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He says he needs space. OK, but how much space?

Tagged as: Breaking up<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (21 September 2005) 36 Answers - (Newest, 18 July 2008)
A female , anonymous writes:

My boyfriend told me he doesn't want to break up but needs some space. How long should I wait before I call him? Or see him? I want to respect him and give him time to work out his issues, but not give him permission to leaving me totally hanging indefinately.

View related questions: needs some space, needs space

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A male reader, scohan United States +, writes (18 July 2008):

If a guy says that he "needs space", that is exactly what it means. Don't read into it and paint him as the villian. The dynamic of every relationship is different. I have been in a relationship for 4 years and love my gf (ex-gf?) to death. The relationship had a loving dynamic but also a verbally abusive dynamic. When a situation becomes unhealthy, sometimes the best solution is to have "some space". I dont want to leave her... I am heartbroken... but this is the only way I knew how to stop the verbal abuse. Perhaps in being apart for a while, emotions can calm dowm and we can learn to communicate in a more healthy way (at least I hope). The guy who asks for "space" is not always the villian. Please don't assume that he is and that he has anything to apologize for.

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A female reader, brokenkuv Mauritius +, writes (28 March 2008):

Hi...Actually, me too am having this same problem with my 13 months boyfriend... actually, we've been through lots of fights all the time... n we don't even trust each other especially he doesn't trust me since i lied to him once and from that day onwards, he doubts all my say. and also, he doesn't like it at all when i talk to my friends on our private life.

And since yesterday, when he learned that i had talked to my friend about our private life, he told me we have to keep some distance between us now... since, its been some 13 months that we both together and all the time we keep on fighting and the trust is not coming at all. I love him loads n i can't think of how to go on with distance between us... What should i do?? Please advice me?? I can't think of not calling or messaging him...he's on my mind all the time...Please...

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (21 March 2008):

for god sakes women!!! understand this when asked for space... you are being taken for granted. your needs are being swept under the rug! guys and girls aren't that different. In the end there is only confidence to stand up for yourself. The best advice as a young pretty good looking guy can give who has been thru a boatload and stood on both sides of the fence. You will give him space but make him understand that you both are single during this time and completely unaccountable to one another. Then go a BE SINGLE!!! not saying to go a screw someone out of revenge or anger.. but get your damn life back! Have fun. Worried don't be. I would be more worried about the effects of unrequitted love and acting like a doormat on your self image / esteem. Do this and watch how quick the guy contacts you especially if he is in his 20's early thirties. Teenager haha.. it will be the same day. Get it? got it? good.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 February 2008):

I'm in the same boat literally.... but...

ok - so what I want to know... we've been dating almost 2 years... we got into an argument and both said we wanted space... 2 days later he "emails" me and says he is sorry that he hurt me - but that he needs to take some time to reflect on himself. I responded by telling him he was a coward for emailing me, but also that he didn't have to "cushion" I already knew I was dumped. a day or so later I stopped to see him, he said that it wasn't to break up, that he just needed space. then later in the heated conversation, said he couldn't give me 100% or the love I deserve, then said can't be in a relationship right now. wellllll - what happened to saying he didn't want to break up earlier in the conversation? Totally don't understand. it was such a loving relationship, and this was sooo sudden. thoughts please!!!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 February 2008):

Ok. so my boyfriend said after we had a what I thought was honest conversation about our relationship that he wanted us to have space so he could sort out his feelings. We have been together for 2 1/2 yrs. That was 3 weeks ago. Since then we have spoken over the phone a total of 4 times. the 1st time b/c I sent him a e-mail, 2 and 3rd was becasue he called me which was very brief and he left a message and the last was b/c of an e-mail requsting for him to call. This last time we spoke I asked him " So what's up?" and he said he is still evaluating things this was after we were going to make plans to see each other after 2 weeks apart. Mind you we only see each other on the weekends anyway because of him. He is in grad school and he works full time those are his excuses of why we can't see each other during the week. So, after he said that I said well maybe we should not see each other until we know that this is what we want and he agreed. I feel like he wants to break up with me but is not man enough to say it. At first I did not want space but I'm glad cause now I able to see things with a clear lens and know that I don't want to be with someone that does not want to be with me. I'm going to stay strong and so should anyone else reading this.I found reading other people's stories very helpful. Remember "We Treat People" how to treat us.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 January 2008):

There are two kind of space guys need.. one is literally space, two is practically just a way of saying "it's over but I want you to be a spare tyre in the meantime" -- sorry it's very blunt.

