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How to Strengthen Your Relationship/familiar with break-ups, not so much with a "break"


So I've been dating Amy for about 5 months, and overall things have been great.

The last couple of months have been *extremely* stressful and full of anxiety for me at work, to the point where they started to affect me physically (peptic ulcers and nausea). The project kept extending, so every time I thought I would be free from the stress, it would continue, which would put continued stress on my relationship with Amy. The company is going to through bankruptcy as well, so this is just poured more fuel in the fire as I tried to stabilize myself. In addition to this, she is losing *her* job, so she now has that search ahead of her.

She became to feel neglected and rejected since in my current health state I could not give her the kind of physical satisfaction she desired. She revealed that she felt like we were just "good friends that happen to sleep in the same bed". She had kept this to herself, but I could she was getting moody, and I knew she was disappointed, but I was never quite sure what I could do until my person situation worked itself out. It all came out after I told here how strong my feeling were for her.

As part of that late night conversation she has indicated that she wants a break. Partly so that I can possibly speak to a therapist about my stress and anxiety issues (which I do think is a good idea), and also so that she can focus on what this new job might require. She made it clear that I wasn't losing her, and that she wasn't giving up on me, but the most we could agree is that the "door isn't closed". She did still spend the night, and we cuddled in the morning (and even fooled around a little). She didn't empty any of the drawers that are "hers" at my place. She talked playfully about showing up at my doorstep to get her fix of my delicious roasted potatoes, and "still wanting to see my cute face". She even said that if I needed her to come over to cuddle, she would. She said she would call me soon.....

Through all this I made it very clear that I was not giving up on the relationship, and that while getting help on myself is part of the plan, restoring the two of us to greatness is my goal.

All this kind of general "not running for the hills" kind of behavior would lead me to be optimistic about the future. Am I reading it all wrong? My pessimist would tell that this is all just about being slowly nudged into the friend zone.

So now onto my questions and advice seeking:

We have tickets for special events in the next couple of weeks (and she has indicated that she still wants to do those things with me), and concert tickets & a weekend out of town for later in the summer (June/July).

I'm not sure how to handle the next couple of near-term events, other than to try and be the happy fun guy she remembers from the beginning. We don't have a time frame set-up for this "break", but I feel like sometime in April/May I should find out what she is thinking. Depending on what happens for each of individually, I think it would be only fair to find out what she intends for the relationship.

I welcome any interpretation of it all that you might have.


Hello Jack,

No, I don't think you are reading into this the wrong way. She's given every indication that she is not currently intending to end the relationship. She's joking, she wants you to see a therapist, she spent the night. A break really could be just a break. It's easy to over-analyze in a situation like yours, but just take a deep breath and take what she says at face-value.

As far as the upcoming events, I'll be honest with you. That kind of defeats the purpose of the break and you two have to "act" a certain way instead of just being yourself. So, instead of enjoying your time, you have to wonder how you are supposed to be perceived by her, when really the break is supposed to give you time apart to reflect.

What I think would be best is to set the ground rules as well as the time-frame for the break. This piece will help with this (

Once you two have really figured out the guidelines for the break, it will be much easier to work within that framework and to avoid any miscommunication. Hope that helps.

How to Strengthen Your Relationship

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