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Should we break or just breakup?


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Hi all,

I appreciate any advice you can share. My girlfriend and I have been in a long distance relationship for 3 years now. The relationship has been difficult as I already kind of knew I’m not the best candidate for LDRs. I decided to try it anyways and now we are at a stopping point. The past few years have been extra challenging because I work extreme hours (80+ a week), I’ve been overly stressed, the pandemic, and just some personality flaws that make it harder. At the end of last year, I realized that my gf has been distancing herself more and more and eventually she explained that she felt extremely hurt by my behaviors, temperament, and lack of availability. Since then I’ve tried to be more attentive, sensitive, and have even normalized my schedule. The problem is now that I’m trying to do the right things, she tells me she is too hurt and bruised and scared to really try in our relationship. I can tell she tries in small amounts but it’s frustrating on the receiving end. I spent the better half of this year trying to mend the relationship but as of yesterday I decided it would be best to at least take a break for a few weeks to let some of the negative feelings pass. She agreed and said let’s see how we feel in a few weeks.

 

My questions are - do you think this break is ideal or should I just chalk it up as a breakup? 
 

Also, should I be the one to reach out or should I just leave her alone and see if she eventually initiates?

 

Thank you so much!

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1 hour ago, giraffeprint said:

My girlfriend and I have been in a long distance relationship for 3 years now. she explained that she felt extremely hurt by my behaviors, temperament, and lack of availability.

Sorry this is happening. How often did you see each other? How far is the distance?

Unfortunately "breaks" do not mend things. In fact she may already be interested in someone local.

LDRs are also frustrating and unsatisfying.

It may be best to make a clean break so you can retool and regroup for a better relationship in the future.

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LDRs are mostly fantasy. For example after 3 years why is she still LDR? Is it because you really cant be together or because you were both fine with LDR and not even thinking in another direction? Even your fight isnt about stuff like that. But about other stuff. That would likely be discovered way before if you were less in a fantasy and more in a reality.

Also, she checked out a long time ago. Whether because of your behavior or something else. Even if you begged her to try she would still be cold so this is over either way. You still have a 3 year relationship so at least do the break up properly and not just with "we are on the break". So, contact her and talk. Otherwise, take it as a lesson and date locally next time. And not with somebody who would tell you how she wont even try to fix things after 3 years together.

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2 hours ago, giraffeprint said:

Hi all,

I appreciate any advice you can share. My girlfriend and I have been in a long distance relationship for 3 years now. The relationship has been difficult as I already kind of knew I’m not the best candidate for LDRs. I decided to try it anyways and now we are at a stopping point. The past few years have been extra challenging because I work extreme hours (80+ a week), I’ve been overly stressed, the pandemic, and just some personality flaws that make it harder. At the end of last year, I realized that my gf has been distancing herself more and more and eventually she explained that she felt extremely hurt by my behaviors, temperament, and lack of availability. Since then I’ve tried to be more attentive, sensitive, and have even normalized my schedule. The problem is now that I’m trying to do the right things, she tells me she is too hurt and bruised and scared to really try in our relationship. I can tell she tries in small amounts but it’s frustrating on the receiving end. I spent the better half of this year trying to mend the relationship but as of yesterday I decided it would be best to at least take a break for a few weeks to let some of the negative feelings pass. She agreed and said let’s see how we feel in a few weeks.

 

My questions are - do you think this break is ideal or should I just chalk it up as a breakup? 
 

Also, should I be the one to reach out or should I just leave her alone and see if she eventually initiates?

 

Thank you so much!

What personality or behavioural and temperament flaws are these? Are they anger issues or did you take it out on her? If that’s the case this may be far too broken. You’ll have to change the way you treat people and learn to manage your time, emotions or know your limits. Be more disciplined. It sounds like you’ve made some adjustments but you’re scrambling in triage. To be honest it doesn’t look convincing. 

You are the one who proposed a meeting again in a few weeks so why are you backing out now? Take a look at why you’re wavering or seem to have a foot out the door. What’s really eating at you? Is it the LDR or your own behaviour and guilt? 

If you don’t want to be with her or feel this is too much, don’t string her along. End it respectfully and let each other go. 

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I would break it off.  Long distance relationships are hard even when both people are doing the work and getting along well. 

You're too far away from each other to really fix anything.  Too much time apart, too intense visits, not enough just being time. 

