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Almost 8 years relationship "on a break", hurt while waiting... what should I do?


Sasi

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Hello anyone that wants to listen, I am new here, any comments or advice would be highly appreciated.

 

The day after Valentine's day, my boyfriend of almost 8 years shocked me with the phrase "I don't know if I am still in love with you" and wanted to have sometime apart. He ensured me that this "break" is not about seeing other people but for him to try to figure things out. He said he's sorry that those words even came out of his mouth and that he's putting me through this. I was so shocked because he was the one that taught me not to question our love and he criticized about relationships on a "break" before. He said he does not understand, people should either work things out together or just break up. I never thought the person who criticized would want to be "taking a brake" himself. I asked him why and he told me that he has been feeling this way for a while and thought it was a phrase but it did not go away so he wanted to let me know and stop leading me on. He also told me that its almost going to be 8 years and he can not understand why he does not want to move on to the next level with me yet but he knows that I am so ready to be engaged or live together with him. I told him that I understand that he's just not ready, we are relatively still young, both 27 years old and working to move up in our careers. I am so hurt, I feel like I am in a nightmare that I never woke up from. Not a day passed by that I did not cry, I am an emotional wreck. We are an intricate part of each others lives and for it to just pause like this is painful. Two weeks of not seeing each other and one week of not talking. I want to talk to him but some of my friends say that it will only delay the process and should wait until he is ready to contact me. What should I do? I love him so much, he is my first love. I feel like I am in the dark, hurt and alone while waiting.

 

Thank you for listening.

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Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear this.

 

It's a definite stab to the heart when the man you love tells you he needs a "break." Although, I've never had a man I love tell me he isn't sure he is in love with me anymore. I cannot imagine how that feels, but in some ways I can relate to what you are going through.

 

I agree with your friends, that it'd be best for you to just wait this out. Let him come to you when he is ready to do so. If I've learned anything, it's that.

 

When on a break with my then boyfriend (now husband) I did all the WRONG things. I called...showed up...the whole nine yards. All he simply wanted was a little space and breathing room and I wasn't making the situation any easier by doing what I was doing.

 

So I stopped and believe me it was hard, oh so hard. I gave him his space and in doing so, I found myself too. Turns out, it was good for both of us. We both had time to "find ourselves" and reflect on our relationship. Before I knew it, he was right back in my life. Although never gone, he was back.

 

I know it's hard and I know it hurts. But try and take this time and use it for YOU. What does "Sasi" want? What does "Sasi" need?

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As a guy myself who has been in a relationship for nearly 2 years with my first real girlfriend, I've thought about taking a 'break' once or twice. I've never done it but I can understand that alot of guys probably go through it at least once in there lives even if just for a week.

 

It's dishearting to hear that this is the situation you've been placed in, and I think it would be best if you let things slide for now and dont chase after him. If I were chased after a break it would most likely annoy me, possibly even solidifying why I called a break in the first place. You could really hurt things if you go after him so keep your distance until he comes back.

 

Hopefully he is using this break to clearify all the reasons he chose you in the first place and that it will strengthen your relationship in the end.

 

Best of luck to you.

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i don't know all of the details of your relationship--

 

I had a guy ask me for a "break" once---- and that guy is now my husband. so it is possible that the "break" will end and things can go back. Just try to be patient and if it is meant to happen it will pass. I understand how you feel and wish you the best.

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yeah, for now the best thing that you can do is to wait, and have some time for yourself too... i've been in a somewhat similar situation. i forced my guy to come back, did everything... looked pathetic. everything happens for a reason, and if you guys are meant to be together, things wll eventually fall into place sooner than you think.

 

so for now, get a good support system, busy yourself with a new hobby or with your career. i know it's not easy, i've shed buckets of tears too...but i made it through, i'm now happy..i know you can do it too.. good luck

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just like everyone else said dont chase after him or call him..your friends ARE right it will only delay the process.

 

My bf and i went on a break and i chased n called and it just dragged it on, I can now see how he needed room to breath and miss me and i wasnt letting him.

 

when we broke up for good, once i went no contact after a lil while he started trying to contact me and we ended up getting back together.

 

All I can say is let him be, it is hard, and i've been there where i missed him to the point where i was crying myself to sleep everynight, but in the end it just made me find myself again and grow from it.

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I've been on a break with an ex, exactly as you describe it. It's a long time ago though, and in the end we had 3 breaks that preceded the final break up. Sometimes these breaks can create the necessary distance that a person needs to evaluate the relationship- but the need to do so in the first place is kind of a red flag. That is, even if you do get back together, the fact that he had doubts that were so serious that he was able to take a break would at least be bothersome.

 

I agree with all the above posters that suggest you to give him time and space. I know this is agonizing, I remember not being able to think about anything else... but time will tell. It could well be that he simply needs to be reminded of how it is to not be with you. So let him be without you, for a while.

