Help for a young man in his 2nd potential relationship breakup...

Discussion in 'Community' started by vraxtus, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. vraxtus macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Sorry to have posted this here but I'm sort of desperate for advice and given that none of my friends are really available at the moment I figured I'd post something here...

    This is my 2nd gf now, and I'm going into my 4th year of college. Unfortunately after college my gf is definitely heading to med school (she's a med scholar so she's already in) and I'll be off doing whatever I can...

    This is one of a few problems we're facing right now. The potential for breakup over the fact that we may be far apart and it would be a long distance relationship for both of us seems pretty high. Unfortunately the current situation is a little harder to deal with.

    We're apart for the summer, I'm from San Francisco and she's from LA. I saw her for the 3rd time last weekend for my roomate's wedding in Orange County. The weekend was good but for the whole time she seemed rather distant as compared to before, and we got in a semi-argument over a few stupid things, but we had also had gotten into an argument the week before over how we were going to plan the wedding trip that weekend.

    Suffice to say that I've been feeling a little off about things, primarily because we seem to fight over and over again about the same things... and ultimately not come to any resolution. Most of what we fight about can be stupid but it revolves a lot around personality quirks that we both have that just don't complement one another. She's fairly insecure and really requires a lot of verbal confirmation of things, for instance. I, on the other hand, am the type of person that doesn't like to give answers to things I don't know, and often it's the case that she needs confirmation about how she looks or other things that I don't know the answer to that I just either don't want to give or would feel akward doing so.

    So lately we'd been having more problems and arguments and it's ultimately come down to both of us feeling rather bad about our situation, to the point where we decided to take some space and not talk for a few days while we're still apart before school starts again. She fortunately felt a little better, but I on the other hand began to feel more distant from her since we weren't really talking... I suppose in some ways I felt dejected that she wanted the space... even though I was the one having more of an issue in the relationship than she was.

    So today we talked again and it quickly became a much worse situation as I told her I was still quite worried about our relationship... to the point now where she's begun to get fed up and would rather me break up with her than hear about how I'm so malcontent in the relationship... And I feel bad because I know she's tried to make it work, more so than I have, but I'm also the type of person that is easily turned off by personality quirks that I don't agree with or aren't used to... so that's what's been making the situation worse for me...

    I guess that was just more of a rant but I'm pretty much in need of some good advice or a good way to spell out what I'm feeling, and what to do about my situation... I do love this girl but I fear that it's just not going to work out...
  2. Diatribe macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    It comes down to a couple of things, as every relationship does for that matter. First, do you love her? I mean really love HER not love being around her. If you do love her, does your love matter more than the few quirks she has? And if you decide to accept them accept them for good and not come going after them at a later time. Once you actually try or want to change people actively the relationship will be tough.
    If you love her more than the quirks she has, accept them and find a way to work it out, meaning talk to her. And by talking I don't exclude arguing but when you argue make sure that you don't use any exclusivities like always, never, etc. This will make her feel like there is no way anything CAN change and won't try at all. Arguing is very healthy when it is done right, and not TOO often. It resolves a lot of problems and shows that both of you do care. When you stop arguing, that is the point where you'll have to worry.
    And a relationship means doing things that you'd normally not do. I am not saying change yourself completely but if she needs reassurance, give it to her. And do it when she is not asking for it. Relationships are always compromises, each one has to give a bit for it to work. But if you don't LOVE the other person and are only together because it is convenient or don't want to lose that person just because you wouldn't have anyone anymore then forget it. Find out what you want and then try to resolve the issue, either way you should always follow what your heart has to say and if it says you love her then make some sacrifices.
    Either way you choose, you'll be fine. Life is full of experiences, some longer, some shorter, some tougher, some easier. In my opinion there are no good or bad experiences, they are all experiences. Make sure that you enjoy every single one and learn from the mistakes you've made and you will be very well off.
    Take care.
  3. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    What does your gut instinct tell you? I'm not you, but based on what you say here I know what mine says.

