My Boyfriend is Pulling Away From me – Should we Take a Break?

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Hi Susan,

My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years (21 and 22). Recently he’s been bogged down with school/work issued and some stress and anxiety health problems. I’ve stuck with him through it all, I love him completely, but he doesn’t show me his love or his appreciation to me, which he admits to voluntarily.

I was thinking of asking for a break more so that I can see if he even wants to be with ME. Every woman wants a man to fight for her, and that’s what I want. I want to see if he’ll realize how much he needs me and fight to have me back. If not I will reluctantly move on and find someone to appreciate me.

Any advice on these plans?

Hi Liz,

Unfortunately it sounds like he has pulled back from your relationship and it has become very one sided. In some ways you are already on a break because he is not really there for you the way he should be. The fact that you have been there for him through all his struggles and he is not showing you anything in return, you have to ask yourself what YOU are getting out of this 4 year relationship right now.

Are you holding on to “what was” and not being totally realistic that his feelings may have changed? How long have you felt this way for?  If you have talked to him repeatedly about this; shared your feelings/concerns with him and nothing has changed, then taking a break will only prolong the inevitable. He is actually admitting that he is not showing you the love you want in your relationship. This is a big sign that you should probably move on completely from this relationship.

You are both very young and many things change in your 20’s. It is a time for growth and sometimes as a couple you grow in different directions. Ask him to be really honest about his feelings towards you and what he wants for his future. Listen closely to what he says. Sometimes we don’t want to hear the truth and we stay in a loveless relationship because we think they will change over time. Don’t sell yourself short by waiting around for someone who is not there for you. It’s not all about “them.”

Sybersue ❤

Dear Sybersue: My Boyfriend Sent me an Email Saying He Wants to Take a Break in Our Relationship!

Susan-McCord-Dear-Sybersue-taking-a-break photo

Dear Sybersue,

My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years. I am 26 and he is 34. Last month he told me (by an email) he wanted to take a break in our relationship. He said he needed a month so he could work on his future, where he wanted to settle & eventually find work as a financial planner. I have been supportive with his schooling and living separately for all this time we have been together so I must admit I was pretty shocked when he made this announcement out of the blue!

We are very compatible and have a decent sex life when we see each other a few times a week when he has time, and I drive out to see him. We live about 40 miles from each other which isn’t a huge deal in travel time but it does make it less spontaneous to meet up for coffee or lunch dates. It always has to be planned out which can take away from some of the natural benefits of living closer to each other.

I asked him why he wanted this break NOW after 3 years and he said he just wanted to be alone to decide without any interaction with me or have any other distractions. He is not exactly sure what he wants. He said he wouldn’t date anyone else and that’s not what this break is all about. I am not sure I believe him though as he has been checking out otherwomen lately when I am with him and tells me when girls hit on him.

This break really hurts me and now that 6 weeks have passed, it hurts even more. I told him I would give him the month but now that time frame has come and gone. I am sure that he is going to keep this break going until I question him about it again. There has been no contact other than the original email and my return email to him. I did try calling him once about it but he didn’t call me back.

Am I a fool to keep waiting for him? He has a lot more time now that he has finished school so I don’t understand why he needs a break to feel things out? Shouldn’t he know by now what he wants in his life?

Thanks and I will be waiting for your response.

Click this link below to read Dear Sybersue’s answer:

I’ve been in a Long Distance Relationship for 2 years but now My GF Wants a Break!


Dear Sybersue,

I have been in a long term relationship with my girlfriend for over two years. She lives about 5 hrs away from me and we do not see each other more than once every two months or so. I am in my last year of college and she has a full time job. The distance was hard but we always made things work out. I loved her but even I sometimes questioned if we should continue to go through with this or not.

When I asked her about how she felt she said she loved me and would do anything to stay with me. A few weeks went by and one day my girlfriend texts me saying that that she wanted to talk to me about something. She gave me a call a few hours later and it turned out that she wanted to “take a break” from things right now. I was caught off guard and confused. I agreed to it because I wanted to make her happy. The next few days I was thinking so often about what happened and texted her back to try to talk to her more about things. She said she needed “space” and “time.” I haven’t text her since and it’s now been over a month.

