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- The Extroverted Woman’s Guide to Dating (and Mating With) An Introvert
- 18 Real Online Dating Lessons I Learned the Hard Way
- Why You Should Hold Out For “The Stomach Flip” Before Deciding If He’s Right For You
- “I met this great guy online, how do I get him to ask me out?”
Q&A Ask Elizabeth: How Do I Handle “Taking a Break” When He Keeps Contacting Me?
Today we have an excellent question from a reader named Elle who is struggling with how to handle her boyfriend who is “taking a break” by not staying away.
What do you do when he contacts you daily? How do you ignore him without being rude? I’m currently on a “break” from my relationship–by his choice. At first I didn’t agree, but I realize that some time and space is necessary for both of us. But how can I give him space when he contacts me daily? I told him he couldn’t have his cake and eat it to, but he insists that he just needs time to figure out what he wants and that he’s not just stringing me along. I have no idea what to do.
Thanks for your question Elle. The short answer is, you ignore him.
It isn’t rude to not communicate with someone who acts like you’re a toy that he can play with whenever he wants and then go back to “being uncertain” about the relationship when he isn’t finished.
The thing is, taking a break is a slippery slope. When someone says, “I need time to figure out what I want” what they’re really saying is “I already know what a relationship with you is like, and I can’t decide if I want to say yes to that, so I want to look around for a bigger, better deal.”
By contacting you daily, he gets to have his cake (be single-ish) AND use you as his emotional safety valve without giving you the security of having an actual solid relationship. Sure, he SAYS he’s not stringing you along and wants space, but his very confusing presence, day in and day out does just that. In short, this is cruel.
Does this make you angry? It should. Heck, it makes ME angry for you.
Since you only have control over your own behavior, don’t reward his crappy behavior by giving him any of more of your attention. By responding to his communication, no matter how half-hearted and stalling it is, you’re sending him the message that he can go on this vision quest of his and you’ll be there waiting to hear from him. That might not be what you say out loud, but that is what you’re showing him.
Right now he has you on a hook, and he probably fancies himself as “in control.” Gorgeous, that is a PROBLEM.
Now your since your comment was on my article about how to make him miss you, I presume that you’re struggling with this situation and wondering how to get him back in your life. It sounds counter-intuitive, but you’ve got to cut him off for right now. The reason for this is that he needs to hit rock bottom and realize that you aren’t his plaything.
Only after that happens and he’s had to face the cold hard reality that he might lose you forever will he get off the fence. Your silence is golden.
When he really, really can’t stand to be away from you, believe me, he’ll move mountains to be around you. Until he’s ready to give you that, your best move stay a healthy distance away.
Want to get back together? Go watch this embarrassingly personal video I made that describes 3 mistakes not to make if you want any chance of getting him back. Check it out now before I chicken out and take it offline.