Stay or Go?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve been in a relationship for 5 years, I’m 22 now, and I’m not sure if I should stay or leave. My boyfriend and I broke up two summers ago, after dating for about 3 -4 years and I saw another guy over that summer. I initiated the break up because I was unhappy and wanted to explore my options. Over the summer we were apart he seemed to change into a different person so we got back together. But now that we have been together for about a year since the break up I’m experiencing similar feelings as before. I find that I’m not as attracted to him, I don’t feel much on the physical side of our relationship and even after all this time I’m not sure he is the guy that I want to marry. I’m afraid to break up with him because I don’t want to regret a decision if I do truly love him and I don’t want to stay with him and never know if there is anything better out there. I need advice. Thank you.

A: You’re not listening to yourself so I’ll review what you’ve said: You aren’t attracted to him. You’re not sure he is the guy you want to marry. You’re unhappy. It seems to me that 5 years is plenty of time to check and double check your feelings.

I suspect that you have changed quite a bit from the 17-year-old girl who started dating your guy. The years between 17 and 22 are important years in a person’s growth and development. It’s not at all unusual for people who became a couple during the teen years to find that they are no longer so interested in each other once they’ve become more their adult selves.

I can’t tell you what to do, of course. There may be more to the story than you were able to communicate in a short email. But I do think you should seriously consider whether you are being fair to the guy or to yourself by staying in this relationship just in case you might regret leaving. A marriage under those terms has a very, very shaky foundation and is unlikely to last.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Apr 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Stay or Go?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/04/08/stay-or-go/