My high school boyfriend and I broke up at the end of the summer for college. It was really sad because we had a great relationship, but I accepted it as the way things had to be because our colleges are so far apart. The first semester of college was tough for both of us, but I think I adjusted to the change better than he did. The couple times we saw each other over breaks were very melodramatic because we were stuck in this in-between state of still loving each other but not wanting to get into a long-distance relationship because when we broke up, we had never even really considered doing long-distance. But after a few months of being separate, he told me that he couldn't stand it anymore and wanted to either get back together with me or stop talking altogether, because being "friends" with me hurts too much. I, on the other hand, was okay with being friends with him, and even though I still cared deeply about him, I was starting to be able to move on.
Since we obviously weren't talking or seeing each other in person, nothing really got solved. But flash forward to now: winter break. We hung out one day and he started really, really pushing for a long-distance relationship. I was really wary because I didn't know if I still liked him enough for something as extreme as a long distance relationship, but eventually we decided to be "together" for the remainder of winter break and see where that would take us. He made me promise that if I really didn't like him anymore, that I would be able to be honest about it.
So that's the backstory. My problem is this: after being "together" with him again for a few weeks, I've realized that I'm just not that into him anymore. I suppose it's just the time and distance we've had between us. I don't really know. Obviously the easy answer is to end things with him, but I'm terrified. It just doesn't feel right to end things with him because he doesn't do anything wrong. I feel horrible that he still wants me this badly and I don't have a real reason for not wanting him the same way. He's anyone's ideal boyfriend: I trust him completely, he alway treats me right, etc. I don't know how to break up with him when I know that I'll be giving up something so great. It just seems wrong to me to throw away a good guy. I always hear girls who have been mistreated by guys complain that there are no good guys in the world, and I would always think about how MY boyfriend was genuinely great. I still enjoy spending time with him, and because there's nothing specific that he does wrong, I'm sure that if we both still lived in the same town, we'd still be together. But deep down, I feel like the spark has gone away. I know that if I stayed with him, I'd become more and more unhappy. It just makes me feel like a bad person, because he still wants to be with me so much. And I still care about him so much on a personal level that I can't bear the thought of breaking his heart like this. Sometimes I even worry that breaking his heart for no good reason will somehow mess up his future relationships or something. But I guess to be honest, on a whole, I feel like I'm being guilted into a relationship. And I'm also scared to be alone. I've been "single" for the past few months but I always knew in the back of my mind that he was still there and he still wanted me. If I throw it away this time, it will be for good, and I will be truly and completely alone. That's scary.
I'm sorry this is so long, and I guess it's just helpful for me to organize my thoughts. But if you have any words of wisdom, they'd be greatly appreciated. I've never had to break up with anyone before, but this is especially difficult because I have nothing against him. I feel like it's hurting me almost as much as it will hurt him.
Ok, well, I sort of have comments on your particular situation, but instead of sharing them right off, let me tell you my story, which was kind of similar. I started college at the same college as my high school boyfriend, and about two months in realized that I wasn't really that into him anymore- like you described, the spark had gone away. And he was sweet and wonderful and I thought I maybe had loved him, but I was pretty sure I didn't anymore. But I was worried that I'd never meet anyone else as nice, and so I went on for awhile, not breaking up but not totally secure, and I got more and more unhappy, and eventually I did break up with him. And I broke his heart. And I felt really awful. And it sucked. It really does, when someone loves you and you don't really love them back. But I figured out eventually that he deserved to be with someone who actually DID love him back, and I figured out that being with someone just because I felt like I owed it to him was no kind of relationship. And I felt much happier after the breakup, even though it hurt a lot, and even though I was single for most of the next several years.
But after I graduated from college, I met this really great guy. Who was also really sweet and amazing. Only this time, I actually sparked with him for real. And the spark didn't ever go away. And we're getting married next year.
Short version takeaway- it does hurt to break up with someone who still loves you, but with whom you don't spark anymore. It hurts a lot, especially when you still care about them as a friend, but the romance has just gone away. And it definitely feels awful to break up with someone who hasn't done anything "wrong." But it's better in the long run, because if the spark is gone, it means you're not with someone who's right for you--for either of you. You're not the person who's right for him, and he's not the person who's right for you. (Don't want to imply, btw, that there's only one person out there who's right for you; I don't think that at all. Just that if the spark's gone, what you both want out of the relationship isn't there anymore.) And breaking up lets both of you move on and find people who you CAN be right with, and who you CAN have the relationship you want with. It doesn't make you a bad person at all to end things--in situations like this, it's really a very difficult, and very brave, thing to do.
And I promise that there are a LOT of amazing men out there in the world. I know it can feel scary to be single if you're coming out of a relationship that has meant a lot to you. But it's also a great way to learn new things about yourself...and eventually, another great guy will come along.
So, I don't know if it's wisdom, but, those are my words? I hope maybe they help a little bit.
Posts: 100 | From: Virginia, USA | Registered: May 2011
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Thank you, that does make me feel better. I guess now what I have to do is figure out what to say to him -- how to explain to him that I want to break up with him even though there's nothing wrong with him or anything he's done. I'm starting to realize where all the cliches come from ("It's not you, it's me!" "I need time to work on myself."). I don't ever want him to think he has to change, or that he wasn't "good enough" for me. I don't know how to explain to him why I just feel ready to move on to new things. I'm especially worried because at one point I mentioned that I would be okay with an open relationship, where we could be together when we're together, but be able to do our own thing at college. He was pretty upset by that because he thought I just wanted to hook up with other guys. I really don't want him to think that that's what this is about, because it's not.
Posts: 31 | From: USA | Registered: Mar 2011
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I think you're making a very sound decision here that, in the long run, is best for you and for your partner. Break ups don't have to be about someone in the relationship having done something wrong. Simply not feeling that the relationship is a good fit anymore, for one or all, is more than sufficient grounds to end it.
Break ups suck, plain and simple. Even the world's most ideal break-up is going to hurt. You've put a lot of time, effort and emotion into the relationship, I'd be surprised if it was easy for you to end it.
With regards to what to say to him, just tell him what you've told us. Tell him that the spark has gone out of it and that you are ready to move on. Long distance relationships are almost always harder than other relationships. They require a lot more time, effort and commitment.
I would advise you and your boyfriend not communicate after you break up (if you do). It will probably be extremely difficult at first to not talk to him, especially if you've been talking to him on a regular basis, but doing so will make it a lot easier for you to get over him in the long run and for him to get over you. It will give you both time and space to think, and since you don't live near each other you won;t have to worry about running into him.
Best of luck, these things are never easy,but they get better with time, especially if you do what feels right.
I am ME and that is the only label I need. Posts: 859 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009
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