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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > What is "I need space"      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 1cares
Joined: 8/23/2009
Msg: 1
What is "I need space"Page 1 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Please help. I am so confused.
I have been with this guy for 7 months. Everything has been perfect. He is amazing. He always has been extremely good to me, and I could always tell he really cared about me. He has been traveling a lot with his work lately, and we see each other every week, or even less. I have been fine with that as I am a busy girl anyway. About a month ago, my dog had gotten really sick. He was so sweet and sent me flowers and called/texted/emailed while he was out of town.
Over Thanksgiving he was going to egypt to spend time with his family (he is from there), and we spent some nice quality time together before he left). Over the holiday I had to put my dog down. It was the hardest thing i have ever had to do. My man was very comforting. he was texting and called often. I was with my family and they helped keep my mind off of it, and kept me busy. When I came home without her (my dog), I saw all of her things and just felt such pain. Just a couple hours later I picked him up from the airport, and he was just his normal self kissing me telling me how much he missed me. He brought me back presents, told me he brought back some bread to make me an egyptian breakfast, etc.
He went off to unpack and take a shower and we ordered in and everything was normal. Then we made out and he wanted to have sex. I told him I just wasn’t myself and didn’t want to.
I could suddenly tell he was disappointed. He sat on the other side of the couch, and didn’t talk to me. When I left he wouldn’t kiss me but cheeked me. I let him have his space for two days because I knew he had his kids those days. I finally texted him “hi, how are you” and got no response. The next morning I called and he didn’t answer. Finally yesterday I emailed him to let him know I was thinking of him and his family and hoped they were okay with everything going on in Egypt. He said thanks for the thoughts, that he was just sorting through some stuff.
I wasn’t sure why he was suddenly so cold to me after our perfect little relationship. I texted him again apologizing if I had hurt his feelings the other night etc… and he said that no apology was necessary and that he has a lot on his plate with work, the kids, etc, and he needs time to reflect. I was confused and said I apologize in advance, but i am confused. What happened? He said he apologized too but nothing happened, he just needed some space to deal with some critical issues. I am still bewildered so I just said I understand I am sorry I didn’t realize. Are we still good? And i haven’t received a reply. What could have gone wrong? I am heartbroken, I am already dealing with my pup’s death and now I feel like he is ending things with me. I never told him this, but I love him, and I really felt like he was the one for me. Any advise is appreciated.
 justherefortheforum10960
Joined: 8/14/2012
Msg: 2
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 7:30:50 AM
Maybe he saw that you have a POF profile looking for a relationship.
 1cares
Joined: 8/23/2009
Msg: 3
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 7:34:03 AM
We met on Match. I forgot I had this, and haven't been on since we started dating.

He is still on match, and as a matter of fact was online last night. I am just so confused. Is he mad I wouldn't sleep with him one time? He never has acted this way. We never fought.
 _PassionFlower
Joined: 11/27/2011
Msg: 4
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 7:39:51 AM
Ur man came home to u after a long vacation, and u couldn't give up the ass??? I would be mad at u too. I would say to hell with u....sometimes sex isn't about only u, its about the other person.....idk...
 Blah_User_Name
Joined: 8/27/2011
Msg: 5
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 7:45:39 AM
Obviously the only definative answer will be the one he provides.

I have observed "needing space" as three different circumstances.

There are people who have lived on their own for a while, who like their own company, who have their own life, who, when they meet someone else who requires others to occupy them, make the statement that they need space. It's not like, over time, they can't or aren't willing to share their space but to go from on extreme to the other can be overwhelming and seem like a huge intrusion when one is rather needy. That doesn't seem to be what has happened here.

Another circumstance I have observed, is when one partner is miffed at the other. The reason may or may not be justified but that's how they feel. They like to have some time to look at whatever has happened and assess how they really feel about it before taking action and/or discussing further.

The third, and final circumstance, is an excuse. It's when one partner doesn't think they want to be involved with the other any more. They don't want to explain it or discuss it because for the most part, their decision has been made but they are being a bit manipulative in the sense they don't want to outright declare their mindset in case they change their mind. Changing their mind isn't usually the result of them realizing they were being unreasonable (if that's applicable) but more so that it's convenient to keep that person on the back burning. Some might also consider that they are punishing their partner for whatever imagined slight they are feeling. This is the one to watch.
 _TALL_IQ2_
Joined: 2/10/2010
Msg: 6
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 7:52:33 AM
My man was very comforting. he was texting and called often. I was with my family and they helped keep my mind off of it, and kept me busy. When I came home without her (my dog), I saw all of her things and just felt such pain. Just a couple hours later I picked him up from the airport, and he was just his normal self kissing me telling me how much he missed me. He brought me back presents, told me he brought back some bread to make me an egyptian breakfast, etc.
He went off to unpack and take a shower and we ordered in and everything was normal. Then we made out and he wanted to have sex. I told him I just wasn’t myself and didn’t want to.


