Does he need space or is he quietly disappearing? Should I say something?

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This topic contains 35 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Lana 3 months ago.

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  • #740075 Reply


    Hello ladies,

    I’ve been dating this guy for a little over 2 months. It all went pretty fast, we’ve already had « the talk », I met some of his friends, we’ve planned a weekend trip, etc. He has a young child that I haven’t met yet, but only because *I* thought that was a bit too early at that stage.

    I’m used to men’s craziness in the beginnings and never really buy into anything they say, but this one was different. He came on super strong but he didn’t seem crazy at all. He was very sure of himself, of how he felt about me and us, and I felt safe. He was not looking for a serious relationship when we met due to a recent break-up and nor was I, so this was unexpected for the both of us but it felt right.

    3 weeks ago though, he suddenly freaked out about us getting serious and basically dumped me by text in a moment of panic. This was triggered by jealousy, as he saw I had Tinder notifications on my iPad (it was just right after we had « the talk », I hadn’t technically had time to delete the app). He came back begging for forgiveness pretty much right away, and explained among other things that he has major trust issues, that he’s scared he’s just going to screw up yet another relationship and that he’s tired of romantic failures. He’s indeed the kind of person who jumps from one thing to the next quite soon, he’s had many long-term partners before and has never been alone much.

    We discussed his fears and that we didn’t have to put pressure on ourselves with anything. But the bottom line was that we both wanted to try for a serious relationship and were very dedicated to each other. The week that followed was bliss.

    We spent last weekend together and a few things in his behaviour made me uneasy. After what had happened, I didn’t feel I could trust him 100% yet and I told him. But instead of trying to reassure me, he kind of took offense. He tried to hide it, but it was obvious he was still upset with me days later. He eventually cancelled our next date saying he didn’t feel good, but it wasn’t because of me. The last words I got from him were « I need to check if I have the energy and ability to live the life I want ». I just replied that I understood, and that was it. That was Wednesday and we’re Sunday now. He’s never online.

    I respect that he might need space but I find it extremely rude to be kept in the dark for so long. I don’t even know if I should wait for a word from him, or if I’m just being quietly ghosted.

    How long are you supposed to give them space and just take this crap? Should I say something at some point? And what?

    I’m not looking for advise on whether I should stay with this guy or not. I just want clarity about the situation but don’t know how to proceed. Thanks for your help.

    #740076 Reply


    Like you said, it went very fast and despite the intentions of trying for real, he might have second thoughts. I think your response that you now had issues trusting him, was well expresssed. Because he did just blew you off all of a sudden with a text. So dont feel bad about it.
    I think you need to do nothing. Or break up with him if you feel that is the next step. I do think he is fading away and you know there is not much you can do about it.

    #740079 Reply



    I know. But he was so happy last week that we had cleared the air and were back together. He said it felt like a “game changer” for us, he was more crazy about me than ever (if that was possible).

    I understand he might be having second thoughts (*again*), that he might not ready, but going from everything to nothing that quick seems quite unbelievable. He’s a very sentimental, emotional guy, and if the situation was reverse he’d be hysterical.

    #740080 Reply


    You need to do nothing. I would wait 2 weeks. If he doesn’t text you then assume its over and start dating

    #740081 Reply


    Wow Zoe, 2 weeks is a LONG time.

    The more I think about it and the more I believe I should just (calmly) address the situation. I miss him but even if he came back, I’d never be able to trust him again after that. I need things to be said and to be clear though. Knowing deep down that it’s over is not enough for me to just move on from this. It’s too ugly and disappointing that way.

    #740082 Reply


    Move on… He’s love bombing his next victim.

    #740083 Reply


    You have to realize that this is likely his pattern of behavior in relationships. As wonderful as you probably are, what makes YOU the special person that can single handedly shatter this pattern and end up in a healthy, happy relationship with him? He is all over the place emotionally and his reaction is to RUN, not get locked into a relationship. How long what you two “have” depends on how much discomfort and pain you are willing to tolerate. I predict he will either ghost or do the slow fade until you’re forced to officially end it.

    #740084 Reply


    When a man asks for space that is usually man speak for a break up. He already told you he isn’t all in any longer youjust are ignoring it. This man got caught up in the moment. The first clue was he said he wasn’t ready for a relationship. And that first comment from the beginning was the truth and now he’s showing you that.
    Also, you saying you don’t trust him? Why would he want to stick around? You can not fully trust someone but it’s better to keep that to yourself and just observe and see if he’s trustworthy or not. You telling him you don’t trust him. What’s he supposed to do with that comment?