People (Not just guys) have different personality and to make up who they are, people do things on their own. Such as, I play keyboard, read books, and write articles like this few hours a week...by myself..sure there is no regular time attached to it, but I still need to play for a few hours a week to make up who I am.

When someone says they need space, it should mean "I don't have enough time to do things I use to do to make up who I am..and I want it back.. I want to feel myself again/or sort myself out"...

All you need to do is...be still around him but make sure he has the time to do all those things to make himself... (This is just a small trickling gestures to encourage him to want you again.. because seriously if no contact was made..he'll get into the habit of not wanting to see you anymore.. this is why some 'i need space' conversation can lead to a break up)..

Terms of how much space he needs... is how much time alone/hobbies he needs to take to make himself up..that depends on his personality. Someone who you consider an extraverted person would probably need less compared to someone who is more introverted..

Sally Webb. appleandwine.com

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A female reader, Shazza!! United Kingdom +, writes (14 November 2007):

I think I already know the question to my answer. And think that I have taken that in, well not quite fully I don't think! Well I was with my boyfriend nearly 3months and things were great between us, we used to do alot of things together and spend time together. I went on holiday still with my friends at the beginning of the relationship. And then when I got back we both went away for the weekend. We seen quite abit of each other, and spent near enough every evening or the odd one together watching tele and getting along. Then he had work commitments and went working abroad for two weeks. When he came back he phoned me straight away the next time. And asked if I was going round that night. I did, and we ended up going to his friends wedding reception, he introduced me to his older brother I had already met his sister as she helped to fix us both up together along with my cousin. I met his mum and dad and he met my brother, sister and mother. So we went there that night and had such a good night, laughing and we were both really happy! Then we went back to his that night and things were still great. Then the next night i didn't see him. I seen him for abit on the saturday I was going out with his sister, and he was dropping us both into town. I think i got my drink spiked as i got kicked out of the last club and i don't remember that much. Anyway cut a long story short, i then carried onto his flat that night and still he was tired but things were ok even though we obviously didn't talk much.

The next day his sister came around and I did feel embarrassed as the night before I made a prat of myself but I don't remember what i did. I remember vaguely bits, but nothing stupid happened just me shouting at the bouncers for keeping hold of my purse,money and phone. Anyway the next morning he seemed quiet also to mention the night he was taking us out to town, he seemed quiet and down then i asked him what was up and he said i dunno just feel shit, like pissed off!! And his sister noticed too. The next morning he was quiet. I came home after a while, and was hungover recovering. I later phoned him and got no answer, left it an hour and then got a text message from him saying "sorry but i do not want to be with any1 at min,want to be single sort myself out" so i phoned him up and had a chat with him he seemed really down and not his usual self but was ok speaking with me. I said is it anything that i have done and he said no course its not its me, been feeling rubbish these past few days and just need time to sort myself out. I said do you think we will get back and he said the way my head is now no, and i said what ever and he said i dont know yet. He just said im sorry. its not your fault. And then as he was going he said i will give you a ring or something when i havent sorted my head out. As you can imagine i was upset for a while. And slowly came to terms with just leaving him for a while with time on his own!!

I texted him a week later and just said hope your ok, i'll be here if you need to talk or anything, and he just texted back and said no i do not want to speak to you. I really don't think he is himself. I have left things of mine at his flat, and am too ashamed to go and pick them up. I haven't contacted him or heard from him since then, and that is now 2weeks since he told me and 1week,2days since i last texted him. I still really like him and I am confused things were really great between us. And he said that it wasn't anything i have done!!

