So if any of you are like me, you've had great relationships and you've had crummy ones. A friend of mine is having a crummy one right now, and asked my advice. I don't want to get overly personal with it for privacy reasons, but I really feel like the advice I gave her is pretty good (is that arrogant to say?), and might be beneficial to anyone who reads this old thing. So I'm posting it here with some adlibs for her responses, in case anyone is interested.
Back Story: Her boyfriend told her that he needed more space, even though they only see eachother about once a week as it is. They have now gone over 4 weeks without seeing eachother, but are still texting and talking on the phone. She is starting to get antsy about it and wondering if this kind of relationship has a future or not.
You want my honest opinion?
You need to change your perspective on this WHOLE equation. I realize that you spent a good deal of time picturing your life with this guy, and when you invest that energy in someone, and have those expectations, it's hard to erase it and be happy with a blank slate of your future. It's downright terrifying, really. But you know what my immediate thought was when I read your email about you guys taking space? I saw you writing how he needed space (and seriously, a MONTH is a helluva lot of space if you ask me) and how he is doing so great now that he has that space. You also said that you're doing a lot of stuff, staying busy and enjoying your time. You're both doing BETTER without the relationship. So I guess my question is- why are you maintaining it? Shouldn't you both do what makes your lives easier and better? I know it sucks to think about a big change like that, but don't you want to be with someone who doesn't need to take a 4 week hiatus from your relationship whenever it gets tough? You obviously deserve better, and you know that. No matter how great he is, or what high points you two have had as a couple- where you got to together has now come full circle and in order to fulfill a really great life for yourselves- you need to let it go and move forward. We all have an expiration date, or at least a "Best By" date, and I really don't think you should waste your pretty on a guy who ultimately doesn't seem to be compatible with you.
There is a saying that goes something like, "If you can't take me at my worst, you certainly don't deserve me at my best." And if he has to take a month of space from you because things aren't "perfect" for whatever reason, he does NOT deserve you when you're the easy breezy girlfriend who serves him cupcakes and cleans up his house. Those are rewards, not automatics!!
She responded by agreeing and then saying that she has an urge to call him and tell him all of this stuff today, then asking if I thought that was wise. She also said that she was worried about how she would move forward because she had let most of her friendships fall by the wayside in order for this relationship to be her main focus...
I think that you should wait at least 24 hours to say ANYTHING to him. Let it sit with you a while, because you're going to go back and forth on what you want to say and you should make sure that what ends up coming out of your mouth has been carefully considered and logical rather than emotional.
All girls pull away from their friends when they get in relationships, it's totally normal. And being in your early-mid twenties is a crappy time for friendships anyways because we are all evolving SO much during that time. You can credit it to your relationship if you want- but the truth is that YOU have been the one doing the growing up. It's your natural evolution and it's pretty standard protocol for your twenties. Of course there are influences, the same way your friendships in high school influenced you. But you are the only one ultimately responsible for who you become throughout your life, so be proud of yourself for becoming who you are on your own- because _____ didn't grow you up, you grew up yourself. And hey, good job because you're great!!
You're going to make new friendships in the next few years and let go of others, it just depends on where you go with your life. I have friends who I've known for 15 years that I realized are no longer people who have a positive influence on me and therefore recently let go of them. And it sucked, and I miss "the way things were" a lot. But I'm also freeing myself up to afford new friendships to form. And with people who are more similar to who I am today- rather than who I was at 16, 19, or even 24. Don't beat yourself up about not having a ton of girlfriends right now. And realistically this is a good learning lesson to you to be more careful of clinging to some friendships the next time you are in a relationship- I know I learned that lesson recently.
I think you should wait to talk to _____, DEFINETLY. Sit with the whole equation, write it down, make a pros and cons list. Do whatever you have to do to put ALL of your thoughts out there. Write out the sane ones, write out the crazy ones, don't hold back because you think it makes you sound silly. Keep in mind that this "crazy" side of you is a direct result of him making you feel insecure and forcing you to grasp at straws. You're not crazy at all, I can promise you that. Don't try to manipulate him into who you think he is or why you think he might be doing things. Take them at face value and moreover see how they make YOU feel, regardless of his reasoning behind them. A man who loves you is going to put you 100% first (at least the kind of guy YOU want to end up with, right??) so even if it makes him "bummed," he should do things that he knows will ultimately make you happier. So figure out how to be calm and collected when you talk to him, and go into it knowing what you want and not willing to settle for anything less. The conversation should go something like this (on your end):
I have a problem with the way things are going.
Here is what I want our relationship to look like. Can you at least meet me halfway?
Circle yes or no.