    #740086 Reply


    I suggest YOU break it off. Simply tell him that this went too fast; it would be best for you to end it at this juncture; and bid him farewell.

    Its good you didn’t allow the infatuation to swallow you up and kept a level head during the early phase of getting to know them beyond the surface. I know it sucks when you see the ‘possibility’ but don’t have the potential to work with. You know deep down you would have become another relationship notch on his belt, so accept this reality as your closure so you can move on knowing there’s a man out there who won’t make you feel unsure, uneasy or waiting for the hammer to drop, because it would have dropped eventually.

    Like they say “onwards and upwards! :o)

    #740087 Reply


    Thanks ladies.

    I appreciate all the input but then again, my struggle here was: how do I address the situation? I’m not 15, it feels very immature to just ignore what’s going on.

    @Hello: I was upset about something he did so it came out. I don’t regret it. If he can’t face that he screwed-up and created this situation, it’s better I know now. @Andrea is absolutely right, he’s all over the place emotionally and his reaction is to RUN (and hide). He wants this only when it feels good. Everything else is a stress he cannot handle right now.

    As I said I miss him but I’m not stupid. I just want to know how to deal with the situation in a way that would make things easier for ME.

    #740088 Reply


    Thanks @Lane.

    “so accept this reality as your closure so you can move on knowing there’s a man out there who won’t make you feel unsure, uneasy or waiting for the hammer to drop”. Sadly, I don’t know that and I’m starting to really doubt it. I’ve dated plenty in the last two years since my ex, and had my fair share of flings. That’s the first time it felt like the “real deal”. That he wasn’t just infatuated with me, but that he could see *me* and he liked that person.

    So yeah, a little disenchanted rn :/

    #740091 Reply


    Well, you can call him and ask. Or ask him to call you. Or wait a few days. Those are pretty much the options you have

    #740093 Reply


    @Newbie: I meant, is there a specific *way* of addressing the situation that would work best so he doesn’t feel too defensive and so on.

    But anyway, thanks. This chat has given me incentive to act. I did contact him with, I think/hope, the right words. I did not call, I don’t think that would go down very well at this point. At least with a text he can take the time to think about what he wants to say.

    #740094 Reply


    This tells you all you need to know:

    “He came back begging for forgiveness pretty much right away, and explained among other things that he has major trust issues, that he’s scared he’s just going to screw up yet another relationship and that he’s tired of romantic failures. He’s indeed the kind of person who jumps from one thing to the next quite soon, he’s had many long-term partners before and has never been alone much.”

    #740095 Reply


    Laura, all I’m going to say is that there is a level of ‘knowing’ and ‘calm’ that determines the difference between love and infatuation. In two months time you cannot “know” as you’ve barely scraped the surface. So far, based on what you’ve said, in two months he’s: 1) used a lot of flowery words; 2) then used negative words and broke up; 3) then came back using more negative words (“I’m scared); and 4) is now SHOWING YOU how scared he really is by pulling away again.

    I’ve had a few of these freak outs, as have a couple guys I dated; however after that happened ONCE we either broke up (not feeling it) or segued into a calm, secure, loving relationship. The first one would have given me some serious pause and would need to see some major forward steps taking place over several months before I could trust or know with any level of certainty if he was ‘all in’ OR even if I was all in or not.

    If he pulled it again, especially so soon, I would have pulled out because no one should have to keep dealing with someone who doesn’t know what the heck they want by blowing hot and cold—this is akin to emotional warfare, not love. There’s a huge difference between someone taking a few days to sort or suss out how they truly FEEL (in love or not) v. someone who keeps engaging in push and pull behaviors as it keeps the other off balance, unsure, stressed or worried; whereas a man who truly LOVES YOU wouldn’t intentionally hurt you that way, especially so early in what is commonly referred to as the ‘honeymoon period’ (first couple of years)

    BELIEVE THE NEGATIVES! He broke up with you, explained why, and women who try to excuse these behaviors are giving them license to keep doing it because he has WARNED YOU and if you’re not going to heed the warning then you will be the one to live with the consequence of any choices you make. It’s your life and ultimately your decision—totally up to you in how you want to play this out.

    #740102 Reply


    I understand what you want but you are not the one who has done anything wrong. I do think in this case its about the bigger picture. Im not sure what kind of crazyness you had to deal with in the past, so that this guy looks normal to you. To me he sounds like the typical love bomber who swoops in and pulls out. I do think ypu deserve an explanation since he us the one that came back pleading and last said he cancelled for reasons not about you. But im pretty sure his answer will be that he doesnt want to hurt you and is not ready for a new relationship. Or something like that. He already more or less saud that with the text he wants to find put ehat makes him happy (i forgot the exact words)

    #740103 Reply


    Sorry for the typo’s

    #740112 Reply


    @All: Thanks a lot.

