Did he break up because I pressured him?

Dear Guys,

My question/situation is as follows. I met this guy (34) and we had been dating for a year. We took our time to have the relationship grow organically. He had trouble with saying I love you and he has never said it to anyone. He is generally pretty closed off and this was the longest relationship he had ever been in. I told him that I loved him earlier on but we talked through it and it was fine.

He said I love you at the beginning of January 2015. After that he started to act weird and pull away; he got comfortable/lazy. I realized this was happening and at first I got a bit needy, but tried to reign it in and give him the space he needed. This lasted for a month, but still, when I talked to him about it, he said everything was fine with us.

Then, I just had this gut feeling he was questioning the future of our relationship and it just wasn’t sitting with me. I asked him what was going on and that I could feel him not reciprocating. He acknowledged this and said that it was a fundamental difference between where we were at in the relationship. He didn’t know how to bridge the gap. We took a week off for him to sort through his feelings. This past Sunday he came over after the week had passed. I apologized that I was putting expectations on the relationship, that I had acted needy when he needed space and that I wanted to keep dating and that I would just want him to be more open and honest. He said that he was on the fence and couldn’t envision our future and that wasn’t fair to me or him. He said that we are just on two different levels, and that the inspiration for him wasn’t there and that this was not our time to be together. He cried, hugged me, said he was going to miss me, and left.

I am not sure what the question really is but I guess, did I push him away by not allowing him to take the space he needed? I just wanted him to communicate more, about his feelings. I felt him not participating in the relationship and it was hurting my feelings. I know you shouldn’t live life with regrets but I am feeling like I just pushed this guy way too far and then scared him away.


Dear Sarah,

Thanks for your donation. We do appreciate it.

We’re sorry you’re regretting your actions. Breakups are hard enough, but when you believe that you were the cause of the breakup that can be even more gut-wrenching.

Let us alleviate your concerns.

You didn’t push him away, so don’t even go there. You dated the guy for a year. That’s certainly enough time for a 34 year-old man to figure out what he wants. The more likely scenario? He realized, early on in the relationship, that you weren’t the one for him. Instead of being honest with you, and breaking things off when he should of, he slowly started pulling away emotionally, which caused you to feel needy and clingy.

We’re not saying he was being devious, or that he was using you. (Although, we’re not, not saying that.) It’s possible he was trying to sort out some questions in his head, hoping that he’d figure things out, and come to the conclusion that you were the one for him. But more likely, he already knew how he felt, and he was afraid of hurting you. Or possibly, he was waiting for you to break up with him so he wouldn’t have to be the bad guy.

Understand that guys know pretty much right away how they feel about a woman. Sure, lust can confuse things at the beginning, but usually after a guy has had sex with a woman, he has a very good idea of what kind of potential he sees with her. If your guy was a bit younger, we might cut him some slack, but your guy’s been around enough to know how he feels. And frankly, it’s a red-flag that he wasn’t able to communicate with you. Sure, guys have a harder time revealing their feelings, but it’s a misconception that we’re not able to do it at all.

The truth is hard for people to hear, and sometimes harder to speak. But it’s always best. This is a case of a guy not wanting to speak the truth.

Our take: You didn’t rush anything. You didn’t pressure him. The two of you just weren’t on the same page. He didn’t feel the way you did. We’re truly sorry.

Take care,


Other questions about break ups: 

Breaking up

What do I do now? How can I leave my relationship?

Getting back together: Is it possible?

Was breaking up with him the right thing to do? 

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