My partner and I have been together for almost five years and lived together for four but recently found out that she has been lying about some things and now she thinks the best thing is to spend time apart and separate everything but wants to basically start over in our relationship because we never really had a dating period or engagement period but I don't feel that we can just start over at the dating level. I am confused and hurt, trying to forgive her but it is hard to rebuild trust when we only now see each other on the weekend and talk on the phone!!She identifies that she wants to work on our relationship but starting over is not going to work for me. How do we sit down and try to work out a compromise??I feel as if I am going through a divorce but yet she still wants to see me and date????
--Confused and Hurt
Dear Confused and Hurt,
Unfortunately, dating is a foreign concept to many lesbians.
Technically, dating is a period of time where two people spend getting to know each other to determine whether or not you wish to take your relationship to the next level. Leave it to us lesbians to think that after five years in a committed relationship that it might be time to try out this dating thing. As far as I can tell, that would be like buying a car, driving it for five years, then returning it to the dealer and asking if you could just go ahead and test-drive it. I agree with you that it's not likely the best strategy at this point.
When things don't make sense, (she wants to just date after 5 years), it's usually because there are pieces of the puzzle either missing (untold), or pieces of the puzzle that you are choosing not to see (her potential interest in someone else?).
If I were to guess, I would imagine that one of three things is going on with her:
- She has become distracted by another person she would like to get to know, (was this a part of her dishonesty you mentioned?), but doesn't want to do that if she has a "partner." So switching up your status from partners to just dating gives her some wiggle room to get to know others.
- She has reached a point in your relationship where she's either felt hurt and mistreated for too long and feels like she needs to make a change, but isn't confident in her ability. So she wants to keep you nearby.
- She is fearful that your relationship has lost it's pizzazz and she is interested in saving it, but can't imagine how she can revive it after 5 years of ... whatever it's been.
In either case, she's making a cry for change. Your challenge is to find out exactly what she desires from this change and determine, together, how she can get what she needs, while respecting what works, or doesn't work, for you.