Move In, Move Out: Can This Relationship Be Saved?

 By Nina Atwood

Dear Nina: My boyfriend of nine months dumped me. His reasons were that something was off in our relationship. We moved in together after about 1.5 months, and I’m sure it was too soon. We also had issues with him discussing our relationship with his family towards the end. I know they are very negative people and were giving him advice to break up with me. He seemed really upset to split up with me, but he still did it. He wanted to try continuing seeing each other after I moved out, but I didn’t really think that was a good solution. It has been a couple of weeks since I left the apartment. I’m really starting to miss him alot, but I know calling is not the right thing to do since I asked him to give me space to move on. We’ve spoken a couple of times cordially, he seems sad about breaking up, but he’s not making any effort to fix our relationship. Do you see a possibiltiy of this working itself out and him deciding he wants to work it out with me? – Dana

Dear Dana,

I’ll answer your last question first: Yes, there is a possibility that this will work out. All things are possible in the future, but the real question is: Do you want it to work out?

I see some red flags in this relationship, a huge one being his turning to his family for advice. If he shows a happy, joyous face to his family about your relationship, I would expect that they would be happy for him. Most likely, he’s using them as a sounding board for his frustrations with you so that they are only hearing the negative parts of your relationship. This creates a “drama triangle,” with you starring as the persecutor, him as the victim, and them as rescuers (advising him to dump you).

You are teetering on the edge of falling into the temptation of settling for less than a truly great relationship, Dana. You got here by succumbing to the temptations to rush into a relationship and deny your true desires. Moving in with a guy at 1.5 months, as you discovered, is almost always a sure-fire way to sabotage a budding relationship. Only an emotionally insecure guy needs to tie up his options that quickly. A less insecure guy would take his time and want to make sure that he’s choosing his future wife wisely. That’s because the only good reason for moving in together is because you’re planning your wedding and absolutely sure of your commitment. Anything less than that and you’re settling for crumbs instead of holding out for the banquet.

You have an opportunity to reclaim your self-esteem and your power as a woman, Dana. You can do that by reading Temptations of the Single Girl so that you fully understand the power of pacing relationships and taking your cues. This will be your guide for taking a giant step back from dating so you can focus on setting your internal spiritual compass. Then, your only job is to pay close attention to what he does next.

Most likely, you won’t see much action from him. I suspect he wasn’t that into you. But I could be wrong.

If he comes to you on his own steam (not because he’s lonely or because you nudged him) and makes amends, expressing a deep love for you and desire for you, then you have a starting point. From there, you must set boundaries around communication with outside parties and firmly establish your commitment to one another. You can do that through powerful, positive communication (see Soul Talk, for committed relationships). Don’t move back in together until you have a ring, a date set, and you’re hiring the caterers. Hold out for the banquet, Dana, and you will get it, whether it’s with this guy or someone wonderful you can’t even imagine sitting here today.


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