My boyfriend and I have been together for six years, living together for four (I am 24, he is 31). We love each other and are generally very happy together. But recently I have been thinking about the long-term future of our relationship, and the fact that we are incompatible regarding our views on marriage and children (I want them eventually, he doesn't). Common sense and logic dictates that we should try to end things amicably before this turns into a Big Problem, to give us time to find other people, but it's such a major life change that it's scary for me to think about.
Something that has brought this into focus for me is that in the past few months I've developed a (unprecedented) crush on someone at work. I found myself thinking and dreaming about him a lot and eventually realised I was maybe trying to distract myself from thinking about issues in my own relationship. It was like a lightbulb going on in my head. I was determined to articulate exactly what was bothering me deep down, get it all out in the open instead of my usual letting them fester, and resolve them. (Mostly all issues that have cropped up in the last year as a result of this
, fwiw. I bear him no animosity for what he did; but I became depressed, less trusting, more paranoid and insecure. I feel like I'm in a much better place now though.)
I had in mind that we would hash things out once and for all, and if I was still unhappy then that would be that. I could walk away knowing that I'd tried but we couldn't work things out. This was bolstered by my fantasizing about a potential shiny new future with crush-guy (who, actually, I'm quite certain I do like a lot
- more than anyone else I've ever met, except for my boyfriend - he's not just a distraction). Well, my boyfriend and I had a big long emotional talk, and the issues were resolved. And a part of me was disappointed.
So now I'm realising that I maybe I don't want to spend the rest of my life with him. And that's a hard thing to admit to myself, because I've spent my whole adult life with him and I felt settled and that my life was Sorted. And it's a scary prospect to give that up, especially considering that I don't really think things with crush-guy will work out as I hope. (I still want to try though, in time when I'm ready.)
I'm coming to the conclusion I do have to break up with my boyfriend and start my life over, because maybe I want more. And long-term, we're not sustainable in any case. But I can't reconcile that with my current day-to-day life with him in which, like I said, we are happy and everything is fine. I haven't explicitly talked to him about this yet, though he does know that it's been on my mind and making me unhappy lately. I just can't really fathom breaking up with him for real. And I don't want to lose him completely - I do love him, and we are really each other's only close friends.
I am just a whirl of confusion. How can I come to terms with breaking up with him - and actually do it - out of the blue, after six years, at a time when we've made it through a difficult year and reconnected to be closer than ever? When we've been really quite happy for the last few months?
How do I know I'm doing the right thing, and this isn't just all heat-of-the-moment blinkered thinking? (Though I have had this on my mind constantly for about 2 months now, and haven't changed my mind.) Am I just throwing this away because it's not Perfect? What if it takes me another six years to even find someone else whom I like? I am kind of a shut-in, and always thought it was a bit of a miracle that I found my boyfriend in the first place. I will be losing my only close friend, and I don't think I can fully imagine what life will be like without him.
Wow, this is incoherent. I'm sorry. Hopefully you can read through the fog and see what I mean. Christ almighty. I try to be rational and analytical about this stuff but it just leads to me being dubious of what I'm feeling at any given time, because I know it might change. Rational doesn't seem to work with emotions. This post started out one way and ended up another, which may be an indication of what my mind is like at the moment.