I Think It’s Time To Break Up Again

No chat today because of a meeting. But please email your own question to [email protected] or fill out this form. I’m ready to read all of your problems.


Dear Meredith,

I have been with my boyfriend for two-ish years now, but this past year has been messy. I moved overseas in September 2020 for a graduate program, and we broke up twice while I was gone, once “for good.” This was mostly due to the distance, but also because I had expressed often that I wasn’t keen on marriage or kids. Keep in mind, I’m 23, so these parts of life are no where in my plan for at least six-plus years. When I came home earlier than expected because of COVID, I pretty much begged him to get back together and told him I’d reconsidered and wanted to marry him and have kids with him one day. He rejected me. About three months later, he reached out and we ended up getting back together, but this time, I was the hesitant one.

It was all really nice to actually be together again and think of the possibility of future, but having had real time apart where I thought we were really broken up with no possibility of getting back together, I think I realized that as much as I loved him, I couldn’t put myself in a situation I knew I truly didn’t want – mostly having to do with the whole kids thing. I know I’m young and my mind could change, but both of our views of life are pretty different, and now I’m worried I’m leading him on. We’re also doing long-distance for at least the summer, probably longer. Even though it’s only been a few months, and things had been so rocky that this seems like the first time we’ve been more or less stable in the past year, I have a nagging sense that maybe this isn’t meant to be and I should end things. I love him deeply, but I’m conflicted about the realistic side of things.

– Realistic


Sometimes it takes multiple breakups before two people decide they’ve hit a wall for good.

You tried and tried again with this relationship. You also attempted to be open to his ideas for the future. But … you can’t force it.

Really, it sounds like you got back together last year because the world got scary, and because you didn’t want to return home to nothing. You just wanted some stability, right? And you missed him.

Missing someone doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be with them. That’s why breakups can be so difficult.

You know what you have to do, unfortunately. Yes, another breakup will be hurtful and will make things messier, and you might lose him for good. But it seems like it’s time. Before you spend more months trying to make a long-distance relationship work, tell him how you’re feeling. Ask him what he thinks should happen. Maybe he has doubts too.

The kid thing is real, and even though you’re young and could change your mind a zillion times, he’s ready to talk about it now, and you aren’t. If he wasn’t already planning a future, the present wouldn’t mean so much, but it does.

Again, you know the answer here – and I’m sorry it’s not an easier one.

– Meredith

Readers? Time to let go?

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