I just don't know what to do, because i hope that he will come around and sort himself out, so that we can at least talk things over!

Sorry to have gone on...xx

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 November 2007):

I'm a guy and I'm asking for some space with my g/f. Asking for space can be anything. For me we're both stressing out and the best thing I can think of is getting some space. When you get in a fight with your other do you stick around so things can escalate or do you go on a walk, cool off, and come back and talk?

Ask him how much space he wants and if he's an asshole about it then there's something wrong. if not, he'll let you know. He should be able to explain that, also that he cares/loves you, and tell you that everything will be ok.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 October 2007):

I was dating this guy for 3 mths. Ever since he came in to the relationship its been drama.He has a lot of issues since his divorce that he has not sorted out. When he meet me all the issues came back because he said to himself maybe i can get married again and then he said he could not. It took meeting me to reliase he could not do it. SO NOW HE NEEDS SPACE AND CANT BE IN A ROMANTICALLT RELATIONSHIP WITH ME UNTIL HE SORTS HIMSELF OUT IF EVER HE DOES. THOS WHERE HIS LAST WORDS TO ME. I AM HURT. WHY ME

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A female reader, cailin United States +, writes (27 October 2007):

I was dating this guy for 3 mths. Ever since he came in to the relationship its been drama.He has a lot of issues since his divorce that he has not sorted out. When he meet me all the issues came back because he said to himself maybe i can get married again and then he said he could not. It took meeting me to reliase he could not do it. SO NOW HE NEEDS SPACE AND CANT BE IN A ROMANTICALLT RELATIONSHIP WITH ME UNTIL HE SORTS HIMSELF OUT IF EVER HE DOES. THOS WHERE HIS LAST WORDS TO ME. I AM HURT. WHY ME

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 October 2007):

Space can mean there's someone else or he is just trying to find a way to control your feelings. Guys like to string girls along. Move on with your life girl. Tell him you understand there's problems in his life or whatever and its a shame that he couldn't give you space to help him deal then go out spoil yourself and be happy. Why put yourself through self inflicted pain if he wants you he'll ask you back and if the relationship just isn't worth that much to him you'll know by his response. I once waited two weeks for a guy only to have him tell me that it was over... No matter how you feel now you can move on and be happy!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 October 2007):

It's so difficult to measure up what really man wants in a woman. Lifetime relationship is what some women wants as i wish i'd love to have. But when it comes to a point that a man is asking for a space, maybe he just wants to be alone sometimes, it's up to him, if he is honest or not, anyway he will be the one to bear it. It's not yet the end of the world, let's hope and pray that all of us would have a happy relationship.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 October 2007):

I believe that the space between the two of you are good. it will be hurtful, you may feel betrayed, confused ,it's over, payback, but you have to be strong... when we tend to go through issues we at times want to be left alone to deal with our problems, or we may want to watch t.v and chill by ourselves, clean house, b/s or whatever it is that we do without being bothered... ladies how many weekends have you gotten up or laid in bed all day without combing, or brushing your teeth,or even bathed? you stayed in bed and watched t.v {life channel} all day.. didn't it feel good? so why don't you think that your man may not want the same thing? he will call you... if you love him then let him go if he comes back then that is how you know...so be patient... he will love you long time when he returns... and it would draw you closer.... may be this is one of those test to see how much you guys love each other and this separation will let you know because you would yearn for that person and it would feel like an emptiness when your apart that you have no choice but to call each other... so have faith, no sneaking around{you will feel guilty in the end} and be strong and while this space time is going on take time out to pamper yourself and get ready for him to see the new and sexy you...remember he will love you LONG TIME.....good luck

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 September 2007):

I am in the same both as you are. Believe me give him space and everything will work fine.

