Did she withdraw because she's scared of getting hurt?

I recently started seeing somebody about a month ago. Almost instantly we really vibed and got along EXTREMELY well. We got very close in the matter of two weeks... we let each other in pretty deep. She's confided quite a bit about herself to me, things she hasn't discussed with many people she's known for years... then she would say " I don't know why I'm telling you all this, I normally never talk about these things... but I feel so close and comfortable with you."... and I have let her in on a lot about me as well. I know she's been hurt before, and she also seems to have a lot of self esteem issues, mostly because of how she's been hurt. I call her beautiful, she says she doesn't see it. She would tell me randomly that she's not damaged goods, and I would tell her I never thought she was. After talking about past relationships, she once told me "if you get tired of things with me, just tell me... please, just tell me." I tell her it wouldn't happen, and she would still say the same thing. After the first time we had sex, she said it again.

I did things to make her smile many many times, just to see her smile. We always had a wonderful time with each other, always laughing and smiling. I always gave her space when she needed it, and sometimes she would come over after studying very late, just to see me even if only for a short while. Bottom line, I never messed up, and things were always so wonderful... I know, a lot for two weeks, but still... if its there, its there.

After about 2 weeks, I made one SMALL mistake, first thing I did wrong, and sent a text message which was meant as a joke. After reading it I felt bad, like I may have offended just a little bit... it sounds a lot worse than it was, and a few girls that I have gotten advice about this from, one who knows us both very well, say it was NOT THAT BAD at all, but she blew it way out of proportion. She stayed mad at me for a few days. I was told by all I got advice from that she was looking for something to be mad about as a reason to step back...

We have talked since, and she says she is not mad at me anymore, and understands it was not meant to offend, but still says it was wrong to say. I agreed, and that particular matter has been squashed. However she says she has no business being involved with anyone at the moment with 2 jobs and school. I agree, it is a lot to have on a plate, but I have the deeper feeling she has withdrawn because of being scared of getting hurt.

Am I right? What do I do? I have stayed away, but I can't stop thinking about her, and I wonder if she thinks of me too... will she get past her fears? Don't know what to do, or how to feel right now... any questions just ask, I'll tell more if needed... just confused as hell right now...


Most Helpful Girl

  • I'm going to give you a different perspective; although I can see your text as being harmless and funny, I can also see her taking it to the next level of feeling like she's "not in control".

    I've been in the same situation as her; I had so much on my plate with work, school, and here comes this really great guy...unfortunately, that meant "more stress" (good or bad, either way, just another "stressor" in life).

    I've also been on the other end where I texted a guy after having made arrangements that he would come over after he got off work. I texted "You better call, haha". I mean, I was just joking (!) and I'm kind of sassy anyways but he took it the wrong way...sometimes texts don't always translate well until you really, really know the other person. Now, from my text, can you see how someone could see that as a "command" (like yours) and feel turned off?

    So, on one hand, she really does need to "lighten up" but on the other, she may need the space/time to realize that having you in her life will be more a positive aspect than just "one more thing" on her plate.

    And, I'm pretty sure she thinks of you, too. People don't often forget the ones they can confide things to. If you want, maybe send her some flowers to brighten her day (?).

    • I see where you're coming from, and that's why I felt I may have offended when I read it after I sent it. I was told by a friend we both know very well that she over-reacted on purpose as a reason to be mad and step back... using the whole "being angry" to justify her actions of backing off. Its not what she told the friend, its just what the friend felt was happening, and it makes sense.

    • Show All
    • Actually she saw me online a little while ago and we chatted for a bit... told her I was thinkin about comin up and having a couple, and she gave me the smiley face... I even offered to bring her something to eat and she said if she's hungry shed love for me to do so... so no worries lol...

      You never know when you're walking on egg shells heh...

    • True (eggshell part) but at some point, she'll need to step up, too, and realize there's room for improvement/growth. Have fun!

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What Girls Said 10

  • she sounds A LOT like me. She is very scared and very confused. Not your fault. Just hang in there. Let her know you are not going anywhere - you will not run out on her. That is probably her biggest fear now. Her emotions are in a whirl wind and I'll bet she doesn't even know what she is feeling now.

    you're in a tough spot, but you sound like a good guy who can be there for her - that's what she needs. It may take awhile, but once she sees you will really be there for her she will start to open her heart and trust you and her own self and feelings. It will take time, just don't give up.

    let her know how you feel. Tell her you are scared too, but together you can make things work and find the happiness you both deserve.

    • Thank you for your input, it helps... especially from someone who seems to know how she feels... she told me she needs space because of everything on her plate, and that's why I've stayed away. We've talked a couple times, and she texted me on my birthday a few days ago, but how do I maintain the space she needs, but let her know I'm still there without making her feel like I'm in her face with it?

