I am going through a tough time right now. My girlfriend and I have been together for a few years, we are best friends and soulmates and it feels like we belong together. However, when we started talking about our future, it appeared that she has a totally different vision. She is tired with her current job and needs changes in her life, so she wants to move abroad or even travel for a while living a few months in one place while I am happy with my current life and I was actually thinking of getting married and starting a family. She totally freaked out when I mentioned the possibility of having kids some time soon and she said she is not ready for that. It made me seriously thinking if this is going anywhere. Is she the one?
Brian, 32
Answered by:
Relationship Guide, Author, Guy's Guy

Hey Brian,

Sorry to hear about your pickle. I’ll be honest with you and hope you find this helpful. However, I must stress that these are merely my opinions.

Is she the one? The simplest answer is that you likely need to part ways, at least for now. In my opinion, love is not enough. You definitely need similar desires and ideas for your future, in order for a relationship to work out (especially if you’re considering starting a family).

My immediate concern upon reading your question was that you seemed to have considered your girlfriend your soulmate, without even knowing her visions for the future. I believe that people too often just consider their emotions, and don’t look at the practicalities of the relationship or the person that they’re with. Then a few years later they realize, however they’re by then much deeper into the relationship (with a child together, or shared property, etc.). So if there is a silver lining here, it’s that you’re realizing this now, as opposed to ten years from now when you’re 42 and have invested more time into what could possibly be, not the right woman for you.

However, I also believe there is a little more to it than this. If you take into consideration the following four things, this could help you narrow down your options.

I’ve met (and dated) a number of women in the past who have told me about their big travel plans, but as one month passed, three months, six months, a year – they just never eventuated. Many people talk about packing up and traveling, but very few of those people actually do. If she is serious about leaving, has she mentioned you coming with her? Personally, I believe that a woman who is very happy in her relationship would not want to just pack up and leave her man. If there has been no mention of you going with her, I would wonder if, on top of needing a change in her work and life, she also needs a break from the relationship.

The child thing is somewhat similar. Again I don’t want to be overly negative, but it is something that I’ve seen many times – one person tells the other that they don’t want a relationship or a child, and two years later they have exactly that with someone else.

I believe that there is truth to the old quote – If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s truly yours. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be. My friend faced this exact same situation last year when his long-term girlfriend wanted to pack up and travel through South America on her own. He was devastated but he did not stand in her way. They broke up, she went for a few months, before deciding that it just wasn’t for her, and upon returning, their relationship is stronger than ever.

If you hold your girlfriend back, she will very likely resent you. You will be the guy who stopped her from going for what she wanted. But if you go with her (or even just stay in a relationship that is not providing you what you want), then it’s very likely that you will start to resent her also. And I believe that resentment is toxic to relationships.

Good luck with your choice. I really hope that I’ve helped in some way. I personally like to live life believing that everything is always working out advantageous, even if you don’t necessarily see it at the time. Regardless of what happens now, in a couple of years, I’m sure that you will be happy wherever you end up.

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