluate where things are at. He said he loved me but his anxieties and unhappiness aren’t good right now – and he doesn’t think he can be in a relationship. I don’t know when the best time is to reach out because Im scared to push him away.

  20. Avatar

    Miranda

    July 27, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Thank you so much for this article EBR.
    My ex and I had been dating 3 years before I broke up with him in April this year. It stemmed from a fight we had the day before (honestly, I don’t even remember what it was even about anymore). All of that in conjunction with the stress of being in long-distance because of our uni moving online, job hunting and family issues, it was just too much and admittedly, I couldn’t handle the relationship. We decided to stay in contact, as much as or maybe a little less than how much we usually communicate.
    We both successfully found jobs by the end of June and I had then explained that I still love him and would like to get back together. Apparently, he was not happy with the job he has gotten and would like to start job-hunting over. He even decided to extend his time at uni for another semester. Due to all of this (+ the dilemma he is facing about what future he wants for himself etc), he asked for more time. He even said he does not feel anything for me at the moment except for respect and admiration. He says that he really just does not feel anything for anyone or anything because he is too conflicted within himself. This hurt a lot, obviously. I was hoping he still loved me but I honestly understand that he is juggling so much stress in life right now that he probably could not be bothered with a long-distance relationship during this pandemic. It also seems to be true because our mutual friends were not made aware of our break up, he stopped actively hanging out with them, and he hasn’t deleted any of our pictures from his social media. I admit I gnatted him once and begged but we talked it through and decided to meet in December (if all of this is over). Right now, I have not been in contact with him for a week. Should I talk to him after 30 days? Or just wait it out until December? I don’t want to make him feel like he’s alone with whatever he’s struggling with…

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 15, 2020 at 3:02 pm

      Hi Miranda, if you are going to follow the program you need to complete a 30 day no contact and then reach out with the same style of texts that Chris suggests in his articles and videos

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