Help me help my brother with his girl problem.

MiserableMirthMiserableMirth Registered User regular
edited April 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a fraternal twin brother, we're close, and he usual seeks my advice and I'm happy to give it. Usually I think I do an okay job, but this is a problem I don't have experience with so I could use some advice.

His girlfriend asked for a break in the relationship. Out of his many relationships this is the first time he has ever been dumped (well, sorta dumped), and he is taking it pretty hard.

She is a freshman at a college about an hour away. They worked it out so they saw each other at least once during the week and during most of the the weekend. She is a nice, pretty, and ambitious girl. When she asked for a break, she said she still had feelings for him but she was just confused right now. She's not sure if she wants to be in a relationship right now during her time in college.

Where shit really baffles me is that she sends him text telling him how much she cares about him and how she misses him. She sends hims messages like "you're one of the most wonderful people I know."

My cynical mind tells me that it's another guy or that she really does like him, but wants to keep her options open in this delicate time in her life. If someone better doesn't come along, then she still has him as a backup plan.

But fuck, I don't know. I have never been confused whether I wanted to be with someone or not, so it's hard for me to believe. How likely is it that she is authentically confused?

I think it's a pretty fucked up thing to do to someone. Dumping someone at least gives them the benefit of closure. This puts him in some limbo where he can't be with her but doesn't want to let go and I know it's eating him up.

Any advice? So far I have just tried to be supportive and try to be in good spirits with him, but I haven't really had any solid advice that might help him.

MiserableMirth on

Posts

  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Put yourself in her shoes.

    Something has her thinking twice about her relationship with your bro. She has a lot invested in it and can't just let go.

    Basically she's sugar coating it for herself as much as for him. If she's not communicating with him about things like ... whatever is bothering her... Well, She's just not ready for a serious relationship.

    eternalbl on
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  • TheDragonTheDragon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    My first instinct is there's another guy she's interested in. If that doesn't work out, she's got a backup. She probably feels terribly selfish and sends texts saying she thinks he's a great guy. Probably doesn't want to break up cause she doesn't want to hurt him.

    He should break up with her and not extend the time he feels like shit about this. He should honestly ask himself, if she really cared about him, would she want a break? A break is bullshit, it's a way of stringing someone along while you look for something better. Break up, learn from the experience, remember the good times and move on.

    TheDragon on
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    while I agree almost completely with TheDragon, it is also worth noting that, if it is another guy, then at least she's asking for a break rather than just cheating on him...

    but yea, freshman in college relationship? Those usually aren't forever...

    NotYou on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    She realizes that long-distance relationships in college suck ass. She realizes this either because she's tired of the bullshit involved with the travel, or because she's found someone else she's interested in. Whatever the reason, your brother needs to realize it to, and move on.

    Thanatos on
  • CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Whoa there! Just because she wants a break doesn't necessarily mean she's found some other guy to jump into bed with. I once had a break from one of my relationships for two moths and it did us a world of good. We had got ourselves into a rut and were taking it out on each other, taking a break did wonders to our relationship. When we got back together both of us were a lot more considerate of the others feelings and things went a lot smoother. Sometimes you need a little perspective.

    I'm not saying its a magic fix all solution but it worked for me.

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  • SpawnbrokerSpawnbroker Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    She's a freshman, in college, living in a dorm. I can, with 95% certainty, guarantee that she met a really cool guy friend in like the first week of school and wants to date him. This happened all the time in my dorm. Sweet girl moves into the honors dorm, and realizes that her boyfriend isn't the only awesome guy in the world, and these awesome guys aren't two hours away.

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  • ShawnaseeShawnasee Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    There is no use in fighting the break, so he might as well make the most of it.
    She already told him her reasons so there is also no reason to doubt them. She is confused about whether she wants to be in a relationship or not. Simple enough, regardless of her personal reasons behind them.

    If she wants a break though, then maybe she should stop texting him how much she thinks he is wonderful, and take an actual break.

    Your brother should ask about, or set, ground rules? Are they able to see other people being the most important.

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  • DodgeBlanDodgeBlan PSN: dodgeblanRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Yes I think this is one of those rare times where you know exactly what actual reason the supplied reason is code for

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  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    She's a freshman, in college, living in a dorm. I can, with 95% certainty, guarantee that she met a really cool guy friend in like the first week of school and is currently fucking him like a horny teenage rabbit that just got out of prison. This happened all the time in my dorm. Sweet girl moves into the honors dorm, and realizes that her boyfriend isn't the only awesome guy in the world, and these awesome guys aren't two hours away.

