I lover her, but don't know if I should stay or leave

I've never posted anything anywhere about myself, or my problems. But I'm in a pickle and I don't know what to do anymore. Apologies in advance for the long post, but greatly appreciate any help.

I started dating this girl Mach of 2016. We first met in late 2015. We became close very quick, within a couple months admitting to each other that we had feelings, and a month after that getting together. For the first couple months, everything went very well. We hung out almost every time we could. Her family was no the nicest, even abusive and did not let her go anywhere, so this was really only like once a week we saw each other. But that didn't matter so much, we felt very strong and happy together and we took every chance we had. This went pretty good for a few months. She was 17 at this time, me being 19. (We weren't doing anything that violated consent, both parents were okay with this). After months of being together, and her family not being very friendly and supportive of her, and she wanting to get out as soon as possible. We wanted to get moved out soon after she turned 18 and start our lives together.

I have a best friend, who I've been best friends with for 7 years now. Whenever we would all go out, I'd focus a lot of my attention on my best friend, and that was very apparent, and she didn't like that so much. She wasn't against our friendship, but didn't like being almost blown off the entire time. She broke up with me because of this happening so often. her reason was that she didn't wanna take my time away from him and for her just to be around (my relationship with my best friend is stronger than any I've ever had) I didn't think much of the break up, i just blew it off and moved on. The next day is when it hit, and I decided to talk to her and work it out. We both decided it wasn't a very good move and continued our relationship. Things were going well again for a few months again. At this point she was almost 18, we had been together for about 9 months. At this point is where I started to not have the same feelings as I used to. I still cared for her and loved her, but for some reason I just didn't feel it was right.

I will note that I am pretty shy, and have a little bit of a coward in me. Talking to her in person is very hard for me, even now being at our 1 year and 3 month mark. Communication is a huge problem with us, mostly on my part. And we argue a lot because of it, and have problems over petty things. I try to message her as much as i can and say what needs to be said over text, which most people would not do that and actually talk.

Anyways, a couple weeks before her turning 18, I started feeling different than I did, and i messaged her while i was at work explaining that i just didnt feel the same, and thought it should end, again. Obviously she was upset, but I myself, compared to most people, I show a lot less emotion and care sometimes. So we didnt talk the rest of the night, but again within a few days i regretted my decision, and i wanted to get back together again. Now, since we broke up and she didnt really have much going for her where she was, living with parents that didnt care about her, she decided to move in with her sister almost an hour away. We got back together, and that same night i drove all the way out there to see her, and ended up spending the night.

(Again im sorry this is so long but i feel getting details out there and telling the whole story could be important)

Note this was the 3rd time we had gotten together. Her sister knew, and was skeptical, but didnt say anything or try to interfere. Her sister is very different from her parents, she doesnt care as much, and also smoked pot and did other drugs, which my GF tried to ignore. but coudnt take it very long. After a couple months of living there, i tried to convince her for over a month, maybe 2, that she should move in with me and my parents, at this point she was 18 and i was 20. my parents were okay with this move, but she was not for a while. She finally gave in, even after warning me multiple times that it might not be good.

After about a month of moving in, we started having problems again. I keep going back and forth from wanting her, and not wanting her. Id go days without trying to give her attention, and being annoyed by her. And she'd notice this obviously, and bring it up. Whenever she wanted to talk about it, since im very bad at communication, id pretty much ignore her and tell her i didnt wanna talk. She'd always break down at night, and i wouldnt care ad try to sleep. I eventually told her again, and again, that i didnt want this anymore and said that she should move back out. She'd then tell me stories about us, and try to convince me that we are fine.

(she has depression and im the only one in the world who had ever given her this much care and attention, she really couldnt afford losing me)

Id break down, id cry, and for a short amount time id realise that she was right, and that we should continue us. We'd go really well for a few days to a week.and then it's start again, i would lsoe interest and it'd happen again. This happened about 4 times. At this point she really couldnt trust what i said i felt. And the last time that we broke up, it was the worst, and she moved back in with her parents, even though she really didnt want to. After I finally got her moved back out, and out of my life for good. I was happy, but only for about 2 days. even after being almost 100% positive that i was right in leaving her and wanting to be single, i wanted her again. She told me she knew this would happen, but i was sure it wouldnt. We decided that it wasnt good to get back together, but maybe just talk and continue being friends, and see where it may take us in a while.

Current time, its been about a month since she moved, and we've been going really well. I thought to myself, maybe its just that i couldnt handle living with her that soon, and thought maybe it was just too much. But still,even being single and not living with her, Im still inbetween wanting her and not wanting her. Every few days im changing moods where i just dont care, and then going back to wanting her.

A few things about us: A lot of our interests are the same, we both play games, me a lot more than her, but she at least shows an interest in them. We both enjoy the same humor, movies, all sorts of things. We have a lot in common, interests wise. Activity wise though, we dont have much. I'm a gamer, i focus a lot of my time gaming, and i honestly cant really say what she does. She doesnt do much, she goes to work, and then after or before work shes on her phone. When we used to go out, and currently go out, the only thing we have going for us is our very close emotional connection. Other than feeling good with eachother, and feeling safe with eachother,we dont do much else.

