When someone says they need their space, I can respect their wishes and give them as much distance as they need in order to get back to where they were. But when we go from talking every single day to getting maybe one message throughout the day, there tend to be some concerns.
You try to make contact with them and the silence hurts. And with each rejection comes a stronger heartache and sense of responsibility. You begin to genuinely feel responsible for why they’re acting the way they act or why they are becoming so distant with you. They tell you they just need some time and you believe it at first, but the longer it goes the more your doubt of their honesty eats you alive.
Traditionally you always know what they’re up to and when you suddenly don’t, you almost feel like an outsider looking in. When you start initiating trying to see each other and get rejected it makes you feel so pushed away and sidelined, even if they say they just don’t want to see anyone. It’s even worse when you do find out their plans and know they’ve seen everyone under the sun, except for you.
You were a key player in their life who used to be on the starting line that got moved to the bench.
And on the bench is where you sit patiently waiting for them to need you or want you to become more involved again. The jealousy of others makes you more bitter towards the situation and you just feel like you’ll never see the field (aka their life) again.
Then the mental debate begins and you are filled with so much anxiety and anger. You’re trying your hardest to avoid talking to them about their feelings or asking questions about why they keep pushing you away. You’re trying to bend over backwards to help them become better again and come back to you. But at the same time, you feel horrible about yourself and the doubt, loneliness, and rejection are draining you day by day. Is making someone else’s life easier worth your own misery and stress?
Do you say something or just let it slide? Because you know if you try to bring it up they’ll only deny their absence and make an excuse like “I’ve been busy lately” or “You’re not doing anything wrong”. Well if you are not doing anything wrong then why are they avoiding you and purposely making excuses every single time you try to talk to them about the distance or even just trying to see them? It’s a hard tug of war in your mind, and they just don’t understand that all you need is a good conversation with a lot of reassurance. Or at least some convincing reassurance.
You want to believe them and give them the benefit of the doubt, knowing confidently they’ll come back and things will be the same way as they were before. But there’s that large chunk of fear that they really are slowly distancing themselves from you and there is a reason why that they just don’t have the heart to tell you. We’ve all had those experiences and they really do suck.
In a situation like this, you can’t be the one to cave. You don’t have to sit there on the cold bench and shake your knees with anxiety about when they’ll talk to you next or actually agree to see you. Sometimes you need to show them what they’re missing by distancing yourself too.
You can only voice how you feel so many times and if they really hear you they’d give you the reassurance you’ve been desperately searching for, or at least try to. It can be difficult trying to get through to someone who’s in an emotional rut. Your compassion for them is already starting to fade and you need to let them know you’re hurting by drifting away yourself without saying a word. You can only offer so much support, guidance, reassurance, and love while still being ignored or pushed away until you reach your breaking point.
Remember it genuinely is not you or your problem, it’s entirely their issue, so stop taking responsibility for their odd behavior. The only thing you can do is offer them silence and be there for them deep down when they come back to you. It’s the only other approach you can take because Lord knows you’ve tried everything else. Most of the time people do, and if they don’t then you know you gave it your all and they just weren’t worth it to you in the first place.
You’ve experienced their silence for too long, now it’s their turn to know what it feels like coming from you.
Feature Image via Ariel Raee.