Wants space, but remains in contact. Need advise


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  • #696607 Reply

    Lane

    Men fall in love in a woman’s ABSENCE whereas woman fall in love in a man’s presence!

    You have to remember that your still just DATING and getting to know each other. You are not COMMITTED, which in the true sense means “engaged or married” and he’s allowed to maintain his freedom and autonomy regardless if your quasi-committed (dating) or committed.

    Your need for “affection” is too much IMO and would be better off getting a pet who needs the same amount of affection you do. He’s a man with responsibilities that includes a job, chores, hobbies and friends. He’s had his job, hobbies and friendships far longer than he’s known you and you appear to want him to abandon them and put you in first place as if its some form of competition.

    Sorry, but that’s not a reasonable solution as humans need to derive their happiness from MANY SOURCES, not just one. You should be perfectly OK giving him a weekend off here and there when he asks for it. I don’t understand why that’s such a difficult thing for you to do?

    You really need to stop this obsession that if he’s not spending some time with you the relationships falling apart! This thinking will eventually kill the relationship, not him engaging in activities that also gives him pleasure, which includes “me time” (time alone) as we all need it from time-to-time! If my BF ever asked for space I would say “No problem, enjoy some me time babe!” because then I get some ME TIME TOO—its a win, win! :o)

    #696608 Reply

    Annie

    I think something is going on with him but it’s not you, probably work, maybe he made a mistake or didn’t deliver what he was expected to, or he’s exhausted of the travelling he has to do, which would be understandable.
    You are very mature, I knew you weren’t 22 before you mentioned your age. I’m 38. The only thing that bothered me in your story is the fact that he made you feel bad about something you were feeling. That is not ok. You own your feelings and he has to listen to them. There’s nothing to argue about one’s feelings. He got reactive probably because you kind of pinpointed his behavior (you were hot and cold) instead of using an “I” sentence (“I feel you close most of the time but sometimes I feel a distance between us…” something like that). If his behavior has changed, you saw it but the importance is how it makes you feel, that’s what need to be discussed. If it’s work related, he must say it to you (might take some efforts because men don’t easily open up emotionally) so that you can manage to support him the way he deserves to be, he has to be reassured that you’re strong enough and willing to support him, that he can trust you and open up to you, and you need to know it’s not about you and that you did nothing wrong. This way, if one day he’s more withdrawn, you’ll know why, you won’t feel the way you do right now, it won’t mean things are getting bad between you two and he will be more at ease to tell you what he needs/where he wants you to be. But right now, his behavior is passive-aggressive and it’s unacceptable. You don’t deserve to be treated like that. If he has something, then he must talk to you about it, that’s being in an honest and true relationship. Don’t accept to be treated badly, like he did that night. Yes, you are there for him, you’re willing to do a lot in order to support him, but he needs to respect you more than he did, and you need to make him understand that you have limits, you have self-esteem and self-confident and you deserve to be treated with a minimum of respect. If he reacts badly when you calmly explain this to him, than it’s a major red flag that this guy might be a narcissist! Be careful. That’s exactly what narcissistic people do; convince you that what you feel is wrong, that you are wrong for feeling this way. No one has that power of telling you what you feel is wrong or incorrect. If he does that, run girl! He will undeniably mentally destroy you. They play with your mind, you then value his opinion over yours, that messes up your judgment and you end up doubting of everything that comes from you.
    Been there, and I assure you don’t want to go there. Its trauma for life.

    #696609 Reply

    Annie

    Oh, and for now, let him come to you, don’t chase him. Like you said, the communication is open, he now knows it, you are not bitter or feeling guilty in any way, your mood is still the same as always, so let him come to you, make him miss you a bit, give him the time he needs to realize the good you bring to him, your value, go out with your friends, do your stuff like you’re used to. His behavior will say a lot.

    #696715 Reply

    Katherine

    Thanks again everyone for your insight into this situation, all your opinions are helping in the way I handle this, both looking after myself and also him.

    Lane – I think maybe you missed one of my posts earlier, where I actually tell him to go away for weekends to his family by himself, after he asks that I come along, I plan something so I can tell him I am busy. I have never and never will stop him from doing things by himself and being with his mates, as I would expect the same in return from him. When I don’t see him sometimes for weeks at a time though, it is natural that I would be wanting to spend the few days with him when he is home, up an until now, that is exactly what was wanting as well. Perhaps I do want too much affection, this is something I will work on.

