What it means and what you should do if your woman asks for space and says she needs time to work on herself to prevent ruining your relationship.
In this video-coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer whose girlfriend is backing away and saying she needs to put herself in timeout and work on herself to prevent from ruining their relationship. They have been long-time friends and only started dating about six months ago. They have been exclusive for the past three months. They are long-distance and see each other every other week. He is confused by her explanations and the fact she wants time apart to prevent from ruining their relationship. She is telling him conflicting explanations for her actions and behavior that do not make any sense to him. Her contact has dropped off, and he does not know what to do to turn things around. My comments are in (bold parenthesis like this below) in the body of his email.
Hey Coach Corey,
Hope all is well. I’m so grateful to have stumbled upon your website. I actually just ordered your book on amazon and looking forward to know what the 3% know, ha-ha. (You really need to fill in your knowledge gap as quickly as possible to prevent yourself from chasing this girl out of your life, which is basically what’s happening here.)
So, I started dating a long time friend 6 months ago, and it became official three months into it. She’s a single parent, and it is also a long distance relationship, about a two-hour drive one way. Things were going great, and we see each other every other week.
Last week she sent me a text saying, “Hey. I’m going to put myself in timeout. I’m still struggling with being emotionally available to you. I have some work to do on myself. I don’t want to ruin what we could be, which is amazing, so I’m going to step back for a few days. This is the only solution I can think of that will prevent me from running, which is what I would typically do right now.
(She’s hinting in a roundabout way that she feels smothered, you’re making her feel like she’s losing her freedom, and what she really wants to do is run away from you, but you have friendship working in your favor. Intellectually, she’s thinking everything looks great on paper, but something is missing. The more you try to hold on tight, control things, and get her to spend more time with you or interact with you, it’s going to cause her to feel like she’s losing even more freedom, and naturally run away. You’re pursuing way too much.
As I discuss in my book, the guy does pursue in the beginning, but as the woman starts to feel safe and comfortable, she’s going to reach out and call and text more, just to see what he’s up to. Typically, the guy should treat that as her missing him and wanting to see him, and then make the next date. When that starts happening, usually 2-3 weeks in on dating, then by that point the woman is usually 2-3 times a week texting or calling to see what you’re doing.)
I’m just really feeling off balance right now, and I need to regain control of things so I don’t pull you down with me. Neither of us deserves that. I’m sure this is crystal clear, so we can talk when I get back on Thursday. FYI, this is not a test. (Everything in life is a test.) I literally need to get myself together, so I don’t ruin this.” (So basically she’s saying, I’m about to hit the eject button and totally blow this thing up, and I don’t want to do that, so please give me some fucking space, and back the fuck up.)
We talked off and on days later, then she sent me this text on Monday, (It doesn’t sound like you really backed off), “I think I owe you an apology/explanation. I told you I need to put myself in timeout but never followed through with talking to you about it. It wasn’t a big deal to me, but I can’t assume it’s not a big deal to you, which is what I did.
(Women tend to be more focused on how they feel towards you, and not so much how you feel towards them. And when our attraction is low, she doesn’t want to be around you. That’s the reality. That’s why it’s so important to give her the freedom to come and go, to miss you, and to think about whatever she feels she needs to think about. Then once she realizes she’s free to come and go, that’s when she starts missing you and comes back.)
Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know that nothing major is developing on my end. I just genuinely need to get selfish right now and go after my goals. That’s not something I can do while being a respectful/responsive/supporting/emotionally available girlfriend. Huh, that doesn’t make much sense. We can talk if you’re confused. Grabbing my daughter and running to the store, then home.”
(Your response should be, “No problem. Figure it out, and when you get your shit together, you get all caught up and you’re having a glass of wine, and you miss me, give me a call. We’ll get together then. Until then, have fun with your daughter.” That’s how I would have handled that.)
It’s now Thursday, a week from the original text and we still haven’t addressed the first text. (Well, it’s not important. This woman says ‘I need space,’ so give her the space and let her come to you at her own pace, instead of trying to force it. Because what’s happening is, you’re pursuing too much, and she’s literally pushing you away to the point where she doesn’t want to talk to you. She’s basically saying, I don’t want to be your girlfriend right now, so I’m going to act like I’m single. You’ve just got to let her be, if she takes a week or two, she’ll get back to you when she misses you.)
She’s not ignoring me, or anything like that, but the conversations have decreased. (That tells me you’re still continuing to text her. When a woman says she needs space, you don’t keep calling and texting her. You give her the space, and then go on with your life. Show her you’re okay, and your world doesn’t come to and end because you haven’t heard from her. Othwerwise, it will communicate that you lose your shit when she’s not around and you don’t know where you stand with her, and that makes you look weak.
A man who’s a catch and has lots to offer, he’s just going to be living his normal, awesome life as usual. And when something opens up in her schedule and she misses you, which is really the only time you should be seeing somebody anyway, when they really miss you and really want to hang out, then she’ll get in touch.)
I think what I know about her is that she stresses a lot. Do you have any thoughts on how I should proceed? (Well, you should proceed by doing nothing. Let the woman go. You’ve already done way too much. You pursued to the point where she’s not even talking to you at this point. So live your life, focus on your goals, your mission and purpose in life, and when she reaches out say, “Hey babe, great to hear from you. I’d love to see you. When are you free to get together?” Make a date and make her come to your place, because she’s pushed you away. Then hang out, have fun and hook up at your place.
If she really cares about you and she really misses you, she’ll come see you too. It shouldn’t be one-sided, where you’re always driving to see her. People have to make a mutual effort there. If she’s not willing to do it, how high do you think you are on her list of priorities? Obviously not very high.)
Thanks in advance coach!
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From my heart to yours,
Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“The best kinds of relationships are with those who encourage and support you having the freedom to come and go as you please and to be yourself without judgment. People who love you for you will want you to be you with all your faults and flaws. If somebody needs some time away or can’t spend the time with you that you’d like, encourage them to take the time they need and get back to you when their schedule frees up. Don’t take it personally. Giving freedom and space actually causes others to want to be around you more in the long run. True love is freedom.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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