    • That's a hard one. But if she says she needs space, try to give her some. Sounds like you have. Maybe try contacting her in ways that don't put presure. Like send funny card . Write inside" just to say HI and brighten your day - thinking of you". Sweet things that will get her to thinking about you without making her feel pressured. Maybe ask her to lunch. She may turn you the first time. Don'tpush but don't give up.Slow but steady wins the race.

  • haha oh geeze... Yeah your friends are right -- that really isn't a big deal at all. I'm actually surprised she made such a big deal about it or any kind of deal at all..

    To be honest -- it kinda sounds like she has a lot of personal issues and I'm really saying this with no judgement as she sort of sounds like a younger version of me. It sounds as though she has been burned a lot and as a result it has made her a little "crazy" when it comes to relationships. She really doesn't know how to act... She wants to do the right thing but doesn't want someone to walk all over her.

    I do agree that she probably just doesn't want to be hurt but a little piece of advice... know what you are getting into here. She has serious problems and will need someone very strong and very patient by her side. If you do not care that much or are not ready for something like that... Than walk away because you will only create more problems for her. Tread lightly, with care. You could make something great for her if you are the right guy for the job.

  • This might sound crazy, but this girl is JUST LIKE ME. Down to the deepest core she sounds just like me. So I think I can truly help you with this. After two weeks with my boyfriend, we were head over heels for each other. But I was confused, and scared. I didn't want to get hurt so I played it off as I was strong. And I got mad at him over little things because I always find reasons to break off my relationships because I'm so scared of getting hurt. I've never been in a relationship where I was cheated on. But he had strong feelings for me, and I had strong feelings for him too, but I was just so worried that mine were stronger, so I backed off from him..and ignored him for a few days. I told him that I wasn't sure if I could handle it, and he told me how much he truly cared. She's been hurt like I have, probably worse. But you HAVE to tell her exactly how you feel. If you feel that strongly towards her, then you can't just let her walk away. Chase her, no matter what. And please, if you promise to not hurt her, don't. Don't make promises you can't keep. But do not let her go, if your feelings are that strong. That doesn't happen all the time. She just needs to be truly loved, and adored, and cherished. Tell her to stop running from you, and to stop being scared. When you tell her how you feel. Let her know that you're not going to intentionally hurt her. I wish luck to both of you. And I really hope she lets her fears go so that she can open her heart to be loved again.

    • Im definitely not giving up, or walking away. I've definitely let her know on a few different occaisons since she withdrew that I'm there no matter what... but I don't wanna come on too strong and make her back away more, so its hard for me to find a way to really TELL her how I feel... but, she definitely knows I'm there... and I've seen signs she still has feelings for me. She is a little distant, but I don't think I'm in the friend zone. Thanks for your input... it helps!!

  • It sounds like she has some issues with trust and is probably pretty insecure about herself. Be her friend. If she wants to back off, then back off but make sure she still knows that you're there for her. The worst thing you can do for her is just completely leave because that's what she expects you to do. Let her know that you can hang through the hard times. Dating someone with self esteem issues is hard, because it's going to seem like nothing you say or do will change the way she feels about herself and you have to be really careful about what jokes you make because she will be looking for you to fail her just like everyone else, but that doesn't mean that you aren't helping. Just hang in there. If you think she's worth it then be whatever it is she needs you to be at the time and she'll eventually step over those walls and realize that you're the real deal. Good luck.to both of you

  • she trusted you in that 1 tex yes she's though can I really trust you just be there for her don't so it again but at the same time you can't walk around on egg shells with her you need to be yourself to you need to sit her down and say look some times I like to joke and play so what ever I say and do is a joke don't take it to seriously let her know your playing and she can still trust you and she's important to you so you need to let her know :)

  • Chances are, she's asking herself the same questions you are. If you're not communicating, you should. Communication is key to any relationship's survival. If you really care for her, TELL HER! As a woman with self esteem issues I can tell you, she needs to know how you feel. If she doesn't, she will be hurt and question herself and her future relationships will suffer too. Be open. Be honest. If you truly care for her, prove it.


  • Don't worry about it keep trying I'm sure she will start to trust you even more and know when you are joking or not after a period of time just keep telling her she is beautiful and tell her that you will tell her if you get tired if she brings it up but don't back down what ever you do

  • i tell you what to do she's acting like a diva let her go for a few days play hard to get she will get a fright and relise she loves you and she will tex or call you and run back to you but only if you do what I say leave her to stuuu good luck

  • My first question is... What did the text message say?

    • A good friend of hers has been going through a guy issue, and its been getting her (the friend) down a little... they decided to hang out that night, but we were trying to figure out if she would be comfy with me coming out there too, because we would not be seeing each other the next night. The friend has no issues with me, but you know how people can get down when going through things and seeing others being happy together, and neither of us wanted that to happen...

    • ... so I told her to just hang out with her friend for a while, and then if it seemed she'd be comfortable with it, we'll see what happens. In txting back and forth, I sent "Get her drunk, take her home, then come stay with me tonight. J/K... kinda..." I sent it, then read it, and imediately felt bad... and apologized if she took offense.