    Stick a fork in it.
  4. AmigoMac macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003
    Communication is the main base of every relationship, personal, professional, Commercial ... whatever. Whenever I have a difficulty with someone in any kind of relationship I talk thing directly with going around about what I feel, for some people it 's a bit difficult and prefer to take a time and see what happens next time... I'm not near what some people consider "Romantic" but I just try to have a nice time with everyone no matter the space and time, if I dislike something I tell it a.s.a.p

    Now you have to think that if your lives are going apart for some reason (Studies) you may stay together until the last point and not say good bye and that's all, remember that everyone has decided a way to go and the first thing you should do is to wish the other one the best and help to find the way to the goal, I believe you can stilll be friends until each one has found and other person to continue , if you find one , you may remember each other as good friends and someone who really helped if you continue together, it means you belong together... it's a matter of communication... Maybe I lost the topic but it could help someone ;) ... it did happen to me when I was starting University and my friend went to other faculty, we studied together (Same room but different topics) until a point where she found a group and I took my way, now we live more than 10.000 KM away :) , different life style, i still talk to her family but because of other reasons I can't talk to her..

    Edit: The right distance is 9044.351776236586 Km ... ;) :D

    Got it from This site! & this this :cool:
  5. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    I usually hate to post on threads about these types of situations because it is almost impossible to give great advice to someone you don't know about a situation that is mostly unknown.

    However, I'll make an exception because I faced a fairly similar situation in college. Twice.

    The first time, I was seeing a girl junior year of college, and when we left for the summer, we did the whole "we'll see each other all the time" type of thing - she lived only about an hour away (but neither of us had a car). Of course, it didn't happen that way, and we got into petty fights over the summer over stupid crap because we really did have varied personalities that didn't quite mesh.

    But senior year, we returned to college and continued to see each other, but it was never really right. I thought at one time that I loved this girl, but I think that, really, I was in love with the fact that we were together (or more specifically, that I wasn't alone). We eventually grew apart and that was that. We still remained friends (after a reasonable period of "mourning" if you will), and kept in contact for some time after we broke up.

    Later that year, I was seeing someone else (see, you can move on) who, like your gf, was somewhat needy in terms of requiring attention and reassurance on the relationship. Coincidentally enough, she was also destined to attend medical school (and is now a doctor). I was on a different emotional plane from her - not really feeling the need to provide that reassurance, because it wasn't part of my personality. Again, we'd fight over stupid crap, because that's what people fight about when they're 21 years old and haven't been in the real world (speaking for myself, now). You can't fight about money, kids, real jobs, etc., so you gripe about why you didn't meet for dinner or why someone didn't meet you at the bar on time or whatever. Again, I was "in love." And again, I think I was just enamored with being in a relationship that had some fringe benefits that I didn't want to lose.

    The key here is, if this person was out of your life, how would you feel? Would you be a little relieved that you didn't have the stress of dealing with the quirks? Would you be somewhat excited to pursue new opportunities (because they will come along, especially in college)? If you're in love with her, then you couldn't bear to be without her, quirks and all. Sure, there will still be little things that would annoy you, but in the end, those things wouldn't matter because everything else that you love about her would overwhelm that "stupid crap."

    Just don't get caught in the trap of "bird in the hand" syndrome and think that you need to stick with what you have just because she's there. Really examine what you have and try and see if the two in the bush might really be worth investigating, even if you don't end up with any of the three.
  6. quidire macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2004
    Washington DC (in Kalorama Triangle)
    1. Somehow, the fact that you posted this question here makes me happy; obviously not because of the exigency you find yourself in, but just because its nice to think that we are to some small degree a community, not just a collection of people who own or are about to buy Macs and are sharing what we know to make both processes easier.

    Of course a corollary of this is that our answers are going to be presumptuous; I am obviously speaking from ignorance if I say anything about you or your s.o... So please don't be offended...

