There's nothing wrong with this relationship, but...
November 14, 2012 7:51 AM   Subscribe

There's nothing wrong with my relationship...except that I don't want to be in it anymore.

My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years, since we were 20. He's been ready to get married and have children for a long time, but I've been putting it off. First I thought we were too young. Then I had other excuses. But recently I've come to the kind of shocking-to-me conclusion that maybe I just don't want to be with this man.

The thing is, I don't really understand the problem. Our relationship is a great one in many, many ways. We are super close friends, love talking to each other, share a sense of humor and have overlapping interests. He knows me better than anyone on the planet. We support each other in bad times and celebrate in good. Although our sex life isn't stellar, it's not so bad either. We live together. We have a shared group of friends and both love our city.

I just don't want to be with him anymore. It's been a creeping feeling for over a year. I don't like inviting him out when I'm with friends. I don't really miss him when he's away. I don't feel a lot of physical desire to be close to him. I've been desperately fighting myself to keep from sleeping with other people. I'm definitely not putting enough effort into the relationship, and I can't seem to turn that around.

For those who will suggest therapy: I've already been talking about this in therapy for quite a while. We've talked ad nauseum about some of my (seemingly minor) dissatisfaction with the relationship, but haven't uncovered anything really deep as far as I can tell. My best guess for what's going on is that I just want to be a single adult, and haven't had the chance to be one yet, and I see time kind of running out on the years when it is "normal" to be single.

I'm thinking about leaving the relationship. It feels like an insane thing to do. Have you been in this situation, or known someone in this situation? How did it turn out? What course of action would you suggest?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (46 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I just don't want to be with him anymore.

Then break up.
posted by xingcat at 7:55 AM on November 14, 2012 [25 favorites]

You don't need the permission of strangers on the internet to leave.

You're not happy? Then get out. That's all the reason you need.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:56 AM on November 14, 2012

If you don't break up with him, you'll start treating him poorly. Go now. It will be painful for both of you, but is better than stringing him along.
posted by Area Man at 7:57 AM on November 14, 2012 [14 favorites]

Things don't have to be wrong to not be right.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:58 AM on November 14, 2012 [14 favorites]

If you're at the point where you need to restrain yourself from fucking other people, it has gone past "seemingly minor dissatisfaction." Just because two people get along and have gotten along for a while doesn't mean they need to be in a relationship.

Also, a really important note: getting married and having kids will not fix this. It never fixes this. Ever. Ever ever.
posted by griphus at 7:58 AM on November 14, 2012 [31 favorites]

You change a lot in your twenties, and two people rarely change in exactly the same way. The cultural narrative that relationships only change because of dramaz (infidelity! lies!) is not true at all.

It is time to be honest with him, have a conversation about what you need right now and don't be hurtful or cruel, without also making any commitments or promises you can't hold up.
posted by saucysault at 7:58 AM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

Also, there are places in the world where being single at 27 is seen as weird and reflects poorly on you (which is totally unfair, IMO, but hey, society, right?) and there are places in the world where being single at 27 means that you're an adult who made a decision to not settle on less than what makes you happy. If you do break up with him, you'll be a lot happier living in the latter locale than the former.
posted by griphus at 8:00 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have you been in this situation, or known someone in this situation? How did it turn out?

This might just be my projection, but it seems like in these situations a lot of the time, people want some kind of assurance that they will end up in a better situation than they are in now. That they will end up in a relationship that they are more satisfied with, and that they won't end up regretting throwing their current situation away.

Lots of people will give you assurances that it will be better if you break up, but I think nobody has this answer for you. You could end up meeting a string of really horrible jerks and be single into middle age, living with a bunch of cats, and never again meet anyone who comes close to what you have now.

It's definitely a real possibility. But what I would say is that you can tip the odds in your favor for ending up in a situation that you are happy with by setting your life up so that you are meeting a lot of new people all the time, so that you are at your most attractive in all senses, including your most physically attractive, and that you don't waste too much time in relationships that aren't working or have dealbreakers.

At 27, there are still a few years left where it is pretty easy to meet single attractive guys around your own age, so now is the time.
posted by cairdeas at 8:05 AM on November 14, 2012 [17 favorites]

Lots of MeFites have generally been in enough relationships that they always have a couple that they stayed in far past the expiration date and look back wistfully at how much time they lost not getting out sooner. So, generally, their perspective is going to be DT(nice person)A. Not that they're wrong, but keep in mind that this is who you're asking.
posted by deanc at 8:07 AM on November 14, 2012

I think what you're experiencing is far more common than you think.

