Can a relationship work when the couple “pull back” to slow things down?

Anvee asks: My ex and I dated for 2 months. After breaking up for one and a half months, I asked her if she wanted to get back together, and she told me that we needed to work on our friendship first instead of rushing into a relationship like last time, that she felt it was too fast and she became frustrated and scared, and she told me that she wants to graduate first so that she can be free finally as compared to now. Is there a chance of me getting her back by slowing being friends with her, or should I just move on?

Hi Anvee –

Of course I don’t know her, so I can’t say for sure whether she’s being honest with you, or with herself, about her wishes. 

But I can say that what she says is legit.

Lots of couples go too far too fast, either physically or emotionally, and need to pull back.  Sometimes that’s by breaking up, and sometimes by saying “let’s cool our engines.”  So it sounds like she’s at least suggesting the latter.

What could make this really work is if you can use this “friendship” time to get to know her much better.  What does she value, what does she want in her life, what does she like (or not) in you?  And if you can get her to say it, what did she not like in your romantic relationship?

Doing this accomplishes two things.  First, she’ll feel very trusting of you, more than of anyone else she knows, because you have shown such interest in her.  And second, if you two should ever start a romance up again, you’ll know so much more about her, and what she likes and doesn’t, and how to treat her.

Now it’s totally possible that this doesn’t ever go back to romance, either because one of you doesn’t really want it then, or because she never meant what she said.  But even then, you’ll have had a great friendship with someone you think highly of.  And that’s not a bad thing.

So really you’ve got nothing to lose.  And potentially TONS to gain.  So I say yes, go with it. 

(But hope for more!)



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