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When is it time to let a relationship go?

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Old 09-11-2011, 09:04 AM   #1
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Default When is it time to let a relationship go?

Hi everyone, long time no talk. I've been sort of on-and-off focus with diet/exercise lately but I still read 3FC.

I've been back in the USA for a little over a month now and it's been rough readjusting. One issue I'm facing is the fact that I feel, to use a cheesy metaphor, like the ship has sailed on my relationship. We were talking about going to Austin together but in my heart of hearts I know I feel too attached to my parents to "leave" them again, and I think feelings are becoming somewhat one-sided with us as a couple.

I don't have any "reasons" to break up aside from that my feelings have changed. He's a wonderful human being and has treated me wonderfully for 100% of our relationship. We never fight, he finds me attractive, he's responsible and mature and basically everything there is to look for in an ideal partner - but I'm just not as enthusiastic about it as he is.

We've been together for almost 5 years now, and got together when I was 19 in college. Since I started dating at 16 I have only been single for something like 6 months and I have been fighting with myself over urges to be single again for years. I've never been the initiator in a breakup before but "I don't want to hurt him/it's scary" is kind of a dumb reason to stay with someone who deserves better.

What would you do?
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
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I would trust my gut. You will only hurt him more the longer you wait. You change SO MUCH in your early 20's - having your feelings change does not make you a bad person. However, not being honest with him about your feelings is not fair to either of you.

Good luck.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:44 AM   #3
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You just have to follow your heart. It's the only thing we have to go off of.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:10 AM   #4
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I agree that you have to trust your gut. He might be hurt now, but it will be the best in the long run.

I'll share my story, maybe it'll help. My ex-boyfriend and I were really serious, but the relationship became one-sided. I had no idea he didn't feel the same way, because he hid it from me. But he was becoming detached from the relationship slowly. One day, he blurted out that he couldn't see himself with me in the long run, and it had nothing to do with me. Regrettably, he did it at a bad time, because he hadn't planned on actually saying something and just blurted it out. He wasn't sure why he felt that way, he just didn't. He was a really sweet guy, so felt terrible hurting me the way he did. And yes, it hurt at first. I had a lot of questions and he was patient talking to me about why he felt that way and what might have changed. I finally realized he really liked me as a person and there was nothing I could have done differently, we just weren't meant to be.

Four years later and I am married and moved away. If he hadn't "by mistake" blurted it out and said how he felt, I would have had way more heartache in the long run. He would have stayed with me to not hurt my feelings. And honestly, I think what hurt the most with the break-up was him telling me he had felt that way for months, he just didn't want to hurt me because I didn't deserve it. It made it feel like it had been a lie for awhile, and that hurt more than the break-up.

In the long run, if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't have met the man I married, who is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I would have never known what it felt like to have someone love you back just as intensely as you love them - and equal partnership and not one-sided.

In the end, if you truly feel like he's not the one for you. You need to be honest with yourself and him. It might all work out for the better like my story did. Just make sure it's truly how you feel, because there's not usually going back once it's out there.

Good luck!
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:07 PM   #5
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Part of me agrees with "follow your heart, time to move on." The other part of me feels like if you find an AMAZING person you work well with who makes you a better person that's a rare find.

I'm going through all this premarital counseling stuff right now and one of the big topics is the waxing and waning of passion, emotion, romance, etc. There are ups and downs with regards to the passionate love for no reason. Too many people mistake the dull waning parts for a dead romance that's over.

It's impossible to feel passionately in love with someone every day for the rest of your life. Dull parts will happen, but some relationships are worth the dull parts because the partner is just someone who is an incredible person that in the long run you want to be with forever. They are stable, good, positive, will be a good parent (if you want that), and inspire and support you to be better. Expecting the "I love you to the moon and back!" feeling every day puts unnecessary pressure on a relationship that's impossible to live up to. It creates disappointment.

All that said, if you are NOT ready to settle down with someone you shouldn't force it. You are not married to him or getting married to him, so your situation is a bit different than mine. If you crave the need to be free, single, on your own, etc then that is absolutely something you should not ignore. If you do and stay with this guy, ultimately settle down with him, it could cause major problems down the road.

Maybe a break is what you need. I know that's kind of the catch-all, noncommital "solution" that some people hate, but perhaps it could be useful for you. It would give you a chance to see if you want to stay in a long-term, serious, committed relationship (if your life every day is better with him), or if you really actually do need to move on.

good luck krampus!

