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My name is Chloe and I'm 20 years old. Yesterday I broke up with my boyfriend. I really need some advice because I can hardly sleep at night or go a day without crying, which is usually very unlike me.


First, I'd like to say a bit about the relationship I had. It was a long-distance relationship; I live in America, and Steven (21 years old) lives in Canada. We started to get to know each other and soon became fast friends, even best friends, for about 6 months. We talked every day on the computer or phone. He was in a relationship with a woman he had been with for 5 years (it had been the only woman he had ever been with) and she was extremely needy and clingy the entire time, as he told me. He said that she would cry or threaten suicide if he merely wanted to go to work or hang out with his friends, and wanted to know every detail of his life, constantly accusing him of not putting effort into the relationship.


I was there to console him through thick and thin, and we had a lot of fun together in the meantime playing online games. In August he eventually decided to leave that woman he had been with for 5 years. After returning from a vacation, I discovered that I had feelings for him. Since we were very honest with each other, I told him about my romantic interests in him, but that I didn't expect us to be a couple if that wasn't on his mind. He immediately notified me that he had feelings for me too, so then we decided to officially be together.



Now, I am usually a good person to lean on for others when they have problems, and I was especially always there for Steven. He told me that no matter what hardships I go through, he would be there for me in turn.


In the past 2 months I have been suffering from extreme stress. I live with my disabled father, helping him with two foster children and my autistic brother. Money is very tight right now, and I am pretty much the most responsible person in the house since my father has short-term memory loss and we have 3 kids living here that are all under 12 years old. I've been trying to get my GED and get a job as well, but it's been difficult to do either under all of this stress; thus adding to the stress.


I started to become clingy and needy, constantly telling Steven I loved him, falling into bouts of depression, ending up owing more money to people and whatnot. I noticed he was talking to me less, but he said he was out with his friends more often, since the college semester was done for him. I had a bad feeling still, though, since we was seeming more stressed and less affectionate.


Yesterday morning I completely broke down crying on him, telling him about all of my worries. He was consoling me and telling me he loved me. But then the conversation took a different turn; I'd like to show you exactly what was said, since we often talk over an online messenger and I have a chat log.



Steven: I just feel bad. I dunno, I'll be honest. I've been wondering if this is gonna work out long term...*sighs* I really am not sure how we'll get you accross to Canada, or if i even SHOULD be forcing you to move...I dunno I suppose I'm just going through a point where I'm thinking a bit too far down the road i guess...I dunno. i really don't I'm sick, lol I shouldn't be thinking whnen I'm not physically well...I just thought I should voice out everything to you, I want you to be in the know with whats going on in my mind.



Me: Well, I really do want you to be honest with me, it's one of the things I've always liked about you. Why don't you think I can get to Canada?


Steven: Getting the citicenship...everything like that...I just..I dunno. I don't, I suppose the main reason im having doubts is just, I dunno. I don't know. I'm really just not sure about anything anymore atm, I've been somewhat upset since I've been sick, it's just my poor health getting to me


Me: Well.. the fastest and most surefire way is through marriage.. if you wanna go through with that. I know we've talked about it before, and it's pretty weird to think about.


Steven: Im not sure though really...I mean like I'm not trying to sound like a * * * * * but I've only been with you for like...8 months or so...and I can't really handle the thought of marriage yet. I don't even know if I wanna get married...I feel like I'm rushing things, again.

Like...I dunno, if I am honest with you about this you'll...not get mad at me right? Like...it's not bad or anything I'm just...worried, just please try and understand this if you can okay?


Me: Sweetie, I just want you to be honest with me, always, no matter how bad you think it sounds.


Steven: Lately I've been wondering if maybe I rushed into this relationship...


Me: Why's that?