    2. The right answer is ambiguous. Some of whats going will happen again and again, so there are things here you really ought change. That having been said, you have no obligations here, and so sacrifices have to be justified.

    That she requests verbal support to ease her insecurities is something that you will find again and again. We all have insecurities, and the angst they generate increases directly with increased exposure to another person. Someone who knows you well and spends a lot of time with you becomes a far more relevant opinion and so any negative comment, real or imagined, hurts that much more. We want to be comfortable around the person we are most vulnerable to, and the only way that happens is with reassurance that that person approves of us in the area of our insecurity.

    No offense, but to say that one doesn't have concrete data, and therefore cannot speak on the issue is a dodge; being asked "Do you think my hair looks good" one can provide an answer without a background as a cosmetician. Presented the more tricky "Do you like me in this shirt or that one" simply pick the one that is slightly prefereable. A reassuring dodge would go "I like them both quite well, but which do you think would work best w/ the party we are going to?"

    Not to be horribly sexist, but it seems current societal influences breed insecurity in women (or at least any with a brain). It is no longer sufficient to be pretty, women are expected to be able to compete in the workforce. So far so good, and they are doing very well (majority of college spots, graduate school even more dramatically imbalanced in their favor). However they are still expected to maintain their appearance to a level men are not. Additionally their careers are complicated by the question of when to have children, they are judged far more harshly when just getting off the ground on their ability to "keep house"... and I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface. Let's face it, men are raised from a young age to be emotional cripples. This is not good, its probably unfair to us, but it does leave us less adept at dealing with the emotional crises of those society never tried to turn into rational robots.

    A little emotional support may be difficult, but is probably a requisite of any relationship with anyone more introspective than an IQ80 bimbo.

    3. All of the above has little to do with your current relationship for two reasons:
    a) you already have baggage now
    b) the separation issue.

    Past misdeeds (a) may be your fault, but you are not responsible for being just. If the memory of such mistakes will hang over your relationship forever, you may as well bail. The inability to discuss legitimate issues that crop up in any relationship ultimately dooms that couple's connection. (All the same, in any relationship it's important to convey the idea that one is happy there, and that the issues being discussed, while relevant and worth the effort, are not a sign that one is tired of her or despises/dislikes her. A useful way to frame the discussion might be "these issues aren't making my life hell now, I'm in 7th heaven etc, but should we not address them, could fester and by the time they are noticed as such have poisoned our relationship for good. Best discuss them now, when no animosity has accrued :)")

    I presume you go to college with her? Then I would suggest the following:
    a) a mea culpa on the emotional support question
    b) reinforce that you are happy, and you hope she is, and while discussions about future status are important, they shouldn't spill over and make unpleasant the other time you have together
    c) discuss jointly where she is applying, and where you are going to apply for a job. UCSF, Harvard, Johns Hopkins are all great medical schools and aren't in that sunblasted reservation for the intellectually bankrupt (SoCal). Make it clear that she is of course more than welcome to apply anywhere, but you are willing to live in the following cities, and that to the extent that she has a constraint beyond her control (medicals schools that accept her), you do as well (companies that accept you). Stress that you would like to harmonize the selections of locations, but that it needs to be an even discussion, which can only really occur after she knows where she can end up.

    After resolving the immediate issue, realize that you don't want to change your life unless things are going well. This year will be proof positive one way or another; neither of you need to decide where you will go until April, even as you may start applying in the fall. Come April, make a determination, until then try to make it work. Should it not, you both have an easy out, and have prevented yourself from making that canonical life mistake; following someone to a disadvantageous location.

    Good luck!!

  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Wow, long posts here. I'll K.I.S.S this one: if you have arranged to meet her someplace, and you don't ever feel like you want to, then you probably don't. If going to see your gf feels like a chore, move on. If talking to her feels forced, like an obligation, move on.

    Move on.
  8. mikefl420 macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2004
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Up Early with Nothing to Do...

    I'm up early and I'm bored; however, your problem has given my morning some purpose.

