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bethscott's avatar

I want to break up with my boyfriend. Should I, and how do I do it?

Asked by bethscott (42points) July 8th, 2019

Me and my boyfriend are both young (by that, I mean early 20s). I started dating him because he was my best friend and I was attracted to him. Sometimes I still am, but I find that I’m more and more annoyed with his behavior and stopped being a good girlfriend to him long ago… No, I’m not proud of it. He, however, is still in love with me.

Breaking up with him would seem heartless, because it’s almost like I have no reason to. I know it would break his heart. He’s not physically or emotionally abusive. He almost always thinks about me and is incredibly sweet. It’s more like I’m just not attracted to him the same way I used to be. We’ve both changed over the years, I’m not the same person I used to be. I get too easily irritated by his behavior and find I’m happier when he’s not around, and that’s not healthy for either of us.

There’s also the fact that before we started dating, I started to become friends with his friends and eventually, they became my primary social group. I don’t really socialize outside of this group, which wasn’t a problem until I considered breaking up. They were his friends first, and I can’t expect them to still want to associate with me if I break up with him. If I’m lucky, I might stay in contact with 1 or 2, but I know that I will never be included in our group outings again.

I just want things to go back to the way they used to be, when we were all just friends but no one was dating each other. I know that’s idealistic, but I feel like I’m trapped, and I don’t know what to do. Break ups are always so, so hard, but this one has a lot on the line. I feel like my options are either to give up my best friend (current boyfriend) and all my other friends just so I can date other people, or to condemn us both to a one-sided relationship. And even if I decided to break it off, I don’t even know HOW to. Please, please help.

Side note, I posted this on Quora and got no help. The only advice I got was to break off all contact with anyone associated with him, but I’m not cold enough for that. I’m really looking for some support!

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8 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

You seem like you are staying because of guilt and fear of missing out rather than genuine love. But consider this: would it be any happier for him when he realize you don’t love him and just stay out of “responsibility”? This is going to cause you both guilt.

Accept that you have changed. Then have a private talk with him about your true feeling. You can work out a lot of things you haven’t considered yet, like whether he is displaying annoying behavior that is unintentionally repelling you. And whether you two will become friends again is up to both of you. Hope for the best, but don’t put all your chips in one place, and if you can’t be friends again just accept that. No breakup is painless, we just have to find a way to work through it.

And who to say you can’t still be friends with his friends? If you don’t try you can’t find out. And if after the breakup you lose the group, then remember how you met your boyfriend in the first place. People come and go and there will always be someone waiting to be friends with you.

You seem so invested in this relationship that when it falls apart you don’t have anywhere to go. Maybe it’s time to participate in more social activities. Join a club perhaps?

elbanditoroso's avatar

There is no good way of breaking up with someone. It’s going to hurt him no matter what,

Your best bet, if you are convinced this is right, is to do it quickly and concisely. Don’t let it drag on – that’s just torture.

kritiper's avatar

If you are considering it, then, yes, you should. But do it honestly, and face-to-face, in person.

jca2's avatar

Nobody can make that decision for you. Do what feels right and do it when you are comfortable doing it, if you are going to do it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Been there, done that. Like @Mimishu1995 said, you aren’t doing him any favors by staying, or yourself.

I’d just ask for a talk, tell him you love him to death as a friend/ roommate, etc…but you just aren’t in love anymore and need to be able to grow as an adult.

Yes, friends more than likely will choose sides, but hey, that’s part of the fun of growing up. Trust me, when you get older, friends are still important but not anything like HS/ college where you feel like you NEED them to go out, etc…

To finish, being together should make you better people, not worse. So remember the old saying, ‘if you don’t grow together, you grow apart’, no one’s fault, it just happens.

Best of luck!

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si3tech's avatar

IMHO you never hurt someone more than when you “try not to hurt them”! There is absolutely no substitute for the truth.

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