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Relationship Health Message Board


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Thanks Shelly--that was really sweet and made me laugh :), and Blonde Girl, I am happy to have helped you think through all this. I read through the thread again and wish I hadn't actually told you what to do, because it's impossible for an outside observer to know the best choice for someone else except in very clear cases like abuse. Anyway, I know this is a very tough situation and a complicated decision for you...the best advice I can give you is to be as honest with yourself as possible and vent to us here as much as possible. When I type here about issues I'm struggling with, I find that not only does it make me feel relieved and calmer to get my feelings out, but sometimes I surprise myself by revealing ideas I didn't even consciously realize I was having. It's good to get advice from friends too, but it's hard for them to be objective since they know you, and like everyone, their own experiences and situations color their opinions. Your guy friends are probably feeling lonely and regretting breakups, but that doesn't mean that staying is necessarily the best choice for you...especially since you're already coming home to an empty bed due to your long distance relationship, and staying with your BF is preventing you from dating someone you can see more regularly. Another thing to consider is what you want to do after you graduate...do you want to travel, go to grad school, or live somewhere else? If so, you're going to be in a long distance relationship beyond college...is that okay with you?

One advantage of staying is that you always have the opportunity to change your mind at any time and leave, while the opposite doesn't hold true. I am so sorry that you have gone through so much tragedy in your life...you seem like a really sweet, thoughtful person, and I feel really badly that you've experienced so much pain already. My heart really goes out to you and I think it's completely understandable why you're hesitant to leave your BF after everything you've gone through together, especially since you don't have the support of your parents to replace the role he plays in your life. It wasn't too long ago that I split with an ex who was an incredible source of support for me throughout the last few years, including the onset of a chronic pain condition, and adjusting to life without him has been really tough. It's not at all easy to get used to living without someone who has been your rock, someone who you could count on to be on your side. At the same time, I see that we weren't meant for each other in the long run--sometimes people are part of our lives for only a certain period when each person is exactly what the other wants and needs for that time, but not forever. That doesn't at all diminish how special what we shared was, because growing up and maturing, especially during high school and college (which I just finished up so we’re close to the same age), is a positive and unavoidable part of life, and sometimes it means outgrowing people who were once central figures in our lives. Maybe you’re outgrowing, or have already outgrown, your BF, maybe not—only you can know that, but please don’t feel guilty about it and let that shape your decision to stay, because that wouldn’t be doing you or your BF any favors.

It’s definitely a great sign that he stopped drinking and being at all abusive…I can imagine that’s especially important to you, having witnessed firsthand the damage that substance abuse does to addicts and those who love them. If he ever goes back on his promise, that will be a clear sign that it’s time for you to move on, but for the time being, it really comes down to your gut instinct. Yes, it’s nice to have the security of a relationship to rely on, but it’s also great to be single and free to date different people and learn a lot about yourself and what you want from a partner along the way. Do you have a sense of whether you’d be happier in the future if you stayed with your BF or went out on your own? With regard to your last paragraph about whether you can know if someone is the one without experiencing other people, I personally don’t think so, but many people believe differently. It all depends on your individual feelings about it, though it sounds to me like you’re curious about other men if you’ve felt drawn to them over the past few years. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and no reason to feel guilty…it’s not desirable for many people to settle down with the first person they love, but some do get lucky and find their life partner very early on. I always felt strongly attracted to a lot of different guys and knew I would want to experience many relationships before committing to only one man—do you feel the same way, or would you be fine settling down and not struggle with wanting to experience other guys? These are all tough questions that each person needs to decide for themselves as honestly as possible. There’s no simple, right or wrong answer, only the choice which is best for you at the current time. Based on my own experiences, I’m inclined to say you’re thinking about a break because you’re growing away from your BF and feel like he’s more a part of your past than future, and that leaving makes the most sense, but that’s a decision only you can make. Please vent here as much as you want…the more information you provide, the better we can advise you, and hopefully, the better sense you’ll get of your own feelings. I wish you all the best and know that everything will work out great for you in the end! :wave:





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