    Just to be clear, I don’t think this is normal and I KNOW this cannot go on, assuming that was still an option. I do like him very much, I miss him and I feel quite… disappointed and disillusioned, and I think I’m just hoping to clear the air with him so I don’t feel too bitter about the whole thing.

    He did love-bomb me like a mad man, I had crazy and obsessed before but he was on another level. The thing is, I addressed my concerns many times but he was very consistent with his words and actions the whole time, and very sure he wanted to pursue this so at some point, I just felt like an idiot for being so wary of him… After all, people fall madly in love everyday, don’t they? Maybe that was what was happening there, and I was just lucky…

    I did see many of his red flags when we met but, as I said, I was not looking for something serious then and honestly, I fancied him but I knew right away he was NOT what I was looking for, on various levels. But the love-bombing eventually worked its magic. I felt adored and safe, like I was with ex who loved me unconditionally. And so I thought that was “it”, regardless of the many things that were not working for me, or the red flags. It was not going to be a perfect relationship, I knew that, but there would be immense love. Or so I thought.

    I don’t know… when I like someone, I can easily oversee certain things and “rework” my plans for a relationship. Seems like other people manage to just stick with their plans, no matter how much they like someone. I find it strange.

    #740121 Reply


    Yeah i would feel the exact same way: duped. But the issue is that there is very little you can do about it. But maybe he will respond to your text and give an explanation. Best way to cope is realize you were fine 2 months ago when you didnt know him yet

    #740128 Reply


    He’s been appearing “offline” on Whatsapp for days, somehow, which indicates he’s filtering his messages and wants to be left alone (there’s no way he hasn’t used his phone in 5 days and anyway, he did change his profile pic yesterday). He was constantly on his phone before that, checking our chat and texting me. So clearly, he doesn’t want to talk.

    This is such strange behaviour. I should specify here maybe that he’s 41, so hardly a kid anymore.

    Sadly, I tend to often get with men like this: extremely sweet at first, very affectionate and caring but then all of a sudden they turn into… this. But they are so nice at first. I’m not sure what are the red flags I should be looking for when I meet them.

    #740134 Reply


    You have only dated two months and three weeks ago he freaked. Which means almost half of this relationship was drama. No matter how hard a man pushes to go fast, your best strategy is to pace things. That’s the woman’s job. By actions, slow it down. The only way to determine a man’s real intentions is to see how he acts over time. Most relationships never even get past the three month mark. This is because men can be all infatuated and then realize you really aren’t the one or other things can be going on. You say you saw red flags early on but don’t indicate what they were.

    #740137 Reply


    @Lana… read back what you wrote and imagine a good friend came and told you these things. What would you tell them??

    You say this guy love-bombed you like mad early on. RED FLAG. Get away from guys who do that. That’s how you break this pattern you’re in. Slow your roll. @Hello has called it exactly right. It’s 90 days before you’re even beginning to see the real man. Be cool and watch what he does in that period. Too many women post here because they wanted to jump in with both feet too fast and got ahead of the man. It’s actually an easy fix – slow down and observe. That will drive the bad ones nuts and they will exit fast because you’re not giving them the fix they’re after. Take charge of your thoughts and your own life.

    #740152 Reply



    He said a lot of red flag things right away, about his situation and his ex. He was /too/ open about how damaged the relationship had left him, and /too/ sensitive in general — and about me, although we had just met. He felt we had a connection which, honestly, we didn’t have. It was a nice date like countless other dates I’ve had before and I didn’t take his enthusiasm seriously, nor was I interested in dating him more than casually, considering his personal situation. We have great physical chemistry though, which he might have mistaken for more.

    In the morning, he started with the text-bombing and with how grateful he was I had “jumped into his life”. I thought that was too much but then again, men would just say *anything* at that point so I just don’t listen much.

    I make it short but he’s very, very needy.

    #740156 Reply


    @Laughing: It’s unfair to always blame women for falling for men’s BS. They do try HARD, and he was VERY convincing.

    I did my best too. He was coming on uber strong and I told him many times. I even almost ended things myself at one point, it was too much too soon.

    But you can never win, can you? If you let yourself get into it you’re a fool, but if you don’t you’re just an idiot who’s afraid of love. So what’s a girl got to do, uh?

    #740158 Reply


    Also, I was loved-bombed continuously by my ex for 15 years. I’m wary of that behaviour, I know it can be disingenuous, but I do not consider love-bombing a red flag per se.

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