Occasional conflict is a part of life, according to New York-based psychologist Susan Silverman. But if you and your partner feel like you're starring in your own nightmare version of the movie Groundhog Day -- i.e. the same lousy situations keep repeating day after day -- it's time to break free of this toxic routine. When you make the effort, you can lessen the anger and take a calm look at underlying issues.

I know this is hard and I am so sorry that you are going through this. You have dated a man that is emotionally unavailable and is following the same pattern that he had in his life. You mentioned his father never married his mother so this is an issue that he has to overcome himself. This is his past playing into his life now. You have to make yourself less available to him and understand that you deserve more than this. I would encourage you to book a session with me or a male coach on my team so we can help you during this time. You can reach out to me on my contact page. If so please state you messaged me on my blog so I can remember. We are here if you need further guidance.

Lauren, I believe your advice about giving the ex space is on point and I wish I had given mine a lot of space. I broke up with a man who suddenly dumped me with a phone message when he knew I was not home. Friends of ours told me to give him space, and I did not; big mistake on my part. He is with a woman he and his parents know, she is old enough to be his mother. He sometimes chats when he sees me in the area. I began to feel like I'm sitting on the back burner and decided to just greet him and not chat unless he wants to chat. A good male friend told me to give him six months, it has been three months, so I'll see what develops....
My bf of five months is going thru a divorce. He broke up with me saying he could fall in love with me so easily but can't let himself and needs time to heal from his marriage. It is an increasingly messy divorce. He messaged the next day saying he has set up counselling and will sort everything out and then again to say he loved every minute with me and is sorry he's not himself right now. I told him to take the time he needs to heal and have been responding to his texts but am finding this all very had and confusing....
Im dating a man who is being very consistent with his communication and we see each other every weekend. He is always making plans with me and he reaches out to me all the time. The only issue is that I’m having a hard time feeling like he desires me the way a man should desire a woman. We hang out, we talk, we have so much fun together, we have sex but it feels more like a friend I’m having sex with than a romantic partner. Im physically and romantically attracted to him but I can’t help but wonder if there is a physical attraction issue on his part. He doesn’t seem “into” me like I’m used to. I’m a pretty woman but I know I don’t have those super pretty girl looks so I don’t know. Nonetheless, he isn’t pulling away per se, he just isn’t romantically present. I don’t hear anything sweet or flirty or sexy from him. When I do it to him, he just says thank you and tells me how much he enjoys hearing me say stuff like that. We have a lot in common and we have a great intellectual connection. He’s told his mom, dad and friends about me. But I’m worried because I feel like he doesn’t feel strongly about me in romantic way, even though he spends time with me, talks to me all the time, and admits that he has the most fun with me. It makes me sad because we both talk about how we are happy to have met someone like each other but I can’t help but wonder if having all these things in common and both of us being capable of loving each other the way we always wished someone would is somehow STILL not enough. It makes me very sad.
Work on your self-esteem. If you struggle with neediness, you're probably a little lacking in the self-esteem department. You might be looking for your ex to make you feel better about yourself, but the fact is that you are the only person who can really do that. You shouldn't base your happiness on someone else. It makes them feel guilty, obligated and eventually, resentful towards you.
Guys are going to naturally cycle between wanting intimacy and wanting independence. Trying to guess the reason is impossible – some guys want space to reflect on the relationship, some more insecure guys may even want space because their friends make fun of them for being “too whipped”, some guys want space because they need time alone to clear their heads and gain clarity in life. Maybe hes struggling with a personal issue, or with his work. The reason could be anything for a multitude of different reasons.

I don’t know if someone could give me an advice, or maybe i’ll be criticized but i need to tell someone my storry. It’s a bit large so i apologize but it’s because of how complicated things are. Three years ago i started working as a girl of “company” ( i don’t really like the other words that describe this job). On my sixth month i met Him. At first he was just one of my best clients. But we got to talk a lot and start knowing each other, so we fell in love. He says he fell in… Read more »
Anyways, we went on a date. Which snowballed into many dates and nights spent together. I was falling in love hard and fast. It seemed so mutual, until my birthday. I suggested we spend it together to which he replied he’d take me out for dinner! (Days beforehand we changed the dinner date to the day *after* my bday & spent my actual bday in bed watching movies.)
I have found that it is when I had children with my husband that he started to become extremely responsive and didn’t pull away as much – not directly as a result of loving me more, but because his masculine brain perceives that we need to communicate very often, for the purpose of responding to our kids, working out logistics, proper organisation between us, and doing the right thing by me and our kids.
He was so sweet, romantic, a gentleman, fun, funny. He made my heart flutter. He tried to recreate my pose in the photo of me he had made his desk top photo. (I had made his photo my screen saver on my cell too. lol) He was doing things to keep my comfortable and told me he didn’t come all this way for sex and proved he wanted more. We were like best friends. So compatible.

