Ask a Dude: Why Did My LDR End When We Were Finally Together?

Dear Dude,
My long distance 3-year boyfriend broke up with me 3 weeks ago. We had been dating from his sophomore year in college until now; I had stayed home and he went to school 3 hours away. I would visit whenever I could, and he would come home for breaks. We became really close and honestly the relationship was really easy. He never cheated and he always called and texted. And I thought waiting for him to come home was right. Yet, 3 years later, we are both 10 min away from each other and he decided to break up with me 7 days before V-Day.  He said he was sorry because he should be feeling more confident about our relationship. He doesn’t think he’s ready for the seriousness that a 3-year relationship means. I am his second girlfriend, and he feels that he cannot become more serious until he dates other people.
Now my question is, if he broke up with me to date other people then WHY is he still acting like we did when we were dating? Instead of going out on a Thursday night with his guy friends and picking up chicks he is at my house watching TV. He texts me constantly, and is writing on my Facebook more now than he did when we were dating.
I confronted him today and asked him what was going on but all he could say is that he was so sorry and he didn’t know what he wants. I cut him off from my Facebook, and deleted him from my phone but something just doesn’t feel right. This is the first guy I have ever been with that I wanted to fight for, but I don’t see how that is going to help. I don’t know what my next steps are from here, and being out of school and stuck at home I have no rebound to consider. DO I try and be friends with him? Or cut him off and just move on?
Help me,
Dear Confused,
3 years, s’long time to be a champion girlfriend (first person who gets that reference, write in and I will personally send you a prize).
A long distance relationship for that amount of time can sometimes be seen as more of the CZ or Splenda to the real deal. A lot of people use long distance over a long period of time as a safety net from putting themselves out there. It becomes a protective bubble. This avoids the possibility of getting hurt and dealing with the complexities/intricacies/intimacies of a face-to-face relationship.  Then, when the distance disappears, the bubble bursts.
I’m not saying all long distance relationships are BS. Not in the least. I’ve known plenty where the two people involved came back together and re-discovered each other. They also discovered that how they’d grown while apart didn’t exclude them from growing together from that moment of reunion. However, I’ve known a bunch that was more like the ones described in the paragraph above. Based on what you’ve told me, yours seems to fall into the “category” of the former.
The old saying that girls mature faster than guys, well, it’s true. There’s this idea put into a guy’s head, or so it seems, that if he doesn’t have sex with at least a half dozen women or is involved in less than five relationships then there’s no possible way he can be ready to settle down into something meaningful. Now that is BS.
When you find the right person, been together for years, grown together for years, fill voids, and challenge each other into becoming the best version of yourself you’ve ever known yourself to be, then it’s right. I don’t care if that’s your first girlfriend or your hundredth. But your boy seems to have drunk the convoluted “manswer” Kool-Aid.
I think you’re on a good path. You can’t sit idly by and twiddle your thumbs while he figures out what he wants. You’ve got to determine for yourself what you want. If that is him, then by all means fight for him. If he’s not worth the crap he’s making you go through, then move on.
I’m a believer in having and making choices. No matter the situation, one’s always there. Just because right now you feel like you don’t have a rebound and you might be depressed about being back with your folks after school (which millions of college kids are doing these days, so don’t feel ashamed about that) doesn’t mean you have to take him back.
It can feel like your options are limited. It can seem like there’re only two paths and neither is appealing. It might be the reality or it might, in part, be your own judging of yourself. But you can still choose. Don’t choose out of default or feeling trapped. That will limit your possibilities and that will take away your confidence in being able to make decisions for your life.
So I say reevaluate your options, come at it from a fresh place with as fresh a perspective as you can. It sounds like you’ve already taken great steps to get there. Once you’re there, make the choice. My choice would be to move on. But only you are you. So only you can make the best choice for you.
Letting it bleed,
Dude Jagger
[He’s good, right? Check out The Dude’s other insights into the male mind right here.]

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