What Do Women Want?!
Q: My girlfriend, with whom I lived for two years, broke up with me two months ago. I had moved from Montreal, where she lived, to Miami, and we were going to marry. Here is my question: I flew to Montreal to visit her and friends, and she spent all her free time with me, bought me a gift, held hands and hugged a lot. But then she said she wants to be friends. What do you think it means that she spent five days with me, held hands, and now wants to be a friend? -- Rick, 35
Dr. Susan: What your ex-girlfriend's behavior means is she's an opportunist. When you're there, she enjoys your company. When you're not there, she wants to be free to pursue other relationships. I'm not saying that her misleading behavior is fair or considerate. It's not. Sometimes one member of a couple gets carried away and imagines being together forever, but when they're separated for some reason, reason prevails and things look different (or she meets someone else). Sounds like she doesn't quite know her own mind. In such situations, when a girl says she just wants to be friends, there isn't much you can do. You lived together for two years, so she knows you pretty well. Apparently she's decided she knows you well enough to back away from marriage. Sure, it's heartbreaking. Just in case you can learn something from all this, search your history to see if you can uncover any hints that all was not as smooth as you thought it was. You certainly have the right to ask her why she changed her mind, though she may not be able to articulate her feelings.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.