How do I convince him to stay with me while he is working on himself?

My boyfriend of 3+ years and I broke up last night because he says he needs to work on himself and isn't sure he can do that with me right now. I'm so heartbroken because we are each other's best friend and care so deeply about each other. Last night he made it very clear that it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. I believe this and know this isn't about some other girl he may have lined up.
What I'm wondering is, how can I convince him that we can be together while he goes through this journey? I want to be his rock throughout this and part of his support system. How should this conversation go tonight when we meet? How do I make it about him and less about me?

Updates:
I want to do all of this while still in a relationship with him.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Hmmm.
    You have to tell him you really care for him, and understand his want to work on himself, but you still want to be there for him and be supportive! Be supportive! If you support him (unless he is very angry at you), he will likely support you back and keep you in the loop!

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    • I want to do this while still in a relationship with him though.

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    • Ugh, I don't have enough points to send messages apparently :( Thanks for trying.
      Just want to ask, do you think I should tell him how I could fit into this changing instead of breaking up?

    • Hmm! That's odd!
      Granted, I don't know how anything works anymore!
      I wouldn't TELL him. In fact, I would keep trying to think "listen, listen" during this whole conversation. Find out what's really bugging him. Why he is doing what he is doing. Offer alternative solutions (if he doesn't want the relationship, for example!), but you can't tell him anything, I don't think!

Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 4

  • Sounds like he is politely asking for space and a little time alone, x

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    • How long should I wait before contacting him?

  • can't u communicate online at least?

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  • Give him tips!

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  • just tell him how you feel

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What Girls Said 4

  • Has he explained why he wants to "work on" himself, is there some bigger emotional reason thats making him feel that he needs to change?
    I would say talk to him about how he wants to work in himself. Make sure you listen as this may be an upsetting talk. Then show him how you will fit into this changing, show him how you can help him and make him see being with you will make it easier not harder. If its the case that he dosen't want to hurt or neglect you in the process show him that you are a strong person and you can handle it.

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    • I really like this answer too. He just feels like he needs to find himself and work on his self esteem. I was working on that a couple months ago when I was with him and having him there as a safety net was a huge help. Though I know we don't do things completely the same, it just worked for me.
      How do you think I can fit into this changing?

    • To be honest i think only you can answer that because you know your relationship and you know what works for you too. Tell him that! tell him how much him being there was important for you and that you want to return that support. If you have the strong relationship you say you do being together should be a help not a hinderance. And talk it out with him, get to ythe core of his low self esteem and try work on it together?

  • You need to do what he wants, if he wants to work on himself by himself then let him do that, you can let him know you're there if he needs anything. There is honestly nothing worse than trying to love someone else when you don't love yourself. It's hard to work on yourself when you have someone you're supposed to be giving all your love to, it makes it so easy to forget about your own needs.
    So just support him in his choices and he will be happy and back to you in no time!

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    • Good answer! Just gonna let him miss me.

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    • No, he doesn't. He just wants to work on being a better person and feels he can't do that with me around right now.

    • Okay yeah that's fair enough. Wish you both the best of luck

  • honestly if he is "on a break" be his friend but don't try to keep dating him though this. just be there to support him

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  • Give him some space, but be there when he needs you!

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