Tricky Position

GrowingPains

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It's simple, Flow. I understand you are caught up in the details and are emotionally attached so it makes it difficult for you to fully agree with outside perspectives.

You love her. Fine. You're emotionally invested. But this has an expiration date. The first thing is to accept that she is moving. And you've said you wouldn't move with her (good). Lower your expectations. That's how you protect your heart in this situation. You need to sell yourself on the idea that she will be gone come 6 months and that is what it is. It will make you sad for some time, but if you can be at peace with this, then you can enjoy the remaining time for what it is.

You will hurt afterwards. But if you are willing to have +6 enjoyable months in return for 6 months of hurt and rebuilding... Then do it.

I hope that answers your original question. Start coming to terms with the situation now. It will dampen the effects later.
 

flowtheory

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It's simple, Flow. I understand you are caught up in the details and are emotionally attached so it makes it difficult for you to fully agree with outside perspectives.

You love her. Fine. You're emotionally invested. But this has an expiration date. The first thing is to accept that she is moving. And you've said you wouldn't move with her (good). Lower your expectations. That's how you protect your heart in this situation. You need to sell yourself on the idea that she will be gone come 6 months and that is what it is. It will make you sad for some time, but if you can be at peace with this, then you can enjoy the remaining time for what it is.

You will hurt afterwards. But if you are willing to have +6 enjoyable months in return for 6 months of hurt and rebuilding... Then do it.

I hope that answers your original question. Start coming to terms with the situation now. It will dampen the effects later.
Yes this is actually great advice. Thank you.

I think the conflict and difficulty is accepting something that just majorly changed in my mind. What does lowering expectations look like? I know it’s often said, but I don’t know if I truly know what it MEANS in the case of relationships
 

GrowingPains

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What does lowering expectations look like? I know it’s often said, but I don’t know if I truly know what it MEANS in the case of relationships
This is the tricky part of advice. It's easy to say something and for it to make sense at a surface level but how do you get the person to relate to it?

I can try through my own experience. I'm currently experiencing something similar in the way that I'm seeing a girl who I like but I know when this term is over she will go off to do something for the summer and won't be around. I'm starting to like this girl a lot, she's one of the first girls that has been clearly interested in me too in a while and we have a good time together. But again, I know she's leaving soon so how do I manage this new excitement so that I don't let myself down? I actively keep myself from catching feelings, that's one thing. I know that this is temporary and I treat it as such. She cannot be an LTR because I'm not into long distance. I make sure she's not my main focus and in my case that means I'm still pursuing other women. Outside of our time together I'm doing my thing, enjoying myself and my other hobbies. Make sure you keep finding yourself because relationships often cause people to lose themselves (like I did).

I'm not sure that helps, it's not as clear as I hoped. But I think the thing is to just to work on coming to terms with it. She will be gone. So when you're not with her, don't think about her. Don't spend too much time texting/calling. I mean.. you could treat her like a plate in that regard. Like, minimal contact but not seeing other women if that's how you want to go about it. Just prevent yourself from becoming too emotionally invested. You say you love her, don't say things like this. That's a grand statement that will only invest you more in my opinion. I wouldn't tell her you love her. Just enjoy your time together when you see each other. Sounds kind of restrictive but... That's the only way I see this 'keeping your expectations low' thing working out.
 

flowtheory

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She will be gone. So when you're not with her, don't think about her. Don't spend too much time texting/calling. I mean.. you could treat her like a plate in that regard. Like, minimal contact but not seeing other women if that's how you want to go about it.
Don’t think about her; that will be mighty difficult. You’re right insofar as taking the weight and emphasis off the relationship and more-so on the experiences.
I think this whole scenerio is a message from the universe to tell me to stop getting ahead of myself and live presently.


Just enjoy your time together when you see each other. Sounds kind of restrictive but... That's the only way I see this 'keeping your expectations low' thing working out.
it’s about reframing the relationship now, which will take a little bit of time, since the lay of the land in the relation has now changed. For 5 months I’ve been constructing it a certain way in my mind. Now it’s about excavating that out to make room for this new idea.