Sure some relationships fail because they are too volatile, or too dull, or there is some infidelity. But for the most part, one person just stops loving the other for indefinable reasons and there is nothing either of them can do about it.

Do it soon, don't drag it out. Fix somewhere to stay and move out. Your life will turn upside down for a while, but you will be OK and he will be OK.
posted by dumdidumdum at 8:08 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

I had a wonderful boyfriend in college I didn't love. I don't regret breaking up with him; what I do regret is wasting two years of both of our lives while I dilly-dallied around trying to convince myself I could make it work. You aren't being mean by ending something you don't want. You're doing a good thing for him, being honest and allowing him to find someone else who truly wants to be with him.
posted by something something at 8:10 AM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]

Have you been in this situation, or known someone in this situation?

Oh my God, of course! This is a pretty common thing among people who got together young.

Literally anything could happen down the road. You could get back together! You could never speak again! You could be so happy! You could be miserable!

Don't lie to yourself. You're young. Do it. And be thankful you didn't become a miserable parent.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:13 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

I know this is cliched, but have you considered taking a break? "Hey. I really enjoy our relationship and you are really important to me. But I feel a little dissatisfied because I've never experienced dating except for our relationship. I want to have some sense of what it's like. I'm curious about what other people are like. But I also do care deeply about you. Can we take a pause on the monogamous aspect of our relationship/our relationship itself so I can try dating other people?"

You may find that after dating other people, your relationship seems more of a relief to go back to. You may not. But either way, it provides more data without necessarily throwing away the relationship that you have.
posted by corb at 8:16 AM on November 14, 2012

I recently ended a (much shorter) relationship with an absolutely wonderful dude who was absolutely wonderful in every way. There was no reason I should have wanted to end it except that I just wasn't feeling it and I didn't want to be with him anymore. And that's ok. But staying together when you feel like that is really crappy for everyone. It wasn't fair to me, and it wasn't fair to him. So we broke up.

I think you should break up, too. There doesn't have to be any "good" reason, because one party not wanting to be there any more is a good enough reason.

If you do the right thing and tell him how you feel, and end it with as little drama as possible (e.g. DON'T go and sleep with someone else until you're officially broken up), you may even be able to still be friends.

Good luck.
posted by phunniemee at 8:17 AM on November 14, 2012

I met this amazingly awesome guy in college. I loved him tons and he was a perfect fit for me. It seemed that we were completely compatible in every way. However, over time we became comfortable. I didn't realize it, but after 8 years, we were more friends and roomates than lovers. I continued on, oblivious to the growing discontent in the relationship and left to my own devices I would have stayed there, mildly unhappy, dissatisfied, and unfulfilled for most of my life.

Fortunately, he had the nerve to do what I couldn't do and broke it off. And once the confusion and the crying went away, which it did surprisingly fast for a relationship of 8 years, I was flabbergasted by how happy I was. My friends noticed that I was lighter, freer and more positive. My parents mentioned it. My ex even noticed that I was way happier than he'd seen me in years. And he was right, I was.

The only thing worse that being unhappy and unfulfilled in a relationship is not realizing it. Help him out by letting him go.
posted by teleri025 at 8:20 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Well the good news is that you're not married, therefore you have less obligation to try to work things out with the SO.
The thing is, if you break up with him, there's no guarantee you'll end up better off. You also don't really mention what it is you want exactly... which makes it harder for you to ask for what you want...which makes it harder for you to get what you want.
I'm just an odd serial monogamist who got engaged and then married after dating a friend for five months. But I got to this point by being forced to create a vision and plan for my/our future. I can't imagine being together for seven years without so much as a shared future goal.
As others say, it happens though... so move on! And ideally create a game plan.
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 8:22 AM on November 14, 2012

I think you are both more likely to have a "successful" experience if you choose to break off at this point, so long as you do it with the fact in mind that you care very much about your partner and wish to cause a minimum of pain.

In my experience, it does happen that you realize that what you now have is a good thing, the dis-satisfaction was passing, and work to re-establish this relationship. Don't lead your partner on to believe that this is going to happen, but be mindful of the very real possibility and be careful of matches around bridges.

