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How do you break up with someone that doesn't want to let you go...?


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Sorry for the long post. Any help would be appreciated, this is really getting to me and I just don't know what to do anymore...


How do you break up with someone that is still be completely in love with you and happens to be your best friend?


This is so hard. My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years coming this December. I met him at a very strange time in my life, it was 3 summers ago, right before my mental breakdown from anxiety issues Ive been suffering from my whole life. He was there for me. He was there for me to tell me I wasn't crazy. And then he was there for me a few months later when I found out I had genital herpes. I started crying and asked who was ever going to want to sleep with me again. He told me he would and he took me out to dinner that night.


That's when I realized this guy was different and I should give him a chance, I told him I would give it an honest shot despite the fact that I didn't feel I was ready for a relationship. My initial attraction to him was never really strong. But I grew to love and care for him so much as a person and we were just in a relationship but we also became best friends. I know he has a good heart and I don't want to hurt him.


But as much as I hate to admit it, I think I got with him for the wrong reasons. And I just don't feel any passion for him. I wish I did. And I've tried, believe me I really have but I feel like there's nothing there. I love him but I'm not "in love" with him. I'm 23 and this is the only relationship I've ever had. And I think that I need to experience alot more before I can just settle down like this. He's much more serious about this than I am and it scares me because I'm in much deeper now than I ever intended.


I tried to break it off the other day and explain to him that I need my space for awhile and that I need to work on myself before I can get with him. He began to cry and asked "why don't you want me? I love you so much, you're the greatest thing in my world". He said he'll do whatever he has to in order to become the man I want him to be. My heart bleeds for him when he talks like that. He sounds like a lost puppy whose owner is taking him to the pound to abandon him.


I told him that if he loved me that he needed to let me go but he just can't. Its like hes not willing to even consider that option, all he says at that point is what he can change or do for me to stay and he tells me that I'm only feeling like this because I'm mad or upset and that he knows the passion is there.


I think he has plenty of things he needs to work on for himself, like going back to school, getting a degree in something so he can get a better job and move out of his parents house (hes 26) and most importantly become more stable mentally and in life. Im mentally unstable myself, like I said, I have major anxiety issues that I've been dealing with. I'm a very sensitive person, everything effects me and thats something I'm working on. He is so sensitive and unstable and I've tried to help him but he needs to help himself, and I don't know if he can change that, thats how he is.


I don't know what to do or how to do it. I hate seeing him this hurt, I honestly worry about him if we were to break up. But I'm not happy right now. Maybe in the future we can be together, and I'm not just saying that I really do believe it. And I've told him that but he won't accept it because he just so scared of the thought that he might lose me and we might not get back together. Theres nothing I can say to that. I'm not against giving it another shot down the road but I don't know what the future holds.


I feel like he literally won't let me break up with him. I've told him I don;t want to do this and to let me go over and over and he just won't accept it. It scares me. And this isn't easy for me and he's making it so much harder. I feel guilty staying with him because I feel like I'm leading him on. Deep down, I know that its wrong and my heart isn't in it the way it should be. And again, I've told him that and he's just not having it.


How do I do this so that he understands? And in the most gentle way possible. I still want him in my life as a close friend but I completely understand if that's too hard for him.


Help me guys, I'm really at a loss here and any advice would be appreciated.

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Ok, if he isn't right for you then he just isn't. That's no one's fault. If you're SURE that you've never felt passion for him, then that's a definite sign that you aren't right together. Are you sure? Have you considered that maybe you've just reached a point of comfort in the relationship and the sparky WOW feeling has just naturally worn off like it would in any relationship?


If you're sure that being apart is what is best for you both, then here's my advice:




* You MUST be absolutely ready and willing for this man to never speak or interact with you on any level for the rest of your life. If you break up with him, there is a very real possibility he will want nothing to do with you and will never want you in his life in any way ever again.


How to do break up:


1) Do not 'waver'. You said you tried to break up with him the other day and it didn't quite work. This is a BIG no no. You need to be absolutely committed to this and you need to show him how serious you are, you will not change your mind and that you will not budge.


2) Write him a letter. In it, say some nice things, compliment him and the relationship if it's appropriate. Again, make it absolutely 100% clear that it's over and there is no return EVER! This is the best thing for him as it will give him closure in terms of not holding onto false hope! Kill that hope, it's what is best for him. You're breaking up, being ambivalent is not fair and is selfish - you need to be absolutely firm and clear. It will aid his healing. In the letter, explain that neither of you should ever communicate again and you should both disappear from each other's lives forever. It doesn't matter if YOU want to be friends, it won't work based on what you have said. He doesn't want to be just friends (He loves you!), but he might vulnerably go for that option if it's all that's being offered - don't be selfish, don't take what you want at the expense of his pain and ability to heal. Make it clear that the reason breaking ties completely forever isn't because you don't love and care for him, but because it is what is best for both of you, including his healing. Explain you'll miss him incredibly, but you both need to show some discipline here.


3. Break up with him face to face! Say what you need to say and also say what is in your letter. Give him a chance to ask questions and answer them the best you can - it's only fair. Then give him the letter. The letter will reinforce what you have said.


4. Do not tell him that there is anyone else, even if there isn’t. This is a white-lie! Just say you want to be alone.

* Again, never have contact ever in your life again! If he asks ‘what about in a year or something?’ say ‘NO!’…


Commit to it.


