He Didn't Think we'd Last

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I was dating my boyfriend for 8 months and everything was great. It was not perfect of course but I was truly happy, could accept everything about him, and felt I loved him. We respected one another and really enjoyed each other's company. My boyfriend has never dated anyone who lived in the same city as him and has never dated anyone as long as he has dated me. He told me that he has never felt this way about any of his other girlfriends (they always ended up boring him).

We broke up because he told me one night that he had no desire to be married or have kids, that he felt like his life did not start until after grad school, that this was just time that did not count. I think he is just not facing his emotions and that it is easier to just pretend that people don't really matter (though I never felt that he did not care for me!). When we broke up, I told him I was not sure if he was the person I wanted to marry, but that I wanted to be with someone who at least had that option available to me. I guess I did not see a point in the relationship.

It has only been a week and I know my feelings of loneliness and despair are probably normal -- but I can't help feeling like we did the wrong thing -- should I have been more patient and tried to help him work through these issues. Should I have just enjoyed our relationship knowing it may or may not turn into something more? He even told me that he knew he would probably regret our break-up one day but that he also could not bear to continue dating me, knowing that we probably would not end up together -- he envisions himself leaving school with no strings attached but he also told me that he will always care for me. When he said this, I just felt his negative attitude predetermined our future together.

Did I do the right thing or should I have discussed his feelings more? Should I maintain some contact ? He wants to talk with me again at some point to see how I am doing -- but I am afraid it would be bad for both of us and hinder us from moving on.

RomanceClass.com Advice
One of the keys in a relationship is being honest - and believing your partner when they are honest with you. Trying to force your partner into your mold, or trying to talk your partner out of what they say because it clashes with what you want would all be bad.

So it's definitely hard to work through a breakup, but I think in this case it was probably for the best. You wanted a relationship that would last and were willing to work for it and on it. He wanted casual fun and had no interest in any long term thoughts. Yes, you could say that he should have kept open the option that you two would work out and AFTER he graduated would be able to be more. But he simply couldn't consider these options. That seems rather strange to me - shouldn't a person be thrilled to find a great match and think it worthy of working on and fighting for? But you can never force another to think a certain way. His mind set was that he was incapable of real commitment until after he graduated. If that was his mindset, who knows if he would be capable of a real commitment at that point either? He might have some other qualification then - "when I get my real job". "When I get through this internship period". It can really go on and on and I've seen it last for over 10 years. It means the person just isn't ready or willing to commit.

So if your desire is to be in a family with a husband and kids, it's better to accept that just isn't where his brain is. There are tons and tons of great guys out there who would be thrilled to have that family mentality going. And who are very well matched for you. Your relationship with your ex has taught you many things about life, including how important a family IS to you. So treasure that, and the things you have learned. I do think at some point you'll really like having him around as a friend since you two have fun together. But give yourself time to get through the rebound period, and then see how it goes. As time goes on and you find yourself a wonderful husband, you may be able to look on him fondly as a flaky but good friend who enjoys floating through life without strings. And he may enjoy living vicariously through your kids, being able to enjoy the fun without the commitment involved.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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