I am a 22 year-old woman, and I live with my boyfriend of a year and a half. I thought everything was peachy until this past January, when he told me he plans to break things off with me in September of this year. I asked him why he didn't just break up with me sooner, and he admitted it was financially convenient for him to live with someone else at this point. Since then, he acts like nothing is wrong. I, on the other hand, am sick of waiting for the other shoe to drop. If it were up to me, we would stay together longer. I never claimed I wanted this relationship to last forever, and I don't see myself settling down anytime soon. However, I have no previous experience with a relationship with a definite ending date. I need some feedback from other people.
Should I end things with him before September?
You seem to have a clear view of the relationship: You are both enjoying each other's company until you part. You are really the only one who can answer your question: You are free to end things with him before September, if that is what you choose, and you are free to appreciate each day you have with him, and gracefully let go when the time comes. However long you choose to stay with him, you can best spend the time together by working on your own learning and growth, because you are important. What is of lasting value to you is what you learn from this relationship.
You have said some things in your background statement, which point to areas where you could learn and grow. You committed yourself to live with this man without a clear agreement about the nature of the relationship. Once we live with someone, we become more and more connected and mutually dependent on each other for our emotional needs. Ending such a relationship can be painful. That is why we have structured relationships such as engagement and marriage, so the couple can be clear with each other about their intentions, and clear with their families and friends, and get the support of their families and friends. You might want to read John Gray's book, Mars and Venus on a Date, to get some good ideas about how to navigate the difficult seas of dating relationships.
In our culture we are very confused about where love feelings come from. It could be very helpful in a therapeutic relationship for you to look into why you fell in love with this man and how you got into the position of being played for a fool. It is easy enough to blame him for using you, but the problem with that is that it keeps you in a victim position. You are in charge of your own life when you can see what you have done to get yourself in this position, and learn from it so that you don't repeat the same mistake.
I hope that you get all the help you need to learn from this experience and to go on to a much better and more satisfying relationship, which you truly deserve!
John B. Houck
This question was answered by John B Houck. John B. Houck, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist licensed in Illinois and practicing since 1970. He sees each person as having infinite worth and value. His task as a therapist is to help people see the best in themselves and to access their own inner wisdom. He is especially trained and experienced in working with couples, families and groups. He has had advanced training in addictions counseling. With his wife, they are authorized by John Gray to lead Mars Venus Workshops in the Chicago area and do Mars and Venus counseling together for couples and singles. They also lead workshops in Germany and in England. John B. Houck also offers coaching for people who do not want therapy but need some help and support in achieving their goals.For more information visit: http://www.therapistfinder.net/houck.html