I met a guy a couple of months ago online. It started innocently enough, but eventually we developed feelings for each other. I gathered some courage and met him in person. He is extremely good-looking, in addition to being caring, loving, and insanely sweet. He also genuinely loves me.
We decided to start a relationship. We knew it was going to be hard (we do not live close), but we gave it a go. However, there are a couple of issues. He is a struggling musician who is a server in a restaurant. He got a DUI about a year ago, and he was forced to quit his job as a personal trainer. He is living with his grandparents, and even though he says he will move out when he can drive again, part of me believes that won’t happen. He tells me that his music career will pick up after he is able to drive, but I realize it is extremely hard.
At this point, I would like to point out that I’m an Ivy League student, and I got a really good internship as a banker in New York. I like to have deep conversations about the nature of current events and finance — something I have never been able to share with him. We do share interests in music and art, but that is about it. I also worry about his future. The music industry is really hard to make it in, and I have let him know this but he says he will try harder and if worse comes to worst, he will go back to personal training. Also a big red flag for me is that he is not a college graduate. All this breaks my heart because I genuinely love him, but I don’t know if our futures will unite. I have thought about breaking up with him.
Now get ready for another issue. I am afraid of breaking up with him because I don’t want to hurt his feelings (it would kill me if I hurt him) and because I am afraid no one will love me as much as he does. He adores me. He wants a future with me. I am about to graduate college and I am terrified (scratch that, petrified) of the dating world, especially in New York. I see it already in my school. Men are not interested in relationships (my last boyfriend broke up with me because he wasn’t ready for a committed relationship, and he didn’t feel it was fair for me), and they just want to date and hook up with girls to eternity. I am also aware that the men want to commit when they are older, but I don’t want to date men in their late 20s or older. Men also outnumber women, etc. (I have a million random factoids about why it sucks to date in New York). I don’t want to aimlessly date for years, just to end up back at square one.
I already have a boyfriend who loves me. But at the same time, I want to find someone who I can intellectually bond with and find a realistic future with. Sometimes I feel that is too much to ask and that I am being overtly choosy (I already have a really good boyfriend). Should I really break up with my real boyfriend, for an idea that does not exist? Please, I really need some advice. I’m under tons of stress. — Scared to Leave
OK, let’s review: you’ve known this guy all of “a couple of months,” you live far apart, you don’t have that much in common, you aren’t able to have the kind of discussions with him that you’d like to be having, you don’t think he’s an intellectual match for you, AND you don’t really have much faith in him to achieve success in his career of choice, and yet – and YET — you are still entertaining the notion of carrying on some sort of relationship with the guy?
What I find most baffling about this is that you say you can’t stand the idea of hurting your boyfriend and yet that’s exactly what you’re doing by keeping him with a girlfriend who doesn’t really want to be with him but is too scared to be alone. You’re keeping him from potentially meeting a woman who does want to be with him — like, really, truly be with him. Worse than that, you’re keeping him with a woman whose appreciation of him is based mostly on his availability and interest in her, and not so much in who he is as a person. Imagine what it would begin to feel like being with someone who felt that way about you. Eventually you’d figure it out, or at least suspect it, but not before being hurt enough times to finally consider the option that you were merely “good enough.”
Don’t do that to him. If you can’t have faith in your boyfriend, have more faith in yourself that you’ll be OK without him. Have enough faith in yourself that even if you don’t have a longterm, committed relationship by the time you think you’re supposed to have one that you’ll be fine. Have enough faith in yourself that, even if you don’t find the perfect guy right away, there are experiences to enjoy in being a single woman in the city. Have faith that you are interesting enough and smart enough and have enough to offer that you’ll not only attract quality men into your life, but you’ll also attract a circle of friends to keep you company and help enrich your life.
Staying with this guy would be a mistake and will only cause you and him more heartache than you’d have if you just ended it now. You’ve only known each other a couple of months (and long distance, at that). There isn’t so much attachment and history there that either of you won’t bounce back right away. Just MOA and save yourself the drama.