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December 6

Separation, anxiety

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:42 am

livingtogetherIn and out of love on September 7, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Where to start? I’ll just tell you everything and your editors can cut it down.

My boyfriend and I have been going out for almost 9 months now. We still are, I think. He is oh, so wonderful! We have been best friends for a lot longer than that. In a month we move in together when we go back to school. (Since we were best friends, we filled out a lease for an apartment before we were a couple, each thinking the other didn’t want to go out with us.) We are now two states away, due to summer vacation from college. We had the perfect relationship when we were together. We had all of our classes together, so we would study together and hang out together basically 24/7. We were both dreading the time when we would have to leave. This is the most serious relationship I have ever been in. He told his MOM that he thought I was THE ONE. (That seems like a big step to me…) He admits that he thought that we would last forever, and I agreed.

At the beginning of the summer, he called me every day and would cry on the phone just because he missed me. I thought it was a little extreme, but I loved that he was so lost without me. Then he started to drink a lot, both when we were on the phone and when he was alone, to forget the pain from being apart and being near his abusive family. I totally don’t think that he should run from his problems like that, but I didn’t say much because it hurts him when I do. Then he stopped calling. And the emails from him have gone down from four a day to three a week, if I’m lucky. He has stopped the drinking almost completely, realizing that I won’t stay with him if he continues.

To make things worse, I am having a hard time at home. I have never gotten along with my mother and my parents are going through a messy separation, but since the sib is still in High School, my dad doesn’t want to move out till he graduates. I tried to stay at school over the summer to stay away from my family, but my parents threatened to cut off all financial assistance if i did. So I am feeling really lost and hurt by being at home and now that my boy has somewhat abandoned me, I don’t know what to do. He was my best friend even before he was my boyfriend, and now I feel like there is no one that I can turn to like I turned to him.

So my guy and I got together last weekend, all perfect and loving. But it wasn’t. The first two days that we were together, we just treated each other so badly. We went to a movie together and there was absolutely no affection there at all. (I didn’t want to make the move because I wanted to see if he would do it himself, if it was important enough to him that he grab my hand. It wasn’t.) So I sat my boy down and said that we needed to talk. We both recognized that we were taking advantage of the other. Neither of us were treating the other as wonderfully as we could, both of us upset that the other left. We both still love each other, but he was afraid that his was more of a “love for what was” than a “love for what is.” Anyway, he just decided that it would be better if we kind-of had a “trial separation” and when we move back in together, we’ll see if it will work. I was devastated and confused. I thought that he would want to talk about how to make it better rather than just giving up, but I guess not. I asked him what it meant and he said that it was kind-of like dating rather than a serious relationship, but that he wasn’t going to tell anyone that we weren’t 100% all good until after we move in and take it from there. It seemed like as soon as there was trouble, he couldn’t deal with it and wanted to get out and avoid confronting it. I know that he was sexually attracted to a woman he works with (he’s always wanted to kiss someone with a tongue ring…) and that really frightened him, but he won’t pursue it. He wants to remain committed. The bottom line is that we are still together, but more dating than serious and we will decide if the roomie thing is too weird when we get there.

So here’s where it gets confusing.

The day after we had the talk and I stayed up crying all night, we had such a great day. I woke him up and he grabbed me and hugged me and just held me. The look of pure love was back in his eyes. We joked around and stuff for about a half an hour. He tickled me a bunch, which he loves and I hate because I am so ticklish everywhere. It was so great to be happy together again and having fun. When we finally got up, he grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him and gave me the sweetest kiss we’ve had in probably three months. Not a long kiss, just a sweet little one. We went to lunch together and just had a fabulous time. We talked about how everything seemed to be all better, that since the pressure of being together was gone, we could be happy together. I found myself falling in love with him all over every time I looked at him. We had a five hour car drive that day and we had so much fun. Time went by so quickly. The happiness that we lost was back 150 %.

That evening he took me out to dinner. We didn’t talk much, but it was the most comfortable silence I’ve ever experienced in my life. We were beyond talking about meaningless stuff just to keep a conversation going and when we did talk, it was quality. We got back to his house and watched a movie in his basement, where he basically lives. After the movie he offered me a backrub, which I accepted. And of course, you can’t get a backrub through clothes. After the backrub, he started kissing me and everything else, which made me assume he, like me, had a blast that day and wanted to get back together. Well, we had sex twice that night. I wanted to, but when he did it, I assumed that he wanted to get back together with me. I still am so much in love with him and I can’t imagine myself with anyone but him.

I confronted him the next day and asked what was going on between us. He said that it shouldn’t have happened, but he was glad that we were finally happy again. I couldn’t agree more. But he said that we should still have a “trial separation.” The rest of the weekend was perfect and I hated to leave him. I am confused. He says that he still loves me and the way that the love in his touch and his gaze and his kisses has come back, I totally believe him. He knows that I am hurt that we had sex when things weren’t 100% all better. I know that I should have clarified it before it happened to make sure that our relationship was back and all better, but he knew that I wouldn’t have sex if I thought we weren’t a couple. I made that very clear. So Why, Breakup Girl, did he do that? I guess I don’t understand why someone would have sex and say they still love someone but not want to be together. And what should I think of our relationship and Mr. Perfect? We move in together in a month and I don’t know how to approach the situation. What do you make of it all?

— Confused

Dear Confused,

My “editors?” Hee! I do have some help around here, but when it comes to your letters, it’s just me, kiddo.

Anyway, no doubt you’re confused! Back rubs, trial separations, “love for what was,” round and round she goes. Oh, and sex. First off: why would someone have sex and say they still love someone but not want to be together? Because they get to have sex. Libido and logic are like apples and … blue.

But forget about sorting out all that went before. Your immediate future — living together — is going to be complicated enough. But then again, it might not. See, I think things got messed up this summer precisely because of your separation and — especially — because of the major family weirdness in both your homes. Once those factors are removed, or at least distanced, perhaps you will be able to focus more clearly on the pure love you saw in his eyes — and that I’m sure he saw back. I’d say it’s worth a go. But if you are living together, you can’t be “just dating” or “seeing other people” or whatever other non-workable ideas you might get into your head. Your editors should cut that right out.

Breakup Girl


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