Sometimes it seems more that you realize what you now have is more acceptable than what you seem to be finding out there. That's less pleasing than re-discovering deep love, but it's better than settling for even less.

On the other hand, staying together with the hope that you will move past the dis-satisfaction, when it has been growing over a fairly extended period of time and with the matter having been considered, hopefully thoughtfully, in therapy probably does you both a dis-service. Erring on this side may also lead to a down-the-life's-road decision you chose incorrectly now, but at that point you have probably both suffered needlessly and lessened your chances of finding something better.
posted by uncaken at 8:27 AM on November 14, 2012

I just don't want to be with him anymore. It's been a creeping feeling for over a year. I don't like inviting him out when I'm with friends. I don't really miss him when he's away. I don't feel a lot of physical desire to be close to him. I've been desperately fighting myself to keep from sleeping with other people. I'm definitely not putting enough effort into the relationship, and I can't seem to turn that around.

I have been in this relationship. My solution? Break up. Sorry, but that seems to be the only solution if you don't think you can change it any other way. It won't be the end of the world. You'll definitely lose some friends, but you'll gain more. And my god, I had no idea I could be so happy, free, ambitious, and content at the same time. I am infinitely happier now.

If you don't break up with him, you'll start treating him poorly. Go now. It will be painful for both of you, but is better than stringing him along.

Unfortunately, this also happened to me. I don't think you need therapy because you feel this way, but I definitely needed therapy because I had a lot of guilt and was fairly dysfunctional after ending that relationship. YMMV, but that's what happened to me.
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:28 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Speaking as someone who was in almost exactly the same place you were eleven years ago, breaking up now will probably make you feel like an asshole for a while, but that's ok. It's better for both of you in the long run, and certainly better than waiting for something to jolt you out of your complacence into doing something, like suddenly realizing that it's only a couple of months before your wedding date and you really, _really_ do not want to be picking out flower arrangements and caterers with this person.

Taking a break's a good idea in theory; it leaves the possibility of options open. You'd want to live somewhere else while you were dating other people, though, because if he's been wanting marriage for a while now, living with him and dating other people is kind of a dick move. He might say he'd be ok with that, but he'd almost certainly be fooling himself.
posted by hades at 8:29 AM on November 14, 2012

I found this Sugar column to be helpful in a similar situation.
posted by ansate at 8:30 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

I had been married for over 20 years when I got divorced. My lawyer, a very old friend for many years, represented me. I asked him why it had taken me so long to seek a divorce when I had known for some time the marriage was not good. He said You get divorced when you are ready to get divorced. You are ready now for a divorce, he said. Now think about your situation.
posted by Postroad at 8:34 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

Have you been in this situation, or known someone in this situation? How did it turn out?

My first serious relationship started when I was 18 and lasted throughout college and grad school (which was at least 2 or 3 years longer than it should have). I remember going on a vacation with him at least a year before we broke up; he was talking about how someday we could take our kids back to the place we were then, and all I could think was how much I did NOT want to have kids with this person.

In my case, I really DIDN'T handle things, at least not deliberately. I didn't want to face the thought of hurting this person's feelings or being the one who broke up a relationship that wasn't overtly "bad" - at the time I didn't realize that "not bad" does not at all equal "what it should be" - and in my denial and immaturity I found myself withdrawing more and more, and picking stupid fights, and just being a generally shitty person until I forced his hand and he called it quits. It was all so passive on my part and if you'd asked me outright during those years I probably would have said that I wanted to find a way to make it work ... but when deep down you know, it will bubble up and out one way or the other.

All of which is just to add to the chorus of voices saying that if you know this isn't the right person for you, it's perfectly fine to leave, even if there's nothing really wrong with your relationship. It's good that you're recognizing the problem and actively addressing it; go ahead and rip off that band-aid. It will be better for both of you.

Relationships should be gauged by how amazing it feels to be with the incredibly awesome person you are with - how crazily in love you are with the "us" the two of you have created - not by how tolerable and generally decent things are.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:41 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

When I was in my mid-20s I split from a guy I'd been with for 7 years. He was nice-looking, had a good job as a civil servant, he didn't treat me badly and all my family and friends liked him. So I thought that there must be something wrong with me because he had all the things I'd been told I was meant to want in a man, yet I didn't want this one.

