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Should I stay with my girlfriend or move on?
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Should I stay with my girlfriend or move on?

I apologize ahead of time for the life story, but I started typing and it felt good to just keep getting things out.

My girlfriend and I have been together for 4 1/2 years, and now we're both in our mid 20's.  We've known each other since grade school, and grew up 2 houses away from each other.  We dated in high school, and then went our separate ways before getting back together in college.  We went to college 2 hours away from each other, so we did the long distance thing for 2 years, which worked out great since I was always so busy with school.  

Our relationship was great in the beginning, with pretty good sex and a lot of fun.  She always got along with my friends and family, and I always got along with hers.  She has a great family.  Things were always exciting when we would visit each other, because it had usually been at least 2 weeks since the last time we were together.  

We both graduated college about 2 years ago, and 1 year ago we moved in together.  I've learned a lot about her in the past year of living with her, some good and some bad.  Things have also changed between us, and I think I've changed a little bit as a person too.  I'm starting to think that we may just not be compatible after all, but it's torturing me because I hate to throw away a 4+ year relationship.  We've shared a lot together.  

Lately, I've been bothered by the fact that she doesn't have her own life.  She doesn't have any hobbies (literally none except watching reality tv), and she doesn't have any close friends.  She barely talks to any of her college friends anymore, which is so different from who i am.  Her only friends are her sister and her mom.  She really depends on me for fun and emotional support.  When we go out, she doesn't really make an attempt to make friends, and she always says that the girls that are around aren't like her.  I can understand that to a point, but it's been over a year and she has no one to call on the weekends.  Again, so unlike me.  Also, all of my friends think i'm a huge flake because I always tell them I'll come out to the bars, events, etc, and then my girlfriend convinces me not to because she wants to stay home and cuddle and watch a movie.  And if I don't, she gets pissed.  That's great and I enjoy it, but I need to get out and see my friends too.  She never wants to come out.  Every time she comes out with me and my friends, everyone comments on how they haven't seen her in months.

Then there's the career motivational thing.  I'm a highly motivated person, have a great start to my career at a respectable company, and i'm getting my master's degree.  I want to be successful in my career, and I'm doing a lot to make that happen.  She graduated with a fashion related degree, and has worked in the mall as an assistant store manager for the last 2 years.   Her hours are terrible... she works almost every saturday and sunday, and frequently works til 11 or 12 at night.  Between that and my grad school work, we only get to spend a few nights a week together.  I frequently try to motivate her to shoot for a better job with better hours, pay, more professional environment (she complains about the retail environment), etc.  I mean, she has a college degree and works in the mall, I think she deserves better.  Usually when I do that, she gets pissed and angry and tells me I shouldn't expect her to be like me.  Which I guess I understand... we're just different?  In one conversation, I actually got her to admit that she's ok with being mediocre in life.  You know, guys really do look for a girl who's similar to their mom, and my mom is a college professor with her PhD.  My girlfriend is not the most intelligent girl, and really can't relate to me on an intellectual level.

She's also very dependent on me, not just emotionally.  She was raised in a family where her mom never worked, and her dad did everything for her, her sister and her mom.  So at the first sign of trouble, she either calls her dad or me.  Never really tries to figure out problems on her own, which really gets to me.  She called me the other day while I was 2500 miles away freaking out and getting mad at me (?) because the toilet was overflowing and she didn't know what to do.  Put some paper towels down and use the plunger, sweetheart.

Our sex life has been pretty bad since she moved in.  She was never very adventurous in bed to begin with, but at least we had sex a few times a week.  Now, it's about once every two weeks.  I would try to lure her into the bedroom and frequently get shut down, so i stopped trying as much after a while because i didn't feel like dealing with the frustration.  Rather just watch some porn and avoid the let down.  Then the spontaneity completely disappeared, and sex became a scheduled event.  We'd plan for 8:30, where we'd so "ok, are you ready?" and then walk into the bedroom and get it over with.  No excitement anymore.  I brought this up with her multiple times to no avail.  If it's like this now, what will it be like in 10 years after we're married?  After dealing with this for a year, I got super frustrated and made a huge mistake.  I was away on a business trip and met a girl at the bar, and ended up cheating with her.  That was about a month ago.  I haven't told my girlfriend... I know she would be really hurt.  I guess i was just so fed up with what was going on back home and felt like i needed some excitement for once.

