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A lot of you guys have been asking various forms of the same question: my dude seems to be putting the brakes on, and I don’t understand what it means. Well, it can mean a few different things…
Listen, I’m not a mind-reader. So I can’t tell you exactly why he says he “needs a little space,” or “wants to take things a little more slowly,” or “needs some time to think about things” or any of the other vague, overly gentle and therefore more heartbreaking ways he has of saying this.
But I can tell you that it doesn’t mean it’s the end. I’ve told every single girlfriend I’ve ever had that I needed space. Obviously I didn’t end up marrying every single girlfriend I had (I only married Blossoms, whom I told several times that I needed space). But what it means is that there is something about being in a relationship that has always freaked me out. I can feel the freak-out once in a while even now, when I’m married, it’s just that it doesn’t bother me much any more because I know better.
But I can make several broad characterizations about what it means when guys say this:
1) He’s scared. This I can say for certain. Whether he’s scared because he’s too much in love and is losing himself, of because he’s afraid he’s going to end up married to someone he doesn’t want to be married to, or because, like me, relationships can just plain scare him, I can’t say for certain.
2) Yes, he may want to break up. The hard truth is that this is what it seems: a break-up with training wheels.
3) He wants to make sure he’s in control. This is a really selfish thing, and something I’m guilty of. But sometimes men just want to make sure that they are in control of a relationship because not being in control is a feeling that makes them very uncomfortable. It’s the same reason you put the brakes on when you’re driving or skiing or riding a bike downhill: control.