Should I walk away from my boyfriend?

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    Hi guys,

    going nuts.

    Im 40 and he is 44. We had an awesome relationship for 15 months. Fairy tale romance. AMAZING.

    15 months into our relationship I bring up living together and he freaks out on me saying he is not ready. I say I dont understand why.

    He says its because I have a 6 year old son and he is not ready to “start over” his kids are 13 and 15.

    I get hurt and break up. Then he begs me back. He breaks up 2 days later cause he can’t deal with the stress of thinking about a future together right now (we have both been separated from our exes for 3 years…my divorce is final his is taking for ever).

    3.5 weeks later I call him on christmas day – he was falling apart. I call him again two days later and tell him that we need to figure out what we are doing because I need to move on…I’ve been asked out three times and I keep turning guys down because I am so hung up on him and hoping our relationship will work.

    He says “fine, let’s get back together.”

    Today is day 7 since we have been back together – I feel tense every day – I have taken back everything I said to him to try to relief the pressure “I’m not ready to live together, I have to think about my son…is this the best thing for us…etc.etc.etc…”

    although we are “back” together he has withdrawn…not the same calls or text…hardly contacts me…in seven days he has texted 2 and called 2, I have been the one doing all the texting and calling.

    How I feel:

    I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. I really like this man. But I feel like he has all the power. I was the one that asked him to get back together, I was the one that took back all my requests…even though he said he was “crazy” about me…it doesn’t feel this way anymore.

    What is keeping me in the relationship:

    I am SO scared to make mistakes. I am 40 years old. He is a GREAT guy. but I am feeling like the connection is not there like it used to be. He says we have been through a trauma and must give it time but I think if you love someone…you should be THRILLED to be together.

    Do I:

    Break up with him again and this time REALLY try to move on.

    This problem is consuming me. Draining all the life an energy from me. I FEEL like doing NOTHING. And then when I was broken up with him I thought I was going to die crying everyday!

    Back with him: feels tense and stressful
    Without him: feels scary and depressing..


    These relationship stories really kill me inside because they keep reminding me about how I have never had anyone to be with, so far it’s always been one sided with the girls I’ve liked. I don’t mean to make this about me, I’m actually leading up to a point, which is this:

    What did you want when you were single? Are you getting that now?

    Remember the “keep it simple” rule? Why worry about being 40 when you’ve already been asked out three times, you’re fighting off men like zombies while fortifying your current position with the other person that can’t decide what he wants in life.

    This is all of course just my humble opinion but know what you want, look deep inside and figure out why it is you actually looked for a relationship in the first place and then you’ll know what to do.


    You actually put a HUGE smile on my face. Ha…fighting men like zombies. So funny 🙂 Yes, some guys want to date me…but that doesn’t mean I like them back !

    Chemistry, emotional, physical, spiritual…is not easy to find in a person.

    What I wanted when I started this relationship: A Boyfriend – a man who would adore me, chase me, make me feel amazing! With this guy: I got EXACTLY that.

    Fifteen months later, and at our age – I wanted more (relationships are supposed to grow…and we were obviously going at different speeds) – I got starry eyed about having a “family” (not more kids just living with our kids) and really taking our relationship to the next level – which I already felt wasn’t too far fetched from what we were already living… I asked for something, he freaked out on me. I tried to take it back and now we are in this yucky place.

    As for you: I’m not sure how old you are but I will tell you what women like – just from my perspective 🙂

    – BE FIT (take care of yourself and LOOK GOOD) work out if you don’t…
    -We LIKED to be chased, so don’t play the hard to get card…its okay to do a little game here and there…but you should be the one chasing us!
    -We typically dont like you in the first 2-3 dates but then you call us “sweetheart” or say something off the cuff and its that one moment we go “oh crap” I like this guy.
    -In bed – be dirty! We all love that. Believe me.
    -Be confident: We only believe what you show us.
    – Don’t give up! Your lady is out there.


    My personal view is not to live together. I see that as a halfway commitment. I would marry. I have known a lot of women who want to get married but could never get their man to do that since he is so comfortable living with her. I have lived with my wife for 3 years before we married and I don’t see any advantage in doing that.

    Regardless, you have already communicated that you wanted to live together and now your boyfriend’s behavior has changed radically. Yes he may be a great guy but he is a *married* guy. Unless he is willing to get off the dime and get a divorce then he will never be in a legal or emotional place to really commit.

    He has been very clear to you that he is not willing to “start over.” I’m not sure what “trauma” he is referring to but if that is the case then all the more reason why he is not ready to have a relationship with you.



    Well apparently you don’t like anyone for “2-3 dates” so how can you say you don’t like them until they call you “sweetheart”? =P

    Sounds like a fantasy and a bit self centered to be honest.

