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Boards Reconciliation I feel like my situation is a bit different. What do you think?

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    So I read a number of the articles on this site and feel like they have some really helpful advice but I also feel like my situation is a little bit different from most of the examples I have read about here so I’m hoping that I might find some additional insight in this forum. This might be a little long but I really hope some of you will take the time to read it because I’m really interested in an outside perspective.

    Our relationship: I am a 36 year old male and She is a 23 year old female (35/22 when we met). I had concerns about dating a girl that young when we started seeing each other but it started out as not being too serious and just two people who were interested in each other going out to just have a nice time and enjoy each others company. (It’s worth mentioning here that she is a very mature and intelligent young woman and does not at all carry herself like many woman in their early 20s. She is not a big drinker, not a partier or a club girl. She’s more the type of person who is creative and focused on goals and growth which made her a great fit for me in my eyes as I see myself as being the same way. That said I know there is no replacement for experience. That will come up later.) Both of us had been in previous relationships that had lasted for 4 years and ended poorly so we weren’t rushing to get into anything serious right away. That said, after spending more and more time together the relationship really started to blossom. We just clicked and got along so well. We ended up being together for just over 1 year. During that time we really had a lot of fun together and always got along. Never fought or argued and I’m not exaggerating when I say that we literally never spoke one single negative word to each other. We of course did have one or two things that we didn’t see eye to eye on and had to have a discussion about but I feel like we handled those discussions very well with open and mature conversation. We were always going out and doing lot of fun dates and activities together. I treated her to nice dates and little sweet gifts and even took her on several trips to visit some really beautiful places. I took here to Bali, Indonesia (My favorite, most beautiful place that I have ever been to and a place that she had always wanted to visit) Kauai, Hawaii and for her birthday I took her to Santorini, Greece. Throughout the course of this relationships I feel like we really grew to love each other, grew a deep connection and made a lot of beautiful memories. I know that I was completely in love and for the first time in my life felt like I had truly found the partner that I wanted to spend my life with. It may also be worth noting that physical intimacy was always very good and frequent/regular with a small dip towards the end.

    The Breakup: So after a year of this beautiful relationship things started to change slightly. Things were still good but we started to face some challenges. She got a new job that was more career oriented than her previous job. I was really happy for her, I was proud of her and supportive of her career but as a result of the new job our schedules changed. We used to spend every weekend together Friday night to Monday morning now we only had one day off a week that was the same and in general she was just a lot more busy and I was already busy with my career. This made it a bit harder for us to make time to see each other but we did the best that we could. I could sense the stress and tension of our busy schedules and not having as much time together was starting to effect the relationship. Again nothing super negative, no fights or arguments but we did talk about the need to try and make things better by setting aside more time for us. A couple more weeks went by and nothing had improved on this front and I could still sense that thing were not 100% so I decided to have a conversation with her about where we were at and what we were doing. The end result of this conversation was basically that we both love each other and care for one another deeply but realized that we are both at different points in the journey. I have gained a lot of life experience that she hasn’t had the chance to have yet. I have a well established career and very good income where as she is just starting her career. I have dated quite a lot and have a lot of relationship experience. In her case I am only the second person she has ever really been with seriously. Her first long term relationship started when she was 17 years old and lasted for 4 years and then she met me about for months later. So when I step back and look at the situation I can see that she has never really gotten the chance to live life as a single adult individual. (I realize this should have been a red flag for me in the beginning but again the relationship started out as just something not too serious. Once our feelings started to grow I did bring up my fears about her age but after talking we decided not to overthink it and to just let things grow naturally and they did). Any way, this conversation was essentially our mutual breakup. When I say mutual I mean that I don’t think either one of us really completely wanted to breakup but I knew that some part of her felt that she needed time to herself to figure out what was the right path forward for her life and I understood that.

    A side note about the breakup: She is very close with her mom and they talk to each other a lot. I believe that her mother may be experiencing a bit of a mid-life crisis as she has told me that her mom married very young and had kids at a young age. She thinks that her mother now feels like she never really got to live her life. Her mom is still with her father but she feels like things aren’t great between them and she feels like her father has kind of checked out on being a loving husband. Now the mom has this plan to go work on a cruise ship for like 6 months at a time. I don’t know if she will actually do it but to me that kind of sounds like she’s trying to run away from her life. Any way this has all been going on in the back drop of my ex’s life and I’m sure that it has had an effect on her. I’m sure she doesn’t want to end up feeling the same way later in life… Which is fair and understandable.

    Post Breakup: Since the breakup I have been missing her so intensely. I knew that I loved her and wanted nothing more than to be with her but at the same time I do understand the age difference and what an important time in her life this is. I just didn’t foresee it being this hard. This break up has effected me much harder than any other I have ever experienced in my 36 years of life. We’re talking no appetite, inability to sleep for several days in a row, unwanted weight loss, depression, anxiety… all of it. I am not this type of person. I’ve been through many breakups. They are never fun but nothing has hit me like this one. I think that it’s all stemming from the fact that I really felt so strongly about this partner. I really felt like I had found “The one”.

