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I'm delaying the breakup

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  January 28, 2011 08:45 AM

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Some announcements:

1. On Thursday (Feb. 3), I will be co-hosting a pick-up line contest at the Cask with Chris Lambton, formerly of "The Bachelorette." Why am I doing this? Because every now and then, I love a good train wreck. And because I wrote about Chris. And because … well, train wreck. But if you need something to do that night, come give me moral support. We'll eat nachos. The event is free. (I think it starts at 9.)

2. Feb. 14 (VD) is "Mortified"'s annual love night. Love Letters had a big event with "Mortified" last year, and really, it's one of my favorite shows in this city. This year, they're asking Love Letters readers to send me copies/transcriptions of any old love poem or diary entry about crushes and failed love. The older the better. I'll pick a winner, and that person will read their dated, embarrassing love note on stage during the performance. Even if you don't want to read, you can sit in the audience and giggle. Buy tickets here. Send me submissions to meregoldstein at gmail dot com with "Mortified Love" in the subject line. You have until … oh, let's say, 11:59 p.m. on Friday the 4th to enter.


Q: Hi Meredith!

I have been dating my boyfriend "Jason" for over four years. We met in college and then moved to the same city upon graduation. We live in the same small neighborhood, and our lives are completely intertwined with the same group of friends and activities. I am completely in love with Jason, and he is with me. Our everyday interaction is wonderful; we're constantly laughing, and are both very happy together.

Despite our happiness, we have no long-term future together. I know it sounds crazy after 4 (mostly) great years together, but I've finally been able to open my eyes to this reality in the last 2 months. Our communication styles differ (his is virtually nonexistent), he is far too immature, and underlying family issues have left him with incredibly low self-esteem that make it difficult for him to ever make his own decisions or assert himself in any capacity. These have been ongoing issues throughout our relationship, but after years of struggle to support him, I've finally realized that nothing will change, and I can't settle down with him.

On top of all of this, I just got into graduate school and will be relocating out of state this summer. Although we've briefly discussed moving together, but he's made no effort to prepare. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he is thinking the same thing about our future, but due to his lack of assertiveness, I know I have to be the one to end it. The problem is if I end it now, the next few months will be utterly miserable for both of us. Although we don’t live together, it would be impossible not to see him due to our social circle and our living proximity. I see my departure in June as an easy way out, and I know we could thoroughly enjoy our remaining time together because our everyday life is so great. It is logistically and emotionally easier, but is it a cop-out? Am I being a coward about all of this, or just realistic? And most of all, am I being unfair to him? I envision a simple, not-messy, respectful end to a beautiful relationship in June. But am I creating a bigger mess for the both of us? Please help!

– Time to End It, Jamaica Plain

A: If it were May, even April, I might say, "Oh, just wait a few weeks." If you lived together, I might say, "OK, ride out the lease." But it's January, TTEI. And you don't live together. You need to have a big conversation, at the very least.

You have four very long months before the summer. Four months of confusion. Four months that Jason could be using to plan his life after you leave. Four months that you could be using to learn how to live without him (because I don't think it's going to be easy).

All you need is a discussion. Just tell him that you don't envision staying with him after you leave because as much as you love him, you don't want to spend the rest of your life with him. Cry. Let him cry. Fight. Hug. Deal with your reality together. It's going to be messy no matter what. It's going to be awkward with your mutual friends no matter how you play this. Maybe you'll decide to enjoy your last few months together. Maybe he'll decide he needs space. What matters is that it'll be an honest plan.

You said it best -- he probably knows the truth and is waiting to hear you say it. You have like ... 3,000 hours before June (did I do that math right?). You can't possibly stay silent about this until then.

Readers? Should she wait to end the relationship? Will it be easier to do it now? Would it be easier for him to separate after she leaves? Is she giving up a good thing? Discuss.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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