    As far as your pressing matters, you hit it on the head in the beginning- long distance relationships don't work. Well, unless one of the following exceptions applies to you:

    a) You've got lots of disposable income or a trust fund, in which case you can travel on the weekends.
    b) Y'all are chaste. That way nobody knows what they're missing and strays.

    If either of those apply, go for it. Otherwise, it really doesn't sound like you want to stay together once she goes... Either that or you just felt like listing the problems, quirks, and negative points in your relationship without much mention of the positive.

    Assuming Exceptions A and B don't apply to you, you really don't feel like waiting the ridiculous number of years med school takes, and you are unable to move with her, I offer the following suggestion: Cut your losses and move on.

    Everybodies but quirks but I'm sure there's a conveniently located girl for you with less bothersome 'quirks' than your current.

    And remember, don't eat the yellow snow.
  9. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    i'll keep it even simpler:

    don't try to "save" the relationship for the sake of having a relationship.

    a lot of time, we forget that the relationship is about two people. try to save the relationship with her instead of trying to save having the relationship. (i.e. not being "single")

    having a bad relationship is infinitely worse than having no relationship. if she's worth it as a friend/girlfriend, then do work on it. otherwise, don't try to save the relationship simply because you two are together or that you've been together for X years, etc.
  10. cr2sh macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2002
    You don't seem to be giving any strong clues to your desire to stay with her... it must be from frustration though because I'm sure you love her. You've been together a long time and that's a testament to how much you care for each other.

    You sound exhuasted though, not sure what to do.. you can't win in this situation. Everytime you talk to her or see her.. its these questions and issues that are brought up. You can't drop it because its all you think about and its making you miserable.

    Taking time off and trying to get past it is the best thing, not trying to find the answers in her but settling it for yourself. It might take a month of not talking to do that - but if you want to try to save this, you're going to have to get a handle on the problems between you two.

    Just my .02 dude, good luck with it... keep your head up, it'll get better.
  11. AmigoMac macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003
    Just follow what google says :p

    Attached Files:

  12. vraxtus thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks for all the responses guys... I'm still pondering over this whole situation.

    For this response I think this hit it fairly on the head. I think I do love her very much but I believe I'm the type of person that won't stop loving a person because of personality differences, but would not necessarily want to be with them because of them. I suppose that's only human but part of me feels like that's a rather immature thing to go by... that annoyance is just something I'd have to outgrow.

    I think in reality I am rather exhausted... in the beginning I didn't mind being the one that took care of her, drove her places, cooked for her, and tried to be there for her as much as I could... but I found that our expectations of one another were not the same... that she was more of the "princess" type that wanted someone around constantly, and I was the type that wanted a more independent and capable girlfriend. So as time went by the fronts dissolved and we sort of revealed more of who we are.

    Now on that note she's been rather accomodating to change... that she is more willing to give into the relationship than before... but from that I sort of feel two things: 1) that it's unfair to her because I haven't been as willing to change, or 2) that her change is only for the moment, and that at the end of each day she's still the same person that wishes I'd be the person that she wants. From this I don't really know what to deduce and that's a pretty big part of my consideration right now...

    Ugh this has been a crappy situation since I've not actually dumped a girl before and I seem to be the one with the ball in his court right now...
  13. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    dude, is she really going to be a doctor?
    So go ahead a break it off and 10 years from now when
    you are scraping the bottom for a crappy appartment, she'll
    be relaxing in a huge house and driving a beamer.
    Everyone here is going to say "oh do what your heart tells you"
    but when you enter life you'll find out life is about 1 thing
    and 1 thing only... MONEY. It buys houses and pays mortgages,
    buys cars, insures retierment, and puts your kids through college.
    So unless you are a wealthy S.O.B. anyway, my advice is:

    Doctor in hand is worth two in the bush.

    PS. all the haters can blow me.
  14. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    Heres my feeling: (I'm going the same thing)

    1) If you get that "excited/free feeling" in your stomach when you think about seeing someone else, its probably best to... find someone else.

