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Thread: A Break After Nearly 8 Years

  1. #21
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    I appreciate all of the feedback from everyone. Thereís a lot to think about with each comment, and I donít think Iím ready to call and cut the chord quite yet, but I may have more waiting in me. I will maintain that this isnít about what other fish are in the sea for him. Itís largely because he had a long term girlfriend before me (in high school) so he essentially has always had someone attached to him, and hasnít figured out how to take care of himself as a consequence. He admitted to struggling to handle the more serious things in life because heís always had someone carrying him along. I thought Iíd clarify timeline for everyone as well: we met in 8th grade, but started dating my senior year in high school. I know I canít let him hold out forever, and I do have to figure out where Iíll draw the line, but I agree with @ThatwasThen that I want this coming from him, otherwise itís a forced decision on my end. His family is just as baffled as I am, and have no clue what heís doing, but theyíre also not the type that will talk about how heís feeling with him. It all boils down to what he feels, and how long Iím willing to wait to find that out, but that lack of structure is torture!

  2. #22
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    I'm sorry, OP. This is undoubtedly very painful for you.

    However, I would argue that it's not baffling, if we consider the timeline. It's actually quite common for couples who started dating as teens to eventually part ways as they grow up and grow apart. I was there myself, many years ago now. As you acknowledge, you're not the same people today that you were as high school students. There's so much changing that happens in those years, so much exploring to do. I think that's what's ultimately happened here - he has outgrown the relationship and consequently lost interest. It doesn't mean you've done anything wrong, nor that he has. It simply means that he isn't done exploring and spreading those proverbial wings. The urge to be on his own is stronger than his urge to stay committed to you.

    That, in turn, also doesn't mean he is actively looking to date right now or has someone specific in mind. But he knows he doesn't have the same feelings towards you that once did, and it wouldn't be right to lead you on while he is continuing to go in another direction.

    I would not continue to put myself on hold for him. Treat is as a break-up, which is likely what this actually is. It will be hard, but I believe you two are already past "on a break" territory with you living separately and having untangled your finances. Is it possible for two people to find their way back to each someday? Yes, it's possible and I have seen it happen a couple times. But the couple I know who managed a successful reconciliation (and have maintained it going on 15 years, marriage and two kids later) also dated others in the interim and didn't initially intend to reunite. They went their separate ways and explored life without each other for a while before naturally getting close again and eventually back together.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Very true, especially consider the length of time involved. This uncoupling will take time and not be comfortable at all. Take this time to refresh and reflect. Focus on your (not his) long term goals. Do not try to re-raise him or help him grow up. Does he work? Did he go back to live with his parents? How capable is he of responsibilities?

    Make sure you are not mothering him or hoping to fix or change him. It seems like he is less mature and may not want to talk about future goals, values etc such as commitment family, etc. It sounds like he was just coasting along as long as things were easy and just playing house. Ask yourself if you want an equal partner or someone you have to "carry along". Have you heard of Peter Pan Syndrome? Google it.
    Originally Posted by LTNS
    He admitted to struggling to handle the more serious things in life because heís always had someone carrying him along. It all boils down to what he feels, and how long Iím willing to wait to find that out, but that lack of structure is torture!

  4. #24
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LTNS
    I appreciate all of the feedback from everyone. Thereís a lot to think about with each comment, and I donít think Iím ready to call and cut the chord quite yet, but I may have more waiting in me. I will maintain that this isnít about what other fish are in the sea for him. Itís largely because he had a long term girlfriend before me (in high school) so he essentially has always had someone attached to him, and hasnít figured out how to take care of himself as a consequence. He admitted to struggling to handle the more serious things in life because heís always had someone carrying him along. I thought Iíd clarify timeline for everyone as well: we met in 8th grade, but started dating my senior year in high school. I know I canít let him hold out forever, and I do have to figure out where Iíll draw the line, but I agree with @ThatwasThen that I want this coming from him, otherwise itís a forced decision on my end. His family is just as baffled as I am, and have no clue what heís doing, but theyíre also not the type that will talk about how heís feeling with him. It all boils down to what he feels, and how long Iím willing to wait to find that out, but that lack of structure is torture!
    Then give yourself a time line, a date as to how long you'll wait and then if he hasn't even called you by that date, then its time for you to make a decision I would imagine.

    As I said, it helped me to live my life and let him be so perhaps if you have a deadline, you can put it all away and do your best to forget all the OCD thinking on it as you keep busy with your own hobbies, having fun girls nights out, and doing things you always wanted to do but haven't yet done. If it IS a breakup then what is the harm to wait it out to the date you think is reasonable? You'd not be dating anyway, I would think when your heart is shredded and you are adjusting to the new normal.

    As I also said, normally I would advise you to just pull the plug and get on with your life if this was a short term dating situation but its more than that and I think you owe yourself the opportunity to see if he comes to you with open arms and heart.

    Best of luck to you, LINS.

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  6. #25
    Bronze Member LootieTootie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MissCanuck
    As you acknowledge, you're not the same people today that you were as high school students. There's so much changing that happens in those years, so much exploring to do. I think that's what's ultimately happened here - he has outgrown the relationship
    I agree with MC. This is quite common with High School Sweethearts too. Peopleís brains are developing when in high school and when theyíre in their late 20s or in their 30s even, they find themselves realizing theyíve evolved.

  7. #26
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    I'm going to keep up with the positivity: Its really great when you "evolve" together... which is still possible here.