We went on a trip two months ago to florida and she was really expecting me to propose.  After she knew I wasn't going to, she got really upset and it pretty much ruined the vacation.  I just told her I wasn't ready.  She's brought it up at least a couple times a week since then, especially when she has any alcohol.  It's like she's in a race to get married, she always has been (the night we graduated college she asked me when I was going to propose to her).  About two weeks ago, we had a long talk and we both ended up in tears.  I almost broke up with her right then and there, but she promised to work on some of the things that I've mentioned above.  She has been making an effort.  She came out with my friends and I last weekend, went to the driving range with me the other day.  I'm skeptical though... you can't really change someone's core behaviors.  I don't think the career motivation thing will ever change.  I think as a result of her upbringing she thinks she deserves to be a stay at home mom and expects it.

Despite all of the bad things i've mentioned above, there are some really great things about her.  She's a very easygoing person, and she's friendly and nice to everyone she meets.  She's also very attractive... I will be the first to admit that she's out of my league in terms of looks.  But she doesn't act like she's hot ****.  She's got a great heart and soul, and her family is really great too.  We do share similar interests in terms of travel, pets ( we have a dog), and religion.  We still have fun together.  

I'm struggling with our relationship and don't know if I just have a case of "grass is greener."  I'm worried that we're just not fundamentally compatible and that it might be a mistake to get married.  Does it get better than this?  I know that if I break it off it'll be really hard on us both.  We've spent a lot of our lives together.  She's a great girl, just don't know if she's great for me.

Thanks for any advice you can give me.  This has been on my mind every day for the past 6 months.  I really just need to find some clarity soon so that if i do need to move on, I can stop wasting her time and mine and she and I can go find people that treat us the way we deserve to be treated.

Sorry again for the lengthy post, but it felt great to get some of these feelings I have out in the open.  Thanks for reading!



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15 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
If you've felt this way for six months without coming to any sort of resolution, I doubt your feelings are going to change regardless of how much she may appear to change.  You're probably going to be stuck wondering what you're wondering now, "Did she really change?" and the added question, "When's she going to stop feeling like she has to impress me and just let go again?"

Ultimately, it's your choice what you're going to do, but if you're not happy with her now, you're probably not going to be happy with her down the road, and I'm sure you know you both deserve people who you're truly happy with and who can be truly happy with each of you.

I'd say at the very least set down a set amount of time (without telling her; the worst thing to do is make her feel like she's got an ultimatum) that you'll allow to see if she changes and if how you feel about her changes, and if it doesn't, just cut if off then.
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603946_tn?1333945439
Good way to think it through.....

My thoughts:
I am not a social person, I'm a homebody, and I do not hang on my husband when he is home, but in my mind he is my protector, my shield....and he was a man looking for a woman to protect and love. As we matured we noticed things weren't exciting but relationships go thru stages and we knew to expect the different stages. Were already thru the me, me,me stage and into finding ways to please and serve each other, one of the last mature stages.....

I have church friends and few hobbies. Although when I spend an evening playing the piano, husband usually comments how he's proud, and he listens and comments a little even though he is on video game. We are best friends and don't go out with friends maybe twice a year, but we are very compatible, and he loves it that we see eye to eye on socializing!

You guys do not see eye to eye, she is into pleasing only you, but in an immature way sort of. I can see your relationship going sour just because of the socializing. I doubt you will change soon. Will she be devastated?

If you do try to come back some day, she will probably have already found a great guy that sees her as a treasure.

We have different upbringing possibly and you dont need a sermon....but I would tell my son to come back home, get to confession, and get his party/ friend time out of the way. THAT Still leaves the door open for you both!
Good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
You MUSN'T cheat!! - DON'T DO THAT!!  

Other than that (the cheating) You both sound like Very Nice People who simply are not Compatible.  You've been Together a long time, You don't dislike One Another BUT You are not Compatible.  The question is can You be happy with these differences for the rest of Your Life - can She??  Would it be fair to YourSelf - would it be fair to Her??  Would You end up cheating again??
and if You do cheat again what do You think that will do for the relationship??  It's probably time for You to move on - but be Gentle and be Kind when You let Her down - She doesn't need to know about Your infidelity - that would add to devastation to Her pain and She doesn't deserve that.
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1268057_tn?1419171505
Totally agree with Thatquietgirl.  

First point......You are looking for someone like your mother and she is looking for someone like her dad.  You two are not compatible whatsoever.  You want someone more independent and she wants someone who she can depend on.  

