RJ wrote in because everything seemed great with her boyfriend…until he suddenly broke off their relationship because he needed to find himself. She wants to be supportive of him, but also doesn’t know if she should wait for him and find out he doesn’t want what she wants anymore. What should she do?
“Hi crazyjewishmom & spawn,
I’ve been following your advice column for years, and I believe you guys really dish out the cold, hard truth people need to hear. This is my situation. My boyfriend and I have been together for a year. He’s the best guy I’ve ever met (after many years of multiple bad relationships), and he said the same of me. We were so sure we were gonna be together forever and that we were what each other wanted. But recently he started feeling really down about himself and life in general. He mentioned that nothing he does brings him joy anymore. I went for a short overseas trip, and when I came back, he suddenly hit me with the shocker that he wanted a break from the relationship. He said he felt so overwhelmed by everything and he needed some space to figure himself out. I asked him for a timeline, whether I should wait, whether he still wanted to be together or if it was just a pause. He couldn’t answer anything definitely, although he said that he still loves me a lot despite this situation. The very real reality is that he might go on this indefinite journey of “ finding himself” and decide that he actually prefers being alone – and he agreed that this might indeed happen. I tried reaching out and suggesting that I support him through this journey, but the only thing he was sure of was that he needed to be alone. I feel so lost now. Should I wait without a timeline in sight, or just move on? Really hoping to get your advice on this. Thank you for all the wisdom thus far. – RJ”
@CrazyJewishMom: RJ, sweetheart HE DUMPED YOU, MOVE ON! Don’t spend another second sitting around waiting for this angsty little fucker to find himself.
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Yep. Also, not to feminist rage out here (but definitely to feminist rage out here)…has anyone noticed that the idea of “going on a journey to find oneself “ is such a profoundly privileged, male trope. We have no space to find ourselves. Women have to be ten times better to get half as far as our male counterparts professionally. And in our personal lives we’re slut-shamed, fat-shamed, and taught to hate our bodies, all before we turn 15! Oh, and one in five of us gets sexually assaulted! The only “finding” I can afford to do as a woman is finding a way to carry a personal safety device on my “journey” home from the subway without accidentally pepper spraying myself in the face.
@CrazyJewishMom: Was that an answer to RJ’s question?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: No, I guess not. I warned that it was going to be a feminist rage blackout! To the question, I strongly agree with my mom. First, I think this guy is a coward and is just too afraid to tell you that he wants to break up. To me, it sounds like he thinks that telling you he needs to find himself will soften the blow – a first cousin to the the tried and true excuse: “it’s not you, it’s me!”
@CrazyJewishMom: Exactly! If he wants to find find himself he can do that with you! He’s a chickenshit for stringing you along.
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Right. People grow together. But, let’s also pretend for a second that we’re wrong about him, and assume that he truly doesn’t know what he wants and may actually want you back someday. First, you deserve much better than someone who is at best ambiguous in his feelings for you. Second, why on earth would you wait around while he “eat, pray, loves”? His “journey” ends one of two ways. He either loses you and realizes he wants you back (statistically a lot less likely), or he does his thing and wants to remain broken up. In either of those scenarios, the right thing for you to do is take care of yourself and try to move on with your romantic life.
@CrazyJewishMom: All he’s doing is a acting like a coward and wasting your time. Move on. You’re better off without the guy. And hey, if he ever does come crawling back and you’re not already on to bigger and better things…you can always give him another shot. Or burn his testicles to a crisp in a deep fryer at McDonald’s.
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