Jump to content

Lockdown time apart has changed my feelings


Recommended Posts

We have been "together" since November of last year, officially since February and of course with the pandemic went 3 months without seeing each other properly, we had a few social distance walks after the 3 month period and can now see each other properly, only problem is I think the relationship might be burnt out from my perspective.

 

She's a great girl, I thought I loved her but after 3 months apart I'm not too sure, I think I realised I'm happier single, I'm not sure I can imagine myself spending the rest of my life with this girl, if she ended it with me I'm not sure if I would be that bothered.

 

It's really upsetting I feel like this, before the pandemic things were going good, now it's an effort. I did love her and wanted to experience things with her, now im happy to be by myself. Im not sure if 3 months in lockdown has done this to me or if it's just natural.

 

She doesn't have any idea about how I feel, she really likes me and everyone tells me how happy she is with me.

 

We haven't been intimate since march, we can now "bubble" with one other household and she has picked me but I am wary, she is still working and mixing with the public, I am at home with my mother, I'm so scared of picking it up and passing it on to her. We live in a small town that , touch wood, hasn't been effected so bad (yet?!) But it's still a worry. I've told her this and she says she understands but I need to live my life.

 

I feel confused.

Any advice welcome.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear that. It seems like it's run its course. You would be happy to see her, if things were good.

 

Try to end it kindly and sincerely. Don't string her along any further. It's bad for both of you. One foot is already out the door.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry to hear that. It seems like it's run its course. You would be happy to see her, if things were good.

 

Try to end it kindly and sincerely. Don't string her along any further. It's bad for both of you. One foot is already out the door.

 

I keep thinking maybe I should let things go back to normal and see where we are in a few weeks?

Life is just so odd at the minute, even without the danger of the virus the lockdown has damaged a lot of things

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, she lives at home with her mum and her little girl.

 

This wasn't an issue at all before the pandemic, but her mother is also seeing her other children and having them around now too (goes against the law here) so even more of a risk of virus spreading

Link to post
Share on other sites

I do yes. The only interaction I've had with other people is going to the super market once a week, keeping social distance as much as possible as well as wearing a mask.

 

Me getting it I'm not so worried, just passing it on to my mother who's in her 60s and has diabetes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok then just end it since you disapprove of her family dynamics.

 

You don't really need to find excuses to end it, but stop stringing her along since you want to end it and she believes you're ok.

Edited by Wiseman2
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If your living with someone who was in the shielding category, I personally think they should remain shielding, so bubbling with her isn't appropriate, as those in shielding were told they can't bubble.

As for the relationship, this pandemic is showing how people react and if those reactions are compatible with yours. She's now seeing others and no longer practicing distancing, while you're very much keeping strict distancing. Those values clash.

 

Many relationships are breaking down due to stress response related to covid. It's understandable you're wary of continuing.

 

We don't know how long this will go on for, and if your in the UK (your language suggests you might be) I think a second wave is going to be hitting very soon, one city area is already locked down. This means shielding will need to go for longer, which potentially means not seeing her for a further few months. Lots to consider, but if you're no longer feeling it, it's perfectly acceptable to end the relationship, you can always go back to each other once everything is back to a healthy normal, which likely won't be until next year (vaccines)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, this is a particularly trying time for couples and families in lockdown even with partial reopenings. I think that adds stress but the thing is there are lots of times in life that are struggles like this and that's where the "better or worse"comes in. My husband and I have had some real challenges this time -not financially (wow what an awesome blessing!!) but with our child, online learning, teleworking, getting supplies, stress from not knowing what will happen with school, his work, my work.

 

Surprisingly -since I am a person who needs space and we have a small apartment - I love him even more. Feel even more committed to him. Even though he annoys the heck out of me at times which living in such close quarters has amplified of course. And I feel that love (perhaps I should show it more but we're cooped up) and I feel that intense strength of commitment and feel proud of how we're getting through this much of the time. Not all. Not all I say because I think you tend to like the thrill of the chase, being kept on your toes, unavailable types and with this pandemic it's uber-togetherness. I used to be a lot like you. Even with my husband which is why we broke up for years. Consider that you don't desire to give to her, desire to be with her because she's too "there" and too into you. You want things to be a certain way -you want your feelings to be a certain way -that kind of high you think you need in order to feel desire - so when I write "not all the time" the times I don't feel "it" as strongly or feel really irritated -it passes and doesn't shake me to the core and trigger the "wow are we right together" questions.

