I just got out of a six year relationship with my boyfriend. He has had alcohol problems and went to rehab sometime in December. When he came back home last week, he said that he felt that we enabled each other, and that while he still loved me, he thought it would be easier if we broke up and just went our separate ways. He had met a girl while he was in rehab. He said that they hadn’t done anything yet, but that it might be easier to date her because he and I had a lot of history that we had to get over, but with her it would just be a fresh start.
They’ve now been together for about two months now but I am still friends with him. When he comes over, I try to sneak in a few kisses and he doesn’t complain, but he won’t kiss me back. He says that he loves me but he just likes her a lot. I am so lost right now that I really don’t know what to do.— Want My Ex Back.
Dear “Want My Ex Back” :
Your ex-boyfriend is right – you’re enabling this situation by refusing to accept the breakup. You feel a (false) claim to him because you’ve been together for a huge chunk of your life and he was a significant part of what defined you as a person. After this long, you have no idea how to be you without him. As impossible as it’s going to sound, though, the best thing for you is to cut communication completely. No Facebook, no texting, no phone calls, no visits, no stalking him and his new girlfriend. And absolutely do not think you can simply “be friends.” You can’t go straight from being in love with someone to being his friend. Going through this breakup is going to hurt. There’s no way around the pain, but it does end.
Even though he claims to love you, he’s made it pretty clear that he wants to move on by breaking up with you and dating someone else. What you need to do is summon the strength and self-respect to walk away. Walking away is the scariest part of breaking up because you have no idea if what you’re doing is right, or if you’re possibly leaving behind your “soul-mate”. But you need to take that leap of faith move on. In a year, after you’ve done this the hard and healthy way, you’ll look back and be so grateful that you did.
I’m a 27 year old female in a five year relationship with my 31 year old boyfriend. We have made a happy and loving life together, including sharing a home and our finances. A year ago we started talking seriously about getting engaged but my boyfriend told me that though he loves me and wants nothing more than a future with me, he was just not ready for an engagement yet. He had some issues from his parents’ divorces, and six months back, he decided to begin counselling to deal with them.
Last weekend, he finally took me ring shopping and I was waiting eagerly for him to pop the question. Instead of proposing, he absolutely shocked me by announcing that, though it would break his heart to do so, he thinks we have to split up because he’s still not ready to get engaged. We talked and fought and cried and ultimately decided to try to work through this. But how can we do this if he still has no idea why he’s not ready to get engaged now. I want to give him more time, but at this point, am I being foolish for thinking that he’ll ever change his mind? I don’t know how much longer I can wait for him to be ready, but I hate the thought of giving up on a relationship that is so amazing in so many other ways. — Tired of Waiting
Dear “Tired of Waiting”:
If getting married is very important to you, then I would recommend that you cut your losses and move on because clearly there’s no guarantee that he will marry you. It’s been five years and he’s had six months of therapy! And yet, he is no closer to marrying you than he ever was. Furthermore, he doesn’t seem to even respect you enough to give it to you straight. He keeps letting you believe that he will change, and he won’t let you go despite knowing that he is unable to give you the thing you desperately want (marriage).
If the risk of divorce is scaring him much more than the risk of losing you — or if his fear of commitment is bigger than the fear of losing you, it may be time to show him exactly what losing you would really feel like. It might be the only way for him to finally reconcile what the biggest risk really is. But if you do leave him, you have to understand there’s a risk for you as well, and that is that he won’t be the only one to lose what he loves the most. But in the end, as heartbreaking as it will be, leaving him is probably your best chance to get the marriage you want eventually. You just have to accept that it may not be with him.
I’m a 35 year old man in a 1 year relationship with a 24 year old woman. I am completely in love with her that I overlook some of her behaviour. For instance she never allows me to upload any pictures of us together on social media and has still not taken me to her home where she says she stays with her father. I own my own home and also support her in many ways financially. I get anxiety very often and when she snaps at me, it gets so bad that I lose my hearing temporarily. Am I too old and this is how young people act? My mind is telling me these things but my heart just doesn’t care. What should I do? – Madly In Love
Dear “Madly In Love”:
Yes, you are definitely getting used. But so is she, right? Let’s be honest, she’s either super hot or has amazing head game or both. You must be getting something special out of this or you wouldn’t be paying her bills and helping her hide your relationship from her boyfriend or husband or whoever it is she actually lives with.
ON THE OTHER HAND: What if she’s just modest and short on cash? Maybe your anxiety might be leading you to question her actions and blow things out of proportion. Your first priority should be to work on your anxiety issues. Once you calm down you will be able to see—and hear—this situation more clearly.
And no, you aren’t old and no this is not “just how young people act.” There are some perfectly well adjusted and mature 24-year-olds and some 35-year-olds who act like idiot children.