    Fixed for my anecdotal experience with good girls going bad.

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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2009
    I don't think it really matters what she's doing right now, if he's decided he's going to treat it like a breakup.

    If he's decided it's a breakup, he needs to *actually* treat it like a breakup and give himself the distance he needs to move on. Most people can't slip right back into friends mode, and there's no reason they should have to. If he's never been dumped, he might not easily recognize what he needs to do now, and that may be his real problem.

    Distance means not answering the phone if it's her, not responding to (or maybe even reading) her texts or IMs for a while, finding himself other things to do to help take his mind off it sometimes. It doesn't have to be forever.. just till he's had time to sort things out. It doesn't matter what's going on with her during this time because the results are the same: she doesn't want a relationship, so he needs to move on.

    If he's not treating it like a breakup, it changes things. I don't really have much experience with "breaks" leading to "get-back-together's"

    ceres on
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  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Is your brother currently in school? Is it a community college? Is he doing well / taking it seriously or is it just something he's putting up with like high school? If one person is smart and ambitious and the other person is coasting through life, it's going to cause friction in a relationship.

    And also the whole freshman in college / new guys around thing. That is probably more likely, I'm just throwing an alternative out there.

    Smurph on
  • John MatrixJohn Matrix Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I must concur with the "found another guy" theories. I'm always surprised when I learn that people are either A) still together after a long-distance relationship in college, or B) have been together since high school and are graduating college. I'm not saying it can't happen, it is just extremely rare.

    The bottom line is you're a different person when you graduate college than when you begin. If it's not another dude, she's just changed.

    Either way, your brother shouldn't feel bad. This isn't a full rejection, this is a person maturing into the adult they'll become and realizing that they're not compatible. Sure the "break" talk is kinda crappy, but he needs to read between the lines and prepare for a breakup.

    Summer is approaching, there's a reason she's doing this now. Wouldn't it be better to end it now rather than after months of hanging out together over the summer and then end it during the first semester next year?

    It sucks, but he can move on and be just fine.

    John Matrix on
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Yeah, you should emphasize to your brother that a break-up is best when it's treated like a "break-off," and that any nice messages she sends are just to boost his ego, not because she wants to rekindle the relationship. Tell him that she's gone, and that while you might be able to be friends in the future, he should stop thinking of her as a girlfriend.

    And emphasize that it's OK, and he should look for a new girl that isn't as flaky or is at least local. Point out that it's not at all uncommon, and it is far more likely simply a distance issue than anything he did wrong (since that is 99% of the reason people break up when they first get to college).

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  • underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2009
    She's not sure if she wants to be in a relationship right now during her time in college.

    Wants to see other people. It's college. She's young. There are other interesting guys out there. It's what people do when they go away to college.

    underdonk on
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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Casual wrote: »
    Whoa there! Just because she wants a break doesn't necessarily mean she's found some other guy to jump into bed with. I once had a break from one of my relationships for two moths and it did us a world of good. We had got ourselves into a rut and were taking it out on each other, taking a break did wonders to our relationship. When we got back together both of us were a lot more considerate of the others feelings and things went a lot smoother. Sometimes you need a little perspective.

    I'm not saying its a magic fix all solution but it worked for me.
    This is by far the exception, and not the rule. This is like winning the fucking lottery, here.

    Thanatos on
  • PopicesPopices Registered User
    edited April 2009
    I am going to echo what almost everyone has said here.

    The chances of her just wanting time off from the relationship are slim to nil....there is almost certainty that she is hanging around with other dudes that seem to be super awesome, and is reevaluating her relationship as it stands, and trying to think about what relationships with these new guys would be like.

    And, as other people have said, she most likely wants this 'break' in case she tries to get 'in' with these guys further, and things don't work out. She will feel much less guilty about any potential sexual encounters/relationship tries to pursue because she is technically 'not in a relationship'...which is why that whole break thing is usually bullshit. Plus, now that she is 'single', she will likely tell her friends and see if anything comes of it.

    Unless he is super duper committed it is not worth his time to pursue the relationship any further--she has already placed a seed of doubt in his head and that will never go away.

