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Should I Give My Ex-Boyfriend His Space?

Published on April 19, 2011 by inlovewithhim

My ex and I were together for almost 7 years and he just broke up with me a couple of months ago because he said he just doesn't want to be in a relationship right now. He even mentioned to me that he's not going to find someone else, and it has nothing to do with not loving me. We had no contact for two weeks until I reached out to him to see what he thought about getting back together. His answer was negative.

However, ever since he keeps calling and texting for various reasons (asking a stupid question or just to see how I am) every few days. He asked me to get coffee a couple of weeks ago and I said yes. Even though it was a bit awkward, after a while we were ourselves, laughing and joking as usual. I asked him if we're "friends" now and his answer was a very unassuring "yeah, I guess," and I told him I can't be his friend. I asked if he could see himself as just my friend and he got all agitated and said "well you're asking me something that I don't know and it's making me uncomfortable," so I let it go.

He texted a couple of times after that about stupid questions and I even ran into him yesterday at a coffee shop by accident. He decided (I didn't ask him to) to sit down with me for 20 minutes before going to work. We talked, laughed and joked around like we always did. He told me all about his life and how everything is going without me asking. It's such a weird situation because even after we had broken up he asked me to go car shopping with him. He asked my opinion about what car I liked and said that he doesn't want to get a standard car because I can't drive a standard car!

When we see each other saying hello and goodbye is awkward because we don't kiss, but the whole conversation is just like usual, laughing and joking... I'm going away for the summer to see my dad (This was the plan even before we broke up and he knew about it; he even had asked me to bring him back some items that he wanted). It should be mentioned that he is 25 and I am 27. We got together when he was 18 and I was 20. He doesn't have his life together yet; I'm going to school and working toward going to law school and he is just working at odd jobs, not a career. He has talked to some people about the break-up, and they have talked to me and keep telling me that he is doing this for me! I'm not sure what that means, but I'm guessing its about him not having a career. He doesn't know what he can offer me and hasn't found himself yet. However, I never thought of him as anything less at all. I love him for the person that he is, not the money he makes and not the career that he has. How can I show him that I don't care about that and that this is all in his head — and that what he is doing is not for me because it's killing me? Is it bad that I'm going away for the summer? Should I stick around, or is it good for him to be away from me as well so he can get some perspective?


Dear In Love, You are very intuitive and intelligent and sound like you've got a good handle on what's going on. I think it's a great idea that you are going away for the summer.This will help your guy get the space to feel what his life is truely like without you. A guy has to feel good about himself before he can be fully invested in a relationship. I think it's great that you love him just as he is,unfortunately he isn't comfortable with himself at this point in his life.It may be beneficial to not make yourself available for calls or coffee or shopping. Most times guys are not connected to how they feel about a woman until she's absent.It will actually help him understand how he feels about you in your absence, not in your presence.Sounds like he's a great guy and worth pulling away from in the short run so he can sort his own confusion and life goals out. I wish you all the best, it will work out. Denise

Dear Denise, Thank you for your response. This has been the first time I have ever posted anything on a forum about relationships or... but its very nice to see when people like you answer and try to help because it sure is a difficult time to go through, even for a short period of time. There has been one thing that has been bothering me. I know it may sound stupid, i know... people in love, like me, cannot think in rational ways and we always have these irrational fears. I like that i'm going away and as you mentioned it is a great time for him to be by himself and really see his life without me in it or the chance of running into me or... but I just have this fear about being forgotten. I know, i have talked to my friends about this and they all think its a ridiculous thought as it is just impossible to forget someone you have dated for 7 years... I think this fear comes from some family drama which I had to endure (my parents got divorced and the reason was my dad's infidelity and I didn't have a relationship or any contact to him for years. It was kind of like he forgot about me even though I know it sounds weird!). I just have this fear of leaving and losing him even more than I already have, even though I don't have him anyways... at least not the way I want to have him in my life... I just fear being forgotten because i'm going away for 4 months... It even sounds irrational when I say it but I cannot help feel it... Any thoughts? I'd appreciate your response and value your input.


In Love: I am doing a study on younger self issues around abandonment issues. If you would like to participate i'd love to have you. It's by phone, it would be once a week for 3 weeks, we would meet privately.All info is strictly confidential. I'm researching for a book i'm writing. So far I've worked with 200 women and they all felt it helped tremendously. If you are interested I warmly welcome you. My email

Dear in Love, I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this because I know EXACTLY how it feels. I myself am going through almost the same situation. Its hard and its painful. But Just from reading the advice given to you, I know how a better grasp about what to do. Thank you for sharing your experience, because now I know I'm not alone. And neither are you.

Dear In Love It takes two people to make a relationship work not just one. I say give him the space that he wanted. You already told him that you don't want to be friends. I think you should tell him again and tell him that you don't want him to contact you in anyway, shape or form. Two things might happen. 1, he will miss you and see that you guys where good together. And when he contacts you make sure you tell him that if he does this you its to get back together. 2. You guys will really grow apart and maybe its for the best. I am sorry, I believe love is a two way street, there is no point for you to love him if he does not love you. Good luck