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Boyfriend wants to break up but willing to try living together for 2 weeks first


Pretzel

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I've been with my boyfriend for 4 years, but unfortunately living apart during the lockdowns has caused us to drift apart somewhat. He was saying that he doesn't feel much / miss me much anymore and this was all obviously heartbreaking to hear. I asked if we can try living together for a couple of weeks to see if we can reconnect and actually test the relationship properly, because he's been dancing on the edge of commitment for 4 years, and I personally have also had enough of his resistance to properly committing and trying out living together at least. He said he would be open to try me moving in for a temporary period to see how it goes and if things change and his feelings change. 

I was fostering a dog in January which caused a huge strain on things further, and we had to post-pone our living together trial until I found the dog a right home. Now that has happened, the dog has found a good home, and I need to figure out how to move forwards with my life and my relationship. I'm now not sure if I should even follow through with our 'living together trial'. Only because I feel hurt and insecure and I don't know if I will just feel worse for trying this, or maybe I'll feel better that we at least gave things a shot before walking away after 4 years.  

In case anyone is wondering what might change with us living together: i had in mind it would allow us to reconnect properly and bring us closer. My boyfriend is not very emotionally open, and I struggle with connecting to him when we're apart.  He also has mood changes due to bipolar and I want to be there for him more. He also tells me he still loves me, so as a foundation love is there which feels important and something I don't want to just give up on. 

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated, thank you. 

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17 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

 he's been dancing on the edge of commitment for 4 years

He also has mood changes due to bipolar 

Sorry this is happening. Visiting him for 2 weeks probably won't change his mind or fix the relationship or fix him.

After 4 years of going in frustrating circles, it may be better to cut your losses.

He simply does not want what you want.

It's unclear why you would want to live with someone this high maintenance?

Be glad you can finally walk away and be free to find someone healthy enough and ready willing and able to have a committed relationship.

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"I still love you" really is irrelevant against the backdrop of all you wrote and I think I remember your other posts about him too.  Also consider how you feel about dogs -apparently either you didn't know how he felt and/or you did and didn't care when you chose to foster a dog.  What are your priorities as far as pets/fostering/adopting a dog full time?? 

The test period is a bad idea -you'll feel like you're auditioning -remember the person who feels less has the most power -he's been honest with you that he really doesn't miss you nor does he want to act on his strong feelings for you.  Sharing physical space can - but does not have to - increase any sort of emotional connection.  I didn't officially live with my husband till after we were married.  I always felt emotionally connected to him in an active way.  

You don't have a foundation of love.  He has feelings of love.  It's different.  A foundation of love  - the kind of foundation you are looking for - is when the couple each love each other and that love inspires them to be together in a committed way whether they share physical space or not. The foundation is love and commitment -head and heart combined -so when the going gets rough they still stick together.  You reconnect only in part by spending time together - my husband and I reconnect in two seconds - because I'll mention an inside joke we started 20 years ago or he will or on a more serious note I'll be EXHAUSTED at 9:45pm -around when I finally sit in my glider and have a snack and read a book and crash shortly after - but he'll pick that time to start a conversation or ask me something. 

I try my utmost - to put aside that I am exhausted, want no conversation, and I stop.  I look into his eyes -no looking at the TV and I just listen and try to offer input or simply just listen.  Because I desire to reconnect.  Am I thinking that moment about how much I love him.  No. I'm thinking about how I would love to read my book and eat my snack and zone out.  And I make an active choice to put him first because he deserves it and because I know how important the connection is to us and our marriage.  And yes sometimes I just tell him I "can't" - or "just give me a second to sit down fully".  That's connection.  That's the maintaining of the committed foundation.  Not "I still have loving feelings for you" but I really don't miss you much or feel much overall"

 

I think a foundation of love based only on loving feelings is fine if you want a casual fling with someone -then you have those feelings of love or infatuation or whatever that inspire you to meet up when it's convenient and you feel like hooking up.