    Annie – I tend to agree with all your comments and I thank you for this. If he is dealing with something and yet unable to communicate that to me, then there is simply nothing more I can do.

    He is still in contact, I didn’t message him at all again yesterday and then late last night he messaged asking how my day was. I responded politely but didn’t go into too much detail, cutting off his messaging by saying he should get some sleep.

    If he doesn’t plan to see me this weekend at all, I will plan to arrange a time to collect my things from his place. Then I will continue to give him all the space that he needs, however my main focus going forward is going to be me.

    #696721 Reply

    Newbie

    Hi Katherine, i hope for updates cos i would like a good end story here. Just two things, i dont think lane missed anything but you do come across like a woman who knows how to fake it, but doesnt know how to make it. Playing by the book (read Emma’s response). Fake until you make it, is fine but making it is better LOL (the lol is for Emma l) it felt like you were acting from a script. Please dont be offended by that. Its only meant as a sign that i hope you stay true to yourself.
    Second minor thing, dont tell him he needs sleep. Tell him you need sleep. You have to think of yourself first woman

    #696724 Reply

    Katherine

    Thanks Newbie, I think may I miss read Lanes response actually.

    this has really hit a cord with me:

    You really need to stop this obsession that if he’s not spending some time with you the relationships falling apart! This thinking will eventually kill the relationship, not him engaging in activities that also gives him pleasure, which includes “me time” (time alone) as we all need it from time-to-time! If my BF ever asked for space I would say “No problem, enjoy some me time babe!” because then I get some ME TIME TOO—its a win, win! :o)

    I do often think that if he isn’t wanting to spend time with me, or that he is wanting to do other things without me, he is losing interest in me. I have to stop thinking like that, I have to encourage it. I have so many wonderful friends as well, so I have plenty of things to keep my busy as well.

    My last relationship, my ex did everything without me, everything, this included holidays and going to parties etc (I just allowed it to happen). The relationship was very toxic as he was extremely selfish (I eventually seen all of this after we separated, even though people were telling me constantly). So when I see my new partner starting to want to do things without me, my fears creep in. It suck that you can be so badly damaged from a previous relationship, that it affects a your new relationship.

    #696725 Reply

    Katherine

    PS – I have copied allot of these responses down, as I think I need a good reminder of certain things now and then.

    I too and hoping for a good end story, I care about him allot and I know that he cares about me as well.

    #696734 Reply

    Katherine

    I just read up on the rubber band theory.

    Makes complete sense! Wished I knew about this earlier.

    #696789 Reply

    Katherine

    So, he just let me know that due staff shortage, being the manager where he is, he has to remain on site for the next two weekends. He said that he really wishes we caught up on the weekend now and how crap it is.

    I just replied “yep that is really crappy you have to stay and sounds like a long stint for you” he just replied yep. Then a good night message.

    So, how do I proceed from here ladies?

    He’ll be in contact everyday he is away. What should my responses be? Do I tell him I miss him etc?

    Usually when he is away for this long, our messages get flirty and a bit lovey dovey. But with what has happened, this dynamic has changed.

    I just not sure how to tread now?

    At least it’ll give him more time to miss me!

    #696791 Reply

    Jo

    Does this mean you two wouldn’t have seen each other for a month?
    I’m not sure about rubber banding – that usually diesnt happen over weeks and months – it’s just a matter of days .
    Not sure what the deal is but for me it would be tooo much space. Everyone is different but I see my boyfriend 3-4 days/ nights a week. When he’s away on business even 5 days seem too much.
    I’m the kind of person who wants a close relationship. .
    Can you handle not seing your boyfiend for so long? daily messages can be bread crumbing – doesn’t mean much.
    At least you’ll have time to assess what you want and maybe meet other people too?
    At least the 1st year should feel like a honeymoon. I’d want to feel happy with my guy – not miserable and lonely

    #696806 Reply

    Jo

    To me it sounds as if he’s cooling off.
    He doesn’t see you cause he works then he doestrogen see you when he has time off…when does he see you?
    When people are not feeling it – they bet thing you can do is be happy and do your own thing. This guy might warm up again or not.
    Whatever it is – it’s his issue. You deserve someone who wants to be with you and spend time with you and treat you wih love and respect – not some big polar creature who retires to the woods when things go well.
    wth? is there no consequence for men for bad behaviour anymore?

