Best-Of Advice

On letting him go

Dear Coquette,

My boyfriend of four years has decided he wants to move to Texas to become a police officer. We currently live in California. I have just bought my own house, and I have a full ride scholarship to a university in California. He has applied to be a police officer in California, but they aren’t moving fast enough for him. I offered to give up the home I just purchased and my education to follow him. He said he’d break up with me if I did, that he would feel bad if I did, and wouldn’t allow me to do it. If he goes, I’ll stupidly try to work through it, no matter how miserable and resentful I am that all of it was his choice.

 I’m not asking him to sacrifice anything — he can be a police officer here just as much as Texas. He told me he is doing what he has to do for him and his future, that we aren’t married, but getting married has always been the plan, so why should that matter? (Because we aren’t married gives him a free card to do anything he wants and not consider me?)

If he loved me and wanted to marry me, he would stay, there would be nothing more important to him than to be with me. I am lost, and the more I try and convince him to stay, the farther away I push him. We are in serious trouble in our relationship. How do I convince him that he’s making a terrible decision for both of us? Am I being stupid? I’m terribly lost and hurt and I don’t know what to do. All I know is that I love him, and the four years we’ve been together should mean something. Please help.

OK, I’ll help, but you’re not gonna like it. Sit down and strap in, because it’s brutal truth time.

Your relationship is over.

Let that sink in for a second. I know the thought just terrifies you, but someone needed to tell you in plain and simple language what your boyfriend is too much of a spineless douchebag to admit.

You made it four years. Well done. That’s longer than most. Unfortunately, now it’s time for you to be heartbroken for a while. It’s gonna suck. There will be a lot of tears, a good bit of wallowing, and a sizable amount of resentment and anger, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s stay focused on the present moment and see if we can’t at least get you past this initial denial phase.

Your boyfriend does not want to be with you anymore. In fact, he probably checked out of the relationship well over a year ago. He’s just been going through the motions, encouraging you to plant roots in California so he could make the jump to Texas without you following him. It’s the only way he knew how to end things after almost half a decade.

It’s a harsh reality to face, but the good news is that you’re getting rid of an emotionally stunted coward who’s just gonna end up being another jerk cop in Texas. The bad news is it’s too soon for you to see it that way.

It’s perfectly natural for you to be a hot mess right now, but I highly recommend you steel yourself up and take control of the situation. If you have it in you, summon the dignity and break up with him yourself. Make it hard, fast and clean.

If you can’t bring yourself to end it, at least prepare for the inevitable. This is not the man you’re gonna marry. He’s just the man you spent the first chunk of your 20s loving, and there’s no shame in that.

Don’t worry. You’ll be fine. In fact, you’re in a good place. You’ve got a home, a scholarship, and a couple of years to focus on your education. You’ll get through this, and eventually, you’ll find someone else.

For now, though, just take a deep breath and realize that you are not lost. He is.

Let him go.


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