I'm in a predicament and I really need advice and people to talk to right now...
So my boyfriend and I have been together for 6 years... and lately he's been telling me that he's "unsure" about our relationship and is worried about how much farther it can go.
It started around the time his last semester of college was coming to an end (about 2 months ago), and the workload was consuming a lot of his time. He was reeeally stressing out about it and I felt distanced from him during this period, but I figured it was because he wanted to focus his energy on passing these final classes.
Well, he graduated 2 weeks ago... And I thought we'd be happy again and back to "normal" since he doesn't have school to worry about anymore. I just hoped it was a phase; but we are still having discussions about it now. But the thing is, most of the time he acts like nothing is wrong, he's still affectionate with me and we have a good time together... and then he'll be down in the dumps again and wants to talk about it. I don't know what to do anymore. I've tried to be supportive, loving and strong but it doesn't seem to have much effect on the situation.
He says he's afraid that he's staying with me for the wrong reasons. That maybe the only reason why we are together is because he doesn't want me to be hurt, or because he's comfortable with me and is afraid of change. I keep trying to pinpoint what it is exactly that's making him feel this way. I ask him if I'm too clingy, or if he's just lost interest in me, and he just says no. He's just "confused". How can you not know? I've asked him a few times before, "do you want to break up with me?" and each time he tells me no. And then I ask again if its because he's afraid to hurt me, and says that's a big part of it.
And he adds, he's afraid to end our relationship because of "how we might feel towards each other afterward." He says he really values my friendship and loves to be around me, and says I make him happy. He does not want to lose that.
So I asked him, "If you don't want to break up with me, then what is it that you want?" And again, he just says the tired old "I don't know...", but says he wants to keep trying. He WANTS to see it work out, but is just skeptical that it won't because of his feelings of doubt. Does that make sense? Can you *want* something to work out but still be so confused about it?
Its weird because we still get along so well (we even still have passionate sex), we are close to each others families and we have a close circle of mutual friends. I just think we have so many great things between us and I'm so sad he is thinking of ending it.
Is it because he just graduated college and maybe he's confused about what he wants to do in the future (regarding his career)? And maybe that uncertainty is seeping into our relationship? *Sigh* We both still live with our folks by the way, and I'm still finishing up college.
I even asked him if he thinks we've been together too long, and if he wants to see other people, but says it isn't even the issue... I know we were so young when we first started out, and I honestly did anticipate this happening because of that. But I do love him so much and want to see our relationship work out. I don't want this to fall apart. What should I do? Should I distance myself from him? Be less/more loving? I feel like I'm walking on such thin ice right now, I contemplate almost everything I do or say around him because I don't want to make an irreparable mistake. He means so much to me..
Would a break do anything to help? I just want him to be happy, and confident in what he wants. Its so difficult when he can't even tell me what I can do to change or help. I'm so sick of worrying about his state of feeling, sick of having no appetite and feeling this huge rock in my gut. I just feel like sh*t and I hate it.
The thing that keeps me going is that he said he doesn't want to give up on us just yet. He still has some faith.. but that he doesn't want me to get my hopes up. *sigh* And I'm trying not to, I want to be prepared if and when he decides he wants to part ways, but at the same time I want to think positively.
I mean, is there any hope in this situation at all. Have any of you guys been through this with their SO and have it work out in the end? I'm really sorry that my post isn't the most coherent, its hard to organize my thoughts right now...
Sounds like to me he has a crush on someone and knows its just a crush.I also think these crushes have been happening a lot and its frustrating him.
It sounds like he may me be getting weak at the knees and might cheat if the opportunity arose.I would break up with him completely and tell him not to call until he figures out exactly what he wants and stay firm to it.Don't let him call just to chit chat.
Maybe an agreed upon break is in order. Set a time frame and you each live your lives. His issues could just be the burn-out from college. It takes a while to get over that--it is exhausting!
You need to focus on your happiness as well--not just his. Get involved with friends and make some fun plans and see for yourself too. Reach out to someone in need that you know--fill your time with productive things and make the decision yourself to step away from this for a bit.
pinkbunnies - I've been there with someone I was dating, and let me assure you, it's not anything you're doing or not doing, so you really need to get that out of your head. If a man just isn't that into you, that' snot your cue to start twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to be who you think he wants. It just means the two of you are not compatible.
I get the feeling he doesn't want to break up with you, he wants YOU to break up with HIM so he doesn't have to be the heavy, and so he doesn't ahve to deal with you crying, being upset or angry, etc. Just because the sex is still passionate doesn't mean that much. Men can have passionate sex with women they don't even really know or like that much, whose last name they don't even know. Don't let that throw you.