    #696807 Reply

    Jo

    Bottom line is this: when you want to be wih someone and like being around someone, you won’t wait for weeks and months to see them.
    You might if they’re only friends. If they’re bf/gf even 1 week is sooo long to be without someone you want to be with and touch…
    When 2 people want to be together – it happens. when they don’t – the girl gets confused and the illness prolonged.
    These days there are so many little boys out there without the balls to honestly tell someone they’re not in your them or to tell them what they think…stringing women along and making them miserable if they get he chance.

    #696808 Reply

    Newbie

    Make plans for yourself for the next two weekends. Kust respond to his texts and text him some fun stuff if you want to. The collecting some of your stuff isnt a bad idea but only if you need them the next 2 weeks.

    #696890 Reply

    Katherine

    Thanks for that Newbie,

    He obviously didn’t plan to be at work for the next two weeks, which includes the two weekends. He works remote, which is a 3 hour plane ride, so it’s not like he can come home when he wants to see me during this time. I think he regrets not seeing me the weekend just gone, because he thought he would be home this weekend and I would say he was planning on seeing me then. Its all part of the mining fly in fly out lifestyle, allot of women are in these relationships where I live (id say one in every 4). So texting while he is at work, isn’t bread crumbing, it’s his only source of communication. When he is at work, he generally tries to ring me a few times when he is in good signal.

    My gut tells me he feels really bad and perhaps is now worried that being at work for the next two weeks and not seeing me for that week prior, is going to have an impact on how things are going in our relationship. I would say he was stressing a little on telling me this as well.

    I do need some of my things that are at his place, so I will just ask him if it is okay I go and collect what I need while he isn’t home. I don’t plan on taking all my things, I believe this could potentially upset him and I don’t plan on ending this relationship. No need to leave me key at his place just yet.

    His actions over the next two weeks and how he remains in contact will be interesting.

    #696894 Reply

    Lane

    Speaking from personal experience, he is OVERWHELMED right now and when one is juggling too many balls the relationship is the first one to take a hit, especially if they aren’t feeling supported.

    What he really needs right now is a calm, cool and understanding GF, not an aggressive or dismissive one.

    When I’m overwhelmed all I want to do is go into my cave (bedroom) and be left alone. There are times I don’t even want to talk to my BF when I’m having a tough day even though he’s super supportive, patient, and a great listener I just don’t feel like talking. He gets it and has never made me feel bad or guilty when I need to decompress and block out the world for awhile, he senses it in my voice, keeps the convo short and gives me the space I need.

    Its OK to communicate when you feel someone’s off, such as “I through something, do you want to discuss it?” IF he wants to talk about it he will, if not, then leave him alone with his thoughts as men deal with problems differently than we do, whereas they need to THINK IT OUT v. women who need to ‘talk it out.’ You don’t have to talk everything out—its perfectly OK to give someone space when their feeling tired, off, distant, moody, problem solving, etc.

    I understand we all have weak moments were we feel insecure, unsure or unsettled about someone we’re romantically involved with is usually based on fear. I’ve had a couple myself as I’m sure my BF has too without my knowledge but it was only in my head and not based in reality or we wouldn’t be together now for over 1.5 years and still going strong. Just call and TALK to him, let him hear your voice and try to reconnect by discussing your lives and planning your next get together. It really shouldn’t be this hard.

    #696942 Reply

    Katherine

    Thanks Lane,

    I totally understand what your saying, I feel I have been very supportive of his situation with his work and many balls to juggle. However, this is the reason why I like to spend time with him when he is home (isn’t this how you grow your relationship), as I might not see him again for another 3 weeks! So I have to be supportive of him, however he also needs to be supportive of me as well and not get all moody and irritated about the fact I like to spend majority of my time with him. In reality, I am only spending 2 days/3 nights with him out of 7 days and then might not see him, like in this situation, for 3 weeks. He should also feel the same, but perhaps like you said, he just got a bit overwhelmed with it all, so after 7 months of constant juggling, it just all came crashing down for him and needed that week break of just him time. Especially when I can get a little emotional and insecure (I am so very aware of this now, trust me!!)

