My girlfriend of 5 years says she needs time to do things for herself

My girlfriend and I dated for just under 5 years, we are both 20 years old now and in our junior year of college. We go to school about 10 minutes apart. For years, she told me that she depended on me and lived her life for me, following me around (she even transferred to be closer to me). She has always talked about the future with marriage and kids and told me that we were meant to be together and she loves me more than anything. She would often sit there and tell me to never leave her because she wanted to spend her life with me.

Recently however, she has begun to build more of her own life and get involved in her own activities at school. We have always had some issues seeing each other often enough since we are simply so busy and often times she would end up visiting me. However she now tells me that she needs to find out who she is, live her own life and do her own thing. She needs to find herself and learn more about herself as an individual because she says she doesn't really know who she is without me.

The whole situation is very confusing to me however. She tells me that she still loves me so much and she's not saying that she won't want a future with marriage and kids, etc. with me someday. However we are just so young and we need to experience life and learn about ourselves. She even told me that she can definitely see us together someday, but it's hard to know exactly when. Some of the things she's told me though make me question how she really feels. She says that we should date other people if the opportunity arises, that she's always seen me as a great friend and she wants to always maintain that and that she doesn't expect me to wait around for her. Basically she says that if it's meant to be, we will be together again, but who knows what the future holds.

It's been about 6 weeks and she tells me that I didn't do anything wrong, this is just something she needs to do. She wants to keep in contact with me and doesn't ever want me completely out of her life. But obviously I have no idea how long this is going to take, or if we've just changed and our relationship is over. I feel like she can't throw away our relationship (which generally was very strong and happy) but I also feel like she's not so sure I'm right for her anymore. She just seems to be confused about a lot of things, but I don't know how to react. I truly see her as the person I will spend the rest of my life with.

I'm having a tough time dealing with this situation and she tells me constantly that she's sorry it hurts me so much, that she's always here to talk if I need to and that she still loves me.

How should I react to this situation? Should I just give her time and hope it works out? Can anyone identify with her situation as I am trying to understand what she's going through?
My girlfriend of 5 years says she needs time to do things for herself
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