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Old 01-05-2010, 04:45 PM   #1
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Is taking a break from a relationship sometimes just what is needed to fix it?

My girlfriend and I have been together for many years (we started dating when we were both just 15, we're 21 now - we had a 2 year period during that time when we were just 'friends'), and we both love each other very deeply. However, two months ago she expressed that recently her sexual desire for me had not been as strong as it was before, and that perhaps we should take a break from each other. But fearing losing my companionship, she agreed to stay with me and try to figure things out. When I realized this was a bad idea, I proposed the idea of a temporary open relationship, which she seemed to think was a perfect idea. But I recently came around to the mindset that, both for us as individuals and as a couple, that wasn't the right move, and so I told my girlfriend that we needed to make a clean break from each other, for at least a while.

There are many reasons I decided this was the right move:

1 - I had become too dependent on her, too much of a doormat to her. I need time apart from her to find myself as an individual. Doing so will be good for me no matter what, and will likely also make her feel more attracted to me (Girls like independent-natured men, not clingy boys who they feel are dependent on them). She has expressed that part of the issue right now is that I am a bit too 'boyish' and that she wants someone a bit more 'manish'. Although time will certainly help that issue out, it's not just an issue of time and it's more about making steps to take control of my life and grow into my adult self (sometimes men tend to take a few years longer than women in this regard). I do believe that I have shown her a certain level of maturity and independence by telling her that I don't need her right now, which I think will be a jolt to her system.
2 - Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Although absence can also make people simply forget about each other, in this case we love each other so deeply that is not going to happen anytime soon.
3 - I believe I will hold up well under comparison. She will not find someone else as incredibly caring and devoted to her as I was. She knows this objectively, but it's hard for people to truly appreciate what they've had until they've lost it.
4 - Jealously is a powerful tool. When I start seeing another girl or girls, she could very well begin to fear losing me and make a play at getting me back. This actually might have been what happened the first time we got back together, as I had recently begun seeing another girl just before that happened.
5 - Marriage is far away for both of us. We have essentially been dating for 5 and a half years. And neither of us plans on getting married for another 7 years or so. It's unrealistic to expect to date for over a dozen years before getting married without the road to getting there being a little bit bumpy. In the meanwhile, we both need to get a better sense of what we want, and a more complete "life experience". If it's true love, which I believe it is, we'll be together again.

A couple of very important side notes:

1 - One of the main issues about her loss of sexual desire for me may be related to problems in the bedroom that are not my fault but may be getting perceived by her as at least partly my fault. She has never been able to have pain-free sex. We tried on many occasions but she could never overcome the pain, which made sex joyless for her. We substituted it with oral sex, which we both loved for a long time, but I think I wanted it more often than her and would therefore ask for it even when she wasn't in the mood, which began to annoy her and made oral sex seem like a chore for her at times. Ultimately her issue put a serious strain on our sex life, and this could be a huge factor in why she began to lose some sexual desire for me. The good thing for me, in a way, is that she is going to have the same issue with any other guy she might end up sleeping with, and that might make her think about our sexual problems a bit differently (in the long run, I hope to be able to guide her through this problem).
2 - She says that right now she may not be looking for such a committed, dedicated relationship in the way we had it. She is a very career-oriented, type-A personality, and I think that as much as she may want to have random hook-ups with different guys right now, and maybe even date, she isn't looking for anything too serious, that would take up too much of her time at this point in her life. Even though she was willing to continue to be dedicated to me, that's really how she feels right now about all guys.

When I gave her the news that I think we should make a clean break, it hurt her a great deal. She cried hysterically for a very long time, but I tried to comfort her. She was particularly hurt that I said that we shouldn't have any contact for an indeterminable period of time, as she just doesn't want to lose me. But we ended things on really great terms. We smiled, laughed and cried talking about all of the wonderful memories we've had together. And she kept saying over and over again how she wants to be with me in the end - and she wants to have the most amazing, passionate sex with me in the future. She kept saying how much she loved me, over and over and over again. We kissed and cuddled. It was quite a unique way to 'break up'.

And now she has no idea when I'm ever going to call her again. And that's EXACTLY how I want it. Right now I am thinking that it is going to be at least 1 college semester - and that when I'm back home for the summer (about 4 months from now), especially if neither of us happen to be dating other people at that time, I am going to give her a call.

So... to rephrase the subject question... is making a clean break from my relationship with this girl, for at least a while, possibly just what is needed to fix it?

Last edited by bertrandian; 01-05-2010 at 06:15 PM.

 
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Old 01-05-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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Re: Is taking a break from a relationship sometimes just what is needed to fix it?

You are wise beyond your years. What a lucky girl who has the chance to marry you one day. Wow I am so impressed with your knowledge of making a relationship work or not and how to wait and be patient waiting for the right girl. Good luck and you are young and need to get out there and date a lot before you make your final decision.