    I hope that he spends these next few weeks away at work, reassessing and a having good long think about what it is he actually wants. If a relationship is simply too hard and he can’t manage it, he needs to let me know now!! Not prolong it.

    #696955 Reply

    Lane

    Katherine, my BF goes out to sea for three months at a time, so trust me I understand what its like to go long periods of time not being with each other. The good news is I’m super busy, work A LOT running a business and juggling a lot of balls so I really don’t have the luxury of time to spend on day-to-day type of relationship. My BF misses me far more than I miss him because I’m much busier than he his so my thoughts are constantly on my business (like your BF); whereas he has more time with his thoughts (like you do).

    I don’t think your compatible honestly and trying to stick a round peg in a square hole. You require far more closeness than he does, and truly need to consider why your hanging onto someone who isn’t making you happy? When a man can sense he’s not making you happy they begin to ‘check out’. They can spring back if they MISS YOU but trust me, he’ll go through these cycles of needing space and you clearly said that’s not the kind of man you want to be with but that’s the kind of man HE IS.

    I don’t think your the right match for each other.

    #697048 Reply

    Katherine

    Thanks heaps Lane, I really do appreciate your honesty with what you wright. I think you bring me down to the ground again. Your are right, even though I work full time, I work in an office by myself and also live by myself, but I do spend my weekends being active and busy, but I have allot of time to think and also overthink.

    He does make me happy, he truly does, as when we do spend time together, he is so very sweet and makes me feel loved, he tells me he loves me, however I always find that it is more true in their actions (he is a doer in terms of doing loving things, makes me breakfast, dinner and taking my places). I think my confusion, and the whole reason for my original post, was that he was super close and he seemed to love that closeness we had prior to that Easter Weekend. He would tell me he missed me and wanted me to spend all my time with him when he was home, he always asked me if I missed him and I had to reassure him I did. When I’d go to work on the Friday, sometimes I would stay back and have work drinks before heading to his place, when I turn up he would say “where have you been, I’ve been waiting all day for you” he would say it jokingly of course.

    When we first met, he was on a much better roster, being 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off, this changed about 2 months in and then it went to 4 days on and 3 days off, he was so worried and concerned I would want to end the things with him because of this horrible roster, he actually said “please don’t leave me because of this”. I am okay with the fact he works away, this isn’t the problem here.

    #697052 Reply

    Ali

    Hi– so it takes a lot of commitment to maintain a relationship where there are these long periods you don’t see each other. It’s hard. I am in a long distance relationship and I agree with what Lane says, you have to be super busy, not always overthinking and have a full life of your own as much as possible in order to not get too lonely. If you are a person who wants lots and lots of closeness, this is probably going to be really frustrating for you at times, so you have to figure out if it’s really worth it. If it IS worth it to you then you have to make peace with the situation and find ways to keep your thoughts occupied so you aren’t being needy/pining.

    The only reason an LDR works for me is because I am somewhat solitary by nature/independent/an introvert and have lots of other stuff to do!

    Give a good long think about if this relationship can meet your needs.

    #697056 Reply

    Katherine

    Thanks Ali,

    The fact he works away is not the issue here at all, I am completely fine with that and I do keep myself very busy on the weekend etc (I live in a remote town, so not much to do outside of work on the week days, but I am into fitness, so spend allot of time after work on that). I got into this relationship knowing he was a FIFO worker (fly in fly out worker). Maybe out of interest sake google Australian FIFO girlfriend, there are a whole heap of pages that relate to this, as it is the number one means of divorce and sadly, in the really bad situations, suicide. I totally get I have to be 100% supporting of this and have never doubted that. He never gets needy messages or negative responses from me when he is away, all he gets are fun and happy texts, but I do let him know I miss him when he does the long stints, which I know he appreciates. I always have little treats for him when he gets home (that includes allot extra treats for him as well, if you know what I mean). He is NOT coming home to a sullen sooky girlfriend let me assure you on that.

    I now think that however my insecurities have had allot to do with this situation. I understand that now. Yes, I have become a bit needy in the affection and attention part as well, I understand that now as well. But when someone give you that all of the time and then stops suddenly, it doesn’t have an impact on you. I know that he can’t be like that 24/7 I understand that, but there is no need to become cold and harsh towards me either.