Now to bring up my best friend again. We are literally the exact same person. We both game a lot, we both play the same games. When we're hanging out we can talk nonstop about anything. weve been best friends for 7 years, and we're always going to be best friends. We wanna move out together and start a youtube channel together. and pretty much always be in contact and stay with eachother our whole lives. Its almost like we're soulmtes (obviously not, both of us being straight, and he has a girlfriend of 3 years and is going to marry her) But our friendship is that close. Compared to mine my (now ex) GF's relationship, where we dont really do much together, we just kind of hang out, or she comes to house and we dont do much together.

While my best friend and his girlfriends relationship is very active, meaning they do the same activities and always do stuff together, mine and my exes relationship was a lot different, we had a better emotional connection, heart to heart, than doing stuff together.

We're at the point where we're talking everyday,and hanging out like once a week, like we used to do when we first starting dating. and the feelings have come back, but from time to time. She is completely committed to me. she'd come back no matter what, because of how much ive done for her, and being the only one there for her. But i keep going in between wanting and not wanting her.

Here are some possibilities ive come up with, or have heard from other people:
Maybe we will work out, and it's just bad timing, and im not ready for commitment or to settle down right now. maybe i just need time. But with this, if i tell her i need space and time for us to seperate, what if she moves on, and then in a year or 2 from now, I FINALLY decide i want her, but its too late.
Another. Ive heard that i may be just missing the memories, and the relationship we used to have, and that i think that will come back.
Another is, I do feel bad for her that she doesnt have much, and its gonna be very hard for her to trust people in the future, and i feel bad that i made her fall in love for me just to leave,is it just that i feel bad and i give in? i know thats not right

There are probably a lot of reasons i can come up with that could be the solution to this.
but at this point, we'be broken up and got back together like 6 times. And we're at that point where we've been good together, not being in a relationship, but like how we used to be. and shes falling for me again, and shes gotten her hopes up again that we're gonna be together forever. even to me,that sounds nice and like it could happen. but like i said, i keep going back and forth to wanting her and not wanting her. I know that if we wait a while and get back together, its probably just gonna happen again where i dont want her. But if we never get backtother, what if i spend my whole life wondering, and never finding someone else.

This post was everywhere, and im probably missing a lot, but a lot has happened and its easy to miss some things.

In summary: I've been with this girl for a year and 3 months, have broken up and got back together 6 times, and i keep questioning whether i want her or not. I can't keep doing this to her.We are currently not together, and if we get back together, i want it to be the last night and not to break up, and i feel like its impossible to make that decision since i keep going back and forth. I feel like there is something missing, at the same time i feel like i have a very good connection with her and will never find this with anyone else. This may sound weird,but i think my best friend kind of in a way is exactly what i want. I can be myself around him, and do anything. but even being with my now ex gf for 1 year and 3 months, that i cant be myself around her. and im very quiet, and to myself around her. But i still love her, and i still care for her. I dont wanna see her with any other guy, even if we never get back together,is that being selfish? she kind of has already talked to another guy, and i got extremely jealous, and we got back together again, the time before we broke up the last time.Its hard for me to imagine her with another guy, and i want her to be mine forever. But, I also keep thinking about what if theres another girl, who is more like my best friend and who id have more fun with. do i stick with the girl that has been there for me through anything, and who i have a very good emotional connection with, or do i leave it where it is, and maybe find someone who i have a lot more interest in.

Its very hard for me. Id feel incredibly bad if i tell her again that its not gonna work out, but i know its best sooner than way later down the road. But i dont even know if i want it to end. If anyone has any questions, or would like any more details, feel free to ask and ill answer as quickly as possible. Thanks

You've not done yourself many favours by writing this much - all of this detail discourages people from reading it in full and offering advice. Am I right in guessing you've posted something similar on a bunch of other forums too?

For onlookers, this is the actual question:

In summary: I've been with this girl for a year and 3 months, have broken up and got back together 6 times, and i keep questioning whether i want her or not. I can't keep doing this to her.We are currently not together, and if we get back together, i want it to be the last night and not to break up, and i feel like its impossible to make that decision since i keep going back and forth.

I think part of the problem is that you've both got a rigid idea of what a relationship has to be. Some people just don't have it in them to maintain a consistent, 24/7 commitment to one person, but still like them enough to want to have them around. Instead of seeing it as flip flopping between being together and being single, see yourselves as two people who aren't exclusive and in a full time relationship. If you are happy making it open and can keep your jealousy in check, treat your relationship that way. If you can't, make a clean break. You've only been doing this thing for a year, which isn't a long time by any stretch, and you've got a lot of life ahead of you, so if it doesn't seem to be working out, end it. Try not to see a break up as the worst possible thing. You are both absolutely going to find other people and other relationships, so as miserable as a breakup my feel, it is probably for the best course.

On an unrelated aside, you seem to like talking about yourself an awful lot. Being shy makes it easy for people to be self-absorbed, so watch out that you aren't just doing everything for you.

.

