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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » "Taking a break" because of age differences

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Author Topic: "Taking a break" because of age differences
Cadence350
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Member # 68825

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The Rundown:
- I'm 26, she's 19, and this is both of our first relationship.
- We've been dating for 6 months.
- Been family friends with her siblings and parents for 4 years.

We've been dating for 6 great months together, but recently, I've started to question whether or not this is a good idea for the long term. She's known for a while that she wants to be serious with me, and, since we've been dating, I see it going that way as well. The problem is, she is just now starting college and is the type of person that would love to just party and go crazy for those few years. While she is with me, she can't do that, so I feel like I'm taking that away from her. She says she definitely wants to be with me and that she's beyond happy about it.

She recently did get drunk at a wedding and make out with a guy. I ended up forgiving her for it (she told me immediately after it happened and seemed very sorry), but this incident made me think that maybe I'm asking too much from her and maybe she's not ready for the type of relationship she is in with me. I really do believe that she wants to be with me for the long term, but with the current circumstances, I'm making her choose between a carefree, single college experience and me. I'm lucky because I got to have both. She is having to forgo the former to be with me, and that's not fair. I feel like it'll also lead to her regretting our relationship from time to time. With that in mind, I've decided that I should 'take a break' from her and let her be who she wants to be for a few years throughout college. Realistically, I know that there is no guarantee we'll end up together. We both want to end up together now, but who knows what can happen in that time.

I feel like this is for the best, especially for her. She decided at a very early age (16) that she wanted to be with me. I pointed out earlier that I had known her for a while. I didn't pay much attention to her being attracted to me back then, as she was still young, but I guess those feelings continued to grow. I originally encouraged her to go meet other guys and find out what she really wants, but she ended up confessing her feelings for me and now here we are 6 months later. We are amazingly perfect for each other, but I know she will really regret missing out on that college experience, and I'd feel so much better knowing that she would still want to be with after having met numerous other guys out there.

I've already made up my mind on the matter, I guess I just want to hear if any of you guys have been 'on a break' and how that has worked out. The break we are going on isn't really because we have any problems with each other. It's because I've decided that, although we are so right for each other, we are, unfortunately, at different points in our lives and will be for the next few years.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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It sounds to me like you've got your mind made up here, but since it also sounds like....well, you're kind of making a decision FOR her and about her -- rather than it being about yourself, so much -- do you mind if I ask how you think she'll feel about that?

Not so much the break as you making a decision on her behalf, "for her own good," rather than letting her decide what she wants and is best for her. One person making choices for both in a relationship often isn't very respectful of the other person in it, especially if those choices aren't about your lines, limits or your own wants, but you kind of commandeering hers.

Know what I mean?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Cadence350
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Member # 68825

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That's a very good point, actually. I had not thought of that.

I will mention that three times in the past 6 months, I've caught her doing some serious thinking. When I later asked her about it, she says that she loves what we have, but that she feels like it is too soon and that she's missing out on what her single friends have. She was the one who first mentioned 'a break', and I kinda talked her out of it saying that we might not necessarily get back together if that were to happen. We're very open with each other, and when she mentioned she wanted 'a break', it wasn't like she was ready to get rid of me then and there, she was just saying that, ideally, she would like to put our relationship on pause for a couple years. She also mentioned that she really has only kissed 4 other men aside from me and that's how it will be for the rest of her life.

If we were both guaranteed to end up together, I know both of us would do it in a heartbeat. She did bring up the thought once, but she was scared of losing me. She said she was certain she wanted to be with me and only me, and was really just concerned I'd find someone else. I know she's my first and only girlfriend, but I have definitely met plenty of girls. The only reason I haven't had a girlfriend before is because I don't really like to get too involved if I don't see it going somewhere serious, and this is the first girl I've felt that with.

I suppose it sounds like I am making the decision for her, but she has definitely said she would want the same thing. I plan to do this on Saturday and I do have a feeling that, for now, she will be against the idea, but I feel like I'm denying her a regular college experience and that she'll regret it forever because of me. If we end up together after this, I know it will make us that much more closer.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Ah, okay. I was just only hearing your "side" of this and you didn't mention her voicing wanting this, which is why I asked about it.

But it still sounds like maybe this is something to try and decide on together -- unless *you* for yourself really want this break -- rather than bringing it to her with a "this is what's going to happen," kind of deal, you know?

You aren't denying her anything, after all, if you're letting her decide what she wants here and make her own choices. Because, of course, it doesn't sound like you're holding her hostage in this relationship or anything. [Smile]

I didn't mean to derail, though.

I think the tough thing about a question like this, and trying to figure how this might go is that when we're talking about early on in people's lives -- for both of you it is early, but especially for her -- so much can change whether a couple is together or not that breakups or permanent relationship changes are very common no matter what. That given, though, I'd say that a break now certainly doesn't strike me as something that would make it any less likely the two of you wound up in a longer relationship later, and if it's something you both decide you feel best about, I'd say that no matter what might or might not happen in the future, it's probably a good move.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68197 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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