What to do if a boyfriend or girlfriend wants space to reconsider the relationship

naj asks: I’m a girl, 18 years of age, doing my graduation in physics. I have just been in a new relationship and to be honest, this is my first one. I found him from Instagram. I’ve known him for two months now. It’s been only three weeks since we started the relationship. He was very committed and caring and all. But then one day he met his ex-girlfriend’s friends and they said something and made him feel guilty for being in a relationship three months after their breakup. Now he says that he needs some space. He doesn’t show the same affection as he did in the beginning . He needs a break and he says that he’ll come back whatever happens. But he’s not sure about how long it will take. Would you suggest something? Should we actually break up?

Hi naj –


So you probably know the famous question, where someone fills a glass exactly halfway with water, and some people say it’s “half full,” while others say it’s “half empty.”


This is one of those situations.  The guy likes you, you like him, all’s great.  But these friends guilt-tripped him and he’s asking for space.


So if this was something that happened a lot, if he was always pulling away, I’d say that’s a worry.  But this is once.  And he’s saying he’ll be back.


I’m a “glass half full” sort of girl (most dogs are).  And so my suggestion is to give him a chance.  If he stays away more than a few weeks (in other words, longer than you’ve even been dating), I’d say to start looking elsewhere.  But till then, give him the space he needs.  Whatever it is he needs to figure out, he’s being open and honest about it, and that’s a pretty great virtue.  And if he comes back to you, wanting to get re-involved, you’ll know he’s really interested (which most people don’t know this soon).


So you could break up with him and say “I won’t be treated this way.” And I couldn’t tell you you’d be wrong.


But wouldn’t it be more fun if this worked out?!


So that’s my thought anyway.  Best of luck whatever you choose!



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