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Ask Eleanor, Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience:  Marriage & Family Therapist with 20 Years Experience
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After 5 months, my girlfriend asked for space out of the b

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After 5 months, my girlfriend asked for space out of the blue...

Ask Eleanor :

Hello, I can certainly understand your confusion. I have been a couples therapist for 20 years and am happy to help. Please tell me your question.


So this is the email she sent me a couple weeks ago....


I have been thinking about you and us all day long. I am sorry about last night, but I was not in a place to talk to you with any clarity and didn't want to say the wrong thing.

You are right in that I have been "pulling away" over the last month or so. You are a great great guy and a loving and caring person. My behavior is not about you in any way. I truly believe that you love me and care deeply about me. I also love you and care about you very much.

That all being said, I find that I really need time to myself..... I really enjoy my time with you and so at first I was good with spending most of my time with you, over time to stay centered, I need time alone.

I am not sure what this means for us. I understand and respect that you are not interested in a casual relationship with me. For right now, however, I think I need some time and space. If you can live with that and allow me time to try to figure out what I want, maybe in a little while we can move forward. If you can't live with that, I will repsect that and let you go knowing that I may be throwing away the best thing that ever happened to me.

I am thinking we should cancel the trip to Italy- as the timing doesn't feel right. I am happy to reimburse you for the plane ticket and the concert tickets.

I am happy to talk to you in person about all this, if you want. I am working late tonight, but will be free tomorrow if you are and you want to see me to talk.


I've been respecting her request and not been calling, texting or emailing


I don't know if she's just no longer interested and this is the brush off...


I don't know how someone goes from so hot to so cold so fast!


She has a 17 yo son who is a boarding school out of state as a result of a substance abuse problem. He's been gone since november of last year. The weekend she went to visit him is when this all started...


I think that could have a lot to with this


The day she left to see her son I was with her. She told me she loved me and was glad I was in here life and jump on the plane. As the weekend went on, she didn't respond to my texts and then I got the email referenced above on Monday.


So there you go! LOL


Are you there?








Ok cool... got your email

Ask Eleanor and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

Hello, I am here. I have switched to the Q&A mode as I could not view your replies in chat. Sorry about that. Give me a moment to read over your replies.

Thank you for your patience, Andy. After reading her e-mail, I believe you are correct, that this is about her son. I definitely do not believe it is a brush off or that she no longer cares. It sounds like she cares very much about you and truly needs some space and needed to cancel your trip. You are wise to be giving her that space. She may also be a person who needs alone time and if you can show her that you respect that about her, she will feel safe with you. But I think it is about her son. She may have found him unhappy and not doing well and as a result feels guilty about being happy with you and taking a trip. Does this make sense?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I think this is it. She's an MD and very much a thinker and used to being independent. When we sat down to talk about it, she referenced her son coming home and what that would look like. How he would adapt. Also, she's mentioned being in a bad 20-year marriage and never wanting that to happen again. We've not talked about marriage or anything like that, so I think there is some emotional baggage about trusting me.


She came up with the idea of seeing each other twice a week, which I was fine with. In fact, we went out a Saturday night and had a great time like we always have had. I respected her on Sunday by not contacting her at all. On Monday, I did text to let her know that I was thinking about her and to have a good day. Later in the afternoon, I got this email:


You have done nothing wrong. I really just need some time and space. Please give that to me. That means dont text, call or email me for right now.

Remember the picture and saying you sent me the other day about if you love something set it free....

Thank you for abiding by my request even if you don't understnad.

So that's where we've been for 2.5 weeks. She has texted me a couple with little things that are going on, but the language is still very distant. Like she doesn't want any romantic stuff right now. But, I guess its a good sign she's communicating.

We both felt that out connection was something special, so I don't want to lose this girl. Do you think I should temper my language? I'm used to telling her "I love you" and "I miss you" when she's gone. She did the same things in the past. I sorta feel like that language could drive her further away.

I'm only responding when she initiates the communication at this point.



You are really handling the situation very wisely, Andy. I would continue to only reply when she contacts you. There is nothing wrong with telling her that you love and miss her if you don't say it in a way that sounds needy, if you know what I mean. I think her knowing that you are loving and patient will do wonders for her trust level. Any further questions?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Eleanor! I appreciate your advice. I know I am doing the right thing here, but it's good to get some validation. It's hard sledding right now, because I do miss her company. Time will tell! :)


Thanks again!

You are most welcome, Andy, my pleasure. If I can be of help in the future, simply place "Ask Eleanor" at the beginning of your new question. I wish you all the best with your relationship. Take care, Eleanor