As another has said, a "relationship" is not always all about you, it is about mutual agreements and compromises and sometimes it's continuation may rest upon simple consideration of the other imperfect human beings needs at the moment.
Apparently he did all those things for you from afar to keep the emotions alive, but when it came down to the wire he couldn't maintain all that empathy/patience after all that travel and high expectations for a warm intimate reception...
For your part it appears that you may not have understood the great importance of continual intimacy in communicating to a man your full acceptance of him and your value of his presence there with you at the moment.

A "rejection" of intimacy for any reason can be taken as a huge affront by some men who have not had any intimacy for quite a while.

That "need for space" is his way of coping with his feeling "rejected" and maybe balancing the feelings of power/control in his relationship..


Then we made out and he wanted to have sex. I told him I just wasn’t myself and didn’t want to. I could suddenly tell he was disappointed. He sat on the other side of the couch, and didn’t talk to me. When I left he wouldn’t kiss me but cheeked me.

It seems that he did almost everything within his power to maintain contact/emotional connection/empathy with you up until that point where he felt "rejected". Your dog dying had NOTHING to do with him, but even so IF he could've resurrected your dog he would've tried.
It appears that he assumed you would be sharing full intimacy that evening, and all that "making out" was clear to him that you would. He may have even assumed that it would make YOU feel better to share intimacy with him, since from his experience it works that way for him.


Are we still good? And i haven’t received a reply. What could have gone wrong? I am heartbroken, I am already dealing with my pup’s death and now I feel like he is ending things with me. I never told him this, but I love him, and I really felt like he was the one for me. Any advise is appreciated.

Dang it girl, TELL THE MAN next time, IF he comes back in a week or so which is likely unless he has "other options" already.

This anecdotal example shows why Finding anf Maintaining a compatible long-term SO relationship IS
the second greatest challenge in life for most everyone,
since success there requires SHARING about 50% power/control/compromises/empathy for temporary human needs with another IMPERFECT human being like yourself... S
 Inflated_ego
Joined: 11/21/2012
Msg: 7
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 7:55:12 AM
If you worry about it, it will get worse most likely. The truth will come to you soon enough.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 8
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 8:11:56 AM
I don't expect people to like what I am going to say. Personally if I have to put an animal down, or deal with a death or something similarly huge - I will lose my sex drive which I think is fairly normal. When I'm fine I have a VERY healthy sex drive which can seem like a big contrast to someone when things go wrong.

I'm a girl who likes sex to be available whenever I want it, but sometimes people go through things that are more important than that - and I have never dated a guy who pouted because I didn't sleep with him after I experienced a traumatic event, nor would I be a child about it if someone was legitimately grieving something huge (job loss, sickness, death, etc). If he did this, I'd have to reconsider what type of person he was, and the basis of his interest.

"I Need Space" can mean a lot of things - it depends on who's saying it. There are times I need space because I need to recharge, and constant interaction will eventually exhaust me so I will ask if I need to - however in this case I think he's probably reconsidering the relationship based on his needs. While I don't advise freezing him out completely of affection, I think he should have understood the situation. Maybe no one's wrong here - and it's a cultural difference, but it won't change - so I'd take a good look at whether or not you want to deal with it in the future and make a decision.
 Whisky_River
Joined: 9/12/2010
Msg: 9
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 8:11:57 AM
You have apologized and explained yourself...what more can you do?

