General Question

maroon's avatar

How do I tell my partner I'm not ready for a long term relationship?

Asked by maroon (148points) March 9th, 2010

I’ve been together with a woman I respect and care for a great deal for almost 2 years now. We’ve lived together for only 6 months. I’ll be going back to university in 6 months time and we were thinking of getting an apartment together in another city. It’s a big decision because I feel I am still immature, somewhat, and don’t want to settle down with her just yet. I want to continue meeting other people, I suppose. It might stem from the fact that deep down maybe I have doubts about the 2 of us… How do I tell her I don’t want this long-term relationship to go on without destroying her life as it is now?

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26 Answers

thriftymaid's avatar

Tell her just what you told us.

lilikoi's avatar

You tell her sooner than later. Did you feel differently at the start? I mean, why didn’t you just tell her that from the beginning? Do you think you’ll find someone better, and if you don’t will you regret leaving her if you can’t get her back?

PandoraBoxx's avatar

You did a beautiful job of explaining yourself in your question, @maroon. You raise very valid points, and it is far more honorable to let her know now than to have her disrupt her life, move to another city, only to have the relationship fall apart there. You need to be prepared that by telling her, your current relationship may end as soon as you tell her, for essentially you’re telling her “I don’t see a long term future with you.”

Cruiser's avatar

Continuing to string her along when your heart is not in it will do more damage than being honest with her. Tell her how you really feel and don’t bs her anymore.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Oy, this sounds like a conversation that need to be had at a restaurant.
You realize of course that telling her this is tantamount to breaking up with her yes?

Trust me, breaking up with you is not going to destroy her life.

phillis's avatar

I seriously commend you for facing an uncomfortable truth. And, you’re right – it isn’t an easy conversation. But it IS a necessary one. Just keep in mind how you would feel if someone strung you along and wasted YOUR time, and that will sufficiently motivate yout to get the job done.

I would like to suggest a face-to-face encounter and some uninterrupted time. She deserves that much. I’m proud of you for trying to do the right thing. It speaks of the person you are trying to become. The only thing left is to see this through to it’s conclusion.

mponochie's avatar

While I agree the sooner you tell her the better I still can’t help but think that there is a bigger issue here…why have you invested two years with someone you don’t see a future with.

maroon's avatar

Thanks for your comments. It means a lot.

I’ve only started having these thoughts recently after having lived with her for a while. It all went very quickly when we moved in together. I’m also conscious of the fact that she’s in school right now, and I’m not. So maybe I’ve been holding it off until she’s done because she shouldn’t have this extra load of stress on her shoulders. But I feel terrible for keeping it in the hopes my feelings will change. But the fact is I don’t want to continue living with her in the future if I’ll still feel this way. Only time will tell it seems.

maroon's avatar

@phillis you seriously put it into context for me.

broncosgirl's avatar

Be honest with her. I wish I had done the same for my ex, because I kidded myself that things would work out eventually. We were together for 5 years, and moved together, it fell apart. Don’t do the same to her, have enough respect and kindness to let her know exactly what you told us. The sooner the better too. It doesn’t make you a bad person, if you don’t feel it you can’t force it. Best of luck

ru2bz46's avatar

“I think we should see other people.”

phillis's avatar

@maroon The whole thing does some serious sucking, doesn’t it? She won’t be pleased, but this clears the way for both of you to have some incredibly positive things happen in your lives. There’s school, of course, but there are other relationships that will come, too. In the end, there will be better matches for both of you. And though it often does end with one or both being angry at the other, its really does NOT have to be like that. I am hoping that both parties are able to react with visions of the future and all the good things that will come your way, because there is no bad guy in this.

Thank you for telling me how my comments affected you. It’s so nice to know that the things you says matters.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

To be direct with someone is doing them a huge favor and shows maturity.Just do it.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

The adjustment of living with someone can be very stressful, if you’ve never lived with anyone before. Some people and relationships need personal space to retreat to, where you’re not constantly together. In some ways, living with someone is a good idea, but in other ways, it’s a bad idea if you’re not really ready for commitment. You can’t will that to happen. You may start by telling her that you find living with someone stressful, and perhaps it’s too soon for you; you need your own space and being responsible for yourself. You’re not ready for commitment, and moving to a new city together is a BIG commitment.

