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How to end a wonderful, 4 year relationship (when you live together)?


MP17
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Hi everyone,

 

I am so sad to be writing this, but I've recently decided that I think I want to end the relationship I am in. I love my partner, and he is sweet, thoughtful and caring and loves me so much, and in his mind we will be together forever. But I just have not been totally satisfied and I don't think I am ready to commit to him for the rest of my life. I have been going back and forth in my mind about this for awhile, and finally decided this weekend when I briefly met a guy on a hike who was (based on the 10 minutes I interacted with him) exactly the type of person I would be looking for in a long-term relationship: engaging, outgoing, kind, enthusiastic, etc. My current boyfriend is a very kind and caring person, but sometimes gets in his own head and can be hard to have deep, interesting conversation with (which is what I crave).

 

The very complicating factor here is that we just relocated to a new city together where neither of us know many people, so we don't have a solid support network if the relationship does end. We also are not in a great financial situation so I worry that if I were to end things neither of us would be able to relocate easily, so we'd be stuck living together for awhile (our lease isn't up for 9 months or so).

 

I also worry that I am just getting restless in the relationship so I'd be ending it for the wrong reasons. (I tend to get bored quickly with work, certain hobbies, etc. and like to move on). I am also concerned that if I end the relationship to look for something better, I won't find it and I will regret leaving him because I really do love and care for him. I almost wish we could just take a 'Break", but that seems so impossible because our lives are so intertwined that we could not even temporarily separate. I feel like this has to be an all-or-nothing decision, which is making it harder for me to really carry it out.

 

Lastly, my communication skills are not great, and I am so terrified of even bringing up the idea of breaking up with him because 1) it pains me to even think of how sad he will be, and 2) I don't have a specific reason for wanting to break up so it will leave him confused and hurt with not many answers. Every day I think I should say something, but he seems so happy that I don't want to ruin that for him and I let the day pass without voicing my truth or my feelings. I know I can only live like this for so long, but hurting someone you love is so hard. Does anyone have advice for how to go about this? He has absolutely no idea I've even been contemplating ending things.

 

Thank you in advance for any advice.

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Then maybe you should have never lead your bf to believe it was going to be forever.

 

It’s sad because people like you, that think the grass is always greener on the other side, ruin good people.

 

You should have never moved in together if you were not committed to the relationship.

 

Just get it over with. The sooner you destroy him the sooner he can try and rebuild his life. Just so you know, some guys only truly love once. I hope your bf isn’t like this because if he is, you have ruined his life.

 

Please don’t think I believe differently if the roles were reversed. I believe men who do this to a female is worse when the other way around.

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I am also concerned that if I end the relationship to look for something better, I won't find it and I will regret leaving him because I really do love and care for him. I almost wish we could just take a 'Break", but that seems so impossible because our lives are so intertwined that we could not even temporarily separate. I feel like this has to be an all-or-nothing decision, which is making it harder for me to really carry it out.

.

 

I don't want to be with him because I'm bored, but I don't want to leave him because I might not find someone better. But I wish I could have a break so I could try some other guys before making a decision as to whether to leave my current bf. Sounds like a 'Wonderful' relationship.

 

So, you want us to get behind your want to Monkey Branch, but still have him to fall back on if it doesn't work out? How selfish of you.

 

If you are not prepared to work on your relationship and accept your boyfriend with what you consider to be his flaws, then just end it. Stop dragging him along and subjecting him to what he thinks is a wonderful relationship while you try to find 'perfection' in someone else.

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How old are you both? How long has the relationship been? Is this a first for you both?

 

Sounds like you're losing your attraction for him, which happens. That's why you found this other guy so interesting, even after only ten minutes. You're also proof of what I say a lot , which is that as females we contemplate ending things before actually doing it. I really, truly advise you to find a way to communicate this to him. Letting go of a good guy for soneone who you think may be more exciting is playing with fire. And it's rare to get an ex back. So know that if you bail out from boredom, you might find yourself really regretting it later.

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How old are you both? How long has the relationship been? Is this a first for you both?

 

Sounds like you're losing your attraction for him, which happens. That's why you found this other guy so interesting, even after only ten minutes. You're also proof of what I say a lot , which is that as females we contemplate ending things before actually doing it. I really, truly advise you to find a way to communicate this to him. Letting go of a good guy for soneone who you think may be more exciting is playing with fire. And it's rare to get an ex back. So know that if you bail out from boredom, you might find yourself really regretting it later.

 

Thank you, and yes, I do feel like I've been losing some of my attraction for him both physically and emotionally. I think I've been overthinking it so much and hesitating to end it because I know what a good guy he is and I don't want to lose him from my life because we have so many great things in our relationship that I cherish. But I feel like I'm being unfair to him by holding onto it if I am so unsure. Do you have any advice for how to bring up these feelings of uncertainty with him? I feel like I really need advice in terms of having this hard conversation.

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You're not engaged nor have kids. Right now you are just playing house and sharing expenses and a bedroom. Move out on your own when your lease is up. Stop using your bf as a security blanket and to share living expenses.

