“I need time.”
Have you ever had a guy say that to you? Those words can strike fear in the hearts of so many women.
Because we all know what it really means: he’s leaving you… Right?
Yes, it could be a sign that things are pretty much over. But you shouldn’t jump to conclusions. There are plenty of other reasons why he might need time and space to himself.
In the meantime there are things you can do to make sure he finds his way back to you. Today I’m going to tell you exactly what to do when a guy says he needs time to think.
Ask him about it
When he tells you he needs space, it’s perfectly appropriate to ask him why. Not in an accusing way or in a self-pitying way, but with genuine curiosity.
Ask him what’s going on and what’s on his mind. There might be a lot going on in his life that you don’t even know about. Or maybe he’s trying to work through some of his own issues.
Of course it could be all about you and your relationship, but even then it’s good to have an idea of what’s on his mind. That will give you something to think about during this pause in your relationship, too.
Give him the space he needs
If he’s saying he needs time to think, there’s not much you can say or do about it at the moment.
Even though you wish he would keep on spending time with you, he has expressed his wish to have some time apart. You can’t will him to change his mind or feel differently.
Instead your best option is to accept it and let him have his space. By doing this you show him that you care and respect him as an individual – not just as your boyfriend.
Try to understand where he’s coming from
It sounds bad: he would prefer to be apart from you right now, instead of with you.
But you need to remember that he’s human. We all get overwhelmed sometimes and need to take a mental pause.
He knows himself better than anybody else, and he knows what he needs right now. He obviously believes that having time to think is the only way for him to move forward with his life.
Have you ever needed time to think about something important? I’m sure you have and I’m sure it helped.
No matter how good things have been with you two, relationships take mental and emotional effort. Combine that with all the other stuff going on in his life and you might better understand why he feels like he needs time to think.
Don’t assume the worst
It’s tempting to assume he’s about to leave you. But like we already discussed, that’s not necessarily true.
There are many, many couples who have taken a little time apart but still remained together. In fact it can even strengthen the bond.
If you assume the worst it will inevitably affect how you feel during this time. You could wind up feeling a lot of self-pity and anger towards him, which will sour your relationship should the two of you continue on.
Don’t go assuming anything when you don’t have all the information yet.
Just remember: it’s possible for him to love you but still need time to think.
Go on with your life
If you spend all of this time curled up in bed and feeling depressed, it’s only going to make things worse.
Say he’s trying to figure out whether to stay in this relationship or not. It sure won’t help if he realizes that you completely fell apart emotionally when he was gone. That will only show him that you’re no longer a challenge and turn him off.
Or, if he’s going to leave, you want to get back to living your best life as soon as possible. And staying connected with friends and activities is an important part of this.
It might feel like you’re just going through the motions during this difficult time, but I promise you it will only help you in the long run.
Don’t let it drag on forever
Here’s the problem when he says he needs space: it gives him a chance to keep you as an option indefinitely while he “figures things out”. That’s not going to work for you.
At first you should definitely let him have space. But as the days or even weeks drag on, he needs to make up his mind.
There’s nothing wrong with him taking a few days to collect his thoughts. It can even be healthy.
But he can’t continue on without an end in sight. Once you start to think he’s dragging it out, you have to check in with him.
Check in after a little time
If he’s not in contact with you after a few days, it’s perfectly fine to reach out.
At first it should be warm and pleasant. Tell him you’re thinking of him and that you hope things are well. Ask him if you’ll get to spend time with him soon.
If he still is vague and unwilling to meet you, be a bit more firm. Let him know that you respect his wish but that you also don’t want to let this go on forever.
That still might not be enough of a wakeup call, so you may need to plainly tell him that you’re going to be moving on soon if he still doesn’t know what he wants.
How long should you wait until resorting to this? You’ll have to use your own judgment. Every couple’s situation is different. It might only take a few days before you realize he’s dragging it out, but in other cases you could give it more time than that. It’s all about what you’re comfortable with here.
Be ready to move on
Giving him a time constraint is important, and just as important is following through with it.
The last thing you want to do is tell him to decide what he wants by “X” date, only to keep being available for him after that time.
I get it: you don’t want to lose him. You want to wait for him until the very end. But if you keep being just an option for him you will lose him.
Instead, you need to move on once you say you will.
If you know anything about male psychology you will know that moving on with your life might be exactly what it takes to make him miss you.
Take the time for yourself, too
Maybe you don’t think you need space, but odds are you can probably benefit from it too. It’s easy to lose your identity when you’re in a relationship with someone. That can lead to all sorts of problems down the road.
If he needs space, take a deep breath and think about how you can benefit from having space, too. This could be the perfect time to reflect on whether you’re really having the best relationship you could.