 
Old 01-05-2010, 09:18 PM   #3
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Re: Is taking a break from a relationship sometimes just what is needed to fix it?

There seems to be a lot of strategizing and game playing on your part. It could work, or it could backfire. You guys are both so young still, and you began dating when you were still younger. The chances are very slim that you actually found the right one to spend the rest of your life with at 15. It could happen, but very unlikely.

But I do agree that a clean break is better than having an "open" relationship. An oipen relationship will only cause hurt feelings, jealousy and pain. You boh should just get out and enjoy life as single people, date others, and see how you both feel after a semester or two. But chemistry can be a strange thing. She could meet someone who doesn't treat her as well, who isn't as devoted to her, but whom she has greater chemistry with. She may need to seriously date several men before she really knows exactly what she wants in a long term life partner, even if it turns out to be you all along. Are you prepared to wait for her while she dates and even falls in love with other men? Is she prepared to wait for you while you might do the same with other women? You never know what will happen in the future. Be honest and respectful of each other and I think you should be ok. Good luck to the both of you.

 
Old 01-05-2010, 09:36 PM   #4
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Re: Is taking a break from a relationship sometimes just what is needed to fix it?

I'm so glad that you came to your senses and you're going to take my advice! See? You have to really read what people post here and seriously consider it because we know what we're talking about!

I told you before that you should absolutely take a real break and not just a pretend break where you give each other permission to be with other people. That's the only way you'll be able to see if this thing is really real or just something that was good while it lasted but you find someone better for either of you.

 
Old 01-05-2010, 09:39 PM   #5
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Re: Is taking a break from a relationship sometimes just what is needed to fix it?

Thank you both for your responses.

"The chances are very slim that you actually found the right one to spend the rest of your life with at 15. It could happen, but very unlikely."

I feel a need to respond to this comment.

Yes, finding the one who you are going to spend the rest of your life with at 15 is extremely rare... but dating a person you meet at 15 for over a year, breaking up and being best and intimate friends for two years, and then getting back together again for another 2 years is also extremely rare... so either way, it's already an extremely rare situation... so simply saying "Oh, but how unlikely is it that you're going to end up with someone you meet at 15" really doesn't matter anymore. 99.999% of couples who started dating at 15 had long since moved on from each other by the age of 21 - and we were in that extremely small minority for a very good reason

We actually have an INCREDIBLE chemistry together - that's what makes our relationship so special. The only thing that had been lacking at the very end of the relationship was the sexual desire on her part - and I already mentioned all of the reasons for that and why that is something that, in the long run, can change. That's not just me saying that - she says this.

We are both going to date other people, for sure... but I don't see either of us falling in love with different people until we both overcome the feelings we have for each other. I think it's very likely we will end up back together before either of us falls "in love" with someone else. We will both definitely date, and have sexual relations with others, but falling "in love" is a big thing. Right now, my heart belongs to her. And her heart belongs to me (her words). And she has told me straight up she wants to look for something more casual with other guys right now - that at this point in her life she is not looking to form a committed relationship with someone else - so the odds of her forming a "serious" relationship in the near future don't seem likely.

Yes, it is POSSIBLE either of us could fall in love with someone else in the near future, and it is possible that could jeopardize our long-term future together... but to be perfectly honest, I just don't think that is likely - at least not anytime in the near future. And before that has the chance to happen, we could well already be back together.

---

Oh, and you are 100% right when you say I am strategizing and game playing all of this. But sometimes love IS a game - And strategizing a couple of steps ahead, just like in chess, can help you get what you want.

The good thing is... even if me and this girl NEVER get back together at some point (which I find unlikely), then it's not like I lose because the most essential part of this "game playing" from my perspective is experiencing personal growth and development. Achieving that not only makes it more likely that she will feel a stronger attraction to me again, but also is a great thing in and of itself.

Last edited by bertrandian; 01-05-2010 at 09:49 PM.

 
Old 01-05-2010, 09:51 PM   #6
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Re: Is taking a break from a relationship sometimes just what is needed to fix it?

Well, as I said, good luck to you both, I know you gotta do what you gotta do. I would only add, as unpopular and ridiculous as it may seem, I hope you will be honest to any other women you will be sleeping with and make it very very clear to them that it is just a casual, temporary thing, and your heart belongs with someone else. How unfair would it be to use women as part of this "strategizing and game playing" and leading them to think they have a real shot with you? It's only fiar to be brutally honest, even if it means some of them will tell you to take a hike, but be honest and let them know what it is and what it isn't and will never be.

 
Old 01-05-2010, 09:55 PM   #7
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Re: Is taking a break from a relationship sometimes just what is needed to fix it?

I agree Kszan, thanks for your advice. I suppose sometimes the right thing is hard to do... but I finally decided to be strong, and make the best possible decision about how to handle the situation.

I should point out that my parents and my best friend also gave me such advice.