    2) You shouldn't have to work at a relationship, it should just work. If neather of you can either wait or want to wait until finishing schooling (one of my problems) then its best to move on. Don't make a move just to save the relationship you'll end up regreting (and blaming her/yourself for) later.

    Think about how it will be when your married (if you willing to go that far), and think about how it might be (it could get worse)... its also been my experience that women end up being A LOT like thier mothers... which can be good and... bad.
  15. asphalt-proof macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2003
    See a counselor

    There is something to be said about following your gut but sometimes the gut is just taking the easy way out. Go see a counselor. Preferably with your gf if you are serious about the commitment. If she doesn't want to go, then go by yourself. It may provide you with insight about your own ambivalance and different communication tools you can use with her. It can also help make the breakup less painful if it comes to that. I'm sure your campus has a counseling center that wil provide the services for free or at a substantially reduced cost. Good lick. Relationships are hard at times. But they are worth the effort sometimes no matter what your gut tells you.
  16. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    i can tell just from reading your message that your personality just doesn't mesh with hers. you are probably trying to make it work for the physical aspects of the relationship, but you'd be much happier breaking it off now and saving yourself the stress, drama, and heartache that is bound to follow if you let things continue as they are.
  17. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    Eh. My first boyfriend came from a nicely wealthy family. Big in real estate. He had pretty much whatever he wanted, handed to him. Now he's a successful artist and is exploring film directing-- up in Boston grabbing headlines with sculptures and at film festivals. On top of that, he's incredibly hot. Like, he always *was* really hot, but now... damn.

    But, i'm glad i didn't stay with him for the perks. We loved each other a lot, but practical concerns got in the way, and i left him. While i won't say i never regret it, it's rare that I feel I made the wrong choice.

    (BTW-- if anyone else is in this situation-- it does *not* impress the other person to get a drunk phone call, 5 years after you split up, telling him you love him...)

    As to the main thread. I'm with jxyama. Keep a relationship for any reason other than having a relationship-- which sounds suspiciously like what's happening.

  18. vraxtus thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    At this point it looks like we may be headed down the "mutual breakup" road... I suppose to spare some feelings, but also to salvage some kind of friendship from the situation... I suppose it's a good thing that we never had sex because I think that would have really complicated things further. The problem now is my gut tells me that it isn't really our time to break up yet... but that this is just being forced because of circumstances, and given that her mom is a very large controlling factor in her life, and now she doesn't even want us talking, that's adding to the frustration... Sometimes I do feel like I'm dating her mom and not her...
  19. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    The comment surprises me when you say she is insecure and need reassurance on her decisions. That is not a personality trait that fits very well with being a doctor. Unless she grows out of insecurity, being a doctor will be a difficult life for her. A doctor has to make quick decisions and live by them. They are usually secure with themselves.

    I'm also confused with your comment about, "feels like I'm dating her Mom." Love means that the person is on your mind most of the day, first in the morning and last at night. Try to put them first. I agree that going with the gut feeling is important.
  20. vraxtus thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I feel compelled to point out that knowledge of academia is very different from knowledge of self. Confidence in one's appearance, for example, is very different from confidence in one's ability to make decisions. Furthermore she's an A+ student... so I think her ability to make decisions is going to be highly affected by what she knows from being a student... so I don't necessarily agree with the idea that insecurity in a relationship or with her appearance is necessarily an indicator of having trouble making decisions...

    I'm kind of confused here... your definition of love is your own, but for me it is more instinctual. Unfortunately often times I feel like so much of her is influenced by her mother that it seems at times that she's not the one making decisions, but her mother... maybe that makes more sense.
  21. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    My and my gf are going to be doing degrees next year, she doesn't want to stay in the town where we live but i don't really want to go anywhere, the college here has one of the best courses in the country (UK). But she wants a change in scenery

    Anyway, I've decided that I will go with her, BUT its only because we do the same course and I want to be with her.