You've tried. She's not feeling it.  Move on.  Sorry 😞 

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1 hour ago, Wiseman2 said:

Sorry this is happening. How often did you see each other? How far is the distance?

Unfortunately "breaks" do not mend things. In fact she may already be interested in someone local.

LDRs are also frustrating and unsatisfying.

It may be best to make a clean break so you can retool and regroup for a better relationship in the future.

Thank you for your reply. This is my first LDR and it has definitely been one of my most frustrating experiences. We are thousands of miles apart (overseas). Luckily her profession allows for 1-2 month long breaks 2x per year, so we have these waves of time together and time apart. 

I am definitely on the fence about it - if I should just prep myself for something better and local, or really fight for what we have. 

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I'm curious, was this always a LDR from the start, or did it evolve that way due to personal circumstances? How did you two meet? 

I hate to sound like a pessimist, but typically if you have to ask whether a breakup is the right decision, then you probably already know the answer. Honestly, working as much as you do combined with the overwhelming difficulty of maintaining LDRs is a lot to ask. It seems to me she's already started the process of bracing herself for a breakup anyway. 

I don't think "breaks" are altogether a bad thing, but it does raise a concern that there's simply not enough there currently to work through the issues as adults. There's nothing wrong with that either. When this becomes an issue is when both parties are too afraid or too complacent to admit the relationship has stalled out and simply isn't meant to continue. 

Right now it's a simple as neither her nor your needs are being met, and being real with each other involves having a conversation on whether it's even possible to meet those needs as your situation allows currently. My feeling is no. 

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1 hour ago, Kwothe28 said:

LDRs are mostly fantasy. For example after 3 years why is she still LDR? Is it because you really cant be together or because you were both fine with LDR and not even thinking in another direction? Even your fight isnt about stuff like that. But about other stuff. That would likely be discovered way before if you were less in a fantasy and more in a reality.

Also, she checked out a long time ago. Whether because of your behavior or something else. Even if you begged her to try she would still be cold so this is over either way. You still have a 3 year relationship so at least do the break up properly and not just with "we are on the break". So, contact her and talk. Otherwise, take it as a lesson and date locally next time. And not with somebody who would tell you how she wont even try to fix things after 3 years together.

Thank you for this. We have discussed closing the gap, but because she is overseas our only option is marriage which I think scared both of us. I agree she definitely checked out well before I realized. She says that she tried to explain to me what was going on but idk, I guess I was too busy to hear it? I really never knew or realized until it was essentially too late. She says that she is trying but she is scared to jump back in 100%. Idk if that is just fluff or what? 

I figured the break would kind of stop the begging/ignoring/anger cycle and just give us some time to level our heads. I definitely acknowledge the struggles we've had but part of me also wonders if she will ever let it go so we can move on. 

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1 hour ago, Rose Mosse said:

What personality or behavioural and temperament flaws are these? Are they anger issues or did you take it out on her? If that’s the case this may be far too broken. You’ll have to change the way you treat people and learn to manage your time, emotions or know your limits. Be more disciplined. It sounds like you’ve made some adjustments but you’re scrambling in triage. To be honest it doesn’t look convincing. 

You are the one who proposed a meeting again in a few weeks so why are you backing out now? Take a look at why you’re wavering or seem to have a foot out the door. What’s really eating at you? Is it the LDR or your own behaviour and guilt? 

If you don’t want to be with her or feel this is too much, don’t string her along. End it respectfully and let each other go. 

Thank you, you've hit the nail right on the head. Definitely some anger issues on my end and just in general I value quality time and physical touch which is why I never imagined myself in a long distance relationship. From the beginning, I didn't take it too seriously because it lacked all the things I value. 

I am definitely learning to above all be more disciplined as you said, thats the biggest flaw. The proposal was for us to stop contact, and then speak again in a few weeks. I wouldn't actually be able to see her again until the end of the year. I definitely think she's a great person and partner, we are all flawed for sure, but I love her I just feel like the LDR is just a torture in itself. That's the biggest internal struggle for me. Should I keep pursuing a woman that I know is great but also accept the fact that I won't be satisfied until we close the distance. Its hard for me to put in 100% effort into someone that I only see via phone you know? I think that factor also played a role in how the last few years played out. I prioritized the things that were actually in front of me and unfortunately she got left behind.

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9 minutes ago, kctiger said:

I'm curious, was this always a LDR from the start, or did it evolve that way due to personal circumstances? How did you two meet? 

