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I need to break up with a great guy

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  February 23, 2011 08:00 AM

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Q: I need to know that it's okay to leave the good guy. The guy that listens and puts up with the crazy and brings breakfast to bed. The one that makes you laugh and tells you when to stop being so serious but knows that life isn't just a game. The one who will know what to make for dinner after a tough day just to cheer you up and send pictures to let you know that he's thinking of you. The one who will make chicken soup when you're sick and wipe all the tears from your eyes. The guy who wants to have a dog and loves kids, can fix a car, and can spend a day doing nothing on a couch and read with you when it's raining outside.

The background: We're both young, in our 20s, and have been together 6 years. He has a career and I have a job. We live together. We don't argue much and if we do, it's usually about spending time with family. We've never have serious problems or "deal-breaker" issues. I only know that despite everything being textbook right, I feel wrong.

I need to know that despite all the qualities, it is OK to leave and that I will be OK. I need to know that leaving my best friend for time for myself (and no, this is not to go sleep with someone else) is not the wrong choice. I need to know that there is someone else out there for both me and the guy whose heart will break. Because to leave will break a part of me but to stay no longer feels right.

I just need to hear it will be OK and that I'm not giving something good up for a bad reason.

– lost and loved, Boston


A: I can't tell you that it'll be OK, LAL. I can't promise you that in three years you won't look back and say, "I'd pay a million bucks to be able to have that perfect guy back in my life." I can’t promise that someone else is waiting for you. Dropping a wonderful guy (or woman) is always a risk. But based on what you've said, it's a risk you have to take.

You want to go it alone, so get going. Write a note to yourself reminding the future version of you that you broke up with your boyfriend because, as you put it, you "feel wrong." Write in the note that while timing isn't everything, it's huge, and you couldn't stay with Mr. Perfect without having doubts.

You'll miss him. You'll go through long periods of regret. You'll hear that he's dating someone else and you'll feel like a fool, even if you're happy with someone else. But then you'll read that note and remember that you had to explore on your own. You'll be confused and miserable, but being confused and miserable is better than being dishonest in a loving relationship.

I wish I could guarantee you something. All I can say for sure is that you've already made a decision.

Readers? Can you help the letter writer let the boyfriend go? Or convince the LW to stay? Can you say something that makes this feel any safer than it is? 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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