I tried not giving him space since i was troubled coz he would not like me calling him up and messaging him. H e has become very arrogant and abusive.

However, he stills keep teling me that if you need this relationship to work then give me space

hence i have come to a conclusion to give him space

give him space for a month atleastengage yourself in other activitises but show him your care and love by sending him a message maybe once a week

he will come back to you don't worry its a normal guy thing

take care

am in teh same boat as you are.

Please pray for me too that his space actually brings us back together

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 August 2007):

I and My boyfriend are both 45, we hit it off with high intensity, had a great time, we like sports,are very active, etc. He is up for a job promotion, then tells me

that he needs "more space" until he finds out he landed this job, since he is stressed. I do not understand why he

wants to hibernate like a bear, and I do not think that this is good coping skills. As a couple, what everytime he

has a problem he needs days alone? Then he will text me thru the day, but not as much as he used to. Initially I told him how hurt I was, then he wanted the weekend off too. I cannot turn my emotions on and off. This is a man that I did think that at some point we would be engaged and finnally marry. He did have a very bad relationship

prior to me, and says that intermittenly he is "scared.

Help!!!

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A female reader, angeleyes2004kj United States +, writes (14 August 2007):

I agree space has to have a time limit. My boyfriend and I had many problems he said he wanted his space. I have called and tried and tried. I wont do it anymore he can call me. I refuse to chase a guy who continues to shoot me down. I don't care if it kills me anymore. Space is a b.s. you either want it or you don't. In my opinion its a game to keep you on a string so they can go check on other stuff to see if they can get better. No more take a stand with me and give the jerks as much space as they need meanwhile lets go do our thing.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 August 2007):

Don't call him until he calls you!! I know it will be hard but once he see's that you have given him the space he needs he will realize how much he misses you and come crawling back to you...... The same situation has happened to me!!!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 August 2007):

i feel horrible and scared that my bf will not return to me once he has had his space. We have been together for 5 years in september. He is also my first bf ever. So this is a very stressful thing for me. ive never been in this situation before. I can only wait and see what happens.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 July 2007):

He problay is in a bad time and he porblay knows if he spent time around you he would disapiont you. Just call him once and ask how hes doing and then don't call him again. Just wait for him to call you and if he doesn't call you in 7 weeks then you need to ask him if he had enough time by himself. He might be thinking about another girl he might be trying to figure out which girl he loves the best..I would give him a lil more time.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 June 2007):

I was told the same thing last night. My b/f and I are in our 50s. We hit it off from day one. He told me he loves me and that he never thought he say that to anyone anymore, but he did. He said the only thing in life he is sure of is loving me. He would ask me to stay over at times to the point where I was there 4 nights out of 7. It's not all sex, we really enjoy the company. He told last night after I noticed a change in his mood, that he feels clostophobic (excuse the spelling)and not used to having someone there 24 hrs. He said he can't understand this because he loves me, loves seeing me, loves being with me. But he feels he needs space. Space as far as me staying there all the time, but he still plans to see me. He looked me in the eyes and said again that he truly loves me and there is no one else he is seeing. I love him alot but I will admit that the excitement of anticipation of seeing him did diminish being with him all the time. He told me he wants the excitement of seeing me again as we did when we first met two months ago and that asking me to stay over alot may have been too soon. I believe him because he is the type (as he told me many times) that he rather say something that may hurt me rather than lie, cause lying hurts more than the truth. He always shoots from the hip with everyone. Tells you like it is. I guess I am a bit scared of this space because in the past I was lied to badly. But he said he wants this to work and thinks for a short time space is good..not to the point that I wont hear from him, he does call me everyday but as far as the stayovers. I am putting my trust in him. I just hope I am not being a fool.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 May 2007):

i am going through the same thing right now...my boyfriend is going through alot and is under a lot of stress and he has asked for some space. so its day 5 now and im having a hard time dealing with it but im trying to keep strong. he has assured me that he loves me and that this is not a break up. all i can do is wait and see. im trying very hard not to call him.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 March 2007):