    • Why was that such a big deal to her? She sounds like she doesn't need a boyfriend but, she does need a councillor or some sort of help, that no friend, family member or boyfriend can give her..

  • I have no idea, some women don't realize how lucky they are to be able to have a man.


What Guys Said 4

  • Go and grab a beer for this one: it's long but insightful, I promise lol.

    Dude...i'm in, pretty much, the exact same situation as you. A girl that I truly 100% love, & has been emotionally hurt in the past, broke up with me after 6 months after a complete emotional breakdown on our anniversary date.

    Just like you, I'm a caring dude, & did all the small things that a girl would want in an ideal boyfriend. Making her smile, attentive to her needs (I set vegetarian food aside for her @ home, etc.), listening to her, being affectionate, treasuring her. It is as if you do everything you can to show her that you are there for her for the long haul, yet she still doubts, & it's confusing you. Then she breaks up with u, yet you know in your heart, & have evidence, that she wants to be with u. Yet...she's not. :-X

    *bangs head against wall*

    Trust me...I get it.

    Female emotions, as I know through having many female friends, make no sense even to them. Due to her being hurt so much, that naggy seed of fear creeps into her head, even if she doesn't want to be fearful. The girl I love had not just past relationship hurt, but also had her mother pass shortly b4 we started dating, so she's a special circumstance.

    My advice? Do what I'm doing. I'm giving her space. I do occasionally text her, lett'n her know that I love her, that I'm there for her, that I'm not giv'n up on her, & that no other female interests me. If she's really that low with self-esteem, she'll need the reassurance. Even if she doesn't respond, understand that she may not be able to emotionally handle responding to you, since she loves you & is unstable. You may get no reply to txts, internet msgs, etc...but remember that she's coping with her internal issues & the lack of reply is a part of it.

    I've been doing this for over 5 months with her...& although she was very minimal with how she responded to me in the beginning, I see the way she looks @ me, her body language, etc. That girl intensely loves me & wants to be with me...when she feels she's emotionally stable enough to give me 100% of her. I've been patient this long...& I know for certain that I don't have that much longer. That girl needs my love...& when she feels that she's emotionally ready to accept it, I'll be there.

    I honestly don't consider myself "single", cauz I'm not "available" for anyone else. It's important to note that you have to ask yourself if she is worth the effort; I'm 5 months & going, & I'm CERTAIN she's worth it. I have taken zero interest in other females, cauz she's the only one I want. If your dedication is as strong for your love as mine is to my love...no other female will interest you.

    Hang in there, dude. 8-)

    • Prof Don, can I please get an update of your situation.
      I have been in two very similar relationships.
      Curious to know, would be helpful.
      Thank you very much.

  • You're dealing with a messy situation.

    Whatever past hurt she felt, she needs to get over it, move on, and start having fun with you. Girls that have issues are usually more trouble than they're worth.

    Scared of getting hurt? Well that sucks but it's a risk you take every time you get involved with someone else. But being insecure about getting hurt is never a good thing, because no relationship is perfect. And it will only put a bad hit on something good that could have happened.

  • Mate, 50% of girls will do that. It's a massive defense mechanism... if you're really into her, then you've just gotta keep going the way you were...

    If anything, it sounds like you're being TOO good to her, and maybe that's scary... she may be scared of her feelings, because they make her feel vulnerable. Just take it with a pinch of salt and carry on, the whole 'I have no business being with anyone' is a test, and you need to pass it.

    Like countygirl said, just do little things to let her know you're still there... be firm but gentle at the same time. Maybe send her a card or something, but a better way to do it is to arrange to do something with her that she could easily do by herself, that way she has the options... for example go to the cinema, she can hold your hand if she wants, or just enjoy the film. Or take her to a field, and lie on the grass looking up at the stars. If it's a nice day there's no need to even talk, but maintain a small amount of physical contact, and she may just cwtch up to you in time.

    On the same note, if she's distant for too long, you NEED to ask her to talk about it, say it's not fair on you to not know what's going on. Explain that she doesn't have to give you details, just let you know how she feels and where you stand. it might not be what you want to hear, but at least you'll know...

  • No offense towards her, but I think chicks like this are way more drama than they are worth, normally. They cause you a lot of needless pain that could've been avoided if you had taken the hint and not gotten involved w/them due to all of their hurts & wounds. I've been around the same block too many times to count & I'm always the one who ends up getting hurt, because they are afraid of commitment and look for excuses to get out of the relationship or to hurt you or treat you like sh*t. You are better off letting her come to you if she wants to be with you. If she doesn't, I know it's hard man, but I hope you will move on and stay FAR away from these type of chicks! Good luck dude! :)

    • Yep, I totally agree.
      Experience has also taught me !!!
      Pain... Pain... Confusion... Pain...