Steven: "Well two days after I broke up with my ex I was with you, maybe not 2 days but a few days, I think i kind of...jsut went into this too soon. I feel like at the moment I am just I'm CONFUSED. I've been feeling like, maybe I'm just clinging to someone or something, or that I'm not cut out to be in a relationship atm and should try and focus on improving my current life and gettnig stable before i start something...I've just been thinking a lot of different things you know? Not all geared towards this topic but I get concerned that they have gone this way at all."


Me: Well.. am I keeping you from doing things you wanna do to make your life better?

Or anything in particular?


Steven: Not really, I just kinda feel like...maintaining a long distance relationship right now just is a bit much...well it's what I've thought, but I'm never sure you know? I love you I do, but I just wonder if I can do long distance anymore...because I lately just don't know. I've been up, hell I was up three times last night trying tot hink.


Me: Well, why do you think you cant do a long distance relationship? Like, what are the specifics, if you know?


Steven: I'm just unsure about a lot of things, I don't know if what I want is in media arts anymore either, I don't know WHAT I want! I can't specifically describe why I can't do it...I think i just...I miss being with you to the point where I'm not sure I can go on this long without being there...like....I'll give an example. When I was there, physically with you, I was having so much fun...had such a great time, I literally wanted it to never end.

Now that I'm here, it's just...I feel so much that I wanna be back there and go back and do those things but I can't because like...it's gonna cost me 600 bucks per round trip... And obviously I can't just spend that at any time. Ugh... I just don't * * * * in understand myself...


Me: Hm... I see. I think I've gotten some priorities straightened out.

If I just let my dad and grandma work this week on trying to get the foster kids living somewhere besides here, and study really hard and take my GED next week, I'm wondering if that will be a step in the right direction for us.

The reason I ask is because I want to get my life situated so you dont have to worry about anything concerning me, and so YOU are not the only one between us two making any money, making trips much easier.. and well.. about us living together, we dont have to worry about that now, right?

Unless you dont want to do this any more, then.. that's understandable

But I'm serious about this Steven. I'm so sick of this. I don't want to be stressed like this any more, I dont want to be causing you any more stress; you have enough stress on your plate.

I want to help you, and I'm not helping you at all right now, I'm making it worse. And I'll be damned if I don't do something about that


Steven: I need just a little bit of time to think about it, if you are okay with that... I want to clear my head, and just.. I wanna make sure I get this right.

Chloe, You're the best friend I've ever had ever, when other people were gone and left me alone, thinking I was like...a backseat friend kinda thing. You were there. My main issue is that I feel like...I feel as though perhaps I rushed a great friendship into a relationship that was a bit deeper. I feel liike I sped things up, and maybe I should have taken some time after my breakup to gather myself and just...be comfortable with what was goin on around me before I started getting into things again. I did a lot of poor things and I do not at ALL want you to think that if things do go in a way that has us not as lover, that it's your fault. None of this is your fault and i need you to know that, this is an issue i'm having with myself as a person. I think it would be unfair to go into any relationship half assed, and I know atm, I'm not even sure of what I want from myself, let alone another person. I just need to think about things for a bit and figure this out for myself, but I really really want you to know that no matter what, you'll keep being a part of my life, and you'll always be my very best friend you understand? I'm...I feel so stupid for doing this now of all times. I really do..


Me: Steven.. you know, you can do anything you want, anything you need, to gather your thoughts and figure out what you want to do with yourself.

And please don't take what I'm going to say as me trying to convince you not to make any decisions you may need, because I honestly don't mean it that way. But I was just curious as to like, if you have to break up with me in order to assess your thoughts, your goals, who you are, what you want out of yourself, your life, other people


Steven: It's not that I need to break up with you to do those things. It's more so that I feel like...I need to take a step back from everything, because I'll be honest, when I said I feel like perhaps i rushed things, I mean like...maybe I still view you as more of a best friend than a lover...I don't know and thats what is literally bugging the * * * * out of me lately. I feel like, more and more I'm seeing you like i did when I first met you, like a best friend, I need to think and figure out what my feelings are towards you, if it's just that of a good friend who I want in my life, or of a person who I am with emotionally. I just..I feel like I sped things too much at the beginning and tried to fool myself, especially after the ex thing, I feel like...I feel like * * * * for doing this to you, for putting you through this now. This is an issue I've had with myself, for a while, and I think it's only now I'm starting to grasp the seriousness of it.