    The Timeline So Far
    • The Saturday before Thanks Giving we (Mutually) broke up. We were both feeling sad, confused, and overwhelmed. I didn’t want to draw it out so this conversation was pretty short then I left to give her some space and did not contact her afterwards.

    • Two days later on Monday she texted me asking if she could come by to pick up her things. I said yes and asked if she wanted to stop by when I would be home so we could talk for a bit. She agreed. She came and got her things and we both got emotional right away. There was no anger just more like we were both tearing up and trying not to cry though she did a little. We talked and I could tell that there was still some part of her that didn’t want to breakup but another part that felt like this was what she needed right now. I told her that I understood what she was going through and that I felt like anyone in her situation would be feeling confused. I told her to take the time and space and that her heart would tell her what’s right for her. (Of course I was hoping that her heart would just tell her that she misses me and that she has a really good, successful guy that really cares for and that she would come back.) Once back when we first started dating we had a conversation where she mentioned that she is not the type of person to ever get back with an ex because she felt like they already figured out that it didn’t work so why go back. I mentioned this conversation and said that I knew she said she wasn’t the type to get back with an ex but that I felt like this situation was a little bit different and that maybe with time that might be possible for us. She said that this situation was “a lot different” and that she felt the same way and that this was just something she needed to do. I felt like that was a good sign that there was at least some possibility for a future together in her mind but I knew that neither of us could carry an expectation of that and for now I just needed to back off. (btw this was before me finding this site or knowing about the No Contact Rule. I just inherently knew it was best to back off and let her miss me.) She left and again I did not contact her afterwards.

    • On Thanks Giving Thursday she texted me “Happy Thanks Giving, Thankful for you!” and I replied with a nice but short “Very thankful for you too :)” I did not carry the conversation any further or ask any questions to keep it going. I continued to give her space.

    • The following Monday I ran into her unexpectedly at my gym. By this point I had been a wreck missing her. I had been strong in not reaching out but I was really hurting and wanting her back in my life. I had become so used to talking to her everyday, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and throughout the day. We stepped outside to talk and we both teared up immediately again she really didn’t say much but I kind of let it all poor out. I told her on one hand I did understand and want her to have the time that she needs to figure things out for herself… but on the other hand I just feel like life is so much better and more fun when we are together and that I wished there was some way for us to just figure it out together. She told me that it’s been really had for her too but that she hasn’t been alone in a really long time and that this is something she felt like she needed to do. I told her I understood and left. This time I did text her after I left bc I knew she mentioned that she was going to meet some of our friends for food. I was feeling paranoid that she was listening to outside people about what she should do so I texted her saying something along the lines of “Don’t listen to what other people have to say they don’t know us or the times we shared. Just listen to your heart and let it tell you what’s right for you”. i know this text probably came off as insecure and was not a good look. After that I just left it alone.

    • The Next night I was sitting at home and got a text from her that really threw me for a loop. it said “I understand what you are going through but I need you to respect my time and space. I can’t guarantee anything for the future but I do know that if you do not respect that then this isn’t going to work” This message really confused me because I really felt like I HAD been respecting the space that I had not reached out or contacted her on single time since the break up unless she messaged me first other than the one time accidentally ran into each other at our gym (which by the way was my gym first. It was not like I went there trying to see her.) Any way I reacted foolishly to this text because I was so confused. I tried to call her to get clarity but she didn’t answer. So texted a couple times trying to get her to just pick up so I could get a better understanding of where that text was coming from but she never picked up and never responded to the texts. I know that this must have come off as very needy and definitely was not the right move. I was just caught off guard and reacted poorly. I did not say anything mean tho.

    • The next morning I texted her an apology for the night before and told her that I do understand what she is going through and that I will respect her space and will not contact her again unless she indicates to me that she wants to communicate. She never responded and we have had no communication since that time.

    It’s been two weeks today since we broke up (Though it feel like an eternity) and a week and half since our last conversation. I just discover this website last night and obviously wish I had found this resource sooner. I really love this girl and really feel like we found something very special and rare, I have been dating for many years and know how hard it is to find a connection like the one we shared. I recognize that she may not have enough experience to fully understand how rare that is. I really truly want to do the right thing here. I really truly want her to figure out what is right for her and for her to be happy. I’m just really hoping that ends up with us being together. I want us to have an even better and stronger relationship and I realize that us spending some time apart might very well be the only way for us to really get there. It may be that she needs to spend that time alone or even seeing other people (as much as I hate the thought of that.) to really learn the value of what she and I shared. It’s just really so hard and scary. Just a few weeks ago I felt like my life was so full and happy. I was in the best relationship I had ever been in with someone very special to me. I felt like my life was firing on all cylinders. Now everything just feels so lonely and empty.