It wasn't me. He was boring, but comfortable. It was hard for me to split up with him because he was my first 'real' boyfriend and I was at the age where friends were getting married to their long-term boyfriends. For me the catalyst was meeting someone else with whom I had an instant connection - a coup de foudre - and I realised I'd never feel for my boyfriend what I felt for this other guy.
posted by essexjan at 8:42 AM on November 14, 2012

Some relationships expire. It doesn't mean it's a bad relationship, just that you've gotten and given all you can and it's done.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:44 AM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

Move out. Don't quibble over the division of stuff. Make it clear that you are abandoning what you don't take with you when you leave. Try to get out of handy walking distance to his house. Set a "quarantine" period of a few weeks or a couple of months where you will have no, or minimal, contact. (Although at some point a structured phone conversation may be in order, for example to formalize the termination of the romantic phase of the relationship. This could happen in a neutral place--park bench, walk along the boardwalk or whatever, but not in his or your car or apartment. No quickies for old-times' sake until maybe the tenth anniversary of your breakup.)

You may think of this as an adjustment period. At some point your resolve to be out of the relationship may weaken, but try to last out the quarantine period. Make it clear that your monogamous relationship is no longer valid, and encourage him to see others. Date if you feel like it, but don't do it just because you can.

Don't check up on him. Tell your friends your plans, and avoid those who aren't understanding or supportive until they've had time to get used to the notion that you two are no longer a couple. Be prepared for some of your friends to "take sides," and discourage them gently if they are on your side. If they are on his side be polite if you can, but don't hesitate to be blunt if they are intrusive.

You are breaking up with him for your own reasons, not because of bad behavior on his part. Let that be your mantra. Don't try to qualify your feelings about him too much right now. Wait and see how the separation shakes out.

If you won't take this course, later on you will find other reasons to break up with him, probably because of bad behavior on your part.

I've been pretty much on both sides of this situation, and I would love to have been treated frankly and with respect when I was getting dumped. Also, I wish I hadn't been such an asshole about doing the dumping. I'm offering hindsight.

Good luck with this. It's going to be sad, but a relief. Your new life is waiting for you kick it into gear, so go for it.
posted by mule98J at 8:46 AM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

I think it's ok to want to end it, and I think it's also totally reasonable to feel like you want to get to the bottom of it it if you're not sure why.

Mira Kirschenbaum's book Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay is great for doing this kind of diagnosis. Strongly recommend that you work through the book and see what speaks to you.

Good luck.
posted by Sublimity at 8:47 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh boy have I ever been there. It will be EXTREMELY hard, but you will thank yourself later and, perhaps, eventually even be able to be real friends with him.

And in a year or so, if you're like me, you'll realize that you had more issues in the relationship than you thought- you just didn't have the experience or language or basis of comparison to realize it.

Good luck. It is so so hard but it's worth it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:53 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

There is plenty of good advice here, but I would advise going into therapy for a while. Chances are good that you just grew apart. But there *could* be some other thing going on that you are projecting onto your relationship. If you want to be sure you are right about ending it, this is the way to do it.
posted by gjc at 8:54 AM on November 14, 2012

My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years

The "Seven Year Itch" cliche is a real thing. You're soaking in it.

This could be a basic incompatibility and growing-apart thing, in which case you should leave, or it could be you're just bored and looking for novelty, in which case you should stay and once you're over the hump everything will be fine again. There's no real way for us to tell which it is without knowing you, but maybe you have some trustworthy friends who might have a clearer idea than you do.
posted by ook at 9:10 AM on November 14, 2012

You're not being fair to your BF. If after 7 years you don't want to marry him and have children, break up.

If he wants to be married and have children he can now move on and find a relationship with someone who also wants that.

Ask yourself this, if that happens, how would you feel about it?

A. Pissed off, we were together for 7 years!
B. Relieved, now I don't have to feel guilty.

If it's A, you're not really done here. If it's B, put your relationship out of its misery.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:30 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

Dunno what to tell you other than: Do you feel loved? A lot of time, people with different love languages (physical touch, words of encouragement, quality time, gifts, services) kinda cross-communicate, each trying to give THEIR love language to the other person, and never realize that SO's love language isn't the same, so neither one really feels loved.
posted by Jacen at 10:24 AM on November 14, 2012

Here's a poem from Richard Brautigan that I swear by

Love Poem
It's so nice
to wake up in the morning
all alone
and not have to tell somebody
you love them
when you don't love them
any more.
posted by she's not there at 10:40 AM on November 14, 2012 [20 favorites]

A You can be unhappy/unsatisfied forever

How bad does B need to be for it to be worse than A?