As I said, I went thorugh thsi with an ex who just couldn't make up his mind, and no, it didn't work out. I did what you are trying to do, trying to find that magic formula, and key that will unlock his heart and make him love me unreservedly. But there is no such thing. After two years of on again off again, he left for good and is now happily married to someone else.
I think if it's not right, it's just not right, and you just need to accept it. Do you really want to be with a man you have to keep begging to love you? That you have to convince? I admit, I don't know a whole heck of a lot about love, but it seems to me that it's not supposed to work that way. It's work, but it's not supposed to be this much work.
He knows you're not the one, and he knows he's going to have to break up with at some point, which is why he's told you not to get your hopes up. But he wants to keep you around for now because he's not ready to be alone. He still wants the emotional intimacy, the regular sex, etc. until someone better comes along or until he feels he can handle being alone.
I think the only thing left for you to decide here is, do you want your pain now, under your own control, or later, at his discretion? If it were me, I'd tell him that I love him but if he's this unsure then it makes no sense to be together, to go do his thing, and to call me if he's ever ready to really commit to me.
I cant speak for him. But I think you weren't too far off with it having something to do with him graduating. Maybe he just feels like he needs a change, or like change is comming reguardless and he's a little antsy. Maybe he loves you, but is just dying to grab life by the horns, and isn't so sure he wants to do that with a peice of his "old" life still attatched to him. I think it would be unfair of me to tell you not to worry about it, or just to simply move on or let go. 6 years is a HUGE amount of time for a young person to have invested with somebody else to watch it all slip away. So of course your confused, scared, and unsure. But I do think you need to stop worrying about what he wants. I think in the long run, the will he, or wont he, is going to eat you alive. I dont recommend a "trial separation" either. Trial breakups only build anomosity, and resentment. If you get back together, you cant get out of your mind what that person might have done while you were apart. While your separated, you cant get out of your mind what they are doing right now. Or you continue to act like a couple even though your not.....I just think the whole idea is more of a farse then reality. I think it's ok to break once and for all, or ok to stay if you want to hang in there, but most of all, I think it's important for you to develop a sense of self. Instead of feeling like it's "US", I think it would be good for you to think about yourself for a while, and what you want. I dont mean, what you want in a man, or a relationship. I mean, what you want to do today, alone, because it interests you and you like it. I have a feeling, if you get busy, and gain a sense of who you are as an individual, rather then allowing your boyfriend define it, that no matter which way it turns out, be it good or bad, you will be just fine. I hope that helps you a little.
Last edited by justmel30; 06-05-2010 at 12:03 PM.
Reason: had to add something
6 years is a long time to be a girl friend. Was there a plan to get married? I'll be honest here, by the 3-4 year point I think I would have assumed marriage was not on the table if there was no ring or even pre-ring. You know the drill. If he hadn't put a ring on it, regardless of the school/work/pressure situations, I'm not sure he ever intended to. Honestly, I hate this to sound as cold as it does, but I think you can be Ms. Good Enough and even best friend material. But that's not the same as being "the one" and after 6 years I think it would be very surprising if that now happens assuming there was no ring/year of marriage discussed up until now. It just doesn't seem real likely to me.
Hon, I really think it is time to let go. If he doesn't want to be there even if he stays it won't be right. I know you must be hurting so much you feel you'll break. I've been there and I do understand. I understand this will be so hard for you. Believe it or not here will be great happiness in your life and all will make sense. I would really encourage you to use this as a time to learn about yourself and really grow. Explore whatever matters to you; religion, hobbies, education or all of the above. I'm going through a divorce right now from a man I considered the love of my life (before I found out he'd been cheating since day one). Here's a quote I use to hang on when I feel I can't:
"Behind all this, some great happiness is hiding." ~ Yehuda Amichai
Again, I'm so sorry. I feel your pain in your words and your deep desire to be right for him.
I don't know his personality, but he might either be fishing for a response from you to assure him that you love him, or he might just be thinking he hasn't experienced enough of the world and other women. He may also be afraid that you won't be open to what he really wants to do with his life and might try to hold him back.
I would have a talk with him and get to the bottom of this. Apparently, you guys haven't talked enough. Ask him what his future plans are and if they include you, kids, etc. Hopefully he will really open up to you, because it sounds like he's not being completely honest yet. He may want more of a committment, (like moving in together) but doesn't know how to ask.
Because he's sending mixed messages, I would try to get him to open up more before you just give up the relationship.