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Thread: surviving the dreaded "I want space"

  1. #1
    jackstraw98 is offline PUA in Training
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    Default surviving the dreaded "I want space"

    So, I screwed up. I let some unhappiness and stress in addition to some things that I wasn't totally happy with with my gf get the best of me. the weekend before last, she spent the night sunday, and told me she was thinking about moving and it sent me off the deep end a bit because we were in bed and I wanted to talk about it and she didn't. It was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back in stress for me and I couldn't sleep got really frustrated and acted pitiful. Got to the point where I was so pissed at myself, at the thought of going to work that I in frustration hit the mattress. she freaked a bit and has told me after that she was scared of me.

    a week later, it was clear things weren't right, I brought up some things I wasn't totally happy with and while I didn't hit anything I still reacted badly to some things. she basically told me we were over and left with me begging her to stay. i acted pretty desperate I'm not a violent person, I think the most harm I've ever done is one time I punched a tree and bloodied my own hand when I was a teenager. I can have a temper though.

    I felt like she has acted a little unfair in that she asked me to buy some tickets online for her (I live in colombia and most people don't have a credit or debit card). I kind of felt like, well you don't want to talk but you are fine asking for a favor. when she came over to do it, I apologized to her and said that in no way was she responsible for my frustrations at work, and that I wanted her to recognize that I let stress get the best of me and reiterated that I would never ever hit her. She herself acknowledged that she didn't think I was acting like the same person. I also took full responsibility for my actions and the very possible consequence that I had lost her forever. I dont' want to go into it, but our relationship has had its complications. She didn't deserve me acting like that, and while I felt like she wasn't listening and recognizing things about me, the truth is I wasn't either. I told her very sincerely that I recognized that and that I would do my best to not act like that again. She said that she still needs some space right now and I told her I would respect that. (She's also not so happy with her work situation. The truth is we are both in our mid-20s and not feeling totally sure about what the heck we are going to do with our lives).

    That was long. I guess my ultimate question is, how to both show that I recognize my own mistakes and demonstrate that I will change them as I am the one that has control over my own reactions and way of handling things, while also not just being available especially since we are sort of broken up? I've said that I still love her and she hasnt' said it back. I did notice that she still has a picture of us as her background on her phone, which I take as a positive. She did say she was sick of us fighting and that she didn't want to continue the relationship for now.

    I feel like I need to walk a fine line between showing that I recognize my mistake and want to do everything I can to make it up to her but not being desperate, Im going home Tuesday for about 3 weeks so regardless we are going to have some time apart. I wouldnt have liked for that to start on a bad note. In many ways it'll be good for me to see my family and friends and get out of the routine for a while as well as have some time for reflection and without the ability to be in touch constantly. I feel like this could work very much in my favor as I will be away.

    Is it worth trying to define things between us? I feel like its a very big difference between I'm upset and need some time apart and I need some time to figure out if I want to be with you especially given that we won't be able to see each other for several weeks. I don't want to pressure her in any way, but it also can't be that I'm sitting around as an option while she figures out what she wants. It's tough because I want to be with her and want to fix things, but the reality is she has to want the same, and there's no convincing if she doesn't.

    So how do I both show I'm conscious of my jerkness, respect her request for space, and make her miss me and conscious of what she could lose?

  2. #2
    TheDuke's Avatar
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    Default Re: surviving the dreaded "I want space"

    The ONLY option for you now is to walk away. I've been here, as have most guys. I can tell you from experience, the only thing to do is to walk away. It's going to be incredibly hard to do, there's a huge possibility you're going to fail at walking away (I did and I'll admit it) and if you do fail so will any chance at reconciliation.

    So for your sake, leave for your break, don't contact her, and see how things pan out. If it's over, there's nothing you can do to stop it from being over. If she's lost her attraction for you, the only thing you can do is walk away and show let her live without you for a while.

