I know it’s hard to think about. She’s a nice, attractive person, with good values and a pure heart. She does thoughtful things for you and it’s obvious she cares about you. She’s close with your friends and family, and everyone always expects the two of you to be together at every event and holiday. It would genuinely break her heart if you ended the relationship, and it would be “really hard” to do.
Deep down, you know she isn’t right for you. Maybe you don’t feel ready to commit because of your age, finances/career, or other reasons. It could be that something is just “missing”; you may crave more sexually, she might not challenge you, or she may bore you. Any way you cut it, the thought of getting married to her and committing for the rest of your life doesn’t excite you, but rather it causes you anxiety, fear, or dread. It’s time to call it quits.
Most guys, including yours truly, will naturally default to avoidance behavior. You’ll think “if I ignore this, it will go away”. On top of this, a naive part of you will believe that one day you might wake up and be okay with the whole idea, as if you’ve grown into it. Hate to break it to you pal, but that won’t happen. What will happen is you will waste valuable time, for both you and her.
I once dated a girl on and off for nine years. We were teenagers when we met, and for all intents and purposes I was a sixteen year old kid in love. I had the best intentions for her and our relationship. As time passed, I changed and outgrew both her and the relationship. I noticed this when I started being unable to control my urges to see other women, but I put on a good act in front of her and all of our close friends and family. I was young, immature and afraid to let go, even though the thought of marrying her made me sick to my stomach.
After several failed breakup attempts which ended in temporary “breaks”, I finally decided I had to end this for good. I was 25, she was 24, and she was starting to put a bit of pressure on me to get an apartment with her and inevitably get married. Meanwhile, during the Monday through Thursday work week in Manhattan, I was behaving like a single man. On the weekends, when I wasn’t in NYC for work but rather in the suburbs where I lived, I was pretending to be a fully committed boyfriend. A word to the wise: you can only repress your true self for so long. Eventually it eats away at you, even if not because of the harm you are doing to yourself, but the damage you are doing to your partner.
What finally got me to pull the trigger was when I realized she was putting all of her eggs in one basket, and if I prolonged the relationship any further, I’d seriously hurt her chances of finding true happiness in the future. I was selfishly robbing her of her true destiny, simply because I was afraid to let go. I was terrified of the unknown, afraid of being alone, sickened by the thought of starting over, and most of all, dreading the moment when I would break her heart.
Sure, when I finally did end it, she was absolutely heartbroken.
“You ruined my life” were the words that stuck with me for a very long time. While it hurt, I remember telling her one day she would thank me, when she was married to someone else and happy, maybe with a couple kids. “We would’ve been divorced in two years. I’m doing this for you.”
She didn’t want to hear it at the time, but sure enough, she was married with a kid six years later.
The lesson: when you’re working up the nerve to pull the ripcord and end the relationship, let this fact motivate you. Each day you delay the inevitable breakup, you lower her chances of finding someone else she can be with. Don’t worry about her ending up alone. If you found her attractive, someone else will, too. So do the right thing and stop letting both of your clocks tick your youth away.
– Your Big Bro