...I just need to think for a bit and clear my head but...no matter what you're still going to be part of my life, you do understand this right?


Me: I understand. Can I ask you something though?


Steven: Anything.


Me: When you said you view me more as a best friend now, does it mean you've fallen out of love with me? Or even partially? Or were you never truly in love?


Steven: The love was there, it was...I just am concerned because I feel as though I did fall out of love. I feel more and more like I have a best friend rather than a lover and I can't figure out why it happened. I'm worried about myself because I don't understand why I feel like I do sometimes. I'm not really stable it seems.

I know that I've been seeing you more and more as a best friend Chloe. You're someone who I will always want to be a part of my life and i want to be friens with you forever. I mean it. I'm not gonna say there's never going to be a chance for things to re-develop into a relationship, but for now, I have thought of you as a best friend. And I still want you to be in my life. I am sorry but this is simply my being honest with you...I truly am sorry.




So, that wasn't the end of the conversation, but yeah. There's a bit more to it than what he said.

One of my close friends, Amy, who is a friend of Steven's too said that Steven spoke to her the other day. This is what she told me:


Amy: Hm, he seems to be getting kinda bleh about you being so clingy. He just says that you've been sitting around not trying, but I don't think he understands the stress you've been going through. "Well if something doesn't happen soon I may have to walk away from this, I'm really sad to have to say it... I don't know if I can be in a relationship with someone who can't take charge of themselves." is what he told me. He said he really doesn't want to, and that he feels like an ass for thinking this way, but he doesn't knwo what to do.



So I've come to the conclusion that my lack of a grasp on my life (not trying hard enough to get a GED and job), and being so overwhelmingly stressed and clingy and needy to Steven, has made him doubt our relationship. We were very much in love before, I have a lot of proof of this. And I don't know how he could say in the beginning of the conversation that he loved me, and loved being with me, but then concluded that he didn't know if he saw me as a lover anymore. How do you fall out of love really fast like that? Do you think he even did fall out of love, or was just tired of how I have been acting?


So far I've taken the initiative to roll out of my depression by making a lot of effort to keep myself cheerful and productive. I already got many job interviews and my GED test is scheduled for next week. I want to do that for myself, but I also want to redeem myself in his eyes... do you think it's possible? What steps do I need to take? I have also been leaving him alone and just letting him talk to me first if he wants to, and trying to be a supportive friend, and not mentioning how utterly devastated I am. It hurts very badly because I am not a casual dater, I love Steven because we connect so deeply on so many levels that we're more than just best friends, lovers; I feel our relationship wasn't something that could be verbally labelled.


I don't know what to do next, I feel so upset that I can't sleep or eat. If you could give me some advice, I'd be very thankful...

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I think you are looking to him to make your life better. You are stressed. You need your education. You are in a difficult spot. You just want to run away from it all. Doesn't the idea of running off to Canada and getting married just sound wonderful? Then you don't have to deal with everything that you are dealing with.


That's a whole heck of a lot of pressure to put on a guy.


No offense, but I think you need this breakup. I think you need to realize that the way out of your problems is not through this guy but through yourself. You really have to fix your own problems. He should simply be a companion/lover. He should be an enhancement to your already happy life.


Try to sit and figure out what you need to do to get in a good spot. What would happen with your disabled father and your autistic brother if you were to move to Canada? Who would take care of them then? I think part of all this is sitting with your father and having a heart-to-heart. Not that you don't love them or want to help them - but you need your own life. You need help with their care. Your father needs to understand this.


The weight of the world is on your shoulders at such a young age. I feel for you. I'm sure Stephen does too. But it's a lot to ask of someone who is also young and should be carefree.


Talk to your father or a relative. You need relief.

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