Im in the same position but we live miles away from each other. Ive just recently come bk from staying with him for 6 weeks were he lives and now ive come bk i just feel like i need to talk to him everyday as i cant see him but i dont think he wants to do this cus he says its like the same kinda conversation everyday. I do see what he means and because of this we kinda get into little petty arguements over the internet. Im trying not to talk to him as much now, how weird it seems but I think he has been kinda working. Its really hard though the best thing is to keep yourself busy and Ive even deleted his number JUST INCASE I txt him or ring him.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 March 2007):

I am going through the same kinda thing at the moment. my boyfriend says he needs space. we've been together for a year and a half. i havent spoke to him for about a week, its so difficult i want to call or txt him saying i want to see him or talk on phone. I'm starting to get worried that he wants to become split and become single, he was saying that he misses the single life, having the freedom, i feel very hurt by this as i thought i was allowing him his freedom. I sometime do get emotional and he hasnt as giving lately, and his always tired and also i think he has been bottling things up the last few months and i think ive pressured him without realising it, to 'talk'. I just hope i haven't ruined the relationship. I will remain strong, and not call him let him come back in his own time, and i think thats the best way, keep busy, today has been worse day (day 5) but ive been happy the rest of the week i try not to think about him but its hard not too...

Be strong girls.... give him space.... get ur independance back too.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 February 2007):

There is no way for you to know how much space he needs, and there is no point in asking, because he may not know himself.

All you need to do is give him the space he needs. Try to be around him less. Ive been in the same situation, almost identical, and at first you want to know how much space, but in the end it doesn't matter how much space he needs, its that you give it to him that counts.

Try not to call him at all, I know this may sound bad, and you might feel that its giving across the message that you dont care, but you are giving him the space he needs. If he wants to talk to you, he will call you. Only call him if its for an important reason, not an emotional one.

Certainly dont ignore him or be rude to him, but dont smother him or feel like you need to keep giving.

He needs time to sort out things logically in his head, as all men do, and when he's done this, and when you've given him the space he needs, he will have fulfilled his need for some space, and want to be normal again.

Theres no such thing as giving too much space, but just remember not to interpret the word "space" as "solitude".

It doesn't mean he doesn't want to see you at all and be completely alone, he simply just needs you to ease off a bit and give him time to himself.

I know you may feel unloved, needy and confused right now, but don't give in to your emotions. Be strong, give him the space that he has asked for and trust him to return again.

Not only will he respect you and thank you for it later, but you'll look back and be proud of how you handled it.

H - x

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A female reader, Aussieglamour Australia +, writes (27 January 2007):

i came to the internet tonight for answers as i was told by the man i was seeing and falling for for a month and a half that he needed "space" also.ive never had this happen to me before. Im 41 and so is he, i guess there is no age for this to happen. He told me that his upcoming court cases with his ex and trying to gain access to his children and also running his business, he says he is no good to himself let alone a relationship and wanting "space" for a week (after i asked) he said he will still be in contact with me, i asked him to be honest and if he wanted it to be over to just tell me which would be better for me to move on, he said that he has feelings for me and loves me, wants a commitment still, but just needs to sort his mess out first, he said his kids are number 1 priorty and wants to have the access established,and finish his court cases, he said his mind is such amess that he doesnt want it to effect our relationship by saying the wrong things. We have gone on holidays together and he has bought me a friendship ring and indicted that was a first stage of our relationship. Does this sound reasonable to a guy out there please? i will definately NOT call and give him his space, but my friends are finding this a bit unusual and worrying me by saying hes probably dating other women, he is a faithful guy and has been to his wife for 20 years. what do u think?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 December 2006):

