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LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 412
Experience:  10 years post-MSW experience
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My girlfriend lost intimacy with me and wanted to take a

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My girlfriend lost intimacy with me and wanted to take a break from our relationship. She wants however to hang out. Should I bring the topic about why she intimacy on on our first meet up or should I wait with it?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We have been dating 5 years, but in a semi "long distance relationship" - never lived under the same roof but meet up at least 2-3 times a week. Usually after long days at work, which means that we hardly have a quality time together.

Hello and thanks for writing to us. My name is***** is a good question and a good sign she wants to hang out again! I would definitely wait on bringing this up or making any moves. If she wants to talk about it or hook up, she will make mention of it or initiate. Intimacy has a huge mental health component and sometimes if it feels rushed or expected, it can really affect the mojo. Keep honoring her need for space and keep it casual and fun tonight as you consider reconciling. That should give her the impression that you honor a relationship with her for more than just the intimacy and that you are committed to trying to work through without a huge focus on the intimate part right now.

I am here if you want to chat more. Good luck!

Leah

Let me read that last part and respond again...

Long days and limited QT likely did play a factor in her feelings of losing intimacy. Most of us can relate that when tired and drained, it is hard to commit the energy needed to maintain a healthy intimate life. Then once it is gone, it is hard to pinpoint why except to feel like perhaps those feelings just aren't there. If/When this does come up, you and her should openly discuss your goals and desires for the relationship. If she shares your goals, then you guys have to figure out how to make the distance less of a factor because long-distance relationships are fundamentally disadvantaged and take even more work and stronger commitment. It is doable, it just might take some creativity.

-Leah

Hello, I am just wondering if you hung out with your girlfriend and how it went?

-Leah

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Leah,We met up other day for a walk and then spent some time at the coffee house. There was no tension as the day when Cindy (my girlfriend) asked me for a break. However I didn't bring up the topic about our relationship, but when we were taking different directions home, she mentioned "...and again we did not talk".I sent to her: "What was that you wanted to talk about?"Cindy: "Remember, you wanted some time to think about our relationship (when she asked for a break, I told her that I would need at least a week to think over, before we meet up as "just friends")Me: "I though that she was not ready for the talk yet.
Cindy: "Glad to hear that, I almost got insane last two days".What do you think about it? What should I do next?p.s. Maybe it is not completely related, but my girlfriend lives with her sister who's in very unstable relationship. They frequently argue. My girlfriend either have to listen them fighting and her sister uses her shoulder to cry on.The same day Cindy asked for a break, her sister got into a big fight with her husband. As I said it might not totally related with our break, but I believe it gives a negative side effect.

HI:

Lt me review hat you wrote...

So this sounds really great! She is stressing and you are stressing about time apart, especially this indecisive phase. And yes, her having to suffer through an unstable relationship with her sis could definitely make her a little skiddish and also escalate worries that may not be all the severe.

Here's what i would do...tell her you want to talk. Tell her you never had any intention of making her feel like your goal was to permanently end things and that you only sought the "time to think" so you could contemplate your own feelings and fears about losing her. This is now your chance to open the door to the conversation about the fate of your relationship. If you want to be with her, make that crystal clear! It sounds like she really needs this reassurance from you. Then, tell her you also need to hear the reassurance from her because you don't want a relationship with someone ambivalent. It is too hard on you and is not fair. You are not a mind reader and want to encourage her to clearly express her thoughts and needs so you can respond/adjust to that as appropriate.

So this sets a new precedence in your relationship and offers opportunity if you both agree to move forward together. Call out the fact that you want to communicate openly, clearly, and honestly from this point further. No more gray as it took its toll on you both. This level of communication will allow you both to get closer, tackle things before they become worthy of distance, and iron out natural relationship issues such as intimate disconnects and other common stresses.

-Leah

Also, super good job just sending the text asking what she wanted to talk about. She opened the door (a bit passive aggressively)and you seized the opportunity. You need to help her see that she needs to come out and ask for what she needs and you encouraging this talk was really a good thing and allowed her to tell you how vulnerable/"insane" she has been feeling. This is great insight into the fact that this distance has really been hurting her too.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hello Leah,I met my girlfriend last night. We finally had an open talk about the reason behind the break.Last year I went for a half year trip around the world and that was the moment when she realized that she felt so good of being independent. She felt like she had more time for herself, her hobbies and in general felt more happy.However, she also understood that since she got into adult life she haven't had a time to explore herself and what she wants to do in life.When we started dating she was highly controlled by her mother. After some years her mother moved many hundred miles away, but she started living with her sister who is as I told always in the relationship drama and also has a tendency to be in control.
I've been aware of this issue from the beginning of our relationship, but every time I challenged her to take farther step in life she got scared so I had to give in and wait for the day until she would realize herself that she needs to do something to continue her inner growth.At this point she asked for an extra 1 month break so she could work on her issues and see if she would want stay in the relationship or not. As previously she still wants to keep in touch and hangout together as friends.What are your thoughts about that?

Good morning, so I am glad you finally got everything out in the open. It does appear there are some external factors that have come in to play in your relationship and I do understand and respect that Cindy feels the need to take time to find herself. Obviously, you can't give to another person if you don't feel you know yourself well enough.

However, I would question what she thinks is going to change in 1 month's time and why she feels like she can't carve out and establish herself while you are still in a committed relationship. Part of the balance and beauty of relationships is maintaining some form of an individual identity while also being part of a couple. Ironically, it can be the love and nurture of someone who allows you to learn about yourself and it sounds like you have supported her through so much already. Also, if she still wants to hang out and be friends, what exactly will change besides a lack of intimacy? Will that single factor somehow allow her inner growth? Will she be intimate with other people while on this break? Would that be okay with you if she was?

Overall, I can't say I have the most positive reaction to her asking you to wait for her for a month. While it is nice she still wants to hang out with you, it sounds like she really may be trying to distance herself from commitment and even if legitimate, the "find myself" is an excuse. This may be her way of getting you closer to the "friend zone" as she is scared to lose you all together but senses that she may not want to be committed to you any longer.

The choice is 100% up to you now. If you really love her, I can't see that waiting 1 month to see if she comes back is detrimental, but her asking is a warning flag and you may end up getting really hurt in the end. As you know, I am no mind reader but I am just worried about your continued full investment here when signs are pointing to less than that from her.

How old is this woman?

-Leah

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I still have a slight hope that during this one month we will work things out. But I am moving more towards the idea that she would just give up on me, mainly because she thinks that we are very different from each other.She is 28.

I think hope is good, but I think it is good, too, for you to start thinking about what will happen if she just can't commit. You really deserve someone who will dive in and considering she is 28 and you were together a while, she is well old enough to know by now if she is ready to settle down with you. I'd hate to see you put all your stock into a girl who can't give you the unwavering commitment you deserve, especially after you have given so much time already. I know this is hard to hear as I can tell you really love her. So I will hope for the best for you but know life is too short and there are "too many fish in the sea" to keep yourself in limbo or with doubt. I think for you, knowing either way in the end, whether it be the chance to explore new options or the chance to finally know she is ready, this will turn out okay.

-Leah

** Do you mind giving me a rating so I can get credit for our conversations? it won't affect what you have already deposited. Thanks :)

LeahMSWuofm and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you for all of your input, it really helped me a lot. I will give you a vote as soon as I send this message :)

Thank you so much for the rating and bonus. It was my pleasure chatting and you know where to find me if you need anything else. Maybe you can give me an update in a month as I always remain curious. I wish you so much luck and success with everything and have fingers crossed Cindy will come around and see how lucky she is to have you ... :)

-Leah

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