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Old 09-11-2009, 03:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How to know when to end a relationship?

I started dating this guy about 5 1/2 months ago. I know, not long. But the heat, passion and feelings were overwhelming, and the more I date him, the more obsessed I am with him. I do love him and have strong feelings towards him, but lately, since he's gone back to school, I've felt him withdraw from the relationship. I don't feel quite satisfied in how much attention and time I do get with him.

Now here's another aspect too; I'm 30, he's only 23. We're both going back to school, have a class together, and both of us are interested in purchasing a condo/house, although I'm the one with the finances to be able to do this sooner than he can. And we both have talked about marriage and kids and agree a lot on when it comes to the future.

However, for some reason, this relationship provokes old feelings of jealousy, and the more time goes on, the worse this gets. I've been awake at night thinking of this, my body is taxed by the extra stress of the constant worries, I don't eat that much because I'm just not that hungry from the stress and anxiety that I feel within the relationship. Is this something I can overcome while in the relationship? Do we have a chance, and do I have a chance, of making it work out for the long run? I know some therapy and growth need to happen on my part in order to get through this, but can I change while in the relationship? How do you know when to end it v.when to push through?

Please help! Have any of you experienced something even close to this?
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalan View Post
I started dating this guy about 5 1/2 months ago. I know, not long. But the heat, passion and feelings were overwhelming, and the more I date him, the more obsessed I am with him. I do love him and have strong feelings towards him, but lately, since he's gone back to school, I've felt him withdraw from the relationship. I don't feel quite satisfied in how much attention and time I do get with him.

Now here's another aspect too; I'm 30, he's only 23. We're both going back to school, have a class together, and both of us are interested in purchasing a condo/house, although I'm the one with the finances to be able to do this sooner than he can. And we both have talked about marriage and kids and agree a lot on when it comes to the future.

However, for some reason, this relationship provokes old feelings of jealousy, and the more time goes on, the worse this gets. I've been awake at night thinking of this, my body is taxed by the extra stress of the constant worries, I don't eat that much because I'm just not that hungry from the stress and anxiety that I feel within the relationship. Is this something I can overcome while in the relationship? Do we have a chance, and do I have a chance, of making it work out for the long run? I know some therapy and growth need to happen on my part in order to get through this, but can I change while in the relationship? How do you know when to end it v.when to push through?

Please help! Have any of you experienced something even close to this?
Sorry to hurt your feelings, but it could be either of the following:

1. He is starting to think you're too old for him.
2. He is starting to feel that he is too young to be tied down.

The best thing for you to do is to show him even less attention than he shows you, even if that means going out of your way to be out of his way. This will give him a taste of life without you, and the grass won't be so much greener on the other side.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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age differences don't have to be determining of a relationship. I find that large age differences at a young age can be more relevant. In your case, and particularly because he is the younger one, it seems to me like this may not work out. If he was a little older, I'd say your chances were better. I don't want to generalize but I think it's safe to say that a man at 23 is seldom ready to settle down. So this is not an easy situation.

If you are this anxious about the attention he is not giving you, then you may become needy and that won't be attractive to him. I don't advocate playing games but maybe you should try to calm down and get on with your own things. Remember you have only known him for a short time and you may be sugar coating the situation. If you can remain calm and be patient, maybe it will work out. And if not, you still have yourself and your own life. Remember that and you'll be fine.
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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How to know when to end a relationship?

The answer is simple:

When you know you are better off without it.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Talk to him about your feelings of jealousy, your slight age difference, and how you are perceiving his actions. Don't attribute causes to his actions so rapidly and negatively... all of the things you spoke of in your post may have nothing to do with you or even be positive in his eyes. His responses and questions for you when you COMMUNICATE WHAT YOU ARE THINKING will tell you what you want to know.

It also sounds like you are working yourself up with negative self-talk which in either case won't do positive things for you.
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good advice all around

Thanks to you guys for replying. I'm going to work on myself more and take care of myself because if I don't, it won't be attractive for him or anyone for that matter. I have not felt this way since high school about a guy, and it's making me feel emotionally immature. But I know what to do for me, and that's all I can do. And yes, communication is essential.

Thanks again and keep the advice coming!
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I sympathize. Some things that popped out in my head:
Probe around with some questions. See if he feels like he's starting to regret making promises of commitment even though he's in love. This one's tricky, because even if he does honestly feel that way, the situation could go either way. He could stick it out for the long hull until those feelings go away. He'd realize that even though it might be too early for him to settle down, you're too good to lose. He'd do whatever it takes to keep you and when he is ready, he'd still have you. This is based on him realizing that he has those feelings, but not acting on them. Or he could acknowledge those feelings and decide that there are things he wants to do before he settles down.
If you were to go ahead and get that house/condo, would things eventually even out and make your financial investment worth it? Or would you pretty much always be the one supporting the both of you? Even though he doesn't have the circumstances yet to help you out, is he willing to try as much as he can even if it's not much?
My experience wasn't exactly similar, but it did involve readiness to settle down and financial responsibility. My boyfriend was committed to me heart and soul and fully prepared for everything that went with settling down, but I was providing 90% of the finances. I wanted to better my life and finish my degree, but I couldn't both work full time and go to school. I also hadn't gotten dating out of my system yet, so I started to feel tied down and smothered when in reality all he did was love me. I left him. And while he was a good man with a good heart - rare - , I don't regret it. As much as we talked about marriage and as much as I thought that it was what I really wanted, I didn't completely know until afterward that I hadn't been ready. There were other factors there too though, like he wasn't exactly willing to try to pitch in with money. That became a huge strain as time went on.
You're probably jealous because you've been there at age 23 and you know (part of) what he's thinking. Especially going back to school, he's surrounded by constant reminders of what life could be like if he were single. That's normal, but another question you should ask him is how he views those reminders. Do they make him feel negatively about his relationship with you even though you're not doing anything to make him feel that way (my situation)? Or does he brush them off as things that were nice once, but not part of his life anymore?
As far as ending it, trust your instinct. If you think this part of his life will pass, then hang in there and talk about everything with him as you go. If you don't like the answers you get to these questions, then it might be time to think about life without him. I wish you the best!
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Amazing advice

Thank you for your advice. It's very true in how I'm feeling. We seem to be patching things up after a rough fight over the weekend, when my doubts were at an all time high about our relationship making it. Communication is needed along with compromise. But we both agree that finding each other is amazing in itself, and the love that we share. So thanks again, it gives me a lot to think about on what feelings I do have and communicate that to him instead of holding it all in.
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