I met a great guy just as he was ending a previous relationship, and things have been great between us — he is definitely taking it slower than I would, but it feels good and not like a rebound relationship. Recently though he told me he needed space, which I expected, so instead of freaking out on him, I told him I understand. In fact, I handled it so well that he doesn’t seem so sure about needing space anymore ... so what do I do the next time he asks to see me? Do it, but not know where we stand, or tell him to take some time and not come back until he’s sure of his feelings?
Andrea: Dear not-rebound-girl,
I expect that this guy has done some deep thinking since his last relationship, thinking that would require of us mortals more time and space.
However, if this isn’t the case, as mature and aware as he may sound, he probably isn’t quite ready for something serious if his previous relationship was a serious one too. After all, it’s human nature to want to dull the pain of a breakup. You may be in danger of becoming the morphine to his car crash.
Despite his best intentions, space is a wise thing for you both.
It doesn’t mean prison though: being able to see each other platonically can foster a deeper relationship where you respect each other as complex individuals.
From there, diving into the hot phase again will be that much more fulfilling ... Or you discover he’s lame and move on. It’s all good.
Claire: Dear NRG,
There are no rules for these things, which is a good and a bad thing, because like many emotionally vulnerable situations in your life, it comes down to this: what does your instinct tell you?
Do you feel that he wants what you have to give, or simply that he’s accepting what you have to offer, because those are two very different things.
Do you feel at peace with what you two have, or do you spend your time feeling anxious?
Instinct is everything. Is he open with you about what he’s going through? Have you met his friends?
Are you taking the same amount of space in his life that you are offering him in yours?
If this relationship is meant to be, it can handle your questioning, and more.
Two sisters, 20-something Andrea and 30-something Claire, offer their differing views on your relationship issues.