Dating a heartbroken man who is pulling away

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    Hello! I have been dating a guy for about 1.5 months so it’s still a fairly new relationship.  Things were going well until they were not.  We have been consistently seeing each other up until 2 weeks ago. He constantly contacted me, we shared lots of information and got into deep discussions, he introduced me to his friends and he maintained pure interest.  About 2 weeks ago, he was faced with a very busy schedule so I did not hear from him as often but I still reached out to him.  We had made plans that weekend to see him but there was a big miscommunication and he became a bit aggravated and short.  It proceeded into him stonewalling me, which I began getting extreme anxiety because I did not know what was going on.  He recently reached out to me apologizing for his behavior.  He expressed that he is 5 months out of a long term relationship (which I already knew) and he recognizes that he is still heartbroken and he is having issues at the moment having things progress between us.  He also stated that he is under a lot of career stress that has been demanding timewise and not only that, he is currently stuck in his head and he apologizes that he is being so unfair to me.  He said he fears that I am rushing this commitment on him because he is not ready to jump into a relationship and he understands if I want to leave him because I deserve better while he sorts this out on his own. He expressed this has NOTHING to do with me and he wishes we can be more casual.


    I told him I appreciated his honesty but I am a bit disappointed because things were progressing well and he kind of let fear get to him. I offered to give him space while he sorts this out.  Am I making the right move? I completely understand the heartbroken aspect because I have been there myself.  I will be open to meeting new people but I don’t want to let this one go quite yet. I think there could be future potential if I am willing to be patient.


    Dear Cee:

    Your thinking and reacting to him reads reasonable to me. To give this relationship a chance, there is only one way for you to go about it: to give him the space he needs. I wouldn’t have a casual relationship with him, as in sexual-without-commitment, so to accommodate him! But I will give him his space- no pressure on him whatsoever. Let go of any expectations (other than him being honest and respectful to you).

    Meeting new people- absolutely.



    I agree with Anita. I’m glad you two are able to communicate these thoughts and feelings well.


    Hi Cee,

    I wonder if there will ever be any potential in this to be perfectly honest.
    He has quite clearly told you he is still heartbroken over somebody else, and although he has said it’s nothing to do with you (you haven’t done anything wrong) this is his way of breaking things off gently, I believe.

    I wonder if you got involved a few weeks or months down the line that you would end up getting hurt because of his obvious honesty with the way he is at the moment. You’ve only known him a short while, so I wouldn’t really hold out on anything progressing. But as Anita said, if you completely give him space and leave it, things may work out, but no time soon.




    I agree with Anita.  You should drop any effort on your part to close that space between you and resist the temptation to ask him what’s wrong.  Definitely do not step up your efforts in order to get him to respond to you.  You should continue to resist calling him or emailing him or dropping by his place on the spur of the moment.  Let him make the choice to come to you when he is ready.  If it’s meant to be, things will progress when they should.


    thank you everyone! i have stepped back and haven’t heard anything since we discussed.  sigh… he went MIA


    I do n`t think that you required any help, just confidence perhaps.  Nobody is perfect, we are all only a product of past experience.  We all have old tapes containing past experience replaying in our heads, and most of us can be perfect when we are not even being tested.


    Hi All,

    If I may, I have two questions;

    1- does it make any difference if the period is longer than knowing him for 1.5 months? and;

    2- is it better to give him space without being there until he is ready even he wants you to be there for him when he wants you to be? or to give him the space i.e. not to try or want for more, but keep having a casual relationship in the sense of going out together, sharing daily lives, playing sports etc.. until he decides otherwise (take the move towards a relationship)?!




    Hi Luli,

    I do think it makes a difference that you have only known him a short while. Like PoppyXO, I think he has indeed rethought this relationship and is trying to let you down gently. It certainly sounds that way.

    I also think you should give him space. You have your own life to lead, so don’t be constantly at his beck and call every time he wants your company, don’t jump every time he asks for your time and attention. It will make you appear needy.  It’s selfish of him to expect that you will just be there whenever he needs your company, and you will be constantly hoping for more than just friendship. Which may never happen. I would give him time, occasionally, as any friend would do, but not all of your time, all the time, when he is calling the shots. Like Anita said, no casual sex either!

    I hope this helps.


    Thank you JayJay for your helpful answer.


    I have dated a lot.  It is hard to find a guy nowadays who actually wants to commit.  So many have experienced heartbreak and fear moving forward.  It is much easier for them to keep their options open and stay casual.  The biggest complaint I’ve heard from guys in the dating world is that the females become needy and often expect too much too soon.  You are already talking about a future when you should be more focused in the friendship aspect … getting to know him and see if he is right for you.  The best advice I’ve heard to keep myself from expecting too much too soon is to focus on enjoying each moment you spend together, with no expectations of the future.  This kind of relaxed interaction is refreshing to guys, as so few females seem to exhibit it nowadays.  Future-thinking can cause anxiety on both sides and is one of the biggest reasons for guys to feel pressured and bail.  Another reason for guys to back-off is being emotionally unavailable … which may be apparent in this case, as he readily admits he’s still thinking of someone else, so not really available to you at this time.


    Hi Cee,

    I hope my message is not too late and sorry if I sound a bit harsh but speaking from experience, people with baggages need to figure out what they want in life and reorganize where they want to be and with what type of people. I was in a relationship like yours once where he just broke up with his fiance 1 year ago and it was hard for him to move forth as he keeps comparing everyone to her.

    So I decided to give him his space and move on with my life because I know everyone and include yourself deserve to be happy and love rightfully. I am now in a happy relationship. So enjoy all the good moments and learn from the unhappy ones because life is about learning and grow.

    Good luck and I know you will be ok.

    Take Care.



    Hey L

    Hey Cee,

    What I’m about to say goes against everything society teaches us (that women are supposed to sit on their hands until the man asks them out), but instead of sitting back and waiting for him (and moving on if he doesn’t return in X amount of time), why not make a move yourself?

    There is nothing wrong with it – In fact, many men really like and appreciate it sometimes!

    Good luck dear


    I agree with Anita…give him space…and maybe that space will give you answer. Any relationship, if it helps both then have the patience to stick with him. Otherwise, just let it be free. 🙂

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