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Non Break Up


LBP

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So last night, my girlfriend confessed a certain anxiety to me. At some prompting (she'd been hinting at 'something' on her mind), her revealed fear was that she looked on me as more of a 'best friend or big brother' than as a boyfriend. Clutching me and crying all the while, for context...

 

Experience has trained me to remain calm under these conditions. I tell her that I understand and that it's fine. I tell her that if she needs to be free, than that's okay. I'm okay with letting her go, but that I won't wait around for her to figure this thing out. I'm going to live my life one way or the other.

 

As we'd planned to visit the French Alps together (at her family's cabin, so it wasn't a paid for trip), I mention this and ask her opinion. "I would love it if you came out with me," she said. I told her that while it sounds incredible out there, I didn't think it would be a good idea under the circumstances. "Why?" Because I wouldn't know how to act around you.

 

The crying kicks up a fair notch at this point and I comfort her, but still remain cool. I don't like that she's in turmoil, but there was nothing I could do to change that. Finally, she cries out, "LBP, I'm a fool, I'm a fool, of course I love you!" And proceeds to smother me with kisses, etc. I'm sure you all can guess what happens next.

 

That's basically all the detail I can muster from the conversation, off hand.

 

Afterward, things were peachy. She didn't pretend it never happened and even joked about things a bit. I teased her as well. She was very affectionate - we never did manage to finish the movie I'd picked up for us. That said, in the end, I did detect a hint of ambivalence. Not surprising, considering the circumstances.

 

Basically, I don't know what any of this means. I'm sure she's still a little confused about this whole thing... Perhaps my reaction was perfect (she said, "You took it so well and said everything right.") but perhaps not. I'm looking for independent analysis. My account of the evening looks very chilly, upon rereading it, but that's not entirely the case. I like her very much, even love her at times, though I can tell the difference between romance and commitment. Currently, I am happy and committed to her. All I'd like is to know what all this meant... My interest, currently, is in her well-being and our continued good time together. Was it just a test or what? She's 20 and I'm 24.

 

Hope I don't sound like too cold a fish. Thanks for any help you have to offer.

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I disagree with staircase, namely because I likewise respond to emotional situations "rationally," which some people interpret as a sort of coldness. Being in love doesn't mean that you HAVE to act like an idiot, and you shouldn't use love as an excuse to behave in a manner that is outside your normal personality.

 

My take on the situation: confusion happens. It happens in every facet of our lives, including our relationships. I think you handled the situation in an exemplary fashion.

 

I can't tell you whether this is a one-time confusion, or whether it's symptomatic of a deeper confusion or immaturity on her behalf. Regardless, continue on. The right course of action will present itself at the moment you need to take it.

 

If you are deeply compatible with this young lady, then continue to treat her with loving kindness and respect, and you'll be together. If you are not meant to be with this young lady, then continue to treat her with loving kindness and respect anyway.

 

In short, don't sweat the small stuff. And it's all small stuff.

 

YS

 

(P.S. Totally exhausted today; I hope that reply makes some sense!!)

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Being that I am of the opinion that romance is nothing but a checklist of indicators (a belief I hold because experience has never taught me otherwise). I would say that this relationship is tainted. I think that you handled the situation in an admirable fashion you kept your cool and your dignity. Obviously these kinds of things that girls do are often unintentional tests, and you passed it. However, the fact that she carried out such behavior, well obviously she seems to want to be romantic with you but cannot help but to feel that your relationship has a somewhat platonic tone to it. This girl is like a cat, as soon as you took away your need for her in what you said she pounced on you like a string disappearing around a corner. It is unfortunate that a relationship cannot always be so solid that you can really need a girl/admit that you do and she wont lose interest. But anyways, I am not saying anything is absolute, but I would be careful, use your instincts. As you said, you probably sense some ambivalence and that will probably be addressed at some point.

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I don't think it was a "test", at least not an intentional one. I think that she is not feeling the way she thinks she is supposed to feel in a romantic relationship. Whether her expectations are unrealistic is anyone's guess. However, I have seen situations like this and the outcome is unpredictable. There are power shifts all the time in relationships. Your reaction was perfect, in my opinion, and if you continue to react the same way, you will likely feel good no matter what happens.

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Sounds like you remained calm and collected under pressure. No matter the outcome, this was certainly the best response. My guess is that she has expectations about how she should feel and she does not feel that way so it's causing her some inner turmoil. I always find it strange when people wake up one day and tell their SO they feel like they are friends. I think some people have expectations about feeling a certain way about a relationship all day every day, especially one which is low on the drama, that don't square with reality. I used to be this way, but I'm glad I got over it. Good luck to you.

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I don't think it was a "test", at least not an intentional one.

 

Hence why I said "unintentional test"...

 

Anyways, to the OP this girl, like many, sounds like she is going to the opposite extreme of yourself and playing it all by heart and not so much with her head. Frankly, as I have expressed I think it will catch up to somebody.

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First off, now that she's introduced this idea of platonicness to you, even if it's not practiced in reality, but perhaps only in her mind, how do you just get past that without over-analyzing. It will be very, very difficult. You'll be a little bit more hyper-aware of the affection you're either getting or not getting from her, and you'll be more prone to evaluate it. In that sense, a clinical element was just introduced to your romance.

 

Also, I suspect she reacted positively to your response to her walking away simply because you were so willing to walk away. She wants to know that there's consequences to her bad behavior, and on some levels she's tested the waters now and understands that there are. I suspect that she's been looking for this from you for quite awhile.

