A few months ago, on a Saturday evening while relaxing with my family, I received a rather peculiar call from a young woman located in California. Her name was Tatiana. She was seeking consent because she was feeling frantic, restless about her relation and didn't know what to do. Somehow she found me on the internet and decided intuitively to give me a call.
'What shall I do with my boyfriend? I want to free myself because he is not allowing me much space. As a CEO he is completely absorbed in his career, networking, traveling etc. leaving me all alone with an increasing insecurity.'
Feeling overwhelmed and surprised by such a topic across the ocean, my first question to Tatiana was to decide for herself if she truly loved her partner. That was a confronting fact that she couldn't deny: they still loved each other. Her problem was that he was taking too much away from her personal space while Tatiana felt like it was her turn now to be in the spotlights and expand in a different direction.
Moreover Tatiana didn't want to focus on these facts only for the sake of her partner:
- being supportive
- being a sparring partner
- being inspiring
She wanted to become visible for herself and go for her own passion and career. Tatiana was wondering if breaking up with her partner would bring her the immediate relief and space she was so much yearning for.
My advice to her
Recalling my own experience of more than two decades ago I advised her not to rush into a decision that she might regret later. 'Take distance from your partner for a few weeks, cool down and have a respectful conversation about what you both would like to do with your lives: either separate or make agreements in order to lead a more balanced life as a couple.'
A few weeks later
Tatiana's self reflection described her process in a remarkable and, for me, a very rewarding way:
'I did find some balance and some answers! Me and my partner are separating and we are both really happy with that decision as we both want to expand and grow in our separate directions; we realize it's not possible side by side. We are on very good terms and that's wonderful. I am grateful for the conversation we had, once again! Your advice was a very needed data point.'