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Difficult break up and uncertain future


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Hi all, I could use some advice regarding a relationship and I don't have anyone I feel I can talk to about it.


My girlfriend of 5 months split up with me, mostly because she is going travelling for 4 months.


She is an extremely motivated and determined person and has been planning to go travelling for a long time and its really important to her to be single while she's out there. I've never truly understood it but she says its because she's had boyfriends her whole life and before she starts her career she wants to go be independent and by herself.


She's said now she'd like to keep in contact before she goes and while she's away and then when she gets back see how we feel about each other. She explained she can't make me any promises about whether she'll want to be with me or not. I am really determined to be the person she wants to be with when she gets back as I truly love her. I'm just not sure what to do.


I'm also really scared that she'll sleep with someone else while she's away. Its a really big deal to me and the knowledge that she had would torture me and ruin any future relationship we could have. She's never had a one night stand but she does get involved with guys quite easily. She has told me many times that it's not about sleeping with other people and seems to get frustrated that that isn't enough for me. However, just because it isn't her objective doesn't tell me whether she is willing or against it happening so isn't really any reassurance at all. Furthermore, she has doesn't seem to understand why it would stop us getting back together in the future as she would be able to get over it if I slept with someone else so long as it didn't mean anything serious. If I keep asking her about this I know it will drive her away but without any answers I'm likely to obsess over it and it will make my life very difficult for the next 4 months. What can I do?


Since breaking up she's told me that she although she thinks shes done the right thing, she misses me and really appreciates me doing what I'm doing (presumably going along with it and supporting her). I don't know how to interpret all this.


No matter what I don't want to pressure her or make her feel guilty or anything that would negatively impact her trip, that would be selfish.


Thanks in advance if you get a chance to read all that and help me out!

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It's your call. If you really couldn't get past her having sex with other guys, then I'd say it's best to remain broken up and keep to NC and focus on healing with a view to moving on.


I would assume this is the reason she's breaking up with you before she leaves, though -- so she doesn't have to feel like she's cheating if anything happens with anyone else -- and clearly she wants that option.

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Well she's been very clear all along that it's not about her getting with other people. She says she wants to learn to be independent and by herself without having a boyfriend to rely on for support. She's travelling by herself and I think she views it as a very important step for her to grow up before she starts her career and adult life.


I totally understand and would be totally willing to support that if it wasn't for the fact that she doesn't want to promise to get back together with me or that she won't get with anyone else because it would undermine the break up and be like we were still together. She also (quite rightly) says that we can't be certain of how we will feel in 4 months time.


If by repeatedly saying its not about getting with other people she's trying to tell me that she's not going to get with anyone but just can't promise because of the above reason then she should tell me that. I think I could accept that even though I know its not a guarantee. Equally, if she thinks its possible that she would sleep with someone if she met someone she fancied then I think its only fair that she explain that to me too.

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Whatever she says, it's about other people. Or she'd want to stay with you whilst she is away. It's possible to be independent, travel new countries and experience new things with a boyfriend, as long as you want to make it work. Ask yourself, are you happy to be kept on someone's backburner or second choice?

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Its possible that I'm in denial but she's been telling me its not about getting with other people for months and obviously gets frustrated when I ask, as if she doesn't understand why I don't accept that. She's not the sleep around type either; she's never had a proper one night stand and usually only sleeps with people she's in some kind of a relationship with.


It might just be wishful thinking but I want to believed her that its not about that. Even so I feel like ok need a better idea as to whether she's open to the idea of sleeping with someone even if its not the objective of her trip/us breaking up.

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What specifically makes you think that?


She's been talking about wanting to break up when she goes away and maybe gettong back together after ever since we got together. She always said it wasn't about getting with other people. This isn't a new thing she's decided. She didn't want to get together with me originally for this exact reason but ended up liking me too much and wanting to give things a go.


Unfortunately the stress it put on the relationship meant that things didn't work out the way they should have and things kind of fell apart over new years as we got closer to the time she's leaving. After that she decided that things just werent gonna work until she got back and that's why we broke up now.

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It may not be that she wants to sleep with someone... but I agree that it sounds like she wants the freedom to hang out, flirt, drink, dance, etc with other people without having to feel guilty or worried about you. When you travel alone like that, you constantly meet new people. I know I wouldn't feel comfortable meeting and talking to new men if I was in a relationship, because I think it's wrong. If I was traveling while in a relationship, I would probably limit the type of activities that I participated in (such as bars or dance clubs). It sounds like she doesn't want to do that, and she wants the freedom to do whatever she wants while she's traveling. She may very well not do anything bad. But it sounds to me like she doesn't want to have to think about you and your feelings.

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Well that's quite different if that's the case. Its definitely something I can come to terms with. I do believe her that it isn't her aim to get with other people but understand that she doesn't want to be feelingguilty about fancying guys she meets and having a good time. For me, the line that can't be crossed if there's to be a future for us is sex.


