September 10, 2017 at 3:52 pm #168178
My boyfriend and I are both 23 years old and graduated from college a few months ago. We have been dating for about a year and a half. We were very much in love but we often fought while we were in school. I would turn something small into an argument. If I felt there was anything wrong at all, I would often lash out. More recently, the relationship has turned rather toxic because of the fights. I struggle with anxiety and with graduation approaching and a lot of change occurring, I pressured my bf into giving me a set plan for what the future of our relationship would be. I would ask about an engagement, etc.
While still in school, we had planned to get a place together after the summer of graduation. He has gotten a good job near his home town which is three hours away from me and it was our plan that I would find work there and we would move in together. In the meantime, we see each other most weekends. Mid-summer, my bf told me that he didn’t think we should move in together anymore. He felt that we weren’t in a good place because of the fighting and he wanted things to get better before getting a place. My anxiety rose and I called him one night to break up with him unless he could tell me what our future was. I wanted a plan. After I ended the call, I soon texted him trying to take back the breakup. He had already turned off his phone for the night but the next morning he said we needed to take some time to see if this relationship was really healthy for us. He wouldn’t speak to me for a few days and cancelled our weekend plans. On that Friday, he called and said he thought my apology was sincere and that we should keep trying. He then invited me to come that weekend as we had previously planned he and confided that “things would be better.” I was so relieved but the problem now is that in the last couple of months things have changed drastically. Since this terrible incident that I feel very guilty about, I have gone to counseling to try to control my anxiety. I truly don’t feel the need to fight about small things anymore and we have not had any small fights like we used to for a couple of months now. We have had some very hard talks about our relationship though.
I have been really hurt about him not wanting to move in together. I am now living with my parents and feel very lost. After some really hard talks he told me that he did not know what he wants and that he couldn’t promise me anything. The entire dynamic of the relationship seemed to change. He also said that he wanted to take things slow and that after a year we can see where we are at and that he wanted to make sure that this was worth it. That really hurt me because I am left feeling that he does not see my worth. I do understand how he feels because the fighting was unhealthy and it did get really bad but now nothing is the same. I feel that he controls the whole relationship. I am ready to get back to the commitment we once had but he does not seem to want to commit on any level other than that we are in a relationship. It also hurts that he wants to take things slow. We already live three hours apart and only see each other some weekends. He is very okay with the distance and not seeing me very much. He claims that we both have a lot of growing to do but I wanted us to grow together. I feel like I am not a priority to him as I once was. He is very happy and thriving at his new successful job, hes exciting about getting a new car that he can now afford and he works out everyday. I think he is feeling really good about himself and I am happy for him. However, I feel that I have been put on the back burner. I try to express to him that I am unhappy with the distance and the pace and he just says that he doesn’t know what I want him to say and that it is just how he feels. I am scared that his intentions are not true and that he may be thinking the grass in greener with someone else. It feels that he is doing the bare minimum to keep the relationship going. He said after our big fight, he rly snapped and did not feel the same about me anymore and that it would take time to repair that. I have a hard time thinking that that is the only reason for all this space he is creating. It also makes me nervous that if problems arise in our future, that this is how he deals with them. I cry almost everyday because I feel that I am not enough. I always wait for him to speak to me first as a way to validate that he still cares. I feel that my needs are not being met and that he does not care to meet me half way. It seems that now he knows that I will take whatever he can give and it makes me nervous that things will never change. I am holding on the the commitment we once shared. He used to be scared to lose me and now I barely recognize him. Also, when I mention that I would still move to the city that he is in but in my own apartment, he says that it is up to me. I feel like someone who really wants the relationship to work would encourage me moving to the same area. No one wants to be long distance unless they have to. I am looking for work and have the flexibility to go where I would like.
