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You Asked: How Long Should I Wait for Him?

Dear Sugar,

I wasn't looking for love, but it found me, and I've now been dating my boyfriend for five months. We've been so happy and spend every moment together, but out of the blue, he asked me for some time to think — he doesn't even want us to see each other. I asked him if he wanted to break up or see other people, and he said no. He thinks that because of how much we talk and how far we've come in just five months that I am somehow too dependent on him. What does this mean? How much time should I give him before I move on?

— When to Pull the Plug Pauline

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear When to Pull the Plug Pauline,

I wish I could tell you exactly why your boyfriend has suddenly decided to check out of your relationship, but so many things can lead a person to back off from a commitment that it's impossible to narrow it down without hearing it directly from him. Obviously his current explanation that you guys are too attached makes little sense to you, but I think it's likely that that's just a nice way of saying he feels panicky about how serious your relationship has become.

If you really do want to make this relationship work, then for now, go ahead and give him the space he's asking for. But don't be afraid to preface this offer of space by letting him know that you're not going to wait around forever. There's no set time limit for this, but you'll know if it's gone on too long: when it feels like he's abusing that "space" or when you find that your own feelings have diminished. And if you do feel yourself wanting to move on, then go ahead and let go. Breakups are tricky, but you don't owe your boyfriend anything but respect.


jazzytummy jazzytummy 8 years
Agree with all. Give him what he No contact at all. He needs a taste of what life is like without you, then he can truly make an informed decision about where you belong in his life, if anywhere. I don't think it is EVER good to spend every moment together... I personally would suffocate. I agree with others that you should develop new interests, see old friends, etc, while he is out of your life. This will help in two ways... 1) He sees that you can move on and have a life outside of him, which he needs to see. 2) If he doesn't come back, you are out there with others and back in social situations, meeting new people and being comfortable with yourself. A win-win decision, though I know it will be tough for you...good luck
geebers geebers 9 years
I know I am independent so if some foolish guy gave me this load of crap I would tell him to enjoy his space because I am going to start dating someone who actually enjoys my time. But that is ME- I don't know YOU and how clingy you are. I see how some girls have to spend every waking minute with their BF and I side 100% with their BF - but space is different from a "break". This guy can't tell you that you need to get a life of your own without breaking up?? That is immature and tells me he isn't serious. I would start dating others and let him know your plan -let us know what he says then!
a-nonny-mouse a-nonny-mouse 9 years
I *wouldn't* wait to begin moving on with my own life. ((shrugs)) But that's just me. I'd be independent, actively engaged in other things, and I'd let life work itself out. He can have all the time and space he wants. I wouldn't attempt to make him feel bad about it and I would not contact him at all during this time -- I would disentangle myself from him emotionally, sexually and socially. In romantic relationships, I don't like waiting for people to tell me what's what. I make a determination and move onward. I don't fault others for being less decisive, but I don't really wait around for them to figure themselves out either.
tomatoshirt tomatoshirt 9 years
I agree with lickety split. Just do what you have to do. You snooze, you lose. If he thinks you are "too dependent" on him now, he will think the same thing in the future. Find someone who enjoys it...oh trust me there are plenty of people enjoy that kind of relationship...
rossinaross rossinaross 9 years
I think dear is right. You should give him his time but tell him that you're not gonna be around forever, and like some of the other girls said, get busy with other stuff and live YOUR life, because it sounds like he's right... you depend on him. Maybe he just wants you to really know if you're in love with him or not, and you're gonna see that not spending so much time with him, but spending some time with YOU.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
I'd take him at his word, since you did say that you spend every waking minute together. Involve yourself in your life.
Mesayme Mesayme 9 years
Sounds like a SATC 'Big'... maybe he cares about you but he's too immature for a relationship. Men are used to doing as they please since most women kiss their a*ses. I hate those women because they make it hard on all. I'd say sure...go get some space. But that doesn't mean I have to hold your place. Good Luck to ya when ya get back. You may find you have space in your life you'd rather fill with something or someone other than him.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
Come on! I'm an adult and adult men do not act like this. trust me, there are guys out there who ARE actually into "regular relationships" - you know, spending time together and not feeling smothered. geez. But - that said - make sure you are still pursuing your own interests and seeing your own friends, because it sounds like this guy is about to break up with you. You should do this anyway, for your own sanity. But seriously, NORMAL mature guys do not need "breaks" and they will love spending time with you. Since when is 5 months too short of a time to spend every day together? I don't get it...
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
do not wait. get busy. join a new club, step up your gym attendance, work a little harder, get back in touch with friends. work at filling up your life. who knows what's going on with him, maybe even he doesn't know. if he comes back; you might not want him. and if he doesn't and you sit around waiting and then run into him and his lovely wife at starbucks one morning, you'll feel like crap. just live your life as if it were a book and you don't know if the next chapter connects to the last, but you need something to drive the story. personally, if some guy said that to me i would be very hurt, wonder how long he'd been feeling that way, and not even want him back. there are grown up men who aren't scared off by real relationships, and there is one out there for you.
candace87 candace87 9 years
OR!!! He could mean what he's saying. You're too clingy too fast and he needs space? The guy doesn't ALWAYS have some evil plot. Maybe it happens often, but not EVERY SINGLE TIME a guy needs space is it for some underlying reason. Being "dependent" on him is a nice way of saying your smothering him. Give him space, and take a look at how much time you've been spending together. You probably could have seen this "Break" coming.
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