Second point.....Often these relationships just don't work out in the end because of the young age they were begon.  You all went from children to adults.  One goes through so many changes and stages maturing into an adult meaning the person at 13 is NOT going to be the same at 25.  There are alot of statistics on high school sweethearts couples and these relationships not lasting long into adulthood or surviving adulthood.    

Sounds like you two are more compatible as friends and nothing more.  

If the situation stays "as is" or "status quo" things will get worse and I sure wouldn't advise marrying her.  

My stepson just went through this.  He was with his high school sweetheart for 8 years and they decided to move in together...and then...they split.  Now, I think they are loosely friends.  

Yes, this will be devastating if you both break up, but I wouldn't prolong the inevitable just to avoid dealing with pain.  

Find someone who you don't have to change into "this or that;"  someone you don't have to mold.  
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1268057_tn?1419171505
Sorry, my typing is so bad at times.

"she wants someone who she can depend on"......meant to say "she wants someone who she can be dependent on."  
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973741_tn?1342346373
Lots of good comments by the ladies above.  

You basically grew up with this girl and were in a relationship before you really even knew what you wanted for your life.  Frankly, you still don't in your 20's.  (IE:  my educational level is similar to your moms and was in the midst of a successful career when I had my first child . . . which changed everything for my husband and I.  I'm a stay at home mother now and feel fortunate that my husband sees great value in that and treats me well for it.  I have loads of ambition but not all ambition is related to progressing professionally--------  I already did that and stopped working at 38 years old when I had my first kiddo.  My point being-----------  you'd never have thought it of my husband or myself that our family dynamics would change our paths so drastically and that is the kind of thing you find out as life goes on).  

It, in all honesty, doesn't sound like you respect who your girlfriend is very much.  I'm sure she senses that a little and it is cruel to stay with her at that point.  She'll never feel good enough for you-----------  you've basically said she's not smart enough, not ambitious, loser for working at the mall (which the path of retail management CAN be a good one), she is antisocial, she is not fulfilling you sexually, etc.  

You sound like you want your youth and that is reasonable.  My husband doesn't leave me or our kids to go to bars and hang out with friends . . .  that is something you care about in your 20's.  We, instead, at 40 have nice dinners with friends together, invite people over with their kids, etc. to get social time with friends.  My husband watches an occasional sporting event with his buddies and does a guys weekend once a year to a cabin in the woods to do 'guy things'.  So, again------- my point is that you are at a particular time in your life in which you want to 'EXPERIENCE' things and go out and stay really close to all your buddies from school----------  and you should.

I think you are going to have to move on here.  For her sake as much as yours.  You don't want her to feel bad about herself and like she doesn't stack up---------  she'll take that on to her next relationship and be more vulnerable to bad relationships.

good luck
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank all of you for the great comments.

I don't want it to seem like I need to go out to the bars and part every night.  It would just be nice to have her by my side (willingly) when we do go out once a week or so.  

specialmom, you're right.  I do agree that sometimes I don't feel like I respect her for who she is.  I want better things for her in terms of her career, which would trickle down into better things for both of us... more time together, more money for a house, etc.  It frustrates me that she doesnt want this and I guess I've lost a little bit of respect for her because of it.  She still says she wants better for herself, but doesn't know what she wants to do.  I guess I could give it more time, but I'm just not sure anything will change.
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Avatar_m_tn
So it took me 4 months, but I finally ended things a couple of weeks ago.  I gave her some more time and made sure she was aware of the things that were bothering me to see if we could work things out.  She put effort into improving our sex life, but really nothing else.  I reached a breaking point and just couldnt go on any longer.

The moment the breakup happened, she began texting me saying she's suddenly changed and she's grown up and wants the same things I do.  She keeps saying she will be the one to come out on top, that she will succeed in life with or without me.  If there's anything i've learned from past relationships, it's that people don't change... at least that's what I think.

The past couple of weeks have been really hard for me.  I feel guilty, have moments of regret, but probably just because im feeling lonely.  I lost my best friend of 5 years.  I'm trying to stay strong and hope that the feelings of regret eventually subside.

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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry You are Both hurting but You are Both nice People  - who just aren't right for Marriage to One Another.  Having been together for so long, of course it is painful for You both to part - but it would be even Greater Pain had this taken place after a Marriage of several years, and perhaps, Children too!!  Better now than later.  So, I'm sorry for Your pain and Hers as well, but You will heal, You Both will heal and hopefully, because of this experience You will both choose more compatible partners Your future.

