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Ryan LCSW
Ryan LCSW, Relationships
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Professional therapist
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hi. me and my girlfriend are on a break period came out of

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hi. me and my girlfriend are on a break period came out of the blue for me we never had any arguaments. been together 6 months complicated coming together she was my best mates ex got together 6month after they split. past 3 months has been more difficult due to her having an illness that means we cant be intimate anymore until it is sorted. recently i have listened to things she is saying an it was getting better to the point of she wanted to rebook a holiday we didn't get round to booking. shortly after not booking the holiday she wants this break. I always listen to her thoughts and am very understanding and allow her to do things important to her. what should i do? i don't want her to slip away as just a friend she means so much to me.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X'd like to help you out.

I'm sorry to hear about what you're going through with your girlfriend. It sounds like you have honestly done your best to be understanding about her need time to do things that are important to her, so I can definitely understand your frustration that she is saying that she needs this break anyway.

Usually when someone says that they needs a break or need space, the best thing to do is to give them that space. The risk in not giving her space has the potential to do exactly what you said as far as putting pressure on her and driving her away. I can certainly understand that you wouldn't want her to slip away. Sometimes by showing her that you respect her wishes and give her the break, it can actually prevent her from slipping away much more than if you were to push her to try and work this out now.

From what you've described it sounds like the break may necessarily have anything to do with your relationship if she is still struggling with some personal issues of her own. If that's the case, then probably the best thing that you can do is to continue to be patient and supportive. Otherwise this is a tough situation because it does seem largely out of your hands, and it is something that she may need to work through on her own. I would recommend trying to give her the space she needs, but also keeping the lines of communication open periodically just to touch base and let her know that you are still there to support her and help her in any way that you can if she needs you. The hope would be that by hanging in there and respecting her wishes, she will be comfortable, not pressured, and better able to work things out with you.

I definitely wish you the best and hope that this has been helpful. If there's anything else I can do to help just let me know.

Ryan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Ryan for your advise.
Just one thing that I am unsure of, we are still seeing each other to do things mostly I help her with playing squash. When we see each other now it is a bit strange as the rules have changed it is more as friends no kissing afterwards to say good bye small things like that. I asked her last night after a game about it saying what do you want from this break? she said she doesn't know, its better than not seeing each other at all. I have said prior I wont organise anything but I am around if she wants to doing what ever. thus far she hasn't organised anything which i am fine with. The things we are currently doing where organised before the break. Do you think this is a good thing that she is still seeing me in this respect as more of friend figure or is it detrimental to our relationship?
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 2 years ago.
No problem, I want to make sure I help you out, so thanks for your response.

I can definitely see how you'd be unsure of this current arrangement. Knowing that she needs a break, in a lot of ways it can be a good thing to somewhat backtrack in the relationship to more of a friendship level, and in that way it can take a lot of the pressure off of her and the relationship. If the romantic interest is there, it's not going to disappear just because you are only seeing each other as friends now. I would think that as long as she is comfortable with the amount of contact that you're having, then maintaining a friendship isn't anything to be overly concerned about, and it can also help to keep you fresh in her mind.

It sounds like you are doing a good job of being there for her but not pushing her to organize anything more than what you are already doing together. At some point it may start to become unfair to you if she continues to want this break, but is unable to give you any explanation or idea of when this is going to be over. For now though it does seem like you're handling it as best as you could be, and hopefully she sees that too and appreciates your restraint.
Ryan LCSW, Relationships
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience: Professional therapist
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