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A difficult situation


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Hello. I am currently in a difficult situation and I don’t really know what to do.

Me and a girl have been together for a couple of months and we were going really well, she told me she was very happy and excited about where the relationship was going. A few weeks in she told me that her mum had stage 4 cancer and I told her that I will be there whenever she wants to talk about it and that it won’t put me off at all.

Her mum died a couple of weeks ago and she was distraught and I did everything I could to help her. She was very appreciative of this but I just saw it as doing what I thought was right. 

A week later she messaged me saying that she feels she needs to take a step back from us because she’s not ready for anything serious and her head’s all over the place, which I do really understand, and I am now giving her space. However, a mutual friend has told me she is messaging another guy and I’m now feeling quite anxious. I know this is not about me and I really just want her to be ok and for our relationship to not be completely over. I guess I was taken aback that she went from saying she’s super happy and excited, to saying she needs to take a step back within a few days.

Any thoughts will be really appreciated!

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I'm very sorry, but this seems to be all too common in grief.  I've read all the threads here and see a pattern.  Some will see someone else but not the person they were seeing because they are a reminder of that time.  It isn't you or anything you did or didn't do, it really isn't.  Time will tell what will happen but it looks like you're broke up and she's moved on.  I hope you will put quality time into yourself, I know it sucks but it happened to me with someone I was engaged to for a year, although neither of us has dated since...he hasn't tried to get me back in the nearly ten years since.  I wouldn't advise waiting around.

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Thank you so much for replying! I’ve read a lot of the posts here and I too see a pattern. It’s just hit me from nowhere because we were together for the week after her mum died and she kept saying how much she appreciates me and is looking forward to our future together. I understand completely that this is just how she is feeling but it’s just been a difficult couple of weeks.

After the death she said she wanted me at the funeral and even called our boss to book it off for me, and then two days later she said she needs to take a step back. The funeral is next week and I haven’t heard from her for a week, so I’m thinking that I won’t go because I now don’t think it’s appropriate?

It’s just a difficult time. We started talking  because she was adamant to see me after a night out with friends (I left my car near to hers so she wanted to come and get me in the morning to take me to it) she’s said since that was a signal that I was oblivious too, stupid I know... She started messaging me a lot and I gladly responded because I’d liked her for a while and before I could tell her that, she said she’d liked me since we first met. She’s told me countless times how happy she is with me and that she’s excited. She came to see me when she was meant to be with her friends, which I didn’t initiate. I thought we were going really well and our mutual friends were happy for both of us, she told her girlfriends about me and she told me they all approve; one even said to me that I am the perfect guy for her and that the girl in question couldn’t stop talking about me.

 I kind of just feel like the rug has been swept from under me and I just hope that we can work it out - we see each other every week with work so I’ll see what happens there. As far as I know, our mutual friends still think we’re together so that could be interesting when we get back.

I’m not really thinking this other guy is an interest for her because she’s said herself she’s not ready for anything serious and her head is all over the place.

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I think it's important to respect their wishes, even though doing so is heartrending to us.  I would text her and ask her if her preference is that you attend or not attend and let her know you will respect her wishes.  That way you can let your boss know if you will be gone or not.  I'm sorry this is so hurtful to you.  You might feel this is all about her...well yes the original grief is, but not YOU are grieving the relationship and there's nothing insignificant about that.  Very hard.  I didn't get to attend my fiance's mom's funeral either, he'd broken up with me.

You are not only grieving your relationship, but the loss of the dreams you had for the future, for the two of you.  You're realizing now that those dreams will not be realized with her.

On 1/3/2020 at 8:46 AM, Mark94 said:

her head is all over the place.

So was my ex's.  I realized I couldn't count on anything he said when we resumed contact because everything was so inconsistent and wishy washy, he'd say I love you and then not call for two weeks.  I realized he didn't know his own mind.  In the end we remained friends, but nothing more.  Most do not even have that...and you can't have that work if one of you is secretly hoping for something else, it's imperative to accept the friendship on it's own terms or let it all go.  Not everyone can do this.  Whatever you do, do not let your emotions be yo-yoed around, it's not fair or healthy to you.  Going no contact allows healing, but with you working together, that's not an option unless you look for a different job.  Any chance of transferring to a different department?  

It might be good to clue your mutual friends in ahead of time...waiting until you get back to work might be all the harder to deal with.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Mark94.


I'm joining this thread rather late, but I'd be interested to know what happened since the last post and how you're feeling.


I understand why you feel confused, as it seems that she is going between extremes. Keep in mind that it might just be a grief reaction to pull back from people, and that she will reach out if you give her space. It could also be something else, but I'd say give it some time (which you have by now because it's April) and read the signs as they come.

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