He Needs Space

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    Hopefully someone will have the time and patience to read through this.


    I entered a relationship around 10 months ago. After a couple of months, he showed signs of control, and slight abuse (name calling, emotionally withdrawing himself.)

    However, I chose to ignore this, as the rest of the time he was loving and said all the right things, and we enjoyed spending time together.

    After 6 months, we moved into a flat together. Just after this, some loyalty issues began to arrive on his behalf. He was speaking to other girls, liking inappropriate picture’s of girls on social media, and watching pornography. (A lot of people may think this is normal, but I have never liked the idea of porn.)

    This period of time was a real struggle, and after several attempts to fix things, I decided to leave and return back to my family home.

    I felt this was the right decision at the time, but my partner (ex-partner) at this point, did not cut contact. He continues to be involved in my life, asking to meet up, texting and advising me that he had been seeing a counsellor and had sorted all his issues out and none of this would happen again (etc etc…)

    4 weeks passed, and I started to believe what he was saying, and I returned back to him and moved back into our flat together. We decided “No more games, No name calling, and no ending the relationship unless we really mean it.) We are 23, you can probably I am young because I do not know what to do in this situation.)

    At first, I was happy and he did seem to have made changes. However after a short time, the arguing, name calling and abuse began again. I felt really confused, because surely someone would have learned after this?

    Now he has said to me that he needs space, and isn’t sure what he wants from this relationship. I am very upset, because I advised him before I returned – that if I return there can be no more games or messing with my feelings (as it will be hard to me to leave again, I cannot return to the same family home because they are tired of the “back and forth”)

    I am stuck, his proposal is:

    “Let him stay out a few times a week, and not see me every day. Then he will see how he feels and decided whether he can commit to the relationship.”

    But how long will this take? Should I just agree to this and wait in limbo?


    Please help 🙁


    Dear LotusLove:

    The two of you decided when you moved in with him last time what not to do: “No more games, No name calling, and no ending  the relationship unless we really mean it”- but the two of you didn’t decided what to do instead.

    When not living  together, during the last separation, he may have worked in counseling on some issues and both of you had positive intents, but when living  together same old triggers returned and then the same  reactions to those triggers. It  is  similar to this: away from the bakery a person on a diet is doing well, not eating  cake, but once  back in the bakery, triggered by the sights and  the smell of baking cakes, the person eats and  eats cake, even if  he decides ahead  of time to not eat cake.

    I suggest the  two of you decide of doing something positively different when living  together: quality couple therapy if you can afford it would be best. In absence of that, you can maybe get some good literature on communication, a workbook, and the two  of you can do the exercises there. Spend some time doing that every day.






    Hi Anita.

    Thank you for your advice.

    I would be willing to try your method’s, however he has told me that “I should allow him to stay out a few nights a week, if I do not like this, then it’s tough and the relationship should end”

    This makes it more difficult.



    Dear  LotusLove:

    I don’t think you can tolerate that, him staying out a few nights a week- not  from reading your sharing so far. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to tolerate that.

    If you agree, then prevent yourself from experiencing  this distress, no sense in getting into a situation that will surely cause you suffering.

    What I would do, if I was  you, if you agree with what I wrote here, is suggest to him the couple therapy or communication workbook idea instead of his “solution” and let him know that his solution is not acceptable to you, not an option.



    Hi LotusLove,

    The whole purpose of dating is to see if you are compatible. After two attempts, you have discovered you are not compatible. You CAN move back into your family home because there will be no more back and forth. Because from now on you will no longer live with a guy, especially this one. It’s best to find your own apartment, with platonic roommates. Then when/if it doesn’t work out romantically with someone you won’t have to pack up and move. Keep your living situation and your romantic life separate.



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