Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax: Lover asks for a break in their relationship

 

Dear Carolyn: You espouse the importance of taking time for yourself to be whole and ready for a new relationship, and I agree.

A couple months ago, I fell head-over-heels for this guy, and I know he felt the same. Unfortunately, he had just gotten out of a long relationship and never gave himself time to recover. That eventually caught up with him, and he recently asked if we could take a break so he could fully get over her and piece himself together before we became any more committed.

I agreed, and I do understand, but waiting is really painful. Should I continue with trust that our strong relationship will prevail in the end?

Anonymous

Well that's a bummer, I'm sorry.

I don't think it serves you well, though, to trust your relationship will "prevail." Trust that the natural outcome of this waiting period will be the right one, whatever it is; trust that you're going through the worst of it now, because we're wired to get used to new realities, even painful ones; trust that you're strong enough to emerge from this pain better than you were going in; trust that living in suspense without losing your mind is a life skill that, if you don't possess it already, is well worth cultivating.

Fill in the blanks with what works for you, just as long as your trust is centered on you and your choices, versus what he does, which is out of your hands.

Understand that the thing you're waiting for isn't coming unless and until you witness otherwise, and by investing yourself in productive things you do control — knowledge, better habits, good causes, new adventures.

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at washingtonpost.com.

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