If this man is so fragile or upset because you didn't have sex with him one evening....somethings wrong!
I hope or should I say....I suspect there's more to it.
However....He made sure to console and be there for you over the death of your pet...even at a distance.
It does seem rather uncaring of you... that you would feel you were still too emotional... to share with him and have intimacy....something you may need to think about..as well?
Communication...and consideration of the other is very important in any relationship...as others have said.
In summary...Good Luck!
 _PassionFlower
Joined: 11/27/2011
Msg: 10
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 8:16:48 AM
I cosign what TALL IQ2 says....he said it best!!
 Inflated_ego
Joined: 11/21/2012
Msg: 11
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 8:20:24 AM
we can't blame the man, we don't know what his experiences have been. Maybe he was with a woman who withheld sex, and he saw it as a red flag. I like the biblical standard, which is you can lay off the sex for an AGREED period of time for grieving, or a woman's period, or if sick or whatever, but only for an agreed amount of time, because to withhold sex will lead to temptation. It's a good standard in my opinion. Call him up and tell him you want to ravage him.
 toightpants
Joined: 11/15/2012
Msg: 12
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 8:33:53 AM

What is I need space

Here's what "I need space" means:
"I haven't really been learning to communicate with you. I simply created a character or avatar (facade) for you to interact with. I've been keeping part of me back. Most likely in order to protect myself emotionally. I've been giving you what you want so that you will feel socially obligated to give me what I want. If you don't interact with my avatar (facade) how I think you are supposed to then that confuses me.

I have to figure out if I want to continue with the facade or not. But I am in a quandary. Keeping up the facade is lots of hard work, I am presented with new information all the time so have to constantly work on it to keep it up and relevant to new information, all while maintaining my normal level of mental health. If you interact with my facade how I think you are supposed to then I get a feeling of control, I know how you feel about me without having to 'really' risk myself.

If I am not getting what I am supposed to be getting from it, what's the point in keeping it up.
But if I let it go down and start acting like who I really am, lowering the boundaries and walls that are protecting me emotionally, there is a big chance you are going to judge me as bad, nag me and hound me about 'what's wroooong?' or 'what's going on?' or 'why have you changed'...which is going to cause emotional trauma and stress which is what the facade was supposed to protect me from in the first place.

So I need to take time to figure out what I want to do and what I can do; open myself up to greater risk and judgment, most likely losing you because my behavior is going to change from then on, or try to recharge my batteries so I can keep the facade going and hope I can get it to adapt to the changing situation.

I need to step away from you so I can take the effort and energy I am using to maintain the facade and apply it to this problem and figure out what to do, what is the best solution for me getting what I want."

And none of that is really done on a conscious level. "I need space" is a shortcut, just as much as my explanation of "I need space," of a very complex set of olympic mental gymnastics that people go through.

Sorry, I couldn't read past your headline.
 1cares
Joined: 8/23/2009
Msg: 13
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 8:38:17 AM
It isn't like I never give it up. I have never turned him down before. I was grieving but took time to spend with him. We were normally pretty active.
 LiliMarleen
Joined: 5/24/2009
Msg: 14
view profile
History
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 8:42:25 AM
No matter what the real problem is here, he's obviously not a good communicator.

I can see having to step away for a day or two if something very significant happened and I am very angry. But after that, I really feel that issues should be addressed by talking about them.

I would also want to reassure my partner by letting him know what the issue is, even if I'm not ready to discuss it yet. It is possible to say, I'm dealing with this particular issue, and I have to work through it, but I love you and I'll be back or something.

Let us know what happens, OP.
 Inflated_ego
Joined: 11/21/2012
Msg: 15
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 8:53:30 AM
There are people who have lived on their own for a while, who like their own company, who have their own life, who, when they meet someone else who requires others to occupy them, make the statement that they need space. It's not like, over time, they can't or aren't willing to share their space but to go from on extreme to the other can be overwhelming and seem like a huge intrusion when one is rather needy. That doesn't seem to be what has happened here.

Another circumstance I have observed, is when one partner is miffed at the other. The reason may or may not be justified but that's how they feel. They like to have some time to look at whatever has happened and assess how they really feel about it before taking action and/or discussing further.

The third, and final circumstance, is an excuse. It's when one partner doesn't think they want to be involved with the other any more. They don't want to explain it or discuss it because for the most part, their decision has been made but they are being a bit manipulative in the sense they don't want to outright declare their mindset in case they change their mind. Changing their mind isn't usually the result of them realizing they were being unreasonable (if that's applicable) but more so that it's convenient to keep that person on the back burning. Some might also consider that they are punishing their partner for whatever imagined slight they are feeling. This is the one to watch.



I would say this. We have no idea what's going on in the guys head. We have no idea of every word that has taken place between them, if there were other things he was seeing before this incident and then decided that this incident was the last straw, or if he just lost interest. Way to many possibilities and unknowns to blame either party, or to make a definite call.
 LaughingHeart12
Joined: 3/24/2012
Msg: 16
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 8:54:01 AM
People who don't have pets truly don't know what it's like to lose one. He has no clue as to the depth of your grief, and so he has no clue as to why you weren't up to having sex with him.

