About two weeks ago where she sat me down and I knew what was coming. She was going to end the relationship. What I didn’t see coming was that she was developing feelings for another man. I knew who the man was and immediately put the blame on myself for pushing the two of them closer together. I had said to her on multiple occasions that I was okay with her hanging out with other people who weren’t me. It’s good for her to have friends outside of me, right? That’s what a healthy/balanced relationship is.
Suffice to say, I didn’t deal with this news very well. There was lots of crying. A lot of yelling. This had to be one of those most uncomfortable situations I had ever been placed in. And despite all this, I couldn’t let her go and I can’t bear the thought of living without her. So I suggested that we immigrate to New Zealand. I asked her to consider not going back to France and just starting a life with me here, to which she quickly countered: “Are you only saying that so we don’t break up?” Well, yes. But at the same time, knowing how I feel about her and how much she’s meant to me why would I want to lose her?
A lot our discussions had escalated over that fateful weekend. She confronted me about what I wanted for the future — what kind of career and life I wanted. And to be quite honest, I don’t really know. I take life as it comes and have never considered where I see myself in the future. Instead of answering, I stormed out of the apartment with a pretty severe panic attack.
When I came back home I found that she packed a bag and was staying with a friend. She left. And I wasn’t sure where to go from here. In the aftermath of all this I’ve consulted with friends and family who have told me to either: a) give her up and move back home; or b) have a heart-to-heart talk about what she wants and what we should do.
We’ve been cordial with one another about the living situation (we share an apartment and a bank account). I’ve even offered the flat back to her for a weekend while I stayed with friends to re-charge the batteries. There were moments I yelled at her via text and on the phone (admittedly, the latter being more alcohol influenced) about what she had done and how this was affecting to me. And the only responses I got were quiet apologies for what had happened and how she was concerned for my well-being. She’d say: “I hope you’re okay” or “I hope you’re feeling better.” But, how could I be feeling better?
I’m still waiting for her answer as to what she wants to do and if she sees herself with me. Despite all that’s gone on, I do love her and do want to stay with her. My thinking is that if she wants to be with me, we can somehow find a way to stick together. I’ve offered a compromise of living in NZ for a few years and hopefully finding work in the UK which would allow her to visit her family on the weekends. To be frank, I just don’t see how I can fit into her life in France. I’m more of a city person whereas she grew up in a small village. If I were to make the leap and try and live in France I can see myself resenting the decision immediately and abandoning her. I understand her need to be close to family but when she herself called me family, why would she want to abandon that? It confuses me.
All of this has left me incredibly tired, both physically and mentally. I can’t discuss the issue anymore with my friends. I’m afraid I’m boring them with my constant worries and woes about it. I’ve heard a lot in the last two weeks but maybe, with an outside perspective, you’ll be able to help? — Can’t Let Her Go
Dude, she broke up with you. What is there to figure out? She’s told you that she doesn’t want to be with you, so whether or not you’re ready to give her up, the decision has been made for you. Not only do neither of you want to live in the same place, but she has feelings for another man. When she gives you quiet apologies, expresses concern about your well-being, and asks if you are OK when you call her up and yell at her for what she’s done to you, she’s letting you know in her own way that you need to move on. The reason she hasn’t answered you about your compromise to live in NZ for a few years and then “hopefully find work the UK,” is because she doesn’t want to continue this relationship, regardless of where you’re willing to live with her.
You don’t say how old you are, but clearly you’re old enough to have lived on your own for a while, in a foreign country, with a girlfriend of a few years. That means you’re old enough to start thinking about your future and what you want to do with your life. Think of this breakup as an opportunity to really consider what YOU want, not how you can mold your life around what someone else wants.
This relationship is not meant to be, at least not between the people you two currently are. So go figure some shit out, grow up a little, and see where things settle. All relationships require some compromise, but you have to know what you really want and what you don’t want or you’re going to have problems longer-term. So focus on that for now and trust that your love life will only benefit from a little soul-searching.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.