 

I would end things especially since she's not acting in a safe way that is comfortable for you as far as the virus. I'm sorry it doesn't seem to be working out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't sound like you're on the same page due to several reasons, covid being the main reason. Please take good care of yourself. I hope your mum is doing well.

 

It also sounds like the stress of the virus spreading is muting and dissolving whatever good dating vibes you used to feel while being with her. You haven't said anything about her as a person that might be negative - only concerns about her work and current lifestyle which are incompatible with yours and these are all covid-related.

 

If you're feeling so stressed out that you can't relax around this person, the answer is obvious although I'm sure you don't want to hurt her and are confused about where your reasoning is coming from.

 

Spend a few minutes and think about where your hesitations lie and then make a decision. Right now you sound confused and not sure where your uncertainties are coming from.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be afraid too if I were you. If I live with my parents in no way will I expose them to higher risk with discretionary social contacts.

 

This pandemic has revealed a lot of differences in values among my friends. Some of them do not care in the least for social distancing and just go out and hang out as much as they can. Many of them are wary but still happy to party again once things started to reopen. I am a lot more cautious and try to do things virtually whenever possible. I've had to turn down many invites to birthday parties, BBQs, picnics, etc. and could have lost quite a few friends in the process. I am really glad that my bf and I are pretty much on the same page about this as if he was more like one of my carefree friends, it would have been a deal breaker. It is sad but differences like this can be too significant to live with in a relationship.

 

I didn't get the impression from your post that you were mostly enjoying the chase and got bored once she became too available. On the contrary, it seems like your interest fizzled out due to a long-distance like situation. Not every couple deals with distance well, especially since you haven't been together for very long before it started. It may be salvageable when the distance is removed, but given that you don't really feel the urge to and your concerns regarding the virus, it might be best to end things for now and maybe reconnect after the pandemic if you both want to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies everyone.

It is sad how things are going, it was all really good to start with and we were sure we would get through it, I was still feeling as strong for her as I ever did but yes the social distancing has taken its effect.

 

She works in a pharmacy, her parent she lives with is a teacher, they are also having her sister , her husband and child around, and tbh I think they have since day one.

Cases in my town are zero however, they have been for a few days niw. But I'm still wary.

 

My mum wont have anyone in the house, I don't blame her, she is warming to the idea of me interacting with her more but she still gets very anxious and upset, I don't blame her at all, I feel guilty, I should be protecting her.

 

I am almost petrified to touch her, we have kissed and held hands but the feelings of love has gone from that now and it's pure anxiety. When we do go for a walk or a drive it's now like I'm doing it with a friend rather than my girlfriend.

 

She suffers from anxiety so her moods have been up and down, and selfishly this is bringing me down too, before the pandemic I helped her through, now I can't help, even though she is only a 5 minute drive from home.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't need to convince yourself that you want to end it.

 

Your mother wants you to end it and that is who you are constantly with 24/7 and who your primary relationship is with..

 

Just tell her it's not working out.

My mum wont have anyone in the house, I don't blame her, she is warming to the idea of me interacting with her more but she still gets very anxious and upset, I don't blame her at all, I feel guilty, I should be protecting her.
Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like you've chosen to react to your anxiety by emotionally distancing from her. You know I have a new but pretty good friend and recently I decided to take space from her (we text -haven't seen each other since pre-pandemic ) because I am disgusted at how she is behaving lately as far as the virus and her family and her mother in law. And really turned off by her hypocrisy. My reaction is to distance myself -I won't ghost if she texts me but I'm keeping my distance - and it remains to be seen if it will have a permanent effect on our closeness. You've learned things about your girlfriend through this hard time and you don't like it and it feels icky and like you can't be close to her when she makes these choices. I get it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, if you want to date through this time I think the best option is to move out and limit your contact with mom to online, phone calls, and hanging out in her garden/front yard while keeping physical distance and/or wearing masks. If you live alone and do not expose anyone else to higher risks due to your behavior you'll probably feel a lot better about this. You might still take issue with how she's not doing what she could to protect her family though. That's her and their choice - you need to decide if you can live with that, if you all become family one day.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry about this.