Best wishes.


Mr Man

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Hey Mr. Man thank you for the reply back.


I'm not sure if I just reached our comfort level in a relationship, what I do know is that the passion and level of attraction to him was never very strong like I think it should have been. But again, I also met him at a very strange time in my life. After I had that breakdown I was put on anxiety medication that really sort of numbs my mood. I'm currently in therapy so I can understand myself a little better and get off the meds. I have alot on my plate right now.


About our passion though, that level of attraction isn't very high. Our sex life is horrible. I don't have much of a sex drive right now and he accepts that because hes said hes willing to wait, but I find myself having sexual thoughts about strangers more than I have about him.


Never seeing him again would be an issue. Reason being we live in a very small town where everyone knows one another, I work in town, our houses are like 2 min away if you drive and 30 min if you walk, and we have ALOT of the same mutual friends. Not to mention we go to alot of the same places. Its extremely likely that we'll cross paths.


The letter is a very good idea. I want to break up but I still want to be there for him if he needs me. Hes got a lot of family issues and I want him to know that I'll always be there for him. I tell him all the time that I'll always have his back and he can count on me to be there for him, hes my best friend and I don't want him to think I'm abandoning him all together. I don't feel comfortable tell him there's no future for us, or that there is for the matter, but I think there is hope...just not now.

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Mr Man has given you some good advice.


You have tried the gentle approach and it didn't work. Now you have to be very firm, and if necessary a little harsh. He doesn't have the right or the power to not "let" you do anything, much less break up with him, and you need to make that extremely clear to him. You cannot, in the short term, continue to have him for a friend. He already can't accept the separation. How much harder will it be for him if you try to hang out with him and treat him like your buddy? You have tell him it is over and then back it up by refusing to have contact with him. If you do any less he will just continue to behave like your boyfriend and you will let him out of misguided guilt.

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YOu need to be tough in order to be kind - it may be difficult to comprehend, but it's the truth. The more you are 'there for him after the break up' - the longer it will be till he will be able to emotionally separate and not have hope.


You can't have it both ways: go your separate ways, but then expect him to be a friend. That is not fair and is simply torture.


You don't need his permission or approval to break up - you just need to know that is really what you want.

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I want to break up but I still want to be there for him if he needs me.


That would be leading him on.


YOu need to be tough in order to be kind - it may be difficult to comprehend, but it's the truth. The more you are 'there for him after the break up' - the longer it will be till he will be able to emotionally separate and not have hope.


You can't have it both ways: go your separate ways, but then expect him to be a friend. That is not fair and is simply torture.


You don't need his permission or approval to break up - you just need to know that is really what you want.


Agree completely.

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You guys are right, I cant have any contact after him, it'll just be too hard for him. So if I break up with him I have to completely stop being his friend too. what do I do if I bump into him in town? What if he calls me because of an emergency? How do I go about this?


This is so hard. I need a break from him and its hurts me too and it doesn't help when he keeps insisting that we stay together, it makes it so much harder to commit to this, I lose all my strength.

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If you see him somewhere in town, you nod for a greeting - but then move on.


If he contacts you - don't answer. If he is in a true emergency - there is the fire department, police, hospitals to take care of him. Otherwise - he has family to turn to.


He also needs to learn to take care of himself. It sounds as if he is very co-dependent on you. Never a good basis for a healthy relationship

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you're absolutely right Penelope, he is very co-dependent on me. His family doesn't really care about him. His dad is never home, his mother is a severe alcoholic and his brother is in and out of jail and the mental hospital, I'm not even kidding.


I just don't know how to turn away if he calls me or texts me that "he needs someone to talk to". He usually does that when he's looking for some support when his family is being crazy, which is more often than not.

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You need to decide for yourself what you will regret more

a) breaking up with him and realizing one day that you had the right kind of passion for him afterall

b) staying with him and always wondering how it is to be in a relationship with someone for whom you have true passion in every sense of the word

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Sounds to me like it's time to walk away, definitely.


You absolutely cannot be friends with him or say that you'll always be there for him - it's just ridiculous. I understand that you may feel like you want those things, but it's the guilt talking and alleviating your guilt at the expense of his healing is a very selfish thing to do.


You also said something along the lines of that you're not comforatble breaking contact totally and there is still hope for the future, just not now! BIG BIG BIGGGGG NO NO! Again, this is very, very, VERY selfish. You need to commit to your decision! You need to commit to it for both your sakes, but especially for his. If you're making the decision to break up with him, you better be prepared for it to be over FOREVER! This is a dumb mistake my former partner made - i moved on and have a solid rule about not giving exs a second chance. She hoped we could try again but no way! Damage was done. So, commit to your decision.


My advice regarding the fact that you live in close proximity to one another and frequent the same places: Talk to him about this when you break up with him. Be straight up> say you want to be friends and you want to be there for him BUT IT CANNOT BE! Say 'if i see you, i'll say hello, but i won't stop - not becuase I don't want to but so we and especially YOU can heal as fast as you can'. This is the strongest, kindest thing for you to do. It shows real character. Plus, if you tell him that you're not going to stop for a chat when you see him and why, then he won't feel like you hate him and it won't hurt him further, i imagine.


I'm sorry you're going through all of this, it isn't nice.


Best wishes.

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