I am at a complete loss as to what to do here, and I would appreciate your advice.
My boyfriend and I have been dating for 4 years. I was 20 when I first started dating him; he was 4 years older. He is my first ever boyfriend, and my first everything (except for kissing). Over time, we’ve become really close and really good friends.
Here’s the problem: I don’t think I’m “in love” or sexually attracted to him anymore.
Over the past few months I’ve noticed that I’m less and less interested in him. Kissing him is fine, but anything more than that and I have to really convince myself to do this. I do not look forward to having sex with him.
For the longest time, I tried telling myself that wasn’t true- we were both busy so we couldn’t see each other that much, I’m tired a lot of the time, etc., but lately it’s been getting harder and harder to deny, especially since I developed feelings for a friend of mine.
These past few weeks have been rather stressful ones for me. Finally, last week, my boyfriend called me and asked what was going on. I broke down and told him I wasn’t sure I loved him as a boyfriend anymore and asked for a few days to think things over. Understandably, he was devastated.
I’ve been thinking about this for the past few days, but I am no closer to a decision as to what to do. I love him wholeheartedly- he is truly my best friend, and I know he is the one person in the world who would never hurt me. I would never, ever want to hurt him- but I know that if I break up with him, I would be emotionally slaughtering him.
And the thing is, I’m not sure I even want to break up with him, but I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s because I’m too afraid (of being alone, of hurting him), because I care about him, or what. I have no idea what to do. I find myself crying in the bathroom at work a lot, but even that is not enough to convince me to reconcile.
What’s wrong with me? I know that he loves me and is attracted to me. He is sweet and kind. What is wrong with me that I can’t reciprocate his feelings anymore? Am I incredibly selfish? Immature? He did absolutely nothing wrong. I don’t ever want to hurt him. Is this something that can be fixed? Should it even be fixed? Is this something most couples go through? I am so scared of making the wrong choice. We’d talked about moving in together and getting married, and now that future is suddenly in doubt, and all because I don’t know what to do.
Girl Who Doesn’t Know What The Heart Wants
Dear Girl Who Doesn’t Know What The Heart Wants,
You may not know what your heart wants, but your groin knows what it wants, and the answer is:
NOT YOUR BOYFRIEND
You told me so yourself:
“Here’s the problem: I don’t think I’m “in love” or sexually attracted to him anymore.
Over the past few months I’ve noticed that I’m less and less interested in him. Kissing him is fine, but anything more than that and I have to really convince myself to do this. I do not look forward to having sex with him.”
Break up with him.
Seriously, break up with him.
I know you adore him, you’re best friends, he will be very hurt, you will miss him a lot and have to do some adjusting to single life and it might take you a while to meet someone you like as much. The future you planned together will be “in doubt.”
You should break up with him.
The fact that you are asking me “what’s wrong with you” that you’re not attracted to him anymore is like an extra special sign from the universe that you should break up with him.
Nothing is wrong with you. NOTHING IS WRONG WITH YOU. You were attracted/in love with him and now you are not. It does happen in a lot of relationships, and you can go the route of riding it out and hoping that it changes or you could save yourself a lot of “convincing” yourself to have sex with him and bail now (recommended!).
This is not a Jane Austen novel. You don’t have to marry that dude and lie back and think of England every night in order to save the family estate and produce an heir or whatever. Watch The Forsyte Saga (streaming on Netflix, PRETTY DRESSES AND HATS) for a portrait of what happens when only one partner is attracted and in love within a relationship.
He doesn’t have to have done anything wrong. There doesn’t have to be any kind of airtight case or good reason. The reason is “I don’t feel that way about you anymore, I’m very sorry to hurt you, but we should break up now.” In fact, it is by far and away the classiest and cleanest way to break up with someone to completely own your own feelings and make them the reason for the split. It’s hard for him to argue with totally subjective feelings and cuts off some avenues for him to try to “prove” he can “change.”
He deserves someone that wants to rip his clothes off. That’s not you.
I know it’s easy for me to say this and very hard for you to do it, but trust me, you do not want to be in a relationship where you have to psych yourself up for sex with someone. You are crying in the bathroom at work. You are avoiding him. You are super-stressed out and sad. Breaking up with him will for sure hurt his feelings and make him sad, but you are already sad and upset!
Here’s what’s probably going to happen if you stay in this relationship with him: Eventually you are going to fuck someone else. Your friend you are attracted to? A handsome stranger? You are going to fuck that person, and it is going to be AH-MAZ-ING, and you’ll be all guilty, but you’ll still keep fucking the person, and now you are cheating on your nice boyfriend who loves you, and you’ll be feeling guilty and making him sad….you’ve just postponed the inevitable while giving him more time to get even more invested in his relationship with you.
This is because you no longer want to put your parts on his parts, which is a sad but totally legitimate, sane, real reason for you to end a relationship. Please do not get sucked into continuing this thing. You don’t live together. You aren’t married. You don’t have kids. You are 24 years old, HOTNESS ITSELF (I can tell these things, because all the readers at Captain Awkward Dot Com are HOTNESS ITSELF), and there are years ahead of you of meeting awesome dudes and loving/banging them.
How Do I Break Up With Someone? (Some scripts for the actual conversation).
You Don’t Have To Be Friends With Your Ex (Take a long break from contact with this guy after you do the deed, lest your relationship grow back together like a badly set bone – you’ll be friends later!)
You Don’t Have To Make It Work Out (You don’t need a reason – wanting to maybe break up is a reason).
Good luck. Your entire body is telling you what to do. Tell your heart to piss off for a while and come back when you’re not crying in the bathroom because you don’t want to have sex with your nice boyfriend, and listen to your groin on this one.