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Hi everyone,

I've been crying all morning because I think I've realised that I may need to break up with my boyfriend. I've been seeing this guy for a year and he's been the best boyfriend I've had by far. I always enjoy his company. We share a love of the outdoors and I believe he's a genuinely good hearted guy.

The problem is that, although I enjoy his company now, I'm not sure that I can envisage a future with him. We have a few fundamental differences and they're beginning to worry me. For example, he is extremely critical of so many things whereas I consider myself pretty open minded and I will always try something or give someone a chance before I decide it's "bad".

This becomes important when I think of where we'd live together if we moved in with one another. My boyfriend thinks just about every single suburb is crime-ridden and unsafe and dirty and bad, except the one suburb he's living in. The suburb he's living in, however, is way out of my reach financially and on top of that, I'm not even sure it's the kind of place I'd choose to live even if i could afford it. It's nice, but it's full of very rich people who give little consideration to those of different backgrounds (I realise that's just a generalization and I'm sure they're not ALL like that). I just get very frustrated that my boyfriend has completely made up his mind about every other suburb despite NEVER living in any of them, or even spending any time in any of them.

Also, he's an extremely picky eater. It really upsets me that he won't even TRY foods before deciding that they'll make him sick. Again, if we lived together, there would be VERY little that I could cook for him, that he would eat. And I'd be disappointed to raise kids that weren't prepared to give everything (foods) a chance before deciding their verdict. He also implies that it's because I was fed grotty and dirty foods (completely not true) that my stomach can tolerate the things he won't even try. I bet if he'd try some of them he'd discover that they don't actually poison him.

Lastly, travel. My boyfriend will NEVER travel anywhere that is culturally different from Australia. I have just been to India (had to go with my mum for company) and I had an absolutely amazing time seeing and appreciating how differently they live there. It frustrates me that my boyfriend has decided that all countries that are less privaliged than Australia are scum and not worth even seeing. He has no sympathy, just disapproval. He never attempts to see the beauty in something that is different. I'd certainly be happy visiting nice, pretty countries on holiday with him but again, it just makes me sad to think that my future would ONLY involve seeing such places. I want to see the good/similar AND the different.

See, I'd be flexible to some degree. I could avoid cooking lentils and tofu and really obscure foods. I could live in a wealthier suburb than I'd ideally feel comfortable in and I'd still enjoy holidays to the places he'd want to go. BUT, I really don't think he'd be flexible. He makes his mind up so whole-heartedly about things before experiencing them and so I don't think he'd meet me half-way.

Please tell me whether you think we need to break up. As soon as I realise it can't work out long-term, I'd rather break up. I'm 23 at the moment so I still have time to meet the guy for me if it's not my current boyfriend and I just feel like there's no point in prolonging the break up and having to deal with the hurt later on when more time has been invested into the relationship.

I just care for him so much despite these differences, and I've not yet determined whether they're severe enough to warrant breaking up. Any ideas?

Ah, I just wish I felt better.

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