I briefly met a guy on a hike who was (based on the 10 minutes I interacted with him) exactly the type of person I would be looking for in a long-term relationship: engaging, outgoing, kind, enthusiastic, etc. not in a great financial situation so I worry that if I were to end things neither of us would be able to relocate easily, so we'd be stuck living together for awhile our lease isn't up for 9 months or so.
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Thank you, and yes, I do feel like I've been losing some of my attraction for him both physically and emotionally. I think I've been overthinking it so much and hesitating to end it because I know what a good guy he is and I don't want to lose him from my life because we have so many great things in our relationship that I cherish. But I feel like I'm being unfair to him by holding onto it if I am so unsure. Do you have any advice for how to bring up these feelings of uncertainty with him? I feel like I really need advice in terms of having this hard conversation.

 

I advise you to make two lists. One being the things you like,which are reasons to stay, the second being the things you feel aren't working. Give it a day or two, and see if you change/add anything to those lists. Then go through the list and see if there's any changes that can be made to fix the negatives, either by him or you, or together. The best approach is honest and direct. But realize dependent upon how he handles conflict, he might shut you out or you might end up in a fight. He may even break up with you on the spot.

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The point you've reached with him is a point you'll reach with anyone. It's called being in a relationship. At some point something shifts inside of us where the work of staying together, growing together, and finding new planes to explore together is as exciting as being alone and/or seeing what else is out there. It doesn't sound like you've reached this point, especially if 10 minutes with a new person is enough to get those gears turning. Those ten minutes will happen and happen and happen a million times over in any long term relationship.

 

I'd look at this juncture in two ways. One, it is a chance to deepen and shift your dynamic together, to learn to engage in the kind of open, direct communication that makes longterm relationships sustainable and rewarding. Or, two, this is simply the time to let go, let both of you flail for a bit, rebuild, recover, and see what's out there in the unknown. Both are scary and intimidating. Only you know if your heart which is pulling you more. Don't string him along if its the latter; he'll only resent you more.

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Thank you, and yes, I do feel like I've been losing some of my attraction for him both physically and emotionally. I think I've been overthinking it so much and hesitating to end it because I know what a good guy he is and I don't want to lose him from my life because we have so many great things in our relationship that I cherish. But I feel like I'm being unfair to him by holding onto it if I am so unsure. Do you have any advice for how to bring up these feelings of uncertainty with him? I feel like I really need advice in terms of having this hard conversation.

 

Just move out and end it. That is the only way to do it. There is no way to soften the blow you are about to do.

 

Above all be honest that you don’t ever see a future for the two of you.

 

Don’t give him false hope. Don’t offer to be friends still because he will have hope from that. Break it off and never talk to him again.

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The point you've reached with him is a point you'll reach with anyone. It's called being in a relationship. At some point something shifts inside of us where the work of staying together, growing together, and finding new planes to explore together is as exciting as being alone and/or seeing what else is out there. It doesn't sound like you've reached this point, especially if 10 minutes with a new person is enough to get those gears turning. Those ten minutes will happen and happen and happen a million times over in any long term relationship.

 

I'd look at this juncture in two ways. One, it is a chance to deepen and shift your dynamic together, to learn to engage in the kind of open, direct communication that makes longterm relationships sustainable and rewarding. Or, two, this is simply the time to let go, let both of you flail for a bit, rebuild, recover, and see what's out there in the unknown. Both are scary and intimidating. Only you know if your heart which is pulling you more. Don't string him along if its the latter; he'll only resent you more.

I agree, at this point is where you work on your relationship. Many many long standing relationships have dry spells and you reconnect continuously.

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I agree, at this point is where you work on your relationship. Many many long standing relationships have dry spells and you reconnect continuously.

 

Thank you! I just started making a list of things I was happy with and things I was unhappy with in our relationship, and realized the "unhappiness" list was almost all because of me, and only 1 or 2 things were because of him. This really forced me to reflect, as painful as it was. I know I need to talk about these feelings with him, but I need to try to work on myself and our relationship before just "giving up" as I was prepared to do. I love him, and want things to work for us, and, as the above person mentioned, I am pretty sure I suffer from a severe case of "Grass is Greener Syndrome" that is ruining my perspective on all aspects of my life.

 

Thank you for the advice!

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In my opinion, the longer you stay together, the more restless and resentful you will become unless you change your thinking. If your heart isn't in it, and he isn't the one you want to build a life with long term, then leaving is your best option. It becomes more messy and hurtful when you start to bring kids into the mix.

 

You still love him, and want a piece of him in your life, but are looking for someone else. Well, you have to be prepared to never see him again after the breakup. Holding onto a piece of him is selfish. If the thought of never seeing him again after the breakup is too much for you to bear, then re-consider your priorities, once you break up with him, he has every right to never talk to you again. Friendship may be down the road, but it will be years down the road. Again, if that is too much to bear, then you have to come to terms with the fact that he is your partner.

