So this is a long story, thanks for taking the time to read it! And I would appreciate all of your advice SO much, especially because a lot of you are older than me (I'm only 21) and have more experience than me and everything...
So anyways, onto my dilemma. I've been dating my boyfriend for about 4 years (it'll be 4 years September 10th actually). We started dating in high school and I had had a crush on him since like... 7th grade or something. He was/is my first boyfriend, pretty much my first and only everything. We've had a really great relationship so far; I mean, we fight sometimes of course but it's been a really healthy relationship and I couldn't be happier with the guy I chose.
BUT... well, I say that I couldn't be happier, but I should say I shouldn't be happier? If that makes sense? ha... Because sometimes I think that I don't love him anymore... I think that I will always love him, but I'm not in love with him anymore. I studied abroad in Chile this past February for 5 months and before I left I had had these feelings for maybe a month or two, but decided not to say anything and go to Chile and hope when I came back in July it would be really obvious what I wanted. I was hoping it would either be wow, I love this guy, I want to spend the rest of my life with him, OR it would be no, my feelings have completely changed...
Okay, so, I came back, and towards the end of my time in Chile I was pretty sure I wasn't in love anymore (maybe because we had been apart for a few months?) and I was going to see how it was when I came back, but I was pretty sure I was going to break up with him. However, when I came back and gave it some time it really didn't solve anything... I really think it just depends on the moment how I'm feeling about him. Some moments I am like I LOVE YOU SO MUCH and I think how could I ever think I wanted to break up with you? but then other times I feel like when we're kissing or hugging or fooling around or whatever that I'm forcing myself because my heart's not in it anymore. UGH I'm so confused! I at least know that for sure, that I'm super confused.. but I have no idea what to do about it.
I haven't talked to him about this at all, only because I know that he is reaaallly in love with me and would take it SO hard if he even knew I felt like this. It would most likely ruin our relationship completely, so I really have to be sure I want to risk it before I mention it... that said, I feel really guilty that I'm not being honest with him; I would want him to be honest with me.
I will also admit that I have a few of those what-if-no-one-ever-loves-me-again feelings, but I know that that's not an excuse to stay with someone you don't love. Also, sometimes I think that our life goals are just too different to be together... I'm almost done college and I have wanted to join the Peace Corps for like 5 years; I want to SO badly. It's the next step in my life, I'm sure of it, and I know that I will really regret it if I don't go. I've brought up this subject a few times and my boyfriend always gets really depressed about it when he thinks about me leaving him (Peace Corps is 27 months). I've half-jokingly asked him to come with me but he's turned that down completely. And I know that's a lot to ask of him too, believe me. I just.. I don't know! The Peace Corps is what I want right now, for my career and just because I want to see the world, since I'm young still... I think I would be completely (or almost completely) happy if he would go with me, but I know that's not possible or fair. I just know that if I choose him over that it could be a huge regret, but I don't want to risk losing him either and regretting that too. I mean, I can see myself with him for the rest of my life.. I just sometimes feel like I'm settling. And we're so young, I don't want to settle down and start working and have a family yet; I'm just not ready for it. I want that eventually, just not now. There's so many things I want to do first.
So yeah... that was a lot! I just don't know what to do; I'm so confused. One day I love him and the next day it's like I have no feelings at all for him. Could it just be because we have been together so long and things have gotten boring and we need to spice our relationship up? Or do you think I should really think about breaking up with him? So confused...Please help!
Last edited by holahanson; 08-29-2007 at 04:13 PM.
You must do what YOU really want to do. It sounds like you know what you want to do, but you need permission to do it, (so as not to feel guilty about splitting up). In your heart you know he isn't everything you want, but the future without him seems scary, the unknown.........feel the fear and do it anyway.
The truth is, the two of you have been together for awhile and you are also very young. I don't think you will know for sure if your boyfriend is "the one" unless you go out and see/date other people. I think the two of you need some space.
Go into the Peace Corps. If your relationship is still there when you return, then it is meant to be.
First I want to say..... You go girl! It sounds like you are very smart and strong. You have goals and a direction for your life at such a young age. You probably have a good guy but ...(always a but) he sounds like he "might" be a little bit of a settlier himself meaning that its out of the question to hope a board and go with you, now that is a wonderful quality in a husband but you need to know who you are first.
