Hello Dr. Turndorf. I am coming to you with a confused and troubled heart.The girl I have been seeing, Kendra, and I have been going through a really rough spot in our relationship. Let start with a little background info so you know where I am coming from.Kendra and I know each other because she dated one of my best friend’s cousins for over a year. I had always thought she was beautiful. They broke up and several months later and we ran into each other at a local gathering and the following weekend she and her friends met me out with some of my buddies to watch a local band.The next night we went to a movie and the rest is history. We hit it off right away, spending as much time together as possible. Things progressed fast and we really started to fall for each other (at least that ‘s what was said).To make a long story short, after 3 months of dating things started to get rough. You see she is in grad school and she pays for almost everything herself so she has no time for anything cause if she is not in class she’s at work or otherwise she is doing homework.So we (me more than her) let the fact of we couldn’t always see or spend time with each other as much as we wanted get to us and it would end up in fight. So now she wants space and time for herself.I understand that with all she has going on but my only thing is if I know and understand the situation we are in and I am ok with it then why can’t we give it a try. I guess my question to you is, is she acting like this simply because I was an ass and bugged her about seeing her or could it be more.She has said more than once that she still cares and it’s not about me or her doing anything wrong but just it’s too much too fast right now. Of course I believe what she says. I am just wondering if there’s more or maybe I am reading more into it than I should.So I am wondering if I should act on my feelings, in the way that fits her feelings, or just leave it to fate and if she calls me or comes over – hurray for me?!Dr. you are amazing and I thank you for all you do.Hopefully you can help me out.
You gave me a very clear picture of the situation. I hear how much you care for this woman.Here’s what’s happening. Your girlfriend felt crowded by you. The only way she knew how to get space was to break up. You suspect that she has another reason for stepping away and you should trust your instincts.If I had to guess I would say that she is wary. Put yourself in her shoes. You gave her a hard time before over her not spending enough time with you, so, I imagine that she must be thinking, ‘If he couldn’t give me the space that I needed before, why would he be able to do it now?’You can test whether I’m right by telling her just that. Say, ‘I think that the real reason you broke up with me is because I crowded you and because you don’t want to deal with the hassle of me bugging you to spend more time together.’ Ask her if you are right?If she says this is so, then your only hope of resuming the relationship is for you to tell her that you will commit to resolving your problem. To resolve the problem, you need to figure out why you behaved in such a needy and demanding way.There are two likely reasons. Either you were terribly neglected as a boy, in which case you come to your adult relationships looking for your girlfriends to make up for what you didn’t get as a kid. If this is your case, they you need to heal the little boy inside you learning to nurture and care for him all by yourself.The other cause of such needy behavior can be due to having been overindulged or ‘spoiled’ as a boy. If your mother and/or father never said ‘no’ to you, always gave you whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted it, then you would expect to be ‘fed’ by your girlfriend whenever you have a need.If this is your case, then you are going to need to teach yourself to tolerate frustration. As you practice sitting with the feelings of frustration, you will grow stronger and stronger and will eventually find it easier to bear the frustration of not having your needs met.I’ve given you a lot to chew on. Let me know how you do.