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Dear Breakup Girl,
Hello there, BG. I love your site...it has really helped me put some things
into perspective. But, I still have a predicament on my hands that I haven't
been able to shake for quite some time now, and I've never really written
publicly to ask for answers but here goes:
I am currently living with someone I met on the internet a little over 2
years ago. It all started like so:
I met her on IRC, we emailed and spoke on the phone for about 2 months, I
ended up taking a trip out to finally meet her, we hit it off, 1 month later
she moved to my city to live with me. Then I moved with her to her city for
about 6 months. And finally now we have settled in SF and are living in a
decent sized studio apartment (and paying an insane amount for it BTW).
Anyways, we have always gotten along great and I really care for her, as I know
she does for me. But I almost think she cares about me way more than I do.
Well in the past few months, I have really started to evaluate my life with
her and how I came to be where we are today. Before her, I had been in only 1
relationship for a 3 year period. And I am talking I have only ever dated OR
gone out on A date with 1 other person. So needless to say I am a very
monogamous person and history has proven me to commit to long term
relationships. Anyways, she is 26, I am 22. As I look back I notice that about
5 months after my prior relationship was when I started hooking up with my
girlfriend now. Directly out of high school, I started my relationship with my
ex, and then went directly into this one. Well, I'm really starting to feel a
lot older than I am. I am planning on going back to University to get my
degree, and as bad as this may sound, I would really like to do it single. Not
because we don't get along, but because I really feel a big part of my
"young and carefree" life has been taken from me due to the fact that
A- Am dating someone 4 years older than me who has calmed down now and is
starting to get ready for the whole life-long commitment thing (actually has
been talking about it for at least 1 year now)
B- Have never truly had a "singles" life due to my back-to-back
long term relationships.
C- Knowing her personality, I know that I wouldn't be able to devote as much
individual time to my studies and well anything else that I really want to do
by myself if I were with her at that time. Even now this is a big problem.
I guess basically what I am saying is that I feel like I need for myself to
be a free bird, no strings, do what I want...have time to myself (which I get
NONE of by the way due to the fact that we live together and have for so long
that she has gotten used to how things have been together and it is the norm I
Anyways, before we moved to SF, we had a big discussion and I almost broke
up with her because even then I felt as if I was being held back from
experiences I felt I needed at this point of my life.
My problem is I know how much she loves me....More than just a lot. She
always goes on about how she could never ever imagine her life without me. She
mentions marriage passively, and how we'd raise our children in the future. I
don't say much, and I know I should be straight with her about my feelings
where that's concerned but at this point, 2 years into it, it feels like too
little too late.
I know it sounds bad, and I may come off as sounding jerkish, but I really
feel like at this point in my life, my needs are starting to become abundantly
clear to me, but I just don't have the heart, or even the knowledge of how I
should approach this. I basically have come to the realization that she is not
my soulmate, although she feels we are. And I know that sooner or later I will
break down and have to break it off to pursue my own happiness. Not that I'm
unhappy now, but I will resent her a whole lot if I just bite my tongue and
stick it out. I already resent her a little for not giving me my personal
I just really feel trapped. On top of all of this we have shared a LOT of
expenses including the computer on which I am sending this to you from. Please
fill me in on the best way to approach this. I don't want to devastate her, but
I feel at this point there is no avoiding it. And to know that I might cause
her so much pain, I just can't deal with that. But at the same time, I need
what I need. Please help.
If you're trying to, like, get Breakup Girl's
permission to break up with your girlfriend, you have it. I was convinced even
before you got to the A-B-C part. You're going to all this great length to
justify your feelings (and impending actions) because you feel like a jerk --
but you're not. Precisely because you have made such a "good,"
reasoned case for the split. Clearly this is not a callous whim.
But that doesn't mean the breakup won't hurt. Like the
Dickens. As in, it'll be, like, Dickensian. We are talking Bleak House. Helpless, it's a breakup.
Then again, here is one thing that will help. You
do know why you want out. Trust me, you do, and trust me, this is rare. She
won't like it; she won't, like, agree; and it's likely that she won't even
really "understand." But at least you will be spared -- to some
degree -- that heinous, gut-wrenching <"But WHY?" ... "It's
just how I FEEL!"> impasse. Trust me, this is major. You will get less
defensive and less second-guessy; she, ideally, will be devastated, but not
(as) frustrated (trust me, they're different). Heck, you could even write down
a version of what you've told me and give it to her (as a supplement, not THE
statement). You're in better shape than you think you are.
Also, I have a funny feeling that this business will
not take her totally by surprise. She mentions marriage/kids and you clam up?
She's noticed. And the more you clam up, the more she goes on about being
unable to imagine her life without you, right? Yep. She's grabbing, grasping,
trying to hold on, sensing the slippage.
And about the stuff (expenses, computer, etc.). Well,
that does make the situation messier, but it is one of those
burn-that-bridge-when-you-get-there kind of things. If you like, go ahead on
your own and make a list of the stuff you've shared with suggestions for how to
divvy things up. Get a head start on the practical and you may be able to
sidestep at least some of the emotions that who-gets-the-Mac will stir
Oh, and remember, you as the dumper cannot be the one
to help the dumpee through the breakup. Nice, yes; Nightingale, no.
It will, for a while, be the worst of times. But I'm
with you: it's for the best.
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