You say you love her, don't say things like this. That's a grand statement that will only invest you more in my opinion. I wouldn't tell her you love her.
Yea this is true for sure. I tell her I do, and I know when I say it it only makes it more difficult or me invest with each uttered word. Difficult.

The difficulty with this is to not go backwards in my mind of what we had planned to happen before. That LTR relationship future. It’s now about calibrating it to what you’re saying.
 

Dash Riprock

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@flowtheory,

I have an air-tight solution but I'm quite sure you won't pull it off because of how "in love" you are and it's clouding your judgement. No offense, Flow, we've all been there and now you are too. BUT, because I HAVE been there, I'll give you this advice because I know it works 90+% of the time:

Facts of your case:

1. She HAS chosen Europe over you. Don't make excuses for her and blame North America. Women will do ANYTHING to stay with men they love, career or not. Jobs are easy to find, love is not. She made her choice.

2. It's very possible your being so much in love has caused your game to slip, hence you're just "too easy" for her. There's no attraction for her in that. I really get that sense based on your OP.

3. She is a woman which means what she says today could be 100% different tomorrow.

4. The sex and companionship you keep talking about is a really good deal for her. You're always there, in love with her, and committed. It's a good deal for her until she leaves. Most women hate the dating process and she has attention and sex until she leaves.

IF YOU WANT TO KEEP HER or at least give yourself the best chance:

1. Support her in her decison 100%. That's right. Next time she brings the move up, tell her, "I think you'll absolutely rock it in Europe as a lawyer! Now I'll have someone to call for help if I ever get into a brawl in an English pub, haha." This will get her wheel spinning good and she'll think you're losing interest.

2. Tell her you both should start seeing other people (even if you don't). This is HUGE. Tell her as long as the relationship has an expiration date that she imposed, "let's still see each other but not exclusively." Tell her, "I've been thinking this over and I really like you (don't say love) but it makes no sense for me to be exclusive with someone who's sure they're leaving. My LTR goals are much different than that."

3. Carry on as normal, but BE A MAN. Hold your ground. Only one of two things will happen:

1) She will rethink the whole thing because YOU turned the tables and essentially have given her a preemptive breakup which is like a nuclear weapon in your favor in relationships. Good chance she stays with you IF you hold your ground on this.

2) She will shrug her shoulders and say, "Oh, ok." This will communicate you are no big deal and only fun and something to do until she finds another guy in Europe.

Once again, I have real concerns you've gotten very soft in your dealings with her and can't/won't pull this off. But if you can muster up the balls to do it, it's your best chance.

Good luck.

Dash
 

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flowtheory

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1. She HAS chosen Europe over you. Don't make excuses for her and blame North America. Women will do ANYTHING to stay with men they love, career or not. Jobs are easy to find, love is not. She made her choice.
I think she’s had issue with America since the first day we started seeing one another. Didn’t think her life was here

2. It's very possible your being so much in love has caused your game to slip, hence you're just "too easy" for her. There's no attraction for her in that. I really get that sense based on your OP.
Yea my game slipped immensely. I’ve been very open and available for her. Two months and ago she had even stated “I felt like I didn’t have to earn you. Which wraps my mind. Because look at you. And you could have just about anyone”



4. The sex and companionship you keep talking about is a really good deal for her. You're always there, in love with her, and committed. It's a good deal for her until she leaves. Most women hate the dating process and she has attention and sex until she leaves.
Very true.
We had taken a week of space for one week last week, and that caused some pretty great emotions within her. With myself too. But yea I understand that it’s a great deal for her to be with me - someone who makes her feel good, is avaliable, pursues her sexually.

1. Support her in her decison 100%. That's right. Next time she brings the move up, tell her, "I think you'll absolutely rock it in Europe as a lawyer! Now I'll have someone to call for help if I ever get into a brawl in an English pub, haha." This will get her wheel spinning good and she'll think you're losing interest.
I have done this. I say I support it all the way. I want her to be truly happy.