    Life and people have ups and downs and multiple sides. I think the real question is are you friends? Do you like his personality (when it’s not about you) ? It seems like you’re too dependent on somebody else making you feel good about yourself rather than figuring out whether you’re actually just happy being with a person because of who they are rather than the circumstances or wanting more and more and more.


    @lovinggirl said:
    This problem is consuming me.

    Doesn’t it mean you are spending far too much time thinking about this relationship? In everyday life you are perhaps used to focusing on your child, that’s why you may be doing the same thing when it comes to your grownup boyfriend. You probably need reassurance right now more than anything, isn’t it something you always try to give to your child?

    Stress will pass. Time is always on your side.


    I would end it. I have learned the hard way to believe people when they reveal their truth: he said he wasn’t ready. I’m sure he loves you, and that you love him. That doesn’t change that he’s not ready (or that he’ll only be ready when he decides that he is). I don’t think ‘taking it back’ will work in this case. Stepping down from a place of honesty (where you two actually were, as a couple, no matter how painful it felt) to a place of murk is a tactic that has proven itself to not work, based on what you’ve said. Into the future with eyes open wide?


    it is so sad that you you guys are doing this scam. Karma.


    Your first sentence on explaining why you are in this relationship is because you are scared. Living a life from fear rather from love is never good. I use that as a metric all the time for myself. I continue to ask myself, Am I coming from fear or love? whenever I have negative thoughts or when I considering some action.

    Also living a life from “you should” place is not living it from love. So when you said “you should be THRILLED…” that tells me that you are not being in this from a loving place.

    The fact this relationship is “draining all the life and energy from me” should tell you something.

    You have been scared and depressed without him. I invite you to love yourself. It’s can be a long process that does not yield immediate results but ultimately that is what all of us need to do. You probably need help to do this. Find a support sangha. Have a regular meditation practice. See a therapist. Find other ways to nuture yourself and tap into your joy.



    Loving girl
    Reading your post I see a lot of similarities from my own situation with my boyfriend, the difference is we have been together 5 yrs, which is a long time, there is so many ups and downs, we use to live together but now we live apart, in a way its for the best, before he never use to take me out, now we plan outings together, he buys me presents, we do a lot more as a couple than when we were living together, the only sad thing is… we rarely discuss about the relationship, and if we do, it always ends in arguments.

    we were both married and divorced, in our 40′, have kids from previous partner. like you I do meet other guys, but cannot bond as I do have feelings for my boyfriend, sometimes I feel a lot of bitterness towards him cause of the arguments we have from time to time, and also the uncertainty of the relationship. at times I switch off my fone so he cannot contact me, other times I block his number, I know its a bit childish, the relationship goes hot and cold, some weeks he will text me and call all the time, some weeks I have to chase him all the time..its draining and at the same time I know its affecting both of us, cause we just cant communicate, So I know how u feel about this situation. I keep taking back everything that I say to him too, he rarely speaks or argues with me, seems like hes ok with the way things are..If I have a concernand tells him, its like he goes cold on me, withdraws and avoids the issue.

    Sorry to say but I think relationships like that rarely works, people keep drifting apart, in my case I do feel this way, just that maybe I have not found the right person to move on and maybe him too…..cause if 2 people really cares, surely they will find reasons to make it work.if one is willing to try and the other isn’t,
    Your bf seems like hes unsure of this relationship, like they say, one foot in the door and one is out the door, in my opinion just back off for a bit and let him miss u, if its meant to be it will be, don’t chase him or call or text, I know its hard, but focus on other things, let him figure out what he wants, surely we cant force anyone to love us. Be patient, when he calls be polite and do not mention anything about the relationship, just keep your cool, he will see a change in you and if he wants to work things out, let him lead. don’t push anything.

    take care


    Mark. I love everything you write to me. Thank you.

    We have been back together for 13 days today and the relationship is not the same. We are distant, cold. I cry every day missing and longing the amazing romance we had. The true love affair. I am so sad.

    I blame myself constantly over what happened. We were SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY AND FULFILLED. This man gave me EVERYTHING, treated me great, loved me, gave me attention. We had ONE conversation about living together which went totally wrong and my feelings were very hurt.

    Instead of talking to him, I let the resentment build for three weeks until I cornered myself and did something STUPID and FOOLISH. I broke up with my sweetheart.

    He took the breakup as an ultimatum – and in all honesty – I acted out of fear. I had no idea what to do. I was SO SCARED to talk to him I rather just end it – I thought if I talked to him I would pressure him and injure the relationship.