    @LINS... I forgot to mention that perhaps you should go zero contact with his family and don't give them access to what you're up to at this point either. They may be relaying to him about you which of course, doesn't give him any pause to wonder what you're up to and how/what you're feeling about the (hopefully) temporary separation.

  8. #27
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LTNS
    It all boils down to what he feels, and how long Iím willing to wait to find that out, but that lack of structure is torture!
    I agree with this sentiment, but think it can be expressed differently to make it (slightly) less tortuous. You know, right now, two things you want: to be with him, and for that to come from him, not through a forced ultimatum or some such. Knowledge is security, so take some comfort in those two truths as things that are yours, not shared with him or anyone. Own them.

    Which brings us to the business of waiting. Waiting implies standing still, being frozen in placeóa perilous and paralyzing stance for us humans, since we require movement, growth, and evolution much the way plants require sunlight. Personallyóand I've been in versions of your shoesóI would replace the idea of "waiting" with "keeping the door open" for him to walk through it. You could give yourself a timeline, as others advised, or you can trust that time will close the door, or not. Key is to keep doing you, living your life, reflecting on what you need and want for that life to be full and true. Romance is hardly "everything," so lives can be lived, and lived fully, without the pursuit of it and with some emotional loose ends.

    Personal example: When my last relationship (3 years) ended I very much hoped there was more in the tank, made that clear. It was a mess, but still: that was my truth for a time. I owned it, but didn't press pause on the business of living. I traveled, reconnected with friends, explored living elsewhere, doubled down on old hobbies, pursued new ones, and allowed myself the timeósomething us humans rarely get!óto really take inventory of myself and get real and clear outline of what I wanted, for my own life and how I wanted the sharing of it to look and feel.

    It was a good time. Melancholy, no doubt, but not pure torture. Though I had no contact with her or people close to her, that door was open, and then....well, what can I say? At some point it just closed, a soft click more than the thud of a slammed door. About four months, all in all. Hard days, but in the scheme of my existence not such a long spell, and worth it, for me, since "holding on" and "letting go" were ultimately dependent on myself, not another. In the annals of my own evolution, it was probably beneficial to live my life in a state of heightened emotional vulnerability for a bit. Made me a better person and partner, if not for her.

    These are hard moments, and I feel for you. As others have said, relationships do sometimes just run their course, coming to an end as the two people change shape a bit, and no longer fit as they once did. It's particularly true of people who meet young, who are still changing shape at a faster clip. Certainly sounds like a lot of that is at play here. What he has expressed to you, about always being with someone, reliant on someoneóthose are the words of someone who has not yet discovered that our individual lives can be lived alongside another individual, that we can evolve in our own skin next to someone evolving in theirs. Unfortunately, that's not knowledge you can inject into him. He is free, like all of us, to feel whatever it is he feels.

    Anyhow, hope something in there resonates. Best of luck riding these waves. They're tough ones, but you can handle them.

  9. #28
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LootieTootie
    I agree with MC. This is quite common with High School Sweethearts too. Peopleís brains are developing when in high school and when theyíre in their late 20s or in their 30s even, they find themselves realizing theyíve evolved.
    Yes, or that they want to evolve. It's generally believed that adolescence ends at age 18, but it actually lasts through mid 20's. People who spend these formative years coupled up have missed a lot of freedom in their social development, and they often come to understand at some point that this has harmed them emotionally as well.

    I'd make this less about him, and more about myself. How long do I want to evolve my life around someone who wants to go his own way? This doesn't mean that I'd love him any less--we can't change who we love. But we also can't change someone into wanting what we want.

    I'd make this a time of learning how to move myself forward rather than one of stagnating around what he will eventually decide for himself. I'd tell him that I'll always love him, but that's exactly why I need to consider us fully broken up. If he ever decides that he wants to reconcile, he can contact me to let me know, and if I'm still available then, we can meet to catch up. But I'm not going to consider myself tethered to any outcomes, and I wish him the best.

    From there I'd figure out all the the ways that I've stagnated in place while people my own age have advanced into their own development, and I'd pursue ways to ascend and build a fabulous life for myself solo. That's the only platform from which any relationship can thrive, whether it's with him or anyone else. I'd grow into the person I want to become, and from that higher ground, my whole perspective on relationships will change into something that I can't yet fathom.

    Head high, and take baby steps.

  10. #29
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Still going to continue to try and evoke some positivity in this thread and will say that yes, there are instances where couples who met very young are still together and going strong... Not only have the hubs and I done it but my cousin's son and his wife have been dating since they were 13 with one brief breakup. They are in their forties now with two teenage children. Same with one of the guys I once work with. They started dating in Junior High School and he just turned 50... they too had one breakup in that time.

    I'm hoping I can add LINS to the list in my very small group of people in my personal sphere that have survived. (I'm sure there are thousands, if not millions out there that have lived the same story) Not ALL people feel they have missed a lot of freedom. Now, this Op's b/f may feel he's lost out on a lot of freedom and hence why he wanted the break but its not conclusive that he wants to explore that freedom without the OP at this point. We can give out positive vibes that they work through this and work their way back to one another to build a fabulous life TOGETHER. Time will tell. If it doesn't turn out positively? Well then, LINS we are hear to commiserate with you.

  11. #30
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    To all that have sent over some support, it all officially ended tonight. Heís spent this time making some largely questionable and scary decisions and accepted that it was the life he prefers.

    I know Iíll be ok at some point, but itís a real shock to the system to see someone you know and love turn into someone completely different.

    Thank you for all the advice.

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