But the bigger issue is that he seems to have turned away purely because of your turning him down one time. That's a huge red flag. He's probably not the one for you after all.
 the_biggavell
Joined: 7/9/2012
Msg: 17
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 8:58:25 AM
First and foremost. You were cold to him. The man was hapoy to see you. And be with you, he may have been waitig to have sex with you and you brushed him off. It may have been because of how you were feeling about your dog, but what tou did was push away the man that participated in your perfect relationship to grieve for your dead dog. That could have been enough to warrant a deeper look at your relationship.

You two are playing games with each other. You reject him, he rejects you.

Hurt people, hurt people.

Being excited to see and be with you after his trip, and then the rejection you provided him, hurt.
 1cares
Joined: 8/23/2009
Msg: 18
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 9:01:21 AM
so is there anything i can do now besides give him his space?
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 19
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 9:09:17 AM
You can regroup and think about giving yourself what you need to move through your grief. Let him come around if/when he's ready to hear you out - you've done all you can do; it's in his court now.

It's the holidays - so catch up with family, friends, get some shopping done, volunteer if you need to occupy yourself. All that will be good for you right now.

If this all doesn't work out - I'd hate to see you regret not spending more time with loved ones or doing things you enjoy later on because you were focused on this. Shelve this for now.
 _TALL_IQ2_
Joined: 2/10/2010
Msg: 20
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 9:12:31 AM
^^^ That. Stay actively social with family/friends so that you DON'T blow up his phone and stress out about what is OUT of your control, another person's ephemeral emotions and options.


so is there anything i can do now besides give him his space?

Learn from experience, understand that a man is NOT perfect and magnanimous always and forever...



shows why Finding and Maintaining a compatible long-term SO relationship IS
the second greatest challenge in life for most everyone,
since success there requires SHARING about 50% power/control/compromises/empathy for temporary human needs with another IMPERFECT human being like yourself...
 LiliMarleen
Joined: 5/24/2009
Msg: 21
view profile
History
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 9:25:03 AM
What I would probably do is send him one email, laying out your true feelings for him. It sounds as if you haven't been totally open with them.

Just say, I respect your need for space, but I do want you to know how I feel about you. Put it all out there. What do you have to lose?

Then let it go.

If he does come back, you guys will benefit from working on your communication skills.
 Tek_Savvy
Joined: 10/13/2012
Msg: 22
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 9:34:00 AM

No matter what the real problem is here, he's obviously not a good communicator.

I can see having to step away for a day or two if something very significant happened and I am very angry. But after that, I really feel that issues should be addressed by talking about them.

I would also want to reassure my partner by letting him know what the issue is, even if I'm not ready to discuss it yet. It is possible to say, I'm dealing with this particular issue, and I have to work through it, but I love you and I'll be back or something.



You kidding me right? If you're not ready to discuss the issue then you keep your mouth shut. In many situations the best thing is to keep your mouth shut and wait for a while.


I don't have attachments to pets like other people do and a lot of people seem to care about more about their pets than someone else. I am hardly a jealousy needy guy but when a pet is top priority I just can't take them seriously.
 deere_rancher
Joined: 4/4/2012
Msg: 23
view profile
History
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 9:40:02 AM

Thanksgiving he was going to egypt to spend time with his family (he is from there),


Nothing will remind you of all the cultural differences, like a trip back home .
Have you ever met his family ? Do they approve ..?
 1cares
Joined: 8/23/2009
Msg: 24
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 9:41:56 AM
I like that idea, and had thought about emailing him and telling him how much i truly do care for him.

My sisters boyfriend said that we have been together for seven months and that is not just a fly by night relationship. He suggested giving him some space for a couple of days and then going to his house unannounced and bringing him something he enjoys/likes. He said i should apologize in person and tell him how i feel. I am just worried he will reject me.
 Inflated_ego
Joined: 11/21/2012
Msg: 25
What is I need space
Posted: 11/29/2012 9:47:09 AM
It also seems like another woman I know setting her own relationships for failure. I know so many women, they'll have sex with a guy they know travels and they'll probably never see, or a guy who gets drung and pees all over their house, then cry when they're pregnant with the guys kid, lol, or a guy whose in town temporarily and is married. It's pretty entertaining to watch them constantly pick the wrong guys, over and over and over.
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