Relationship Help Forum: Test Of Time

The relationship blog runs a regular relationship help forum where we take a real relationship crisis shared by a woman on a forum elsewhere. We edit all identifiable details, then publish the real story here, along with the advice I offered. Today we'll look at *Danielle's (not her real name) story of a young love struggling to stand up to the test of time. The normal response of most women is to hang onto dying love, trying to fan its flames again despite signs of it not working. Sometimes the best thing to do is to leave it alone and walk away. Here's why.

Find more issues at the Relationship help forum page.

Relationship forum: test of time


Relationship staggering, struggling to survive

Dear Anne
I have been madly in love with the same man – we met when we started high school - for 6 years. He recently went away to college, where he’s starting a new chapter in his life. Over this summer, he started pulling away a little bit and his family (who didn’t think we should be so serious) encouraged him to date other people.

We broke up last month, but for the past few weeks we’ve been talking daily and our relationship with each other seemed better than it was than when we were together. We became even closer, but then all of a sudden it stopped. He stopped talking to me and when I asked him about it he would just say “we’re not boyfriend and girlfriend anymore so I’m not always going to talk to you.” Therefore, I ended it completely. He agreed with me when I said that we needed to date other people to see if we’re right for each other.

Relationship in crisis, bad decisions taken

We’ve both agreed that we hope we end up together. But if things can be obviously so great between us, then why do we have to go through the agony and jealousy of dating other people? I feel like I would go crazy if I saw him with another person, and he would too.

At present we’re not talking because we discovered we’re not going to move on if we keep in contact. The sooner we stop talking, the sooner we can date other people and see if we’re the right ones for each other. But I’m terrified that he won’t realize I’m the right one, even though I know I am. We just work, somehow. We’ve been through so much together, and all I want is him back.

Relationship breakdown affecting daily life

I have many friends wanting to love and support me, but I still feel so alone. I cry randomly and can’t perform regular tasks like studying, eating, sleeping normally. Everyone says give it time, but I feel like if I don’t talk to him, he’ll forget about me. He hasn’t discussed his emotions at all, I know how he feels about me but he isn’t opening up about any of it. My heart is in pieces and I don’t know what to do.

My answer, relationship help forum: test of time

Dear Danielle,
Your relationship seems typical of the ones that peak early and waste away towards the end. And I’m still trying to figure out why you need to date others to find out whether you’re right for each other or not. Surely, you can decide this important issue without the inclusion of other people? Love is not about comparison, or about finding out which partner is better. It’s largely about commitment, something you two have already worked out you don’t have for each other.

Relationships change because people do

As I’ve said before, not all relationships are built to last. No matter how good they are (like batteries) some will fade out naturally.
In a relationship where parties were very young when they got together, it’s possible for them to grow out of each other. When people mature, their needs and aspirations change. If you’re no longer the same person you were 6 years ago (I know I am not), then it’s understandable that you require different things from the relationships of which you’re a part.

A contact break from the relationship is a good idea

It’s right for you to stop talking to him (at least for now) because this is the only way you’ll both allow yourselves to move on.
Take your friends up on their offered support and start going out with them. You’re young, and spending time with their girlfriends is what girls your age do. The boy you once knew has grown up into a man who wants things that your relationship can no longer give him. You’ve provided each other with companionship and love for 6 years. This is positive, not negative. Take it as such. Now you’re both better for it and will go on to make other people a good husband/wife, father/mother.
Though it may take you longer (than him) to realise this, you will soon enough when the brunt of the pain has evaporated. Your friends are right. Time heals the pain.

The rest of your life awaits you

You’ll meet a man soon enough who will leave you wondering how you ever thought that you couldn’t love again. This will happen, but you’ll only believe me when it does. Take yourself out for a pedicure and treat yourself a little. All the best in moving on. It’s definitely what you need to do.

If you liked 'Relationship help forum: test of time' please share it on your social networking sites where other women in this position can be helped from it. What are your views about relationships that come to a natural end? Do you think that relationships which start early in life have a great chance of working out when the couples grow up and change? Other relationship help forum articles can be found here.

Anne Lyken-Garner is a published, author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.


ChopperPapa July 30, 2012 at 1:55 PM  

'He recently went away to college, where he’s starting a new chapter in his life' --

Let him start his new chapter and you start a new one as well, instead of trying to hang onto the past.

Anne Lyken-Garner July 31, 2012 at 9:26 AM  

Sometimes it's difficult to grasp this truth, but I hope that our young lady can do so very soon. It's what she needs to do to set her life back on track. I wish her all the best.

Personalised Presents July 31, 2012 at 1:12 PM  

It is hard to move on, but eventually you will. Life is too short to live into sorrows and sadness. All relationship have hardship and difficulties but if its ruining your life entirely then its time to let go.

Anne Lyken-Garner July 31, 2012 at 2:02 PM  

Great advice. We have to recognise when the relationship has come to a natural end.

Icy BC August 2, 2012 at 1:48 PM  

It's a difficult time at first, but I agree with your commentators. Eventually, life has to move forward.

Unknown August 4, 2012 at 6:23 PM  

Dating shouldn't be like comparison shopping, but neither should our young lady pine away for this young man. If he felt the same way she does he would not be interested in opening up the possibility of our young lady finding someone she cared for more deeply or enjoyed the company of more than him.

Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.
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