We haven't exactly broken up :/

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by SkylarMW, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. SkylarMW

    SkylarMW New Member

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    My girlfriend and I met about two years ago on tumblr. I was 19 and she was 17. We had a long distance relationship for about 7 months before she decided to live with me and go to college here. We've had rough spots in our relationship but for the most part we got past them pretty easily. But the sexual aspect of our relationship was never really what we wanted it to be. We have gotten to the point where we haven't even tried having sex in months. It did bother me a little, but I was able to deal with it. Recently, though, my girlfriend had gotten very distant and she wasn't talking to me as much. Last night we finally sat down and talked about it and she said that she feels like there the romance that we had at the beginning is gone. She also admitted that she's scared to be in a long-term relationship because she's still only 19. She feels like there are so many things that she hasn't experienced yet, and if we stay together she won't get to. When we were done talking she said that this wasn't her breaking up with me, but I still hardly got any sleep last night. She is at school now and we have been texting all morning trying to figure out where we stand. We both agreed that our feelings for each other might have been romantic love in the beginning, but the way we've been with each other lately is closer to friendship. We still haven't exactly said that we've broken up, and she is still planning on living with me for the time being so that we can ease out of our romantic relationship. I really feel like what we feel for each other is just the love that friends have, but at the same time this was my first relationship and it lasted almost two years. I'm happy that we're staying friends, but it still hurts to lose something like that. How do I get over my first relationship ending?
     
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  2. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    Tell your ex-girlfriend, now-friend, that you need some time apart before you can be friends. This "easing out" is nice, but kind of unrealistic: you've been wrapped up in each other for a long time, and the slowdown of your sex life and romantic feelings is really all the easing out you're going to get. Her constant presence will not ease your ending - it'll make it impossible for your heart and brain to heal and adjust. (Love, even worn-out not-in-love-with-you love, is chemical. Quitting, like quitting anything that acts on your brain and body, is going to inevitably involve some unpleasant withdrawal, and sometimes cold turkey is better than the alternatives.)

    She should make plans to move out, and when she does, make a coffee date for three months from now. And then give yourself space from her until then - hang out with friends, do things you love to do, cuddle puppies, volunteer, learn a new skill, exercise obsessively (all of these things are the nicotine patches of quitting love - sources of oxytocin and seratonin and dopamine to help reset and rewire your brain). And mourn what is lost, because it is lost, and that sucks. It's okay to feel bad, to let yourself experience grief, and then to distract yourself from it and remind yourself that there's a lot of other good feelings to have.

    And then - with time - it's going to become part of your story. You'll get to have had a good, sweet friend as your first relationship, and you'll have more relationships, and it'll be something you reflect on, with gratitude that your first breakup was so amicable and mutually agreed. But that only comes with time, and it's not something you can force yourself to know and feel before you're ready.
     
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    greylin, Nancy and rac like this.
  3. Coffee Addict

    Coffee Addict Well-Known Member

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    The short answer is... you don't get over your first relationship or someone you have loved. You do, however, evolve your feelings for them and your attachment. Sometimes when people talk about getting over someone it implies forgetting, but I don't think you forget them (especially the good moments) and rather you change your feelings when you think about them.

    I think it is good that you both want to to find some closure in the relationship (whether to stay together as a couple or not) . If your living situation is not something you can change right now, you can try having separate rooms and trial separation time. Although, be careful to set up some rules about that separation time, or better yet the expectations. For example, there will be no intimate contact between you but dating other people is or is not allowed.

    I think it is good that you two are able to talk and you will help each other through this process.

    Good luck.
     
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  4. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    SkylarMW, I think you are one of the few happily almost broken couples I have read. I like that when something is wrong and you are able to be honest with each other, and be amicable about it. I am of several minds on this. Because it is never just one thing to do it is a lot of emotions and growing away from each other happening all at once. Yes, cutting it off completely and setting clear boundaries will help you move on and heal. Sometimes, some people need that weird in between, messy on and off thing to happen before they mature out of the relationship. Afterwards, the same people will probably look back and wish that they have not done that because it takes a lot longer to break up and heal. The one thing that I have seen a lot that I want to chime in here is that the people who I have watched break up often have that weird post-break-up-and-really-wanted-to-know-what's-it-like sex. It happens more when they had to live together for a while because of finances and whatnots.

    My gf is my best friend. I can imagine if we are to part, I might be going to her and asking her how we can do this and in the most constructive way possible. Perhaps we could be good enough together one last time to set down the best boundaries while sharing a living space. Perhaps from talks like that we can help each other to move out and close this chapter behind us. But maybe if we have come down to the end of this road it is because things have broken so badly that we can't do this. Or she avoids me when I try to this. Then I know that it is time for me to get the hell out of it and we will definitely need that space to heal separately.

    Sorry for the muddied response, I am trying to walk in your shoes a bit and I have quite an avalanche of thoughts and I am trying to pick the most useful ones. No matter how good a people you two are, I know this is not easy and I wish you luck. Please know that you are much more than this relationship and please take the good out of it and I know you won't let it define you.
     
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