Last night I was on the bus after work and the girl in the seat in front of me was on her cell phone, clearly talking (loudly) to a girlfriend of hers. She had that tone of the sidekick friend, the one who soothes and explains and supports the main friend, the more demanding one, the diva. She was explaining that the friend needed to back off from a guy that the friend was clearly interested in, because he had made it clear that he wasn't interested in a relationship right now and needed his space. She was going on about it, softening what she was saying by talking about what a great guy he is and how he must like the friend because, after all, who wouldn't? And he's really nice and it's just that he needs some space right now.
The whole thing reminded me of that episode of Sex and the City where Berger gives Miranda his honest opinion that some guy who was giving her mixed messages just wasn't that into her, and Carrie is shocked and horrified that he would say such a thing, but Miranda is thrilled to hear it and basically has an epiphany about how guys, if they like you, make it clear, and if they hedge or seem confused, it basically means they just don't like you that much.
That was how I felt, hearing to the girl on the bus talking to her friend. That the guy who asked for his space just wasn't that into the friend. That the girl knew it, and I knew it, but that the friend didn't know it and didn't want to know it. And that the girl on the bus was totally faking it when she said things like oh he just needs his space and of course he likes you and just give it some time.
But obviously, I have no idea. It was half of a conversation that I happened to overhear. I could be totally wrong. Maybe the friend and the space-needing guy will wind up happily married for 70 years with tons of fat, adorable babies.
But it did make me wonder (and now I seriously sound like Carrie on SATC over here). When a relationship starts out with one person saying they just need some space, does it ever work out?
For me, it hasn't. I once hooked up with a guy who told me he wasn't looking for a relationship right then. Two weeks later he had a girlfriend. And guys who've told me they need their space have invariably wound up getting space and then some.
And with Torsten, it was different. I was the one who wanted to take it slowly, but I wasn't asking for space--just pacing. There was never any doubt, there were never any breaks, there was never any hedging. We liked each other, loved each other, made that clear to each other. It was simple.
I realize that some relationships are a whole lot more complicated than ours, that sometimes taking a break can really help things. For me, it's never been like that. But I'm trying not to judge other people's relationships based solely on my own past experience.
So I want to know. Have you ever had a relationship where somebody started out by saying they needed their space (or something similar)? Did the relationship wind up working out (and by that I don't necessarily mean that you are still together today)? Or do you think that SATC is right and if a person says they need their space, it's because they're just not that into you?
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