"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." - Darrell Royal
Question #91907 posted on 12/19/2018 10:32 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

When I saw #91886, it kind of made me tear up because I feel like I'm in a similar spot with my boyfriend. I still love and care about him a lot, but it feels like more how a friend would care about a friend than a romantic relationship. Part of me feels like I'm doing him a disservice staying together because we both deserve to find people who we feel romantically attracted to.

The problem is that it's been almost a year since we've been dating and I feel like he feels like everything's fine. He'll say things like "I want to be yours forever" or "you're the perfect person for me, I never thought I'd find someone like you" and it just makes me feel so guilty because I don't feel that. It's like I went numb for his affection all of the sudden and IDK why.

But he's also really depressed right now since it's the three year anniversary since one of his parents died and because his last partner left him at about the year mark. He has a history of self-harm and suicide attempts, too, and (not to be egotistical) I worry that if we broke up now, it could send him into a spiral of hurting himself and I still want him to be happy and I don't want to hurt him. Plus, he's unemployed and isn't going to school right now (though he's hoping to go back to school soon) so he doesn't get out much and I'm worried that if I wasn't around anymore, he'd just fall into a deeper depression than he already is in.

And IDK, sometimes I can see things working out and us being happy together but sometimes, I just wish we were friends instead of dating.

What would you do in this situation? Am I being the selfish one here and if so, how do I snap out of it? Is it possible that things would get better between us? I just really don't know what to do and care about him a lot, but I also don't know that I love him in a romantic way before. I know you don't know me, but do you possibly have any advice for this situation?

-My Name Here


Dear you,

If I were in your shoes, I'm not exactly sure what I would do, but I do have a vague idea. Because this time of year corresponds to lots of painful personal memories for your boyfriend, I probably wouldn't break up immediately, but might in due time. 

While I have never been in a serious relationship (or any romantic relationship, for that matter--so maybe take everything I'm saying with a grain of salt), I think a big purpose of dating one person is determining whether they're they kind of person you want to be romantically involved with for the rest of your life. One of the reasons we have a dating interim before marriage is for this exact purpose. And all that means it's okay, and even natural, not to continue loving another person in the same way. 

If you stop loving the person you're dating romantically, you are not under an obligation to rekindle the love you used to have. But the lack of obligation does not create a lack of choice. You can choose to try and make it work out with this person. Personally, I'm a firm believer that love isn't some mysterious force that holds lucky couples in its grip for some time before capriciously letting one or the other fall; love is a choice we can make.

I don't know if it's right for you to break up with this person or not, because the rightness of this choice depends on you. Is this the kind of guy who makes the choice to love him worth it? If the answer is yes, maybe try and stick with him. If the answer is no, then break up.

Good luck,