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Thread: I can't decide if I should stay with my girlfriend

  1. #1

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    I can't decide if I should stay with my girlfriend

    I'm a guy (23) and I've been dating this girl (23) for about 2 and a half years now.
    About a year ago we broke up and spent a month apart and we were absolutely miserable without each other so we got back together. Before the break we would fight a lot and we weren't happy for months but then after we got back together we were very happy, only a little fight every months but loved being together. We broke up after we had just moved in together and I wasnt ready for it. I've been away with work all summer and starting to have doubts about us again. I have started to have feelings for another person. We get on great and she's very different from the woman I'm dating now and she has also expressed feelings for me.
    The problem is I dont know what to do. Despite the fighting the woman I'm currently with is incredible, everyone I know likes her (including my family and friends - which has never happened in a past relationship for me) and she is so sweet and wonderful. She's training to be a primary school teacher, is great with kids, does so much for me and is an all round great person. We get on so well most of the time, and yet I cant shake the feeling that it's not right. Everything about her screams that she's perfect for me but I cant help but be interested in other women. She moved back in a week ago after I expressed hesitations but unfortunately she had nowhere to go as her tenancy was up.
    After 2 and a half years I expected I'd be ready to fully commit and be happy but I'm not. I'm not sure of it's just that I'm not ready to give up my single life and commit to someone forever or if it's just that she's not the right person. I also dont know if I'm just idolising her because she's the best and longest relationship I've ever had. I could really use some advice. She's gone home for the weekend so I could try and clear my head and figure out what to do but I just dont know...

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    ". . . Despite the fighting . . ."

    If there's fighting now, it will only escalate and grow worse, the longer you are with her and fighting during marriage will be a nightmare.

    What are you two fighting about? Seek professional couples counseling if you want to seriously fix this.

    If you're uncertain and cannot decide to commit to your girlfriend for the long term, break up now. Let her go so you can find someone you're more compatible with minus miserable fights.

    Take care of one problem at a time, be done with this relationship and then if you want, you can follow through with your feelings for another person. Do things in order.

  3. #3
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    I am going to disagree with Cherylyn a little here. A little friction in a relationship is not a big deal if you can handle it with maturity. Maybe I am wrong but I don't think the fighting is even the root of the problem. Please ignore me if I have misread everything and totally off the mark, but I am going to be blunt here...

    We broke up after we had just moved in together and I wasnt ready for it.
    I'm not sure of it's just that I'm not ready to give up my single life and commit to someone forever or if it's just that she's not the right person
    I think the actual root of the problem is your fear of commitment, or unwillingness to commit. If I had to bet on it, I would guess that you are the instigator of your fights, perhaps even subconsciously, maybe by behaving in a way that you know will annoy her, to create tension and thus give you an excuse to leave her. Your fear of commitment is what drove you guys apart a year ago, and now that things are potentially getting serious again, you are getting scared of commitment again.

    I have started to have feelings for another person. We get on great and she's very different from the woman I'm dating now and she has also expressed feelings for me.
    Everything about her screams that she's perfect for me but I cant help but be interested in other women.
    And this is the catalyst. This is the easy out, the clear incentive to look for greener pastures, knowing that when you dump your girlfriend, you will presumably have somebody new and exciting to have sex with fairly soon.

    It is normal to want to have new sexual partners, it is kind of wired into our genes. But we are not animals, we have sentience, ethics and agency to defy base instincts.

    What is my advice? Well...

    everyone I know likes her (including my family and friends - which has never happened in a past relationship for me) and she is so sweet and wonderful. She's training to be a primary school teacher, is great with kids, does so much for me and is an all round great person.
    Given that I think you are looking for an excuse to dump her for somebody new, I have no reason to doubt the above description of your girlfriend, and if it is accurate, then I think you would be an idiot to leave her. The grass is not always greener on the other side. If everyone around you likes her and approves of her, chances are she really is a good person who fits well in your life. It is unlikely for so many people to be wrong. Also (generalizing here) having a profession of being a care giver and being great with kids is also a great indicator of empathy and compassion. You are basically describing a perfect partner if what you want in life is family, happiness and stability.

    If however what you really want is as much sex as possible with as many people as possible, or the hottest girl you could possibly bed, then please dump the poor girl asap and make it a clean cut so she can make a recovery and get on with her life as soon as possible with somebody more compatible. It is not fair to lead her on for years and waste her youth and beauty.

  4. #4
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    @MirrorKnight, your post was spot on, in fact could have written it myself!

    I talk about fear of commitment a lot on this forum, it's a real and genuine fear and has the tendency to negatively impact human relations in a way many peoole don't understsnd.

    In fact many people don't even believe it's real, instead believing all it takes is meeting the 'right' person.

    Well, there is no 'right' person for those who fear commitment and emotional intimacy, they will always manage to find "something" wrong and if not, will create it.

    Creating fights is very typical, it's the "fight or flight" response to the fear. Both are a way to create distance.

    Anyway, I'm rambling but just wanted to say thanks for being here and "getting it."