2. Tell her you both should start seeing other people (even if you don't). This is HUGE. Tell her as long as the relationship has an expiration date that she imposed, "let's still see each other but not exclusively." Tell her, "I've been thinking this over and I really like you (don't say love) but it makes no sense for me to be exclusive with someone who's sure they're leaving. My LTR goals are much different than that."
I think this would end the relationship. Because she has stated multiple times she doesn’t want to see anyone else at all. Zero interest.
Even when I said ‘were seeing each other’ the other night she was like “seeing each other!? We’re so much more than that! Seeing each other.”
If I opened that door I know it would be over. Even at the start she said we either become exclusive or it’s not going anywhere because she’s not going to be sexually active with someone who isn’t exclusive with her.
 
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Dash Riprock

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I think this would end the relationship. Because she has stated multiple times she doesn’t want to see anyone else at all. Zero interest.
Even when I said ‘were seeing each other’ the other night she was like “seeing each other!? We’re so much more than that! Seeing each other.”
If I opened that door I know it would be over.
Her: "We're so much more than that--but I have zero problem leaving you in 6 months. Thanks! Byeeeee."

Dude, she HAS you. Your only chance is to reclaim your balls and call the preemptive breakup. Ironically, it will probably save things. And If it ends, well, it's going to end anyway. At least this way you go out with honor rather than having her string you along for the next 6 months as her love puppy. She even TOLD you how easy you've made it. What more do you want?! Seriously. Take action like a MAN.
 

BeExcellent

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Flow,

Y’all are young yet. Life is confusing. It can be tough to figure out priorities in the midst of major life decisions. You are both full of passions but neither of you have the wisdom to put your priorities in order. What order? How to figure out what is MOST important? You don’t know. Neither one of you can see that far into the future...

That’s ok. We all make the best decisions we can at a given time given what we do know. It’s confusing as hell. It takes into account all this “stuff” we were taught growing up, all the programming we were imprinted with. It is subconscious in many ways.

I recall being her age and getting accepted to medical school in Budapest. It’s a long story but I had a lover there and I knew he wanted to get serious and live together and all this stuff. He wanted to marry me. He was sexy AF, ambitious, passionate, masculine and delightful. He wanted me to be his woman, his muse, cook for him, very traditionally minded man. I’m from US. I didn’t speak the language, I had no friends or social network...despite medical school I would have been utterly dependent on him socially, at least at first. The idea of dependence terrified me. Terrified me. After getting an apartment, securing a student loan, buying a one way plane ticket, getting my visa and so forth...I had a serious soul searching. My family and my father didn’t want me to go... I knew nobody there but him...I loved him but I was too afraid in the end. I scrapped medical school, Europe, him, the whole thing. Broke his heart. Broke mine too.

Once in a while I recall him fondly. Once in a while I wonder what became of him, how has his life developed and so forth. It’s nostalgic.

Once in a while I wonder what if I had gone...what an adventure we would have had...

But at that time in my life my individualism was more important than a relationship. ANY relationship. You see I broke off a 5 year relationship with a gorgeous man who was himself an incredible person who had proposed himself (I deferred, as awful as that is) but I deferred that proposal for the same reason I bailed on Lazlo...I was afraid of commitment. I was afraid of being “trapped” of being dependent. I had internal work to do on myself.

This fear was so visceral that when I married my husband a few years later I was nauseous on the way to the wedding. We got married in Vegas & I (who flies ALL the time, even then) was airsick the whole flight. It wasn’t because it was the wrong man...it was me wrestling this deep seated fear of losing my own independence...it was preconditioned BS that my mother had programmed into me since youth and because of her contempt for my father.

It had nothing...NOTHING to do with the men in my life. I ran into the same issue in different ways in each relationship. I simply at the point I got married, had realized this. So I went straight through my own fears and got married in spite of them. Even though those fears were still there, deep and visceral and seemingly real. Best decision ever.

