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'My GF of five years wants to explore her options after feeling "trapped." Should I let her?' UPDATED

'My GF of five years wants to explore her options after feeling "trapped." Should I let her?' UPDATED


"My Girlfriend Of 5 Years Wants To 'Explore Her Options' after feeling trapped.'"

Me (22M) and my girlfriend (21F) have been dating for around 5 years. We are both in college and started dating when she was 16 and I was 17. She was diagnosed with depression and used to talk to a lot of guys when we weren’t together . She liked tall and hairy guys and I’m neither so this experience has brought back my insecurities when I was younger.

She recently told me guys were hitting on her in her workplace and that she liked the attention a couple of months before this (didn’t exactly say that but it was something along the lines of that) so I gave her even more attention and tried to please her in that area.

She just told me that she wants to explore her options since she’s still young . She told me something along the lines of she’s unsure if she’s gonna regret not exploring her options and how she feels trapped. She asked me how I know I’m not going to regret it either.

I thought our relationship was going great I communicate with her when we sleep together, and ask how she’s doing and how I can improve myself and our relationship . She’s smiled with me, laughed with me,we went out to so many places together that we both picked out, we shop, we have passionate kisses, we have inside jokes, etc.

Even though she’s not perfect I still work it out with her because in my mind theirs no one I’d rather be with. God we had so many anniversaries we gave each other presents every holiday or special occasion . I’ve been with her through the lowest of lows .It feels like everything we’ve had together was just a lie , so she could stop being lonely but I hope that’s not the case.

I’ve been running and jogging outside for 2 hours. As of typing this I’m in my backyard laying on the grass listening to THAT'S ALL I GOT by justice xavier, looking at the sky wondering what I did wrong . I’m crying not knowing if I’m worth loving anymore. I’m angry because I feel so pathetic and worthless . It literally felt like someone stabbed me though the heart.

Should I let her go “explore her options”(whatever that means)? Should I fight for our relationship? Should I let her know how I feel? I’m so lost.

TLDR; My girlfriend of 5 years wants to explore her options after feeling “trapped” . Should I fight for our relationship or should I let her go?


Like others said… end it. this is sadly the consequence of having a long term relationship while young. i know it’s hard because you know nothing else yet. but there’s nothing wrong with YOU. you will find someone else and move on. trust me.

i know it feels like the world is ending. but it’s not. leave her to go do whatever she wants and go live your life. been there… lol. you are so young and have so much more life to live, and with someone who actually wants to be there.


Sometimes its better to walk away than have your mental health deteriorate. No friendship because of mental pain. No contact just block.

[deleted] said:

Let her go. If you fight for it you can maybe get one more year of being with her while she tells you she’s wanting to explore her options and makes you miserable before she leaves or cheats. She wants to explore options, let her.


Abandon ship

[deleted] said:

Let her go. If you fight for it you can maybe get one more year of being with her while she tells you she’s wanting to explore her options and makes you miserable before she leaves or cheats. She wants to explore options, let her.


Sweetie, I'm so sorry you are sad right now. Give you both a break. Let her go. You will be sad. It's going to suck. But people come into our lives to teach us things. Sometimes they stay. Sometimes, they don't. She was your first serious girlfriend. Take the things you liked and build from there.

Be open to what the universe has in store for you. You have the chance to level up. Meet new friends. Explore different hobbies. Travel. Save some money and pay down debt. Finish school. Get your career started. Maybe go to graduate school. The world is yours. Good luck 🤞

OP responded:

This is probably one of the best pieces of advice here thank you I’ll do my best like I always do kind stranger 🤝

We’re taking a break for 5 weeks no contact . Who knows I might move on by that time but rn I’m healing and worrying about myself . I refuse to be some little puppy waiting for her if she does something drastic im gone thank you for your advice

Five months after his original post, OP shared this update:

Okay want to preface by saying . I don’t think it’s her fault . I don’t TOTALLY believe it was my fault either though. I didn’t do anything inherently wrong maybe I just wasn’t in a good mental state because of stuff going on in my life . She had her issues too but who doesn’t . I didn’t abuse her or anything maybe I was just mopey and depressed or maybe we were just too young.

Anyways, she cheated on me and went on a date with a male coworker of hers 3 times. It’s been around 2 months since we broke up.

I gave her a second chance after she cheated but basically I asked if she could be loyal to me and she said no. I’m not going to lie to you it was DEVASTATING. Like I didn’t know how much of my life revolved around her until we broke up . I think I was dependent on her and that was one of the many reasons why it didn’t work out .

