My best guy friend and I were hanging out drinking and ended up having sex. We’ve had sex in the past and have fooled around.
The whole week he had been joking about us getting married if we were both single in 10 years. He says he wants to be friends but it always leads to sex and that night and I ended up sleeping over.
He didn’t contact me the next day and then today he sent me a text telling me he needs space and will contact me when he is ready. So my question is: What did I do wrong and how do I react?
Something in his head cued a “freak out”. Something made him “emotional” instead of rational about the situation.
It’s likely you didn’t do anything “wrong”, but regardless, he’s in some kind of emotional space that you are neither responsible for nor do you have control over it.
I would say you should do exactly what he asked for: Give him space – live your life as if he vanished from thin air. Don’t think about him and if you do, don’t react to your thoughts about him. Just let it be.
Girls tend to freak out when a guy goes into his “cave” or “shell”. This compounds the problem. It usually plays out like this:
1) Guy, for whatever reason, gets emotionally imbalanced about something.
2) Guy feels he needs to handle his issue and having you around would make it much harder for him to figure it out.
3) Guy tells girl he needs space.
4) Girl gives him space, but then starts thinking about what she did wrong or trying to figure out what happened.
5) Girl’s thinking quickly becomes tremendous insecurity, fear of abandonment, jealousy, etc.
6) Girl works herself into such an emotional wreck that she can’t help herself and starts contacting the guy, hoping to receive reassurance, validation, etc.
7) Guy feels pressured and interrupted, which makes him more emotionally unstable and makes it harder to handle his “issue”.
8) Guy pulls back further, girl sees that as further confirmation that everything she was fearing is true.
9) Cycle continues, repeat steps 7, 8 and 9 indefinitely.
So the way that you stay out of that tortuous cycle completely is simple: DO NOT react to him wanting space. Just give it to him and let him find his way back to you when it’s time. He’ll throw you some kind of contact or signal when he’s ready, even if it’s small.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but when you can resist reacting emotionally to things, you have tremendous power to keep things in a good place.
Hope that helps,