I hate to sound like a pessimist, but typically if you have to ask whether a breakup is the right decision, then you probably already know the answer. Honestly, working as much as you do combined with the overwhelming difficulty of maintaining LDRs is a lot to ask. It seems to me she's already started the process of bracing herself for a breakup anyway. 

I don't think "breaks" are altogether a bad thing, but it does raise a concern that there's simply not enough there currently to work through the issues as adults. There's nothing wrong with that either. When this becomes an issue is when both parties are too afraid or too complacent to admit the relationship has stalled out and simply isn't meant to continue. 

Thanks for your comment. We met online and have been long distance since day 1. I agree, the minute a breakup is considered then it is probably best. I am just hesitant because I can't really see if we are the problem or if the circumstance is the problem. 

I definitely realized trying to do as much as I was doing was impossible, which is why I scaled back and decided to put my focus on my relationship but like you said she's has already prepped herself for a full breakup. 

I tell her that if we weren't long distance, I don't think we would have the problems we are having and if we did they would be easily resolved. The distance creates such a huge unnecessary obstacle. After our talk yesterday, we both admitted that we weren't happy which I thought was good, but I can't even tell if she wants to just end things altogether.

She is traveling to a nearby state this week so I asked her if we could at least try to have dinner or something, which she agreed to but idk if she will actually follow through or if its a good idea.

I'm just in a tough spot. I want to salvage the relationship and do better, but I can already feel the pressure of the long distance constraints. I feel hopeful about my abilities to be better, but also feel doomed already by the distance and her feelings she already has about me.

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5 hours ago, giraffeprint said:

At the end of last year, I realized that my gf has been distancing herself more and more and eventually she explained that she felt extremely hurt by my behaviors, temperament, and lack of availability. Since then I’ve tried to be more attentive, sensitive, and have even normalized my schedule. The problem is now that I’m trying to do the right things, she tells me she is too hurt and bruised and scared to really try in our relationship.

Do not 'break' for a few weeks- what's that going to do for you two?  Who can fix what in a few weeks?  Anything?

Sadly, it sounds like she;s checking out, sorry 😕 

Look at the last line here... She's told you she is too hurt... to really try anymore.

LDR can be severely challenging.  And yeah, I think it's been too much.  Hey, you both tried, just hasn't been working out.

IF you do meet up, is maybe best to admit this is it- right?  No reason being in a relationship that is beating you down ( the pressures, etc).

 

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1 hour ago, giraffeprint said:

Thank you, you've hit the nail right on the head. Definitely some anger issues on my end and just in general I value quality time and physical touch which is why I never imagined myself in a long distance relationship. From the beginning, I didn't take it too seriously because it lacked all the things I value. 

I am definitely learning to above all be more disciplined as you said, thats the biggest flaw. The proposal was for us to stop contact, and then speak again in a few weeks. I wouldn't actually be able to see her again until the end of the year. I definitely think she's a great person and partner, we are all flawed for sure, but I love her I just feel like the LDR is just a torture in itself. That's the biggest internal struggle for me. Should I keep pursuing a woman that I know is great but also accept the fact that I won't be satisfied until we close the distance. Its hard for me to put in 100% effort into someone that I only see via phone you know? I think that factor also played a role in how the last few years played out. I prioritized the things that were actually in front of me and unfortunately she got left behind.

 

1 hour ago, giraffeprint said:

Thanks for your comment. We met online and have been long distance since day 1. I agree, the minute a breakup is considered then it is probably best. I am just hesitant because I can't really see if we are the problem or if the circumstance is the problem. 

I definitely realized trying to do as much as I was doing was impossible, which is why I scaled back and decided to put my focus on my relationship but like you said she's has already prepped herself for a full breakup. 

I tell her that if we weren't long distance, I don't think we would have the problems we are having and if we did they would be easily resolved. The distance creates such a huge unnecessary obstacle. After our talk yesterday, we both admitted that we weren't happy which I thought was good, but I can't even tell if she wants to just end things altogether.

She is traveling to a nearby state this week so I asked her if we could at least try to have dinner or something, which she agreed to but idk if she will actually follow through or if its a good idea.

I'm just in a tough spot. I want to salvage the relationship and do better, but I can already feel the pressure of the long distance constraints. I feel hopeful about my abilities to be better, but also feel doomed already by the distance and her feelings she already has about me.

It sounds like it's already over and I didn't see a clear timeline to close the distance permanently. It may have started out as a romance but these are hard to maintain over distance. 

