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Someone shed some light on this


ftinytot

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My boyfriend and I started dating a few months ago but we've been friends for a couple of years.....since I've been with him, I've been so happy. He's my best friend. He's honest, trustworthy, tender and understanding....possibly the best relationship I've been in.

 

Tonight he called me to break it off. Everything was fine a few days ago and all of the sudden it turned south. We talked for nearly 2 hours.....he's in the military and has been VERY stressed with work, especially with his new schedule. He said he loves me to death and even went on and on about how fond he is of me, but says a relationship is too much to handle right now. He sounded a bit downtrodden and said he felt bad that he doesn't have the time to devote to me...that he can't give me all of the attention I deserve.

 

He was nearly frantic on the phone. Like he was cracking under the stress....he also worried a lot about when/if he gets orders and whether he would take me with him.

 

I told him I don't want to say goodbye to him yet and that now isn't the time to fret over things like marriage and meeting my children. Right now I'm fine with the way things are going...we can deal with the rest later. He was insisting that he needs to have very little emotional involvement but still wants to stay friends....he actually pleaded with me to remain his friend and to understand.

 

Finally, I told him I would really love it if we could sit down and talk about this face to face and figure out these issues...and I pleaded with him to give us a shot in the mean time. He agreed, and said "we're going to try to work this out."

 

The problem is now I just feel guilty. I shouldn't have pressured him to stay in a relationship if he doesn't want to be in it....although he says the problem is life circumstances and not personal.

 

I'm tempted to apologize and offer to give him his space but I also desperately want this to really work. Should I try to keep it going? Or should I just let him go? Was this a hasty decision made by him under the influence of stress?

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I think you should honor what he has told you he needs from you right now--which was not to remain under the obligation of a relationship, but the more managable option of just remaining friends. You don't have to say anything--just back up off him. He may have agreed to just give himself space, so dont' be surprised if he becomes scarce.

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Tomorrow is also his birthday and his friends and I had planned to throw a surprise party---which isn't a surprise anymore because the cat came out of the bag mid-argument.

 

I told him I still wanted to treat him to dinner, regardless of the outcome of our talk. So I'm also supposed to attend his party tomorrow, and this is after coming to the agreement that we wouldn't break anything off without sitting down and talking about it. I don't want to bail on his birthday party but that would definitely involve physically seeing him. That eliminates my option of just pulling away from him...

 

I'm really hoping he was sincere when he agreed to "try to work this out," under the condition that we have a much more in depth conversation about all of our issues.

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I'm 100% sure you're right. I'm just not entirely sure how to go about this. As much as I'm hopeful that he was legitimately changing his mind, I think it would be wise to not initiate conversation with him. However I did have plans with him and don't want him to think he's being stood up. Not sure if I should say something or just neglect to attend

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It doesn't work to get someone to give things another chance by pleading with them. If they agree it's not because it's what they want, they agree because they've been pressured into it, and later on they will come to the same point, that they want to break up. It just drags it on longer. If you have a talk 'face to face', don't try to change his mind or reason him out of his decision. The only thing you can do is accept his decision and that he knows his own mind. It wouldn't be a good idea, for your sake, to try to be friends with him because you would still be wanting him back, whereas he would be wanting to stay free. That's not a real friendship, it's more of a denial. Let him go. It'd be better not to go to his birthday party, just not turn up would be best. He would surely understand and even if he didn't, it's yourself you have to think of now.

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It is up to him if he doesn't want to be in a relationship with you, but it is also up to you if you want a friendship with him. Both of you are pleading for the other to do something they do not want to do and right now you are the one that "won". However, you know full well that he is remaining in the relationship because he does not want to lose you completely - he has made that clear. It's up to you now whether you feel that is enough, although I am sure you don't.

I would let him go, but also letting him know that it is too painful right now to continue being there by his side. If a relationship, to him, takes more effort to be in than a friendship then I think you're better off. I don't see a difference other than the physical exclusiveness being taken away in these cases so it is better for you to look out for your own needs, it is him that has ended it and he should not have a say in how you are going to deal with that.

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I'm currently discussing this with his best friend, whom I'm also friends with and he's sworn it'll remain between us.

 

I should clarify that at the time of him agreeing to continue this, the face-to-face convo was his suggestion. I'm also over exaggerating when I say there was pleading involved.....in hind sight the whole thing was relatively calm.

 

I must emphasize that he was 100% fine on Friday and invited me to take the night off for his birthday. We goofed around and it was fine. Sunday, he seemed a little down and said he'd been in a bad mood. Last night is when it all happened.

 

The only reason I'm considering that he may have been sincere is because of how quickly things changed and clearly stress was a factor. At the very least he was willing to listen to me and hear me out, so I'm thankful for that. I was merely putting it on the table that we don't break anything off until we talked more about it.

 

His best friend is urging me not to worry too much and says that leaving him alone will only let the conversation fester, and to just believe what he said because he's usually very sincere. I don't want to completely stop contact with him because I do want to stay in his life. Now I'm just pondering what we'll talk about and when to talk to him

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Ok, when people are committed to a relationship or a marriage, they don't bolt every time there is pressure or stress. The definition of life IS stress, so it will always be something, where it is work pressures, or health issues, or children, or a sick child, or financial problems/job loss etc. the function of a good relationship is to provide support and help for life's stresses, not to bolt from the relationship every time there is stress.

