Why is His Girl Confused?

Q: My girlfriend and I were awesome friends, and then we started a relationship three and a half years ago. All that time it's been good. We get along pretty good, I mean everyone has their little fights, but other than the stupid little fights we get along well. Well, suddenly now she wants a break. She says she's confused, she doesn't know what she wants. It's killing me because I'm so deeply in love with her. I have gone out of my way to do anything she wants, to make sure she knows I love her, but she's still confused. What made her confused? -- Matt, 20

Dr. Susan: I can suggest three things that have contributed to confusing your girlfriend suddenly. She's quite young and you two have been together for a really long time. She may have realized that it was too soon to close off all other options for her life. For many, choosing a life partner takes experimenting with a few different types of people, and she may be regretting her lack of experience. Another thing is that after a couple of years, most relationships go through changes, where the fantastic beginning evolves into a more realistic period. She may be seeing your flaws for the first time. That doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong, just that she sees you're a real person and is no longer so willing to stick with you now that she knows you well. The third possibility for why a girl will all at once get "confused" and say she doesn't know what she wants is that she's met someone else and has either begun a relationship with him or would very much like to. In which case it's not really about you at all. Perhaps you need to ask her why the sudden confusion and what she means by "a break," and whether she thinks there's any hope the break will end with her returning to you. If there's someone else - and tell her you would rather know the truth - at least you may get some clarity. If there's no hope for you, you can begin to get on with the grieving you'll have to get through.

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