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I'm Afraid to Break Up with Her

Visitor's Question from a 16-20 year old Male
My situation is very specific. I'm currently 17 years old and am dating a 20 year old. We've been dating for a year and 5 months. The problem is, I'm going away for college in less than a year and she is staying here. She is planning to move to where I'm going for college within a year or two but I'm not sure if I want her to do that.

I love her with everything I got but I'm young, and I haven't experienced a lot of what is out there relationship wise and I can't help but want to experience that, especially in college. I think I want to end it before it get's too close to the time I go to college.

The problem is, I don't know how to do it. I've been dating her for a long time and we've promised to each other a lot of serious things (ex. living together, getting married) and she is very attached to me. She says things like you're all I have to live for which scares me.

I tried to break up once, but by the next day we were back together, partly because I still love her and partly because I couldn't stand her feeling that way. I'm afraid if I break up with her she may become depressed.

Is there anyway to break up with her without hurting her too much, especially after making all these promises and plans?

RomanceClass.com Advice
The most important thing to say is you should never feel pressured to stay in a relationship over guilt. Yes, break-ups are hard. They are always hard. However, you can't feel obligated to stay in the relationship because she's going to be sad as a result. If that were so, nobody would ever break up, and there would be a lot of miserable couples around.

And yes, you made promises to each other, but that is how young love works. People tend to make promises. How many high school couples promised to get married and have kids? It's part of being in love. However, it's clear that most high school couples do NOT get married and have kids, and that is quite OK. People go through relationships to learn about life, and learn about themselves, and to learn and grow. They are practice rounds so when eventually they are in the right place and time they have the experience to handle the relationship well with the person they DO marry and have kids with.

You want to enjoy college life - which is quite fair. You only get one time in college and it is a time of experimentation and learning. It is very reasonable - and again very normal and typical - for a person going to college to want to be unattached for that experience.

So yes, it is going to be hard. And yes, she is going to be upset. And yes you care for her at this stage of life. All of those are things you accept, and then you do what you need to do to reach the next stage. You can talk to her minister or priest or other person of influence so they are ready to help her get through the healing process. But you cannot allow yourself to be tied to her forever because you're guilty. In the long run, you could grow to resent or even hate her for making you miss out on something you wanted to do. And that would not be good for either of you. This way, you could eventually remain friends, and if it's meant to be, you'll get together again after college. And if she really loves you, she should want you to come back to her because you want to - not to feel stuck and unhappy because she forced you to stay.


-- from Lisa
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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