1. People & Relationships
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Bonny Albo

Does My Boyfriend Want Space?

By April 30, 2014

Follow me on:

chrissy723 asks: I've been dating my boyfriend for 7 months now but lately things have changed. A week ago or so my car broke down, so I asked him to pick me up from work. He asked me to find someone else because if he picked me up he'd be tired. Then, yesterday my boyfriend accused me of being snoopy because I was checking out his brand new PDA - something totally out of character for him to buy, considering what a miser he is. All I wanted to do was look at the features, but he took it the wrong way. What really upset me though was when my boyfriend asked me to take my things with me whenever I leave his place, because he feels like I'm trying to move in. Is he sending me a message that I'm not seeing, or does he merely want some time and space?

My quick take on chrissy723's question? It sounds like there is a lack of respect in your relationship - on both sides of the equation. If this man thinks you are in a committed relationship and not merely dating, then sure, you should be able to leave a few things at his house without too much worry... but having a suitcase of stuff there might turn off some more sensitive folks, which may include your gent. And what about his being too tired? Well, it happens. Yes it would have been nice if he picked you up, but he's clearly telling you he wasn't able or willing. Pushing it here isn't the best of ideas either, because what you're saying is you're dependent on the guy, and few folks find that attractive.

Which then leads me to your 'snooping' on his PDA - to which I agree with him. Ask first if you want to look at his PDA. Don't just pick it up and start perusing. Now he may have something to hide, and I'm sure some readers of this blog will chime and say he's cheating on you because he wasn't comfy with you looking at his contact list. Me? I believe that asking before looking at something so personal is what really matters here.

So. Does your man want time, space, or a break from your relationship? You don't say how serious things have been during the seven months you've been dating, which makes providing a conclusive answer a tad challenging. But if he is your boyfriend (read: committed to one another in a long-term partnership where you've agreed to only be romantically involved with one another, unless you're polyamorous, which is a whole other topic entirely), then it may be time to talk about what's going on. He may be feeling pressured by you to move things farther than he's ready, and his reactions are his only means of telling you. Or, he's not as committed to the relationship as you are, may be having second thoughts, and could even be doing the elastic band maneuver I like to call the 'pull-back', where many men remove themselves slightly from a relationship to see what their partner does. A test if you will, both to assure them of their continued independence as well a means with which to determine if moving forward with the relationship is merited.

That's my take. What do you think?

Related: Is He Afraid of Commitment?, How To Deal With a Partner Who Lies, Is He Still Interested?, What Does Take Things Slow Mean?

April 8, 2009 at 7:09 am
(1) Debby Martin says:

It’s clear that this jerk is cheating (or has plans of cheating) on this young woman and he is also wanting to get out of the relationship and move on (he’s probably got the next one picked out – that’s why the PDA). If he REALLY cared for his girlfriend, he would have climbed the Himalayas, crossed the Red Sea, done whatever to give her a ride home. That’s what you do when you love someone – tired or not! As far as the PDA goes, he would have no problem with her looking at his Contact List if he regarded hisself as her boyfriend and she his girlfriend (unless he had something to hide which in reality he does!). You would think that he would be more then happy to have her stuff laying around his place – it would be like a little reminder knowing that he had somebody in his life who loved him and was committed to him – UNLESS he was afraid his “new” girlfriend might see another woman’s stuff and wonder what was going on! The advise to give this young woman was to tell her to calmly sit down with this guy and have a talk about all of the above, her concerns and where this relationship is going. It has been 7 months – why waste another day on someone like this? Besides being a lazy, mean,inconsiderate and sneaky boyfriend he doesn’t EVEN display the characteristics of a friend and I would dump him and NOT LOOK BACK – EVER! Can you imagine spending the rest of your life with somebody so selfish and thoughtless? Not me, no sirree!!!

April 8, 2009 at 8:42 am
(2) JT$ says:

I think Debby Downer is overreacting a bit. However, I also think that Bonny might be under reacting… I know that if my girlfriend, or even a girl I was just dating, picked up my phone (or PDA)and started looking at who was in it and who I had been calling/texting I’d be a bit annoyed. As for not picking you up from work because he’d be tired I’d say that’s an acceptable excuse to use occasionally but in a time when your car broke it seems like he should be willing to help you out a bit. Leaving your stuff around can go either way. I know that I’m a pretty organized guy and I’ve had girls leave stuff at my place and at some point I can’t figure out where to put it all and it gets in the way. Any one of these things wouldn’t say much to me but if they all happened in a short time period and things like this continue to happen I’d have to go with Bonny again and say he is certainly starting to question the relationship. If you’ve been dating someone for 7 months I’d imagine it would be tough for things not to get at least a little serious. My advice would be to give him some space for a little and see how things go. If he doesn’t seem to mind the space and is pushing you further away I’d say its time for a talk. On the other side he might just want to know that you’re willing to give him some space when he needs it and things will smooth over.