But my point in relating that is this:

I didn’t have the wisdom or perspective at the time I had the opportunity to go to Budapest to go for it. I opted for familiar terrain out of my own fears & my own stuff. I sacrificed two relationships with 2 amazing men along the way. This idea that love conquers everything fails to mention that as an individual we each have to own our BS and be ready to concede ourselves to the relationship and to the journey.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized for me that really all that counts in life is your health, yourself, and the people you are close to (your relationships). Everything else is distantly second to that.

Therefore my top priorities need to be self/health/relationships. Not money, not stuff, not career, not status, not anything else (maybe religion if that’s your thing but I include that in self because that involves one’s spiritual journey)...but in youth I could not arrange my priorities. I didn’t know how to align my life and INDEPENDENCE was the overarching driver of my behavior at that time. On a subconscious level. I couldn’t see it at the time.

Your GF reminds me of myself in various ways. Her issues are different but similar.

She yearns for the familiar. She struggles with discomfort and the prospect of being away from her frame of reference. She is rational, pragmatic and independent. Emotion frightens her. Emotion is hard to contain.

Her relationship with you is picking at all the stuff she will eventually have to face and go through to progress as a person. That is scary. You are further along the self awareness spectrum and you are more emotionally connected to yourself. You are more able to love...knowing she may leave.

@TheProspect is absolutely correct. Relationships are impermanent. They all end. You are already in deep Flow. Will it go sideways? Eventually it always goes sideways. If you have love enjoy it. Enjoy the journey. Grasp less tightly and why not enjoy the ride.

Will she break your heart? She might. Will she come around? It’s possible.

People are dynamic. They grow. They change. You cannot know everything about another person’s path toward growth. Great relationships can exert positive influence but great relationships foster growth and in that sense can stir up fear, expose limitations...bring us to face ourselves in all our imperfect glory.

You are wrestling with all this because you love her, but also because the relationship itself is a crucible growing each of you as individuals in the background. She loves you too. I believe that. But she has a harder journey to make within herself. You are largely separated from that process for it is internal to her. But your love and acceptance encourages her as an influence.

Love requires courage because when you choose to love you risk hurt and pain. When you love from a place of strength (as I believe you are) you accept that risk and you do it anyway. In this way great love is sacrificial.

Nothing lasts. That is an illusion. But why not enjoy the journey. It might devastate you (in which case you’ll survive) but it might surprise you.

Life is uncertain. Embrace the uncertainty and enjoy the journey. Therein you’ll find something deeply meaningful.

Cheers -BE
 

jaymbrs

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I'm in a very similar situation except it's the exact opposite. I swear flowtheory is posing as my gf haha. Anyway it's a tough situation. If I really truly loved my gf, I'd do whatever it took to stay or atleast talk to her about moving with me. However I'm not there. So when the time comes to relocate in a few months, I'm going to let this relationship run it's course and leave. It's also a bit of personal thing I'm doing for myself since I'm moving back to my home where I have all my family and friends, ergo a great support system to help me get over this relationship and meet new women.
 

Dash Riprock

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As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized for me that really all that counts in life is your health, yourself, and the people you are close to (your relationships). Everything else is distantly second to that.
Amen.

I adopted this mentality a long time ago and since have watched friends after friend chase after $$ and more and more stuff. Now at 50, they have a big house and fat 401K but are cussing our their heart (physically), very overweight and out of shape and have sold their soul to the "corporate devil" for so long they want to get out. Many are looking for a second chance that just isn't there.

I so glad I made the life decisions I did.

Pics are recent. Hint: I'm over 45.
 

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flowtheory

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Her: "We're so much more than that--but I have zero problem leaving you in 6 months. Thanks! Byeeeee."

Dude, she HAS you. Your only chance is to reclaim your balls and call the preemptive breakup. Ironically, it will probably save things. And If it ends, well, it's going to end anyway. At least this way you go out with honor rather than having her string you along for the next 6 months as her love puppy. She even TOLD you how easy you've made it. What more do you want?! Seriously. Take action like a MAN.
I can still end with honour 6 months from now without threatening it all. If she wants to move, she’s going to do that. I really don’t know if it has anything to do with lack of desire for our relationship.