    And to the OP, I hope you're listening and best of luck.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    Fighting isn't your issue...it's the fact you want to explore more with other women....that is what is in your heart. You were simply not ready then, and not ready now. You will meet the right person, and KNOW you want to spend the rest of your life with them WITHOUT hesitation.

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    thanks for being here and "getting it."
    You are welcome @katrina1980 ... I've been reading this forum a fair bit in the last few days to get a gauge of what people think about various issues in relationships. On the whole this forum is pretty mature, helpful and constructive. However, the advice I see generally does tend to lean more towards individualism and abandoning dysfunctional or non-ideal relationships, over an emphasis on responsibility and obligations, and fixing a flawed relationship. On the whole our viewpoints tend to be quite closely aligned.

    I am curious (if/when you got the time to read my very long post) what you would think of my own dilemma, and whether I am being hypocritical about wanting to break up with my own girlfriend? Am I also really just being tempted by greener pastures?
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    You will meet the right person, and KNOW you want to spend the rest of your life with them WITHOUT hesitation.
    Sorry @smackie9 but I absolutely do not agree with that statement. That is the sort of Disney love and individualistic pursuit of selfish happiness that ruins so many relationships. Sure you need a spark, a connection, a chemistry, whatever you call it, at the start of a relationship, and you tend to know if you have that when you meet a person pretty quickly. But nobody is perfect, no relationship is perfect. Without hesitation? You just know? That sounds like what couples tell each other and their friends when they are madly in love, and also what they tell themselves when they meet somebody new a few months/years down the line when they get bored of their existing relationship.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. It hasn't worked and still doesn't work. The other woman is a symptom of this. Set both of yourselves free. You're incompatible.
    Originally Posted by AT591
    IWe broke up after we had just moved in together and I wasnt ready for it. I've been away with work all summer and starting to have doubts about us again. I have started to have feelings for another person.

  9. #8
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    If you are not certain that you want to be with her, then you probably don't.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    Mirror Knight I would agree if this was a couple that had been married, married with children, older mature couple...but the OP is 23. Way too young to know what they want at this time of their life. Again it's not about having arguments/"fixing" problems, it's about how the OP is feeling. Ages from 19 1/2 to 23 is a big jump. There's a lot of growing/maturing/changing going on there. This relationship simply has run it's course. Whether there have been issues or not, people change, and want to go in a different direction to experience what else is out there. And at 23, it makes sense.

    To add there's nothing Disney about being confident who your spouse will be. I know guys who were on the fence/dragging their feet in a relationship for 5 + years, deciding they don't want kids/ not ready so the relationship ends. A year+ later they meet someone new, got married /engaged, with a baby on the way, all happy. I'm not saying this is 100% but it does happen.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by MirrorKnight
    You are welcome @katrina1980 ... I've been reading this forum a fair bit in the last few days to get a gauge of what people think about various issues in relationships. On the whole this forum is pretty mature, helpful and constructive. However, the advice I see generally does tend to lean more towards individualism and abandoning dysfunctional or non-ideal relationships, over an emphasis on responsibility and obligations, and fixing a flawed relationship. On the whole our viewpoints tend to be quite closely aligned.

    I am curious (if/when you got the time to read my very long post) what you would think of my own dilemma, and whether I am being hypocritical about wanting to break up with my own girlfriend? Am I also really just being tempted by greener pastures?
    [Register to see the link]



    Sorry @smackie9 but I absolutely do not agree with that statement. That is the sort of Disney love and individualistic pursuit of selfish happiness that ruins so many relationships. Sure you need a spark, a connection, a chemistry, whatever you call it, at the start of a relationship, and you tend to know if you have that when you meet a person pretty quickly. But nobody is perfect, no relationship is perfect. Without hesitation? You just know? That sounds like what couples tell each other and their friends when they are madly in love, and also what they tell themselves when they meet somebody new a few months/years down the line when they get bored of their existing relationship.
    I actually agree with Smackie for once on one point, you don't know "the minute you meet someone" that you want to marry them, but if you are with someone several years, you know for a fact, without hesitation, they are who you want to marry. I am *not* talking about marrying that second. its fine for a marriage not to be on your radar until after you finish school, etc. get establish, but you have no doubt about that person. Your eye isn't wandering. you are not looking at a DIFFERENT woman and saying SHE is perfect.

    You do not want to marry your girlfiriend - whether she's not right or you want to play the field.

    There are relationships worth fighting for. It happens every day. you solve your differences. A marriage of 20 years that started on a good foundation with no doubts hits a speed bump and you fight for it. But you at 23, having been in a relationship for two years are at a phase where you are growing up (the human brain doesn't fully mature until 25) and figuring out who you are.

    you are asking for permission to monkey branch - to jump from one woman to another.

    You broke up but "missed" your girlfriend. Being used to someone doesn't holda relationship together.

    I suggest you cut ties with the new woman, get your head on straight and if you don't want your girlfriend, then you break up and give yourself time to hang out with guy frieds, pursue professional development, etc and eventually find a new relationship.


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