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I’ve (22M) been having problem with my girlfriend (22F) of a year and half.


Throwaway391

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My girlfriend and I have been together for a year and 4 months, and were in a ‘complicated’ friendship for 2 years before that. We come from a society where dating is frowned upon, so only our mothers and some other friends and family from her side know of the relationship, and this is the first relationship either of us has been in. Because of that too, we don’t get to go out on dates often to avoid being seen together (especially now with COVID; we haven’t seen eachother IRL since the day the lockdown started). So our relationship borders on an LDR.

 

For most of this year and a half, the relationship has been fulfilling. We have similar values and backgrounds yet different personalities (I’m an extroverted-introvert, she’s an extrovert). She loves me a lot and indirectly pushes me to become a more accomplished man, while I help keep her grounded and supported.

 

However, as our relationship progressed I noticed my feeling for her were waning. The butterflies were rarely felt anymore and while I still loved her lots, it wasn’t the same way it was before. She noticed I was upset once while we were out and after insisting that I tell her what’s wrong, I gave in and told her how I was worried about these feelings and that we should something new to rekindle our love. She pretended it was fine but then when we were home she texted me paragraphs about how she’s suffering because I don’t love her anymore. All my attempts to console her and tell her that I do indeed still love her failed and she refused to listen to me. That eventully resolved afterwards and we made new steps to advance and better our relationship.

 

But since then whenever I was feeling a little down while we were talking (which is often cause I was diagnosed with depression many years back) she’d immediately assume it’s because I don’t love her anymore and starts downplaying and devaluing herself and often insulting and blaming me. I do my best to reassure her but to no avail. Eventually I get mad too and we stop talking, only for her to apologise for her behaviour the next day. We decide together on a few changes we’d make to prevent future misunderstandings from happening and move on normally with our relationship. But afterwards everytime something like this happens I start questioning how healthy our relationship is and consequently fall a little out of love with her, but I never told her about that.

 

Time passes with problems every now and then, until a couple days ago when both a friend and my girlfriend wanted to talk to me, and I prioritised my girlfriend and told my friend to hold on for a bit. She was having issues with her dad and wanted to vent so I was there for her. She stopped texting then told me her mom wanted to talk to her. I told her to take her time and I made the mistake of calling up my friend like I promised, without telling her that I’ll be gone. During our call I got distracted and forgot that I hadn’t told her that. As soon as I was done I talked to her (she thought I fell asleep) and apologised and explained to her that it was an honest mistake and she has every right to be upset. She said it was fine (but didn’t sound like it). We chatted and flirted for a bit and then went to sleep. The next day we try and arrange a (difficult) meeting IRL during the next week and I tell her that I’ll try and make it work. Suddenly, she gets mad at me saying how I don’t want to see her and she brings up what happened yesterday and begins arguing, I stayed calm until she said ‘Don’t blame me if I vent to (male friend), he wouldn’t leave me unlike you’ and I got completely fed up and told her we were done.

 

We argued some more after that and she blocked me then unblocked me 30 minutes afterwards. She apologised and I told her that we need a break to reconsider our relationship. She didn’t entirely agree and told me she still loved me so much (then insulted me again, saying I’m not a man cause I’m not serious about our relationship, then subsequently said that I deserve someone better than her anyways). We’re currently on a break for the next few days to let the emotions settle and think on what happened.

 

My issue is how since the first incident, she’s become more emotional and often violent towards me. Seeing that side made me begin questioning our relationship despite all the good things in it. I still care, love, and put effort but admittedly not as much as I used to. I prioritise her but I give other people attention too, as sometimes she wants my attention over the phone for a long portion of the day.

 

I also can’t get to her when she’s emotional, and during arguments she keeps flipping back and forth between saying that I’m amazing and she loves me and borderline insulting me. It gets confusing and just tiring.

 

I understand that she loves me, but after the things she said I don’t know what to do. Do I give this relationship another chance? Or do I just painfully end it and hope it’s for the best?

 

I apologise for the wall of text, there’s still more but I already put down a lot to read. I hope I can get insight from other people’s perspectives.

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Sorry to hear this. How would she react if you tried to end things?

 

She definitely wouldn’t take it well, which is something that worries me. She’s been going through a rough patch too and leaving her would devastate her for a while. She’s strong enough to eventually get back on her feet but it’ll take some time and we’re going through a critical part of our studies/careers.

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Where do you live that you cant date but you have good English grammar and spelling?

 

I think you need a new girlfriend, this current one is just too emotional and all over the map.

 

I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you! English is my second language and my parents reinforced my language learning too.

 

If I leave her then I’m likely to not enter another relationship until traditional engagement -> marriage. I find a lot of desirable traits in her (e.g. we understand each other most of the time, can hold a conversation for a long time, have interest in the hobbies of one another) but it’s the matter of weighing those against the undesirables that I have difficulty doing.

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I could say a lot here, but I'll start with a little.

 

Question: Is there any connection between the way she's behaving lately—the emotional volatility, the weaponizing of insecurity, the unhinged immaturity, and so on—with the "waning" feelings you vocalized?

 

I ask because it's much easier to say "the butterflies are gone—let's rekindle them" than to say something like: now that we've spent more time together, and that early rush of pheromonal juju is leveling off, I'm realizing you're prone to acting in ways that suffocate my butterflies and I'm kind of freaking out. No different than how it's easier to go on a "break" than to "breakup," even though breaking things, in most contexts, is rarely a way for them to get stronger.

