How do I know if I should break up with my boyfriend?
March 5, 2010 10:22 AM Subscribe
How do I know if I should break up with my boyfriend? (Warning: novel-length special snowflake question)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (51 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am going through a bout of what feels like depression, and it is causing me to question some of the choices I have made in my life so far.
I am 21, and have been dating my 27 year old boyfriend for 2 1/2 years. This is by far my longest relationship, and I believe it is his longest as well. We live in his house together, have a dog together, split most bills although everything is in his name, and spend most of our time together.
I love this man as strongly as I have ever cared about anything, and despite me not being the kind of girl who dreamed about my wedding as a kid, I find myself drawn to wedding magazines lately. Our sex life is decent, our drives match up for the most part and we are similarly compatible when it comes to things like TV, food (except a major allergy he has which affects what I like to eat), politics, and religion. We have a system that works for dealing with money and I feel like we each know where the other person is as far as overall financial situation even if we don't tell each other the minutiae. He's a diverse guy with diverse interests, and I find him fascinating. I have high hopes for his future and love and support him. On paper, we look perfect.
But there are things that bother me, things I don't know how to talk to him about. I know that's an AskMe-green flag already. Some of his interests in our sex life are things I would be happy to allow him to have, but he wants me to provide them and I can't. Either they are things that don't turn me on, or they are things that turn me on greatly but I need him to initiate. He doesn't like my taste in fashion. Sometimes this manifests in light teasing and his buying clothes for me, which are okay, but sometimes it leads to fights because I don't like something and he says that it is what is sexy. He hasn't said "I love you" to me yet (except once while we were having sex, over a year ago) despite me telling him twice in very serious conversation how much I needed that from him. I don't know what to make of that, if he doesn't love me, if he's worried about feeling vulnerable, or what. I just know that I think about it often and it makes me sad, but I don't want to bring it up more often that I have because I worry about pressuring him into saying something he doesn't mean. I can't get him to contribute even a little to house cleanliness. We had a long and emotional conversation about this a month or so back where I asked him to do two small things for me in relation to keeping the house clean: keep his dirty clothes confined to our bathroom, and keep all the dirty dishes in the bedroom in one place so I could gather them more easily. He said he would try to do these things for me, but none of his habits changed. When I tried to gently or humorously remind him, he ignored me. This is a small frustration, but for some reason I felt the need to include it here.
The final thing is kind of a biggie, and I know that some of my friends are horrified about this, but I want a fresh perspective. My boyfriend is very insecure, especially about a detail relating to who I was when we met. That has caused him to get upset if I get texts/phone calls/facebook messages from guys who are not my brothers. I also find that he will go out with one of his guy friends if I have to work late, but he seems unhappy (though not forbidding) if I want to spend time with my other friends. He isn't abusive, but I miss being around other people and spend 95% of my non-work time with him. I worry that I have "missed out" on the normal things that typical 20-25 year olds do, like taking road trips with friends and in general being silly and making mistakes.
Inertia says that staying in the relationship is the best thing for me. I don't know where I would go or how I would separate our (mostly all jumbled together) stuff if I broke up with him. If I start separating things before I talk to him, he'll notice. I know that I could probably afford to go live somewhere else fairly quickly, but I worry that he would not be able to handle the household bills without my income as he is a working student and I make almost as much as he does (so I make essentially half the household income). I am terrified what even thinking about this means as this is the most meaningful relationship I have been in, and he has really helped me grow as a person. But at the same time, I am worried about stagnation, because stagnation at 21 is an awful thing.
1. Should I break up with my boyfriend of two years so I can spend some time being young and single and have some life experiences even though for the most part everything is good?
2. If yes, how do I go about removing myself from his life in the most painless way possible?
3. Please hope me?