You answered my question months ago (existential FOMO), and it was incredibly helpful, but something has recently changed in my relationship. I’m planning on moving to the other side of the country, and my boyfriend wants to come with me. I really want him to come, but he has the expectation that we will “probably” get married in a few years. He also let slip that he would get married tomorrow if I wanted to. Even though I don’t want to break up with him, I still can’t see myself marrying him. I’m completely torn up over this- I’m bawling my eyes out every day- but I don’t want to lead him on, or make him uproot his entire life for me if I can’t live up to his expectations. I’ve also never been single in my adult life, or with anyone else, and the idea of starting completely over is scary, but appealing. I haven’t talked to him about this yet because I think I should make a decision first. How can I decide if it’s over?
You’re not deciding whether it’s over. You’re deciding whether to end it. There’s a subtle difference, but you need to understand it.
Deciding whether it’s over is a passive process of realization. It requires that you come to terms with an inevitability. Deciding whether to end it is an active process of determination. It requires that you come to terms with a choice.
For you, this is a choice that requires determination, not an inevitability that requires realization.
You’ve been with this guy for over half a decade, and you’ve said repeatedly that you can’t see yourself marrying him. It’s obvious that you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with this guy, yet he clearly expects to marry you. That understandably freaks you the fuck out, and as much as you don’t want to admit it, deep down you know that this cross-country move is your last best chance to parachute out of this relationship before you wake up a bored housewife in your mid-thirties still wondering about all that strange dick you never had.
If I can take the hint, then you can too. Trust me, this move is happening for more reasons than you think it is. It may not have been deliberate. It may not even have been conscious, but there’s a part of you that desperately wants out of this relationship, and that part of you is strong enough to have manifested a move to the other side of the country.
Thing is, you have to actually make the choice. You have to say it in your head. You have to say it out loud, and then finally you have to say it to his face, “We’re done. Our relationship was wonderful, but it’s over now. It’s time to move on to the next chapter in our lives, and it’s best for both of us that we aren’t together.”
You have to make the choice. You. Not him. Not me. You, and no one else. You also have to live with the consequences. Either way, it will be difficult. Either way, you will be lonely. Either way, you will never know whether you made the right decision.
Still, you have to make the choice.