April 8, 2009 at 5:18 pm
(3) Lorraine Jackson says:

Actually Debbie’s right, and JT$ is trying to justify the guy’s behavior (big red flag)
The fact that she points out these things means she’s sees it, it’s about accepting the truth. That’s what she’s wrestling with. The first thing she should ask herself is if she is really in the relationship she thinks she’s in? Is he’s really your boyfriend or are you fooling yourself about the relationship because you’re desperate to be in one.
He complains that he’ll be too tired to pick you up and take you home, but he will conveniently have the energy to do numerous other things after work which includes seeing other women.(which is probably the case) He wants you in his life but on his terms. Understand that his wanting to see other women isn’t a reflection on you, but you are being played which isn’t hard to do because even though it’s obvious that he wants to see other women, you want to believe that you have a boyfriend. and yes he freaked out about the PDA because he has the number of other women in it. Notice I said WOMEN. (but you already suspected that, that’s why you were looking at the PDA for confirmation) He doesn’t want your stuff there because he’s is planning to bring other women to his place,(if he hasn’t been already).If he was really about you, he’d pick you up and he wouldn’t trip about you looking at the PDA. To hell with giving him space while he figures out whether he wants a relationship with you or not, he’s already made that decision. You need to ask yourself what do you really want in a relationship and if you are truly getting that from him and is he capable or willing to give it to you. (remember this is the guy who is too tired to pick you up from work, while your car is being worked on) Many women try to make the player into a boyfriend. Players want sex, not long-term committed relationships. You’re are compromising yourself to be with someone. You deserve better but you have to be willing to let him go to get better. Be honest with yourself. Is he really that great? Is he really what you want? You can sit down and talk if you like, but the truth is he’s already cut you loose. Why not beat him to the bunch and let him know this relationship isn’t going in the direction you want and you’ve decided to start dating other guys. You need to determine what your boundries are and what you will and will not accept from him or any guy, otherwise men will continue to ‘play you’ Ask yourself what lesson has this relationship come into your life to teach you about yourself?

April 10, 2009 at 1:49 am
(4) Matt says:

Um mm yea your man is more than likely cheating on you. The reason I say that is he wants you to take your stuff with you. He has someone else coming over and doesn’t want her to see your stuff there.just my 2 penny’s on that.Matt

April 13, 2009 at 3:28 pm
(5) filipino girls says:

It sounds like he really having an affair to someone else. For me, it’s better for you to stop the relationship if you don’t like its atmosphere anymore.

April 14, 2009 at 11:51 am
(6) k says:

She needs to see that they are not on the same page in that relationship. She seems suspicious of him and that alone is cause to question the relationship. They need to have a heart to heart talk, after seven months it’s definetly warrented. It doesn’t sound good though when he doesn’t want any of her things left behind….my boyfriend actually made sure I had a place in his bathroom for my personal things…I didn’t move in and I don’t try to take over…and he is a neat freak. I think this girl needs to truely feel that she is a part of his life, and she doesn’t. Probably with good reason

April 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm
(7) .... says:

wooww wooww wooww.. ok, so you’re with someone for seven months, not too long but a long enough time to know where you stand in his life, are you just a fling that he is going to dump when the next chick comes around? or are you someone he looks to as his partner and is optomistic about you guys being together for the long run. i know at this time in my life, i am not going to date someone for 7 months if i dont think it is going anywhere, i leave that for the one night – one week top flings in which i dont let myself get attached. i strongly suggest that you confront him casually about where exacty you two are heading, you need to have that confidence in the relationship and in him, which quite frankly it doesnt seem like you have right now. secondly, telling you to take your stuff because he feels liek you’re trying to move in.. really? come on! ok, many men have commitment issues that is no secret, but there are ways and means of saying things and the way he says it is wrong and rude, maybe if you made your self a little less available and a little less of a pushover , he would realize what he is slowly pushing away! … now for the PDA boys and their toys, i too would be suspicious, we’re women, its natural (and anyone who denies it is a liar) but i dont think it is anything to panic about, men and woman are two completely different species and we dont at all see things the same when it comes to PDA’s and privacy in taht aspect. try having something of you’re own, liek a facebook page which is just your business.. dont intentionally make him jelous or push it in his face but finf satisfaction in your own privacy.