I think it very much depends on your relationship. A lot of the advice you have been given is good, but some of them seem determined to make you see this as a pre-breakup situation, and it is not necessarily so. However, it is undeniably a chance for both of you to reassess what you had and work on what you might have in the future. I think that asking for space is sometimes a very healthy thing, even if it seems to result in a step back from the intensity of love. The better thing would be a friendship and love where each of you could occasionally ask for space, and on the very simplest level, this may be what he is asking for. You don't tell us whether you have hurt him before or what your history is. I think that what most people forget is that real love and friendship take years and years and years to evolve and develop. In the meantime, you still have to be yourself. If it was meant to be, you will honor his request out of respect, and it will strengthen you. If not, you will soon know.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 November 2006):

He has to give you a set date as to for how long he needs this "space". What are you? A monkey hanging from a tree with nothing better to do with her time? Sometimes individuals do need space but rules of engagement have to be established. Wether a man or woman, one feels insecure about the request. Heck! Humans are not the most loyal and honest people amongst species! Who can blame us? Well, the insecurity can be alleviated by the person doing the request. He or she has to make it clear that no games are being played. And YOU darling have to be sure that you are not being overly insecure. Take the "I need space" request as a time to reflext on what is really going on with him, with you, withing you, and with the relationship. Taking a time-out (space) to hang out with friends or whatever is cool. Just don't let him leave you out in the cold as to whether wondering else is going on. Quantify and Clarify! You are worth it!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 July 2006):

Im going through the same situation. he asked me to give him some time to figure things out... and I am... five days. after that, I'll make up his mind for him. I love him but I cant sit around forever. life is too short. I dont know what he's going through because he has said that he doesnt want to talk about it but Im pretty sure it has something to do with his ex girlfriend. I figured out that you just have to take it one day at a time.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 September 2005):

I'm kind of in the same situation. My boyfriend is going thru alot right now - he hates his job, he still lives at home wth his mom,(he's 36yrs old) doesn't have a lot of money...these are some of the things he are frustrated with. He told me he needs time to focus on his life and he doesn't want to break up , but he needs to put his life in order. I am trying to hang in there.....he still calls me throughout the day,and before we got to bed we speak and when we wake in the AM we speak - stil the same as before, so nothing really changed except for not seeing him. It has been 2 weeks since he/we utter the sapce word.....what should i do, should I hang in there a little longer, or cut my losses (lack of a better term)? Prior to this space, we had a lot of arguments and he just seem so frustrated with life and me....I felt he was taking everything out on me! Do you really think he wants this space to put his life back in order or he just wants to break up...he said he didn't, but i am not too sure what to think...i never had a guy utter those words (space) to me before! need some insight.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (26 September 2005):

If he needs his space, give it to him. Respect his decision and let it be. Trust that he makes the most out of his time. Maybe he's really stressed out and cannot handle a relationship at the time, but really cares about you. Try to keep busy and keep yourself happy on your own. He will come around if he ultimately wants to be with you and there's no specific time frame of when to call or contact him. Give him about 5 days at least. If it gets too difficult for you, contact him and explain how you're feeling. Many couples take breaks to clear their minds, relieve stress and handle other responsibilities aside from the relationship. Maybe his priorities shifted depending on his situation. Ask him straight out after x amount of days if he really doesn't want to be with you.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (25 September 2005):

i have been in almost the same situation and its so hard.But the best thing you can do is keep youself ocupied and not be so avalible. Just take it one day at a time and im sure u will b fine.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 September 2005):

Sometimes when someone says they need some space, it's actually a passive way of really saying, "I'm ending this relationship and moving on without you." Don't let him just walk away without first-making him accountable for giving you some honest answers and respecting you enough to clarify "exactly" what he means. As the other one-half of this relationship, you have a right to know. Insist on it.

To be absolutely sure, you need to ask your bf about a few questions. Ask him how long he needs space for and have him define clearly, the kind of space he needs and WHY. eg: Weekends only? Every other week? More nights alone?

Ask him what issues are bothering him? Get some honest clear answers here.