 

On some levels, there are a LOT of women out there that want to know that they'll be put in their place if they misbehave. Guys are the same way. If they start walking all over their GF, and she instead of protesting she just keeps being lovely and unassuming, they guy will typically continue the behavior. Basically, in relationships, creating boundries are important.

 

In your relationship, it would likely behove you to be more demanding of your girlfriend since that's what she's obviously looking for. A "daddy complex"? It's possible. But either way, when we have a primal/sexual relationship with someone, part of their agenda is either mothering or fathering. Just like with parents, it makes us feel safe and loved to know that someone is bossing us around on some level.

 

As for concrete things that you can do, that's going to be difficult if it's not already built into your relationships makeup. It will require a lot of thought and gumption. Basically, you have to become a more demanding person with your GF.

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No... If she likes me as I am, then I am pleased. I will continue to desire my independence and I should hope she feels the same. If she wants me to dominate her, she'll be disappointed. That just isn't my style. Perhaps, if it's her will, I'll come and 'have my way' with her when the need arises. Hardly seems the foundation of a relationship. I have my own life, but I do not view this thing as something purely sexual. I like to enjoy each others company... And allow sex to come when it feels natural.

 

I don't know what other way to be. I'm totally fine in my own company. Should she wish to go another direction than myself, I'll let her. That includes being with the girls and all else. I reserve for myself the same option... I have a lot going on in my life, including the freedom to leave this country and go to another at the year's end.

 

Perhaps I should mention that... I have no idea what her current outlook on long term relationships is/are, but my own plan is to move east in roughly a year or so and she knows that this is the case. One wonders if that's part of her rationale for trying to find a way out of this thing.

 

Also, for the record, he friends have counseled her against breaking up with me. For whatever that's worth. Not much, I reckon.

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I'm not insinuating that you should change who you are. I'm merely suggesting that some of the ways you approach a relationship could stand some maintenance. It's not about dominating her sexually either. That's obviously not you, and she wouldn't be with you to begin with if that's all she was looking for.

 

However, I'm imaging that, like almost everyone else on the planet, she might like for her lover to occasionally show her the raw stuff of youth. The lover wants to see the other person losing it, beside them self, full of passion. A clinical detachment is safe, and neat, and comfortable, just like any friendship, but if you're going to get deep then you need honest, stressful, angst on occasion.

 

Or, perhaps like you say, you're one of those "lone wolfs" who is above all that on some level and wouldn't miss it a bit if it were gone. Obviously, this is your life, but if you're that willing to let your lover just walk out of your life, and everything is just "okey dokey artichoke" then how much does this relationship really matter to you to begin with.

 

I like the Gloria Gaynor, I will survive theme you've got going on here, but perhaps you have show her so much detachment, so much independence, that she's wondering whether you just spend your time with her because you really have nothing better to do with it. If she doesn't see you losing your cookies over her sometimes, showing strong emotion, then she's going to be at a loss for why she's calling this a romantic relationship.

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Perhaps part of my problem is that I've lost that capacity. Maybe it's something I need to relearn. I look in myself and I can't seem to find that old ability to be 'head over heels.'

 

I recall someone saying that about me, describing this most recent relationship. "I remember when you were with X... You were over the moon." I told them that I didn't think I had it in me anymore.

 

Perhaps that's the lesson, here. I wonder how you get that back. Do you even want to?

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Perhaps part of my problem is that I've lost that capacity. Maybe it's something I need to relearn. I look in myself and I can't seem to find that old ability to be 'head over heels.'

 

Wow. I feel exactly the same way. I can pinpoint the last guy I was that way with and I know exactly why it changed. I don't think I will ever go back either. I think that capacity is gone for me.

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It's not necessarily true in this case, but it's true for some people that once enough disappoint sets in, once they've had enough conflict, they start shutting themselves off and shutting themselves down and detaching so they no longer have to bare that burden. Then, it becomes rather easy to live in relative comfort with someone who has become much more a roommate then a lover.

 

And next thing you know it's "shoot, we haven't had sex for 3 weeks." And then one or both partners go searching for the answers, and they'll look anywhere to find a sufficient one, one they can employ to avoid the real one...

 

"I've been so stressed at work."

"The baby is taking up all my time."

"My hormones are out of whack."

"I'm just not a very sexual person I guess."

 

Anything is going to get listed in order to avoid the more obvious one which is "we avoid real communication now because of the cumulative disappointment from the past." Arguing and discord is a burden, and it weighs on lovers day after day, week after week, month upon month, until the only thing you can do is just to avoid the type of communication that lead to the unrest.

 

So if you really had the courage to fix that something that was broken, you would start hurting the other person's feelings... a lot. You would say all those things you think just shouldn't be said, all those things you refrained from saying for fear of ruining the relationship that's now just a friendship, and you would stop, at all costs, imagining that you might be sparing their feelings with your silence. You're not. You're piling on to the resentment that's built.

 

Politeness is no foundation for a romantic relationship. Politeness is the ultimate death of romance. If you want it, you need to stop being polite.

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that could be a part of it. maybe she was paranoid, insecure about the way your relationship is and thought that there was some passion missing. so without really discussing it with you (i'm assuming) she came to her conclusion that you two must really be destined to just be friends. her tears came out because she did not want it to be true.

 

just a theory.

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