I managed to push him away he has now told me he needs time and space which is killing me inside… We also worked so well together but as soon as we were apart I would think he is cheating on me etc… I now I can see how stupid I was for bringing all the hurt and distrust into this relationship… I just hope I haven’t lost him forever… How are you coping?
Take responsibility for your own thoughts and actions without making value judgements – blaming and harshness only serves to make you more emotional. Learn to accept your own failings and inadequacies (if you really must use judgemental words). I think you’ll also benefit from reading my articles on how to deal with criticism and how to deal with rejection.
Hi Ray! Thank you very much for the male perspective. I am dating a man who is 11 years older, I’m 26 and he is 37. He works out in the ocean and a lot of times we have minimal conversation via text/call. But when we are together everything is great and we get along very well. When he doesn’t have to wake in the wee ours or work out of town, he is with me every single weekend. We have been together six months and I have met all his close friends and friends kids. I have done well so far in respecting his space. When he’s a weekend with his guy friends, I am understanding and just ask him to contact me once when he is back in town so he feels he is not missing out on what he loves. However, this past weekend he had a sailboat race on the weekend which he let me know in advance and we had plans for friday night. He reached out friday night saying that turns out he had to be at the venue in the wee hours so he would not be able to make our plans. I was emotionally unstable that weekend due to some work stress and family leaving so I needed him the most that friday. I did not think of my actions and instead of politely rescheduling for Monday, I blew him up – sent him various texts showing how I did not appreciate he canceled although it wasn’t his fault. I called numerous times in the weekend and texted many times while he was supposed to have time with his friends in the tournament. On Sunday I was so desperate that I passed by his house. His roomate was there and told me he hand’t come home yet. Since I blew him up friday, I have had no response to any of my texts nor has he answered any of my calls. I am very afraid that I scared him away and threatened his freedom. I also came out as desperate for going to his place. Today is Wednesday and I hadn’t reached out till Sunday. I sent him a very short/casual text apologizing for taking out my stress on him and for not letting him have his space, to which I got no response. I am going to wait a few days and hopefully he will come around, as our relationship has matured and he’s told me how much he cares for me. Did I blow this up completely since it has been 4 days with no response?
Instead, tell him, “I feel great that I’m hearing from you!” Instead of giving him something negative and aggressive to associate with you, make sure that when he’s with you or talking to you, he feels fun, positive energy from you. Your mood is one thing you have absolute control over, and how you act can be infectious. People like being around postivity. Think of all the times people have complained to you and how enjoyable it was to listen them.
Hi Lauren, this couldn't have come at a more perfect time for me. My boyfriend of 7 years, broke up with me a week ago. I have read most of the Mars Venus books and am currently reading Mars and Venus: Starting Over. I'm not ready to give up on the relationship, he is my everything. He claims, he's afraid of commitment and that I can't make him happy for the rest of his life, but also claimed I'm perfect and don't need to change at all. Gave me the "it's not you, it's me" thing. I still have hope that if I give him his space he will change his mind and I'm not to the point where I can think about him not changing his mind, that is too hard. I have broken down and texted him a few times and told him how I was feeling. I stopped talking to him over the weekend and on day 4, I woke up to a text from him. It wasn't anything about us, just a video of a silly dog. I guess I'm just trying to figure out if he still cares? Is it just the friendship he misses? He claims I'm still his best friend. I can't be friends with him, I'm still in love with him. I know every situation is different and you ultimately can't tell he what he is thinking, but I guess do you think if I give him his space, he might come back? ...

Last message I told him that I’ll let him having time there to get things done after he told me that he’s not struggling with everything. (he has lots of extra expenses for this move too) He said he has anxiety about kids moving away (where we are now and new location is about 13 hours fly) but anyway he will prepare everything for them to move smoothly.