September 21, 2009 at 7:25 pm
(8) Annabelle says:

I think it’s time for Chrissy to re-evaluate what she wants in a boyfriend. It sounds like the guy is either not as serious as she is, or he is the type of man that a girl settles for. Women should be self reliant, but what is the perk in having a boyfriend if he is just simply too lazy or selfish to help her in a time of need? I agree that there is a need for a discussion. If he acts like he doesn’t care, it’s time for Chrissy to say “NEXT!”

December 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm
(9) Noemi says:

Yea u do need to talk with him and figure out were are u in his life or maybe he double thinking about everything or just stressed out in life and over reacts the wrong way by mistake some guys hate it when us girls check their PDA and stuff calls txt messages etc

June 1, 2010 at 6:01 am
(10) Lowana says:

well i ve read bonny and debbies point of view and totally agree with debbie all the way. she’s totally right about his PDA..if he had nothin to hide he wouldnt care one bit. if he really did Love you as much as you Love him he’d be more than happy to share absolutely everything with you, and with the whole get someone else to pick you up im tired crap, just says it all that he’s not totally committed and doesn’t want to do anything nice.. i cant believe you stuck it out for this long. You need to talk with him to see where you stand in the relationship.

April 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm
(11) Steve says:

I’ve been in this position before and I know exactly how you feel. I read a book called “From Heartache to Happiness” by Sean Morgart on my Kindle. It’s amazing stuff..really opened my eyes. Check it out and I can promise it’ll change yours too.

April 26, 2011 at 10:28 am
(12) cynthia says:

I am asking because everybody hates my boyfriend because he got arrested for a computer sting. Then he moved in with another female name stephine who he said he moved in w her because he was trying to save our realationship. And my parents made me stop seeing him because he went ahead and bougt a 1 75.00 dj system for stephines son instead of paying for the phone bill and my parents are made its 700 dollars. And Im pissed at everyone because my life got runied. I didnt care that my boyfriend was considered a pentafiler, child molester, or a fenlen.

April 10, 2012 at 6:16 am
(13) Johnson says:

I just wanna say that lov e could sometimes drive one crazy to the extent you may loose control and befor you know you are already hooked down.
i found one love here http://seriouslovemeet.com in one month i’m already far into the relationship ….

May 7, 2012 at 4:39 am
(14) milly says:

Hey there, ,

I’ve been really upset lately, me and my boyfriend have been together for 2 years now. And our first year together he had hardly no friends and no liscence so he spent most of his time with me and that was great. About august last year he broke up with me because he said he needed to sort himself out with hs life and family. I was absoloutley a mess for three months and we never stopped seeing eacch other and eventually got back together “officially” and we were fine for a fe months until now, he has been spending a lot of time with his cousin that’s just turned 18 and he lives 2 hours away his been really annoyed when I text him too often and I told him just to tell me where he s and who he is with, it really upset me because he told me he was with the boys and I found out he was at his cousins gf friends house. And drinking with girls I was so upset because ihe lied about what he was doing. And id never do that he has been going to his cousins about every scind or third weekend without inviting me this hurts me because I feel like he goess away to get away fom me, he tells me I need to give him space and not stress so much I tell him I hate being away from him and he thinks its normakl for us to do our own thing. And he recently just said that he wants to move to where his cousin lives and get an apprentiship and when he said it he seems like I’m not apart of his future and this upsets me, I can’t stop thinking about it and I don’t know what to expect. I understand we need our own space. But I still want to be apart of his life.and sometimes it feels like that’s not what he wants. I’m so confused. :(

January 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm
(15) jason troutman says:

I understand what you are going thought bc today I told my fiancÚ that we need space bc we was fighting to much so I understand what you r come from but I would date my fiancÚ sisters behind her back bc I love my fiancÚ so just give him some time and he will come around bc it is good for the relationship if you guy had some space.

April 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm
(16) Sarah says:

We would definitely need some more info here on how your relationship is normally. In a given month if I named all the crappy things I do to my bf or the insensitive things he says to me, it would look like we had an awful relationship, but we don’t. Its all in context. Is this all from one week when he was just in a bad mood? Did he acknowledge he was being terse with you? I don’t think its evidence of him cheating at all, unless thats what YOU think? I am a firm believer in the gut and what it tells you. Also, everyone has their particulars and relationships go two ways. If you’re going out of your way for him all the time, then asking for a small favor like being picked up isn’t a huge deal. But sometimes women think that men shouldn’t be normal human beings and should be like super heros or something. Maybe he was too tired and he knew you would be fine and it was a really bad time and he couldn’t come get you. If he does nice things for you often, then this wouldn’t be a huge deal. Don’t have these unreachable expectations for him. Also, the PDA thing, if he’s a miser, he probably just wants to be the only one to play with his new toy. Or he doesn’t want to have to deal with you breaking it. My bf doesn’t want me using his xbox when he isn’t around. Some people are weird about their stuff.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.