Exhausted's avatar

You sound like a caring person. The fact that you are struggling with this inevitable conversation reflects that. Ultimately we are all responsible for our own emotions and well-being. Breaking up with someone you have combined your life with is never easy, but it will hurt more the longer you postpone telling her. I stayed in a marriage long after it was over to keep from hurting him and staying did not make it eaiser or better. She will appreciate you being honest with her and will figure out what to do for herself. Staying will not make it better, it will just complicate things more. Tell her how you feel and leave it up to her to figure how how to handle the changes.

plethora's avatar

Ummmm….together two years, living together 6 months…and it’s just occurring to you that “maybe” you don’t want a long term relationship? What about thinking about that almost two years ago?

Yeah…you are way too immature. Get out of it. She’s just dodged a bullet.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Maroon (- @Moron- )

I can’t really offer better advice than those before me have.

I wonder why you decided to move in with her 6 months ago when you probably already knew that this woman was not likely to be part of your life plan.

If your reason was to have regular access to her as a lover, you could have likely had that without moving in together.

Having moved in with her, you likely communicated to her that your relationship was stable enough for her to deeply invest emotionally.

You may not have used any words to that effect, but your actions certainly did.

Now you want to communicate the opposite and you suggest that are concerned about the effect on her feelings?

It seems to me you should have considered that about six months ago!

How would you feel if the situation was exactly reversed?

Well, it is time to confess your real intentions and that you took advantage of her.

Your behaviour was thoughtless at the very least, if not worse.

Be thankful this women of whom you want to dispose is not my daughter!

plethora's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Great Answer..:) He’s been telling her by his actions for two years that he is ready to invest emotionally and certainly with the move in, she thinks so too.

maroon's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Like I said, that initial moving in together phase went quickly. We’re both really new to relationships too so I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never lived with anyone before.
You don’t have to be so condescending. I went into this relationship thinking it would last forever. Doesn’t everyone? I’ve heard that once you start having doubts about your SO that you’re likely never to love her 100% again. But those kinds of feelings came after living with her and investing all our time together. It wasn’t anything I anticipated and I certainly would have called it off if I had those thoughts earlier.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I remember that you posted this question earlier, in October, and that her family was a factor in making it hard to part. I think you’ve given it a good try. When’s the lease up? Your only option is to move out, and to continue to pay your share of the rent/utilities through the end of the lease.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

A man should not move in with a woman he’s known for two years casually. You’re presently certain about feeling that you are immature and you would like to date other women.

Can you honestly say you did not know either or both or these things before you moved in with her?

Most men know whether or not they are ready to make a long term commitment.

You don’t have to be honest with us or her on this point, but try being honest with yourself.

Sophief's avatar

Why didn’t you tell the poor girl 2 years ago? Instead, you have let her get feelings for you, all the while knowing this. I’ll say no more.

maroon's avatar

@PandoraBoxx Yeah thanks for remembering. It’s been tough sometimes because I care for her and her family as well. I’m trying to make this relationship work but if it all goes downhill from here, yeah, we probably will have to cut our lease (which is up in September).

@Exhausted I appreciate that. It’s not like I was anticipating this emotional change to ever happen, but unfortunately it has. I’m hoping it will change soon, but thanks for giving me your examples and thoughts.

@Dr_Lawrence I’m looking for advice, not to be placed under some psychological profile, “doctor.” I’m not the chauvinistic monster you’re making me out to be. Yes, I’m being perfectly honest.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

What you’ve expressed to us isn’t that uncommon. A lot of people do the “he/she’s the best thing going for however long he/she’s going until I find a reason to break up with him/her.” I agree with others in that you won’t destroy her life if you step up now and cut her free to be available for a more serious and comitted partner to come along- they always do. To delay or think you two should give it a try in another city would be foolish and unfair to her so don’t cave in and decide to keep stringing her along.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Maroon I may have drawn the wrong conclusions about you from what you disclosed in your question. I apologize for challenging your character.

There are too many men who fail to consider the impact of their actions on the women in their lives. They withhold information they know they should not.

Luiveton's avatar

Well If you really love her, then simply: Think carefully, deep down inside,about the genuine reason you want to leave her for. And, I’m trying to put this in the simplest way: Love might often be destructive or constructive. So I think you should pick your words carefully, in a manner that will not hurt any of you. And make sure this is what you want, because you don’t know how much you might be hurting her. Trust me, we all know the feeling.

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