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I'm 25 and I've been dating a girl for four years now. It's been the longest, most serious, most confusing and toughest relationship of my life, and we recently decided to spend some time apart to figure out our future.


Our dating started off very slow, seeing each other once a week for the first few months. She was the first person I ever slept with and this was only after about two or three months of seeing each other. So we didn't start out as a passionate head-over-heals love affair the way many long relationships do. It was more of a slow burn. Truth be told: I was 21 when we met and I was more interested in getting as many numbers at bars as I could and initially kept her on the side. I could tell all along though that she was a great girl, and after a few months we agreed to be exclusive.


Despite the awkward start to the relationship, things continued to grow. We've been through some tough times together (serious incidents both inside and outside the relationship), and I can honestly say she is the most supportive, trustworthy, caring, compassionate person I have ever met. She's everything I will ever want my kids to have in a mother some day.


Now that sounds like a no brainer, but here's a problem: the spark and attraction has always been a bit inconsistent for me. There's times I look at her and say "wow" and there's time I look at her and say "eh." I hate to sound cocky, but strictly in terms of looks, I am best she's ever dated and she is in the middle for me. And as a visual person, this can be a problem, so it's been awhile since I got that butterflies in my stomach feeling around her. This is all on my end, though. I suspect she's not having these problems.


Basically over the last few months, I've done some serious soul searching over this relationship. My head has been all over the place during this process, wondering things like... Do I leave an amazingly caring girl just so I can go looking around and find that "butterflies" feeling? Isn't a successful marriage is based on compassion and trust in the long run, not attraction and butterflies? Am I even capable of falling head over heals in love with someone? If I'm not "in love" with this amazing girl, what the hell is wrong with me? What kind of person AM I? Is nice T and A really what I need for love? And, if I can't figure all this out, doesn't she deserve someone who will just know?


After months of bouncing these ideas in my head, I literally started to go crazy... legitimately some depression and anxiety emerged. As that happened, it started to affect the relationship and I came clean with her, admitting my doubts and confusion about the relationship. I basically explained that I was afraid I was wasting her time and mine and that after four years I suddenly felt this anxious need to sh-t or get off the pot (be head over heals in love or just move on). This was a bit of an eye opener but she understood and she dealt with it well. We've had many honest and open discussions about it. Unfortunately, it has somewhat affected us intimately. The stress has basically made it so that I can't even enjoy her company anymore. She took notice and got extremely upset. We agreed that this is an unhealthy trend for both of us and decided to take some time apart as singles to figure things out.


For the first two days I was on edge... never felt so wound up, anxious, nervous and confused in my life. The thought of losing her terrified me. I felt like this 24/7. So my problem in a nutshell is this: When I'm around my heart doesn't tell me much of anything and it's my head that is telling me she's the right girl for me, and then when I'm about to lose her, it's my head that gets confused and my heart starts to feel terrible. The thought of possibly having to leave her makes me feel sad, guilty, jealousy, scared and regretful all at once, so I know there's SOMETHING there I'm not willing to let go of yet.


It's just so confusing.


After those first couple days of being single, I started chatting with a couple of girls on link removed just out of curiosity to see how it would feel... and it's been a little fun. The witty banter with another female has been a little uplifter that I can get through this and it's not the end of the world. Getting away from things has been a much needed breath of fresh air. Does this mean I'm moving on already? I feel like maybe I am, but at the same time my mind is still telling that I want it to work out with her and I am looking forward to seeing her again sometime in the future when we try things again.


I'm so confused. Can anyone provide some insight as to what I should be looking for as I make the final decision on this relationship in the coming weeks/months?

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Blank, this is not fair to her AT ALL. I hope she is as young as you so that you can let her go find her True Soul Mate and you can find yours. The pain of a break up is DEEP and AWFUL, but you need to do this for her! Leave her alone. Let her move on and talk to guys as you have to girls. This isn't fair to a girl that sounds AWESOME.


I speak from being that AWESOME GIRL! Maybe I'm not the beautiful thing that you see in magazines, but I was good. And he didn't recognize it. So, let someone recognize it w/out all of these questions/torment.


If you have any backbone, let her go.


She will be grateful in the long run.

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I don't think it's fair for you to say that. You're saying that a good relationship with marriage potential will NEVER have doubts or questions? They say relationships are hard for a reason. If it was easy and clear as you make it out to be no one would be on here.


Besides, I've been very honest and open with her about my confusion. If she wanted to leave, she could. We're trying to work through this exactly BECAUSE of all the great I see in her. How is that not fair?

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I don't think you are wrong... I just think you have more soul searching to do. You should take this time away to focus on yourself, and not other women. The talking to other women is only going to mask your feelings for a little while. Give yourself some time to figre out what your ex really means to you. Maybe she is the one for you and maybe she isn't. But you've had a lot of doubts.


Its hard to find a person who truly is genuine. We tend to be more attracted to the ones that are more difficult... atleast I am. I'm attracted to a challenge. It seems like she is no challenge for you?


Well if you lose her then she will a be a challenge and you'll wish you never let her go. But if she hangs around and things work out you'll always wonder "what if". Its confusing. To confusing for me to explain or understand.

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Also - I've brought your exact point up to her multiple times and she said she appreciates my being honest about my concerns/questions/doubts. And says that she's more than capable of deciding if its time to move on. Doesn't that change things? If I'm being honest with her about how I feel, isn't it her decision and responsibility to separate herself if thats whats best for her?

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Yes... as long as youe been honest with her. You've told her how you've felt and its up to her to make the decision from there. She has the choice and you've given her that choice. Most people would NEVER admit that and end things slowly and sneaky. I think you are doing the right thing in my opinion...


The only thing I disagree with is talking with other women, because I'm sure you havnt told her that. Then again, she could be doing the same thng, but from what uve said.... probably not. She seems like a good girl.


Just because she is an amazing person doesn't mean you have to stay with her. Sometimes we just fall out of love.


But one things true.... a good girl is tough to come by.

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