It takes a lot of courage and strength for your loved one to confess about something that they feel may be bad or hurtful. When you judge your partner, you make them feel worse, and you also psychologically affect them and make them shut themselves up. And once your partner feels uncomfortable sharing their dark secrets with you, they’d prefer to hide their secrets or talk to another friend rather than tell you what they really feel. And that’s never going to help your relationship. In fact, it could be one of the worst things that can happen to your relationship.
Hey so I’ve been dating this guy for almost a year now. He’s into a hobby that is good for him because he’s sober. But the thing is is that he seems to be more interested in that than our relationship. Even when I leave him alone for hours he won’t really open or talk to me. I don’t ever pry at him because I don’t want to be annoying. We live together and live well together. We never fight and I’m very open with my stuff. It seems like he’s not interested though about those things. It’s not like I’m dumping problems on him at all, but sometimes it’s nice to vent to someone? I’m also on vacation and he told me that we don’t need to be in constant contact with each other and then won’t reply for hours, so I did just that I distant myself completely . It scares me though because he follows so many girls on social media and in the begging of our relationship he would direct message them nothing bad all platonic, but I talked to him and asked him to stop, but I’m scared that he might be getting that filled by talking to those girls again. All I want is to know how his day is or just to say hey without feeling like a bother. I don’t know what to do honestl. He does his best though I’m not saying it’s bad or anything but he’s so stubborn and when I’m upset about something he usually tells me it’s ok but that’s it he doesn’t really comfort comfort me but other times he tells me to bring it to god and brushes it off and goes on and on and on about his hobby he does. Disregarding anything I said or how I feel. Maybe I’m just reading into it all wrong but I don’t know. Should I not listen to him like he does to me? I communicate with him fairly well and tell him how when he ignores me it bothers me but he doesn’t change it. It seems like he doesn’t care. I don’t know. Help
Know that relationship issues are never one person’s fault. A relationship is between two people, so never let your partner blame you for all of the issues in your relationship. Someone who passes blame and refuses to think about their own role will be very difficult, if not impossible, to get on your side. Never let someone force you to change to save a relationship – this is a sign of a controlling and unhealthy relationship.
Determine why the relationship is in trouble. All relationships go through rough patches at one point or another. As the novelty of your first few months together wears off, problems and stress start to pile up and things you once found cute begin to annoy you to no end. While there are always small issues in a relationship, some issues can cause problems when they linger under the surface for too long:
I think there is a difference between a natural pull away and an uncomfortable/bad pull away. But I also think that men who really care about you will not pull away very much. They may want a day or two alone (natural pull away) but they don’t fade out on you and give you bad vibes (uncomfortable/bad pull away). My experience has always been that the guys that wanted me the most never pulled away, no matter how close we got. My first real serious college boyfriend was always on the same page with me from beginning to end, we… Read more »
Brad Browning is widely regarded as the world's most trusted breakup experts, boasting over 12 years of experience working with clients from around the world. Brad's #1 best-selling breakup reversal guide, The Ex Factor, has helped more than 100,000 people from 131 countries to re-unite with an ex. Brad is also the author of Mend The Marriage, a comprehensive self-help guide that teaches married couples how to save their dying marriage and prevent divorce. Brad’s YouTube channel has over 300,000 subscribers and 40 million views, and he has been featured in a number of well-known media outlets and industry journals.

