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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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Hi my name isXXXXX am a so-far very successful university

Resolved Question:

Hi my name isXXXXX am a so-far very successful university student. I really need a person to talk to right now.

My lovely girlfriend of three years (In four more months, officially) told me a week ago that she has been feeling changes coming about to her thinking on life. She has always been that way: introspective and serious on personal development. I would say one of our best strengths as a couple for maintaining such a successful relationship, has been our ability to communicate. Today she told me, that she feels that to further develop her social skills she needs to devote more time to building friendships with others. I totally agreed--but as I continued to listen she tied in another point she wanted to make that left my mouth agape.

I am her first serious relationship--as a young person she needs to develop and grow into a woman who can take on the world and achieve her high aspirations. Making friendships with other people is a big deal. She wants to practice making friends with more men; and made the point that it is healthy to flirt at a younger age to build those skills, get to know people, and have romantic encounters. I asked her to clarify, and she does indeed mean that she wants to have the mindset now that it's ok to meet more men-----in that way. As a man it's very hard to hear. From her talk I know she is serious and will follow through with being more friendly to men, and maybe be open to coffee dates that can lead to something. From her end this was a normal conversation; serious, but normal--meaning nothing between us changes since she still loves me.

I know the benefits for an individual to be open like that, but on a relationship it can wreck havoc.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this shocking situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

How old is your girlfriend? Did you anticipate anything close to this coming from her after almost 3 years in the relationship?

Customer:

i don't really think i though so, no

Customer:

thank you by the way for the chat

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It seems obvious that you got truly shocked by her decision and how comfortable and confident she felt about it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome

Customer:

from what you have read, what did you think?

Customer:

your free opinion

Customer:

just open opinion

Customer:

:)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Unless you happen to behold open-non-exclusive relationships, most people would feel overwhelmed by news like this.

Customer:

yes, i was overwhelmed a little. but i am psychologically resilient so i am trying to figure it out haha

Customer:

i understand that people need to date at a young age

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That it seems your value and belief systems as well as your committed relationship are incompatible with her decision to meet other men, flirt and have other romantic relationships.

Customer:

but you cannot have a serious relationship with that mind set, as you pointed out

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What's her age?

Customer:

we are both 20

Customer:

both university students

Customer:

in these last years, we have been very commited

Customer:

she is a high-class girl. good family. good values

Customer:

we are pretty old fashioned; we do not have intercourse

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

But she is already an adult, and she knows what she is doing for sure. Obviously what she now considers essential part of her personal development would not work for most men, unless having this non-exclusive relationship approach.

Customer:

I could never have that

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, then this does not match the old values you have had until recently, she has obviously changed.

Customer:

ah, thanks. It's nice to see i am not the only one shocked

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You need to assess what you truly need and expect from this relationship, and what you are really willing to afford here.

Customer:

i should say yes,

Customer:

we have talked about marriage,

Customer:

and about children,

Customer:

about a future, all those things. We have acted like a very mature, serious couple the last few years

Customer:

our families are very well intermixed now.

Customer:

we go camping all together,

Customer:

and spend a lot of time

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If you feel comfortable, happy and confident that your long term relationship could survive this changes, that it is worthy, then you would just go with it. Just be aware of reality for you not to get more hurt.

Customer:

as a whole family

Customer:

thanks

Customer:

it is a very different conversation we had with her, that is for sure

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, well, then this change would deeply transform the relationship you have built until now for sure.

Customer:

what would you do? if you really love this girl and she loves you

Customer:

Who knows how serious she is? maybe she is on her period haha

Customer:

maybe, having some kind of split personality

Customer:

or maybe i need to do something different?

Customer:

do you recomend stepping back?

Customer:

would you recommend stepping back from the relationship?

Customer:

i'm sorry i do not have a full case study for you

Customer:

I'm just a straight forward guy

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

First assess what I truly need and expect from a girlfriend, if working on becoming or not life partners. Being totally truthful with myself in order not to self-sabotage and engage in something that is incompatible with what I think, believe and want in a serious commitment. I would think that it would not be healthy since she would not be matching my core requirements for a good relationship, and would have to talk about it for her to reconsider her decision, then decide from there.

Customer:

yes i think so to

Customer:

this is something that cannot be slid under the rug

Customer:

how do you recommend approaching her to talk about it?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do not believe that pushing a person to do what she is not truly willing to do would help, then respecting her decision and boundaries should be the way to go but at the same time you need to be very clear about what you are willing or not to take from here, to take good care of yourself.

Customer:

i agree. it is not right to force your will on others

Customer:

what do you think caused this change in behavior?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Being %100 honest, open and direct. Taking full responsibility for your own feelings, choices and actions, setting and keeping healthy and clear boundaries and limits too.

Customer:

and then one last thing, should i meet her casually or tell her what it is about that we will talk over?

Customer:

thanks Rafael

Customer:

just these two questions

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I have no idea, she is very young as you said, and anything could led a young person to change her mind this much, so many things to experience, and only she knows what was it, and only if she chooses to be %100 honest towards you, then you wuld know and understand this.

Customer:

I appreciated her honesty haha

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Remember, be direct and fully honest. This is not about being pushy, but about being real, honest and assertive, no codependent at all.

Customer:

any last final parting words or suggestion Rafael? Thanks :)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely, that's a good thing but now you need to think what you truly want to do about it from now on.

Customer:

have you ever heard of this kind of situation before?

Customer:

thank you :) i appreciated the talk!

Customer:

I will re-read the comments, then rate and finish :)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Be totally truthful with yourself, honest towards her, and consistent taking actions, being flexible and open to learn, to make improvements but not to self-sabotage or to engage in something you do not truly feel comfortable with. If I happen to be in your shoes knowing what I know now, I'd let her explore, have the experiences she wants to have, and if in some point she truly feels she wants to restart the relationship in a committed way, and I happen to still feel the same at that time, I'd give her another chance.

Customer:

that will be very tough for sure. but i agree.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Yes, this happens many times, most times people are manipulative when presenting a plan like this. The only way to know is by assessing reality, her words, but specially her concrete actions, they show you how much she really cares and wants something, needs to explore and learn from experience, value things and more.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you for your trust. I hope you well from this challenging but very helpful experience.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Bye for now.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist
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3189 Satisfied Customers
MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach