Why the Silent Treatment Works

After a wonderful date he walked me home. He held my hand throughout the night and gave me a kiss goodnight at my door. I invited him inside, not knowing what would come next. We watched some TV and shared a cup of tea, but he wasn’t holding my hand anymore.

Out of nowhere, he told me he wanted to slow things down and not see each other… I was confused and thrown for a loop. For the past few months he was adjusting to a new job and I was trying to be supportive. Giving him space and trying to talk about feelings. He was emotionally closed off, and wanted to shut me out even more by breaking up with me. I knew in my gut that it wasn’t our relationship, but the stress that comes with adjusting to a new professional lifestyle after being in school so long. I cried and he held me, but I finally got the strength and asked him to leave. I didn’t kiss him goodnight.

He texted me the next day, my responses were curt.

He wanted to see me, and I didn’t respond to his offer.

He messaged me on Facebook, begging to talk. I met up with him for a smoothie before class and listened to the same spiel he gave me that night about him “wanting to be a lone wolf” and needing to “find himself.” And yet, he still wanted to hang out, and spend time when he would be free to see me. I’m not the type of girl to let a guy have his cake and eat it too, so I left and didn’t talk to him for two weeks – leaving for a vacation.

Maybe the warm sun of Mexico (or the tequila) healed me, but I came back and resisted any urge to fall back into an unstable relationship and allow myself to be emotionally beat up again. Instead, I spent time with friends and family, partied and met new people, I even dated another guy a few times.

This time away made me realize that I am an individual and didn’t need to constantly put too much of myself into another person that didn’t reciprocate. But dating another guy also made me miss the relationship I used to have.

He tried to contact me a few more times (one thing I always admired about him was his determination), but I resisted and told him I was busy with work. I wasn’t going to go out on a limb until he proved that he was willing to do the same.

Then one day, he texted me 20 times in one morning, I didn’t respond to any until he called my cell. I went downstairs and saw him outside my office, panting and knee deep in snow, after cutting through a forest to get to the building. He told me he couldn’t bear not talking to me.

I played it cool and told him it made me look unprofessional that he showed up at my work, I told him I appreciated his effort and the lengths he went to see me. I went back inside and ignored his texts for the next two days.

When I finally decided to meet up with him, a month had passed since that night I’ve since shoved away in my memory. He was very calculated and nervous, and I wasn’t going to put my heart on my sleeve until, out of the blue over a table in a jazz bar, he kissed me. It was passionate and it felt like I was kissing a new person.

Following that night, it felt like I was starting to date him all over again. I couldn’t just text him out of the blue or bombard him with silly messages like I used to. It took a few months to build trust again, but a year later, we’re still together.

While some people may think the silent treatment doesn’t work, I feel like what happened to me proves that wrong. Taking time apart allowed us both to breathe, and reflect about what we really wanted in a relationship. Maybe he missed my company, but by not talking to him, he could truly see that a part of his life would be gone forever.

Whether you’re in a fight with your boyfriend, best friend or even your mom, sometimes the silent treatment is the best reaction. Give each other space, and let the silence be what brings you back together again.


Tags: break up, break ups, break-up stories, break-ups, dates, Dating, dating diaries, how to get back together with your boyfriend, Relationships, silent treatment

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