You don't know if she's such a fantastic person either if you haven't known or seen her in action on a consistent basis. Anything you both portray to one another online is virtual and the distance provides a buffer. It's difficult to keep things real and you never really see who that person is on the other side. Considering also you were so busy and things were on the backburner, can you truly say that your invested in this person or ever saw a future with her if you couldn't spend as much time in person or didn't make her a priority? 

Lastly, your frustrations or anger with your personal situation and this relationship took its toll and she was witness to that. Do the kinder thing and don't drag this out. If she bore the brunt of your frustrations and you got angry with her, this isn't a relationship any longer. It's a romance gone sour. You'll be older/smarter in future and avoid these situations if you know LDR isn't for you, especially where closing that distance isn't happening in the foreseeable future or is an unknown.

 

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4 hours ago, giraffeprint said:

I figured the break would kind of stop the begging/ignoring/anger cycle

What's all this about?Who is doing the begging, and who is doing the ignoring? 

4 hours ago, giraffeprint said:

Definitely some anger issues on my end

What makes you angry, and what do you say or do when you're upset? 

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You were both scared to close the distance, so yes, it was right for both of you that that didn't happen. You shouldn't make major decisions unless you have a great deal of confidence about that decision.

And now, for your own good, you can't really make a guess that the issues have been due to the LDR. It's very expensive to get a spousal VISA, and then you have only 90 days to marry, depending on the laws of your country, of course.

I suggest a clean break and after a period of mourning and healing, you should date locally only. And if you're still working 80 hours a week, don't date. It's not fair to a partner. Make positive changes to ensure better success. Good luck.

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7 hours ago, SooSad33 said:

Do not 'break' for a few weeks- what's that going to do for you two?  Who can fix what in a few weeks?  Anything?

Sadly, it sounds like she;s checking out, sorry 😕 

Look at the last line here... She's told you she is too hurt... to really try anymore.

LDR can be severely challenging.  And yeah, I think it's been too much.  Hey, you both tried, just hasn't been working out.

IF you do meet up, is maybe best to admit this is it- right?  No reason being in a relationship that is beating you down ( the pressures, etc).

 

I agree with your points here and thank you for your honesty. We did schedule to meet this weekend, I am just going to try to enjoy it for what it is given I haven't seen her in months. But I definitely agree, I underestimated how challenging it would be and it's not ideal to continue in a relationship that is definitely chipping away at me.

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5 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

What's all this about?Who is doing the begging, and who is doing the ignoring? 

What makes you angry, and what do you say or do when you're upset? 

The begging has been me, trying to show her that I was just under a lot of stress and she unfortunately she suffered through it. Ignoring has been her, and the anger is I guess more so frustration than anger. I find that I get the most frustrated when things don't follow the logic I expected. I guess I never really thought about it in detail, but when I expect her to be receptive and eager,  if she's not or not enough, I get annoyed. Honestly when things just don't go my way. And I know, its childish I've fully accepted my bratty behaviors but I've been trying to just focus more on breaking the bad habits instead of trying to change my personality. I can't stop myself from wanting the things I want, but I can definitely control my responses/reactions. That's what I've been working on - being more disciplined in that regard. Typically when I am upset I tell her exactly how I feel and start contemplating out loud my decision to be in the relationship.. I don't think its extreme but when I compare myself to her she is way more calm and collected most of the time, so I see very clearly there are better ways to handle things. That's one of the things that has attracted me so much to her. Just by being herself, she forces me to take a hard look at myself and just do better in the areas that I am lacking

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It sounds like this relationship plain doesn't work and you two don't mesh anymore. 

Time to let go. 

3 hours ago, giraffeprint said:

Typically when I am upset I tell her exactly how I feel and start contemplating out loud my decision to be in the relationship

But in the future, avoid doing this unless you are acutally prepared to end it. It's very damaging to a relationship and will hurt the other person tremendously. There's usually no coming back from that. 

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On 7/27/2022 at 8:25 PM, giraffeprint said:

I tell her exactly how I feel and start contemplating out loud my decision to be in the relationship.. I don't think its extreme...

Uhm, yes, that's extreme. Raising ideas to step out of the relationship is threatening, and nobody responds well to threats.

Nobody can trust again the person who makes them.

Presumably, one of the advantages of adulthood is that we don't walk around spewing the kind of hurtful stuff that comes out of toddlers without a filter, right?

It doesn't sound as though you really want this relationship.

 

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