 

For some reason—your all-caps screen name, perhaps—I recall your earlier posts without having to look back. It's a very limited window into another human's life, I know, but just being honest? My impression with this relationship is that you've been a bit more on the fence, even before the pandemic, than you wanted to admit. No judgement, as dating is all about exploration, seeing what develops, or not, and so on.

 

Still, I can't help but wonder if this disconnect has been simmering for a good bit, with the lockdown etc. bringing it to a boil rather than triggering it. Shortly before meeting her you were writing about being happy single, while also questioning that happiness: wanting sparks and butterflies, but not finding it. Then you met her and were frustrated by the lack of sparks and butterflies, but opted to see what developed—if, perhaps, a new paradigm could work for you at this stage in your life. Soon after things were good, but then questions came again on the topic of paying for dates. And when quarantine started you were worried about things "fizzling," which is to say you were calling this moment before it came.

 

I could be completely off, but I guess what I'm saying is that maybe, if we remove this crazy moment, this is a story of dating someone for a little under a year and realizing, for all the positives, some essential glue is missing, that an idea was being forced, a touch, as much as a connection was evolving. I can only speak for myself, but my strongest relationships have not had a lot of doubts and nerves in the early months. While a global pandemic is pretty left field in terms of something to confront at the 6 month mark, I do think that's a period where "reality" starts asserting itself, and the strength of a connection gets "tested" a bit. The less jitters and doubts one has leading up to that moment, the better the chance of weathering it.

 

Food to chew on, or not, as you see fit. Really sorry about this, as I know at various points you've gotten pretty invested in this working. But the present circumstances—covid, you living with your mother, etc.—sound pretty trying on the romantic front.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for your replies everyone.

It is sad how things are going, it was all really good to start with and we were sure we would get through it, I was still feeling as strong for her as I ever did but yes the social distancing has taken its effect.

 

She works in a pharmacy, her parent she lives with is a teacher, they are also having her sister , her husband and child around, and tbh I think they have since day one.

Cases in my town are zero however, they have been for a few days niw. But I'm still wary.

 

My mum wont have anyone in the house, I don't blame her, she is warming to the idea of me interacting with her more but she still gets very anxious and upset, I don't blame her at all, I feel guilty, I should be protecting her.

 

I am almost petrified to touch her, we have kissed and held hands but the feelings of love has gone from that now and it's pure anxiety. When we do go for a walk or a drive it's now like I'm doing it with a friend rather than my girlfriend.

 

She suffers from anxiety so her moods have been up and down, and selfishly this is bringing me down too, before the pandemic I helped her through, now I can't help, even though she is only a 5 minute drive from home.

 

This is not a happy situation and you're torn apart with anxiety. Read a bit more about stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) and its effects overall on the body and mind.

 

Given your personal situation and your living situation, I don't think you're in the right place to date anyone unless you start to start to really deconstruct where your feelings of intense fear are coming from and why you feel there's so much pressure to touch or kiss or make out or have sex each time you see each other. Having her and you hang on to this is unkind if it continues this way. Being petrified constantly and in fight/flight mode is being unkind to yourself and your mental health is suffering. This isn't a functional or sustainable. See if you can open up a few things in conversation.

 

Here's my suggestion:

 

Tell her how you feel and that you're having a very hard time right now focusing on a relationship because of the risk of transmission for covid. Don't blame her for her work or her lifestyle.

 

Ask her how she is doing and how she is feeling about the covid situation and having to juggle work, family and personal also. Both of you need to open up this can of worms and start communicating a bit more about how it's affecting your relationship.

 

You can propose to try again to see each other in a couple of months if both of you are free but continuing to meet up with this heightened sense of extreme fear is hurting you. Are there ways for both of you to share intimacy and laughter? Can you not enjoy a boardgame in a park? Or hold hands (with lots of sanitizer and washing)? Can you have fun challenging each other with photography sessions and see who captures what picture on a shared outting? Can you also challenge each other remotely with video calls and speak about other ideas and topics going on in the world right now? How well do you know each other?

 

I get the sense also that you feel there's a lot of pressure for there to be physical affection between the both of you but relationships go deeper than that (I know you know that). Don't feel reluctant to speak about issues beneath the surface. Intimacy can be shared in other ways, not just physical affection. Both of you seem to be lacking in that closeness in mind. Can you explain more why this is?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree. When this is all over or perhaps especially now, you need to move out of your mother's house if you want to date. She does not seem keen on you having gfs, covid or not.