I am so lost as to what do to. We are a very attractive, young couple and we look great on paper but I do not want to invest time in someone who does not have my best interest at heart. I do understand why he has some reservations but how long do I have to feel bad about the fighting? I have done everything I can to work on myself. I feel that I do not know how to love him at the moment because he seems distant and wants to slow down while I want to love fully and be fully committed like we once were. I find myself starting to resent him and think that he is self centered now that he has a job and is feeling more confident with his looks. When you strip all that away, I am not sure I like what I see. He used to be very receptive to my feelings and recently i told him i was feeling unhappy and he said “feel better” at the end of our phone call. I felt so unsupported. I don’t know how to love him when he is unsure of what he wants. He says he still loves me and cares for me but is unsure about the future and that we have some growing to do.
How do I cope with his terms? or should I just end things and find the love and comitment that i want? I feel that I can be happy if he commits to me like he did in the past. It is very hard to me to navigate what the right choice is. We are still really young and I do understand that we have growing to do but I feel like my world has been flipped and am not sure how to proceed. I am in a lot of pain and would like to progress or move on.September 10, 2017 at 4:55 pm #168188PearceHawkParticipant
There’s a lot for me to digest in your post so I will think on this and get back. Promise. I hate seeing things like this happen. But I promise you I will get back. By the way, approximately where are you in the country? Are you in America or elsewhere? I ask this for the purpose of getting back to you in a timely manner, considering time zones.
September 11, 2017 at 12:51 am #168236AustinParticipant
- This reply was modified 6 years ago by PearceHawk.
I’m gonna give it to you straight from a guy’s perspective.
He’s not serious about you and probably never was. You are probably great eye candy for him and he can probably brag about his hot girlfriend to his friends and blah blah blah. Listen, this dude is neeeehhhever gonna propose or actually marry you. No matter how much you pressure him to make a real move instead of words, he will always dodge it and find a way to weasel out of it and make it your fault.
I’m just some guy on the internet so take my opinion for what it’s worth, but Brooke, since you’re attractive, go out and find a winner who will put a ring on it. I’m sure it won’t be hard to find a great guy who makes you laugh and doesn’t act like a brat. Please, save yourself some time, and break up with this bum. No matter what excuse or clever phrase he uses, break up with him. If you stick to your guns and break this relationship, he may actually respect you for once. You’re worth more than that.September 11, 2017 at 5:22 am #168266InkyParticipant
Austin is right here!
Listen, it is SO unusual for college couples to be together after college that most people don’t even try to make it happen. Some relationships are for a certain time and place in your life (college).
DUMP HIM, because you have become “That Girl”. The girl who is long distance. The girl that hounds the guy for a commitment. The girl who resents him because he is just getting better and better and she’s just the girl from Chicago (or wherever you’re from) that he knew in college.
DON’T move to his city. That is even more pathetic (to the eyes of the guy). Heck, if my college boyfriend did that I’d have moved!!
You don’t even have to formally end things. Just stop taking his texts and calls. Let him worry about you for a little. Then, THREE weeks later, FINALLY text him back and simply say, “I’ve met someone.” That’s it. Then let him live in an echo-chamber. “Hello? Hello? Can we talk about this? Hello? Well, I wish you the best, LOL. Hello?”
InkySeptember 11, 2017 at 5:39 am #168268AnonymousGuest
This is my understanding of your situation: distressed by anxiety you tried to control him and the relationship, exert power over him aggressively, fighting with him, demanding him to produce results that will make you feel safe. Intimidated by you, he accommodated you in the past, but it was never enough because your anxiety kept going, leading you to more fighting, more efforts to control.
He is currently not intimidated by you and so, you lost what control you had over him. He made the right decision, to no longer be controlled and to disengage from fighting.
You wrote that you went to counseling regarding your anxiety. I hope you keep going. If you reduce and manage your anxiety without reacting to it by fighting and demanding, if you let him be, if you practice the Win-Win principle in your relationship with him (you don’t control him, that is him Losing), then there is a chance for this relationship to work out.
