What does she want?

Posted by: NFA

What does she want? - 10/05/12 08:10 PM

My ex and I dated for a year and a half. She got very attached early on in the relationship and told me she loved me within a few months of meeting each other. She was married before has has full custody of her 4-year old daughter. She spent a lot of time living with me, but always on a temporary basis (days to a few weeks at a time). I have moved a few times for work in the time that we have been together, and after my last move it got to a point where we were so far apart that we needed to live together. She has never lived on her own, so I was somewhat nervous about moving her and her daughter in.
I was also reluctant to tell her that I loved her even though I knew I did. I felt that when I did tell her, I would be ready to commit to taking care of her and her daughter for life. I tried to explain to her what those three words meant to me.
Her goal was to go to a trade school, and found one near me. Her first choice was to live with me, but a second option became available a few months ago. She had the chance to move in with her friend and her friend's husband, which is multiple states away. She and her friend were going to do the school program together. She went there, found a job, and has no plans of getting to the school. Shortly after being there, her friend convinced her to break up with me. I did tell her that I loved her after she moved, but she tells me it was too late.
After she broke up with me, she calls and texts every couple days. She tells me she is still in love with me, but has started talking to other people. She says she wants to be friends. I keep telling her I need some space and time, and that breaking up was her idea. She keeps coming up with reasons to call or text though. I have told her I want her to move in if things don't go well in her new situation (which they aren't).
I have a great job and can provide for them probably better than most. I am 26 and she is 24. I am very much in love with her, but don't think I can handle being just friends. I feel like if I give it time, she will come back to me, but then I will be a second choice. Any thoughts?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: What does she want? - 10/09/12 01:33 AM

Greetings, NFA, and welcome to the forums.

I understand completely the idea that saying "I love you" is not frivolous. It means a serious commitment. Sometimes people can see it said for meaningless reasons on TV, like "I love this hamburger" and lose track of what it really means. So it is understandable but also frustrating when this type of disconnect happens. Maybe we need more words in the English language to help out.

Clearly she still cares for you a lot. She calls and texts you. It sounds like her friend is unduly influencing her. Which is also hard.

It's a shame if she's never lived alone that she's now living with another couple. How can she build her own strength if she always has someone else watching over her? The fact that she also isn't pursuing her dreams is a shame. She could easily get stuck in a rut and never move forward.

I wouldn't look at it as being a second choice. She is probably under a lot of pressure and caved when it got to be too much. You are her first choice but she's confused.

It looks like she'll probably never live on her own. Which is sad but a fact to accept. So I would offer to have her move in with you, if you're ready for that. It would be better for the child to settle sooner rather than later into a potential school system and stop the hopping around. It's hard enough on a kid to move through pre-school situations but to move from actual elementary school to elementary school is really rough on them.

I would start to present your case why your situation would be better, and why it's best for the child to start to find stability. I wouldn't be meek here. I would show her you care, show her you're willing, and show her that together you can do this.
Posted by: NFA

Re: What does she want? - 10/09/12 06:11 PM

Thanks Lisa for the kind words.
She texted me the other night "I'm sorry." After a few days I asked her "for what?" She said "for hurting you." I told her I would be alright and that she shouldn't worry about me, I told her my life seemed to be going well again. My thoughts are a lot more rational than they were at first, but it doesn't take any of the sting off. I still love this girl. She tried texting me again about something trivial, but I did not respond. She seems pretty serious about wanting to be friends. I am not the jealous type, but I cannot stand by while she starts dating other guys. My thoughts are that I give her one last call, explain my feelings, and then let her know that we cannot be friends. I don't want to push her into doing anything, but it is not fair for her to keep me as a friend while she seemingly moves on. The only way I feel that I can move on is to cut her out completely (facebook drop, take her number out of my phone, etc.). Do I need to just give it more time (it's been about 3 weeks now) or do I need to do what is necessary to get my life back together?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: What does she want? - 10/17/12 08:07 PM

Dear NFA -

My guess would be that while she's saying she wants to be friends what she really wants is to have you as a back-up. That way if she doesn't find a "better guy" locally she still has the option to move up with you. Otherwise she risks both losing you and also being alone, i.e. the worst of all worlds.

But for her to go up to you would involve a wrenching change and a lot of work. So she probably thinks that's not her best option. The best option in her mind is probably if she could stay where she is and have a good guy right there. Once someone "settles" in a place it can be hard to think about moving, especially when a child is involved.

If it does seem like she's settling into her new spot, and resistant to move, then it might be best to strive to move on. It would take a lot of energy to overcome that inertia, and it sounds like she just doesn't have that in her right now.