To hell and back on September 7, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
BG, I have a dilemma. I have been in a relationship since I was 16 years old for almost 8 years now. We’ve (mostly I) have been through H-E-double-you-know-what and back during the past 8 years. We’ve had a child together, been through “break-up and make-ups”, the other woman crisis (that he still to this day denies),a long separation, you name it, we’ve been through it. Even though we had a rocky relationship in the beginning, things had begun to get better and we hung on to each other. We live together now and we’ve discussed marriage several times and it’s been just that…discussions. No, rings or dates or anything. That’s not my whole problem. My problem is I feel like I’ve been taken for granted for too long. I’m expected to just sit back and go with the flow. I have grown up and matured and I had hoped that our relationship would grow up and mature too. 8 years is a long time to be with someone. I want a mate who is not afraid of commitment (the legal kind as well), someone who is affectionate, not afraid of intimacy, to show love, who knows how to communicate, who doesn’t play games, who knows what love is, all the good things that come with a good, healthy relationship. All the things I and my boyfriend seem to lack in our relationship. I feel like I want more and I deserve more than he is willing to give me. I also feel like I’m being selfish and kind of giving him an ultimatum. But I want to be happy and I can’t continue to live like this and keep waiting for him to one day get a clue! How do I end this relationship when I’ve invested so much and given so much of myself to this person? Should I end this? I’m so confused. We’ve broken up many times before and I took him back hoping that he would keep his promises, but I don’t want to continue that cycle!! Please Help!! Advice!!! I need advice!!
— Ms. Rick
Dear Ms. Rick,
Wow. Eight years — and not just any eight years, but the eight years when, arguably, you become The Person You Are. No wonder you’re attached. Yeah, this one’s tough.
Well, the situation is, but the answer isn’t. And here it is: Ask him to marry you. Not a discussion, a question. With a yes-or-no answer. Miss Thing doesn’t have any more time to wait.
Hmmm, you really don’t want to do that, do you? Just checking — just in case — but I didn’t think so. See, the way you describe it, yours is not one of those “BG, we live together, and he gives me everything but the ring!” deals. That would be one thing. But in this case, it sounds to me like your ringlessness is not the problem, it’s a symptom, of all the other stuff you’re complaining about.
So go. Waaaay easier for me to say than for you to do, I know. Especially considering that you have a child. But this one’s old, you’re blue, and you’re borrowing years from the rest of your life. You are still young — time for something new.