Question: My ex broke up with me 5 weeks ago. He said he was overwhelmed and needed space. I said okay. Two days later he contacted me asking how I am. My question is, why does he still contact me if he wants space? I’m wrecking my mind here because I don’t know what he wants. How will he miss me if he is still contacting me?
Yangki’s Answer: I think that the reason you are confused with what is happening is because “space” (or time apart) means different things for both of you.
In your mind “space” means “no contact”. In his mind “space” means:
1) some distance from everyday contact (if you’re needy and clingy, need a lot more contact than he does, and/or relying on him for you happiness because you do not have a life outside of the relationship);
2) a break from non-stop arguing and fighting (if that’s what’s happening in your relationship) or;
3) a break from trying to make the relationship work (if you’ve been off-and-on, and the the relationship is still struggling).
Asking for “space” is his way of calling a time-out, not time-off the relationship (which is what you are thinking).
He still wants to keep the lines of communication open and stay connected, but at the same time give both of you space to reflect on what’s going on, and possible see things from an outsider’s perspective. If you’re relying on him for you happiness because you do not have a life outside of the relationship, he’s probably hoping, you’ll start to cultivate a life outside of the relationship, which will then take the pressure/stress off him, and make the relationship better and healthier.
In my opinion, his is a more mature and healthier approach because:
1) He’s not trying to intentionally hurt you by trying to make you miss him;
2) He’s not just thinking of himself and his hurt feelings (which is what you are doing), he is also thinking about what’s good for the relationship.
3) He fully understands that “space” alone does not fix relationship problems, you also need communication.
The worst thing that can happen to a relationship is that two people cut off contact with the intention of creating a better relationship, only to regroup and there is no “relationship”.
By getting all worked up over something completely healthy, you may end up losing him completely. Be glad that your ex still cares about you. So many people would give anything for what you have.