I've never done this before, but I've been following Scarleteen on Instagram for a while and I finally have a quandary!! So, I've been (semi-happily) dating my girlfriend since this last summer. (We are both high school seniors) The pandemic definitely made things hard/stressful and included me distancing from my family (who I live with) in order to see her. But, a lot of it was wonderful! She has made the past year fun and interesting and survivable! I have pretty intense anxiety - especially about germs/contagion/illness - and as we learned more about the potential long term effects of COVID-19, things I had been ok with (seeing her and her family) at one point started to feel less ok. Eventually I became so worried that I told her I wanted to stop hanging out in person. She was kind of upset, but understood.
Since then, I have been SO MUCH HAPPIER!!! Having control over what is happening to my body, avoiding the fights we were getting into from spending sooooo much time together, etc. It's been a few months since then and neither one of us are really putting a ton of energy into virtual dating. We call every day, but not usually for very long or about anything substantive. Still, I feel a lot of pressure to be on these calls instead of doing what I want - which is not her fault at ALL but does illuminate that talking to her does not make me as happy as it used to. Generally, I have been feeling trapped and stuck in at time when I am already extraordinarily concerned about everything. All this to say . . . I think I would like to break up with her. I know I would like to. I think it is the best choice for me, and likely for her in the long run! There are a lot of problems - not huge or scary - but problems in our relationship that I don't think either of us really want to fix.
All this to say, I do want to break up with her. However, we are still very good friends and I care DEEPLY about her - I have not stopped loving her, just stopped feeling like this level of intensity in our relationship is a good thing. I do not want to hurt her - and I know I will. I have made very sure to keep in touch with other friends and have things going on in my life while we have been dating, but she has not. At this time, I am basically her closest friend and she has said I am "the best thing in her life." She had a similar relationship with her last GF, so this is nothing she hasn't survived before, but I know it will still really suck. So! Any tips on breaking up with someone who I truly do love and value, but just can't keep dating?