Okay, so you're a bit vague on what it is you actually argue about or why it is you keep feeling the need to get out of this relationship, but I think I can guess from things you've said so I'll just jump through the things which strike me as most problematic. Let me know if you think I'm dead wrong on this, by the way.

xDisturbedxD:
she has depression and im the only one in the world who had ever given her this much care and attention, she really couldnt afford losing me

Do you believe that?

Like, I get that she believes it. But do you? Because when you say this, two things immediately come to mind:

Firstly, that it suggests a great deal about how you see this relationship. Like, if you thought she was an amazing person and really nice to be around, why would you assume that noone else would think the same thing? Why assume that noone else would be willing to care for her in the way you do.

Like, it's not good that you have to see your partner as someone you have to care for but that's actually pretty normal when you're involved with someone who has mental health problems and for many people it doesn't take the passion out of their relationship. They're happy to do the work of caring for someone because they see that person as worth it. The way you talk about your ex-partner here does not suggest you see her as worth it.

Secondly, and I could be way off the mark here, but it sounds like you kind of enjoy the power in this position, and maybe (just speculating) that's the thing which keeps pulling you back. You feel secure with this person precisely because you know they're dependent on you, and thus you're safe from the risk of them ever hurting you. After all, they'll never find someone who can care for them like you can, so why would they ever hurt or betray you? Sure, you could find someone else but that would mean taking the risk that they might hurt you..

And I hate to tell you this, but that isn't healthy, and it especially isn't healthy for someone who has a history of abusive or controlling people in their lives to feel that they have no choice but to be in their current relationship. If you've allowed this person to think that, or even worse encouraged them to think that, you need to stop and you need to tell them honestly that you are not the only person who can make them happy. Heck, it doesn't even really sound like you're making her happy, it just sounds like you're a sticking plaster holding things together for her, and that isn't right. Neither of you can live like that.

And if you can't do this, then to put it very bluntly you need to leave, because while it may feel cruel you really aren't doing any favours by keeping someone dependent on you like that.

xDisturbedxD:
Maybe we will work out, and it's just bad timing, and im not ready for commitment or to settle down right now. maybe i just need time. But with this, if i tell her i need space and time for us to seperate, what if she moves on, and then in a year or 2 from now, I FINALLY decide i want her, but its too late.

Then you would have to move on too and accept that you will find other people who can make you happy, and while you might have to take some risks and get your heart broken a few times long term it will be better than trying to keep alive a relationship you can't even convince yourself that you actually want.

Heck, I'm not going to lie to you, do that anyway, because maybe, just maybe, you will get back together in future (it does happen) but more likely the next person you date will completely change your perspective on relationships and you'll find you've grown so much as a person that what you want isn't the same any more. That keeps happening, by the way.. but it happens a lot with the first few.

xDisturbedxD:
But if we never get backtother, what if i spend my whole life wondering, and never finding someone else.

Everyone does that, even people who are really happy.

Once you've been involved with someone, and especially if it's your first serious relationship, those feelings never completely go away, and you will have moments in your life when you still think about people in your distant past and wonder about them, but the way to deal with it is to not let yourself live in the past and keep finding new things to fill the gaps. We all lose things, and we all drift apart from people we were close to. The good news is, by the time you're in your 30s you'll probably have done it so many times that it will just feel natural.

xDisturbedxD:
I dont wanna see her with any other guy, even if we never get back together,is that being selfish?

To put it bluntly, yes.

Jealousy is like any bad emotion really, it sucks but you can control it if you make the effort to. I find the way to handle jealousy (which I do a lot because I don't do exclusive relationships) is to try to figure out what's missing from your life that you feel jealous of, and work on fixing that instead of trying to control other people's behaviour. It's easy to understand why you'd find the thought a bit squicky right now, but it will get easier over time.

xDisturbedxD:
Its very hard for me. Id feel incredibly bad if i tell her again that its not gonna work out, but i know its best sooner than way later down the road.

I think you've answered your own question here..

Trust your instincts. If you feel like it's going to be better to cut the umbilical cord now (and based on everything you've said, I'm inclined to agree) then go with that and have the confidence to believe it.

I think that if you aren't 100% sure of it you're only wasting both of your times in a relationship. If you don't feel 100% you need to take time to figure it out.

There are actually some big red flags I've pick out in your post

xDisturbedxD:
she has depression and im the only one in the world who had ever given her this much care and attention, she really couldnt afford losing me

This gives the impression that either you're taking advantage of her depression or she's taking advantage of you caring about her depression

xDisturbedxD:
After a couple months of living there, i tried to convince her for over a month, maybe 2, that she should move in with me and my parents, at this point she was 18 and i was 20. my parents were okay with this move, but she was not for a while. She finally gave in, even after warning me multiple times that it might not be good.

This is another one. You shouldn't have to coerce it. Moving in with someone is a big thing and it shouldn't be something that you convince someone to do.

xDisturbedxD:
I dont wanna see her with any other guy, even if we never get back together,is that being selfish?

That is something I'd expect to hear from an overly controlling boyfriend. It gives the impression you want her to be your personal plaything that you sometimes want and sometimes don't.

She isn't your property and she isn't your toy. You have to choose whether you actually love her as a person and want to be with her or just want someone you can control. That's how you come across.

 

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