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Since this is about his feelings, not yours, you are best to just give him what he wants and not contact him. But do you have a specific timeframe, i.e., he will contact you after one month?

 

Nebulous undefined breaks usually don't work too well because you don't know what to expect and it leaves you hanging. You should have times when you check back with each other.

 

And a lot will depend on the reason for the break... if it is because he sees someone else he wants to pursue that is more serious than he just needs time to think and see how it feels.

 

But it a well proven event called 'the seven year itch' where many couples falter and fall apart. They've gotten so familiar with each other at that point, that the 'excitement' in the relationship is gone. So he may be experiencing that sense of doldrums and itch to look for someone who will provide that excitement in a new relationship.

 

But honestly, if he does come back, you do need to move forward and make plans to get engaged. 27 is not that young, and if you've been together 8 years it would be natural to live together and move in, in fact most would have done it a while ago. So if he does come back, i would suggest moving to the next phase immediately to make sure it really can go forward rather than wasting another 5 years only to have him do this again.

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I agree with the other responses as well in that giving him the space and letting him come to you when he is ready is the best thing to do. And spend the time really looking at what you want and doing things for you.

 

A little over a year my SO told me he didn't feel the same for me anymore. It was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through but I told him he had to decide what he wanted. He was going through a hard time and in the end told me he never wanted to be without me. Now our relationship is stronger and better than it was before.

 

I can understand how you're feeling. Have faith and remember things always work out for the best (even if we don't think so at the time).

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Eight years? IMHO if you do not know what you want after eight years (and it seems like he doesn't), then perhaps the relationship is not meant to be. With a shorter time invested into the relationship, I could understand re-evaluating taking it to a more serious level...but at this point, that "serious level" step should already have happened if it is meant to happen at all. You mentioned that this was your first real relationship...does the same apply to him? He may feel like he "missed out" on dating others before finding himself with you and only you...and what he would now be having to look at as "forever," which can be frightening in and of itself, but it only becomes more terrifying (for some) when they realize that they will never be able to see what else is out there. True, he should be happy within the relationship that you two have together, and if it truly meant to be then he will come back...but if he does, you should try to see if there is commitment on his behalf...will he take it to the next level? If not, it might be better to go your separate ways...JMHO. Good luck!

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Thank you for all the responses, helps me feel like I am not alone. I am going to try not to contact him and give him the space he needs to try to figure things out. It is just so hard, I can not think straight and almost everything reminds me of him. He also mentioned that he does not know if we "connect".... I don't really know what that means since there has to be some sort of connection for us to be with each other for so long.... Hopefully, he will want to give us another try.

 

BeStrongBeHappy, we did not set a specific time frame but he told me that I can call anytime if I need to talk. Should we set a time frame?

 

SayWhen, this is my first boyfriend but he was with a few girls before he met me but that was in his teenage years, this is his first serious relationship.

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I think breaks are more productive when you structure them... because if you just leave it openended, he can take this as a license to be totally in control of when/where the relationship goes. You are left hanging and more anxious because you are unsure.

 

I think you need to clearly understand the ground rules of the break and know exactly what it means.

 

For example, he says he isn't doing it because he wants to date other people. But what if he meets someone and changes his mind and starts dating her? meanwhile, you are patiently waiting in the background for whenever he feels like coming back (if he ever does).

 

So you need to say, so that means during the break we both agree to not date, flirt, or have sex with other people, right? Make sure you both understand exactly what he intends to do on this break. If he says something like 'maybe' then you know that this break is about more than him just thinking about your relationship.

 

And if he is with an exciting new person, and comparing that to you comfortable old shoe of a relationship, then that makes it more likely he won't come back. So i would make sure he agrees to NOT date anyone else during the break. If he starts dating someone else, then you tell him it is over and you won't be his backup plan.

 

And you need to set a timeframe, like you will go one month without contact. Then at the end of the month, you will status his feelings again. Then set another date, and go back into no contact until the next date you agree to. He has to really know what it means to miss you and he needs to know you won't patiently wait forever for him to make up his mind. That just isn't fair to you.

 

You then have to decide how long you are willing to keep extending this break, or at what point you say, enough, time to recognize it is over.

 

Sometimes people claim to be asking for a break, but what they are really trying to do is ease out the back door and hope you will get used to the idea of them not being around and make big scenes about it. Or they might have their eye on someone else (or dating a lot of people), and want to keep you on the back burner while they look to see if they find someone they like more.

 

None of those is a good scenario, so you need to try to really take your own control of this break as well, just let him know that you are allowing him some space, but it's not a long term option for space and you will not wait for him while he runs around and sleeps with other women. So you need to have a checkpoint to set a timeframe for how long it will last, and not accept just open ended and nebulous responses.

 

He needs to commit to not dating or sleeping with anyone else during the break, and he has to agree to a timeframe. Otherwise for all intents and purposes he HAS already broken up with you if he's off dating others and letting you hang on a string for a long time as his backup plan.

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