 

So you have to dig deeper than this. This could be his convenient excuse for bolting. It sounds better to say, I am under too much pressure at work than to say, I've met this hot new girl and may should play the field right now rather than get serious with anyone.

 

You have to analyze WHY you want to see him as a friend. You say you are in love with him, and if you're willing to be his best buddy when those are not your true feelings, then you are not being true to yourself and your own needs and are instead desperately trying to hang onto him.

 

The best way to handle situations like this where someone is basically asking for space and to downgrade your relationship, you give him all the space in the world. As in when you see him, tell him that if he wants to downgrade you to 'just friends' then you will need a 6 months period where you have no contact in order to get your feelings in check and matched to his, since you are in love and don't want to be just friends. Tell him that you can status after one month to see if he feels he made a mistake and wants to get back together, and if he does, then fine, you become BF/GF again, and if not, you go right back into no contact and don't speak to him again until 6-12 months or whenever you have healed and no longer have love feelings for him.

 

So have that conversation with him, but take back control of your own life and needs and tell him you're not going to be demoted to friend while your feelings are still romantic. And that you'll call him if ever you feel your feelings are 'just friends' and he can call you, but ONLY if he's changed his mind and wants to see you romantically again. It is not to your advantage to let him put you on the shelf until whenever he's in the mood to play with you, and certainly not in your best interests to be his buddy and pour all kinds of time and heart into him while he is busily getting over you and available to date other women any time he chooses.

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btw of course his friend (and your ex) is going to encourage you to be friends with him... that is easier for both of them and gives your ex a safety valve to have you on the back burner in case in decides he can't meet a 'better' woman than you, and it also makes it less awkward for the friend to have to choose who will be his primary friend and make him choose between the two of you. It also relieves any guilt your ex has about breaking your heart, and gives him a security blanket of you being there for him as a shoulder to cry and emotional support until he meets a new woman to be his GF.

 

So do not do what his friend tells you to do just because someone else tells you to do it, assuming he has some inside knowledge that your BF will come back to you as your BF again. He's more thinking about what is EASIEST for the two of them. You need to think about YOUR best interests, and if you've got kids and want to have a permanent relationship and family and marry, then don't waste a lot of time on someone who tells you they want to be 'just friends'. that is not to your advantage and doesn't get you any closer to your goal of having a partner rather than just a buddy.

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The mutual friend isn't encouraging me to be friends with him....he's imploring that I consider the possibility that he jumped the gun under stress and really did want to completely forget he'd made that phone call. The friend believes it's completely out of character for him and is likely due to the 24 hour long shifts he just started. Lack of sleep and stress will do things to an otherwise reasonable person..

..of course I'm giving the short version here but he really expressed that he wanted a future with me but just can't handle the stress of it right now. So the suggestion I'm making is that we keep things how they are right now and save the serious talk for later down the road...

 

I completely agree that there's not much of an effort difference between friends and spouses. After all, you don't just stop caring for someone because a label is removed. And since I see him as being a very reasonable person, I'm going to try to discuss this with him.

 

Surely there are better solutions for stress management; I'm just happy he's at least willing to talk about it

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Youve known him for years. He was probably infatuated by you, idolized the thought of you two being together and created a fantasy in his mind of what being with you would be like.. now the relationship is reality and not meeting up to his expectations (as they were likely unrealistic) and he wants out

 

A relationship is not solid until you have been together like 2 years, living together another 2 years and know all each others warts but love each other regardless. Even then its not set in stone. People break up all the time. You are never "safe"

 

Plus people always lie when they dump you to try and spare your feelings. Him saying he cannot handle the stress of life and all the other crap he fed you is a lie. What he really means is "I'm not that into you". Sorry its harsh but I am not going to sugar coat. You need to accept its over and start moving on.

 

I wouldn't prolong the agony by meeting him for dinner just to be dumped again at the end of it

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He can't handle the 'stress' of what? You being a supportive GF? Unless you are high maintenance and demanding all kinds of time and attention and picking fights etc., then he should be looking at you as a safe harbor in the storm rather than 'stress'... so that is what you should tell him, that it doesn't make sense for him to dump you at all if he still wants to be with you. But if he insists on dumping you, then I think you should consider that there may be other things going on here that he's not being quite honest with you about.

 

And as shelty24 says, you have to be VERY careful when people try to dump you and give you the 'maybe later' speech. Most people are very squeamish about the REAL reasons for leaving and may not want to tell you and may try to soften the blow or avoid telling the real thruth... you were a friend before you were a GF, and he most likely doesn't want to hurt your feelings and say, 'meh, we were better as friends than BF/GF, i'm just not feeling it...'

 

They will use all kinds of more palatable excuses in hopes that you will buy them and let them off the hook and stay friends (if he wants to be friends but has decided the romance won't work), or if they want to explore a new person for a while (in secret without you knowing) before they make a choice between you and her.

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Agree with lavender, exactly what I was saying. Since when did a relationship become a hardship? Since when did you have to be a tough, strong person to deal with the "stress" of a relationship? Having a partner, surely (in my perhaps NAIVE opinion) only lessens the burden and stress of life? Having a partner to talk to, to be there for you doesn't really sound like a stressful deal to me. If anything it's a bonus in life to have someone around to support you and help you through stressful times such as the ones he is about to go through. It doesn't add up to me.

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