I am 30, single and never married. My boyfriend is 35 and divorced. We’ve been together 10 months and we’ve been exclusive. The sex is great. He is a nice person who is crazy about me, considerate (though not faultless), faithful and really a decent guy. But he absolutely insists he does not ever want to remarry.

I had recently broken off an engagement, so I would never have dared to bring up marriage. I didn’t want to scare him off, plus I’m probably not ready. On the other hand, it seems empty to continue to sleep with someone who calls our relationship casual, says he likes me and tells me I am fun.

What about love?

There is nothing per se wrong with the relationship, but is it right to stay with someone just because nothing is wrong? I guess if I were older or lonely, I’d feel this is great. But where is the love?

My friends say stay with him until I meet someone else, otherwise I’ll be alone. So what? Is being alone really that bad? And how can I meet someone if I am with him? I don’t see the point of long-term relationships which go nowhere.

I would never ask for something until it’s time, but I don’t like the idea of ruling out the possibility of living together or marriage. I tried to break up with him once before. He talked me out of it since I couldn’t explain what’s exactly wrong with the relationship.

He gets what he wants, but what about me? I just switched jobs and will probably need to move soon, so I’m being told it would be a bad time to break it off with everything else going on. Won’t it be harder the longer I stay with him? This whole situation makes me numb.

~ Riley

Riley, it’s as if you’ve gone to a hardware store for bread and milk.

You feel the weight of the relationship. It is dragging you down and so is the advice of your friends. You gave him a second chance once. Nothing changed. He wants you as you are. In effect, you are in a job with no hope of advancement.

He hasn’t offered you a raise, more job satisfaction or more benefits. The second chance wasn’t for you; it was for him to get you to accept less than what is right for you.

When you break up with him this time, simply say, “I’m moving on.” If he offers inducements to stay, decline them. You know whatever he may offer isn’t given freely or done from the heart. His normal state is: I am not remarrying. So don’t break up as a tactic; break up because it’s not right for you.

Switching jobs and moving don’t make this a bad time to leave him. They make it the perfect time to leave him. You are already there in your mind. You know being alone would be better than being with him. You have all the resolve and self-sufficiency you need.

People who tell you to stay while continuing to look for another man are, in effect, saying “use him as he uses you.” That’s not a good principle of life. It’s nasty and self-centered. It bodes well for you that you are uncomfortable with that.

Numbness comes from clutching at wrong things and wrong people. What you are looking for is the man who can’t imagine life without you.

~ Wayne & Tamara

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