Long distance girlfriend says she needs time. Can you ladies help?

In November, our relationship began to decline due to her 3rd shift job: she had less time for us, we were no longer intimate, and our communication was slowing. I asked her about it, but she said she was just tired. I was patient with her and tried to understand what a change this schedule was for her.
We only had 2-3 20 minute calls per week, only on her terms. I asked her to talk to me on her nights off, but she kept saying she was too tired. Eventually, on 11/26/14, I sent her a letter stating that we were falling out of touch, and that it was having an impact on our relationship.
On Christmas day, instead of calling, she sent me a text; I called her back and we spoke for about 15 minutes about our gifts and what a wonderful Christmas we were having.
I tried to spend New Year's Eve with her, but she texted me around 4 am saying she had slept through it and she was sorry for missing it. I was becoming perturbed with texting taking the place of calls.
On 5 January 2015, I received an accidental text from her asking when we were going to the restaurant I took her to on our first date; she immediately sent a text stating it was meant for her Sister. She sent another text asking if I'd be home that night. I responded, "I'm not up for talking tonight. I need a week or so to think about us, where we lost it, and whether I want to stick around. Enjoy [the restaurant] and have a sangria for me." The next day she responded, "I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner but I was mad. I understand your decision even though it upsets me. I love you." I responded, "I love you too."
I told her this Monday I was tired of fighting. On Tuesday, she responded, "I'm hurting and I don't know if I can do this anymore." I asked what she meant but she would not say. I tried to call her, but she said, "I'm sorry, I can't." I told her I love her, and she said she loves me too and said "I need some time." The last thing I heard from her was "I need some time to think. Please respect that."
Updates:
I decided the best thing to do is nothing.
I'm going to give her all the time she needs and leave her alone.
Our relationship was getting way too complicated and not fun, and the most honest, loving thing I can do is respect her wishes.
She called me today! We talked for an hour, joking and having fun, saying I miss you and being sweet; then she told me why she needed some time to think. We discuss her moving to me, marriage, and starting a family often, and she was beginning to have doubts. She said she decided during that time that she does want me for the rest of her life: she wants me to drink less, be more financially secure, and be less needy. If I improve these areas of my life, we'll be happy. Failure is not an option.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • She seems like she may have someone else that she has begun talking to. Someone is in her ear and got in her head making her second guess your relationship. All you can do is not call or reach out. You have to let her come to you.

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    • That was what my instinct was telling me, though I don't want to believe it. I did ask her if we are still upholding our monogamous commitment while she takes time, and she said yes.

    • She would never say. Just like men, they would never tell a woman no matter what if they were seeing someone else.

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What Girls Said 1

  • Long distance doesn't work. Eventually you need to see each other regularly to keep the connection strong.

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    • We were saving money to be together. On our Anniversary, we promised each other we were going to close the distance in 2015.

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