    Do you think there is any hope for us?

    What about the fact that she is the one that forced no contact?

    It kind of feels like she is severing ties even though things ended on good terms and she didn’t even seem sure about the breakup to begin with. Maybe I emotionally overwhelmed her after the break up with those two conversations?

    Sorry this was so long. If anyone actually reads this I’m really interested in some insight.

    • Total Posts: 2834

    @Dylan A breakup is never “mutual”. One person says it and the other might agree/accept the reasons or not. But usually the person who brings it up, has been thinking about it for some length of time. It seems you sensed something was wrong, but not seeing each other frequently enough most likely had very little to do with the cause of the breakup! People who truly love each other and want to be together find a way to continue the relationship in spite of difficulties. I suspect she’s the one who mentioned different paths on the road of life. I think you’re correct in that she’s never had the chance to be a single woman making her own way in the world and her mother’s regrets about being married at a young age might be an influence, but realizations of past “mistakes” isn’t a mid-life crisis. Yet, there might be other reasons of which you’re not aware..

    I don’t think your situation is “different”. It seems she’s made up her mind and it might be wishful thinking on your part to presume it is. It’s possible that she was emotional when she came over to collect her things because she truly cares about you and she knows she hurt you deeply by breaking up with you. And after a year of “togetherness” and many happy memories, it’s certain she will miss you too.

    YES, the text you sent after leaving the gym probably came off as insecure and trying to persuade her to change her decision. You started off by saying she is a mature/intelligent young woman; so I highly doubt she was influenced by her friends! I think her text the following night was the result of your text and maybe thinking you’re trying to control her! Then you made the mistake of texting again after she asked for space, thereby not respecting her request.. I don’t understand your confusion regarding her request. It doesn’t matter that you’ve not initiated contact these past two weeks. She was letting you know (after she saw you at the gym and had received your text) that she needed and wanted space from this time forward..

    I understand your heart-break, but if the breakup sadness continues to overwhelm you, I suggest you consider professional therapy. It’s only been 2 weeks since the “official” breakup and what you’re going through mentally and physically seems normal for a time.. yet if it continues to affect your health, please seek help.

    Yes, I think there might be hope for a possible reconciliation, but it might take years.. For now do not contact her! If she initiates contact, politely reply, but don’t be the one who mentions the possibility of reuniting again!

    • Total Posts: 2

    Hello @Patricia12,

    Thank you for your insight. Everything that you said makes a lot of sense to me. I feel like I have started to accept that this really is what needs to happen right now. It’s only fair for her to have the chance to live life and grow through experience as I did and all of us do. If she didn’t take this time then I’m sure there is a very good chance that these feelings would have manifested later at an even more difficult time.

    For now all I can (and should) do is focus on myself and improving my life. I just got a nice raise at work earlier this week, I have been working out and training constantly and am going to the dentist today to have some work done. I did go see a therapist which I had never done before and I did find that to be helpful in moving past the hardest part of this split. I still miss her of course but I really want her to find what she needs through all of this. I plan to just work on building myself into a better version of myself for whatever comes next.

    I really hate that I was so reactive in our last two interactions and I hate that it surely came off as needy or desperate. I really don’t feel like that is me or how I usually act. I was just caught off guard in an emotionally charged and confusing situation hopefully she understands that or will with time. If she ever does reach out I will make sure not to let that happen again and I will make sure to let her know that I support her decision to do this.

    I agree with you and do not think that her mother’s realizations of past “mistakes” are a mid-life crisis I just meant that the part about wanting to leave her husband, family, and life for 6 months to go work on cruise ship seems like a bit of a rash decision to me… But then what do I know. Her mother seems like a truly wonderful person and I wasn’t intending to say anything negative or insensitive about her. I just thought it was worth mentioning as a possible background influence in my ex’s life.

    Honestly writing all of this out has been extremely therapeutic and helpful in giving myself more perspective on the situation.

    (Reposted for typo edits)

    • Total Posts: 52

    Hello, I read your entire story. Look, I’m a guy but my recent relationship was my first and I am in my low 30s. It lasted for over 4 years and I never once thought about having cold feet and seeing if the grass is greener on the other side. To me it just seems like a convenient excuse. If she truly wanted you she would never think about how her love life might be different with someone else.

    I have read that sometimes women give one reason for ending a relationship whereas the truth behind the breakup is totally something else. Sometimes they might not want to tell you the truth because they do not want to hurt you. For example, suppose they are just not into you anymore etc.

    Anyways, give her some time and see if she opens up to you and possibly considers reconciling.

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