 

I can only imagine how hard this is, what with feeling that this is your one shot at dating before being placed on a more traditional trajectory. But, at least going from what you've written, it doesn't sound like you guys bring out the best in each other, particularly when things get a little edgy. Life is very edgy, mind you, and the edge only gets sharper with time, so it might be best to use this time to reflect on what the equation of you + her = in terms of your mutual sense of confidence and harmony.

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I could say a lot here, but I'll start with a little.

 

Question: Is there any connection between the way she's behaving lately—the emotional volatility, the weaponizing of insecurity, the unhinged immaturity, and so on—with the "waning" feelings you vocalized?

 

I ask because it's much easier to say "the butterflies are gone—let's rekindle them" than to say something like: now that we've spent more time together, and that early rush of pheromonal juju is leveling off, I'm realizing you're prone to acting in ways that suffocate my butterflies and I'm kind of freaking out. No different than how it's easier to go on a "break" than to "breakup," even though breaking things, in most contexts, is rarely a way for them to get stronger.

 

I can only imagine how hard this is, what with feeling that this is your one shot at dating before being placed on a more traditional trajectory. But, at least going from what you've written, it doesn't sound like you guys bring out the best in each other, particularly when things get a little edgy. Life is very edgy, mind you, and the edge only gets sharper with time, so it might be best to use this time to reflect on what the equation of you + her = in terms of your mutual sense of confidence and harmony.

 

Initially when we were only friends, she had similar moments in which she behaved aggressive towards me. According to her, she realised she was slowly falling in love with me, which she didn’t want to happen due to worries about the outlook of society around us (especially around her) on dating. She would get emotional over this and sometimes aggressive, but never to the same extent nor frequency as she does now.

 

As for me, I wasn’t particularly looking for a relationship (at least that’s what I think, in retrospect maybe it’s what I secretly wanted). I did love her and when we moved from a friendship to a romantic relationship I was definitely happy. Maybe the pheromones and the excitement of a relationship made me overlook her occassional undesirable behaviours, or maybe I thought that this is a normal part of a relationship; to encounter obstacles and fix them together until we achieve a better level of understanding, acceptance, and compromise. Either way I can clearly see now that I can’t withstand more of these arguments.

 

Honestly going through the traditional path isn’t all too bad. I would still ‘date’ before continuing to engagement and marriage, and I could still find someone through my initial career years that I would fully date. I just don’t know whether I should continue on the grounds that we work together to fix what’s broken, or end the relationship altogether.

 

Thanks for the reply. If you have more questions and insights then I’d love to hear them.

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So if you dump this girl, is an arranged marriage next for you?

 

Not necessarily. I could still potentially find someone that I would date during the initial years of my career. Also, ‘arranged’ was the poor term to use on my part. Traditional marriage here isn’t as suffocating and limiting as it may sound, but it isn’t the same as dating freely. Both have their advantages and disadvantages to be honest.

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There is never any excuse for violence in a relationship, OP.

 

You need to end this. It's toxic.

 

I understand that. But it isn’t physical nor emotional violence, it’s more of aggression during arguments which I assumed is normal of most relationships when things are getting heated. Am I wrong in making that assumption or is there more to it that what it seems to me?

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Throwaway.

 

There is nothing "normal" about aggression.

 

You remarked, among other things:

 

"...then insulted me again, saying I’m not a man cause I’m not serious about our relationship",

 

She seems rather unhinged, and I would agree with the posters who advise you to end this situation.

 

Besides, you are only twenty-two. Why would you want to tie yourself up - arranged or otherwise - at such a young age?

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So, from the very beginning, you learned that her way of dealing with complex emotions—the churn of big human feelings—is to lash out and demean the person connected to those feelings, then ask to be soothed by the person (you) she's just cut down. Not good. Never good. Alas, in those early days, particularly when we don't have a ton of experience in dating, that behavior can seem almost complimentary—an extension of "passion," or some such.

 

Trouble is, what we validate in the beginning only expands over time. Think this is a bit of what you're discovering, and what once felt like passion is now a dampener to it, to say nothing of a hindrance to sincere, mature connection. You're using the word "love" a lot in these posts, and I don't want to minimize it. But I do want to stress that jealousy is not love, and nor is possession. That's all ego, not heart. Like other corrosive feelings—guilt and shame, say—they are like little toxins that poison love, shrinking it down to the point where it stops growing or grows into some mangled shadow of its more glorious form.

 

No doubt part of being in a relationship is confronting "obstacles" and working on "fixing" them together. But for that to actually occur? You need two functional people operating inside a functional relationship. I'm not sure that's the case here, as a certain level of dysfunction has been validated as an essential ingredient of your bond.

 

You've got around 60 more years to be alive, and in the scheme of things you've been an adult for five minutes. Do know that adulthood, and adult relationships, don't have to feel like manual labor. I get that there are some cultural components to this that are probably outside my understanding, but I'm a believer that happiness and harmony are pretty universal sensations. Perhaps you could both use some time to grow into yourselves, on your own, to be able to achieve that alongside another?

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Go with the traditional approach. You need to end it with her. You have had adequate time to see how she is in various settings and marrying someone like this would insure your unhappiness. Simply tell her your family wants you to go with the traditional approach and you need to end things. This will help diffuse things.

Honestly going through the traditional path isn’t all too bad. I would still ‘date’ before continuing to engagement and marriage, and I could still find someone through my initial career years that I would fully date.

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Thank you to everyone for your replies. After much contemplation, I ended the relationship today. I tried my best to keep it as mature and painless as can be, but she didn’t take it well at all to say the least. I hope this leads to the happiness of the both of us, with other people and better lives.

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