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Old 09-12-2011, 05:25 AM   #6
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krampus.. I feel you.. I'm in the same boat It's hard and I'm also very confused. It's a difficult decision. I'm scared I'll make a decision I will later regret because I'm being selfish and want to 'live my 20s'.. Being with him makes everything so final.. I wish I could help, but I can only tell you I understand what you're going through.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:13 PM   #7
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I agree with everyone else. It's not fair to either of you if you aren't romantically in love with him and are just staying because you don't want to hurt him.
I met my oldest child's father freshman yr of college, we became a couple sophomore yr and I got pregnant with my daughter junior year. I was 19 when we got together. He was a very nice guy, took care of his child and worked and supported the house while I finished school. But somewhere around 24 or 25 my feelings just changed and I knew he wasn't the man for me. But I stayed for the same reasons you are staying and because of the child at that point.
Then 9/11/2001 happened. It seemed like it put my life in perspective. I had interviwed for a job a 1 World Trade Center right after graduation and boy was I disappointed when they never called me. After 9/11 I kept thinking what if I had gotten that job and was killed in that building. I would've lived my last yrs in a relationship that was ok, but def not what I wanted or what he deserved. I moved back in with my parents the next weekend. He was hurt and I don't think he understood at the time. But it wasn't fair to him and he's married to a wonderful woman who seems very much in love with him.
I say all of that just to say life is short. You're young and you deserve the best and so does he. It might not be easy to do, but you have to follow what's in your heart.
Maybe you'll discover he was the one for you & you'll reconnect.
I'd much rather be broken up with than led on.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:48 PM   #8
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500 Days of Summer is a great movie to watch when you are on the fence about a break up/relationship.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:14 PM   #9
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You definitely do not need a big fight or life-altering circumstance to end a relationship with someone. If you just got acclimated to being back home near your family, I don't think anyone could blame you for wanting to stay around. I don't know what your ties to Austin are, but if it's going to be just you and him and you're unsure about the relationship, it's probably better to reassess the relationship now before moving away together.

From what you've said, it sounds like there are better people out there for both of you. But as indi said, keep in mind that relationships wax and wane. It sounds stupid, but there is a quote I always think of from Sex and the City (and I seriously can't believe I'm quoting that, but anyway...) when people talk about assessing their relationships:

Samantha: Relationships aren't just about being happy. I mean, how often are you happy in your relationship?
Charlotte: Every day.
Samantha: Every day?
Charlotte: Well, not all day every day but yes, every day.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:11 PM   #10
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But the thing I'm struggling with is (and I think OP is too, correct me if I'm wrong).. How do you know it's just the ''passion'' is gone and ''reality kicked in'' and this will eventually happen with every guy, no matter how great he is.. If you manage to find a great guy again that is. It's not like it gets any easier with age.. I'm hearing horror stories from my single girlfriends..
Do we just need to grow up and accept there is no fairy tale happy ever after we all want (I guess)? Does anyone actually know a couple that is still madly passionately in love with each other after like 5-10 years together?
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:04 PM   #11
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I've been with my husband for 5 and a half years an I an honestly say that I'm not madly passionately in love with him 100% of the time BUT you have to take into account the things that change such as work, having children, finances, and well life! While I do love my husband I have come to the reality that we are not going to be in the "butterflies in my stomach" feeling like when we were dating but we do try to keep things interesting on our anniversary holidays birthdays and weekends when we can.

As for OP I agree with everyone to go with your gut. It's not fair to either of you to stay in a one sided relationship and while it may not be the easiest thing to do it will be the best, but then again when is the best thing the easiest?
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:45 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone. I ended things and while he wasn't happy, I am almost completely sure it was the right decision.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:52 AM   #13
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aw krampus . It sounds like you did the right thing. It's SO hard to be the one to break things off, so good for you for having enough respect for yourself and him to do what needed to be done.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:05 AM   #14
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I'm sorry Krampus.. even though it was the right decision, I know it was a hard one and it hurts to lose any relationship. In the end you did what was best for both of you and I'm sure he wasn't completely surprised.

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Old 09-13-2011, 11:40 AM   #15
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Imo think looooong and hard about it again.

You might think you'll find another person you'll be thrilled with for the rest of your life soon, but that isn't the case most of the times. You will get used to every man sooner or later and love butterflies aren't meant to last beyond 6 months or so.

Relationships aren't about television drama times filled with anxiety and sweet peaks of bliss. It is about finding a person you can cooperate and live your life with.

That you have lived together 5 years without cheatings and major fights means you are compatible to a degree most human being would be envious of.

I felt complacent in my 5 year relationship too once in a while (I met him when I was 20 and he was my first), but deep down I know flirting and dating will grow old if I leave him and I just don't want to imagine my life without his support and friendship.

The grass is not greener on the other side and it is a lie that you have all the time in the world.

Do as you see fit, but I thought to give out my advise since we are in slightly similar situation. You'll probably regret fixing something that isn't broken. And there are many ways to spice things up.

Try roleplaying. I pretended I was single and so did he and we "met" in a bar and had a one night stand with eachother. We had roles thought out and everything and it felt pretty exciting . Or start a new hobby together.
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