    All I wanted to know was why he wasn’t ready – I should’ve just asked. Not that his response would not have hurt me anyhow. His response being “I dont know if I want to give up my freedom of my own apartment and live with you and your son…”

    In looking at Buddhist principles (hindsight 20/20) I feel like I was GRASPING for something I already had. I had a beautiful relationship and if I would’ve just been patient and understanding (instead of being self serving to meet my own needs of “how come you dont want to live with me and my son”) I would’ve been fine and I would’ve been happy.

    That is my biggest struggle. The regret.

    So where am I know?

    The relationship has changed. It doesn’t feel the same anymore. There is a lot of pain and hurt behind it.
    He doesn’t call me the way he used to. He doesn’t look for me the way he used to.
    I no longer feel pretty and fun and sexy. I feel sad, heavy heart, regretful. I have no energy to do anything.

    My options:
    If I break up with him I will forever wonder what would’ve happened if I would’ve stayed. Would we have been able to get past this? Would the relationship have mended itself back up?

    If I stay I am dying. Every day is a struggle.

    Regret if I stay. Regret if I go.

    I have restarted meditating everyday. I am in a different place today than I was a week ago. I think I am getting closer to making my decision.

    This beautiful relationship may have just run its course. I WANT IT TO WORK SO BAD, he is SUCH A GREAT GUY.

    I cant stop beating myself up for having messed this up.


    Hi lovinggirl,

    It IS painful to live with regrets and feeling that you have made unrecoverable mistakes.
    Plus it looks like these are mistakes but who knows if down the line it was the exact right thing to do?

    It may help that your actions probably are not the sole reason why the relationship changed for the worse. He is still married and he has been clear that he does not want to “start over.”

    I wish you loving kindness lovinggirl and invite you to have the same for yourself.



    Hi Mark, thanks for listening to me again 🙂

    I am at the point where I dont want to do anything else. I dont want to break up with him. I don’t want to “chase him” (its not what I would do anyways). I just need to stand still.

    I really care for him. I want to be with him. I do want him. But I also understand that we are in a place in our relationship where two things will happen.

    1) We will either go our separate ways.

    2) Time will heal this and our relationship will grow.

    There is no “pushing” on either side right now.

    I dont think I said anything wrong in asking for him to have a relationship with my son – I didn’t ask for anything out of the ordinary. He WAS ALREADY doing it.

    We had a terrible fight gone wrong.

    What I can do:
    1) I cant fix this. I cant do anything to make it different.
    2) I need to give this time and space – something is bound to happen – things will get different.

    My hope:
    For the best.


    I think you have you doing that (variation)adage, “Don’t just do something, sit there.”

    When you want something to change, all you need is to wait.

    I like that quote from The Best, Exotic Marigold Hotel movie, “Everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not yet the end.”



    Hi Mark, Hope you dont mind I am using you as my soundboard.

    I am feeling a lot better today. I will do my meditation in a bit.

    I am SO greatful for so many things:
    My beautiful son
    My awesome job/career
    Total self supporting woman and single mom!
    My hobbies of writing (I am actually working on a second novel!)
    My healthy lifestyle ! Dont drink dont smoke work out 6 times a week!
    My believe in the Great Power
    My newly found fascination of Buddhism…

    In short. I have so much to be happy about.

    This situation for the last 9 weeks has totally drained all my energy time, and life force.

    We are still talking everyday but it feels pretty over. I dont know how HE feels, but I feel like I am falling out of love with him…every single second of the day. And Lord knows I didn’t want to !! I wanted to stay and make it work! He is a GREAT GUY! But Geez….he broke up with me after he found out I wanted something more serious with him (meaning living together or building a life together bc he was already monogamous and with me a lot of the time..).
    But the truth is that I didn’t feel supported. It wasn’t like “Honey, you can drop of your son here if you need to go do XYZ…” Oh hell no…nothing like that. But he had so many other great qualities I overlooked this.

    I still have not mustered the courage for the “clean break” – but I am sure its coming….partially because I don’t want to feel guilty.

    I have no desire to see him or spend time with him 🙁 I don’t miss him. Its unfortunate but I have to be honest with myself. After 9 weeks of crying every day….I think my love for him is dying. If he were showing me enthusiasm about the relationship I would feel different. But to his defense he is also going through this.

    The first week I wanted to call him be with him. This second week, his lack of enthusiasm has left me very blah about the whole situation. He was very ill with fever this week….but even when he was ill with fever before “the break up” he’d be calling me and wanting to be with me.

    Sigh. I still dont know what to do…But I am feeling better. He is starting to not matter that much anymore. But I just dont want him in my life. Not like this I don’t. Is that okay? That’s what I am struggling with with.

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