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How To Decide Whether To Hang On Or Let Go?

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Hey guys,


First, I'd like to thank all of you for the work you for taking the time to help. You're wonderful people.


I am writing you today to get some help.


I went through a breakup about 2 months ago. This was absolutely devastating to me. I am extremely picky about what I want in a partner and she was very nearly everything I wanted and almost nothing I didn't. We were together 2 years and lived together most of that time. We had a wonderful relationship for the first year, and a good but passionless relationship the 2nd(for reasons that will be explained). Despite this, I love her dearly.


She left me for a couple of reasons and it has taken me a couple of months to figure out what the real reasons were. She said that she needed to be alone to find herself as she felt like her identity was becoming lost in the relationship(we acted like an old married couple and made a lot of "we" decisions). This isn't untrue and remains a factor but it wasn't the entire reason for the split.


When we met I was a very hard charging, confident, passionate man. This year I have had several outside situations (one of which being the onset of some severe paranoia and anxiety) that severely damaged my confidence, mental strength, and sex drive. I leaned on her heavily for support in the last year and she has really been there for me. It was only after I'd made a full recovery that she broke it off.


I didn't notice at the time but when this started happening (end of year 1) she started to have doubts about our future. I know now that this was because I was changing fundamentally. I became dependent on her in an unhealthy way. She started to feel like she had to be the strong one and she felt like she was no longer dating the man she fell in love with (my words, not hers, she has only partially verified this). I let my situations get the best of me and I turned into someone that she no longer felt passionate for. She said she still loved me a lot and didn't want to hurt me but that she felt we had become stale. She was not wrong.


The breakup was painful but civil. I understand now what caused the split and I am working to become independent and strong again (for my own sake). I am making great progress but I still feel very unsure on what to do about her.


I do not want to let her go. Deep down I feel such a serious connection that even after two months I cannot entertain the idea of building a life with anyone else. She has expressed to me that she "would not be opposed to being together again at some point" but that she needs to be alone to rediscover her identity right now.


I just don't know how to proceed. I don't want to push her to get back together before she's ready (or before I'm ready) but I have no idea if she will be ready in a month, a year, 10 years? Who knows. When and how do we decide to work on ourselves inside a relationship not outside? I don't want to let her go but I don't want to sit around and wait (and she doesn't expect me to).


What do I do? And how do I do it?


Thank you

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Did this begin shortly after you moved in together?


It was about 6 months after officially moving in together. It coincided with a major life issue on my end (that I'd rather not discuss on here) that started to break me down spiritually. It killed my confidence and my sex drive, it made me obsessive and doubtful of myself and it was emasculating. To be honest, it turned me into someone I wouldn't want to be with.... I was still a caring and supportive partner, but I just didn't have much of a spine for a while. I didn't have much gumption. I was a shell of my former self.


We also lived a lifestyle that made it difficult to have fun and make memories. She was working 60ish hours a week but she was an unpaid intern and I was a graduate student so we were VERY poor. We both hate debt so we stayed home all the time and tried to not spend money. This led us to a redundant lifestyle of staying home all the time (which we as introverts didn't dislike at all in the moment) that felt very stale.


I understand that I must make a full recovery and evolve before I will be able to be a good partner to anyone. I'm not advocating for trying to get her back right now because I know to a certain extent it would go back to a situation that she didn't like. I'm just trying to figure out if I should try to kill these strong feelings for her or allow them to stay while I work on myself and she rediscovers herself and then try again.



I think the reason I have so much faith in this is because we are both able to step back and look at the things that led us to break up. We don't blame each other, and we are not mad at each other. We both care very deeply. I have a strong feeling that this breakup was the universe's way of bringing to light a bunch of little issues that would have grown into serious problems if we had not addressed them. I wish we would have worked on it while staying together but at the time we didn't know the real cause. She couldn't articulate that I had changed and become weak (partially because she didn't really know, it was a generalized feeling of less passion, and partially because she didn't want to hurt me). We both have the opportunity to make the changed necessary to be together successfully again. I truly believe this.



Let me also state that she has never once told me that she left because I was weak or anything like that. She's been very caring and nice throughout the whole thing. I came to these conclusions through much self reflection. What she said was that the first year we were together she saw a serious future with me but that in the last year she had started having serious doubts. She couldn't pinpoint any one or two things, it was just a generalized doubt that she couldn't shake.

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It really sounds like you have to do your best to let go, it's tough and waiting will only make you miserable until the certainty becomes clear one way or the other. Move forward with your life IF the day ever comes that she wants to try again then you you can make that decision at that time. You may even find that you don't want to try again with her. You probably can't see that right now but it happens. The woman I loved that crushed with a break up told me she made a mistake and wanted us back. My answer was no, only after a month of not being with her and working on me. No other person on this earth (except for you children) deserve the power to stop your life from moving forward. You will heal, you will be happy again and you will meet someone who'll love you for the heart you have. Hang in there it's only advice but your decision.

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