Dear Carolyn • I’m 26, he’s 27. Dated for about a year, fell hard and fast, moved in together after about six months and were beginning to talk about getting engaged. I thought I had found the one. But I messed up several times during the relationship and hurt him(never physically cheating). Two months ago an incident happened that was the last straw, and he ended the relationship and moved out. I really do love him and want to be with him. Over the last two months, I’ve tried to repair the relationship. Including going to weekly counseling, expressing my feelings and apologizing, trying to do gestures to show him how much I care and want to work on things. He says he still loves me but isn’t sure the relationship can be repaired. I feel like counseling and reflection have helped me see that I can be a better partner, but I’m not sure how to show him I’m sincere. Or maybe I’m deluding myself and if he hasn’t decided to try with me after two-plus months apart, it won’t happen. Then again, maybe I’m being shortsighted and two months isn’t that long at all.
Sad in Maryland
Dear Sad in Maryland • You’re being short-sighted, yes, but in a much more dramatic way than in the best-case scenario you give. I’d even call it rush-sighted. You moved in at six months, you talked engagement in less than a year, and you managed to fit inappropriate behavior with more than one man in that brief window, and you’ve apparently overlapped these recent two months of "counseling and reflection" with a deliberate push to get him back that you’re already set to abandon for Plan B. Slow down, please! Way, way down. As in, recognize that thinking about this just in terms of this guy, or any guy, is being shortsighted. This is about repairing your relationship with yourself. That’s what your behavior is telling you: The impulse to be with this guy that guy the other guy wait no the original guy is just a symptom of your not being at peace with yourself. When you treat therapy and "reflection" as means solely to the end of getting your favorite distraction back, then you’re missing the point.
Carolyn Hax’s column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
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