I have been with a girl for a number of years. I know I love her but the other day I was sitting there and thought to myself after all this time I still don’t know that I want to marry her. After talking it over, about a week later we broke up. After this I felt really lost and as if I could not see myself living without her in the future. I have been in contact with her again and we are now more or less back together. But now that we are back together, I am getting the feeling that we shouldn’t have. Can you offer any advice? I’m very confused.
I CAN understand why you would be feeling confused, because your thoughts are in direct conflict with each other, and the stakes are high because you are considering your future, and hold the life and feelings of another person as well. If you care for her, and want to honour the history and time you have shared together, then this decision about whether to be together or not shouldn’t be taken lightly. And you can’t keep back-flipping on your decisions, so you need to make this next one your last one.
When and why did the question of marriage come up? Is there an external pressure leading you to think you must make a decision about marriage right now? Is it simply a function of thinking you ‘should’ marry because you’ve been together for a number of years? Did your girlfriend bring it up or give you an ultimatum? Do you have an expectation that you ‘should’ be feeling a certain way by a certain time frame in your relationship?
'Should’s' can be very destructive to a relationship because it is usually someone else’s time frame or value system often telling you what ought to be done, or how you ought to feel, when in actuality, the best approach is to follow your heart. If you love each other and want to be together, live in the present and don’t discuss the marriage issue just yet.
You stated you felt lost, and when confronted with a new change, it can be easy to gravitate back to what’s familiar. It’s important to be honest with your feelings, with yourself and with her. It’s unfair to spring her with a surprise second break up, when you could possibly salvage your relationship by keeping the channels of communication open. Decisions about relationships can feel incredibly intense.
To be together or not to be? Only you can know if you should be with your girlfriend, but as you figure it out, it’s important to be honest with your feelings, both with yourself and with her. Acknowledge the pressure and share this with your partner. Agree not to act or decide anything for a few weeks and see how you each feel being together again. Good luck.
Dr Gabrielle Morrissey
Human Sexuality and Relationship Expert.
Author, Spicy Sex and Urge
Check out Dr Gabrielle’s new website! http://www.drgabrielle.com