Free asks: I’m 21-year-old girl with a boyfriend who always wants space in his life. He considers his friends more important than me, but he also doesn’t want to breakup with me and gives me the hope of coming back to his life. And I just can’t stay apart from him for an hour also! I love him more than my soul; he is my world. I’m a highly sensitive empath who feels a lot, so I don’t know how to deal with this.
Hi Free –
I’m going to say something to you that’s not as judgmental as it may sound. But it seems to me you’re addicted to your boyfriend.
You know addictions, the way people are addicted to cigarettes or coffee or whatever? See, that doesn’t mean they just like them, it’s that they can’t stand not having them, their bodies react badly to being deprived of them, even when they aren’t enjoying them at all.
See, you say you’re an empath, and I have every reason to believe you are. But empaths feel what other people are feeling. And yet, when your boyfriend feels a need for space, your instant reaction is to need more of him, right?
So it’s great that you’re an empath, but what’s pushing you in this relationship is your addiction to him. And it might push him away so hard he breaks things off!
So I want you to do two things, at the same time. First, I want you to work on “cutting down” on him, as one would cut down on cigarettes or drinks. Try, without his asking for it, to go longer and longer without having contact with him. One hour, then one and a half, two, three… Build up your tolerance for not having him there. That’ll make you feel better, and give him some room to breathe.
But also, I want you to think about what it would be like to have a different kind of boyfriend. One who loves having more contact. Who puts you above his friends. Who is just as “needy” and “clingy” and (you see, I’m using all the worst words I can!) as you.
I’ll tell you someone who is: ME! Like most dogs, I just hate being separated from my human, and go absolutely nuts every time he comes home. So it’s great for me that Handsome feels largely the same way. Oh it’d be awful if, when he came home, he didn’t want to cuddle me and play with me for at least a few minutes – I NEED THAT!
So I’m not putting you down when I say that maybe, if giving this guy some space doesn’t make him friendlier to you, you should consider looking elsewhere. Just like there are cats and dogs, there are people who are more and less attached, more and less desiring of contact.
In the long run, you might be happiest with someone who wants just what you do. It’s hard to find exactly, but it sounds like you could do way better than this guy.
Unless… giving him some space is enough! So try it out and let me know what happens!
All my best,