Is it time for us to split?
June 22, 2012 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Is it time for us to go our separate ways?

I'm 25 and my boyfriend is 23. We've been dating for 10 months now. (i'm his second girlfriend) I'm not very good at this whole breaking up/ is it time to break up thing.

My boyfriend is a nice guy, one of the nicest. I am treated like one of the disney characters that found her prince charming. He has me up on a pedestal i don't want to be on, i don't like it i feel uncomfortable. He always does what i want to do, and i don't think thats very fair. I try to ask him "is there anything you want to do?" but all i get is "as long as i'm with you" or "whatever makes you happy."

It was fun at first, but lately i feel like the two of us are just pals that hang out all the time and watch movies or play video games. We've stopped kissing other than to say bye to each other pretty much and we've never had sex.

I'll go through these moments where i'll like him a lot and then change my mind and think i only like him as a friend.
A lot things get on my nerves now that didn't use to. I don't enjoy texting him much anymore, and would rather stay at home most days or hang out with my friends who i've not seen much.

I don't see myself with him in the next year, i don't see myself married to him. He's too forgetful, he farts and picks his nose too much and i don't feel like i have enough in common with him anymore.

I started talking to a guy friend over the course of the past few weeks and i think about him a lot more than i should for someone thats in a relationship. I feel awful.

Is it time to split? How do you break it off with a nice guy who hasn't really done anything wrong?
posted by ohtimorousme to Human Relations (27 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I posted this in a different thread, but I'm repeating it here (with genders changed), because I think it's important. Not knowing this left me months in relationships where, like, nothing was wrong, I just wasn't happy.:
The thing I wish I knew earlier in my dating life is that you don't have to have an excuse to break up. You really don't. There doesn't need to be a reason, the person doesn't have to be a bad person or doing anything particularly awful to you. "I don't want to date this person anymore" is all the justification you need, both internally and externally. You don't love him. You don't want to be with him. Let yourself act on that without having to come up with the whys. Just end it.
You just say "I'm sorry, I don't see a future for us, I think we should break up." You don't have to list his flaws, or even look for them. You don't need a reason to not want to be in a relationship!
posted by brainmouse at 2:51 PM on June 22, 2012 [31 favorites]

Is it time to split?

Certainly sounds like it.

How do you break it off with a nice guy who hasn't really done anything wrong?

Gently, but firmly, and definitively. He might want a reason, but you don't really owe him one. No "just friends", at least not for now, assuming that he's at least a bit hurt not 100% okay with the breakup (i.e., the world's first truly mutual breakup).
posted by supercres at 2:53 PM on June 22, 2012 [5 favorites]

You say, "You're a nice guy, you've treated me well, but I don't think we're a good match. I think we should break up. I would like to be friends if you're open to that."
posted by orange swan at 2:53 PM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

You've repeatedly answered your own question. It's OK to give yourself permission to break up with this person, and you're not wrong for doing it.
posted by cnc at 2:54 PM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Well there's no easy way to break up with someone. I have never been very good at it, but from everything you've said here, it seems pretty clear that you're finished with this relationship and it's time to move on. Leading him on when you're pretty sure you're done with this will just do more damage and make things harder in the long run, so better to get it over with now.

I'd just be honest with him about the fact that you don't see a future together, and that you'd like to go your own way. Definitely don't list all the reasons you want to break up with him, that'll make him feel terrible.

Also, there's a good chance he'll freak out, especially if he doesn't see this coming. Guys (me) often freak out in breakups, it can feel like the end of the world for a bit, and this may make him make all kind of crazy promises to change, to come sobbing to your door, etc. If you're pretty sure the relationship needs to end, stay strong, try not to let this get to you. He's still super young, so he'll be fine. Good luck!
posted by tokaidanshi at 2:56 PM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes, it's time to split. Whether he's done something wrong or not, you don't love him, and that's the only real reason that matters. After 10 months, you gave it a chance.

It's not uncommon for young people to be afraid to assert their own needs which is what's happened to him (been there). He'll hang around in this relationship as long as you allow him to, and neither of you will be able to grow. You're totally correct, by the way, that the pedestal he's put you on is a dysfunctional relationship dynamic. And being a nice guy and putting your girl on a pedestal is not actually that nice, because it makes her feel guilty, and that she owes him something, namely to stick around. There's little hope of a partnership emerging from such a situation.
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:56 PM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

It's time to end things. It really is. While he may be a nice guy, it seems like the two of you are no longer compatible. You are unhappy with the way that things are. There isn't a severe reason to end things, but what good is it to stay in an unhappy relationship?