    Popices on
  • underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2009
    Popices wrote: »
    Unless he is super duper committed it is not worth his time to pursue the relationship any further--she has already placed a seed of doubt in his head and that will never go away.

    underdonk on
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  • MiserableMirthMiserableMirth Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Smurph wrote: »
    Is your brother currently in school? Is it a community college? Is he doing well / taking it seriously or is it just something he's putting up with like high school? If one person is smart and ambitious and the other person is coasting through life, it's going to cause friction in a relationship.

    And also the whole freshman in college / new guys around thing. That is probably more likely, I'm just throwing an alternative out there.
    Actually, when they started dating, she was a positive influence in his life and he got his shit together. He goes to college at a near by community college and is taking internship with a life insurance company.

    And thanks a lot for the advice. It's nice to get some perspective on this.

    I'll tell him to treat it as a break up. He has made a rule for himself not to call her and keep his distance. I'll tell him to go a step further and not to answer her calls or read her messages. I think the messages she sends him make it worse because it confuses him.

    Again, I appreciate the help.

    MiserableMirth on
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I wouldn't assume that she's trying to hedge her bets and sleep around while keeping the "safe" guy on a string. Most people are not that cold-blooded. Most likely she is just too chicken to dump him. It's very hard to dump a perfectly nice guy who you wish to remain friends with, and do not wish to hurt. The temptation is to let him down slowly. But a clean break is easier on all concerned.

    CelestialBadger on
  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I wouldn't assume that she's trying to hedge her bets and sleep around while keeping the "safe" guy on a string. Most people are not that cold-blooded. Most likely she is just too chicken to dump him. It's very hard to dump a perfectly nice guy who you wish to remain friends with, and do not wish to hurt. The temptation is to let him down slowly. But a clean break is easier on all concerned.

    She actually was not chicken to dump him, she did it and now is trying to keep him on a drawer in case the other toy does not play alone.

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Fantasma wrote: »
    She actually was not chicken to dump him, she did it and now is trying to keep him on a drawer in case the other toy does not play alone.
    That's exactly what I said you shouldn't assume. Thinking the worst of everyone is rather negative, don't you think?

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  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Fantasma wrote: »
    She actually was not chicken to dump him, she did it and now is trying to keep him on a drawer in case the other toy does not play alone.
    That's exactly what I said you shouldn't assume. Thinking the worst of everyone is rather negative, don't you think?

    I think there's a nice, non-aggressive, middle ground that can be come to, here.

    Either the OP's brother is fine with "taking a break" and will treat it as such, or he will end it once and for all. Regardless, we don't know what's going on with this girl, and her meeting someone else is possible, but certainly not the only reason to take a break.

    I've been in a similar situation before, and I don't think that there should be any expectation that the people involved are "waiting for each other." Your brother shouldn't go out of his way, but if he meets another girl he should feel free to break it off with long-distance-freshman. The best advise I can give is not to fall to either extreme, don't let it effect his day-to-day, and don't expect for everything to be just dandy. If you don't freak out over this, then you don't freak out. Pretty simple.

    EDIT: Or your brother could just, you know, talk to the girl about it?

    The Crowing One on
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  • MiserableMirthMiserableMirth Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    EDIT: Or your brother could just, you know, talk to the girl about it?
    Ha. That's true. He tries then gives up because she gives the "I don't know! I am just SO CONFUSED!"

    This thread is for me as much as it is for him. I don't like seeing him bummed out and don't like being clueless on the subject. I know I can't solve his problems but it's nice to at least give some insightful advice. This thread has been very helpful.

    MiserableMirth on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    EDIT: Or your brother could just, you know, talk to the girl about it?
    Ha. That's true. He tries then gives up because she gives the "I don't know! I am just SO CONFUSED!"

    This thread is for me as much as it is for him. I don't like seeing him bummed out and don't like being clueless on the subject. I know I can't solve his problems but it's nice to at least give some insightful advice. This thread has been very helpful.

    You can't always expect a clear answer, true.

    I think the best advise that a lot of people have given, in one way or another, is that if they aren't together your brother shouldn't feel compelled to act like they're together. If he relaxes and is open to meeting someone else there shouldn't be any remorse if he starts seeing someone else, provided he makes it clear to long-distance-freshman.

    The Crowing One on
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