suntimes
LENIENT 
Weather Updates

She said she needed more space, and they drifted apart

Two years have passed since the woman of Chad’s dreams told him she probably wasn’t. She needed space, she said.

“Space,” as everyone knows, is a euphemism for “I want to date other people.” Sometimes it’s a euphemism for “I don’t want to date you any more at all.” Chad knew all the things it could mean (he’s no dummy), but it took him awhile to realize that the more space Hannah was getting, the less time he had with her.

Chad had known Hannah since 6th grade. But they didn’t start dating till they were in the late twenties. Chad thought everything was going great. But after a few short months, Hannah gave Chad her little talk about space.

She told Chad that he was too possessive, too demanding. She said that there was so much going on in the city and she wanted to be free to take advantage of it all. Alone. Or at least not with him. Chad tried to come to grips with it.

“But it’s hard to go from an exclusive dating basis to one that’s not — if you’re the one who’s into exclusivity,” he says. “It’s really confusing. It feels demeaning if you’ve been at a certain good place before. It also feels fake.”

Still, Chad kept seeing her. She was vibrant and fun, very charming and bubbly. It was hard not to have a good time with her, even when he was feeling angry and slighted. They started having the same conversation over and over:

Chad: “I can’t stand this; I want to make some kind of schedule, I want to know that I’m going to see you at least twice a week.”

Hannah: “I want to see you when I want to see you. Whether it’s once or twice or three times a week.”

Chad: “You call that a relationship?”

Finally one night they went out for dinner and Chad let out all the pent-up anger and frustration. He told her that he couldn’t understand why she wasn’t feeling guilty. He told her how angry he was. This went on for a long time. They finished dinner and started walking. He kept talking about how angry he was and she kept saying what a nice night it was. That was pretty much the end of the relationship. Chad never called Hannah again and she never expected him to.

But one day several years later, Chad got a text from her. “Hey! It’s Hannah.” She even left her last name just in case Chad had forgotten who she was. “I just wanted to say hi and see how things were going. If you’d like, give me a call. My new number is . . . “

Chad thought about it but he never called. He heard about her from mutual friends, though. He heard how she was doing and that she had moved into a new and bigger apartment. One that gave her more space.

Has anyone ever told you they needed more space? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to cheryllavinrapp@gmail.com. And check out my new ebook, “Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front.” COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.