Just recently, my girlfriend broke up with me after dating for 19 months and I feel regretful that I couldn’t do anything to stop her from changing her mind.
She and I started out as best friends and I’d even left my ex because of the feelings I discovered for her. Everything was good up until the past year and we have been fighting about commitment issues.
I’ve always valued her and my friends as equal. Is that wrong?
When we fight, she always seems to be wanting more attention from me, but she describes that it is reassurance that I still care for her. She gets angry at me whenever I don’t spend time with her because of my friends and sometimes, she will ignore me and not talk to me for a couple days. Then after those couple days when we do finally talk she asks “why didn’t you call me“. And just 4 days ago she said she’s been thinking a lot and told me things just aren’t working out and she hopes we can still be friends.
That was the end. I feel like I could have said something to her but both of us are so stubborn and I don’t know what to do now. I think about her all the time, but something’s telling me to just lay back while another part of me is telling me to chase after her again. What do I do?
Thanks for writing in. I’m going to start out by cautioning you that what I’m going to tell you may rub you the wrong way but it’s the damned truth.
I’ve been in your shoes a few times before and I’ve lived precariously and foolishly in hers in my earlier years. You both sound very young and hopefully, without me sounding too condescending, perhaps both of you should just cut your losses and move on because together you’re getting nowhere fast. Neither of you are ready to be in a 100% respectfully committed relationship.
You ask, “I’ve always valued her and my friends as equal. Is that wrong?”
My answer is, fuck YES it’s wrong. Yeah, I try to wrap my mind around the whole “bros before hos” and “chicks before dicks” mentality and perhaps I would if I were fresh out of high school.
But in real life and in decent, fulfilling relationships where real love is concerned, this kind of defeating ideology doesn’t take the cake. People who are committed and value the time and effort involved in keeping their relationship intact absolutely do not consider other extraneous things to take precedent over the relationship. And they don’t question boundaries because they are, without question, put in place.
I’m married. The most important person in my life is my husband, and the most important person in my husband’s life is me. And when we were dating, up until the day we got married it’s been just the same. And it was precisely this way with my ex, not negating the fact we spent 5 whole disastrous years wasting each others’ time. Yet never once did he consider his friends to be at or above or more important than me.
Friends are not the same as girlfriends. Not even close. Friends don’t share a bed, intimate secrets, the same bucket of popcorn snuggled up at the movies, and they certainly don’t share the same level of loyalty. Tell me, you think your friends are going to be there when it really counts? When there’s no one else you want or need more, who can comfort, nurture and empathize with you in ways others can’t? I can answer you with absolute certainty they will not.
Like being there holding your hand, kissing away your tears while you’re hold up in the intensive care unit watching your mother take her last breaths. While you’re desperately suffering together, seeing her life completely slip away and there’s nothing in the world you can do to stop it. Yes, we’re talking about me now, and my husband. The only person I wanted and needed to be with me that very moment. The only person who remained with me after and before, who I know and trust will be there in inevitable times like this years down the road. Only he and I have shared in these moments, while my “friends” were nowhere to be found.
There are certain things you just don’t question when it comes to commitment and if you have to ask yourself if it’s “wrong to put your girlfriend in the same category as your friends”, you absolutely already know that it is.
As far as her needing constant “reassurance” from you, I can’t say I blame her simply because you are not showing in the least that you are reliable, because you’re not. You are more concerned with hanging out with your friends than being her boyfriend- you’ve more or less admitted that so now, out of respect for her, just let everything sit right where it is.
You’re both playing games. She gives, you take, you push, she pulls, etc. The truth is, in honest, committed and loving relationships, there are no games. Instead, there is understanding. There is devotion and there is accountability- where you’d unquestionably be with her every Friday and Saturday night and every other day possible out of the year because by her side is the only place you want to be.
And you’d either be, without hesitation, on the phone right now swallowing your pride ringing the damned thing off the hook or throwing yourself on her doorstep ringing her bell trying like hell to make things work.
But you’re not. And you should be asking yourself precisely why it is that you’re not. And if your answer isn’t for the betterment of the relationship, to see it through, because you need her, and because she’s the most important woman in your life, then by God leave her alone and let her move on so she can find someone else who will give her exactly what she needs and deserves.
Life is short and you’re going to find that out, but for now enjoy being young and partying with your “friends” because before long, that shit’s gonna be a meaningless distant memory. Pretty soon there will be mortgages, kids, retirement savings, doctor bills and unsympathetic ruthless shitty bosses.
Enjoy it all now to your heart’s content and hopefully enjoy it all on your own, because a committed relationship at this point in your life requires a whole lot more than you’re willing to give.
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