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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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My girlfriend of a year and a half became strange in the

Customer Question

My girlfriend of a year and a half became strange in the last week. She said she is having a quarter life crisis, and wants to be away from people. She was with me all weekend, and it was not right. When I pressed her about it, she revealed that I am included in the 'people' category (which had not been clear before). She actually said that if I was anyone else she would have broken it off as soon as she started feeling this way, but she hasn't because she loves me. I told her I would give her as much space as she needs, but that this felt like a breakup, and then she went home.
Now she is messaging me from work the way she always does, as if nothing is wrong, but it is tearing me up thinking I might lose her. I'm not sure what to do other than trying to be the person she found attractive in the first place (not being stalkery or clingy, giving her space, having my own life).
I theorize that I want her to see that she misses me, but I'm not sure if that will happen if we stay in contact. What do you think?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.

It looks to me like your girlfriend is afraid of commitment. She gets close to you and then she needs her space. What is her experience has been with other men? Did someone hurt her? After a year and a half you are right I think even if you do not think about marriage most people do and if marriage freaks her out thinking about it will freak her out. You are doing the right thing with giving her space. I would also like to ask if she is depressed because she sounds like she may be. If she wants to be away from everyone sounds like isolation. Has she done this pushing you away and pulling you back in before? Why did the giving her space feel like a break up? What is your own experience with relationships? Did you feel like this before?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I don't think anyone really hurt her. She has had at least 2 other relationships that were at least this long.
The whole weekend before I confronted her, she was brooding and quiet and not her normal bubbly self. She was contemplating something and when i confronted her it all came into place, she was contemplating breaking it off with me. And the talk itself, I was crying, she wasn't, she said she wasn't breaking up with me, but she also said she didn't know where my place in her life was. When she walked out of my door, it just felt final. But then the next day she messaged me like nothing had happened, and again today she did the same thing.
This is my longest relationship to date, so I'm a little out of my experience. She hasn't really pulled away like this before. We give each other space normally, we have our own friends and our own hobbies, and we don't see each other every day.
I told her she was exhibiting signs of depression and she said she wasn't (classic, I know). She just responds by saying she sometimes has periods of introversion, but this one is worse than any others.
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.
It sounds like your girlfriend is going through depression. I think the best thing you can do is give her some space to come back with you. You can then ask her what was happening and what her thoughts are about the relationship. Also talk about where is your space in her life. What does she mean by that. What you don't want is an off again on again relationship. Now just spend some time with your friends and do the things you always do. Maybe she will come around and think what was I thinking? In any case you want to tell her that the push and pull will not be ok with you. Have you concider couples therapy?