Do yourself and your current boyfriend a favour by ending things. It will be better for both of you in the long run. Be firm and kind, and don't feel like you have to justify yourself and your decision to end things. It's okay to just be brief and polite while talking to him.
posted by livinglearning at 2:58 PM on June 22, 2012

[Folks, please make your answers constructive?]
posted by jessamyn at 3:08 PM on June 22, 2012

Tell him you want a man.

Please don't tell him that, unless you're trying to hurt and confuse him. If you must give reasons, spell out what I assume is the sentiment behind that: that's it's not a good personality match, and there's really nothing that can be done about that. Don't accept "I can change!" arguments, because 99 times out of a hundred, it's not true.
posted by supercres at 3:13 PM on June 22, 2012 [12 favorites]

Yes, it sounds like you have mostly lost interest in him. Drawing this out won't make it any easier on him. Be kind, but do break up and be firm about it. Don't take a break from the relationship or give him another chance.
posted by Area Man at 3:19 PM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Absent strange circumstances, if you believe, on the whole, you would be happier if you were broken up than if you were together, you should break up. Those strange circumstances are not present here.

Break up.

"Hey Boyfriend, you're a great guy, but I don't think we're a match. I am breaking up with you."

If he gives counter-arguments or proposals etc., don't hedge. Always come back to "I'm breaking up with you, and I'm sorry if that hurts you, but its something I need to do."
posted by craven_morhead at 3:20 PM on June 22, 2012

He's too forgetful, he farts and picks his nose too much

It's definitely time to let him go. If you were really in love with him you probably wouldn't care about these things.

I think my boyfriend's farts are hilarious.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:26 PM on June 22, 2012 [8 favorites]

Someone named Miko wrote an awesome script which you will find very helpful.
posted by anaelith at 3:32 PM on June 22, 2012

Why aren't you having sex? And you're not even kissing any more. Sounds like whatever passion was there has faded away. This is very much reinforced by the fact that you don't see yourself with him in the next year.

Yes, you should break up.

No question, you should break up.

Seriously. You're done in your mind, which means the relationship is over and it's just a question of when you tell him. The kindest thing is to tell him now. Don't drag it out, and for god's sake don't do so in an attempt to make him break up with you or eventually just take the hint.

You don't need to stay with someone just because they're nice. You don't want to be with him, and that is an excellent -- maybe the best -- reason to break up with someone.

You should probably tell him that he's a very nice guy but you don't want to date him anymore. If he presses you for details, just say the spark is gone and you've realized you're not compatible but you wish him the best (and, optionally, value his friendship).
posted by J. Wilson at 3:35 PM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

It really sounds like he's a late bloomer, and you're somewhere further up ahead.

Don't sound flexible on the issue or he'll doggedly try to change your mind. Tell him you deeply care for him but that you don't think you're a good match in the long term and you think you should both be free to go out and do some living and growing etc.

Really try not to elaborate on what the specific problems are. You can make your point quite clear with things like, "I just don't see a future together," or "I don't feel the same way about you/us that I used to."
posted by hermitosis at 3:36 PM on June 22, 2012

You have already made your decision, you are looking for us to legitimize it. Well, you have my permission. Keep it short, simple and DEFINITIVE. No, "I think we should breakup" type sentences. Be affirmative.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:43 PM on June 22, 2012

I was him, other than the nose-picking part.

I was dumped several times in my 20's and it helped me to grow up and figure out that there was more to personal validation than whether or not I had a titular girlfriend.

He'll get over it and hopefully will grow from having hung out with you.
posted by Danf at 3:49 PM on June 22, 2012

You're already gone. It's ok, you both sound like nice people, be gentle and firm, you know it's time.
posted by Cosine at 3:55 PM on June 22, 2012

Don't think of your breaking up with him as punishing him despite him not doing "anything wrong." It's not that he did something wrong, it's that he's just not right for you.