You did the right/best thing and BOTH of You will know that after time eases the guilt and loneliness You're feeling right now.  After all, You were together for a long time and nobody quit liking anyone here - You both do care about the other.  The hurt will pass for You Both.  
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1268057_tn?1419171505
Agree....you did the right thing.  Plus, she should be trying to "grow up" for you, but for herself.  She has to want change for herself not to keep a bf hanging aroung.  

Your statement from a previous post..."Our relationship was great in the beginning, with pretty good sex and a lot of fun."  Unfortunately, sounds like that pretty much sums up the relationship.....nothing more and nothing less.  
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Avatar_m_tn
If I were you, I would take the risk to let it go. First instincts are usually right. I found this quote once:

'"People rarely make a decision as a product of long deliberation. They may take weeks to announce a decision but often make the decision in minutes, even seconds. People do not gather data to make a decision; they often gather it to justify their decision. They are not accumulating understanding, they are seeking comfort and support. Most decisions are made, then justified, rather than the other way around."

And this is exactly your case. Listen to your instincts. Your emotions are playing you. In the end, both will be hurt, but it will be for the best. Stop torturing yourself mentally!!!

I am the other girl in this situation. For maybe 6 months he has been disconnected from his relationship and confused. During the summer, we were dating, and I had no idea he was still with her. I then learned: they were together since 4 years and own a house. I don't think they were ever going out together, since we were practically spending the evenings together. He then told me I was his happy escape.

I think he is going through the same emotional path as you are. And from my point of view, I can say that he is not happy, and he is worried he will be hurting her, and wasting an important part of his life. When you are in your early 20s, it feels like it is the only thing you have ever known, but if you are not happy now, you probably never will feel completely satisfied with her and always have this subconscious questioning about your relationship.

I am exhausted for him, seeing him struggling with his feeling. I am not expecting to get him back, and I am not talking with him since I learned, but he texted me a few times, and I know his girlfriend is extremely jealous.
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Avatar_m_tn
This post is so old, but still I'd like to comment. You were just freaking out because you knew your lady wanted to marry you asap. You were afraid to commit on that level, so you started to give excuses, finding faults on that girl. So actually I think the problem was not with your ex-gf, but problem was in you.

I do understand why your ex-gf used to stay at home all day long, everyone could get tired after working day. Btw, you didnt write whether you had job or not, so sure how could you know how your ex-gf could feel.

You mentioned your ex-gf used to work till late, you didn't have much time together, so why you couldnt meet your friends before those hours instead..and then try to spend time with ur ex of weekends
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973741_tn?1342346373
Yes, this is an old post. Thanks for trying to help the poster.  It's hard to find the right mix in a relationship to make it work, isn't it?
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Avatar_m_tn
green im in the same situation right now...So me and my girlfriend are both seniors in highschool and have been dating since freshmen year. And i absolutly love the first two years weve been dating. But now im feeling horrible. A year ago she lost all of her outside friends because she only wanted to hang out with me. So she depends on me for absolutly  everything now. i never have time to hang out with friends now because when i do she gets pissed. she takes everything out on me now because she has noone else to take it out on. i honestly hate this relationships now. i want to break up with her but i don't want to hurt her. ive tried to get her friends but she just doesnt try to. anyways im scared that if i break up with her she will be alone and miserble and might hurt herself. My friends are telling me i need to think about myself in this situation because if i don't then im going to be unhappy for a long time. But since youve already dealt with this can you give me some needed info/tips
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Avatar_m_tn
If you think it is bad now then wait until you have been married for 20 years.

There is a passage in Meatloaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Light.
PRAYING FOR THE END OF TIME
I couldn't take it any longer
Lord I was crazed
And when the feeling came upon me
Like a tidal wave
I started swearing to my god and on my mother's grave
That I would love you to the end of time
I swore that I would love you to the end of time!
So now I'm praying for the end of time
To hurry up and arrive
'Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don't think that I can really survive
I'll never break my promise or forget my vow
But God only knows what I can do right now
I'm praying for the end of time
It's all that I can do
Praying for the end of time,
So I can end my time with you!!

Trust your instinct, make the call and end the relationship now. Yes her feelings will be hurt but it will ultimately do her and yourself some good.
I made the exact mistake and I have regretted it ever since. Better to be alone and content than stuck with someone whom you despise. You will meet someone with whom you 'click' and when you do it will be magical.
I wish I had someone tell me the same thing 20+ years ago. I may never have found my soul mate but I would have been far more content with my life. Now all I have is to wait for the inevitable.
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