Give each other space and time to heal. Being together doesn't mean you've got a leash over the other person. When mending a broken relationship, your instinct might be to spend every waking moment together. But this prevents the two of you from stepping back and seeing the big picture or your relationship, it’s good sides and bad. Spending every waking moment together often leads to fighting or feeling trapped.
You should investigate whether he is not being loving or interested, or if he’s just not doing that in the way that you expect or are used to. You may have unspoken expectations or fantasies of what a relationship should look like, and your projections are getting in the way of appreciating the good relationship you actually have. It sounds like you might have different love languages as well, where you need a lot of verbal affirmation and maybe that’s not his strong suit. That is something you can discuss with him and ask for more of. You can tell him what’s working for you and what’s not, or that you’re unsure whether he’s into you romantically despite all the evidence, and try to hear and understand where he is coming from.
im doing the same thing you’ll do now your not alone i know it hurts but that what u should do, let him lose you and thinks hes a failure dont allow him to think he can play with your feelings, your not his toy if he cant decide what he wants then leave him to grom up and make decisions in life, hes immature and you did the right thing your so smart of going no contact and standing on what you want bravo, now do not let him take advantage and decide what he wants do what you want, you want him as a bf he didnt respect that he wants friends you dont so bye to him and lifes always comes around believe me one day he’ll come begging to have you back.
Hi Sierra. I get the feeling that you didn’t feel secure in this situation in the first place, that maybe there was no real commitment from him in the first place, and because you didn’t feel secure, you weren’t able to be as attuned to him as you could have been. Which is a dangerous situation to be in. The overall feeling I’m getting from your description (which of course is only a snippet of what went on), and from the fact that he felt like you were talking in circles, then he was probably feeling a sense of pushiness… Read more »
Some people try to be there for their ex. They walk their dog, they show up at their door with some gifts, and other things. This hinders your value, and makes them wish you were gone. Aside from cutting off communication, it’s imperative that you are not visible. You cannot be seen by her, by your own doing. This will create value, as absence makes the heart grow fonder. You’ll force her to think about you, and will not let her have control, you’ll be in control.

A couple days later he’s still acting distant and he’s being short with me over text and I’ve tried asking him to come over but he’d say he has to clean his house or that he can’t then after goes to hang out with his friends knowing I asked him earlier if he could come over. And usually he would come hang out with me since we haven’t been hanging out instead of going out with his friends. I just feel after that that this is a sign that I need to let him have his space even though we haven’t hanged out in almost a week, I really hope this works because one of my girl friends said that he’s obsessed with me and that he said that I’m the ONE. He’s even thought of wedding ideas I mean c’mon he sounds like he’s head over heals for me right? and I just don’t see him going from loving me so much to distancing himself from me and not even wanting to see each other it seems. Maybe it was something I said to him over text to make him upset? I just don’t know but I will do anything to go back to the status of what our relationship was once before this all happened.

Okay so I was dating a guy for 3 months. He chased me for 2 months.. and during the 3 months I went crazy I suppose got super needy and clingy . Which isn’t me.. this guy and I never faught and if we did it was very trival over within 5 mins. Wel he broke up with me but just said he needed some space. Now he been snap chatting me off and on and texting but we haven’t spoken about the break up at all.. idk what to do and is there chance. He was telling me he was scared to talk to me at first. We had an instant connection and he can’t wait to marry me and live and support me. Since he broke up with me I seen my mistakes and have told him sorry for them and that I realize it now and I promise it won’t be the same .


Long story short, if I had taken the advice of this article, he may have never cone back to me. When he was weak and kicking himself for messing up, he pulled back. Pulled back so far that he couldn’t see the potential that I did for us. I was able to be strong and fight for what I wanted, and show him that there are other kinds of women out there who won’t “hate him” for accidentally falling asleep and missing our date. I’ve shown him what true love is, and now that he sees he can be loved, he has given his full heart to me.
My bf broke with me on the 25/11/2017. he said that “The light of our relationship is dying” then we broke up. we dated before but he dumped me first then he actually fell in love with me, then broke with me after one month (he broke up with me right after my birthday which it’s on the 24th of November) we haven’t texted each other for about four months, but he’s still following me on apps. i really, REALLY love him. i also so hurt myself a lot during that time. i don’t know how to get him back. I’m crazy about him. We also made a promise a long time ago about getting married. We always talked about having children and what to name them. i just don’t know why he walked away from me
If you and your ex have had some cool-down time — meaning that you've had some contact since the breakup and you don't get the feeling that they're super upset — suggesting a casual meeting is totally OK. However, suggesting specifics of when to meet up can definitely feel like you're applying some pressure. Instead, leaving the ball in their court by suggesting you meet up "some time" is a great way of opening up the possibility without coming across as too pushy. This text is super versatile and can totally work if you just want to reconnect as friends, or if you're interested in getting back together but aren't sure where their head is at.
Hopefully, these tips give you something to work with, and you will find something that can help you approach your relationship problems in a different way. You don't have to be Freud, you don't have to do it all at once; instead, see which of these ideas catch your attention. Then pick a situation, a pattern, a problem, and map out a different approach, a concrete behavior that you can put into place. Start small. Focus on you. One change will lead to another.
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