When she told me she was moving there and solid on that choice, she said she doesn’t want to live a life of regret and not love to the continent she loved when she had the chance. I think Europe represents something greater for her than just a job or place. It’s sometjing deeper within her that is yearning for that geography.
 

BeExcellent

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Amen.

I adopted this mentality a long time ago and since have watched friends after friend chase after $$ and more and more stuff. Now at 50, they have a big house and fat 401K but are cussing our their heart (physically), very overweight and out of shape and have sold their soul to the "corporate devil" for so long they want to get out. Many are looking for a second chance that just isn't there.

I so glad I made the life decisions I did.

Pics are recent. Hint: I'm over 45.
Nice work there Dash. Who is your baseball team?

I too feel blessed that Ive set my life up in a way that allows me to act in congruence with those priorities. I could be wealthier already perhaps, but I’m really happy with where I am and with how things are going. I’m blessed to know amazing people. Life is solid; good.

I think I’ll go lift a bit. Nothing like a workout to reinforce and appreciate the blessing of a fit physique.
 

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Her: "We're so much more than that--but I have zero problem leaving you in 6 months. Thanks! Byeeeee."

Dude, she HAS you. Your only chance is to reclaim your balls and call the preemptive breakup. Ironically, it will probably save things. And If it ends, well, it's going to end anyway. At least this way you go out with honor rather than having her string you along for the next 6 months as her love puppy. She even TOLD you how easy you've made it. What more do you want?! Seriously. Take action like a MAN.
Yes!

Answered his PM and said as much.

Guess he'll be taking this route now.
 

glass half full

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Its easy for her to say that now since its far off into the future...once it becomes time for her to acfually follow through with it will be the hard part for her and if she sees a future with you she might change her mind.
But is it wise to put the time in with a woman who already spoke of leaving, which means she's been considering it for a while. This woman already is not yours. Don't waste time with someone who is just wasting yours.
 
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flowtheory

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But is it wise to put the time in with a woman who already spoke of leaving, which means she's been considering it for a while. This woman already is not yours. Don't waste time with someone who is just wasting yours.
If I’m enjoying my time with her, why not? I believe I simply will have to protect my heart more than I have been. Lower expectations and enjoy it for what the connection is.
Like @BeExcellent has said, she has an independent journey of self building which needs to take place within herself, separate from me.

Update: We spoke over the weekend. And she said she isn’t even sure of her timeline now with the Europe thing. If it will even happen.
She just said she wanted to be definitive about something. And saying it gave her a relief of something.
Now, I have always been 100% supportive of her move there, and would always be, as I want the best for her. However, since I have been so encouraging and supportive I think what happened was she saw it was maybe not exactly what she wanted and my support shocked her as it showed I wasn’t a wreck; I was cool about it all. @Dash Riprock was correct in this regard.

She also stated since she said that last Wednesday about Europe, something for her in our relationship deepend; but she can’t put her finger on why or what it is.

So maybe what I’ve been doing here is showcasing and affirming her too much that she HAS me. Andthis in turn is not creating the simple attraction that the relationship needs for her to move those mountains for us.

The care of our relationship is definitely here. The emotion. But it’s a simple small adjustment of being slightly too good. Too avaliable. Predictable in my caring ways.

Because like I said, if it wasn’t of a great value to her right now, she would just be done with us now. We wouldn’t be having sex 6 times every weekend or 2-4 tines each single night during the week when we hangout. We have A LOT of sex. It’s the aspect of romantic vision that needs to be fortified. And that is built through what @Spaz has said of the cat and mouse - the emotional highs and lows; the chase and it needs to be slightly difficult.
 
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mikey2012

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You fell into the trap of “needing” her. We never own anything in our lives, we just rent. You need to detach (easier said than done ). Protect yourself. Never waste time on someone who doesn’t have time for you.
 
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