Q: Hi Meredith,
I'm 30 and I've been with my boyfriend "Mike" for almost 2 years. We met on Match.com a couple of months after I had broken up with my previous boyfriend of over 6 years. My previous relationship was very rocky and unhealthy; we had many trust issues over the years and I was never fully comfortable in the relationship. After meeting "Mike," I felt like I had met the person I was going to marry. I fell fast and hard. Six months after dating, we moved in together. Things have slowly been going downhill (on my end) from there. He is a wonderful person and boyfriend, he goes out of his way for me, we enjoy doing many of the same things, we come from a similar background, and we have similar thoughts about the future. He is definitely "good" for me.
But lately I've been unsure if he is the one for me. I can't really put my finger on what it is, sometimes I don't feel like we laugh at the same things, or he doesn't quite understand my humor. Sometimes I feel like our conversation is lacking, or that he doesn't really challenge my intellect or want to talk about things I want to talk about. He tries so hard to make me happy, but I still sometimes just feel like something is missing, or that there's someone out there that may be better for me. But I've always been a very questioning person, and so maybe no matter who I'm with, I will always ask, "Is this person right for me?"
Am I overthinking this? Do I stay with him, knowing that he has all of these great qualities and would make a wonderful husband and father, or do I try to start over, knowing that these creeping doubts will probably never go away?
– Confused in Metrowest
A: I hate telling people to end relationships that have a lot going for them, but if this is a nagging feeling and you can't let it go, you have to walk away.
I'm not convinced that there's anyone better for you out there, by the way. I mean, there probably is, but I can't promise that you'll find him anytime soon. This breakup can't be about you making the assumption that once you let go of this, you'll find someone else. This has to be about you not wanting to spend your life with this guy -- and accepting that you don't know what will happen next.
Many of us are prone to doubt and will always wonder what we might be missing. But in the best relationships we can say, "I'm not curious enough to let go of what I have -- because what I have is pretty awesome."
You sound annoyed. And you didn't express any fear about what life would be like without him. You didn't tell us that you'd miss him if he went away. That says a lot, doesn't it?
Readers? Should she stay with Mike? Are there better partners for her? Will she always doubt her relationships? Is her former relationship relevant? Help.
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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.