    But in your case and before I met my current gf who is very compatible with me. I always said that the work you do is more important than a gf. This is college work i'm talking about. This work is life building and once done will stay with you for the rest of your life, you can't lose your education like you can with a gf.

    Also you WILL find somebody else so you can see where i'm heading with this. Chances are in your favour that you will find somebody else who you will like. There are so many possibilites and so many women out there that you will get somebody and you will be happy. Of course they are all unique but they are all the same in regard to availability.

    Arrgh, anyway point is, dump her if its getting to much and you value your work greatly, you should find somebody who is going to gel with your lifestyle, find somebody who is going into the world with the same career path as you. Make sure you can both benefit each other. My last gf was a drag because she wasn't interested in college, she just wanted a job and some money and i wasn't happy for it because she wasn't interested in the things i had to be interested in. My new gf and I study art so we have a huge range of interests for the both of us, we share ourselves completely. I'm not telling you how great my relationship is to dishearten you either, its just the outcome of finding somebody with the advice i've given you, that I follow myself.

    Get somebody new and move on. A bit Black and White but thats me.

    PS. Its good you havn't had sex with her as well, that means you wouldn't feel for her as much as you would do if you had has sex with her. The feeling you get after breaking up and knowing she is with somebody else having sex kinda kicks you even harder to the curb. That level of intimacy makes it harder and more painful.

    I hope I have helped.
  22. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar

    You can give him the same advice when, 5 years from now he's getting divorced and has a kid in the mix, and I can tell you to "blow me."

    You're telling him to stick with her and be a man-whore. That's not what a real man does. And that's why women leave men.

    I got no problem with guys marrying money, but the relationship has to be there or the money will cease to matter and the marriage will eventually evaporate.

    What a shallow consumerist viewpoint. You really think tooling around in a Bimmer is going to alleviate the emotional havoc caused by having a marriage to someone who becomes a stranger to you?
  23. Archaeopteryx macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2003
    Every time I ever broke up with a woman It was followed by an overwhelming binge of alchy. Then a bad hang over.. and a few tears.. Then me going around looking for teh ladies... Its a good system... I recommend it!
  24. topicolo macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2002
    Ottawa, ON
    I will have to agree with WDLove on this one. Any form of confidence, whether it be in one's appearance, one's ability to make decisions or whatever, is closely correlated to self-esteem. As logical as your reasoning seems, emotions and the subjective side of human nature is rarely as logical as it should be. When you stated that she's fairly insecure and that she needs assurance for her appearance, you're describing a woman with self-esteem problems. She doesn't feel like she measures up to either her lifestyle, her peers, her profession, or maybe to you. Her academic education will not help much in solving her insecurities but a deeper understanding of the causes of her insecurities and/or therapy might help.
    As for you, the relationship may still work, but it seems unlikely. If you really care for her regardless of whether you will be in a relationship with her or not, you should try to help her but if you only want to avoid being alone, it may be less of a hassle to find someone else.

    Also, in terms of your personality quirks, you may be more successful with your girlfriend (or other women, for that matter) if you do develop the ability to make decisions and take the lead. Trust me--go ask some women about this and the majority will agree. If you want to avoid giving answers to the trick questions like "am I fat?", try changing the topic to something funny and they'll forget about their question in no time :).
  25. topicolo macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2002
    Ottawa, ON
    I totally agree, despite what some may see as socialist propaganda :D (lotsa hints in the 'tar and the consumerist viewpoint comment).

    The more a man tries to latch on to a woman, the less attracted she will be. The ultimate example of this is a stalker. If vraxtus becomes a needy doormat to try to stay with her, she's going to dump him inside of a month and get a restraining order within three months.

    No offense obeygiant, but judging from your attitude, I'm going to take a wild leap of faith and state that you haven't been very successful with many ladies. Try making yourself more independent and try not to tie any outcome to your ego when you're dealing with women and you'll see wonders after you "get it"

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