I may have said some things I regret like telling her like I’d miss her and PARAGRAPHS on how I respect her wishes and wish her well and how I love her blah blah blah . But I wanted to write this when I was in a good state of mind.

Man I remember coming home after the breakup and just BREAKING. Like I saw my mom, put on the strongest poker face I could muster, and she asked what was wrong and I couldn’t hold it in and just broke down. I cried my eyes out and me and my mom had a heart to heart moment and just talked for HOURS.

Most of it wasn’t even about the ex which was nice . But that was my first step to getting better. Fast forward a little bit I start googling how to deal with a breakup since this is my first relationship which I had poured so much time and energy into and a great tip was to talk to my friends.

Man I was so stupid. I finally realize after 20 years of living I can actually talk to people about my problems. Sounds so obvious but for some reason I NEVER ask for help. Not for school not at work and certainly not in life. So I start talking to my best friend of like 15 years about it (if you’re reading this I love you man) and he was such a great help.

He gave me advice and just talking about it made me feel better. TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS MAN OPEN UP. Asking for help isn't giving up, its refu sing to give up.

Anyways I start making new friends and being more social especially at work. I met this new girl at work and I realized something . I’m sweating. Not because I like her but because I ran out of new topics QUICK.

And this was weird to me because I’m usually the funny guy in social groups but it’s been a while I guess and I thought to myself …. Holy sh!t …. I have no idea how to communicate …. I have no personality . That was hard to admit.

I don’t have feelings for said girl but she is literally my guardian angel. I have never felt more comfortable with a person. She’s so easy to talk to and we’ve gone through similar life events even the ex part. She even put me on One piece ( amazing show by the way). She’s literally like a more mature wiser slightly older version of me in a way that’s almost scary.

It’s crazy how similar we are . I’ll never forget when she asked “What's wrong?” and I responded with” nothing” and then she looked me dead in the eye and asked "No really. What's wrong”.I love her (not romantically) and I’ll always be grateful for her being introduced into my life at probably one of my low points.

So anyway I start working out fixing my diet dressing better and learning how to be more confident and I’ve noticed I’ve gotten tons of compliments . I’ve gotten called cute TWICE and pretty once . I’ve gotten my outfit AND cologne complimented. The recognition, for me, was strange because of me being insecure for such a long time.

Ngl kinda boosted my confidence by a bit. And I started reconnecting with my old friends and, they say I’m buff now ??? Idk for some reason I don't believe them cause I got a lot more fat to burn off but I’m working almost everyday to being better than I was yesterday.

I’ve studied philosophy and started to listen to new music and enjoy going out by myself to the city and just enjoying the calm and the quietness of it all. And I also started picking up new hobbies and going back to school. I’ve started to play the guitar and maybe want to start creating content or maybe even photography.

Oh, and this other cute girl at work started flirting with me. She listens to the same bands and musicians I do, SHE asked me for MY number, and we text a lot. She sends me some pretty funny stuff that is slightly flirtatious? She made a comment that I got muscles and started doing these slightly flirtatious playfighting things and she's called me cute before.

Oh, and this one time I showed up to my workplace just to say hey and when I tell you she LIT UP when she saw me … man … I haven’t seen anyone so happy to see me in such a long time. This was like a week ago and I still think about it. Makes my heart melt. I think it’s too soon to start a relationship and I still want to work on myself but she’s tempting me for sure.

So yeah. I’m doing good . Doing way better then I have been these last 2 years to be honest . I feel like I’m starting to understand who I really am and how far I’m willing to push my limits . I’m confident strong smart passionate intense reliable and funny . And for the first time in a long time I don’t need someone else to tell me that because I built that self-esteem on my own

If you’re going through something similar I promise it gets better . Just don’t give up and find ways to work on yourself while you heal. Screw hating your ex. Forgive her, so you can move on and Just cut contact and spread love . Say hey to the people you walk by. Buy those shoes you’ve always wante. Go hike that mountain solo . Compliment that cute girls outfit . Tell your friends they’re awesome.

Say I love you to the people closest to you. Go to that hair salon and get a cool new haircut . Sing that song at the top of your lungs in the car .

The world really is held together by the love and passion of a few people.

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.”-Khalil Gibran- Huey “Boondocks Season One Episode 13

Goodbye? And thank you! My life isn’t the same anymore and I’m unsure of who is going to show up next. But what I do know is that we have to be kind, especially when we don’t know what’s going on, we’re not here forever:)

OP wasn't clear if the cheating happened during their break.

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