I love my girlfriend. We've been together for two and a half years. Should we break up? June 6, 4: I've been in a long, mostly fulfilling relationship with my girlfriend. We started this relationship in college, and by next week, it'll have been two and a half years. We've been very dedicated to each other, very considerate and caring, and we started out as good friends she's my best friend, as well as lover.
Lately, however, I've been having some questions. And by lately, I mean the past half-year. Currently, she's locked into a career path that she doesn't want to take, so she's pretty crabby and negative all the time. When I suggest things for her, or tell her my plans for something, her responses tend to be like "but that won't work", or "what will you do if it fails?
It's been like this for the past two years -- I miss the former her. I understand the situation she's in -- she doesn't like the type of people attracted to her career path, she doesn't like the kind of work she's doing -- but she's also unwilling to change her path for various reasons.
In my opinion, she's depressed, but didn't like anti-depressants after a month, and won't go back to therapy despite my gentle persuasion. I'm the kind of person who wouldn't do something if it would really hurt me to the core, so while I understand her situation, I don't understand her choices to place herself in that situation. I wish I could just tell her to quit this career path, or place it on hold and go teach English abroad for a semester, or write more prose in her spare time from her career.
But instead, most of her reactions are along the lines of "I can't do anything about it" or "I don't have time to take a break". This often does result in friction -- I'd say we argue or bicker lightly bout fifteen percent of the time; the other eighty percent is really nice. She isn't very adventurous or active, either -- she wants to go to sleep around 10 or 11, instead when I'd like to be going to a quiet bar with friends and talking, or walking around, going to small shows, so on.
She's very interested in the things I am, but without the same energy level or willingness, so often I'll say something like "Let's go to see A", she'll say "I'm tired, you go alone", and I end up hanging out with her and missing out on seeing A. The combination of her negativity and depression has also impacted our sex life. What used to be at least once a day has now dwindled to once a week, despite semi-living together.
I know this is still very frequent, but we're both in our early-mid twenties, and it also feels different from what we used to consider 'normal'. Not only that, it feels forced, like I'm the one desiring her more than she desires me. It didn't used to be like this, and I'm still not used to being normally felt unwanted and undesired.
At the core of this all of this sense that I'm young, that my time to be immature and stay out all night and dance in NYC streets is limited to the here and now, before things like career paths really start to lock down. She's my first serious girlfriend, and I feel like I should be dating around -- because I can also envision myself with her for the rest of my life, and that simultaneously frightens and enlivens me. I feel like I should be a little bit foolish.
I had no "traditional" please note the scare quotes college experience of debauchery and drunken frat parties and rampant NSA one-night-stands -- far from it -- and I feel like I'm missing out. Not only do I feel that am I missing out, I secretly feel like she's bringing me down with her negativity. So lately I've been thinking about us not being together anymore. But she's really a wonderful girl, a really sweet girl. She's really accepting of my faults and caring, and we have so much in common, and she gets my sense of humor.
She brings my late-sleeping self breakfast in bed, sometimes, totally unprompted. She'll write funny things on my feet when I'm sleeping. I'm totally comfortable around her, I make her laugh, I truly feel like myself around her. I care about her, I love her, and I don't want to hurt her. She's a rare girl. Most of our friends are mutual friends, so things are complicated because of that. I think that all parties involved are mature enough to handle an amiable breakup without taking sides or anything, but it still makes things pretty hard.
And I can't deny -- I'm partially afraid to be single, it's hard to not have someone be your favorite person, and vice versa, it's hard to not have something happen to you and think 'I can't wait to tell her', and so on. If I broke up with her, I'd not only lose a girlfriend but a best friend.
I know these are probably not the best reasons to stay in a relationship, but they're there nonetheless. I think part of her feels the same way, and we nearly broke up twice in the last two months, but in the end we realized that we really do love each other, and so we've stayed together.
Or rather -- whatever desire to break up was overcome by this sense of sadness at the situation and longing and desire for the other person. In the end, my questions are: What do you think about this situation? Have you ever broken up with someone, despite the fact that they still loved you and you loved them? How does one do such a thing? How do you know when it's time to end the relationship if there's mutual love and respect on all sides?
How do you break up with somebody when you really, really don't want to hurt them? I've also got an email address at lovingbreakupaskmefi gmail. But you can't be responsible for her happiness - she is.
She sounds like she is afraid of something, it might be best to demonstrate by example how to use fear for good, instead of letting fear control you. I wish you the best of luck. If she's not willing to change her job to make her life more livable, that might just be a part of her personality that makes you not meant for each other. It's hard, but sometimes breaking up in these situations is the right thing to do. In response to, "Have you ever broken up with someone despite the fact that they still loved you and vice versa," the answer is yes, and we're both a million times better off for it, but it took a long time, and it would have been easier if we'd gotten our acts together a lot earlier and gotten right to the point.
You do it tactfully, and if possible, mutually. If you're lucky, you'll only have to do this once or twice -- we did it about four times, and then it finally stuck. She may be depressed, because it sounds like she's unhappy with a lot of things and that's interfering with your relationship and she's not doing much to change things.
You should suggest that she talk to a psychologist though not that bluntly. Best case scenario, things change for the better. Worst case scenario, you break up as you would have otherwise. Being immature is rarely as rewarding as you think it's going to be.
Or, if you prefer the less gentle response: Buddy, you and me are part of a whole generation of losers who want to keep boozing it up and playing video games into their forties. Bucking the trend isn't exactly a bad thing. The time is now, yes; you're in the prime of your life. The prime of life isn't for wasting on booze and parties, my friend; it's for wasting on creating and destroying and creating again, on building cities and amassing thoughtfulness, on getting something you want.
And there's no quicker way to discover that than to throw away a perfectly good relationship for the sake of some perceived right to be childish. I think you answered your own question right there.
You should be happy and thankful you have someone who loves you. If you think she's depressed, help her—don't run out on her. You love her, she won't get help. You're asking strangers on the internet for advice anonymously which precludes any back and forth between you and us. You need to hash this out with the help of another human being.
That's what therapists do. It sounds like you have it pretty good. Yeah it's kind of a tough time right now, but why bail on something that, overall, makes you happy? My boyfriend and I went through something like this not too long ago. I'm in school and he's not, and he always wanted me to go out and do things with him when I had homework or was generally grumpy and stressed.
My mood rubbed off on him because he felt he could never, in good conscience, go out and have fun without me. If I wanted to sit at home and watch TV then he had to do that too. That path leads nowhere good, and don't let yourself get stuck on it. Go out on your own and have fun with your friends -- if she's a good girlfriend she'll let you do it. If she guilts you and demands you stay home to mope with her, then you should break up. Really, you should talk with her about this.
Not about thinking you're missing out on life, but about what you expect of each other, the problems you see, and how they can be fixed. Is that anyway to span time together? Waiting for the inevitable irreconcilable difference, or for some fit of fortune to make things official? You need to be up front about this and your concerns about your relationship, or else you could limp along like this for years.
Part of the problem stems from the fact that you see problems in her life that she doesn't see. Cranky and depressed is obviously the new normal for her, and she's so used to it that it would never occur to her to do anything to get "better". It's like convincing a colorblind person that an object is a different color than they perceive it. Good luck with that. These kinds of basic compatibility issues are really important to sort out as you go.
You can't wait and hope that they'll iron themselves out over time. Right now you seem to feel she is unreachable and that she doesn't need you the way you'd like to be needed.