 

*as a side, I just saw your reply OP. Glad you are thinking things through rationally.

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Thank you! I just started making a list of things I was happy with and things I was unhappy with in our relationship, and realized the "unhappiness" list was almost all because of me, and only 1 or 2 things were because of him. This really forced me to reflect, as painful as it was. I know I need to talk about these feelings with him, but I need to try to work on myself and our relationship before just "giving up" as I was prepared to do. I love him, and want things to work for us, and, as the above person mentioned, I am pretty sure I suffer from a severe case of "Grass is Greener Syndrome" that is ruining my perspective on all aspects of my life.

 

Thank you for the advice!

 

Are you in therapy? For what it's worth I started therapy about 8 months ago, when I was at the tail end of a relationship I didn't want to end and what turned out to be the beginning of a devastating breakup. I'll be honest: I first went as a way to encourage my then-gf to go, because her issues were a lot more obvious than my own. Within two weeks I couldn't believe how amazing it was, how much about myself I learned. It's bittersweet, in my case, as I know the work I'm doing is now something I'll be sharing with someone else, whereas it really could have help us had I gone earlier.

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Thank you! I just started making a list of things I was happy with and things I was unhappy with in our relationship, and realized the "unhappiness" list was almost all because of me, and only 1 or 2 things were because of him. This really forced me to reflect, as painful as it was. I know I need to talk about these feelings with him, but I need to try to work on myself and our relationship before just "giving up" as I was prepared to do. I love him, and want things to work for us, and, as the above person mentioned, I am pretty sure I suffer from a severe case of "Grass is Greener Syndrome" that is ruining my perspective on all aspects of my life.

 

Thank you for the advice!

 

I have been with my husband almost 30 years. We have had our really hard spells. Times where I actually hated him. Long standing love needs work. Work on ourself, work on each other, and working at reconnecting.

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Thank you! I just started making a list of things I was happy with and things I was unhappy with in our relationship, and realized the "unhappiness" list was almost all because of me, and only 1 or 2 things were because of him. This really forced me to reflect, as painful as it was. I know I need to talk about these feelings with him, but I need to try to work on myself and our relationship before just "giving up" as I was prepared to do. I love him, and want things to work for us, and, as the above person mentioned, I am pretty sure I suffer from a severe case of "Grass is Greener Syndrome" that is ruining my perspective on all aspects of my life.

 

Thank you for the advice!

 

Sorry I pushed so hard but you had to realize this on your own.

 

No relationship is trouble free and always takes work. Just remember one thing, never stop dating the one you are with.

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You also need to learn to communicate your wants, needs and problems in your relationship. This is essential in any relationship. I have talked with my kids about this from their early teens. They have done well in this regard so I give the same advice to you.

 

Also remember guys are not mind readers and we don’t always pick up on what is wanted of us. Even the most diligent amongst us will fail at times. Don’t expect your bf to read your mind, hopefully he has studied you enough to know certain things that you like and dislike.

 

Best wishes to you on your journey, never stop dating the one you love.

Edited by Usa1ah
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A really great response to some excellent advice. I recently ended a 10-year relationship and wish I'd gone through similar process. Breaking up is a truly awful thing to go through and if you make it to 4 years and describe it as wonderful, clearly there's a lot worth putting the work in for. If after 6 months or another year you are still having doubts you can always think about it again.

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"Stuck living together", "Not totally satisfied", "Not ready to commit". This is not about grass is greener. It's about feeling secure and complacent and financially trapped with someone who you are not in love with and quite unsure of. No amount of "working on issues" will fix that.

 

It seems like you are passively coasting along because you can't cut it emotionally or financially on your own. It seems you'll keep your eyes open, looking around until you can easily segue to a new security blanket and dump your current bf.

in his mind we will be together forever. But I just have not been totally satisfied and I don't think I am ready to commit to him I worry that if I were to end things neither of us would be able to relocate easily, so we'd be stuck living together for awhile
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  • 4 weeks later...

Wiseman2 post right above kinda nailed it. I think you have your mind already made up.

 

I'm in your exact same situation ... My only piece of advice to you ...

 

Both of you invested a LOT into this relationship. You need to (A) decide whether you'd like to make a last-ditch effort into saving/spicing up the relationship, and (B) carefully examine why you're not getting what you want from it. A counsellor will most definitely help you sort your thoughts/feelings out. Remember, with guys, you need to be VERY direct in communicating what you're looking for.

 

If you've decided that ending things is best for you, Breaking up with someone you love/care about is an awful process, even if you're initiating the breakup. Horrible. You will eventually heal from it, provided you've CAREFULLY thought this through, you stand 110% confident in your decision and draw boundaries post-breakup. Otherwise, if you end things abruptly without properly thinking it through, you'll not only be dealing with the heartbreak, but the grief from ruminating on the "what-ifs".

 

Something to consider.

 

But Don't wait too long though. Life is very short. If you wait another 6 months to examine how you feel, next thing you know, 10+ years has passed.

 

Msg me if you need to.

DoF

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