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Confused By Her Behavior, Not Sure Whether To End It


suresuresure
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My girlfriend (20) and I (22) have been together for nearly a year- we've had very few snags in our relationship, we're both very much in love and would make each other laugh all the time. Around a month ago, however, she began acting extremely distant. I should add that I graduated from college in May, and she is in the second year of a very difficult program. Also, this summer she got heavily involved at this comedy venue where she has taken classes and performs improv for fun. She generally goes there every Friday night and takes a class there every Sunday afternoon. I admit this made me a little nervous at first since the place is mostly populated with funny men, but I trust her and dismissed this as insecurity on my part.

 

About three weeks ago we were meeting for our typical Saturday date, when she broke down and said she was stressed from school and her father, and wondered if she was being unfair to me by not being as attentive as she had in the past. I admitted that I wished I could see her more, but assured her that I support her completely in everything. I had never seen her so upset, her whole body was shaking, so I was incredibly concerned. Fortunately she was able to calm down from our conversation, and by the time she left that night she was smiling and even laughing like her usual self.

 

Over the course of the next few weeks we had several serious conversations regarding the relationship (and in between these conversations I detected ebbs and flows as far as her feelings toward me), culminating last weekend (during another Saturday get-together) with her saying that we needed to essentially take a break, but she still wanted to remain in touch- yet that she knows I'm good for her and that we love each other, etc...I admit I didn't totally get her meaning. I agreed to "stay in touch" so as not to upset her, but in my heart I knew there's no way I'd agree to live in such a limbo - I was going to just cut off communication. It was a strange night though. We talked about the issue for roughly 5 or 6 hours before she finally had to go home for the night around 3am.

 

Either way, she called me back at about 9:30 the next morning, saying that she couldn't sleep all night and wanted to make an effort to be together and that she loved me too much to be apart. She even said that she'd occasionally miss one of the Friday night comedy sessions so she'd have more energy to hang out Saturday. I agreed, and we met after her comedy class that afternoon. It was a great time, nothing but fun and laughter, reminiscent of when we were first together.

 

Still, over the course of this past week it felt like thing were pretty rapidly going back to what caused the problems in the first place. She invited me to the improv show on Friday night, but acted cold and distant most of the time, not really responding to hugs or even momentary hand holding. This only caused more confusion in me because I began to wonder- is she acting this way because she's drifting back into thinking we should break up, or is there some guy at the improv place who she might be interested in (again, I freely admit insecurity, but you also have to understand my confusion).

 

Either way, after her class today we made plans to have me stay over at her family's house. She seemed less than enthusiastic last night when we were making the plans, despite the fact that she proposed them in the first place. I'm going to see how it goes this afternoon/tonight...but the main issue--

 

I'm really torn as to whether I should put my all into making the relationship work, or if I shouldn't risk it with someone who seems so flaky and unstable at the moment. The thing of it is, I really do love her, and if the problem is as simple as her being stressed out, I wouldn't want to presumptively end the relationship.

 

I posted this mostly to vent, but I'd also like to ask everyone here... can you think of any way I can get a claerer picture of what's going on in her head? We've had very honest conversations but I can't shake the feeling that there's a certain line where she stops sharing her true emotions and thoughts, and that she is holding something back. I'm tempted to end it to spare myself a lot of heartache, but I really don't know if this is the right thing to do.

 

Anyway, this post is long enough, feel free to respond in any way you like or focus on any aspect of the story, the only reason I asked that question is to make it seem that I posted this with a specific inquiry in mind- In reality my mind is a thousand places at once.

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I think you need to lay it on the line with her - gently but firmly.

 

Give her an opportunity to say if there is anything that needs to be done to make things better. If she remains uncertain then say that she is either in the relationship wholeheartedly or she is out of it and you need to move on. Either way that is her choice.

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I've gotta say i'd be just as confused as you sound.

 

Seems like she's in a 'neither here nor there' headset when it comes to the relationship, and being on the recieving end of such behavior is not a nice place to be.

 

Personally, I would try backing off just a bit. I don't mean breaking up or taking a break or anything like that; just give her a little room to collect her thoughts. I know that put's you in a situation of 'well, if she's collecting her thoughts, what am I supposed to be doing?'. Perhaps the same. Try to analyze what's brought this on in the first place. I know college/school can be quite strenuous on a relationship, it won't cause this kind of distancing as you have described; there's something else amiss.

 

Though I truly hate to disagree with DN as his advice is sound, I think 'laying it out' as DN says may be a little premature, and I would leave that for later on should things get 'harrier'.

 

For the time being, I would just take it in stride and don't let it bother you too much. Do a little fishing and see if there's something she's not telling you; if there is, she'll most likely want to but hasn't found a way to do it yet.

 

On the other hand, she could just be very stressed out right now with school and whatever is happening with her father (though you didn't say what that was), and needs some time to process whatever is going on, in which case a little breathing room may be just what she needs.

 

Hope this helps, and hope all works out well for you.

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The problem with backing off is that it can start a cycle. You back off - she comes to you. You think all is well and then she backs off again. Same thing repeats itself so that you end up in some sort of weird dance that usually ends with some breaking off the relationship.

 

If you want information - go to the source.

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You are right to have doubts, she is doubting the relationship. But it's not the time to play any kind of psychological games by backing off and looking for some kind of reaction out of her. It's wouldn't work in the long run anyways.

 

So have a very direct talk about what is going on here, but keep this in mind, why would you want to be with someone who's not 100% into you as well?

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*didn't see heloladies post before typing this*

 

I appreciate your input and you both raise good points. In a sense, though, I can almost feel this "cycle" DN mentions as already having begun- She withdrew, I agreed to take a break, she came back full force, then once she saw I'm not intending to go anywhere (at least outwardly), she has withdrawn again...

 

It's such a frustrating situation. While I won't pretend that I look forward to hearing a painful truth, it's certainly better than not knowing. But at the same time we have already discussed things quite a bit, and maybe pushing her more, at least right away, could do more harm than good. Or perhaps I'm just afraid to face reality and am using that as a justification to put up with her cold attitude.

 

You guys have laid out what are, as far as I can tell, my only two options- hopefully I'll get a better sense of what to do after tonight. I must sound incredibly wishy-washy right now, but it's so hard to make a choice when there's this much caring involved.

 

Sn0man- I mentioned the problem with her father as an aside because I don't know the extent of it. I know he can be overbearing a lot of the time and that she has a strained relationship with him, but often she'll just mention a specific argument they had and not go any further. And yes, that opens up a whole other can of worms, maybe she has issues with men as a result, but I'm no psychologist so I would never go there

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Sadly this situation sounds very similar to my own. Mine seems to be working out for now...and my girlfriend just needs a little more space each week to do the things she needs to do (nursing school and work). This situation isn't always caused by the girlfriend being interested in someone else...as that is not the situation in my case at all. All I can say for you is that it is a good idea to have a talk about this...tell her your thoughts...but tell her you are going to give her a little space and see what happens...that doesn't mean you can't see her or talk to her some each week...but keep it limited...and if she starts feeling comfortable and starts trying to step things up...then I would go with the flow while still trying to give her a little space even if she doesn't think she needs it. This way you can keep things moving slow while protecting yourself against a miserable cycle. I don't know if this advice is good or makes any sense...but basically you're going to have to take things slow with her otherwise you guys are going to keep going through this miserable cycle and you're just going to keep getting hurt and confused. And if she seems too unsure over everything and you aren't getting what you deserve out of the relationship then it would be much healthier to just end it for now.

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