I would, however, encourage you to look at the timeline of your relationship, per your previous AskMes. A month ago you said he was overly affectionate, a week ago you said that you have a friend who you weren't sure if he was interested in you, and today you're saying you want to break up with your non-affectionate boyfriend because you're thinking a lot about your friend. Your posts are telling a story; heed it.
posted by sm1tten at 4:29 PM on June 22, 2012 [5 favorites]

No "just friends", at least not for now.

This is really good advice. You will both need the distance and even if the friendship aspect did work out it would mess with future relationships.

It's also the last thing guys want to hear in this situation.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:21 PM on June 22, 2012

He has me up on a pedestal i don't want to be on, i don't like it i feel uncomfortable

Get out of there.
posted by ead at 8:20 PM on June 22, 2012

He sounds like he bores you precisely BECAUSE he doesn't have any interests of his own. That's not that fixable. I vote break up. One can daydream of being comfortable buddies down the road, but for now it's time to go your separate ways. Be kind, but cut the cord.
posted by Ys at 6:19 AM on June 23, 2012

My bottom-line for breaking up: If you think you'll be happier without that person than with them.

It's not always that simple and there may be times when you think you'll be happier with them, at least in the short term, but there are still good reason to break up.

But if you're at the point that you're confident that you'll be happier without him both short term and long term, there's absolutely no reason to stay.

"You're a good person and I respect you and value the time we had together, but this relationship is not making me happy and I don't want to be in it any more."
posted by Salamandrous at 9:15 AM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

For one, I'm going to say that if you do break-up, don't get together with that other guy for a while. It'll only hurt your ex worse and probably be a little confusing for you. You probably already knew that, but just thought I'd mention it.

The consensus pretty much seems to be that you should break-up, so I'll just offer a counter-point because it's sometimes nice to have different opinions.

Have you discussed any of these issues with him? Maybe if he knew it was a problem, he could spend more time on his own, be more proactive in making decisions, stop picking his nose, be more assertive. I mean, part of any relationship is communication and solving problems. All relationships require some communication and adjustments. Also, could the just friends feeling stem from not being intimate? Physically and emotionally? Do both of you know each other's deepest darkest secrets? Do you know each other's silliest, most grandiose hopes? Do guys have good and interesting discussions?

I'm not telling you to drag things out if you really don't want to or feel that it would be right, but just a suggestion of another course of action.
posted by yeahyeahyeah at 4:00 PM on June 23, 2012

I've commented about the whole picking his nose thing or farting in public, but he just giggles and thinks its funny before letting another one rip. I mentioned us never kissing anymore, we tried doing that more but i was never really into it then either, and i started to hate when he'd put his arm around me.

The most interesting conversations we have are about video games. We don't know secrets, the most serious conversation we've had was him complaining to me about how his parents nag him about saving money.
I can honestly say i don't really know much about him.
posted by ohtimorousme at 4:43 PM on June 23, 2012

Your previous question is pretty revealing here, I think. Then, he was too affectionate. Now, you guys aren't affectionate enough.

The point isn't that he took what you said to heart and you need to communicate better about what you want.

No, the point is that your position seems to have shifted, but some things remain constant. In both questions, you ask whether you should break up. There's a heavy dose of "he's a nice guy and fun to hang out with but..." in both questions, with the "but..." appearing to relate to sexual incompatibility and lack of attraction. In both questions, you note that you used to enjoy texting with him, but no longer do. And to top if off, you're young and very much sound inexperienced.

One thing I've learned through experience is that if you don't know whether you want to be with someone, then you don't want to be with them. Another is that things that you find endearing and cute when you're into someone drive you crazy when you're not into them. Have you owned the fact that you don't want to be with him? I can't tell if you've come to grips with that, but it's painfully obvious to me (and much of the internet).

Another is that you don't do any favors by staying with someone when you know it's over. He deserves to be with someone who's really into him, someone who, ten months into the relationship, doesn't frequently think she likes him "only as a friend." And you deserve to be with someone you're really into. And as the person who's not feeling it, the burden is on you to do the breaking up.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:52 PM on June 23, 2012

It's true i am inexperienced, all of my relationships i've had never lasted very long. The longest ones i've had were just a few months short of a year.

I know, sorry about that. I've been trying to figure things out, but i think i have come to terms with the fact that i don't want to be with him now. He's not for me, someone else deserves him. Someone that enjoys spending him with him, and can be affectionate.

I just hate the fact that he's going to feel like this is coming out of left field.
posted by ohtimorousme at 5:07 PM on June 23, 2012

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