Losing interest in my long relationship

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 5 years off and on. (I’m 19). Of course is wasn’t too serious when we first started “dating” (when I was 13 and he was 15). I was always obsessed with him in high school, we saw each other maybe once a week and I thought about him all week. Whenever he would call or come over it was the highlight of my day. We saw each other once a week because we both went to different schools 15 miles apart and then he went to college while I was still in high school so we were so busy it was hard to see each other. Finally I went to college. The state college (same one as him). And I was still obsessed with him. By that point we started seeing each other everyday. We both lived in the dorms and he lived with his best friend. His best friend caused a lot of drama and pain for me because he was jealous of me hanging out with my boyfriend. (Even though his best friend had a gf too). So there was all that drama. Then at the end of that spring semester, me and my boyfriend decided to live together because neither of us are very social and his best friend was getting so crazy, it just made sense to us. Our parents were cool with it too. And it has been a pretty great arrangement. I have been living on my own since I was about 16 because my mom used to spend a lot of time at her boyfriend’s house and the dorm situation kind of sucked for me. I love to have someone here who I don’t get sick of (we spend a lot of time zoning out on our own computers and stuff). And I do love him. But through our mutual friends I have met someone else, we’ll call him “Andrew”. Andrew has hung out with me and my bf and a few of our friends and it really funny and sweet and single. Sometimes I see Andrew and I dream of being with him in a relationship and I wonder what it would be like. But then I know it is not even in the realm of possibility because I live with my boyfriend, and he is also now best friends with my boyfriend’s ex best friend that treated me like crap. My boyfriend is good to me, but is not really full of many suprises and doesn’t like to do many spontaneous things. He mostly enjoys hanging out playing computer games. Andrew on the other hand loves to go out and do things, and part of my personality wants that. But I couldn’t imagine my boyfriend not in my life. I feel like we will be married someday, but other times I think maybe this isn’t the best idea if my mind is exploring other options.
Also I feel like I am not as into my boyfriend like I used to be. Maybe I used to love the chase and now I have him so it’s not as exciting? I love him and I want to make things work, but sometimes I wonder if this isn’t right? He is a great guy and cares about me a lot, why am I starting to feel this way?

A: You’re feeling this way because 19-year-old love is different than 13-year-old love. The person you are now may well be looking for a different kind of guy than your 13-year-old self found. It’s not that your bf isn’t a great guy. It’s not that you are fickle. It’s that a relationship that began when you were so young is unlikely to be what your more mature self would choose. You and your bf kept each other safe through high school. You helped each other transition to college life. You still love each other for having been there for each other for a long time. You are certainly loyal friends. But you’ve settled into a frankly boring lifestyle that isn’t helping either of you grow. Yes, it’s stable in its way. But that’s not the stuff of romantic love.

I think it’s time for you and your bf to wish each other the best and move on. It will be scary at first. It will feel like you have cut off an important limb. But if you are to truly discover who you are and what you really want in a partner, you need some time to explore relationships and, yes, to have some time on your own. By all means, stay friends if you can. But gather up your courage, move out, and enjoy being young for awhile.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Feb 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Losing interest in my long relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/02/06/losing-interest-in-my-long-relationship/

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