Dont let a boyfriend, mother, father sister brother anybody decide and dectate your life goals. You will NEVER be happy living someone elses dream. If you choose the boyfriend over what you really want than you will always regret and wonder what you would have been, maybe resent him in the long run for that. If you choose the peace corp and the boyfriend takes another path than it will weither find its way back around or it was never meant to be.
You know I had a high school sweetheart, we dated about 2 years and like you the first everything you know. I loved him with all my heart and never could see myself with anyone but him. But as we got older and because of our experiences with dating we sort of changed. I know he loved me, but I was not ready to settle down just yet, like you we were really young. So i decided to break up with him and I did so many times back and forth, the last time I did it he would not take me back, I cried, begged and pleaded. I felt like a huge part of my life was gone. It took years to get over him, I recently heard he and his wife, whom he met after me just had a baby. I am not going to lie it did shake me up a bit. But, thats how first loves are and sometimes if it is really meant, even if you separate for a while and you meet up again in the future then you know it was meant to be. Wow, you are so young, I have to say you have a good head on your shoulders and you should continue to grow and suceed in your furture, never let (love or in love) stop you from your goals and eduaction. I am praying that it will work out for you with whatever decesion you make.
Wow, thank you all for your replies! And I agree with all of you ha.. isitme, I think you are 100% right... I kind of am/was looking for permission ha. I don't know why I think I need it, probably because I know I will feel incredibly guilty... I know that I need to do this for me because I'm not 100% happy with our relationship, but I'm just so worried about him and how he will take it, and I don't want him to be unhappy/sad/depressed/etc, and I know he will be.
KeltoKel, I have wondered that before... we're so young and I have no idea if he is "the one", and I tend to say no if I'm not 100% sure. Well, maybe; he could be, but I won't ever know that unless I meet new people and date and stuff. And lately I have had really strong wishes that I was single, just to you know, go on dates with a few people and meet other guys and I don't know, not have a boyfriend... I mean, having a boyfriend is awesome, but not having one is nice too! Because in Chile he wasn't there so I was basically single (I didn't cheat, but you know what I mean, I felt single) and it was nice.
MCMA, thanks for the compliments! Ha I do know what I want.... well, pretty much; I am just afraid of making the wrong choice I guess. But you know, my life motto has ALWAYS been that you have to live your life, no regrets, and you have to live it for yourself and no one else because you only get one life and one chance to do what you want with it... I should probably follow my own advice!
kkmom, thank you for sharing your personal experience with me and thanks for your thoughts too! See, I'm afraid to break up with him because if I make a mistake I don't think he would take me back, and I don't know if I could handle seeing him with someone else... but who knows! I have to decide I guess. Then there is actually breaking up with him, and I think that's part of the reason I haven't done it yet - I don't know how and I'm soooo scared to do it. Like where, and when, and how, etc... I've never broken up with anyone before! ha. Oh well. Thanks again everyone for your replies!
I know it is hard, but you can't worry about how he is going to take it when you make a decision. You need to do what is right for you. You are the only one who can control your own happiness.
You sound so intelligent and you seem to know exactly what you want out of life. If you don't go after what you want you will regret. You need to see what else is out there and experience what the world has to offer before you settle down. If you don't then it most likely will never happen.
I agree that you should go into the Peace Corps because that is what you have always wanted to do. The best thing you can do for yourself is to go after what you have always wanted to do. Experience life as a young single woman exploring the world. Get out there and meet new people, maybe date some other men, and basicly see what the world has to offer. I think once you do this you will see that your boyfriend isn't the one.
The fear of the unknown is scary, but it is also exciting. Be honest with your boyfriend hon. He may be hurt, but you know what, he may also feel the same way you do deep down. You will never know unless you tell him. You owe it to you and him to be honest with how you feel. You are not doing him any favors by keeping this a secret. It won't be easy, but you will feel better once you get it out there. You will have a clear conscience because you aren't keeping such a big secret from him.
You sound like a very inteligent girl. Don't settle for anything less in life. You need to live out your dreams or you will live your life in regret. I'm sure in the end your boyfriend will want you to be happy whether it be with him or without him.
Keep us posted with what you decide to do. Take care.
I am just blown away by you holahanson! At 21 I was not even close to where you are at, in the sense of knowing what I wanted. And to have the insight to live life with no regrets, I never even had a thought process at 21. Not much of one at 31. Ha!
I am just so proud that there are smart young strong females in the world. You go to the peace corp. You are who they are looking for. Best wishes and keep us posted.