If you stay you may get married and join 1/2 of your currently married or engaged friends in your peer group mid 30's divorce wave. Wouldn't that be fun.

I've said many times a lack of dealbreakers/red-flags is the minimum for a relationship not the goal.

He deserves better. And you care about him. So let him go.
posted by French Fry at 10:47 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also if this were any other life decision you wouldn't even be thinking about this..

Did you go to the first college you heard about?
Would you buy the first car you test drove if you had to keep it forever?
Did you stay in your first job forever? or even that career path?
Would you buy the first house you looked at?

In all cases, unless compelled by some magical certainty, you would shop around.
posted by French Fry at 10:52 AM on November 14, 2012

I know everyone here is advising you to leave. Probably, since you're restraining yourself from sleeping with other people, that's the right answer. And yet. I'm thinking about my own experience: I started dating (and quickly moved in with) someone when I was 20. He was a wonderful person, and I truly cared about him, but we broke up after 6 years. Like you, I'd resisted his suggestions of marriage (also saying we were too young) throughout our relationship, and eventually he said, "you'll never want to marry me, will you?". The easy answer is that yes, we should have broken up. Obviously, you have to be fair to the person you're with. But at the same time, I also think it could be more complicated than the idea that he simply isn't the right person for you. For me, it was certainly much more complicated. I think that we could have fixed things, given more time, because I later realized that the reason I couldn't commit had to do with me, not him. Whatever you do, be honest and kind. Good luck.
posted by three_red_balloons at 10:56 AM on November 14, 2012

My best guess for what's going on is that I just want to be a single adult, and haven't had the chance to be one yet, and I see time kind of running out on the years when it is "normal" to be single.

I totally get this. I married my high school sweetheart despite feeling this way, because things were good between us and he was persuasive. We ended up getting a divorce for several reasons. It was a bitter and drawn-out process, and I lost a lot of friends too. But I was far happier with my life afterwards, rediscovering myself as a 20-something single adult has been immensely satisfying. I'm engaged again and this time I feel totally ready for it.
posted by lizbunny at 10:57 AM on November 14, 2012

It might help to think of it as, he's not the wrong person; he just came along at the wrong time. Your feeling that you need a period of being single makes perfect sense.
posted by BibiRose at 11:04 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

The possible poor outcomes of breaking up with him are almost all better than the possible poor outcome of staying with him and sleeping with someone else.
posted by jacalata at 11:24 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Staying in a relationship you don't enjoy makes no sense.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:27 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Since you tried therapy and it's not working then it's a good sign that it's time to move on. It's not a big deal, people are allowed to break up.

It's going to be hard, people won't understand (or who knows, maybe they could be super supportive) but if you don't feel the love anymore you gotta do what you gotta do.

Remember that once you do it - you probably can't go back. Make sure this is what you want to do.
posted by Danithegirl at 12:05 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Break up. Don't take this the wrong way, but you're doing him a huge favor. He may not recognize it right away, but your disinterest is very likely making him unhappy in ways that he can't identify. He deserves to be with someone who is as interested in him as he is in you.

You deserve to be single, play the field and see what's out there. Being unhappy is no way to spend your life.
posted by cnc at 4:31 PM on November 14, 2012

My best guess for what's going on is that I just want to be a single adult, and haven't had the chance to be one yet, and I see time kind of running out on the years when it is "normal" to be single.

I've been in the same relationship since I was 19 (I'm 37 now) and I definitely felt this way, particularly during my mid-twenties. It was hard to see friends having fun with different guys ans trying new thing while I was all settled down already. The difference is, I was, and am, still very much in love with my now-husband. I enjoyed the life we were/are building together, we grew more compatible rather than less, and I always knew it was worth whatever I was giving up to be with him. So when I felt the time running out thing I took it as a cue to spend some time investing more into our relationship and the itchyness would subside. Now I'm old and it's totally gone. So I'm coming at this from a different angle from you and from many posters above.

But there is a big difference. Honestly I think your "problem" is just that you're not in love with this guy any more. There's nothing wrong with that, or with you, it just happens sometimes. And you actively don't want to be in the relationship because of it. Which is actually totally understandable! What you're describing up there is so different to how I ever felt being in a long (long!) term relationship and I don't think you leaving is insane at all. A relationship doesn't need to be bad to be wrong for you and you don't need to settle for this guy (or for any guy you're not in love with). You can't therapy yourself back into love. The only thing to do is break up.