Try to zero in on what, specifically, is bothering him. Listen to what he tells you. If after that, you are still unsure, then a good way to test his loyalty to this relationship is for you to INSIST you still want to see him but ask him what possible compromises he might be willing to make. (once a week? weekends only?) (remember, love is compromise) If he hedges, refuses to compromise, talks or rattles off a huge list of issues and lame excuses then you know for certain-he's looking for ways to end the relationship. You know him best-facial expressions, body language will tell you the truth if he's not coming clean with you. A lot of guys get nervous and literally squirm when they can't think of clear cut answers. If he does this, then you know he lying and regardless of what you say, nothing is going to work because his mind is set on ending it. Keep your dignity, accept it and tell him -it's over. He doesn't deserve you if he's a liar and being decietful.

There are other times when asking for "space" is an attempt to redefine the relationship. Usually, when this happens, it's because the partner is asking, is feeling smothered and misses having time as an individual rather than just a couple. Well..Dating is coupledom! Consistant ongoing contact with each other, builds the bond and enhances the intimacy and love. That's just the way it is. If he can't accept being a 'couple' and he can't compromise on giving you a few nights a week this is telling you he's not committed. This is unfair to you..so cut him loose.

The only way to find out your boyfriend's definition of 'having his space' is to clarify his motivation and his needs. If in the end, he can't give you good, solid, honest answers-then tell him you refuse to be strung along.

You will be hurt but over time you will gain a few lessons about what to 'look out' for in the next guy you date. Keep your self-respect intact and realize, there is happiness and an enriched life, after this guy. You just have to get out there and find it. There are many super guys out there who would appreciate you and never play this childish games with you. You just have to choose wisely, in the future. Good luck my dear and keep being strong.

Hugs,

Irish

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A female reader, xxxsoulsistaxxx United Kingdom +, writes (21 September 2005):

xxxsoulsistaxxx agony auntI understand this is confusing the frustrating for you but if he hasn't said how long he needs, nobody really knows. Don't let him have the upper hand. Don't be waiting on his calls and hoping he'll be in touch, just get on with your life. If he wants space, give him space. He'll soon realise what he's lost and come crawling back. And if he doesn't, you'll have moved on anyway. Respect yourself, girl and good luck :)

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A female reader, Bev Conolly Australia +, writes (21 September 2005):

Bev Conolly agony auntIt's a fine line between "we're breaking up" and "give me an infinite amount of space and maybe I'll call you... later".

In fact, it's such a fine line that they're effectively the same thing and you might as well treat it as such.

It's a shame that your boyfriend didn't think to be more honest with you and say what he really felt, but it's probably that he thought telling you he needed "space" was kinder than the alternatives.

Now things are really a bit more complicated, because if he'd told you in the first place "It's over" (or words to that effect), you would have known where you stand. However, under these circumstances, you can sit him down quietly and earnestly and ask him, "So, are we over?" and he can wriggle out of answering you straight by saying, "No, of course not. I just need time".

In essence, it's the same thing.

Personally, I wouldn't waste time waiting around. He doesn't appear to be interested in going out any more and he hasn't given any idea when - or even IF - he will be. That sounds a lot like breaking up, doesn't it?

Time to take a deep breath and move on with your life. If he's coming back, fine. You can cross that bridge when you come to it. Or IF you come to it.

Be strong.

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A female reader, missdee +, writes (21 September 2005):

If your boyfriend is using the "needs some space" he is most likely just trying not to hurt you but he is wanting to move on. You should do the same. Go on with your life. Don't call him. Don't go to see him. The easiest way to make a boy want a girl is to not chase him. Don't make yourself so available. What do you want something you can have without even asking or something you have to work alittle to get. Boys are the same.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (21 September 2005):

Sorry, but its probably over. Most guys who say they want space are just trying to let you down gently. Move on. don't call him, and don't expect him to call you. If he wants to renew the relationship, he has some apologizing to do, and some chasing to do. Move on. There is a guy out there who only wants to fill the space around you. Find him.

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