    Take it from a hack who couldn't walk away clean--just give her the space. Go have fun with friends and family. Come on here for support or whatever. But don't fall for her shit and don't grovel for her to take you back. Go no contact with her.
    "It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."

  3. #3
    jackstraw98 is offline PUA in Training
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    Default Re: surviving the dreaded "I want space"

    dam* Duke I'm not gonna lie, that sounds really tough to do. I fear losing her, and I know I f'ed up.

    I see what you're saying though that she also needs to realize that making the decision to end it in a moment of frustration means she has to lose me for a bit. I feel like now, its just up in the air. positives are that she still has our picture as her phone screen saver, that she's still speaking to me at all. stuck between a rock and a hard place, don't want to push her away by coming on strong but don't want to let her feel like I don't care either.

    perhaps you're right though, we have to see each other this weekend anyway, will think about just asking her what it is that she really wants, to be with me or not. if she can't define the desire to still be with me in my f'up moment, then probably you're right, its best to just walk away, the time apart may do her attraction for me good anyway.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: surviving the dreaded "I want space"

    If you ask her what she wants you'll lose her. I almost guarantee that (of course, there are exceptions, but this is the overarching trend) asking her what she wants will make her make a decision you don't want to hear.

    If you feel things are "up in the air" right now, she probably does too. And that means she's going to be super emotional and whoever breaks this frame first is going to lose all the power in the relationship.

    I highly doubt you'll listen to me. You're likely going to pull an AFC move and try to win her back by baring your soul to her. But if you really want to keep your relationship intact, you're going to have to walk away and make her feel that emptiness.

    Trust me, I know what you're thinking. "Oh, our relationship is different." "She's not like other women, I can talk to her." "We have something special." And so on. But I hate to break it to you, you don't. I know from experience, because I've been in your shoes and made all the mistakes I'm telling you to avoid right now. But not only have I made these mistakes, I've watched countless others come on this forum and make the same damn mistakes over and over again. In the end, all women react to the same things (even if you have to tweak those things a bit for each case) and if you think otherwise you're falling into a trap.

    Ultimately, however, you have to be free to make your own mistakes and learn from them. I imagine that the voice of reason is going to lose out on this one, your emotions are going to takeover, and you'll be back on the forum in a couple days, weeks, or months trying to figure out either how to get her back or to find someone else.

    Hope I'm wrong. Good luck!
    "It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."

  5. #5
    jackstraw98 is offline PUA in Training
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    Default Re: surviving the dreaded "I want space"

    its not that I think we are different or special. It's that I acted like a d*ck. I also acted like an AFC, but I was a bit of an a-hole too. For that reason I just want to make it clear that what I want is to have the opportunity to not treat her like that again without begging her. I know what you're saying Duke, but she's also justifiably upset. I mean I've apologized and told her what I wanted already, so the ball's really already in her court. I'll be out of the country in just a few days for several weeks, and I guess I worry she could meet someone else, that things up in the air leaves me not sure how to act, like I have a girlfriend or not. Plus I'm not sure if I should get her a Christmas present.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: surviving the dreaded "I want space"

    As always, TheDuke is right. I've been there, actually twice - with the same girl. Yeah, lame, but that was just that.

  7. #7
    jackstraw98 is offline PUA in Training
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    Default Re: surviving the dreaded "I want space"

    I understand totally that going to her now and saying we are either together or not in a way that's some sort of ultimatum, or going and groveling telling her I'll wait for her forever, or begging her to stay with me all will achieve either noting or pushing her farther away.

    Should I just leave things as they are, with her having ended it then saying she needed time to think without saying anything? I have thought of just saying look I'm going to be gone for a few weeks and I think its best that I focus on myself, while reiterating that I care about her and recognize that things have to be better.

    In a lot of ways that's what will happen anyway, I'll be away. I'll be with friends from home and will have an opportunity to go out and have fun without worrying about the relationship. I'll also be able to get some good dhv with pictures up on facebook going out and having fun with other girls, all of which will probably play nicely and register for her my absence.

