When she tells you she is leaving, this is most likely your response. "This can't be happening, there must be something I can do to keep it from happening." Men are used to fixing things: when something is broken, they figure out how to fix it. So, when a woman tells a man that she is leaving him, the man's first reaction after feeling like his heart just left his body, is: "What can I DO to avoid the breakup?
There must be something I can DO." This is when the negotiations start.
"Can't we talk about this? You just sprung this on me... give me another chance." You can sometimes make her feel guilty enough to stay for a short while longer, but if she intended to leave, she WILL leave. It's almost a sure thing that your relationship will get worse... the likelihood that she will stay permanently just went down... way down. Of course, if the two of you decide to get marriage counseling or coaching - there might be a different outcome... you will be really working to change things so that you two can make it for the long run.
Because... It's the separation that actually has the greatest power now to re-start a loving relationship between the two of you... that has been broken. Yes, the separation may be exactly what you need to truly have a chance to get her back. What works best, once the emotions have calmed down a little, is negotiating how the separation will go. Will you date one another? How often? Will you date others? Etc. Etc.
It's so much better to talk about this openly. You will not make her more likely to date others... just because you bring up the subject. The one question you can ask her? "Is there anything I can do to keep this from happening?" If she says 'no,' it's very important that you accept that. If she says 'I don't know,' that is a good sign. But don't push for an answer. This is new to her, too. I know this is hard. Having someone you love announce that they are leaving you is so painful.
There's a better way. Often when a breakup happens, you have to do the opposite of what you want to do, feel like doing... or feel like you should do. It's the Alpha Male who says: is there anything I can do to stop this?" and lets it go for a while. The Alpha Male is the one she's going to think about later, that one who is going to make her feel more secure... the one who will earn her respect again. There's nothing wrong with telling your girlfriend... "You know, I don't want you to leave, but I have no control over your choice."
That is the truth and she will recognize it and go on to think about it later. And don't worry if that breakup moment has already passed, you will get the chance to communicate as an Alpha Male later on. Just get through the next day and night and you will get your Day Two and then Day Three and so on. Of course you want to avoid the permanent breakup-- a first reaction for most people . Just don't get stuck there.
People, who know Gloria, credit her success to 30+ years of experience as psychologist and her natural gift for 'getting it' right away and coming up with practical advice and solutions.