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So a little background. I'm currently 24 and my girlfriend is about to turn 23. I met my girlfriend in a temporary job back in Oct 2007. We were on the same shift and used to get the same bus so got on really well. She was pushed to start a relationship with a friend she'd known for a while by her sister, she didn't want to but went along with it. When I heard about this I thought I'd lost my chance and told her how I felt and she quickly cut off ties with him as she didn't want to be with him anyway and we started going out.

Since then we spent a lot of time together, used to stay at hers quite often then and both our temporary jobs turned into permanent. She got full time, I got part time. After around 18 months of being together we eventually moved into a small, attic flat and she also changed from full time to be flexi, similar to me, as she envied the amount of time I had off. Most of our shifts since then have been the same and more recently we got bumped up to full time and our shifts since the start of the year have been more similar than ever - we also sit right next to each other in our job. In Dec 2009 her Gran that she was close to died, 6 weeks later her Grandfather which was also hard for her. However in June the same year her mother tragically drowned after 3 days of drinking. Very difficult period. Not long after then we moved into a rented 3 bed house and - in hindsight kind of stupid - got a dog just before Christmas that year.

Things between us were OK. Even with her loss she eventually got past it with my help and the dog really helped out but even before that I've not been entirely happy. I love her, but I'm not in love if that makes sense? We're more like good friends so to speak. We spend a lot of time playing online games together, with our own PC's and a lot of time watching films, her on the sofa and myself on the chair. There's hardly any intimacy, no feeling, just content with how we are. Last year I brought these feelings up with her that I wasn't happy in the relationship and had thoughts of finishing with her. I was in a hole and needed to get out. She wasn't physically attractive to me as much as before (by no fault of her own really), she had put on weight but that wasn't the main loss in attractiveness, it was more her loss of confidence and self-pride, which I told her about but also that we weren't doing anything together that couples should be doing - we sit around watching films or playing games, we weren't intimate or affectionate often. Eventually after a while of brushing it off, she listened and we had the conversation - she's always brushed things under the carpet, won't talk about sensitive things and turns most serious conversations into a joke - which I dislike. We decided to work on it and she said she'd try to chin up and sort ourselves out.

She did, to an extent. She hasn't really lost much weight nor really put much effort into that bit but we've gone to buy her clothes and she had her hair done etc etc which has over time built her confidence again however I've still got that feeling that I'd rather be with someone else. So to my main point, I was at the pub recently with my gf and her sister and her friends came to join us. With them was a girl I'd had a brief relationship with before.

I was a **** to this girl. I wanted nothing more than just a play-mate at the time and after we finished I slept with one of her friends, another ****ish move - I was 19 and naive. After that I realised what a **** I was, kicked myself for a long time. We both moved on, she's now engaged but when my gf and her sis went to the shop and their mates went inside, me and my ex sat down talking and joking about what was between us, what happened and how much of a **** I was. It was good to get it out in the air and talk about it. Anyway we ended up kissing. I walked her home and we talked. We spoke about the fact that we were both in a long-term relationship and tried to talk ourselves out of each other - it didn't work, not for me at least. I admitted I had unfinished business with her and really regret that I didn't attempt a normal relationship with her. I have thought about her quite often during my current relationship - it wasn't just this talk.

If I was to end my 4 year relationship it would break my gf's heart. I believe she LOVES me loves me. She has no where to go since her mum died and worst of all, even if she did find some place, we work together and basically sit together - I'm not sure she could handle that, or me for that fact. Transferring isn't really an option as the other office is way too far. My only option would be to man up and move desk and live with my decision or quit.

I know I've been cowardly and just stood by my girlfriend without being completely devoted to her but she went through a really difficult period which I couldn't drop a bomb on her and we just kinda glided on with life. Kissing and talking to my ex has made me think how much more of a **** I've been again by not cutting this off earlier when I could have. I'm in limbo. I know even if the other girl didn't decide to end her relationship that I would probably be happier alone than in my current situation. My problem is I don't want to be a complete ass to my current girlfriend and if I do finish with her, want to make it as easy as possible for her. I know I could handle it but I'm not worried about myself.

Sorry for making this an essay but I wanted to portray as much detail as possible.

TLDR: Basically looking for advice from anyone that has been in a similar situation or views of people from another angle. I love my gf, but not IN love. I don't want to just knock that confidence out of her like a bulldozer, or will I have to stop being a **** and own up and finish things, knowing she'll be broken?





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