There needs to be no more fighting. No more aggression in your relationship.
anitaSeptember 11, 2017 at 6:20 am #168272
I understand where u guys are coming from but the relationship is a little more complex than that. He has not always been this way up until we have had some terrible fights. He was scared to lose me and wanted to get a place together after the summer. However, the fighting took a toll on him and has pushed him to rightfully reconsider. It is a tough position to be in because I think he is right to want to take things slow after the fights we have had but I am wanting to get back to that deeper comitment that we once had. I am also his first serious gf which makes me nervous. He also has told me that if he wanted things to end he would have ended it after the first fight. The situation is not black and white and I think when ppl hear it without knowing the two people involved they always resort to the solution of breaking up. Maybe that is the right choice but I have yet to leave the situation alone and just let things play out so I do not know if now is the right time to let go. I have kept brining up that I am unhappy with how things are and he always sYs that it’s not the time and place to keep having that conversation bc we need to give it time. I just can’t help but feel like I may be wasting time on someone who is confused on what they want. It seemed very clear before all of this happened but now things are Rocky. I asked him if it was rly just the fighting that was making him want to take things slow or if he didn’t see me as being the one for him. He said it was listing the fighting… and he didn’t understand why all of this meant that he didn’t want a future with me. It is very confusing.September 11, 2017 at 6:22 am #168274
Sorry that last part was confusing… I’m typing on a phone. He said it was mostly the fighting that has caused him to want to slow things down and not necessarily that he doesn’t want a future with me.September 11, 2017 at 6:32 am #168282
I don’t think that would be a very mature way to handle the situation. I respect him as a person and would never just stop speaking to him out of nowhere. He would never do that to me. He said he needs a lot of time to heal and that we should see where we are at after a year. I don’t think that sounds like someone who is ready to give up just yet. I’m just trying to navigate what the right choice is.September 11, 2017 at 12:44 pm #168336AnaParticipant
I sympathize with your situation and especially the not wanting to “give up just yet.” I think that if you aren’t ready to give up, that’s ok. However, I wanted to comment on some things that you said. First, you said that he’s told you, repeatedly it sounds like, that he needs time and he wants to take things slow. When you continuously bring up that you are unhappy with his request, that is not giving things time. In other words you are not respecting his needs. I know that it’s very hard to back off from the situation, especially when you want it to work out, but that is essentially what he is asking you to do. You are feeling insecure with the relationship the way it is now and by asking him about it often you are seeking reassurance from him. When he says that he doesn’t know what you want him to say, it’s because he’s already told you how he feels and what he wants. He knows what he wants and how he feels with regards to the relationship, now you have to decide how you feel and what you want. Are you willing to actually give things time? If you are, then I would suggest that when you guys do see each other, try to be present and enjoy the time you do get to spend with him without worrying about the future. In the meantime, what can you do to cope? I think right now would be a great time for you to keep figuring out who you are. The time after college can be very challenging and stressful because of all the changes that take place, but you can also use this time to really get to know yourself and try new things that perhaps you wouldn’t try if you lived with your boyfriend. What do you want? You mentioned that your boyfriend is thriving at work and that he works out every day. What are you doing with your day to day? One last thing that I think is important to mention…it is not your boyfriend’s (or anyone’s) responsibility to make you happy. That is a very heavy burden for anyone to bear. The only person who can make you happy is really you. I think that you going to counseling is a great start and I hope you continue to go!
At the end of the day you are really the only one who can decide what you are willing to put up with and how long you are willing to wait. Don’t stay involved in the relationship out of fear. If your boyfriend decides he doesn’t want to commit like before, you will be ok.
I hope this helps!
AnaSeptember 12, 2017 at 5:20 am #168372ElianaParticipant
Have you ever read that highly popular best selling book (which later turned into a movie) “He’s just not that into you”. If not, I highly recommend it. This man does not want a committed relationship. He is happy with his life. He has in his own way “moved on” He may say he “loves you” but it’s just words and he is not walking his talk. I’m going to use of of my favorite quotes or two. “If a man really wants to be with you, he will move heaven and earth to be with you, no excuses.” “Never invest more time and energy on someone, than they invest in you”. I think the relationship unfortunately has reached a dead-end. You deserve better.