Question: Dear Luise: Im 22, just finished three years at uni and iv been with my boyfriend for 8 years. we have been very happy together the last year and spoke frequently about moving in together now we are both finished with uni. He often talked about it, i never ever pushed the idea on him and if anything it was me who was worried about the commitment after leaving uni. now he has finished on friday and we had planned to come home togther on the sunday. i had been snapping at him a bit over the weekend and i know he was stressed as he didnt think his exams went well. However, within a hour of telling me he couldnt wait to see me and be togther finally after waiting 3 years at uni, he rings me and says he needs space as iv been stressing him out the last few days and hes “sick of me”. he wants no contact until thursday, he has however text me several times saying he loves me and doesnt want to break up and sees his futre with me. i feel so hurt and confused, i was so happy and comfortable in our relationship this came out of the blue for me. what am i meant to say to him thursday so that i show him i understand if he wanted space but im confused to as why and make him understand how much hes hurt me. i dont know if i should just end it? L.
Answer: Dear L.: Exam time can be really stressful and and you were making it worse. I’m not surprised that your boyfriend needed some space. I wouldn’t break up an eight year relationship over it…but the two of you do need to talk as soon as you can about a better way to handle overwhelm.
I always cringe when I hear about someone “needing space” because it is usually the beginning of the end. I don’t think it has to be in your case.
The other side of the coin is you have been together for a long time and both of you may want to move on and just don’t know how to face it. Talk. All of it can be worked through by communicating. Blessings, Luise