Hello, my reader. I want to introduce you to my friend Kate. She’s a fabulous fan of Loveawake dating site blog who is a real live therapist. She’s going to be answering reader questions weekly, giving me lots of time to work on my book and to dream up new posts for all of you. It delights my heart to have the advice I give validated by someone who is a professional at it! The first ever question for Kate is from Jenni in response to reading When He Says He Doesn’t Know What He Wants.
After a night together where everything was normal, him holding me all night, he tells me the next morning at breakfast he wants a break or space or whatever and that he didn’t have me prioritized right – he had A LOT going on right now. I told him I didn’t want to end it, that would be throwing away a great relationship, and that I didn’t run when things got ugly. That was 3 days ago and I haven’t heard a thing. I’d like to take your advice, but still let him know that I still care and am still here for him, because no one ever has. But, from what you’re saying, I shouldn’t contact him at all – I just go about living my life, doing my thing, and he contacts me if he wants to rebuild the relationship? It’s so raw still, the hole is still so freshly cut and it hurts very badly because it was very much out of nowhere, but I know I can be strong, despite the fact I miss him and our relationship more than anything. So can I let him know I care after say, 5 days, of not hearing from him? Or nothing at all?
Plainly put, hearing the phrase “I just don’t know what I want right now” evokes rejection in 99.9% of women, and if you’re here at Loveawake searching for answers, you probably aren’t in the remaining .1%. I wish there were one single “right way” to deal with the fact that someone may be rejecting what you are offering. There’s just not. Waiting an allocated number of days to reach out, reciting rehearsed statements, dressing a certain way if you see the person again–none of those things genuinely make a difference. Dating should not feel like constant mini-exercises in self-discipline and manipulation; if it does, something is wrong. It’s wonderful that you could be honest and vulnerable enough in the moment to say that you didn’t want to end it. He heard you; you don’t need to say it again. Doing “nothing at all,” as you put it, probably feels very passive for you, especially if you are someone who is used to taking deliberate steps to gain a sense of control in other aspects of your life. Rest assured, you are not “doing nothing,” you are actually doing something quite brave and maybe even a little extraordinary.
First of all, you are allowing yourself to take your words seriously. You told him how you felt, you meant it, and you do not need to repeat yourself. Secondly, you are reinforcing to yourself that you will never be a woman who needs to convince a man to be with you. Desperate women try to convince others to stay, strong women convince themselves to leave (and stay gone). Lastly, and most importantly, you are keeping your dignity intact, the benefits of which could not possibly be overstated.
This guy will contact you again, it’s as certain as the sun rising tomorrow. WHEN he gets back in touch, don’t be so flattered. All guys reconnect, it could just be out of curiosity or boredom; it’s not a grand gesture—it’s just a damn phone call (or email, or text, or some other effortless means of communication). If it feels right for you, listen to what he has to say with the knowledge (you don’t think, you KNOW) that the conversation will not make or break your world because you will find the right person if you continue to stay true to yourself (and why wouldn’t you, you’re amazing!) If you take things slowly, giving yourself time to think and feel it all, you will know exactly what to do.