Honestly, if you want to date through this time I think the best option is to move out and limit your contact with mom to online, phone calls, and hanging out in her garden/front yard while keeping physical distance and/or wearing masks.
Link to post
Share on other sites

The time apart leads to detachment. It's pretty typcial and to be expected. Much like a fire, you need to feed the flame. So what do you do when you can't do that safely in the midst of a pandemic? I like Rose M's suggestions. You can try being creative in the meantime.

 

How about you do nothing for the time being? Sit on this and ride it out a bit. 'throwing the baby out with the bath water' comes to mind.

 

I agree with you holding your boundary about the distancing. If it doesn't work for her let her make that choice.

 

My friend has a similar situation. A new relationship with a man who is really conservative about his stand on this. Four months and they only time they've seen each other is when he comes through the side gate to sit on the other side of her patio for an hour. It's hard on her, but she respects his view and in the meantime she'll patiently ride this out and wait to see what's on the other side when things (ever) return to normal.

You can let her go, but where will she go for that matter? Just sit tight.

Just know you aren't alone with these challenging dynamics. It's affecting relationships in a variety of different ways.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for all your replies, obviously a few weeks on from this now and a few things have changed.

 

Thinks have relaxed a bit more here now in terms of the virus, we haven't had many cases so we are now going to each other houses and apart from going to places like the cinema, eating out we are pretty much a normal couple although being wary still.

 

Still things don't feel right to me, every day I'm having doubts, and was about to end things last week but she has been suffering from bad anxiety, going to the doctors for medication and been signed off from work long term. I feel terrible doing it now. I just feel sick with the thought of upsetting her , I look at her and she's so beautiful and a kind soul to me, treats me well and I have no worries about her cheating or turning cruel, I almost feel like I'd regret it down the line if I ended it , but then again if I'm being honest I can't see myself with her forever, there's just "something" missing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

She's not a cute kitten or puppy who loves you. She's a person and who cares how awesome she looks or acts-if she's not a good match for you she's not. I absolutely let people go and later had regrets. It's always a risk I'm glad ultimately that I did of course. I actually didn't regret letting my now husband go that first time around. But the second time around -the blessing I got that we were both single and available all those years later and ignited such a spark in each other -if I'd let him go then yes I would have deeply regretted it. But that first time -even though we were engaged with the invitations almost in the mail - I was sad and wanted him back for awhile. but no I did not regret it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to keep in mind. It is never an ideal time to end things. There are always events, problems, future plans that make it even harder but that's life.

 

Putting it off and pretending everything is ok just further hurts the person because they dont understand.

 

Things like "Just last week we celebrated my birthday and he way went over the top on a gift" or "I was really sick and he was there for me every minute. now I'm better and he doesn't want me anymore."

 

It is hard to let someone go. its hard to make decisions that end anything- relationships, jobs, moving, changing schools etc. but being undecided or wishy washy because you're too weak to go it alone or you want your cake and eat it too. Might indicate you have some work to do on yourself.

 

Life is about making good decisions that support the life you want. If something is missing and you dont see a future. You're basically telling yourself. but its hard. I know.

 

I wouldn't waste more of her time or yours than you have to. Brutal sounding I know. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. She deserves someone better and she'll find him.

 

Its your ego telling you to prolong this for her benefit. People have lives before you and they have them after.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Still things don't feel right to me, every day I'm having doubts, and was about to end things last week but she has been suffering from bad anxiety, going to the doctors for medication and been signed off from work long term. I feel terrible doing it now. I just feel sick with the thought of upsetting her , I look at her and she's so beautiful and a kind soul to me, treats me well and I have no worries about her cheating or turning cruel, I almost feel like I'd regret it down the line if I ended it , but then again if I'm being honest I can't see myself with her forever, there's just "something" missing.

 

If she was writing this about you, on another forum, what advice would you give her? If you knew she was writing this—thinking it, feeling it—would you want to continue to invest your time and emotions with her? Would you feel understood and respected, or pitied?

 

I know it's never easy, all this, but for a good long while now your writing about her and your relationship has carried a similar tone. If you think of that tone as a melody, maybe ask yourself: Is it the one you want to define you?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...