What do you suggest I do? I love this girl with everything I have. I dream about her and think about her every single day non-stop. I have been trying hard to stay positive and do my own thing but I have always wanted to marry her from day one. She told me that she wanted that too. I don’t understand how one day you can say I love you and the next just stop talking to the person altogether. Have I given things enough time? What should my next move be?

Thank you, Johnny

Hi Johnny,

I am a little confused as in the first few lines you said you did question whether you should keep going through with the relationship with your GF but now she has pulled back and initiated a break, and you are saying you “would” marry her…Sometimes when we are hurting our heart gets tricked into mixed emotions. The fact that she needs space when you only see each other every 2 months is definitely a sign that she may be moving on or is deeply confused about her future with you.

I commend you for not texting or calling her for a month and respecting her wishes as that is not an easy thing to do! I guess really the only thing you can do at this point is to live your life and see what transpires in the next while. Give yourself a time limit on how much space you allow between the two of you. Long distance relationships are very difficult but can work out if both people reciprocate to keep it strong.

Make sure this is something you truly want and not just because she is calling the shots for space in your relationship. Two years together seems like a long commitment but seeing her every two months is really only 12 times in that time period. It is easy to make it exciting and think it is what you want when it is always in a honeymoon stage. Living together may be a whole new thing for you both and maybe she is questioning that right now and something you should also think about.

Thanks for writing & let me know what happens 🙂

Sybersue xo


Hey Sybersue,

Thank you for the reply! I will try to clarify what I said in those first few lines.

I do love her but the distance did cause me to wonder what the next step should be.  Because I am in my last year of college and she is working, it caused a greater barrier between us.  Being able to see each other became harder than it was when we first started to date. I wasn’t sure on what to do, I did not want to break up but we both were unhappy with the situation at hand.  So I was honest with her and asked her what she thought we should do.  She told me that she did not want to leave me and that she would do anything to stay with me. So even though I was questioning things it was not because I didn’t want to be with her, I just didn’t know what to do to make things better for us.

Then all of a sudden she said she wanted to take a “break” and it really caught me off guard!

I will say now that we haven’t talked for a month and a half, it has caused me to really think everything over. I can’t change anything that happened but I am trying to figure out what the next step will be. I really do want her back but I know that has to be a two sided thing if it is going to happen. Do you think I should text her and see if she is ready to talk now? My intentions would be to clear things up, not to get back together right away. Or should I continue to wait and see if she contacts me? This is what’s holding me back right now.

And I didn’t mention this earlier but we actually did spend 6 months living right by each other when we did an internship at Disney together last fall/winter. It caused us to get very close and showed me that she was the right woman for me to spend my life with. After we left there, things became harder when it came to visiting each other (which i mentioned earlier.)

Thanks so much for writing back. I’ll fill you in what happens, if anything does happen. 


Hi Johnny,

Thank you for the clarification , that makes a lot more sense.  You sound like such a great guy who is totally respectful of your girlfriend’s wishes right now but, there are two people involved in this scenario and you want and deserve some answers. I think 6 weeks is enough time to “call her” (not text) and ask her what her future plans are so you can move on either with her, or without her. It’s not fair to have you sit there waiting while she has her space. She needs to be honest with you now.

The reason I have never been fond of “taking a break” is that it is seldom reciprocated and one person is always left hanging while the other person is in control of what transpires later on. The truth can hurt though, so be prepared that she might have decided on a different outcome than you are hoping for. Tell her everything you have told me and put your heart into it. You can’t force someone to love you but you can definitely go out fighting for what you believe in. At the very least she will know how you truly feel and you can feel good that you did everything possible to keep the relationship alive.

Keep me posted!

Wishing you much love, and happiness always 🙂 Sybersue

Here is the video where Johnny wrote to me with his concerns.

