Dear Readers: A few days ago I received this plea for help. As you can read, she asks me for my opinion and then she asks you for yours. Please leave your advice in the comments...
The Back Story:
My boyfriend and I have been dating for a little over 4 and a half years. We met in the beginning of our senior year at college. After we graduated college, and had been dating for about a year, we have been in a “long distance relationship”. I use this term loosely because we live about 45 minutes away from each other and see each other once, on the rare occasion twice, a week. We always switch off weekends (Saturday PM to Monday AM), and if he has an evening off or I have an extra day off, we will make it a point to visit again, even if it means sitting at the other’s job all day (somehow our bosses don’t mind).
Some Random Need-to-Know Facts:
1. His family loves me. My family loves him. Our families have met several times and get along wonderfully – they even bonded over politics and sports!
2. We have talked several times about marriage, where we would live, how many kids we would have, how we’d raise them, religion, politics and everything else in between. I know things change as you grow up, but right now, we are on the same page with everything.
3. I have a very stable, although not very high paying but that’s always the case, job that I LOVE. I’ve been with the company for over 5 years and I am very happy there. My job, of course, is where I live, and where my boyfriend and I have discussed settling down is where HE lives.
4. We both live with our parents (don’t judge me: I don’t pay rent, I am saving a shit load of money and my parents are pretty awesome).
5. My boyfriend recently lost his job due to company downsizing and he is struggling to find another one.
Early July, my boyfriend was acting funny (after this long of a relationship, I just know when something is up). He finally opened up to me that he was confused about his life and his current situation (this happened about 4 days prior to him losing his job). Basically he is questioning if he needs to be a guy in his mid-20s on his own doing whatever it is he needs to do, or if he wants to stay in the relationship with me. We’ve had countless arguments, discussions and tears (both me AND him) over this whole situation over the past 5-6 weeks. We’ve gone through brief periods of not speaking. We even managed to have a vacation planned in the middle of all this and spent 8 days in Cancun (and somehow got along wonderfully, had amazing sex, and I didn’t try to drown him in the Caribbean Sea - doesn’t mean I didn’t think it though).
During all this, he hasn’t had a job, so each week prior to vacation, he would come over on Friday night and stay until Tuesday morning – even hanging out with me at work all day Saturday. A few times in the past weeks of hell, I’ve turned the tables on him saying, ‘Why would I want to be with someone who is questioning if they want to be with me?’ however, he comes back and says, and has said on numerous occasions, that is has absolutely nothing to do with me, he loves me, he cares about me, it kills him that he is making me so upset, he sees me with him together forever… all the while, we are still going through this situation.
I don’t understand what he means by “be a guy in his mid-20s on his own doing whatever it is he needs to do” because he pretty much does that. We don’t live together. We aren’t engaged or married. We see each other 2 days a week, leaving the other 5 for his “whatevers”. He goes out with friends, goes to bars, gets drunk, comes home late, sees his family, goes golfing, plays video games and I don’t say a thing about it because it doesn’t bother me. We’ve gone on 6 vacations together, some solo and some with friends or family, in the past 5 years, eaten at some of the most amazing restaurants (we are both in the food industry so that is very important to us), we go on dates, see movies, lounge around, watch tv, go to baseball games…we do everything. The ONLY thing he doesn’t get to do is fuck around, be with another girl, etc. I ask him if this is what he wants. He says no. He says he doesn’t know what he wants. He says he is confused, he doesn’t know what he is thinking, he doesn’t know what to do, he is confused. And it’s a nonstop circle of insanity.
And I will leave you with this (after I’ve left you with so much already, sorry!)… last night, I got so fed up with this bullshit, the fact that every conversation is him apologizing, me saying it’s been 6 weeks that we’ve been going through this, him saying that he’s trying, me asking for him to try harder, him saying he loves me, me crying... I was so fed up, that I told him we should back off from each other and not talk for awhile. I didn’t give him a time line and we both understand that if there is an extreme emergency and we need to be in touch with each other, we can do that, otherwise, until he gains some clarity, or until I do, we wouldn’t be speaking to each other. He immediately didn’t like this idea, saying that he didn’t want to not talk to me or not text me during the day and not share things with me, but the bastard can’t have his cake and eat it too.
So that is where we left off. Basically, my question is, WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!?!?!?!?! Any advice that you can give would be so beyond appreciated it is ridiculous. Feel free to post his on your blog if you want to, after all, I could use all the feedback I can get from men, women, both older and younger, attached, unattached, crazy and drunk.
My sweet, I wish I could say that I did not agonize over similar situations in my youth, but the truth is that I did. Even when I realized that the "bastard" was a moron (and I'm not saying that yours is) I still wondered how EVEN A MORON couldn't see what an amazing 'catch' I was.
But time heals lots of things - most especially, YOUTH.
And youth, I'm afraid, is what you're dealing with here.
You're both very young and if your boyfriend were writing to me to say, "I'm just not sure." I would be telling him the same thing that I'm telling you. "Go ahead. See other people." If you date 1 or 2 people and you realize that what you had was better - you can always get back together. But if you date a couple of people and you think to yourself, "HOLY SHIT! I can't believe I was willing to settle for a LIFETIME of peanut butter and jelly because I'd never tried PRIME RIB!" then you'll be REALLY glad you took a break.
But you have to mean it. You can't keep him in the wings while you see other people - and he can't do that to you. Neither of you can make a clear decision while you're still seeing each other.
Okay everyone, am I right?