Getting back together with an ex-girlfriend while living long distance: is this a tenable situation? Have you successfully mended a relationship with "interesting" history under difficult circumstances? (yes, much more inside - it is a relaxnFilter question, folks)
posted by Gaeacon to human relations (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am 26, male, LA; she is 22, NYC. We dated for about two years, lived together almost all of it. We had a blind date after encountering each other on craigslist. Things were great, limerence in full swing. In the first month after first meeting: We spent nearly every day and night together. We met each other’s parents, more incidentally than planned, when we visited each other’s home town. Dove head first into love and I bought her a promise ring because….
I then left for a two month international research trip. We both felt deeply in love and wanted something symbolic to match our professed devotion to each other. We talked often in my absence, perhaps too much. Jealousies and insecurities were exposed…trust issues developed. We both confessed months later we had limited “interactions” with ex-interests on one occasion during our separation and then cut them out of our lives.
We made it through. I moved into her apartment for convenience/financial considerations. We both wanted it to happen, but there was some mild manipulation on her part. Over the following year we: fought a fair amount as we got to know each other really well, loved each other deeply, helped each other and also hurt each other.
It was an unstable period for both of us – moved to two other apartments, she had three surgeries (about four months of recovery), she went to two colleges and needed lots of guidance/hw help, I was dealing with depression, I was on a struggling grad student salary trying to support both of us, I was struggling with my phd project+finances – took a master’s instead (self-doubt, -loathing), she had family issues….i guess a bunch of shit, all at once and we got into some bad patterns of treating each other poorly in certain ways. we also spoiled the shit out of each other in other ways and had some really good times. we rushed into things but we shouldered all of reality. many mistakes were made but lessons learned...
it was kind of falling apart by last summer. we just weren't on top of our own lives. she got a great $ offer to transfer to another school in NYC. She took it, we broke another lease (for an apt I couldn't afford), but accepted the reality that we should probably break up, work on ourselves.
i worked on taming my swollen debt (much of it hers/ours), figuring out a career direction and addressing my depression. progress has been made, but still working on all of it.
in NYC, she found some more independence, dated around, explored her young life. I was holding on to our relationship and felt guilt, regret, shame...that i ruined everything - invested/sacrificed so much in her/us and that it evaporated. i was often reminded, by her and me, of the things i did/do wrong (the most heinous - having sex with another when we broke up/i "moved out" for a couple weeks in spring)
we pretty much talked every day she was gone. i was basically hanging on to her and our past but trying to be a good friend and restore integrity. i wanted our relationship to survive. she often missed it but still branched out. we reconnected over winter break - hung out a lot, had good chemistry. circled around the possibility of something happening.
cue last night, we had like a marathon phone fight...about i don't know, everything. there was a fight the previous day, her accusing me of lying about something (she set a trap) while I'm maintaining she misheard what i was talking about. there had been hinting about a chance for us in the future, after time, after working on things for ourselves....but it was suddenly made explicit and effective immediately. this (coincidentally?) happened just after I went on a date with a new girl i met (the first!) last week. the fights had at least tangential (or much more) reference to the date girl.
The resolution of the fight (after hours of intensity)....oddly was peaceful, felt unusual for how we normally ended fights. It ended with talk of ground rules for what we could/couldn't do and if we wanted a relationship now. I mean, I do, I guess....that's what I had been holding out for. So I asked her, she accepted.
willing to air more specifics about the possible difficulties if need be (i.e.- her friends/family and my friends/family would be kind of be like WTF? so we are working on the realtionship privately, even though all know we are still a big part of each other's life)
TL;DR - Getting back together with an ex-girlfriend while living long distance: is this a tenable situation? She has two years of school left
Have you successfully mended a relationship with "interesting" history under difficult circumstances? How?
Can a healthy relationship emerge from the ashes of a failed first flight? Should/can either of us trust the other?