    #698404 Reply

    Katherine

    Hi All,

    so an update on where things are currently at. Unfortunately my SO is needed to stay up at work for another week due to staff changes etc. So this means that ne now won’t be home for another two weeks. All up it will be a total of 5 weeks since I would of seem him last when he gets home. Please know, this is not the issue, I understand that he needs to work and this is out of his control, I am sure he is suffering more at the thought of having to be up at work for this long and not getting a break than I am.

    He also got some bad news on Friday afternoon about one of his mates that had been suffering from MS, he had passed away, he also got some other bad news about his families beloved dog being bitten by a snake and had to be put down. So he got all of this news plus the news of having to stay on site longer all in one hit. Needless to say, he had a terrible afternoon. I sent him a message later that night letting him know I was thinking of him etc. I checked in again with him again Saturday morning just to make sure he was okay, to which he replied “I’m ok thanks”.

    That was the last message I received all weekend, I understand he was going through a rough time, so I didn’t message him again as he obviously wasn’t in the mood for chatting.

    I reached out again late last night (Sunday night) as I hadn’t heard from him at all. It was a simple message “Hope that you have had a good last two days at work and you are doing well. Talk soon.”

    He replied and said he had been super busy at work and how was my weekend. He sent in total all of two messages, the other asking about the weather. That was it, there was nothing after that.

    Now I know he has been dealt some pretty rough news and is dealing with that, along with being at work etc.

    But it is hard to not take in personally when I am getting very vague messages and little to no contact from him these past two days (when he is contact most nights for a while). Wouldn’t it be a good distraction from all the stuff going on to chat to your GF for a bit a night?

    It was only 4 days ago he was telling me how much he missed me, to getting absolutely nothing from him.

    This is where my insecurities start to play up and I take it as him fading out and distancing himself again. I try desperately to convince myself it’s not about me, but when his contact and messages change so suddenly, it’s very hard not too.

    So this is why I am reaching out to all of you again, to put things into perspective.

    #698411 Reply

    Katherine

    I should mention, my sister seems to think that maybe he is trying to make me break up with him, so that he doesn’t look like the bad guy in all this.

    Although I don’t know, he was in normal regular contact with me right up until that Friday afternoon when he got all that terrible news, he messaged me straight away telling me everything that had happened, then he became distant the past two days after that. I wouldn’t think someone trying to get someone to break up with them, would be regular contact and telling them how much they miss them only a few days ago.

    #698425 Reply

    Ali

    Hi– I would strongly suggest you try to let go of analyzing any of the future communication, and wait until you see him again in person. I think it will be apparent then how he is feeling.

    Having a friend and a family dog die is a LOT an a LOT if not most men clam up a bit when things like that happen.

    I know that this is in addition to the anxiety you’ve already been feeling, but surely you see how that could affect his mood?

    But the bigger issue is that texting is no way to really communicate. There’s no tone of voice, no true intimacy (unless he happens to be someone that expresses himself well in writing), so you have no idea if “I’m ok, thanks” means “I’m feeling sad and it’s hard for me to say more than that” or “I’m losing interest”. I am willing to bit it is the former, but I know you’ve been frustrated in this situation with his communication around more than this.

    But truly– at this point I would try to assume the best, think healing thoughts in his direction, and see how it goes in person. I don’t think you are going to get anywhere until then– so try to put it out of your mind and focus on other things. Once you guys are together, can hug, talk, look at each other, it will become clear if he’s still feeling loving towards you.

    #698430 Reply

    Raven

    Not being the ‘bad guy’ = being a pu**y…
    Is this really the kind of guy you want?

    #698732 Reply

    Katherine

    Thanks Ali, very good advice.

    I think he might be shutting me out these past couple of days as I haven’t heard from him at all (very unlike him). I sent him a quick text earlier on in the day saying “just checking in to see if your okay x”

    To which I have had no response.

    It has been a roller coaster ride these past few weeks as he is very up and down, affectionate in his texting one day and not the next.

    I want to stop all texting until he is home and we can see each other in person. If he texts me again, how do I let him know that we stop contacting each other and we catch up when he is home, without sounding dismissive of his situation and mean basically.

    I won’t be texting him again after today’s message.

    At the moment it’s all about how he is feeling and there is no regard for my feelings at all and I am over it. He needs to start to realise what he might lose if he keeps pushing me away.

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