Hope for relationship
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
(note: this is a reprint of a question I sent you before, but I have added an important detail I forgot to tell you about)
Dear Romance Class
Okay, so my ex-girlfriend and I met in high school and remained in a long-distance relationship as I went to college and she did (she is a year younger than me and is going to Yale; I am going to the University of Iowa) up until about a month ago, at the end of my junior year of college (her sophomore year), in which she said she was unsure about our relationship and, because we have been together for so many years, being unsure is just not acceptable. This was all fostered by a very small tryst she had with another man at her college; she told me about it, and apologized, and I forgave her, but she said even afterwards a part of her still wanted to date him, and she said it wouldn't be fair to stay with me and make long-term plans about where our lives are going with such an opposing urge going on; furthermore, she said that the true root of the problem was the strain the distance had put on us. The breakup was very bittersweet and I have spent the last month recovering.
Now she is currently dating the man she had a tryst with; I have also taken the opportunity to try dating someone back at my college(though, ironically, I am spending the summer out near my parents', which is only a train ride away from my ex's college and a long plane ride from mine)--I recently flew back to my college to see her (the girl at my college) and we had a fairly good time.
That sort of made me feel better, but then my ex contacted me via IM and we chatted about things, and we both admitted that even though we had one foot in the door of our new relationships, we still had great urges to get back together and start over with each other, and our new ventures were half-hearted. We even both admitted that we still cry occasionally when we think of each other.
She said, in addition, that she's thought about calling me and saying "let's back together," but she holds back because she believes in 6 months we'll be back in the same bad situation. However, it just so happens that I am planning on going to grad school in the general area where she also wants to go. Don't worry, my decision to do so was not based off my relationship with her, but merely because that area provides such good schools in my major and it also allows me to remain near my family.
During that same IM conversation, however, she said she really misses me, and also said something to the affect of "and if we were hypothetically to get back together, maybe I should have some time to think it over..." and then, worst of all, "well, who knows, maybe in a year when you're out here for grad school we might get back together...why rule it out?"
That comment has stirred up emotions in me which have opened up the wounds I have been trying to recover from. I had been trying my best to not think about the relationship (after the first two weeks of being in deep grief) and had gained some comfort from my prospects with the girl at my college. But that conversation ripped me wide open and now I find myself often in the same state I was when we initially broke up--very sad, occasionally crying, resisting the urge to go through our photo albums. I strongly want to call her and say "what are we doing? We're still in love, obviously, and we'll only have to wait one more year till I'm in a place where I can see you on a constant basis; why should we be afraid to get back together, especially if our new relationships are half-hearted? We could be perfect for each other and end up living our lives regretting our decision to stay apart; let's get back together, wait a year, live together when I get to graduate and THEN make a final, fully informed decision."
What should I do? I know that I should probably break it off with the girl I'm dating, since it's not fair to her that I'm dating her while not being over my ex. Should I make a move and ask my ex if she wants to get together again? After three years of sticking with each other, including two summers of consistently seeing each other and living together, and finding out that we fit in almost every way, it's just that the strain of distance caved in on us, should I take the risk? Or should I put the thought out of my mind and move on? Keep in mind that for the summer I will remain within a two hour's trainride of her.
Thank you for reading this message and I hope you can find the time to reply.
Someone In Limbo
I think there is some hope for this relationship.
You have nothing to lose by proposing the solution you mentioned in your email. Another years is not too long to wait after waiting so long. In addition, she is not entirely closed to the idea of getting back together.
Another idea, admittedly far-fetched, is for you to try to transfer to a school in Connecicut, such is as the Univ. of Connecticut which is only an hour from Yale. Or, withdraw from Iowa and work for a year while you wait on a transfer to UConn. If these ideas are impossible, at least tell your girlfriend you are considering them so she better understands how serious you are about your relationship.
I wish you the best of luck in your sad situation!
-- from George
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com