She Needs Space
Q: I was in a relationship with a 21 year old for nine months before we split up. She told me that she didn't feel the relationship was going anywhere and didn't see us as more than friends. However, she has not told me for certain that we cannot get back together and she has not come to get her personal things from my house. I do want to try again with her but she says she needs "space" to figure things out on her own. Is our relationship over and I'm not willing to see it, or is there truly a chance we can work this out? She has begun seeing other people but just as casual dating. She still says she has feelings for me just not as strong as they used to be. What should I do? -- Ben, 25
Dr. Susan: Your ex-girlfriend has told you quite clearly that she is done with you. She phrased it as delicately as she could without sounding brutal. If she sees you as nothing more than friends, that means it's over! She's already dating others, "casually" or whatever. The odds that she will suddenly decide to come back to you are so small as to be nonexistent. I would give her all the space she needs, while you put yourself back out there in the dating pool yourself. And do yourself a favor and box up her personal stuff, if it's worth anything, and drop it off when she's not around.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.