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Hi all. I am new here, and I was hoping that you guys could help me out a little bit. PLEASE give me some input on this.

To start, I have been with my girlfriend for almost 4 years now. I love her. I am 24, and she is 22. We have had your typical relationship of ups and downs, but things have been pretty good up to now. Unfortunately, it seems like my girlfriend is starting to have some doubts about our relationship.

My girlfriend told me recently that ``the butterflys are gone.`` I take this to mean that the physical feeling she used to get in her stomach when we saw each other is gone. This worries her. I think that before, this is how she knew for sure that she loved me. She had a physical feeling that confirmed her mental feelings. I will admit, that for me, the butterflies left a long time ago. I never had a real problem with it. I figured that it was part of a normal relationship. So basically, she says that she is having doubts because those feelings havent been there lately. Her heart doesn`t skip a beat when she sees me anymore, if we are apart for a day, she doesn`t miss me as bad as she used to. She says that she is sure that she loves me, she just isn`t 100% sure if it is ``true love`` and she doesn`t really know how to tell if it is or not. Also, she used to talk to me about marriage and engagement. Nowadays, I assume because of the issues she is going through, she says she isn`t willing to look that far into the future.

Our sex life has also stalled to some extent. We used to have sex several times a week, and now it is down to around 1 time a week. Even then, I don`t think that she is always in to it. She is a real stress case, so I think that may have something to do with it, but I feel that I should include that info for the sake of completeness. She says that it isn`t just me. That lately, she hasn`t been getting turned on in general. Aside from a few days ago, she hadn`t masturbated in several months. (Sorry for giving way too much info there.)

She is leaving for medical school in a few months. She will be moving across the country. We had previously agreed that I would move out there with her after a year. The other day, I mentioned that maybe I would move over there after 6 months, and she was less than thrilled. She said that she kinda felt that she needed the year to be alone (not without a boyfriend, but just on her own) and to grow. After all, she is only 22, and her parents have always been pretty stifling.

I love this girl very much, and I can see myself being with her the rest of my life. A few weeks ago, she would have told you the same thing, but right now, she is having doubts. We are comitted to trying to work this thing out (I think) but I would be lying if I didn`t say that I was pretty scared about the whole thing. I have had doubts about our relationship in the past, and I have also had to deal with things like the inevitable loss of passion in a relationship, asking myself ``how do I know that I REALLY love my girlfriend`` etc. I usually just gritted my teeth and got through it. However, I also did those things awhile ago. Perhaps she is lucky, and she got to go through the ``honeymoon phase`` of our relationship for 4 years, and I only got 1.5 years or so. Or perhaps this is truly the beginning of the end. I can`t tell.

I guess what I want to know is what do you guys think is going on here? Is this normal at some point in a relationship?

I also want to know what you guys think I should do. I admittedly have not been handling this situation the best way. I have gotten pretty freaked out about it, and I bring it up alot. I am a bit obsessive, so these days I am asking her alot how she is feeling, if she wants to be with me, if she has figured things out etc. Should I just quietly support her? Should I withdraw a bit? I am scared that if I tell her too much about how I feel, that it is going to drive her away. The last thing I need to do is tell her how much I love her and how I want to be with her forever, when she is having a hard time figuring those things out. It is really strange because a few weeks ago, she would have said the same things about me (that she wanted to be with me forever, get married, have kids), but something is different right now.

I just need some perspective from somebody here, because I probably don`t have any myself. Thanks in advance, and PLEASE help.

Dennis





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