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Parallax - Advice

October 20, 2003

Getting dumped 101

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I think my girlfriend is going to dump me and I don't know what to do. There are all these signs and I'm just waiting for it to happen. She doesn't touch me as much and she's kind of cold now. She used to be so happy and always ran her hands through my hair and held hands. Now, she is angry and irritable, but she says it's not me. She's always worried about stuff and I feel like she's not even with me when we're together. I've asked her what's wrong and she says it's work stuff, but I don't believe it anymore. Can I do anything? She won't talk to me. Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Signs,

You're a little too accessible to her right now. And by the way, of course it is you. Although she may be stressed, you are the primary source of her backing-off. She could be losing feelings for you, distracted by another or unhappy in the relationship—there are many options.

You have inquired and prodded. The only tactic remaining is to give her some space to figure out her feelings. Let her know that you are not at her beck and call in an unrequited love situation. Your offer to continuously be with her will expire if she does not return feelings for you and you need to make that clear. This should at least push her into confronting her issues and making some progress toward a decision.

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His view:

Dear Signs,

Your worries are not exaggerated. If work was the exclusive source of her problems, and she continued to be happy with you, it would be normal for her to share her concerns with you and use you as a source of support.

The fact that she appears to have shut you out from her inner world probably means that the problems extend beyond the work realm. (If this is indeed a grand strategy on her part to dump you, then she must get some credit for easing you into it—no surprise ending here.)

There are two options. One is to ignore the signs and let the tragedy run its course. The other is to force the issue and ask her to come clean. This alternative will require guts and persistence on your part. In other words, make it clear that you're not going to sit on your hands while she slowly kills the relationship. Try to get her to open up and explain the real problems. Don't take 'it's nothing' for an answer anymore.

It may be too late to solve them, but at least this way you'll be able to give it a shot.

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