My girlfriend of two months recently broke up with me saying she didn’t have time to develop the relationship the way I deserved. She cried and said she was sad because I’ve been so good to her. Our relationship to that point was excellent, and when I looked in her eyes, I felt I had found the one.

She works two jobs and has worked every day for the past few weeks. I know she’s having a hard time. I asked her if the problem was the situation or me. She said it was the situation. I told her to take her time and call when she was ready, that all I wanted was for her to be happy.

By email, I let her know I was happy and willing to do whatever it took to make things right again. I also let her know how special she is to me.

It’s been a few days and she hasn’t written back. I’m thinking the worst. I can’t help but feel we should be together and together can solve this.

Can I still hope? What can I do to get us back together? I’ve constantly thought of calling her, but I want her to have time to think it over and make her own decision, though it’s killing me.

~ Bryce

Bryce, you are not thinking the worst. The worst has already happened. She broke up with you. The truth is, the last thing you want is for her to make her own decision. You want her to make your decision.

You were together eight weeks. Briefly your world was transformed. You felt newness, intense emotion, and the rush to be an adult and get on with your life. But two months is nothing in the span of a lifetime.

We remember the first time we drove a car. By the 2000th time we can’t remember how we got home. We might say to ourselves, “I don’t think I ran any stoplights. I don’t see any blood on the hood. I guess I must have done it all right.”

You misunderstand the importance of this experience. First memories and early memories tell us about ourselves and how to operate in the world. They become a guide for the future. That’s what this experience is about.

We will tell you a secret about true love. It isn’t true when the other party says no. You were happy in the relationship, but she was not. When a man makes breaking up hard, he does the woman a disservice by encouraging her to soften the blow. That doesn’t lead either of them in the right direction.

If you hound someone into or back into a relationship, the genuineness of their feelings will always be suspect. You will watch them like a hawk. And when you come down from the newness high, if she holds to her resolve, you may come to hate her, though the problem is you.

It’s hard to accept a no in a job, a friendship, or a lover. If she had yelled and screamed and broken some crockery, it might have been better because you would have heard the message. You must live in a real world, not the one in your imagination where you are the center of the universe.

She cried because she knows it’s over, and you are not getting it.

If she gave in, what story would you tell your teenage children? “I badgered your mother until she relented.” At that point the children would understand why their parents are miserably married. They would understand why melancholy hangs over the house like a shroud.

Life will become easier if you see this as a step toward what you want but don’t yet have. But that takes wisdom, and wisdom won’t arise until the pain of the moment has subsided.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Direct Answers for the week of February 17, 2020

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