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Thinking of ending it with boyfriend of 4 years

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Hello, this is my very first post! I have been contemplating breaking up with my boyfriend of 4 years for a few months now. My boyfriend told me around a year ago that he wants to move back to Chicago where he's from. I have much ambivalence about this and am unsure what to do. We met when I was 20 and in college, he was 25 and working full-time. I had a crush on him for a few months before calling him, and due to schedule conflicts, we had our first date 3 months later. At first, the age and lifestyle difference bothered me, and I felt naive about his world, the "real world", and felt unknowledgeable in many ways. I felt so lucky to have him, though! I was inatuated with his confidence, approachabilty, and talkativeness. He was perfect, and I knew I loved him from the start. 2-3 years went by perfectly, and I knew I wanted to marry him. There were a lot of interfaith conflicts throughout the beginning, however, as he is a Traditional Jew and I'm non-religious (a shiksa?! ) A big no-no for Jews. His family took two years to accept me, though this was never an issue for my boyfriend, as he wanted to be with who he loved. I contemplated converting and kept kosher for a while, but have ultimately decided that I don't want to be religious. This was a shock to him, though he knew of my ambivalence the whole time-I think he was in denial. Note: My boyfriend is my first everything. I never dated much, as I was overweight until up till I met him and never felt comfortable with my body). I've changed a lot throughout the past four years, and feel like my independence is being stifled in a way, and I think of all the dating and independence I missed out on. I've wanted to live in Seattle since high school, and he said he'd never move there because it's too depressing and because he wants to be near his family. I feel controlled and that I'm letting him lead my life in a way, though he always says everything he does and thinks about he has me in mind. I feel stagnant at times and have lost my desire for him, though I love him so much. I can't imagine my life without him, but I feel that I don't love him as much as I should, because I always think of what I'm missing. How do I sort through this, and how do I decide? Thanks everyone.

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Yes, it is always tough leaving a first boyfriend, I know from experience, myself and friends of mine have experienced it. Seems that you are at the age where it is time to move on with your life and experience the world as you want it, and if you stay with your boyfriend, you will always be left wondering "What else is out there?". If you break up, you will always be wondering how it would have worked out. If you both really love each other, this phase will pass, I've seen it happen with young couples, who go through this and then eventually get through and end up getting married. I'm not going to give you advice on what you should and shouldn't do, it sounds like you really love this man, so first of all, I would go to him with these concerns, tell him whats on your mind, tell him how you are feeling. Don't tell him you want to break up with him, just tell him how you are feeling is all. Maybe he can help you, maybe you can come to a compromise on religion and where you end up living. Thats the first thing you need to do. If it doesn't work out, you are young, and have lots of life left to live. Maybe this isn't the right guy for you, maybe he is and you neeed to work through it. Either way, I hope you come to a decision one way or the other, don't leave yourself stuck in this "what am I going to do stage" for very long. It will drive you insane. All the best.

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Its hard, but you seem like you really do like the guy. Feeling stagnant is a terrible, but id hate for you to leave him to try to 'fix' these types of feelings. Its possible that you might be able to work through this and still be with him, but in the end do whats in youre heart.

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