Dear Sybersue: My Girlfriend Wants to Come Back After a Break but She’s Still Seeing Another Guy!


Dating & Relationship Advice Column for men and women.

Dear Sybersue:

My Girlfriend and I took a break and now she wants back into our relationship but is still seeing another guy occasionally! She says they are just friends but often meets him late at night! Part of me wants to just walk away from her but I did agree to “the break” and all that goes with one. I still love her but I am not sure if she is really sincere with wanting to come back or maybe she just hasn’t met anyone better?

What should I do?

Susan McCord @


Dear Sybersue: I Have Broken up with my Boyfriend 5 Times ~ Why Can’t I Walk Away?

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Guardian Angels

Dear Sybersue:

I found you through your video Relationship Advice: What Does “Taking a Break” Really Mean?

I wish I had a Guardian Angel…My situation is getting too much for me to handle. I have big family problems, my studies are an ongoing issue and my relationship is in constant turmoil. I am 11 years younger than my boyfriend and we have been together for more than 32 months. He knows about my problems and we both love each other so much.

The trouble is, I am losing my patience and can’t tolerate his bad behavior, judgmental attitude, anger and jealousy all the time. He doesn’t respect all my decisions and wants me to change things about myself. I have pulled the trigger 5 times, end up crying like hell but then always end up patching things up with him.

Yesterday I thought I should break up with him for good but then I messaged him on Facebook and suggested taking a break instead. We might change in the meantime, right? This break is really horrible and I have no one to turn to and can’t make a firm decision! I guess I always want to balance everything w/o having to lose anything! I am so frustrated! Please help me, please…


Hi M,

I am very sorry to say but it sounds like your relationship may have run its course due to the fact that you have broken up 5 times and your bf wants YOU to change. You have to ask yourself what keeps you there if he is judgmental, angry & jealous all the time. It may be that you are afraid of being alone, which is one of the reasons so many people stay in broken relationships.

After almost 3 years together there shouldn’t be this much drama and need for “change” if a couple is truly connected. We all have family issues & other things to deal with in life, but a partner should be there to help you through some of the obstacles and vice versa.

As you know from watching this video I am not an advocate of “breaks” as I think it only heightens insecurities & jealousies. Maybe the reason you go back & forth in this partnership is because you do not have a support system. There are plenty of groups you can connect with online or Meetup groups in your city. We all go through breakups in our lives and there is always someone to talk to about it. It sounds like you need to get out of the repetitive cycle and connect with some new people. Put your focus on something else right now. Experimenting with diversity & new directions always brings personal growth. It may bring some clarity to what you really desire.

When love is “real” there isn’t a lot of drama. You love them for who they are ~ not who they aren’t.

xo Sybersue

Dear Sybersue ~ My boyfriend Left Me Without a Word & Now He Wants to Come Back!

After a breakup

After a breakup

Dear Sybersue,

I was dating this guy for a couple months and instead of telling me he needed a break he ignored me.  He has apologized and told me he wants to come back as a “friend”…

Should I let him back in?


Dear Ashley,

This guy sounds like he may only be interested when it suits him.  If a relationship is on the right path no one should need a break. Why would anyone need to remove themselves from someone they love?  This is a huge red flag when someone suggests this or ignores their partner in any form. I am glad to hear he apologized but does he want back into the relationship as a boyfriend, friends with benefits or just as a platonic friend? I am not clear on that from your question?

I am not an advocate of “on & off again” partnerships, but occasionally there is a valid reason why someone walked away & they deserve a second chance. You know in your heart if he is there for the right reasons. Listen to your instincts because they are seldom wrong.  Many people choose to ignore them because they want to believe something is there when it’s not. If we all listened to our gut whenever we felt that twinge, we would have so much less heartache throughout our lives. Remember that when a relationship is right, it isn’t that much work and there are very few questions. Putting in too much time with the wrong person can take away time from meeting the right person. You deserve real love in your life, always believe that.

Keep me posted & thank you for writing! I have included two videos I did on this subject that you may be interested in:


Wishing you love & happiness,  Sybersue