Stress of Disaster

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Visitor's Question:
Shes 19 and Iím 22. We broke up about a month ago but went out for three. We started out pretty strong. I was her first real boyfriend because she always been one to have a guard up but says that I was the first to get through her.

When the recent hurricane Sandy came, she was hit really hard. She lost her home and moved to four different places under one month. She always started feeling like she doesnít belong in college and doesnít know what to do with her life now. Therefore she was extremely stressed out.

When we broke up, her reasons for doing so didnít make sense to me. First she said that she felt that she lost her feelings for me since before the hurricane and she stayed hoping her feelings for changed. The next time we talked, she said she been giving me hints that her feelings changed and even try to find a way to get me to do the break up. And I didnít believe a word because before and after the hurricane she always said things like she misses me, wish I was with her, that she feels safe with me and her kisses.

She still wants to be friends but stopped talking to me so I can move on because for two weeks I kept fighting for her, because deep down I feel that we should be together. Thereís times I want to call her but donít.

I plan to send her a text simply wishing her a merry Christmas. Part of me believes that her feelings will change once sheís back in her own home and is stress free. I really care and like this girl so much that I believe I might be in love with her. I want to let her go so she can find her own happiness, but part of me believes itís with me.

What should I do now? What should I say to her the next time I see her?

Our Suggestion:
It sounds like she's under an enormous amount of stress, and also that she's taking a fresh look at her world. A lot of people do that after a disaster hits. They sit down and say "What do I really want out of life? What is really important to me?" It makes them reevaluate their world and choices and try to start fresh.

So on one hand it could be she just can't take any stress right now and is hunkering down. On the other hand it could be she really did take stock of her life, look at everything, and decide you just aren't right for her. That she wants to start fresh and part of that is realizing that you're not just the right person for her.

So the question is which of these is it. Is it a temporary stress thing, or did the shake-up give her the strength to move on when she figured out she wanted to take a different path.

I'd hang in there, in case it's the first thing. Give her time to get through the stress. Prove to her that you're there for her. If it really is that she needs a different path in life, then you can still be her friend. But if it was simply a short term stress issue, then she'll be open to seeing you again once she settles down.

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