Would it be wrong of me to make this clear to her? I really don't want to put her under pressure or give her ultimatums but its an extremely important issue for me. To me sex is a very personal and intimate part of our relationship and I couldn't get over it of she did that with someone else


Another issue is that the relationship wasn't perfect towarss the end. Its the first serious one I've ever had and I let my inexperience and immaturity get the better of me at times. I feel like if I'm going to win her back I need to show her some of my best side and remind her of why our relationship worked before (and more importantly) that we could be good together when she gets home. We're going to dinner this week and I thought it'd be best to park the heavy talk when I see her and focus on being an engaging, fun person to be with.


How should I approach this situation as a whole if I want to maximise the chances that she wants to be with me when she gets home but without torturing myself for the next 4 months while she's gone?

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This is a decision that only you can make... but, I personally think you deserve better than this. I've gotten to the point in my life where I want someone to want to be with me ALL the time. If she needs to be alone on her traveling, that's not really fair to you. Even if she doesn't have sex with anyone else. But, like I said, only you can make that decision.


If you do decide that you want to get back together with her when she gets back in town, then my recommendation is to completely drop the subject until then. When you see her before her trip, do not bring up the sex issue at all. If you keep bringing it up, you're just going to upset her and push her away. My advice is the same for while she's on the trip too. If you really want to be with her, you have to just let go while she's gone. If you ask her what she's doing and who she's with, she's going to get upset at you. When she gets back, then you can ask her if she slept with anyone else. If that's the deal breaker for you, then you tell her that and move on. If she didn't sleep with anyone, then maybe yall can get back together.


But, I think you deal with it after she gets back. Not before or during.

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Lonelygirl, I think that is some excellent advice thank you.


I think you're right that it wouldn't be fair of her to expect me to let her go on a break while she goes travelling and I think (and hope) that this is part of the reason why she has been so reluctant to give me any hope of us getting back together when she gets back. She was very clear that she wouldn't give me any assurances despite saying I'm the nicest and kindest boyfriend she's ever had, and hopefully that's because she's trying in her own way to protect my feelings.


I also think you're right that bringing it up any more would do more harm than good. I should focus on making her see all my good qualities so that she misses me starts to hope we get back together in the future. In a week or two more, when the dust has settled, I'm keen to ask her how she truly feels about me though as when we broke up the focus was on why the relationship couldn't work and not on how we feel about each other as individuals. Do you think that would do any harm?


I think the wisest and healthiest thing for me to do while she's gone would be try to see some other people myself and hope that it helps me to get over her and take the same relaxed approach to this that she has, i.e. see how we feel in the future and don't even think about what might have happened in between. I'd really like to be able to achieve that mindset but I don't know whether I will be able to. Even if I were to sleep with someone else the idea of her doing it kills me! I don't even know if I want to meet any other girls or how to meet someone genuinely lovely like her who won't play games or mess me around. She was my best friend as well as my girlfriend and didnt mind any of my imperfections or faults, she even made me feel better about them and gave me great confidence in myself. Now my confidence has been destroyed and the whole idea of losing her or worse still trying to meet other girls genuinely terrifies me!

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I would personally avoid asking her how she feels about you. Now granted, I haven't followed my own advice as I just asked my ex that question yesterday. I doubt you will get an honest answer. If she's trying to be nice to you, she'll say something along the lines of she cares about you but still needs this time apart. If she's frustrated at you, what she says may hurt you worse. I think the best course right now is just to let her be.


You really have two ways that you can handle this situation in my opinion. You can either hold onto hope, and wait until she gets back. That option would have you continuing to get into contact with her occasionally, but keeping it light and fun. This way you are on her mind, but you're not annoying her. Or option 2 is that you really try to move on and forget her.


I think if you do option 1, you're just going to be miserable for the next 4 months. You're going to constantly be thinking about what she's doing or who she's with. And you will to a degree be "faking" your conversations with her since you can't talk about what you really want to talk about. I've being doing this in my own life while my ex figures out what he wants to do with his career (he needs to be alone to do that apparently), and it sucks. I have so many ups and downs. Even though he's told me to date other people, I feel like it's cheating if I do. The hope can really mess with your mind...


I think you should try to let go of her. When she leaves, accept that she is gone. Don't try to stay in contact with her. Focus on you. If you feel like dating, do it. If you don't, then don't.


And this is just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. Don't you want to be with someone who doesn't need to be alone when she's traveling? I know you're in love with her right now, and you think she's an amazing person. And she probably is. But I think there's something wrong with the fact that she can't be with you while she's traveling. I understand her reasoning because I've traveled a lot. But I don't think it's treating you good, and I think you could probably find a woman who would love you so much that she wouldn't ask this of you.

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