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Relationship Health Message Board

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I think Mada is right and the best thing you can do is prepare yourself for the worst and try to go on with your life without her. Honestly, she's 17--even if she knew what she wanted, she's way too young and inexperienced to have any idea what kind of relationship and what kind of husband she'll want in the future. She's going to change so much in the next 10 years; she'll likely be a completely different person with completely different wants and needs when it comes to relationships. She's just way too young to have the maturity and perspective to choose who she'll eventually settle down with. She needs to live her own life, date a variety of men, and just generally grow up a lot more before she can make those kind of decisions. I'm not saying she doesn't love you or genuinely believe she'll end up with you, but almost everyone in love (particularly teenagers) swears that they'll live happily ever after with the person they love, yet almost inevitably end up with someone different in the end. It sounds like you're a great friend and boyfriend to her, but it also sounds like that while she truly wanted to spend her life with you at one point, she's now seeing that she needs to experience a lot more of life on her own before she can know that for sure. I remember that feeling well from my first few relationships, each of which I ended because I knew I needed a lot more life experience before I was ready to settle down with one man. I loved them and at the time believed we'd get back together, and of course I wanted them to wait around hoping I'd change my mind about dating other men in case I needed a safety net to come back to (like your GF is asking you to wait around), but when it came down to it, there was no way I was going to end up with the kind of man I loved as a teenager.

You never know what will happen in the future, but for the time being, she wants to be free to experience other men--I know how much that must hurt you, and I'm really sorry she feels this way, but I also think she's making a smart decision in the long run. Waiting around hoping she'll change her mind and come back to you is only going to make you into a broken, miserable man and eliminate any chance that she'll want you back someday. For your own sake, you need to preserve your dignity by respecting her decision and moving on with your life. You may think the breakup shouldn't have happened, but BOTH people have to want to continue a relationship for it to work. And even if she did come back in a month, there is no doubt in my mind she'd still, at some point in the future, want to experience more men before ultimately committing to you. All you can do is set her free, get on with your own life, and trust that everything happens for a reason and that things will turn out like they're supposed to in the end. It will only make things harder and more painful for you if you indulge her request that you hang around hoping she'll change her mind about dating other men, and it will also humiliate you and damage your self-esteem and self-respect to be in that position. I know you love her, but she is still so young, and she has a long way to go and a lot of life experience to face before she'll be ready to settle down with any man...waiting around hoping differently will only break your heart more and more every day. Sorry not to have better news for you, but I do know exactly what she's going through, and I know it's better for you to move on and be pleasantly surprised if she changes her mind than hang around and be disappointed when she doesn't.

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