    We actually have gone through this before as well. Its a long story that I'm not going into, but we spent about 2 months apart before getting back together. I had gone out wiht another girl, and she told me she was really upset that I found someone else so quickly (I actually never could get really interested in the other girl and it was nothing but a little fling).

    So how to demonstrate that I care, that I'm not just running off to be with another girl, that I want to fix the things about myself that have affected our relationship, while also in some ways making myself the challenge again? I feel like theres a fine line there. At this point I'm thinking about just telling her that this month or so apart I plan on acting as if I was single and working on myself and that without the stress of work and the relationship on both of us we can both put ourselves into better places mentally. I don't want this to be like a breakup and I don't want to go no contact completely, but I don't plan on communicating with her for a little bit and waiting to see what she does. when I get back, then I can give it a few days and invite her to do something and just keep it light and fun.

    Saying look the way I understand things is that you broke it off, I accept my responsibility in how I treated you, I am sorry, I care about you, and I want to make it up, but I respect that you need space and I'm going to take advantage of this month with my family and friends with us not together to be single and concerned with myself. When I get back I hope we can get together and catch up and have fun together. Sound like a plan?

  8. #8
    jackstraw98 is offline PUA in Training
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    Default Re: surviving the dreaded "I want space"

    or should I just say nothing in reference to our relationship and just tell her to have a great time during this month and we'll be in touch and not talk about anything?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: surviving the dreaded "I want space"

    You did nothing wrong. You a fucking pillow--who gives a fuck? Honestly, the whole "I'm scared of you" bullshit is exactly that, bullshit! If she was actually scared of you she wouldn't have come back looking to use your debit/credit card. Furthermore, a woman who is actually scared doesn't tell the person she is scared of.

    What's she's actually scared of is losing the power in the relationship which you have given her. When you showed that aggressive side what you actually said was "I'm a man and I'm not going to put up with this shit." But the problem is, based on what you've said, is that you stopped acting like the man in the relationship a long time ago. So now she's confused about what the fuck is going on. She's going to try to hold on to the power you just took back, but the problem is that she doesn't want it--no woman does. Every woman wants a man who is going to be a man.

    You're beating yourself up over nothing. Your best solution is to just go, listen to what she says, but don't engage in the dialogue. Leave her hanging in some regard.
    "It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."

  10. #10
    jackstraw98 is offline PUA in Training
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    Default Re: surviving the dreaded "I want space"

    you're right Duke, and I guess her whole I'm scared thing has been confusing for me. I think right now I feel that when she comes to bring me the money, I'm just going to say that as far as I can tell we are not together and that I'm going to enjoy these few weeks single and reflecting on myself. That our relationship hasn't been going how either one of us want and its best that in this time that we have to be apart anyway, we should be apart. In reference to the credit card thing, do you think its worth saying anything along the lines that I respect her decision to be apart and have some space but not being together doesn't mean I stay as someone she can call up when it seems convenient or when she wants a favor? I realize since I have already agreed to do this I have to present that as something that I'm not bothered about, but I want to lay down that her choosing to not be together means we can't act like we are still in a relationship. or do you think its just best not to say anything about it at all? I just feel like if she doesn't want to hear from me, doesn't want me to walk her to the bus like I did everyday, can't affirm her feelings for me the way I continue to do for her, then she can't expect me to act like I have a girlfriend, because as much as I want it to be that way, in no way can I force it, it has to be what she wants.

    Or do you propose I just say ok, we will see each other in a few weeks and then just go off the grid a bit. I'll be out of the country so calling, texting is not an option anyway. I intend to wait on her making the first communication.

    Then well I'll just have to take it as it goes, once I'm back and take a few days or a week or two to get back in my routine I can see about getting together with her. (I probably will get her a Christmas gift, nothing over the top but something as well).


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