Broken up... Surely there's a way back for us?

I went on a date with my (now ex) girlfriend 7 months ago. We fell in love, but 10 days after we met I had to move to another part of the country. A month after that, she moved to a different country. So we’ve always been long distance without ever properly getting to know each other.

The relationship has mostly been good, especially the rare times when we see each other, but there have been a lot of difficulties. We have both had a really hard time with jobs, and I in particular took out my stress with work on my girlfriend. I’ve been mean, nasty and short-tempered.

Also, I’ve made a lot of first time errors as I haven’t been in a long distance relationship before – messaging her too much, expecting her to message me back all the time, being possessive jealous clingy paranoid etc etc. I don’t think I’m completely at fault though – she also has insecurities and occasionally lashed out at me, or hasn’t been very understanding. I think we are both very loving people, but young, emotionally insecure and still learning through our mistakes.

It all got really bad the last month, when I was told that, essentially, I might be losing my job soon. There was so much uncertainty about my work situation, and I really wanted my girlfriend for support. The more stressful work got, the more support I needed, but I seemed to lash out and push her further away.

Last Monday she said we need to ‘go on a break’ but she wasn’t clear at all about what the ‘rules’ would be. She just wanted to get away, and it felt like it was already over in the way she talked about it. I tried my best to respect her decision, and I think she was right to want space at that point, I was suffocating her. But work was getting worse by the day and all I wanted to do was speak to her. The more paranoid I got about my work situation, the more paranoid I got about my relationship. The two are very much linked and I don't think she sees this. 

Last Thursday I was told that I would definitely be (effectively) losing my job. I was glad that the uncertainty was over but still very upset. The same day, I decided that I needed to get rid of the uncertainty with my girlfriend – I tried to talk to her about my job news and she reacted by breaking up with me, saying I hadn’t given her enough space. She did it very coldly, but I understand why she did that. 

She said she wasn’t in love with me anymore, but part of me doesn’t believe her. I think the man she fell out of love with was not the man she fell in love with. A combination of a difficult context and rookie mistakes have damaged the relationship, but I know it can be better. I want to demonstrate I can be a better man and we can be happy together despite the hurt. Stranger things have happened. 

My question is – How can I show her we can have a happy future together, and that I’ve learnt all the mistakes that pushed her away? How can I let her love me again? How long should I leave it until I say something? If nothing happens then I will try my best to move on, but right now I still feel there is hope.

I’m drinking at the last chance saloon here!

Thank you!

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