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Is Your Boyfriend a SpaceMan?

by Jamie Banning 16. May 2013 10:03
Gay relationships - together but alone
Dating a "SpaceMan" can be frustrating

“Jamie, I like being with you, but you know I need my space.”

These words, spoken by my then heartthrob man, struck terror into my heart. I knew then - on some level - that our relationship was doomed. Coming as it did, after 9 months of intense dating, and many hints of moving in together being dropped (by me), I could tell that the relationship was not going to move smoothly onto the next phase. For me that meant moving in, and becoming an established couple.

Why was the ever-increasing closeness important to me? I felt (like most people) that relationships have to move forward, have to have some momentum. I wanted us to go out into the world standing side-by-side facing forwards, not as two separate men struggling with life’s ups and downs, together, but separate. Without momentum relationships slow down, stagnate and get cold. Eventually, the grass on the other side of the neighbour’s fence starts to look enticingly lush and healthy.

But Andrew (as I’ll call him) obviously didn’t feel the same way.

No – not only did he not want to move in, but he “needed his space”. What did this mean, exactly? It wasn’t easy to find out. He wasn’t a man to articulate his feelings in a clear way; preferring to use hints, innuendo, and behaviour as his way of telling me things. I was just as bad - at the time – I hope I do better now.

Here are some signs I should have picked up earlier, but love blinkered me to the reality. If you’re dating someone who shows the Spaceman signs, beware!

  • He wanted to be with me, but he wanted to be in control of when we saw each other. It’s not that he rejected my suggestions for places to go, things to do, it’s just that somehow he managed to always get his way, without me even realising!
  • I found it difficult and frustrating to get clear answers on when we would meet, and the length of time we’d spend together.
  • He would sometimes stay the night but sometimes (especially after sex) disappear, sometimes in the middle of the night! 
  • He would not answer my texts immediately, but would get annoyed if I was not there when he rang or texted. 
  • After a couple of days of intense and wonderful companionship (I thought) he’d be straining at the leash to get back to his own flat 
  • He invented what I thought were artificial problems with his sister and brother that he just had to be there to sort out – no matter that they were adults themselves and old enough to sort out their own problems
  • He delayed and procrastinated on the question of moving in together.
  • I was not invited warmly into his circle of friends - he insisted it was healthier to keep our separate groups of friends. Hmm. 

There were many other signs that my boyfriend was a Spaceman - just little things that pulled him away from me, when we should have been getting closer. In the end, the inevitable furious arguments began, as our relationship slid away from anything that I could control. 

Eventually I had to let it go, to avoid being damaged by this unhealthy relationship. We are good friends today though and I don’t regret our relationship, having realised it wasn’t right for either of us. There are plenty of fish in the sea, and it was time to see if I couldn’t hook one or two of them. Next time, I vowed, my boyfriend wouldn’t be a spaceman, and our close encounters would be really close – for all the right reasons.

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