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Stayed in a relationship too long.

Community Member
I have been with my girlfriend for 5 years now, since we were both teenagers (now 23).

She's an incredibly kind, caring, and intelligent woman that I care about. However, without going into details for the sake of privacy, I do not feel like I could ever marry her/have children/spend my life with her. I'm no longer sexually attracted to her like I was and I feel attraction to other people (although I would never cheat).

The kicker is that I've felt this way for ~2 years now, but I've stayed in the relationship. As a career driven young person I think it's been easy to use the rationship to keep me focused on climbing the ladder at work without distractions.

Now at 23, I know that I need to end this relationship but I feel totally lost regarding how to go about it. We share a room together in share accomodation with shared possessions, play social sport together and share social groups. Additionally, we both moved in together straight out of home as teenagers as my girlfriend's family were emotionally (and to a degree physically) abusive. Although I know it's not my responsibility, I worry about the emotional impact and my girlfriend's ability to manage the breakup. I feel that my girlfriend is emotionally relient on me and often on the edge of depression. Also, after getting into a long term, serious relationship at such a young age, I think I just don't know how to end one. I was a teenager who could barely muster up the confidence to ask a girl out, so I think the same may apply now to ending this relationship with obviously much greater impact.

I understand that being in this relationship is doing a disservice to both of us and that ending it is the right thing to do, but I just... can't.

I'm reaching out to try and get the ball rolling.

Hopefully receiving some advice might be the kick-start I need to do the right thing?
Thank you for any help in advance! It's much appreciated
2 Replies 2

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

There is only one honourable way to end a relationship- face to face.

There is no method that can cushion the hurt she’ll feel.

In terms of assets a mature divide takes two mature minds. Draw up a list of preferred assets and put it to her.

Following giving her the news and your intentions, anything you say to explain things will not be welcomed. I suggest you can be supportive with silence and only talk when asked a direct question.

I hope it runs smoothly for you both


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hi Zared,

There really is no easy way to break up with your partner. It's going to cause grief and heartbreak but you need to rip that bandaid off and it will hurt.

Be honest with her. Tell her how you truely feel. Give her the closure that she needs.

Support will cusion the fall so hopefully she has some good friends she can lean on after you've been completely honest.

I have survived many breakups so it is possible for her to make it through the tough time.

Do you still want to remain friends with her? This might be too hard for her or maybe it's just what she needs.

I've stayed friends with ex's and then the friendship has dropped off after time.

It was a softer blow for me still staying friends afterwards, for a time.

Eventually she'll find herself again, which I really hope for her.

Just be sensitive to her feelings when giving her the news and maybe even let her know you'll always be there for her- only if that's what you want.

You've got this.

Write back if you need to anytime you like.