In the end though, hearing what other people have to say may help... but ultimately it takes inner strength. Recently I just sort of had an epiphany, and a gut feeling that doing this is the right decision and will ultimately save my relationship with this girl down the road.

 
Old 01-05-2010, 10:03 PM   #8
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Re: Is taking a break from a relationship sometimes just what is needed to fix it?

Well, if I start dating another girl, I am going to TRY to give them a real chance, and not just think of them as a short-term fix. So I am not going to simply tell such a potential girl "Look, the thing is, I KNOW this will never lead anywhere, because my heart still belong to another girl" - in part because that is a quick way to kill that relationship, but also because it's not necessarily true that I won't even give them a chance.

I have to at least have an open mind about the other people I meet, as I am sure she will have an open mind about the guys she meets. I know that. It's just that in all probability, my heart is going to belong to her for some time - if not forever - and I believe she feels the same way about me.

 
Old 01-06-2010, 06:47 AM   #9
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Re: Is taking a break from a relationship sometimes just what is needed to fix it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bertrandian View Post
It's just that in all probability, my heart is going to belong to her for some time - if not forever - and I believe she feels the same way about me.
I'm sorry, I guess I'm just not getting how you can honestly, really, truly give someone a real chance while keeping one foot with this girl, and holding onto the belief that you will indeed eventually end up together. You might, but the reality is, you might not, too.

Yes, it is a quick way to kill any new relationship. I'm glad you see that. I hope you can also see WHY. But the truth is, you will never have a chance at having anything real with another girl as long as you refuse to allow for the possibility that this girl you're struggling over now might not be the one you will end up with. If you are so certain, then there's really no point in dating other women, is there? The reality is, you can't be certain. No one is. I know we all think we are, and want to be, that's why people do get married. But a lot of people get divorced, too. There are no guarantees.

I guess I exaggerated my point in order to make it. I'm just saying, these boards are always full of young women who fell hard for men who they thought felt the same, and the men didn't, or don't, and are left with terrible heartaches to suffer through all because some guy didn't make his agenda clear from the beginning. It's not a fair or nice thing to do, that's all I'm saying.

 
Old 01-06-2010, 08:05 AM   #10
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Re: Is taking a break from a relationship sometimes just what is needed to fix it?

Well, I can't force my heart to feel the way it feels.

And I think I already outlined properly why I feel it is appropriate I date other girls at this time in my life despite my heart already belonging to someone else.

So it's a bit of a predicament, isn't it?

Although it may seem unfair to any potential girl I may date... all I can say is that I am going to genuinely try, as best I can, to give such a girl a fair chance to win my heart, and not just assume they are a short-term fix of some kind.

That's the best I can do right now.

 
Old 01-06-2010, 01:28 PM   #11
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Re: Is taking a break from a relationship sometimes just what is needed to fix it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bertrandian View Post
Although it may seem unfair to any potential girl I may date... all I can say is that I am going to genuinely try, as best I can, to give such a girl a fair chance to win my heart, and not just assume they are a short-term fix of some kind.

That's the best I can do right now.
Well, yes, that's all anyone can ask, really.

Just a couple of things, from my own experience in being in sort of this predicament myself, trying to move on while knowing my heart belonged to someone else...my situation was a little different, though, because my someone else had moved on so really hanging on and thinking we would ultimately end up together was no longer an option, even though I hoped against hope that it was....but a few things I learned, and I don't mean to assume, that you aren't or won't be doing these things already, but in case there is something to be gotten from my own experience....

You really have to stay open, in a way that might feel uncomfortable at first. To give someone else a really fair shot, it does require a certain "letting go" of the person you are wishing you really could be with. Learn to put that person on the back burner and focus completely on the person you're with.

It's a journey. Learn to enjoy the ride. Enjoy getting to know a new person for the experience that it is, without putting any pressure on it, or wondering "is this person someone who could replace my love in my heart?" Too much pressure. Just enjoy their company. And remember, it's not really their job to dazzle you and sway your heart away from this girl of yours. It's their job to just be the best version of themselves as they can be, and it's either good enough for you or not. You have to meet them halfway. They will be wanting you to do some sweeping them off their feet as well.

And don't compare!!! Everyone is different and has their own personal set of pros and cons, and no one will be just like her and it won't feel the same, but that doesn't mean it can't be as good, just in a different way.

Take your time. Your goal is not to fall in love with someone else, nor is it to prove to yourself that no one else in the world will do so that must mean the two of you are destined to be together. The goal is to just get to know all kinds of different women, what you like, what you don't like, and in doing this, you will get to know yourself better, too.

And again, be HONEST. Don't tell a girl you love her if you don't. Dont' tell her you can't wait to see her again if you really don't want to. Don't tell her what you think she wants to hear just to keep her around a little longer while you think about it. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.

Last edited by Larrylou'smom; 01-06-2010 at 01:32 PM.

 
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