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So for 4 years you have been doing all the heavy lifting in this relationship with him keeping you at arms length the whole time.  This 2 week thing is not a good idea.  Either you both will be on your best behavior and it will be like a mini honeymoon phase because it is all new or you will exhaust yourself trying to please him and spend the whole time not being yourself,

Time to accept that he hasn't been the guy for you for a long time.  You have hung in there a long time and he hasn't stepped up, 2 weeks isn't going to change that.  I am sorry you feel like you wasted 4 years but please don't waste anymore on this one sided relationship.

It hurts and it sucks but you will feel a huge weight off you once it is over and you can start moving on with your life.

Lost

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52 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

"I still love you" really is irrelevant against the backdrop of all you wrote

52 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

You don't have a foundation of love.  He has feelings of love.  It's different.

I think that's an important distinction to make.

 

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Life will always throw stressors into a couple's life. Sometimes lengthy illnesses and hospitalizations, sometimes times apart if a career has a person traveling. Strong couples may be lonely, upset, worried, and experience a variety of negative emotions, but will continue to miss and love each other and work through the stressors in the best way possible to maintain the bond.

If my man said those things to me after a whole 4 years together, then I wouldn't stay a second longer. He came to a realization and told you, knowing what he said could make you walk and he was okay with that. Why are you so desperate to cajole someone into loving you and wanting what you want when he clearly has always dug in his heels?

Be alone and work on your self esteem. In the future, as soon as you see a guy who doesn't have the same dating goals and life goals as you, sever the connection right there and then. Sticking around and hoping for someone to change in a major way is wasting precious time. If you don't take the time to really know yourself better and develop self worth, you will keep choosing the same inappropriate type of guy.

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8 hours ago, Pretzel said:

e he's been dancing on the edge of commitment for 4 years, and I personally have also had enough of his resistance to properly committing and trying out living together at least. He said he would be open to try me moving in for a temporary period to see how it goes and if things change and his feelings change. 

Yeah, sadly I agree with above responses 😞 

As much as you've wanted & tried.  This attempt will not change anything for you.

- Commitment issue's - YOU have had enough.

- His moods - Someone with mental health issue's are challenging.

-IF his feelings change?  You've been battling these things for 4 yrs.  It will not change anything in 2 weeks 😞 

I feel you better work on accepting this is not working out... just get out of it, totally- and take some down time to heal from this.

Life's lessons.  Yeah, we learn.  We go thru heartbreak and learn what we will not tolerate & gain some inner strength as to when to walk away - not getting our 'needs met'. etc.

Think of YOU now.  What you want in your life. ❤️ 

One day at a time..

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Thank you very much everyone for your responses, I had feared it would be answers like these 😞

To shed a bit of light on the last 4 years, as we live very close to one another around 5 minutes walk door-to-door, the sleepovers and having our own space had suited us just fine, plus I was tied into a tenancy agreement until March 2020, so there was never any pressure to move in together --but to be clear we have been in a committed relationship. The moving in together part just always felt like 'something to think about later in life'. But now that 'later' has come, and has been here for a while and still nothing, and that's when I started to worry. I moved out of my flat and back into my parents place in March during the first lockdown, that's when our relationship really started to feel like it was fizzling / fading.   I was really spending all my time with my family day & night, which was lovely, and he was living at home on his own with his brother living in the flat upstairs, so they spent all their time together. And it felt like the relationship was really not possible to keep going, like it was on pause for a really long time, and to be honest it didnt bother me to have check-ins every day and just live our lives until things go back to normal. 

But then November 2020 is when I first raised the fact that we should think about living together, and he said he didn't feel excited enough to do so,  and that's when we first had alarm bells ringing, but then we decided to give it a proper go and I would move in with him as a trial and see how it goes. Then I fostered a dog and it was really tough and he couldn't handle it (dog had a lot of behavioural issues which I didn't know about prior), and that really put a further strain on our relationship unfortunately, so I didn't do this at his appartment I did it at my parents place. It's not that he wasn't onboard with it and didn't know about it (I did consult him before doing this), but neither of us knew it was going to be so hard, and it was my thing to deal with, so I had to deal with it before coming back to the relationship again. I did it because my own dog of 10 years passed away in August and I was grief stricken for a while, and it was something I had my heart set on, I really wanted to my grief to mean something, to help another dog. 

