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hi ... hoping someone out there can give me some advice on how to deal with a situation that is causing me an immense amount of pain, sadness, and loneliness.

i'm a 33-year-old male. approximately 2.5 years ago i was on a video chat program (not a dating site, just a videoconferencing program that allows you to go into rooms and talk to all kinds of people who you can see on webcams) and i met this girl. we ended up bonding on that thing, talking on the phone, really getting to know each other but still taking things slow because i know how these Internet things can go. anyways, after about six months i finally flew her out across the country to see me and she ended up staying. we lived together for six months and then she moved back to her home city, with the intent that soon i would move out there as well. 3 months later i did exactly that, we got an apartment and we've been living together here for nearly a year and a half. during that time we'd been through a LOT. she suffers from depression and wasn't working and is kind of antisocial, so after a long period of dealing with that, and with my support and help, she got on antidepressants and then a few months later got a really good job that she likes.

anyways, fast forward to last sunday. she comes home from work and gives me the 'we need to talk' line...uh oh right? so she's like, we need to break up...she says she's changed in the three months since she's been working, that life doesn't feel as grim as it used to, and that though once she thought we were soulmates and was REALLY and genuinely in love with me, she just doesn't feel that way anymore. then, she tells me that for the few days previously, she was flirting with guys on that video chat program, and she said she always told herself (and me) that if she ever felt compelled to do that, she knew our relationship wasn't what she wanted. we've also had issues with using the internet most of the time we've been dating, she's definitely an addict. for me, it's hard to complain because we did meet that way, but ever since we met in person i stopped using that program and i don't chat with people online or anything at all like that.

moreover, part of her rationale for splitting up is that she's never truly been on her own. she's 24 now, and she's either lived at home (not a good family life either) or with a previous boyfriend whom she lived with for 3 years when she was 18-21 and who treated her coldly and awfully. so she wants to be truly independent, not feel smothered by a relationship, and live her life as a 24-year-old.

from my perspective, right now i am angry at what she's done, the flirting behind my back thing (she's even said to me, when she was pretty drunk the other night here in the apt. and talking to that guy, that he was 'her Internet boyfriend because I don't want a real boyfriend') and just the hurt she's inflicted and the sense that i was there for her for a LONG time and loved her and supported her unconditionally, and now that she's doing better it's like she doesn't need me anymore. but i am also equally sad and heartbroken because despite that, we did have an amazing bond and so much in common and really thought that once her problems were addressed in a positive way, we could have a healthier relationship. she still lives with me, but she's planning to get her own place within the next couple of weeks. she says (as everyone does) that she wants to be great friends and hang out all the time -- she's planning to get an apartment pretty close by, and she says she gets a sick feeling in her stomach to think i could move back home across the country and she'd never see me again. she's also said on a couple of occasions in the past few days since the breakup that she's confused and she still "likes me" and isn't closing the door to what might happen between us down the road when she's on her own and satisfies that urge.

so here's my quandary: part of me wants to just say seeya, when she moves out not talk to her for at least a month and try to move on with my life, just worry about the things i need to do. and another part is obviously holding out hope for a future reconciliation, given that she's not 100% sure of things, that i know she still has feelings for me, that a lot of these internet things like what she's doing now fizzle easily and she might wake up and realize she messed up, etc. i'm afraid that if i cut her off, she'll think i've given up on her and she won't want to get back with me even if she wanted to (she's pretty passive), but if i keep in contact with her and be her friend and hang out, it will only prolong my agony.

if you have ANY COMMENTS OR ADVICE WHATSOEVER, it would really make me feel better. actually, just knowing that anyone might be reading this LONG posting (sorry! :-)) and cares in any way already feels good - it's good to vent. having moved out here without really knowing anyone else in this city, and since we've both been kinda keeping to ourselves this past 1.5 years, i don't have a whole lot of close friends i can really talk to about this or hang out with.

thanks a lot for listening





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