I Wanted Her to Grow Up so we Broke Up

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
My ex-girlfriend and I had dated for about 2 years. We had a great relationship but had our bumps too. I broke up with her once during our relationship (which lasted 3 weeks) and one last time about 3 months ago. My reasons for both break ups were the same. She was very dependent on me and therefore it made others things difficult. I love her very much even when I broke up with her, it was one of the hardest things I've done. I never lost track of the idea of us ultimately being together, I just felt that she needed to find herself and throughout our relationship it didn't seem that it was going to happen when we were together.

We kept in touch throughout both break ups. We always have awesome conversations and always talked about how we can only see us together in the future. During both break ups she always wanted to get back together with me, but I didn't feel we had enough time apart to grow. After 3 months she started showing great signs of her discovered independence I was instantly reminded of whom I first fell in love with. So I asked her if we could get back together and work things out, she thought we needed more time. She gets sad and nervous when she talks to me because she still loves me a lot but she tells me that she has to move on.

I know that a lot of her decision is based on fear that we may fall back into the same routine and that I'll break up with her again. I don't blame her I hurt her pretty bad from the last break ups. I'm at a point now, which, I was missing before, that I want to work through any problems we might have. I know deep in my heart that she needs more time maybe I do too. But I also feel that we could work these things out and I've told her this.

Rejection pays a heavy toll on anyone and I'm in the dumps now. I really want her back and I can't sleep or eat. We have now stopped talking and it kills me. I feel like I need to put up a fight, I need to win her back or I'll loss her. I just don't know if I should wait some time (How much time?) or go for it now. We are having Thanksgiving together, just her and I. My friends tell me that this might not be a good idea. I understand what there saying but I know we will have a good time together. It will be our last time together before we REALLY say goodbye. I'm not expecting sparks to fly and everything will be great from that point on, but I'm hoping to make a lasting impression that will fill both of our hearts full of hope for our futures.

RomanceClass.com Advice
Here's the flaw in your logic. A relationship is about two people who accept that life is not perfect, that their partner is not perfect, but that together they can BOTH grow, change, mature, and reach their goals. Each person should encourage the other, support the other, and help the other become a better person. It shouldn't involve one person kicking the other person out of the house to say "go grow up somewhere else and come back when you're more mature." That approach rarely works, because now you've proven to your partner that if there is an issue, your solution is to force them to deal with it on their own.

A partnership should always be about people addressing issues together. It's not about YOU saying to her "I only accept a girl that is X Y and Z. You do not meet my criteria. Go somewhere and change until you meet my criteria."

No wonder she's afraid - who knows what other criteria you'll invent in the future that she'll have to measure herself against - and if she fails, POOF you kick her out! That's not a very secure feeling at all.

I would really sit down and have a LONG talk with her. Explain that you realize now that breaking a relationship is not an ideal solution for problems within the relationship. That the core of a relationship is about accepting we each have flaws and these are part of us - NOT about manipulating and changing each other into what we think the other should be. That you love her the way she is AND the way she will be in 1 year and 5 years, since we ALL change and grow constantly. And that you really have learned your lesson and won't use kicking-out as a way to force change in the future. That if you have issues you two will TALK about them and find solutions together.

Hopefully she will believe you are sincere, and give you another chance.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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