Should we break up?

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  • Pepsiis
    November 2, 2022 at 6:50 pm #1116742

    I have an issue that’s been on my mind a lot but I’m not sure who to talk to about this for another opinion. I’m a first year in university, and have come to the same uni as my girlfriend of 20 months. We live in the same city, and our accommodations are within walking distance of each other. We have a long history of liking eachother in secondary, and for a while I felt like everything was so good – we really had a lot of chemistry, same hobbies and interests and beliefs, and we had some really really good times together. I felt like she could always make me smile, we laughed so much together, and I always made sure to show her my affection, she is my first and only love and I really made sure to invest my effort and time into our relationship.

    We had some mild problems starting in year 13, where we were both struggling with our respective issues – for her, it was job related, for me, I’ve had anxiety and depression for years, and it started to get a lot worse. She often didn’t reach out to me because she was frequently at her job, but because we saw eachother in school still, I didn’t mind. After all, I respected how hard she works, and that she needs time to recharge too. In the summer holiday, she worked even more, and even though it felt miserable that she wouldn’t reach out anymore, I understood that she was busy and that her days off were to recharge. So for the most part, we spent the entire summer holiday (3+ months) apart. Also, at that time we didn’t live too close to each other, so I understood that getting to my place to hangout or vice versa wasn’t easy, as neither of us drive (I have debilitating driving anxiety, to the point driving lessons would cause me to have constant breakdowns and panic attacks even when I wasn’t driving, or even thinking about my teacher being disappointed).

    So, I came to uni with a high expectation maybe, that we could FINALLY have some more time together. That we could hang out a lot and see each other as much as a normal couple would. However, this hasn’t happened either – we see each other 1 or 2 times a week, usually due to my girlfriends meal schedule which she adheres to very strictly, or she’s busy with friends, or working, or wants to be alone. I understand that she is an introvert, but I feel like I’m going insane.

    I have intense social anxiety too and because of this, my girlfriend is the only person close to me other than my family, which is why the distance between us has probably affected me as much as it has. I fear that our relationship is just beyond saving. We don’t even text much either, which is what makes the physical absence hard for me.

    An incident that really upset me is when she didn’t visit me or barely even text for over a week. She avoided me and refused to make plans because I had a cold and she didn’t want to catch it from me, and we didn’t talk for ages. It made me so upset, because if I knew the one I loved had a cold I know I wouldn’t have it in me to be so mean about it. She apologised for it, but then again nothing much has changed so there’s that.

    I’m feeling a bit neglected in this relationship, and I guess I’m here to ask – do I have a right to feel this way? Am I being dramatic, or not understanding enough? Am I being needy? I’m scared to end the relationship because then I truly will be alone in this city away from family, and I am already struggling with depression a lot. But, this relationship feels so isolating to me that I’m wondering if leaving this relationship would better or worsen my mental health and I really don’t know. But with the way things are, I’m not sure I see a future for this relationship- should I leave? Thank you for reading this if you have, I appreciate it a lot

    November 2, 2022 at 10:04 pm #1116747

    She’s work stressed and can afford downtime for illness. Whether a cold, or if your cold is flu or Covid. Not seeing you for a week is not unreasonable. You need to deal with your depression. See campus health service/counseling. The depression is making all of your concerns seem worse. She may be worried that you are leaning on her too much. She can’t be your whole world at college. Join a campus activity, find some friends. There are a lot of lonely freshmen looking for a friend.

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    November 3, 2022 at 6:22 am #1116751

    You always have a right to feel your feelings.

    It’s not needy to want to more communication and time with your girlfriend than what you’re currently getting, but it doesn’t sound like she can provide that. If this relationship isn’t working for you, if it’s making you feel unhappy and isolated, then end it.

    Generally, anytime you’re asking yourself whether or not you should break up, the answer will be yes. In a happy, healthy relationship, that question doesn’t come up.

    University is a unique time in that you have a lot of free access to mental health support services. Take advantage of this! Make an appointment with their counsellors and let them connect you to resources for your anxiety and depression. I dealt with those issues in school as well, and I got so much better with help. There is light at the end of the tunnel – you won’t always feel this way. Good luck.

    November 3, 2022 at 6:28 am #1116752

    @ron thank you I think I needed to hear that, that’s a very honest and reasonable response. Sometimes it’s hard to know if my concerns are actually valid or because of my mental heath problems, so thanks for providing your perspective I appreciate it a lot

    November 3, 2022 at 6:44 am #1116753

    @lucidity thank you for your response. I’m trying to access mental health services at the moment, I’ve got an assessment in 2 weeks with the NHS for therapy, I’m so glad you got better with help, I’m glad to hear that 🙂 thank you for your reassurance, it’s very appreciated.

