I begged her for three months before she came back to me. While we were broken up, she started having an affair with a guy in her office who she claimed loved her and treated her well. She came back to me because she couldn’t get over me and wanted to make our relationship work. I tried to make things OK this time around so as not to lose her again, but this morning she called me saying she wants out of the relationship because she’s tired of waiting for me. She wants to get married. She’s going to be 29 this month. She said time is against her. I don’t have a well-paying job and I still live with my parents. She believes I can’t take care of her financial needs. She said that, as a guy, I can always get a young girl to marry and have a family with but that she, as a girl, will have trouble finding someone and having kids if she waits much longer.
I tried to convince her this morning to stay with me, but she remains adamant. I don’t know what to do. Should I allow her to go or keep convincing her to stay? I’m really going to miss her. She’s been there for me. The issue I have is that I can’t afford to start a family now. I’m not paid well. Please, I need you to tell me what to do. — Not Ready To Have a Family
First of all, you don’t “allow” someone to go who doesn’t want to be with you. It’s not like she’s asking for or needs your permission to break up with you. She’s been honest with you about what her needs are. And you are honest that you can’t meet them at this time. This is more honest than many couples who write to me for advice, and, really, I commend both of you for that part, at least.
Now, while your girlfriend doesn’t need your permission to leave, you CAN still fight for her. But the only way you’re going to persuade her to stay with you is by convincing her that you will be able to meet her needs in a satisfactory (for her) time frame. And for that, you need a plan. Do you have one? Do you have a plan for eventually getting a better paying job and moving out of your parents’ home? If so, when do you expect that to realistically happen? If you don’t even have a plan other than “some day,” or you have a plan but you haven’t started it yet, you won’t be able to persuade your girlfriend, and the kindest thing you can do (for her and for you) is to not fight.
Let this breakup be clean and amicable. Wish her well. Tell her you love her and love the time you’ve had together but don’t want to hold her back from her dreams. You’ve already broken up a couple of times. It’s clear you have feelings for each other and are drawn to one another, but that’s not enough to make a relationship work. Love isn’t enough. And your girlfriend, as you say, has been adamant about that.
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