Anyway, now we are where we are. Feels like we're trying to find our way back to each other, but I don't even know if that is possible, and as all you have advised, perhaps I should cut my losses. 

We have spoken about possibly trying to live together for 1 week rather than 2 weeks, as we'd know pretty quickly whether we're feeling it and don't need quite so long to know how it feels.  On the one hand it feels painful to bother even with the one week, but on the other hand I'd hate to walk away always wondering if I really gave it my best shot at working.  

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31 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

I'd hate to walk away always wondering if I really gave it my best shot at working.  

I think you've done more than enough. You've done everything but beg.

Like you said, he's been "dancing on the edge of commitment for four years." 

What more do you need to do? Open an artery?

28 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

Feels like we're trying to find our way back to each other, but I don't even know if that is possible

You're trying to find your way back to him. He is not interested in finding his way back to you.

On 2/13/2021 at 5:54 AM, Pretzel said:

he doesn't feel much / miss me much anymore

He's only giving you a "trial move-in" because you asked for one. Go ahead and do it if you want, but I seriously doubt that it's going to change his mind.

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Oh, Pretzel. 

Why are doing this to yourself? It's clear he doesn't want to move in together. He wants to break up. Bargaining from 14 days to 7 days of living together is like trying to remove spoonfuls of water from a boat that's already sinking. It's only delaying the inevitable. 

You've done all you can short of pleading with him not to break up with you. 

Instead of trying to push your plan, listen to him, even if it's painful: he doesn't want this. 

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A relationship will only be successful if both of the parties want it to succeed.  Not one doing all of the work and the other one passively accepting.

I will presume you will say "But we've been together for 4 years!  I don't want it to be all for nothing!"  But you're just sinking more and more effort into something that isn't going to turn out the way you hope.

It would be a sad shame if you woke up 15 years from now and you're still trying to get this man to love you.

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Do you know why you both have been drifting? Are there any drugs or depression or mental health issues involved aside from bipolar? Is he receiving treatment for bipolar? Not to minimize this situation but the issues are relatively minor. A dog fostered that is no longer in the picture, healthy distancing or restrictions due to health regulations, spending more time with family. 

What caused this drifting? Or lack of interest in the relationship on his part, do you know? 

You seemed fine and healthy with the shift and focused on your family. He was living with his brother. Then what happened? How did it go downhill from there? What kind of influence does his brother have on him or did he lose his job or is he dealing with other stressors? 

I know it's hard especially with all the emotions and sadness of both of you potentially breaking up but I think if you can get to the root of it the less you'll keep beating yourself up over this if it doesn't work. 

Get back to your center of gravity and don't lose sight of the bigger picture - that's your happiness with or without this person. Your joy does not depend on him or this relationship. It sounds tough hearing this now but find some solace knowing that you direct your own happiness. 

Big hugs. 

 

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I tell you this...moving in together is NOT going to be easy. The adjustment is going to put more strain on things. Bi-polar person is tough to live with period. Being there for them doesn't help the illness, it only messes you up emotionally, causing more damage to your self worth. By the sounds of it, he's not doing enough to getting it under control. It's been 4 years for a reason..if you moved in sooner you would have kicked him to the curb sooner, and he knows this. I'm so sorry this is where you are at with this. It's a tough decision.

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Well if he said he's "not excited enough to move in", that's obviously his answer? You've been together for four years and the relationship has gone backwards instead of forward. I don't think COVID is to blame because if he really missed you, he would have still been contacting you all the time during quarantine. Instead he just preferred to spend time with his brother. If he hasn't seen you properly for a year bit he says he's not excited enough to move in, that's telling you something?

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This is your opportunity for freedom. You don't like his place. You can't stand sleeping in the same bed because he suffocates you and snores.

You think his place is too small and you dislike how he fixed it up.

In fact is was Your idea all along to live apart and just walk over for visits but not have to sleep there, no less live together.

So, this is your route to the freedom you have wanted all along.

Now you can focus on your physical and mental health and he can focus on himself.

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