So go, make the break as quick and clean and clear as you can, then be single and see what it's like. It will open up all kinds of possibilities for you, all of which beat spending your life with someone you don't want to be with.
posted by shelleycat at 1:09 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hmm... 7 years, huh? Where have I heard that before?

I think your serial monogamy alarm went off, more or less about when expected.

Reset it with an infusion of hormones applied by a new mate and you'll be good to go for another seven. An alternative strategy is to accept the flat-lining of 'contentment', by which I mean actually to type 'settling'. Be aware, however, that your current mate has a DNA-based alarm that should be going off, too, maybe to a slightly different schedule. This usually manifests itself as an 'affair' after which hormonal turbulence provides some entertainment for all parties, but which pits emotion against reason and mostly just feeds the bank accounts of therapists.

For the most part, we're serial monogamists. Nature has its ways to make determinism FEEL like free will, but there's a little chemical factory in there with its own objectives and there's really no way to determine the source of what you are feeling. You feel the way you feel. You are applying reason to feelings. They aren't necessarily reasonable things.

It's not that he's not 'the right one', perhaps. It may be that you're just done with him.

I've come to the conclusion that marriage is society's cumbersome response to this... make it difficult to detach even if your biology demands it. Nature's simple object is for you to have more babies. Diversity is good. It wants you to have more babies with different peeps. All this feeling stuff is how it encourages you to do it. It's maddening of course, but that's what it feels like when nature pushes you to get rid of all that maddening feeling.

Being a human sucks in some ways. What cat would give a happy damn about a new hubby or twelve? So much simpler being a lower animal without all this neocortex crap.
posted by FauxScot at 2:38 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Consider spending 2 weeks by yourself somewhere, even if its just housesitting in your own city, before you make this decision. You two have invested 7 years in each other. In my opinion, you owe him, and you, a real think about this with some space by yourself, before you make the decision.

If, after that time, you still feel this way, then I suggest you break it off.
posted by latkes at 12:09 PM on November 15, 2012

Here's a question: what if some all-powerful entity said that you could continue to be roommates and friends but that you could sleep with and fall in love with other people with no emotional repercussions to/from the other person? If this thought makes you sigh with relief and fills you with a kind of hopeful optimism about life, then it's time to DEAR GOD GET OUT BEFORE YOU TRIP AND FALL INTO MARRIAGE AND KIDS.
posted by SinAesthetic at 7:40 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's funny you asked this question now. I actually just broke up with my boyfriend of 3 years a week ago. I am 27 and he is 28. We have been living together for 2.5 years and had two beautiful dogs together. I had a gnawing suspicion that I should have ended it a year or two ago but I got too comfortable and I didnt want to shook up the foundation of a stable and happy relationship. We are great friends and never fought more than twice a year.

We are still working out our living arrangements and the transition process is painful--watching the pain in his eyes whenever I see him at the house, but I dont regret leaving him for a second. I feel sad for hurting him but happy for my chance at freedom. My main reason for leaving is that after 3 years of living together, I still can't picture myself marrying him (even I get married one day). My other belief is that people in their twenties shouldn't rush into a relationship or marriage: if you still have doubts then you need to get out there and figure it out on your own. Don't be stuck in a dead-end relationship (ie. when you have doubts, is this the right guy or is it not).

In three years I was not able to fall in love with him. I loved him, but I kept waiting to fall in love, and I never did. Sad to say, in a room full of men, he was never the guy I would pick out first. I was just too young (ie. 24) to realize it.

The thing that broke the camel's back for me is that I met another man (about 3 months ago) whom I have a much stronger connection with than with my ex (even when we were at our most lovey dovey phase). Although I have not acted on my feelings with this guy, it is enough for me to know that if my attraction for my boyfriend cannot superceede my feelings for other guys, then he is not the one for me.

The fact that you posted here, means that something is wrong and that you probably already know what the appropriate course of action is but you are afraid to make that big leap of faith. I was this way a few months ago. I kept asking friends and writing in my journal and trying to rationalize whether i should stay or go.... It was eating up at me. Now I feel like 10 tons of brick has been lifted off my shoulders so I know I made the right decision.

Good luck.
posted by Likeashadow at 5:23 PM on November 18, 2012

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