Saturday, May 12, 2012

Different Ages, Different Stages

Help! I have a boyfriend and he is a sweetheart. The problem is, he is 20 and I am 17. He is out of high school and I am a senior. We have been going out for about 2 months now and he already is talking about marriage and things. I thought that is what I wanted but now that I'm back in school I have realized that I don't. I've already met his parents, and he's gone to my family reunion and things like that. I have already tried to explain to him how difficult it is to have a boyfriend that isn't in high school, but he just doesn't seem to understand. He says he can't live without me. How can I tell him to make him understand? Please, please help me! I'm going crazy!!
The world is full of two camps - the dumpers and the dumpees - and sooner or later we all will have broken bread around both hearths. Most people tend to think it is easier to do the dumping than it is to be dumped, this simply isn't true and you are learning that first hand. Bottom line, it is no fun being on either side of the end of a relationship.

What you describe is very normal and I would encourage you to distance yourself. You say that you are in your senior year, that is a year full of exciting changes and opportunities. Your guy isn't factoring your reality or feelings into his plans for the future. That isn't fair to you. You want to experience "17" and there is nothing wrong with that, don't let him convince you otherwise. You only have one year to be a high school senior and many years to spend married and in love.

First thing you have to do is resolve yourself to ending the relationship and promise yourself to do it no matter what. Any reaction he has is totally within his control and you are not to blame for it. Make sure that you know and accept this before you take another step. You can not accept responsibility if he chooses to react badly to your need for space. You are not doing something to him, you are doing something for yourself.

Next, explain to him that relationships end for lots of reasons and in your case a lack of love is not the cause. Say that you are at different points in your life and that you really need him to remember his senior year. Would he want to deny you that experience? Tell him that it is better to leave a relationship while there is still SOME love left and that you think what you two share is worth more than a drawn out and bitter end. If you thin there is a chance that the two of you may reconnect someday tell him so, let him know that you are not saying it is over forever, but that for you it is over for now. Let him know that you need to grow on your own first. Then add, that you know in breaking it off you may be letting him go forever and that you are OK with that, your self growth is your priority right now.

Don't let him make you feel selfish because you want to break up in order to experience life as a high school senior - there is a difference between being selfish and saving your self. Staying in a relationship that you aren't happy with is ridiculous at your age. Youth should be about happiness and exploration, NOT guilt and life long commitment. If he tries to tell you otherwise turn the tables and point out that his wanting to deny you things he has already experienced is what is really selfish.

If all else fails tell him the "If you love someone set them free, if they come back to you they're yours forever, if they don't they never were." If he really loves you he will want you to be happy, even if it is without him. If he can't see this what he has for you is a love set in obsession and dependancy - this is not healthy for either one of you.

Resolve yourself to ending it and do it as nicely as possible. Do not let him guilt you in to staying, it will only make everything worse and turn you love for him in to resentment. Guilt is a form of manipulation and nobody should be trapped in a relationship based on manipulation, especially at age 17!