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What does he mean when he says he 'needs space'?

(36 Posts)
neva Tue 25-Sep-12 18:24:41

I have been seeing my boyfriend for 4 years.

Over the past 18 months a pattern has emerged where he comes to my place Saturday evening, leaves Sunday evening. We can't meet midweek as we live quite far apart and he starts work very early in the morning. Every Saturday he takes part in a sporting activity that takes up the whole day.

Things have been (occasionally) difficult lately mainly because I feel as though I need to spend more time with him. A whole weekend would be lovely every now and then, but when I mention this, he sees it that I am aiming to get him to drop the sport which I'm not. I'm pleased he is keeping fit and has this activity which he enjoys, it just that as things are it is so limiting. We hardly ever go out for an evening or a day, never visit family together, because there isn't any time. I would just like him to be a bit flexible every now and again. It makes me really sad that no sooner have I got comfortable with him, than he's off again.

We still have a lot of good times, but last w/e was not good. The issue makes me a bit cross, and last w/e I have to admit I was not a great person to be with, for which I did apologise.

Now he has texted and told me he doesn't want to see me at all next weekend, he needs space. He did add his usual 'X' to the text. I haven't replied. I suppose I should just leave it and hope he calms down. It's really upsetting, and really frustrating that he hasn't even given us a chance to talk about it. In the past we have always made up in about 3 seconds flat and I am 100% sure we could again.

expatinscotland Tue 25-Sep-12 18:26:59

The person just isn't that into you.

I wouldn't contact him at all and consider myself broken up.

Jemma1111 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:29:52

He means he doesn't want anything serious with you .

He is actually using you , don't waste your time on him

C0smos Tue 25-Sep-12 18:31:54

But you're doing the right thing by ignoring him, just leave him be and find someone more worthy of your time

lolaflores Tue 25-Sep-12 18:34:39

Darling, leave him to his space and his activity. Find someone who will spend the time you want with you. He does not sound the talky type or very available in honesty.
Big wide world out there. Go out and grab it. Ignore him, move along

NervousAt20 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:35:17

I don't think he's that interested in a relationship. You've been together 4 years and he only wants to be with you 1 night a week and won't change, I think you need to move on

mathanxiety Tue 25-Sep-12 18:36:34

It seems your place has been a handy place for him to stay while pursuing his Saturday sport and he has put up with you on Sunday until you started to want an actual relationship, with you as his focus the same way he is your focus.

fiventhree Tue 25-Sep-12 18:36:48

No, no, that isnt it.

You have gone past the romantic glow and are ready for more commitment. He might or might not be, but he is having difficulty adjusting to adult life and making time for the relationship.

I think you are right to expect more, and dont back down. BUT AT the same time, do not under any circumstances chase him.

This is a test for you both, and sets the future. Will he be prepared to be less selfish and make more time for the relationship? He may or he may not.

Accept his need for space, send only a brief 'that's fine reply' and leave it.

Spend your week planning other weekend activities and making sure you have a social life to fall back on. Go out and have fun on Saturday, or go to friends for the weekend. Dont contact him.

When he does contact you- he will- make it clear that you still want more from the relationship, but are happy to accept if he doesnt, but that you will look to diminish the importance of the relationship in your life and start looking elsewhere.

deleted203 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:37:05

I think he means he wants out, but hasn't the courage to tell you. Next will be 'it's not you, it's me'. Find someone else who is kinder to you and less self centred.

littlebluechair Tue 25-Sep-12 18:37:29

I would move on, he sounds very unavailable.

How old are you, how much did you think he was 'the one'?

LittleFrieda Tue 25-Sep-12 18:37:49

I think 'I need space' is the new version of 'I want to find myself ... in bed with someone who is not you '

mosschops30 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:40:53

I need more space = i want to sleep with someone else/im not that bothered about seeing you.

Do you think its normal to be together 4 years and yet see him only one night a week?

Ditch the loser and find a real man who can treat you properly

solidgoldbrass Tue 25-Sep-12 18:43:05

He doesn't want any more from the relationship than he is already getting and he is not prepared to give any more than he is already giving. If that's not enough for you, then bin and move on. But please don't waste any time or energy with begging, pleading, demanding or trying to make him 'understand' what he will be losing. As far as he's concerned, he's losing one of various acceptable diversions in his life and he'll soon find another one. Trying to dig more commitment out of him will wear you out and make you miserable and WILL NOT WORK.

suburbophobe Tue 25-Sep-12 18:48:06

If this has been going on for 4 years, him doing his sport on Saturday and then coming to yours till Sunday, and is not willing to change the pattern, it never will. Sorry.

Time to meet someone who will meet you halfway in what you want too.

Virgil Tue 25-Sep-12 18:48:28

He is getting what he wants out of this, regular sex after Saturday sport and some
Company on boring Sunday. He gets space all week how can he need space? This doesn't necessarily mean he won't change his mind if you play this the right way (if you actually want him). I agree that you should text back and say "that's fine and then book in something to do for the next couple of weekends with friends so that you are completely unavailable. DO NOT CHANGE THESE PLANS WHATEVER HAPPENS. Then wait and see what he does over the next couple of weeks. If that is fine with him then imo he doesn't want a relationship with you.

lisaro Tue 25-Sep-12 18:53:39

Why do you never travel to his?

neva Tue 25-Sep-12 19:03:32

To be fair, it is partly geography keeping us from seeing each other more often, plus the fact that I have a young daughter. If we lived closer together, we would definitely be seeing each other much more often.

We are both quite old. It has taken me years to meet someone I was (I thought) so compatible with, but maybe it was all an illusion after all.

cece Tue 25-Sep-12 19:04:48

I agree, make sure you are busy for at least the next two or three weekends. Wait for him to chase you and then you'll know.

CinnamonPreztel Tue 25-Sep-12 19:20:31

Sounds very similar to someone I was with recently. And one of the best pieces of advice I had was my friend telling me- "If he wanted to be with you, he would be". It really is that simple.

We split in January, he'd found someone else, I was devastated. Roll on September, I'm with someone who bends over backwards to see me, because when you really want to see someone- you make it happen. Oh, and ex has since been dumped and sniffing round me again. Move on, you will find someone who will move the earth to spend time with you.

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Tue 25-Sep-12 19:23:57

It means he's really not that into you. Leave him to his own devices and get on with your life.

lisaro Tue 25-Sep-12 19:24:06

To be fair, it can't be much of a relationship for either of you if it consists of him just trekking to you every sat night. I still don't know why you can't do your share of travelling. It doesn't sound fun for either of you.

lisaro Tue 25-Sep-12 19:25:11

Sorry - my repeating 'to be fair' looks like I'm being sarky - you must have just put the term into my head, OP. grin

Purpleknickers Tue 25-Sep-12 19:25:50

I agree with cinammon it's usually their way if saying they want to say its over but they are too cowardly to actually say it.

Personally it's happened to me twice I was dumb and too nice and did not twig they they were dumping me... I'm wiser now and the right man will come along for you OP just as mine did for me.

neva Tue 25-Sep-12 19:26:13

Fiventhree, those are wise words. Trying to keep strong and will definitely not be chasing him. He is sure to be in touch, even if only to reclaim the wardrobe full of stuff he has here.

HellonHeels Tue 25-Sep-12 19:33:07

I agree with everyone who's said give him all the space he wants and then some and fill up all your weekends.

Would you be really heartbroken at splitting up with him? It doesn't really sound like a fun and loving relationship.

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