    November 3, 2022 at 7:49 am #1116754

    To me it sounds like you put a lot of pressure on your relationship with her. You stated you only have her and your parents or are only close to those three, or something like that. That’s too much for a college aged relationship. You should have other friends, interests, hobbies, clubs, a job or things keeping you busy other than “your first love.”

    That is probably why she’s pulling back. She doesn’t know how to emotionally support you in the way you need her to, actually-you want her to. You need professional support. It’s a drag to be someone’s girlfriend and always be told you’re doing it wrong. It’s fun to be in a relationship when it’s light and happy, but when one person is severely depressed and needs more support than the other person can healthily give because they are not a therapist, either- it’s off balance and no longer seems like a romantic relationship. You’re expecting too much for someone too young.

    Break up. Treat your depression. I do think that is the key to this entire thing. Good luck. Meds and a good therapist changed my life.

    November 3, 2022 at 7:54 am #1116755

    You can not rely on one person to be your social world. And the only person that can make you feel happy is you. She may bring something to your life, but she can’t be your life (I hope that makes sense).

    This may not be the right relationship. She may not be giving you what you need – and that’s OK. But if she’s the only friend you have right now, that might be more than she can give you. It’s not that either of you is wrong – just that you have different supply/demand ratios.

    I do recommend that you widen your circle of people. I know that’s hard, but it will help you overall.

    November 3, 2022 at 7:54 am #1116756

    I feel like there’s a lot going on here, and I probably won’t get to all of it.

    The first thing that jumped out at me:
    There’s nothing mean about not visiting because they’re sick. People can prioritize their own health. Reading this really made me wonder if there are other things that you’re taking personally and shouldn’t be.

    It sounds like the two of you have very different expectations around texting habits. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but you really need to recognize this. It’s not unreasonable to ask her to text you more frequently.

    Have you told her you’d like to see her more often? You said you had an expectation that you spend more time together at university. Did you share that expectation with her? How frequently would you like to be seeing her? There’s no standard amount.

    If you’ve told her you like to spend more time together, what was her response?

    When you DO spend time together, do you enjoy it?

    To your main question:
    You’re entitled to your feelings. It’s fair to feel neglected. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the other person is doing anything wrong, but it’s possible that the level of contact that they want in a relationship doesn’t match what you want. It’s not unreasonable to end a relationship because of this (though in truth, you can end a relationship for any reason that you want, there’s no particular bar that has to be met).
    Should you end it? I have no idea.

    November 3, 2022 at 7:57 am #1116757

    Also, I didn’t mean to imply you meant to put this on her. I don’t think it was intentional, but she doesn’t have the tools to help you in the way you need to be helped.

    November 3, 2022 at 9:06 am #1116759

    Hi, I’d like to clarify some things:

    1) she was not sick, I was sick (I don’t know if I worded this wrong in my initial post to make it sound like she was ill, if so im sorry for the confusion) and I didn’t feel like she cared as she actively avoided me because (in her own words) she didn’t want to have that inconvenience of potentially catching a cold and wanted to get on with her course. She apologised for this , but it’s this lack of support which upset me, if she wanted down time while sick I’d completely understand that
    2) the expectation to see each other more was initially her idea, which is why I was so confident in it happening, she told me about how much fun it would be to live near each other and hang out more frequently and I agreed with that, and this is why I had the expectation
    3) I didn’t want to press on the texting thing as I’m aware we have different schedules and she is a busier person than me (she is doing animation which is more work intensive than my course) which is why I didn’t address it, but I did mention a few times I was upset with the distance and she said she didn’t see a problem with it but she apologised to me. I am optimistic though as she said we could eat dinner together sometimes, which would be nice.
    4) what I’ve gathered from the thread is that yes, I really do need to work on my depression. I’m on meds but I’ve really struggled to get therapy due to waiting lists but I will soon. And yes I need to expand my social circle considerably. I have nice flat mates who I’ve been trying to talk to more, and I am going to try and join societies.

    I’m not sure about the direction our relationship is headed, but I think I owe my girlfriend an apology for unintentionally leaning on her, I in no way meant to put that on her but regardless of intention it was wrong of me. Thank you for everyone’s advice, it’s very valuable to me and gives me perspective on the problem.

    November 3, 2022 at 9:31 am #1116760

    Also – it was valid for her to not see me while I was sick, I suppose I got upset because in combination with the lack of texting and calls or anything like that at the time I felt upset. Just wanted to say that. I do have some hobbies and of course my work for my course too, I’m not spending all my time unoccupied, I do have things to do, I’m not relying on seeing her all the time, that is unrealistic and not reasonable to expect from someone. I’m also making much more effort to regularly see my family which has helped me out a lot.

    November 3, 2022 at 9:44 am #1116761

    My apologies, I was just careless with pronouns. I understood that it’s you who got sick.

    But my point is that staying away to avoid getting sick is totally reasonable, and I don’t understand why she’d apologize for that. I agree that it’s shitty that she didn’t call or text though.

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Should we break up?

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